“I don’t want to die without any scars.”
― Chuck Palahniuk
Even if you have a handful of tickets for the free ride, no one gets off totally scot-free, and as Jim Morrison so eloquently reminded us, “No one here gets out alive”
While it’s true that life is full of high mountains with amazing views, between every mountain top there’s a low valley where the nights are dark. I spent a lot of years wanting the mountain top, without the hike. I wanted just the good stuff, and none of the bad.
It sounded good anyway, still does.
I tried to find it in everything from pill bottles, to fat bank accounts of financial security, to a marijuana business, to the “pay-by-the-week motel life”, with tin foil covering the windows and knocks on the door at 3am from crack addicts trying to cop $5 by selling things like stolen bikes and beat up old microwaves. The Jehovah’s Witness’s left us alone, but the crack heads were relentless.
At least my rent was only $125 a week and I could get away with part time at a minimum wage job.
I spent a lot of years running from pain, problems, fears, responsibilities and life. But the more I tried to escape everything, the more problems I had.
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”
I’ve also walked the line. Self-help and spiritual books, meditation, affirmations, visualizations, eating healthy, going to church, seeing shrinks, working out, helping others, contributing lots of money to good causes, and being an all around good guy. In fact, this is closer to the path I do my best to walk today. Still, this path is loaded with problems around every bend.
In fact, I’ve found that when you’re on the right path, sometimes you’re presented with the most problems, challenges and tests.
No matter which road we travel, we’re gonna run into all kinds of speed bumps, pot holes, shady characters, engine troubles, accidents, citations, bad weather and sometimes we just gotta pullover and go pee.
“Life is just one damned thing after another”
It may seem, that any way you go about it, we’re fucked.
Or are we?
In between the victories and orgasms, as we take our beatings and chalk up our losses, we are offered chances to either grow and become stronger, or to wither and die.
We either feed the white wolf inside of us or the black wolf. The problem with the black wolf is, the more you feed him, the more he feeds on you.
This post isn’t to share some lofty philosophy with you. I write this from my own experience, and I’m still learning as I go.
Even right now I have financial and health issues. Not to get into a self-indulgent blues jam here, cuz that’s not what this is about and I’m sure you’ve gotta fat list of problems of your own.
I just want you to know where I’m coming from, and that the important thing to realize is, even with our long list of problems, we still have damn good lives. That’s what this post is about.
“Sometimes you’re the windshield; sometimes you’re the bug”
If you’re going through some tough stuff, or wanna be better prepared for next time you do, I think you’ll find this list helpful.
Not everyone seems capable of turning the trials and seemingly bad shit that happens to them into something positive. But if you’re willing to be open, to grow and to learn, which if you’re reading this blog I’m gonna make the fair assumption that you are, then I have no doubts that as life tosses you one lemon after another, you’re gonna make the biggest baddest glass of ice cold lemonade this world has ever seen.
No matter what you’re going through, I bet you still have it pretty damned good. Like fresh running water, a roof over your head, and you probably have eyes, legs and a mouth to help you do shit like read, walk and talk
And I’m guessing you were born into a life better than this:
Be grateful for this stuff, it’s easy to get caught up in your problems, but when compared to real problems, most of them really aren’t that big of a deal.
The beating you take, the tougher you become. The more shit you overcome, the stronger you become.
“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on”
Pain and problems offer us chances to turn within and to something greater than can be seen with the eyes and felt with the senses.
Call it whatever you will, we’re connected to something much bigger than our haircut and designer jeans
When we make mistakes and get our asses kicked by life, we learn valuable lessons. Like don’t touch the hot stove again.
Some of us ( me ) typically don’t learn any other way.
Mistakes seem to be my greatest teachers.
And there are some of us ( me again ) who keep touching that damn stove over and over to make sure it still burns. But eventually, I become convinced that that mother fucker is hot.
Problems offer us the chance to learn the art of acceptance, one of the most important things there is when it comes to being happy.
Resisting reality is a direct line to misery. Acceptance is the way to peace.
Imagine how big your head would get if everything in life just flowed your way? Thank God this isn’t the case for any of us
If you met someone who never had any problems, you’d probably think they were a dick. A boring and weak dick.
You might be a little jealous of them, but you’d still think they were dick.
Trust me, you do not wanna be that guy.
Problems give us character. Period.
Problems make our lives interesting and exciting. Ever see a good movie, read a good book or watch a good TV show where the protagonist has no problems.
Who do you a prefer, a perfect hero or the guy who’s got some problems, a few personal demons and really needs to take a long deep look into his own eyes before he is able to do great things?
It’s why characters like that House dude and Dirty Harry become so popular.
People who have overcome serious shit are awesome.
Who doesn’t love Robert Downey Jr.?
Problems give us opportunities to turn to our friends and family in times of need, and opportunities for them to turn to us.
These are when the real bonds are created. Especially if you’ve been down in the foxhole together.
We are able to take the lessons we learn in battle and use those to better help others who are going through shit of their own. Allowing our message to empower others.
And today, with things like Facebook, Twitter and blogs, your message can help people all over the world.
The times you proved to the world and yourself what the fuck you’re all about, are what make you great
I look at my life and it’s not any great things I’ve done that makes me feel stronger, wiser and a better, kinder person.
It’s the gnarly shit I’ve been through and eventually overcame.
Many people who have gone through real intense shit from divorce/break ups, to prison time, to losing a limb, to cancer… will tell you they are happy they went through it and wouldn’t change a thing.
I knew this dude who was a miserable son of a bitch. He got cancer, ended up realizing what was truly important in life, and after the cancer he became so much happier than he ever had been in his entire life. He swears that getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him.
This is not uncommon among cancer survivors.
Chicks dig em’
Like my friend who got cancer, you realize what’s important in life beyond money, sex, good times and looking like a million bucks.
Sometime it takes great loss to realize what you have and what you should be focusing on
There’s something great to come out of every adversity, especially if you stay out of the negative thinking and look for the good.
If you just bum out on the whole thing, you’ll probably miss it.
Look for it, it makes the beatings worth it.
You will have amazing stories to tell your Grandchildren… real ones, about the crazy shit you went through and overcame, encouraging them to keep moving forward in life no matter what.
And they’ll be all ears, cuz’ the story involves conflict and resolution. It involves you overcoming great adversity, something all great stories are made of.
There ya have it. Maybe you’re going through some shit right now or maybe you’re temporarily sailing on smooth waters. Life is full of victories and ass beatings, and often times it’s the tough shit we go through that makes us who we are.
Move forward, no matter what. Keep your eye on the ball and regardless of what kind of sucker punch gets thrown at ya, just keep getting up, moving forward and learning as you go. Becoming a better person with every step you take.
When live dishes you out a beating, get right back up and keep swinging.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
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