The hike makes the view worth it.
I know the hike is hard and long right now. You have skinned knees and sore feet. I heard you tell yourself it wasn’t worth it, but may I be so bold as to tell you that sometimes the purpose of your goal is something other than what you’ve always thought.
I was in a hurry to leave for work. With a purse on my shoulder and fancy shoes shouting my hurried pace i jerked the fridge open. Flinging a bag of lettuce and a can of tuna on the counter I frantically searched for a can-opener. Finally I started jamming a lettuce tuna wrap in my mouth careful not to smear my perfectly painted red lips – my signature feature.
As I bent to grab my purse that had fallen during my sophisticated scavenge through the kitchen for a five-minute meal my eye were captured on the neat but empty kitchenette. As if in a daze I dragged my purse to the bench and we ended the table’s loneliness – my purse and I.
I’m not sure what I thought would happen. The table and chairs would thank me for being their friend or a bright light from the ceiling would burst around me showering me in pixie dust…but that’s not what happened.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and beaten up by your emotions. Before you know it you’ve been thrown from your boogie board. Your face is being ground into the sand while relentless waves tumble you like shoes in a dryer. Disoriented you don’t know how to escape and claim the precious brilliance of light and hopeful air. You’ve been beaten and the only hope of survival you have is owning the fact so that you can be pulled to the surface.
Snow White was right, “It’s important to know when you’ve been beaten.”
I had no idea I had it in me to write you three letters about managing your emotions. But as I was pondering the series of letters I have most recently written I realized that I neglected to teach you my favorite emotion management technique. So while it’s still on my mind I want to share with you my secret to floating through the ocean of emotions.
One day when I was drowning in my high-school emotions mom sent me to my room to journal until I had a happy heart. I was mad. But between filling lined notebook paper and smearing ink with my tears I discovered David’s secret.
I can hardly believe this little letter I started writing last week has turned into three. In the first letter I clarified that emotions are merely our experiential realization of our thoughts – they’re not wrong, it’s what we do with them that can be wrong. And, in my most recent letter, I challenged you to describe your emotions more fully by identifying and defining them. Today, I’m going to teach you how to respond.
Your security system has been breached, you know that burglars are climbing through your window to steal the brownies baking in your oven – the brownies that you were looking forward to enjoying with your friends! There are three responses.
The real feat wasn’t running 13.1 miles. The feat was the last 8 years leading up to this race. The time you dared to go on a second run even though you couldn’t make it once around the track on your first run. All the times you ran when you didn’t want to, rested intentionally, and every single time you ignored the thoughts that told you that you couldn’t.
It’s time you overcame overwhelm. Being overwhelmed is not wrong, it’s just like when a wave overtakes the shore. Each wave that recedes takes with it shells and sand. In the same way being overwhelmed steals from you. It steals joy, productivity, creativity and so much more.
While you’re overwhelmed by all your goals please know that the best thing you can do to get more done is to overcome overwhelm. So, settle down and follow these three simple steps to overcome overwhelm: