A few words on the triggers and the plaguing thoughts, for when you can’t seem to move past them. . .
In my hard learning, it was only facing the repetitive, troubling thoughts head-on—as many times as they presented—that eventually helped me overcome them. And then get good at sailing right past them.
Consider the stubborn, stabbing thoughts about what’s happened in your life to be hurdles and yourself a hurdler.
The only way to finish the event you’re in is to negotiate those hurdles.
If you’re new to hurdling, at first, you’re likely going to suck at making it over the seemingly endless hurdles that stand between you and your finish line. Attempting to negotiate them all haphazardly and without any skill will hurt, prompting you to try something different as you approach the next one.
You’ll make little adjustments, you’ll alter your technique.
All the while, you’ll be learning valuable information from each hurdle to knick you or pitch you down to the ground, face first. Information you’d never come by without the try. Each attempt to make it over a hurdle will supply you with new knowledge about what helps you clear one and what doesn’t.
A hurdle getting the best of you doesn’t mean you’re failing to progress past them, it means you showed up to the challenge of healing. It means you’re all in and working hard to move forward in life, even though every so often something daunting pops up directly in front of you—often at the precise moment you were gaining speed and starting to fly—and threatens to slow you down.
The more hurdles you attempt to jump in life, the better you’ll get at clearing them.
There’s no better way to eventually best obstacles in your way than to take them on again and again, in seemingly endless reoccurrence. Until one day, when sailing right over them barely takes any effort at all.
One day, surprisingly, you’ll hardly even break a sweat. Your heart rate won’t skyrocket the way it used to. You won’t panic about the uncertain outcome of facing yet another lane full of hurdles. For you’ll have learned exactly how to navigate them successfully.
That you’re struggling to get clear of the triggers and trying thoughts that continually trouble you means you’re learning how to, even while it hurts to.
Pain always has much to teach us—when we’re willing and able to finally learn from it is when it finally begins to leave us.
Each obstacle, trigger, or apparent setback on your path to healing will teach you something specific you need to learn in order to be a better, not bitter new version of you on the other side of your trauma. Without those obstacles, we’d learn nothing about mistakes and redemption, illness and recovery, grace and empathy. Or love, even though.
Don’t hate the hurdles, don’t fear them or fret about them. Use them.
Each one makes you stronger, more nimble, and better equipped to take on anything life puts in front of you.