Before we begin, I know that yesterday was a hard day for many. It was hard for me. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Yesterday touched so many of us because Kobe Bryant dared to live the most magnificent life he possibly could have. That effort, that commitment, made his life a legendary one. Yet what we grieved yesterday was a man and his daughter and their friends who lost their lives in a tragic accident.
None of us knows the date or time. It is why we should always try to be kind. Why we should take time to hold space for the difficulties that others go through when we can. And to not wait for permission to live out our purpose.
Our heroes make us feel. When they leave us too soon, those feelings are really hard. But thank goodness we had them while we did.
We will miss you, Kobe. And we will carry on with purpose as you did.
Onward with Two Worlds: Issue 3.
A short story for you.
On Saturday morning, Rachel and I woke up around 6:30 to get ready for painters to paint the entire inside of our house. If you’ve ever done something like that, you know that it turns your house upside down for a bit. Obviously, having a home that we love and the resources to pay for painters to come in and do what they did is an absolute blessing.
Somehow, I didn’t feel that way.
I was disoriented from the disruption to my environment. I didn’t get up in time to meditate. I was not in a great mood.
On Saturday, February 1st, I will compete in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I’ve only trained for three months so far, so I’ve got some small nerves about competing. I’m trying to compete in the 215-pound weight class, and have been working with my good friend who is a nutritionist for a month now to get my body ready.
I was having a great week of training last week and getting close to my target weight, but I pulled a muscle in my back last Thursday. When I weighed in on Saturday morning, I had gained three pounds back.
Now I’m really not in a good mood.
I started thinking about all the things I had to get done over the next sixty days, and how I didn’t feel like I had proper control of them. And before I knew it, I had a small anxiety attack.
I didn’t have words for the way I felt, but let me boil it down for you. The feeling can be summed up in two words: “Why me?”
Why am I doing all this?
Why isn’t this weight coming off for me?
Why is my house upside down right now?
Why doesn’t anyone understand how I feel right now?
Have you ever felt like this? If so, you know it totally sucks.
So here’s how I got out of it.
I started talking with Rachel about all the things that I had on my plate. Through that conversation, I realized there were a lot of things I was dealing with that I hadn’t shared with her. Now that she knew what I had ahead, she was able to be much more supportive. Also, she validated that I indeed had a lot going on and that I had every reason to feel the way I did.
I shared my frustration and fear with my nutritionist, and she encouraged me to trust the process, have a good day, and weigh in tomorrow.
I shared my commitments and need to set boundaries on new tasks with my business partners, and they all responded kindly with understanding and acknowledgment.
Then I permitted myself to put down the disappointment of my weigh-in and made some food and ate.
Then I opened my computer and cleaned up my calendar, cleared out my inbox, and took care of the biggest overdue tasks on my list.
Then I went grocery shopping for the next week.
Then I put the house back together with Rachel after the painters (who did a fantastic job) were done.
Then I ran three miles, even though I did not want to run a single step.
And that’s when it all hit me.
I was running, thinking about how much I didn’t want to be running, but realizing that I still managed to get out and run. I was making small decisions to carry on in spite of my mood, not because of it. When I reached the halfway mark in the run, I knew I was basically done because all I had to do now was go home.
And finally, I started to feel good about myself again.
I got home and meditated, even though it was at 6 pm, I got it in.
And then, I worked through my backlog of tasks until 11 pm, and then went to bed happy.
What did I learn?
If you have a moment where you are wondering, “Why Me?”, that’s ok. You don’t have to have a reason for it or justify it to anyone. But you need to know that when you start feeling that way, the task ahead of you is to move through it. It is not the place you want to be.
You can’t rationalize this emotion. You can only move through it. That doesn’t come from trying to win the debate in your head, it comes from venturing out of there.
Here are three steps you can use to move through your “Why Me?” moments:
1) Be vulnerable to those you trust. Stop going back and forth with the voice in your head and try to talk to someone. Once you can move past talking about how you feel, try to articulate why. Don’t expect this conversation to solve anything, besides creating a connection between you and the person you trust. Being vulnerable and sharing is an exercise, not the entire solution.
2) Pick something small and accomplish it. When you’re in a place of “why me?” you lack momentum. You can’t wait for the energy to arrive before you start generating activity. This is where willpower matters. You don’t want to thrive on willpower, but when you are in the dumps, you need to find the will to remind yourself through action that you are capable of. Capable of anything. Get something done, then move onto something else and get that done.
3) Exercise. This one is huge because most people want to do anything but exercise when they are feeling down. And that’s precisely when it’s most important to move your body. Get your blood flowing, breath moving, and jumpstart your body’s ability to feel good. Your body can help you move through your funk, but you have to decide to allow it to help.
I’ve come to believe that all heroes have their “Why Me?” Moments. Rather than trying to predict or avoid them, instill the deep belief within that you can deal with them.
Each “Why Me?” moment is a teacher. A sign that we are about to hit a breakthrough. A signal that you are about to level up through a trial on your journey.
I hope this helps you this week, or someday in the future.
Have a grateful week, my friend.