I’m a big believer that mindset has a huge impact on how we feel. Not just mentally and emotionally but physically as well. This week I had a shift in mindset that improved my entire outlook. I share it because I hope it may help some of you who are going through trials big or small. Since that includes all of us, this applies to anyone reading.
This week I was having a pity party for myself. I tore my meniscus (the cartilage in my knee) and so I’m pretty much hobbling around like a peg-leg pirate. It’s seriously frustrating. I’ve become that person in the grocery store who used to always tick me off. The one walking so slowly down the isle they cause a traffic jam. I’ll never judge those people again. I’m getting along pretty well, but I’m frustrated with my limitations. Everything takes twice as long. I live in a three story house and going up and down the stairs is now an event. I can’t do lower- body strength training the way I want to, I can’t go for walks, and worst of all I can’t hike. This was the subject of my pity party.
Hiking is my favorite thing to do. It relieves stress, makes me happy and is a great form of exercise. Plus, it’s way cheaper than therapy. My favorite time to hike is the fall. I love to see all the leaves changing color and feel the chill in the air. It is truly my happy place. It hit me this week that I won’t get to experience that this fall. I’m going to miss it and that makes me miserable. While I was dwelling on feeling sorry for myself a thought popped into my head. Before I tell you this thought, you need to understand the background.
When I was pregnant with my second I was so sick I was stuck in bed for about two months. I couldn’t eat, drink or take care of myself. One thing that made it so hard was that this all happened at the beginning of spring. I sort of hate winter so spring is like a deep, relieving breath to me. One day while I was sick, my friend came to visit me. I usually just say, “I’m fine,” but for some reason I unloaded on my friend that day. “I’m missing the flowers and the birds and the chance to just sit outside! I’m missing spring!” Her response stuck with me and was the thought that popped into my head this week when I was sad about missing my fall hiking excursions.
“The flowers always bloom every spring.”
This thought changed my mindset. This trial is a moment in my life. Just as the spring after my daughter was born I was able to see the flowers bloom and hear the birds sing, by next fall, surgery or not, I should be able to hike in the mountains. This too shall pass. Now I use this as a mantra to get through tough times.
Whether you are suffering loss, health decline, physical or emotional hurt, financial hardships or any other trial, please remember trials are a moment and can teach us how to be stronger.
One strength I’ve found from this situation is how to look at the good. I may not be able to hike in the mountains, but we can drive up to the mountains and see the changing colors. I can sit in my backyard and feel the chill (unless it’s suddenly 90 degrees again as it was a few days this week). Even though I’m extremely slow, I can still walk. Even though I can do lower body lifts, I can do upper body lifts. There is always something to be grateful for.
So the next time you’re having a pity party (unless I’m the only one who has those regularly), think that opportunities come and go but there will always be another opportunity. Think of all you have to be grateful for because I promise you, no matter how bad things are, you always have something to be grateful for.