I typically begin my blog posts by relating a situation that recently presented itself to me and then sharing how I drew deeper meaning out of it. Today is an exception; I begin with gratitude to my worldwide audience of devoted readers. Dozens of you have reached out to me in the past month to inquire as to the reason for my recent drought of blog posts. Some wondered if I was ill; while others presumed I had simply run out of ideas.
Allow me to thank each of you for your concern, your compassion, and your humanity! By the way, I will never find myself running out of ideas; I have been blessed (or quite possibly cursed) with a limitless supply of inspiration!
Over the course of the past six weeks; I have faced formidable challenges in my life. My online identity was stolen; one of my daughters came down with a serious illness; and I lost several large business deals. All things, good or bad, seem to come in threes. The net effect of these events was that I simply shut down.
I stopped authoring my blog; I lost all interest in bodybuilding; and I climbed deep within myself. In short, I lost all desire for those things that bring pleasure in my life; while simultaneously closing down my interactions with the rest of the world. I am certain that a good psychologist would have diagnosed me as “in a serious funk!”
In the last week, I seem to have gone through a transformation. I have been able to resolve all of the damage inflicted by my identity thief, while avoiding any financial loss. My daughter has endured her illness and the prognosis for the future is positive. Finally, I find myself basking in the possibility of several new lucrative business deals!
The night before last, I made the journey into the bowels of my garage to do battle with my personal dragon. The good news is that I slayed the beast known as the Bowflex! I enjoyed a thoroughly grueling workout; and two nights later, my muscles are minimally sore. Now I am back in the comforting embrace of my personal muse; ideas flowing into my mind faster than my fingers can share them on the laptop. I have crawled back out of my inner recesses and I am ready to touch the world anew. I can hardly wait to see who my humble words will inspire next!
Adversity is not the strongest foe that any of us can face; it is our empowerment of that nemesis called adversity that assures our defeat. Nothing can destroy us unless we give it permission to do so. For weeks I had entertained the idea of visiting the doctor, fearing that I might be suffering from the onset of Fibromyalgia. Every muscle in my body was on fire, I struggled to get out of bed every morning, and I found myself completely drained of energy yet unable to sleep at night. At this very moment, I find myself feeling twenty years younger than my actual chronological age!
Thanks to our ancestral fathers, we are all hard-coded with an interesting survival mechanism. It is called the “flight or fight” reflex. When we are faced with the immediate possibility of our own demise, our neurons kick into high gear. We make a subconscious choice to either stand our ground or run away! In being confronted by my overwhelming triad of personal challenges, I elected to run away. I scurried to the shelter of my own personal cocoon, cloaking the world around me and insulating myself from any other potential harm.
It is far easier for us to run away from our problems than it is to face them head on. In doing so, we make the deliberate choice to give added life to these problems. It is us who dictate our own defeat in the minefield of life. The true warrior realizes that his advantage in battle comes from within. Belief in one’s self becomes the body armor; the ability to touch the lives of others positively becomes the sword; and a steadfast commitment to bettering the world becomes the shield.
In the middle of a recent sleepless night, I asked myself if I was being sucked down into the vortex of the whirlpool of despair. Was this to be my personal defeat? Was ill circumstance going to be my new lifelong master? As I closed my eyes, visions of my prior life formed in my mind. I painfully missed the rush that overcame my body as I worked out. I realized that family was the most important gift I had been blessed with. My soul ached at the thought of never again sharing my inspiring insights with the world.
By no means am I a strong believer in the supernatural or hidden forces. Yet I have experienced enough inexplicable miracles to acknowledge that there has to be something out there that is bigger than each of us. Lying in bed, I had a simple epiphany. Every thing I was suffering was the result of my own doing. I, and I alone, had chosen to run rather than fight. Now I had the power to change my mind; I was going to fight!
Each of us has faced tremendous challenges in our life. Each of us will face even larger challenges in the future. We will be measured by whether or not we allowed these situations and events to overwhelm us. Will you choose flight or will you choose fight? Remember, you alone possess the power to overcome adversity; and the first battle will be won or lost in your mind. Gee, maybe it is not too late for me to become an astronaut!