Sometimes life can feel like an endless slog, a long to-do list, a never ending trudge up a hill. We’ve all been there. When the exhaustion is overwhelming and it feels as there is nothing left to give. When we collapse for a moment before crawling forward one tiny bit at a time.
I was once told that it helps to be present to the birds singings and the beauty of the path as you walk it. I have come to learn that it more than helps. At the end of the day, the path, the trudge, the walk, the run through the rain and the sleet and the snow, it is all there is. Our experience of it defines how we live. Not being present to the path means that we miss out on our life.
I am practicing being inspired as I trudge, seeing the hard work not as dues I have to pay, but the reward in and of itself. I am practicing letting go of the destination and simply opening my eyes as I walk forward. I am finding beauty everywhere.
I am inspired by my child, who at 10 took it on himself to raise thousands of dollars for Back on My Feet–a program that is all about putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how miserable the weather. I am inspired by the men and women who get up every morning before 5 to run together because running is the only thing that saves them–some urban professionals, some newly recovering addicts, some folks who are making there way off the streets and into the lives they have always wanted to live. I am inspired by refugees who take a chance and leave everything behind to build something new for their families risking that it will all fall apart. I am inspired by the single mom who took a chance and followed her heart to become a healer.
Too often, we see the stories at the moment of glory, the rare moment when someone has reached some mountainous summit and the clouds part and they stand for a moment in the sun, catching their breath, arms outstretched to the heavens. Sometimes we watch and say–“See it was all worth if for this moment!” But that moment–well, that moment is just one moment. Every other moment matters just as much. The moment when you fall down broken on the side of the road, stitch in your side, blood on your knee is every bit as glorious. I am practicing seeing it that way.
Can you see it? The inspiration in those moments as you crawl through muck, certain that you will never see a mountain top again. Can you know that it’s not “worth it in the end?” but worth it now. Worth it because you see your own power, even when you feel most broken. Worth it because you are breathing and here. Worth it because it could be otherwise. Worth it because you keep going one step, one breath at a time.