The lessons I’m slowly learning

Jun 1, 2021 | Newsletter, Writing

The last several weeks have been pretty difficult for me. I still haven’t gotten back on track from a seemingly minor neck setback, which means I’m always on edge wondering what my emotions will do or if I’ll be able to cope or even do anything on a given day. After about a year of no setbacks thanks to this pandemic-induced lockdown lifestyle, I thought I was past that stage, but there are still a lot of underlying issues that have never been solved. So I’ve been pretty disheartened lately, which for me can easily turn into thoughts that I will never fully recover and will have to deal with this the rest of my life, and a downward spiral ensues.

Somewhere in the midst of this latest roller coaster though, I was able to jot down a little note one day that read, “The emotional ups and downs and messed up hormones are part of your journey. They are teaching you lessons you haven’t yet learned.”

While this is typically the last thing I’d want to hear when struggling through something I can’t control, it’s been a helpful perspective on most occasions.

There are many lessons that I’ve been trying to learn over the past few years and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the circumstances of my journey have provided the perfect opportunity to force me to get them through my head. While there are too many lessons to list here, the following are some of the more prevalent ones, most of which you’ll notice share a common theme:

  • Quit measuring your success as a person by whether or not you accomplished anything today; find your worth in who you are, not what you do
  • Quit being in a rush to have your life figured out; learn to be patient with the process (and P.S. Nobody has their life figured out)
  • Quit worrying about the future; learn to fully trust God with His plan for your life
  • Quit working towards ‘arriving’; internalize the fact that you will never find anything that will solve all your problems
  • Quit deferring happiness; learn to be happy with your current circumstances, always

Sadly, these issues aren’t new; all of them were there prior to this concussion journey. All of them, though, have been greatly improved by this concussion journey. I don’t understand why certain lessons take me so long to learn (especially the ones I’m already aware of!) but I am slowly making progress in these areas.

This concussion journey has changed my life for the better in so many ways and I am so grateful for that. I know there will still be rough patches ahead, but I guess that’s just more opportunity to practice these lessons and perhaps even fully internalize them someday. In the meantime, I’ve been getting better at gauging when to take time off, and when to push through and show up anyways. So I have no idea whether or not I’ll be back next week, but either way, it’ll be part of the journey.

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