I’m not going to varnish it, I’ve had a lot of ups-and-downs in my life. But then again, who hasn’t, right? We’ve all had setbacks, road blocks, challenges and defeats. Some people even say it is those defeats that make us who we are. I think that’s only half right.
Yes, it’s the “miles that make the man” and “pressure creates diamonds”, but I believe it’s what we do after that is the true testament to our character. Everyone stumbles and falls, but to quote the Tao Te Ching “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” I don’t think it is the struggles that define us, it’s whether we get up, get through and move on.
As I stated, I’ve dealt with a lot of challenges in my life: broken relationships, losses of deeply loved family members and friends, months and years of separation from spouse and children, heartbreaks, infidelity and most recently the end of my career in the Navy just over a year from retirement. So, how do I tackle these? I’ve got a secret, and I’m gonna let you in on it right now.
You’ve heard the psycho-babble of the “Inner Child”. Maybe you buy into it, maybe you don’t. That really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you remember someone. The person I want you to remember is you, you somewhere between 6 and 9 years old. I bet the moment you read that, you instantly envisioned a picture of that little boy or girl; I know I did. He’s 7 years old, dressed in this horrid pale yellow button-up shirt with rhinestone buttons and brown corduroy pants (corduroy, who wears that anymore but hipsters?).
I remember everything about that little boy: who he is, what he loves, what he’s afraid of. That’s what I want you to do, especially when times get hard and things look bleak. Now, all that little boy or girl wants is to be happy, safe and loved, and that’s your job. No one else is responsible for that, but you. When storm clouds roll in, you lose your job, a significant other leaves you, I want you to sit down next to that little boy or girl, put your arms around them and tell them everything is going to be just fine. You’re going to make sure of that. Together, you’re going to get up, get through and move on.