Yesterday I cried because of golf. Seriously! Not that I take golf all that seriously, but my hometown hosted the PGA tournament and the win was an amazing thing to witness.
The champion, Jason Day, a 27-year-old Australian, brought something special to the game—his heart and authenticity. This was his first win at a major championship, after many near misses. As his ball rolled into the 18th hole, tears of joy, and probably relief, started rolling down his face. Waiting nearby was his pregnant (and gorgeous) wife, Ellie, and toddler son, Dash.
Jason’s story is inspiring, one of perseverance paying off. When he was 12, his father, Alvin, died of stomach cancer. Jason’s life took a turn for the worse. He began drinking and getting into trouble. I’ve read articles about the financial hardships his family went through and the extreme measures to which his mother had to go to provide for the family. She even took out a second mortgage on their home so she could send Jason to a private academy, where he would be able to thrive. There he met Col Swatton, his mentor and coach. Swatton served as his caddie at the tournament.
Jason’s story is public, so it can serve as a great inspiration to us all. Your story is private, but it is no less inspiring to those who know you. We all face losses, and they are unfathomable at times. Many are so tragic, unfair and heartbreaking that any level of recovery seems impossible. People we love are ripped from our arms by untimely deaths; partnerships disintegrate after trust is broken; jobs that provide our very sustenance become suddenly obsolete. Often we feel like we must be obsolete, too.
The truth is, recovery is available at some level for those who persevere through the hardships. Jason wanted to win this for his dad. Maybe that was the key part of the motivation that kept him going through all his failures over the past 15 years.
I’m not saying it is easy. But it is attainable for most people. It begins with making a solid commitment to your recovery. That means doing whatever it takes to carry on in a healthful way.
When you are nursing grief, you have to feed your soul every single day. When “hunger pangs” set in, your will to persevere is the first thing to get eaten up.
“I’m never going to get out of this mess.”
“My life sucks!”
Does this sound even remotely familiar? Those are the messages hunger pains from your Soul send to your head.
When I come home from a bike ride, I am ravenous. I head right to the kitchen and grab the first morsel of food I see. If I’m really on top of things, I have a container of precut veggies and almonds ready. Some days the only thing in there is ice cream…uh oh…Wait, why did I go for a bike ride?
Don’t let your spiritual fridge fill up with junk—it’s the first thing you’ll reach for. Have an emergency plan in place for the times you start losing your will to persevere.
Here are some tips for keeping healthy alternatives to despair easily at hand:
1. Get a list of friends who are further along in their grieving and recovery than you are. Put their numbers on speed dial in your phone. You need people who understand your loss, and you need several. No one person can be available to you all the time, and no one person will be able to help every time. Make sure your list is diverse enough that you’ll be able to find the support you need 24-7.
2. Get to class! It’s time to learn new things and broaden your interests. This can be a life line. You might find your interest is now in spiritual topics, art or exercise.
3. Speaking of exercise, there are few pastimes that are cheaper, easier and more spirit lifting than going for a walk. It is a proven fact that the body releases endorphins when you move. Endorphins help you feel less pain and less stress. Get moving!
Adapting to a new life gracefully means learning the steps of a new, challenging dance. Forward, forward, backward, backward: It’s all part of the flow.
Here’s a quote from the champ himself on his win:
“The biggest thing that prepares you for something like this is just the sheer experience of failure, looking at failure not as a negative but as a positive, knowing that you can learn from anything, even if it’s bad or good. If I didn’t have that failure, I wouldn’t be standing here today with the trophy. Some people get there quicker than others, some people make it look easier than others.”
Stay the course my friends, one step at a time, even when it’s two steps forward, one step back. A sense of peace comes to those who carry on.
©Mollie Morning Star 2015Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.