001.  It’s Not About the SpeedI went on a hike this morning.  I’ve hiked this trail many times but I hadn’t made it to the top.  Well, I made it to the top today! I absolutely adore hiking in the mountains.  I love the trees, the sound of the stream and the cool air.  I love the rocks and how blue the sky looks when you get a peek of it through a clearing.  I love it all! What I didn’t love today was what happened when I got to the upper portion of the trail.  I decided before I started that I was going to make it to the top. Today was the day but it was harder than I thought it would be.  There were a lot of places where I had to pull myself up by holding onto tree limbs or other rocks.  I had to stop a few times and sit on a very uncomfortable rock to catch my breath. The hardest part came when not one but MANY people ran past me.  RUNNING!  There I was, bent over trying not to hyperventilate or throw up, and they were running!  My younger self would have been super embarrassed.  Younger me wouldn’t have had to take a break on a rock, but she wouldn’t have been running either.  I wasn’t embarrassed today, but it did make me think. Life is tough!  I know it’s not just me that feels this way.  It seems like I’m continually picking myself up from one situation or another.  Sometimes I lose my steam and it takes me longer to get going than I would like. Why does it seem so much easier for other people?  They seem to be “running” through life, while I’m hyperventilating in my room. I’ve come to understand that comparison happens because of CONNECTION, or rather the lack of it.  I can’t see into someone else’s life.  I can’t know what they’re going through unless I’ve made a connection with them.  Our stories make up our lives.  We can share surface stories at first, but as we feel more connected the deeper parts come to the surface.  The running I see, might just be the way they cover their pain.  It may be that the part I’m seeing is the easy part for them. The hard part is kept on the down-low. I’ve learned through connecting with more people that those I never would have guessed had struggles, were dealing with some pretty devastating things.  What was more surprising was that I wouldn’t want to trade places with them. Connection helps us keep perspective.  It keeps us grateful.  It gives us courage to keep going.  It gets us out of our rooms and off our devices and into the space where real connection happens. We are among those “best people who ever lived”.  I am one of those people and SO. ARE. YOU!  So, the next time you see someone “running”, take a moment to reflect on the areas in life that you run through.  Be grateful for those things instead of focusing on what you think would make life better.  Never forget that the only thing you have control over is what you allow into your thoughts.  Comparison will never make you happier.  I know that for sure.  Let’s give each other a little slack, stop the comparison game, and start a new one.  Let’s see how much we can CONNECT.  I have a feeling we’ll all feel a lot happier. I may have made it to the top this morning, but it didn’t happen quickly.  And, once I got there, I enjoyed the view for a while and then I came back down. Isn’t that like life?  Ups and downs?  But that doesn’t stop me from making goals and working to achieve them.  I hope it doesn’t stop you either.  I’m hoping each time it’s a little easier. Maybe I won’t have to stop as often.  I hope that I’ll smile at the runners next time.  Maybe I’ll catch a little something in their eye that creates a little connection. Maybe. It’s worth a shot!

001. It’s Not About the Speed
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