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Nothing New - You Have to Go Through It!

When I taught kindergarten, one of the kiddos’ favorite books was “We’re Going On a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. This fun story follows the adventures of a dad, his four young children, and their dog as they spend an afternoon exploring outside in hopes of finding a bear. They must cross a field of tall grass, wade across a cold, deep river, find their way through a dark, scary forest, fight a whirling snowstorm, and finally enter a gloomy cave where they see a bear! My kindergarteners always loved the repetition aspects of the book; whenever the family came to one of the obstacles part the text read, “You can’t go over it! You can’t go under it! You have to go THROUGH it!” Every time I enjoyed this story with my classes, I thought about the beautiful truth in that statement. You can run, but you can’t hide; eventually you must face the challenges life brings your way.

Conflict with loved ones, tough diagnoses, financial hardships, and workplace issues are examples of common problems we all face during our lives. Often, we just don’t want to deal with it; we feel like we don’t have the time or energy to cope and deal with the situation. So, we ignore it. Pretend it’s not there. But – yikes! – that can lead to issues…like anxiety, depression, resentment, anger, and lowered self-esteem to name a few.

You have to go through it. Recently Simon Sinek interviewed David Von Drehle about his latest book, “The Book of Charlie.” Charlie was David’s 100+-year-old neighbor that David decided to talk to and glean the lessons of life that Charlie had to share. Charlie was a doctor back in the day and was involved in one of the first open-heart surgeries. At the time, they couldn’t figure out how to prevent someone from bleeding out. While watering his horses back on the farm, Charlie looked at their water trough and thought, “Hey! A person could fit it there.” And so that’s what he and the medical team did: they put the person in a trough and filled it with ice so that the blood would thicken, flow more slowly; and they performed a successful open-heart surgery. Was it the best method? Is it still used today? Of course not! But it was a step in the development of this surgery, and the right thing to do.

Which brings me to the next example from the podcast. David also referenced a book about Abraham Lincoln that he wrote, referring to Lincoln’s reflection on his melancholy (that era’s term for depression) where Lincoln stated, “just do the next thing in any moment.” Figure out what the next right thing to do is and do it. You don’t need a whole grand scheme, simply the next step. You get to the other side of difficulty by going through it. There’s no going around; only through. Just do the next right thing.

Next time we’ll talk about one way to put closure on a difficult time or situation you’ve gone through.

Is this a time in your life when you feel that you are going through especially tough experiences? Would you like an objective listener to hear you out? Need some help figuring out the next right thing? Contact me for a free Discovery Session.

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