Going through a hard time is like returning to running after some time off. It’s hard and it feels hard.

The first few minutes feel like a shock to your system. The blood flow through your legs is intense. The torture begins, like some sort of initiation process for running. Thoughts of stopping escalate tenfold. This could be a show stopper.

Then momentum kicks in. There is an instant, but undetectable change. That steep climb is all but a distant memory. The pace is more than maintainable, it’s comfortable. You continue.

It’s achievable.

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Going Through a Hard Time

Going through a hard time is like returning to running after some time off. The initial stage is difficult and it almost feels unbearable. The focus becomes more about the feelings, the sensations, and drifts away from logic. The longer you allow yourself to dwell on the negatives, the more it seems to tighten its grasp of you.

There are some hard things we will go through in life. There will always be. That’s just the way it goes. Yet if you can muster the clarity to recognize it for what it is – for the process it is, then your journey through it will be easier.

That is, whatever the example may be, whatever the emotions may be, you can recognize that, it can be distilled down to the same repetitive process of initial hardship, followed by a series of oscillations between negative and positive thoughts until you gain sight of a blurry but visible path ahead. In the end, you ultimately reach an end-state where your mind settles and daily thoughts turn into less-than-powerful memories. You make it through and come out the other end.

I wanted to take the time to draw this parallel between running and going through a hard time to empower you to stay strong. I think the major distinction between running and your personal situation of hardship is that, with running our mind can already conceptualize avenues out of the situation – you can walk instead to get in your cardio, you can slow down to a jog, or you can even stop entirely. Because we can see possible ends, it doesn’t seem so hard. We feel an element of control.

But with hard times, we are not clear on the end. We can barely see ahead to the next 5 minutes. We feel helpless and taken over. Yet remembering that underneath it all it is just a process, of which you must walk the path, you can lessen the load on yourself. You can create your own sense of control by recognizing that you are simply experiencing a series of stages.