"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
Life can be hard.
Life IS hard.
But, as researcher Brene Brown says, we are hard wired for struggle. We are MADE for it. But, sadly, we as humans tend to spend the majority of our lives avoiding struggle in order to save ourselves from the inevitable pain that comes in its wake. We dismiss it or discount it or numb ourselves to it or avoid it or blame it, instead of EXPERIENCING it as a helpful teacher, as a refining fire, as something that is needed to help us grow and transcend into who we were made to be.
Struggle makes us stronger, more resilient, IF we can muster the strength to face it.
My bigs and our weekend Bonus Kid have each had a rough start to the school year, each for different reasons. Some of them may or may not be a wee bit hormonal. Yikes. (AN ASIDE: I highly recommend adding some Bonus Kids to your brood. They are all kinds of fabulous. They are funny and clever and kind and polite and helpful and THEY CONSISTENTLY TELL YOUR KIDS TO DO WHATEVER YOU SAY. Bonus Kid. . . don't ever go far away). But I digress.
It was determined that the recipe for healing and restoration for these boys was some serious FUN. WITH A SIDE OF STRUGGLE, OF COURSE.
ENTER THE CLASS FOUR WHITEWATER RAPIDS COURSE.
There was flipping. There was clinging to the sides of passing boats to try to recover lost oars. There were lost boats. There was "digging" into the water with all of their might to make it out of the eddy and back to the shore. They had sore abs and sore wrists and sore EVERYTHING.
But they were EXHILARATED.
They struggled and not only survived, but THRIVED. They remembered that they can do hard things. They remembered that it is not always easy, and it may not be pretty, but that they can get to the other side of struggle.
And the other side is beautiful. Their shining, smiling faces were proof of that.
They loved the struggle and the exhilaration so much that THEY WENT BACK FOR MORE THE NEXT DAY.
Life is pain. Life is exhilarating.
Now, they may be able to see themselves through to the other side of struggle. But, they can't seem to see the sign that says CHANGING ROOM. Or, they cannot be bothered to CHANGE IN THE DESIGNATED CHANGING AREA TO SAVE THE EYEBALLS OF ALL PASSERSBY. Like Glennon Melton says, "We can do hard things. We just can't do EASY things." Like changing in a CHANGING ROOM. GAH.