You hate mornings like this – Sunday mornings when sunbeams dance gracefully with the shadow of windblown curtains across your bedroom walls. These were the type of mornings you used to love. Mornings when the smell of brewed hazelnut coffee combines with the gentle breeze of fresh air entering through the window. Now it just creates a sense of unbearable nostalgia.
Nostalgia for a life you chose to leave behind.
You see, you weren’t happy, but you were comfortable. And, you’re starting to think that life and love are actually just about finding what makes you just comfortable. That comfortable is the definition of happy. On sunny Sunday mornings, that thought is a weight almost insufferable.
So, you run. You run to escape the burden of what you think might be regret.
The pace of your stride is uneven and frantic. You focus on keeping up. You focus on leading the pack. But, what you are running through is not a sprint. No. It’s a test of your endurance. It’s a test of how far you can go without injury beyond repair.
But, that haphazard pace is dangerous. You aren’t disciplining your muscles into a repeatable habit that will foster progress. You aren’t watching the warning signs that your energy is being inefficiently depleted. You aren’t aware of the rocky terrain that will make you trip, stumble, and fall.
And you’ll fall. Oh, how you’ll fall. You’ll fall hard. You’ll fall fast. You’ll fall in love. And, then you’ll fall to pieces. And, in those moments when you are falling, you must remember that your next mile is defined by how you recover.
Because, maybe, just maybe, we weren’t meant to fall in love but rather to ascend into it. So promise yourself that you will never fall again, but rather rise. And, you will rise. You’ll rise with grace. You’ll rise with intelligence. And, certainly, you’ll rise in your own time.
Suddenly, you realize you aren’t thinking so much about running. Instead, you’re performing a metaphor for your heart’s own recovery. Your pace slows. Your posture improves. Your vision centers forward instead of down. As your mind becomes more present, you start to understand that happiness isn’t comfort. Instead, happiness finds meaning just outside of comfort. You realize that space is where you start to define yourself.
And, that’s where you’ll find yourself.
You’ll find yourself in pushing through the thoughts of giving up before the final mile. You’ll find yourself in the mornings you get out of bed when you least feel like trying. You’ll find yourself in the anxiety of the silence that follows a difficult conversation. You’ll learn that happy and comfort are not one in the same. You’ll learn that, while the absence of comfort is difficult, it doesn’t mean the decision to change your path in life was wrong.
Because in those moments that you step outside of that small circle of comfort, you expand it. And, as you expand it, you’ll find more things that leave you fulfilled. Your horizons expand, your empathy grows, and your intellect strengthens. And, the next thing you know, you’ve run through those Sunday morning feelings you hate.
The next thing you know, your feelings of moody nostalgia have subsided.
So run your race just as you should live your life. Run your race at a pace just outside of your comfort zone, taking stock of what all of the feelings mean. Run your race at a pace that isn’t a competition with anyone other than yourself.
We’re all running our own races so define your test of endurance in a way that makes you proud. And, should you trip or stumble, or should you fall, focus on how you rise. Because how you choose to rise, well that’s really how you win.