Oh boy how I love to watch those movies where the protagonist wakes each day, brushes his teeth, has a great day at work at his boring job, then comes home to watch sitcoms before tucking himself in at a reasonable hour. The film shows our hero living “wash, rinse, repeat”. His loving wife has a healthy dinner ready each night when he gets home. All the bills are always paid on time. His kids are doing well in school, are well adjusted, and are exceptional at their respective sports and are each guaranteed a full ride scholarship at whatever institution of higher learning they choose.
Our hero’s neighbors love him, he is favored by his boss, his parents and in-laws are loving and doting, and always ready to help watch the kids when he and the little misses want to take a cabin retreat alone. I just love to watch this brilliant man live his extra special life day after day after day. Nothing ever happens to the man. His life is predictable, easy, fun, and simple.
Come to think of it, that would suck. I would be bored shitless. You know why I have never seen a movie like that? Because it doesn’t exist. They haven’t made that film and they never will, thank the gods. No one would want to watch that banal drivel. Admit it, you wouldn’t either.
A good life isn’t one where nothing bad ever happens to you. A good life is where life happens to you, good things and bad things. But you are strong enough to take each in stride. I know some people who can’t have anything good happen in their lives. They think, “Okay, something good happened, now something bad has to happen to balance this out. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
But when the bad thing happens in their live, they cry out. “Why, oh why does this always happen to me? How will I survive this horrible circumstance? This will certainly be the end of me.”
Bad things will happen to you. This is life. Your friends will die, your family will die, your pets will die. You will get fired, you will get divorced, you will crash your car. You will get sick. Your loved ones will get sick. Your job will send you across the country and you’ll miss your kid’s wrestling match that might send him to state.
Bad shit will happen.
The good life isn’t that nothing ever happens to you. What life is that? A good life is knowing that bad things will happen and that you have the strength and fortitude to consider this an opportunity instead of an obstacle. That these things aren’t happening to punish you or hold you back. They just might have happened so you will become stronger, better, wiser, and more determined to rise up to the challenge ahead and discover not only a way to overcome this challenge, but to learn from it in a way that makes you the better enabled to handle even tougher things in the future.
Once, there was a generation in America that we called, The Greatest Generation. They saw the depression, the Dust Bowl, the stock market crash, and The War to End All Wars - WWII. They suffered.
By today’s standards, they should have crumbled. They should have whined the rest of their lives, hobbled on emotional crutches, waved the victim flag, and admitted eternal defeat.
That didn’t happen. Many of these people returned home from the war and the factories, started businesses, created huge families, and launched the greatest era of prosperity our nation has ever witnessed to that point. They did this because they experienced bad shit.
Why should we expect to be any different? Why should we expect that our lives would be uneventful, boring, free of difficulty, and fancy-free?
Bruce Lee was credited as saying, “Don’t give your children the things you never had. Teach your children the things you were never taught.”
He also said, “Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
If we were never taught to handle adversity, how should we react when it inevitably visits us?
Can you imagine how “Die Hard” would’ve ended had John McClane simply landed in L.A. gone to the party, had dinner with his wife, kissed his kids, and flown back to NY.C.? No big deal, just another trip to see the wife. Ho hum.
Or how about “Jurassic Park?” The people visit the sanctuary, praise the good doctor on his work, and go back home.
“Psycho.” Marion never steals the money; Norman never has mommy issues.
“Star Wars.” There is no Empire. Luke stays on the farm and never meets Ben. Leia never steals any plans from the non-existent Death Star.
These films were amazing and interesting because the protagonists were challenged. They faced something real adversity. They had to dig deep and bigger than they are. They were forced to overcome.
Life would be boring if we only woke and slept under the safety of a safe, secure, humdrum life.
Now, I’m not saying that tragedy and suffering make life interesting. No, not at all. I’m only saying that tragedy visits our lives to challenge us. For us to truly live, we must face difficulty. To prepare for difficulty, we must challenge ourselves every day. We must set goals and achieve them. We must strive to do better.
In high school, I wanted to join the military. Not because I wanted a job scraping barnacles off the side of a destroyer, but because I knew basic training would be hard. I knew it would be a difficult challenge. I knew it would test me. (Also, because my family was poor; and I knew the only path to college was the G.I. Bill). I never got the chance to serve. So I challenged myself in numerous other ways. I started competing in powerlifting, studied martial arts, joined the police department. I put myself through college while working third shift in a factory, often sleeping 2 hours a day. Once I slept four hours for the week. I was awake 65 hours, took a four hour nap, and went another 40+ hours. It sucked.
But these tough times made me tougher.
I had a client who told me she had to do a number of things for her newly married daughter. She bought her groceries and paid her bills. It worried her that her daughter had it so rough at the beginning of her marriage.
I asked this lady. “When you were first married, you had a 2500 square foot house, white picket fence, two Lincolns, a boat, jet skis, vacations in Cancun, and steak three nights a week?”
“No” she said.
“So you ate a lot of bologna and Stove-Top?”
“Heck yeah” she said.
“Did those tough times make you the person you are today?”
“Certainly” she replied.
“Are you thankful today that you endured those tough times then?”
“Definitely” she said.
“So why would you deny your daughter that growth?”
Tough times define us. They make us who we are. Tragedy forces us to grow and learn. Tough times aren’t fun, but they are going to happen.
Often times, the best way to prepare for tough times is to do something tough each day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Read a book instead of staring at the TV. Wash your car by hand instead of using the automatic car wash. Learn a language or a musical instrument. Do something you suck at or are afraid to do. Challenge yourself so you can face any challenge. Train for adversity. Work for hard times.
Sure beats that boring movie where nothing ever happens.
Joe “Weeg” Weigant is an empowerment coach who specializes in energy work (Reiki, Acupressure, Tuning Forks, Massage, Reflexology, Sound/Vibration Therapy) to release trauma, reset the autonomic nervous system, and balance the energy systems of the body to begin the healing process and achieve lasting peace. He sells herbal products by Nature’s Sunshine and Pure Herbs Ltd. Weeg teaches Karate and Tai Chi, certification in Reiki, as well as seminars and workshops in metaphysical and spiritual matters. Weeg is available for sessions at Tri State Holistic Wellness by appointment only.
Contact by text 812.568.5356, or Facebook Messenger to set an appointment.