Thinking back to when I was a teen the only time I have ever been defeated was when I gave up, it may have seemed that I failed however the only time I truly failed is when I stopped trying.
For most of my adolescence I loved to ride BMX and some flatland, urban freestyle riding was my absolute favorite. It was not very popular with the local Police department or campus Police but my friends and I loved it, the rush of outrunning a car that undoubtedly didn’t want you there was exhilarating. Oh and for the record, we were never caught!
I clearly remember a few times I saw an obstacle I wanted to try and clear, in particular was a chain going from one post to another separating an alleyway, it was about 36 inches high, just high enough to keep bikes and motorized vehicles out. My goal was to clear it, well that was the goal. I think I fell 5 times before making it and I also plainly remember all the times I didn’t make it. I still have scars on both of my shins, knees and elbows from all the times I didn’t make it. It was just part of riding, blood and pain was just part of the fun. I can also tell you there wasn’t one obstacle that I set out to clear that I gave up on after falling, especially after falling. Yes I have scars on my body to remind me of all the attempts I was unsuccessful at, but I never failed, I never gave up.
“Being defeated is often a temporary condition, giving up is what makes it permanent”. – Marilyn vos Savant
Life works the same way, we all have scars, we all have pain and we all have struggled. All of our lives translate to one of two options, to keep trying or give up, and that decision to continue or give up is by far the hardest decision to make.
Once I set my mind to completing something I also focus my heart, emotion and energy on it. I’m not the kind of man who knows when to quit, at times to a fault. Often resulting in physical injury or mentally pushing my limits too far.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”. – Charles R. Swindoll
Life is a journey and we are all on together; friends and even family will come in and out of our lives. Some stay for years, some leave for a while and come back and they’re all in our lives or not in our lives for a reason. Learning why is not as important as learning to embrace everyone that is in our lives while they are here and to allow them to share their lives with us.
I have been through a lot in my life, too much to even begin to explain now, and guess what? So has everyone else… We are all fighting our own battles, have our own struggles, addictions and limitations. Learning to show a little compassion and have grace for one another is by far the biggest change I have ever made in my life. We are all in this together whether we like it or not, learn to forgive, learn to let go and learn that sometimes you do not need to understand, it will change your life.