It was a run with your hair down day! I set out for Panola Mountain State Park, excited to check out its trails and all the beauty it had to offer.
I decided I wanted to do 5 miles. Five is a stretch for me, but I knew it was what I needed today along with my Spotify playlist.
As soon as I started out, I was hit with the reality of the Georgia terrain….. Hills! I started out right away up a hill and then several long downhills. I immediately found myself cautious, holding back and feeling fretful, for I was going to run 2.5 miles out and then back and all these downhills turn into uphill and this would be at the end!!!
I found myself doing what Brene` Brown calls “foreboding joy.” Instead of enjoying the freedom of downhill, the rest, the ease, I was only thinking of the pain and hardship it was going to cause me later.
We do this all the time. We throw a party for our kiddos and can’t enjoy it because all we see is the giant mess we will have to tackle when it ends.
We are with friends for an evening out and can’t relax because we aren’t sure the baby will go down for the sitter.
We accomplished something great at work and all we can think of are the other tasks we haven’t completed.
We are with someone we love and instead of enjoying the present, we might start thinking of something they did last week that irritated us.
Joy can be a scary thing to our nervous system, in a second this ecstasy, this exuberance can be gone. The opposite of joy is sorrow, grief, pain, which we know so well, so maybe if I am just not too happy, too satisfied, or too content, then maybe when things “turn for the worst” it won’t hurt so bad? Maybe I can control how deep I fall if I keep a tight grip on these emotions?
This is a sad way to live but is so common in our human experience. Something I learned from Dr. Brene` Brown is you can’t isolate and numb one emotion you actually numb them all.
Today, I said to myself. “You are foreboding joy, you are not even enjoying your run because you are scared of every hill. What if you surrendered, and trusted that you will have whatever you need at the moment you need it on this journey? The right song will come on, your body will kick in with the energy you need, your mind will have the right thought at the right moment, your willpower will kick in, you will have what you need, surrender.”
This is what I did, I surrendered. And to encourage me in the process a song happened to come on with the lyric repeated “I am open to you.”
I kept surrendering and believing I have all I need and that I can be right here in this moment.
I can enjoy the party and trust that the help I need, the energy I need, or the grace I need will be there when I need it.
I can enjoy time with my friends and trust that my baby being away from me is a good thing, and even if they don’t “go down” for the sitter, there is value in me being refreshed with my friends and value in the baby being with someone else.
I can pause and celebrate at work; I can take time to reflect and be proud and wait to move on and I will have what it takes to accomplish the other things on my list!
I can be in the moment with my love, be mindful of the small gestures, the smiles, the conversation, and just be here.
As I got to mile 4 my body wanted to be done for sure! My mind kicked in and started to encourage me. It reminded me, that I can do hard things, and pushing through these walls is so important not just for this run, but in life!
I also didn’t realize I had taken a turn that had me finish in a different way than I had started.
I leaned into the moment, I surrendered to the hills and trusted I would have what I needed. And it happened, I had what I needed, my favorite song of 2022 happen to come on my playlist, my mind started encouraging me in spite of my body that wanted to quit, and the kicker… the path changed for me! The path I thought I was going to have to face on my way back I didn’t. I didn’t have to climb all those crazy hills at the end of my run that I was scared of! My course changed, what I was dreading didn’t happen.
This was a powerful message to me. What would it take for me to stay in the moment, to relax, to experience the Joy that is right here in front of me, and trust, surrender and expect that I WILL have whatever I need right on time?
When I finished my run, I walked into the grass to stretch. I bent down and there was a busy busy line of ants. Of course, I thought, and I smiled. You see, the lilies of the fields, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, all have every need met, so my dears why should I worry and fret? For my Heavenly Father already knows what I need before I ask, “and how much more valuable am I than they?”