The Will to Rise Above, Part 2


I don’t often quote Buddha, but this wise saying reminds us, “It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.” This is one of the greatest life lessons I’ve ever learned.

Think about that for a minute.

It means that our suffering only occurs when we resist how things are.

For the last couple of years, this quote has been at the forefront of my mind. I find numerous times each week I’ll think about it and realize a struggle that I’m currently facing—mostly because of the resistance to reality.

Recently, I went on a 3-hour training run with a friend in North Bend, Washington. The weather forecast was brutal—a steady downpour ALL DAY. Literally 100 percent every hour, and not just normal Seattle drizzle, but a cold, windy downpour. Two days prior I had strained a calf muscle on a run and it was very evident with every step. This run was important though in our training for a coming event so we knew we needed to make it happen. I found myself resisting everything the first hour. The cold, the wet, the pain in my calf, and so on. My friend had noticeably embraced the conditions and was cheerfully making the best of it. Around two hours in, drenched, shivering, and hurting—yet knowing we needed to keep going—I finally stopped resisting the pain and cold. I quickly found a shift in my mood and energy at a time when the opposite should have been happening—another loud reminder as to how I was bringing on my own suffering by resisting reality. When I finally embraced reality. I was still wet, cold, and in pain but, the FOCUS was in a different place and my body adapted.

Our bodies can do just about anything our mind can convince it is possible.


But if you can’t change it, then you have two choices:

  1. Accept it and let go of the negativity, or
  2. Make yourself miserable by obsessing over it.

How can we apply this today in our jobs, fitness, relationships, etc?

The decision is yours.

Photo by Dino Reichmuth

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