How many scary decisions have you made in your life? The types of decisions that you know will lead you through dark and uncertain roads ahead?
How many times have you chosen a path that you know is right for you, but will be one of the most difficult experiences you've ever encountered?
I was reading an Instagram post from author, Glennon Doyle, the other day and she wrote about the different types of "hard" that we endure. She wrote:
"It'll be hard, but it'll finally be the right kind of hard.
For me, pretending was the wrong kind of hard. Divorce was the right kind of hard.
For me, drinking was the wrong kind of hard. Sobriety is the right kind of hard.
Directness is the right kind of hard.
Empathy is the right kind of hard.
Speaking up is the right kind of hard.
Being a fully human public woman is hard as hell, but it's the right kind of hard.
It's all effing hard. So maybe it's just about deciding on the right kind of hard.
What's your right kind of hard?"
It got me thinking about my own life and the things that are hard, but are right for me. For me:
Maintaining self-discipline with writing is hard.
Going to bed early to wake up extra early to write is hard.
Not having alcohol on weekdays so that I maintain focus is hard.
Choosing solitude over company that leaves me feeling lonely is hard.
Putting myself in someone else's shoes who trigger me is hard.
Believing in myself when I don't see the results that I desire is hard.
Trusting the voice within when wanting to give into momentary pleasures is hard. Releasing judgment on those who are not like me is hard.
Cultivating gratitude rather than focusing on lack is hard.
Looking toward the potential of my future rather than romanticizing the past is hard. Loving myself when I don't like what I see in the mirror is hard.
Bringing myself back into the present when I rush through daily tasks is hard.
Learning to embrace the highs and lows of my being is hard.
Lifting myself up when the inner critic loves to berate and scold me is hard.
Giving into the belief that I am exactly where I'm meant to be is hard.
All of these things are hard, but they're the right kind of hard. If I chose to do the opposite, it would be even harder, and I'd know it was wrong because I'd feel it in every fiber of my being.
Another one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, spoke about her life being the extraordinary and interesting adventure that it is because she's made a lot of scary decisions.
She left a long marriage that didn't end because of infidelity, abuse or any major issues, but because she felt stagnant and empty most days. She traveled the world for a year to discover who she was. She met a man in her travels, fell in love and got married shortly after. After getting divorced some years later, she met a woman with whom she fell madly in love with. She married this woman who had terminal cancer, and within a year of their marriage, her wife passed away.
All of these decisions came at a cost. These types of life altering choices bring with them lots of pain, darkness and uncertainty - but they're the right kind of pain, darkness and uncertainty. Gilbert understood that she had two choices. She could stay and feel stuck, or take a chance on following her heart and living a life that she knew was meant for her.
Does this mean that it was easy, even when understanding the heartache that comes from leaving something you feel comfortable and secure in? Of course not.
Does this mean that she trusted herself every step of the way without looking back? Nope.
Does this mean that she didn't doubt herself and question her every move moving forward? Not a chance.
But that's the point.
This isn't supposed to be easy.
None of it is.
It's always been hard and it always will be, to some degree.
So, what kind of hard are you enduring now and what kind of hard do you need to start doing the "right" way?