Life isn't easy... at all. In fact, some parts of it are a very serious struggle. All the way back to being a kid, there were difficult things to overcome. Friendship drama, figuring out what path to take with our lives, relationship difficulties, career choices, marriage, kids, jobs... and the list goes on the older we get. None of that is easy! But have you ever noticed that the things you have worked the hardest at are usually the things that have been the most fulfilling parts of your life?
Many of you are nurses like myself. Nursing school certainly was not a breeze, am I right? It was hard work. But we did it. Just think of the accomplishment you felt when you graduated and got that degree! All that hard work suddenly felt so worth it now that you were done. No matter what you studied in school... that hard work was a struggle at times... but it WAS worth it after all.
How about marriage? Wow, now that's tough. Ask any married couple who has survived married life for 50 plus years. I guarantee you that every single one of them would agree that it was HARD work to make it where they are. It's not all roses and candle light dinners. It's tough, exhausting, frustrating, and even painful at times! But is it worth it? Absolutely. The relationships we work the hardest at and invest our whole being into are the most rewarding relationships we can have. If there is no effort, it will not last. It takes WORK. It takes COMMITMENT. It takes DISCIPLINE.
Any parents out there? Need I say more. Parenting is the toughest job on earth. But is it worth it to see your child grow into an amazing human being right before you eyes? No doubt. There is no greater feeling than being part of that kind of miracle. It changes us so deeply from within. The love a parent has for their child is so unique and beautiful. But it's HARD work, for sure.
Putting in the effort to take the very best care of ourselves is hard too. Yet so many of us don't want to bother with that. Getting to the gym? That takes effort and discipline to get there. Making healthy meals rather than takeout, meal planning and thinking about what I put in my mouth? That takes too much time and a lot of effort! Taking the necessary steps to take care of your emotional health and decrease your stress level? That takes commitment to do what is necessary and get it done. Self care is hard. It takes effort, discipline, commitment and a whole lot of work. But guess what? Yes, just like all those amazing rewarding life situations listed above, it is so WORTH IT! :-)
So I'm seeing a pattern here. If it's hard, it's probably really worth it in life. Look back on your own life. What have been the most rewarding parts? Certainly not the things that came easy to you. Where is the reward in that? I can bet it was all those times that caused the blood sweat and tears that gave you the greatest satisfaction.... the times that really showed you what you are made of.... the times that helped you become more of who you were meant to be in this life.
We put aside exercise because it's hard. We don't want to make homemade food because that takes too much time. Yes, it is work. It is hard to commit to doing something that takes effort on our part. But that is where the gold is!!! Don't back down and lose out on what was meant for you because it's hard. Hard work paves the road to beautiful satisfaction and great reward. And the benefits that come from taking the best care of ourselves are amazing! There is no easy way out for success. Your marriage, your kids, your career, self-care.... all hard work. And all great rewards. Put in the work... commit... be disciplined.... it will be worth it!
Terri Wentzell is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience. She is also a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, fitness nutrition coach, and sport yoga instructor.