Embrace the Suck

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
Jimmy Duggan from A League of Their Own

If you read my Post from Tuesday night, you’ll know that my husband was delivered a blow from the firm he works at. And that blow came at a really inconvenient time in our life. We’re taking a big leap into the unknown to follow a dream. We’re leaving a career of 12 years, a steady job, friends, and a house in a beautiful location to achieve something most, I’m sure, would think we’re crazy. You can follow my husband’s Blog to read more of his experience in this journey we’re embarking on.

Sometimes on this life journey, even if you tried to do the right thing and believe you did, hardship happens. Life isn’t fair.

The news came Tuesday night, and I spent a lot of time yesterday working through disappointment and trying to focus on the truth, that doing the right thing is still the right thing, even if it’s hard and the results kick you down. I focused on people and the broader view that can be gained when we start viewing life through another’s lense and self reflection. I also focused on not making light of anyone’s pain they’re experiencing in a situation, that the Light of awareness brings clarity and healing.

Today, my focus is now embracing the situation. I kept hearing Tom Hank’s voice from the movie, A League of Their Own, and I was reminded that: We knew what we were doing was going to be hard. Life can be hard sometimes. But, the “hard is what makes it great.”

So I’m telling myself today, “Embrace the suck.” It’s a phrase from the military that I believe originally came out of the Marines. It doesn’t mean, You have a Problem, Just Get Over It. A “sucky” or “sticky” situation connotes an image of say, mud. Now, if you’ve ever walked through an area after a heavy rain and there is a thick layer of mud you have to trek through, you would have noticed that the going was difficult. Lifting your feet up for each step was being met with resistance, or “pull”, creating a “sucking” sound. You don’t stop moving because it’s hard to move. You keep going to move through it. You keep moving until the ground is clear.

Another image comes to mind, and it has to do with struggle. Most of us have read stories or seen movies where some adventurer came across a pit of quicksand. And you find out that the more this person struggles, the deeper and faster they sink. A similar situation happens during the event of drowning. If you read an article that discusses what one should do if they find they’ve been caught in a rip tide, you’ll read that the advice given is to stop struggling against the current. To calm yourself and relax, take deep breaths and float on your back, conserving your energy. You ride the tide until it takes you down the coast and out of the rip, and then you swim to shore. I can only imagine the terror of the situation. But we’ve all been in difficult and sometimes frightful situations before. Sometimes the best thing you can do to not get overwhelmed in the situation is to embrace it. The Light of awareness brings clarity. Find your calm, breathe, and ride out the situation. As soon as opportunity presents itself, move!

Another quote I love is Ben Franklin, “Out of adversity comes opportunity.” Sometimes we move into areas that are difficult in life. We may lose a job or a friend may leave, or you may haven been the one that decided to move on. Moving on can be tough. Try to not lose sight of what comes with the journey in life. Be open to new possibilities that are waiting for you to realize. When something in your life changes, it might be that the change was needed to make room for something great, something you didn’t expect, something better than you could have imagined.

My husband and I had the opportunity after years of living frugally to go on a great vacation adventure. We went to territory no one we knew had been before: the island of St. Lucia. It was so awe inspiringly beautiful. As we took a cab across the island from the airport to our villa overlooking Marigot Bay, I actually cried because the scenery so struck me.

A lot of planning went into this ten day trip. And one of the things I spent time working through was proper apparel. St. Lucia is made up of mountain peaks, the pitons, rising out of the ocean in the Lesser Antilles. There is some steep climbing. It’s also tropical rain-forest. The rains move through fairly quickly in the afternoons, and some may linger in the evenings. But luggage is expensive and decisions have to be made. I decided my sneakers would have to cover the walks we would do because I was already bringing sandals and various shoes. My hiking boots would be left behind.

The first full day we were there, we wanted to get to know our little mountain that our villa was nestled in, so off we went exploring the paths that went up towards the summit. There were signs to point you on your way. The rains had come through and there were areas that it was pretty slippery and muddy. No problem was met until after about thirty minutes of climbing, we came to a sign that pointed to the right for a meditation and lookout point. I can’t remember the name, but we knew that’s where we wanted to go. But it became very clear after a short period of time that this was going to be very difficult. At last, we came to the last bit as the sign indicated, and all we had to do was climb up a sheer rock wall that had only little grooves to grab onto to lift yourself up. Shawn was strong enough to pull himself up. I was having to rely primarily on my leg strength, and as I started sticking the rubber of my shoes to the rock face, my feet kept slipping. After all the mud we had walked through, my shoes didn’t have the traction I needed to make it up. We were pretty high up and at this point, all I could think about was the image of myself in a mangled heap on the forest floor, and Shawn having to spend a lot of the trip sitting by my bedside because I had broken bones….. It was a good ways up, people! Just in case you were thinking that I’m an over-exaggerator. I do like literary description. But, we were at least 20 feet up a rock face that didn’t end at soft floor. There were rocks and a steep slope beyond that we had hiked up. Think, free-fall, landing on rocks, followed by rolling down a hill….

To the point! I didn’t make the climb and with much disappointment, we started to head back because the rain was moving in. As we were heading back down, we saw another sign. A sign that pointed in the other direction that seemed promising! So off we went in that direction to see what we could see. And the view we came to was spectacular. It was the view back down where we had come from, to give us a sweeping panoramic of the mountains of St. Lucia with Marigot Bay at their feet. We probably sat in that spot for a good twenty minutes as the rain was not in our location but was taking place down below us. We stayed and watched the rain clouds move through. Thinking about it fills me with emotion again.

I might talk more about this trip another day because the stories are long. The trip was a much needed break after having gone through one of the most difficult experiences in my life so far, the experience of loss. What I want to shed Light on is, there is no knowing what you’ll find amidst the hardships in life. What I want to try to focus on, and help people believe, is that no matter how hard life can get, there is always hope. When the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. And don’t believe yourself a failure if you need a helping hand. We all need someone in our life that can be there for us, a voice that gives power to the Light, earth-angels I like to call these people. Sometimes, all you need is a life preserver, a hand, a voice calling to you through the Dark. More on these earth-angels to come.

If you find yourself struggling to stay afloat, to take a breath, reach out to someone. And if you don’t see anyone, then please, reach out to yourself. There is Light within you, needing to be heard. You are not alone. Hold on. Help will come. Do not despair. Do not lose hope.

Life can be difficult. But if we hang on long enough, life will show us that it is also beautiful. Life is worth it. You are worth it.
Embrace it.


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