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Rise Above

Kalob Valle
April 30, 2019
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THE STORY...

How easy is it to get so caught up in the moment? Everything in your life could be going great.  You could be graduating college, getting married to the love of your life, enjoying the career of your dreams, but…  It only takes one moment to change everything.  You know what I mean…  You get in a car accident.  You lose a loved one…  You or someone you love becomes ill…  Why do we do most of our deepest growing and learning when we have been torn down or hurt?

Back when I was just a Sophomore, almost Junior, in High School, I had one of those moments.  It was just another summer day.  I had recently gotten my drivers license.  My Dad had just bought me a used truck.  All I wanted to do was go hang out with one of my best friends.  I remember storming around the house,

“Where are my keys?!  I’m going to be late!” I said,

“I just bought you that truck!  And you’ve already lost the keys?!” my Dad hilariously responded,

“Found them!  Okay see you guys later!”

“Call me if you need anything,” my Dad said as I bolted to the door to leave.  

I was feeling great.  Nothing could stop me!  I stepped outside, shut the door behind me and before I knew it, I had collapsed on the hard cement driveway.  

What happened? I thought to myself.  

I was stuck on the ground feeling dizzy, confused… and scared.  My body didn’t feel right.  I felt incredibly weak.  It didn’t take long before I saw my Dad hurriedly open the door and carry me inside. My heart was beating so loudly I couldn’t focus.  My parents, worried, took me to the nearest hospital.  

In the hospital they rushed me to the ER.  I was soon in a gown, laying on those hospital beds, and just staring at the faces of my parents.  But it was obvious what was wrong with me now.  My heart.  It was beating at 240 beats a minute.  And rising. Tachycardia at its finest.  My heartbeat was so fast it had long passed the line of effectively pumping blood to my body.  All my blood was pooling in my chest.  My arms and legs started becoming numb and, as a natural response, started to contract my body into the fetal position.  The nurses had to strap my arms and legs down to stop them.  I had no control; I was quietly suffering…  I was scared.  

My heart-rate was now at 306 beats a minute.  That was when I wondered “Is it over?”  I couldn’t help but think of all the things I wished to do in life.  Suddenly, I understood myself more.  

Siblings visiting me post operation
(Siblings visiting me post operation)

It’s easy to let life go by.  Now, by no means have I suffered more than any of you.  We all have a story.  Moments that truly changed us, that helped shape who we are.  The question now is, does your story propel you forward?  Or hold you back?  

No matter the situation you find yourself in, we all have “reasons” to be mad at the world.  But the people who rise from the ashes of their trials are those to sit on the mountain of success.  

I think about this very often.  There isn’t anyone of us who doesn’t desire success. However, due to a variety of circumstances, many of us don’t BECOME successful.  

The very fabric of what makes us who we are is due to the hardships we face.  So how can you make a moment of suffering and fear into one of success and growth?  

UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GRATEFUL

It’s not just about giving thanks.  It’s about giving blame.  Yeah, you heard right.  Blame is a powerful tool.  But it’s probably not the type of blame your thinking…  I’m talking about giving COMPLETE blame.  Think about who or what you blame in life for some or even all your hardships.  Take a minute.  Let it out. Now ask yourself, do you blame them completely?  If you blame your parents, father or mother,for your upbringing do you ALSO blame them for giving you life?  If you blame your boss at work, do you ALSO blame him/her for having hired you?  If you blame “Society” do you also blame them for the positive impact it’s had?

If you’re going to put blame on anyone, or anything, blame them completely.  The bad AND the good.  Then when you’ve got all the blaming out of your system, be grateful… For everything.  Be grateful for the tough times, the hardship, the suffering, and the pain.  Because no matter what you have faced, there isn’t anything more powerful than you. There’s nothing you can’t overcome. Now, this isn’t an immediate fix… But it’s a powerful start.  It opens your mind to the possibility of growth and allows for positivity.  It will shape the foundation for who you desire to become.

Then, eventually, you will reach a point in your understanding that the only person holding you back from being better, from overcoming fear, and from rising above is you.  You are the reason.  With this realization you’ll find strength where once there was weakness.

I’m not saying it’s easy being grateful.  It’s not.  In fact, it’s quite challenging.  To some, it’s the most challenging.  My hardship was just one of many and I’m grateful for it.  I blame my body for being weak and ill, but I also blame my body for the good it’s done me and the life I’ve been able to live.  I’m thankful for the experience and it has taught me a great deal of lessons.  The reward for gratitude is immeasurable.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Check out this video:

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE INFLUENCES

Positive people

In the moment of hardship, you have two options. Allow yourself to be filled with the negative or to seek out the positive.  However, I know how hard it is to do anything on your own.  It can be done, don’t get me wrong.  But if you surround yourself with positive people you can exponentially increase your chances of overcoming your trials. Whether it be a friend, family member, counselor, or even a pet you will find that it’s always easier to tackle these obstacles in life with one or all of them by your side.  Check out this article:

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/relations/the-importance-of-having-supportive-friendships/

This is a great source in understanding just HOW important this can be!

DON’T QUIT WHEN THINGS GET HARD

Person looking at sunset

We all know what it’s like.  It’s like Timon says from The Lion King, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” which, honestly, shouldn’t be the case.  Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  Life just threw you an opportunity.  It's up to you whether or not you become all the better for it. Here’s another article about why we shouldn’t just up and quit:

https://medium.com/@dariusforoux/dont-quit-when-it-gets-hard-a6ffbafa323

To quit may seem like the easier route,but you can’t run from hard things forever. The sooner you face them head-on the better.  

You are an incredible individual with talents and skills that you unique to you!  You are beautiful, you are strong, and you can accomplish anything.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

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