Have you ever hit a wall in your life? It might have been a literal wall that you punched when you were upset. It might have been a wall that you hit when running a marathon. Or it might have been an event in your life that caused you to “hit the wall”. The one thing that all these events have in common is pain – LOTS of pain.
Sometimes when we hit the wall we may lose consciousness for a while. We become disoriented, unable to focus or to move forward. It may take a little time to become clear headed enough to tackle that wall again, but once we know it is there we can begin to put into place what is needed to overcome it.
The tools we need depend on the wall we face. If it is the runner's wall, we may need to reach deep down to access the needed extra energy to carry on. If it is a wall of heartache we may need some time to cry and process and then let friends help us through.
Perhaps some of you can relate to some of my stories. You lose your lovely 3 bedroom bungalow in the city due to a business bankruptcy and have to move to a small house in the country. A wall!
Your husband leaves you for another woman, leaving you with a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 6 month old baby girl…plus frozen plumbing and an oil stove for heat. A wall!
You apply to get mother's allowance, but they won't even give you enough to cover the cost of the mortgage, let alone the heat and groceries and car and phone – they didn't consider the car and phone a necessity…A wall!
You get back together with your husband and have another child, but when he is 3 years old, you decide that you have had enough of your husband's cheating, hit the wall and say “no more”.
Perhaps you have walls that are blocking you right now. High hydro bills on a fixed income, expensive repairs to your home or being part of a sandwich generation with parents and kids or grandkids. You don't have to be trapped behind them. You just need some special tools. I have found that the following tools are helpful: patience, persistence, love, friends, determination, change of perspective, positive outlook, optimism, and hope.
These are the tools that helped me get through the situations I just mentioned. My father in law put a chemical toilet in the bathroom and I pumped water from the outside well for 2 months. My in-laws let us shower and do laundry and fed us weekly until my pipes thawed. I went back to work for my ex during tax season to have money to pay the bills, and I started my university degree after he left for the last time.”
Have you noticed that in military training there is always a wall that must be climbed. I think it's because they have recognized that this is an important lesson for life – there are always walls to be overcome!
As we begin to gather the tools we need to tackle the wall, we may decide to scale it, however when we look up it seems to reach to the sky and we get discouraged and give up.
But what if we look at it from a different angle. A different point of view. What if we back up and look at it from a distance? You may remember the TV show where they used to close one eye and pretend to crush people's heads? “I crush you.” When you are far enough away you can crush that wall. “I crush you wall.” Or you can look at it through the reverse end of the telescope or binoculars and it shrinks into submission.
You can also picture the wall turned sideways and walk beside it or you can push it over onto the ground and stomp on it. The important thing is to not let the wall control your actions. You are the person who controls your reaction to the wall and you are the one who can overcome the wall.
When we look at the lives of those we consider heroes, we see some of the walls they have overcome – illness, loss of limbs, paralysis, and more. But every person has walls to tackle. Ill health, marital breakups, death, accidents, loss of parent or child, failure of a business, disappointment in a job, disillusionment with some aspect of your life.
It's how we deal with our walls that counts. It's developing the tools we need to chip away at what is holding us back, be they low walls or high walls. We can sit at the bottom of the wall and crumble into tears, or we can break out the block and tackle and tear it down. Sometimes it just takes a few good whacks to get it to fall. Other times it may take a while to chip away a big enough space to pass through to the other side.
Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor in 180AD said: You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
It's all about choices.
You just need to be creative and make the choices that work for you, whether it is a chisel or a sledge hammer or a whole crew of friends to knock that wall over.
Show that wall who's the boss.