Everything Happens For a Reason

Everything Happens For a Reason

Apr 28, 2013

Everything Happens For a Reason

By Josh Hunt

“Everything happens for a reason” is a phrase that I have heard so many times in my life. This is a saying that can be hard to wrap one’s head around. Currently, I am at an impasse in regards to working things out in my life. There have been some issues that have come up in my life that are hard to deal with, and I am working on a game plan in order to come out stronger and more seasoned in spite of these hardships. I was recently talking to one of my oldest and dearest friends about what is going on, he told me that on the road of life I have had bumps that are larger and more frequent than many. That is not to say I’ve had a hard life. I know that I was not raised in a war torn country nor have I been plagued by illness, nor have I had to suffer the loss of loved ones. But, to me it seems that I have had to deal with some unusual circumstances that have helped forge my resilience and way of thinking. I like to say that I have had an interesting life, and because of that concept I believe I have developed a different way of looking at the world. So bear with me because this article is going to be an exercise in me putting pen to paper and trying to work things out. Hopefully, I can not only make this article pertinent to whoever is reading this, but also tie in the therapy that is training and more importantly what friends and family can do in order to lead a vessel from stormy weather at sea to a safe harbor.

Long story short, there has been frustration in my life, more now than in the recent past. On top of the normal stresses that come with living, working, and trying to be a good person I have received news about the state of health of a man I consider a brother that concerns not only myself, but also my cadre of friends and family. On a more selfish note I have also been put in a situation that has caused me a bit of emotional duress. The way things worked out were not what I wanted or intended, but life has a way of working out in a way that doesn’t usually follow a person’s game plan or direct desires (although many times when events unfurl in ways that could not be foreseen, people including, myself end up in a better situation than before the irritating or painful events had transpired. In some cases the end result is that needs and wants are satiated indirectly or a solution appears to a problem one didn’t even know they had). With those frustrations as well as a few others to boot, I have been questioning what it is I really want out of life, if that goal is actually possible, and how this machine that is existence functions. When turbulent times hit, I often seek solace and wisdom from friends and family. I am not a man that uses the term blessed lightly, seeing as how I have a very different philosophy on faith than most people that I have met. But, I have been blessed with some of the most loyal and amazing people that I have been honored to call friends (you know who you are). These special individuals have taken many hours to consult with me and offer advice, support, and a method of venting (and I cannot thank you enough for your words and patience). However, with all the talks and reflection, the meaning in all of what is going on in my life is something that I currently cannot find. If there is a design in this life it would be interesting to speak to the architect so that I would be able to glean some understanding as to why things happen the way they do. I realize that this is a question that is as old as mankind itself. At the root of this question is the word why. The context can change but there is some interconnection with every philosophical question that begins with why. To be over simplistic, the interconnection is the fact that we all want to have an understanding of how life works the way that it does and in most cases use that understanding to either cope with or somehow arrange an opportune outcome for any situation. If we knew why bad things happen to good people, or why good things happen to bad people, we might be able to better our station in life by game planning or using an equation for success. Or maybe by knowing, we might be able to accept the situation for what it is, hopefully forgive others and ourselves and move on with more knowledge, experience, and a stronger scene of self.

I am sure we can all think of questions that eat at us, we all have problems and skeletons in our closets. Sometimes all it takes to get through these hardships is the passage of time, other times it takes drastic actions, yet other times it’s something else, something that is intangible (or tangible) that gives us all the strength to pull ourselves out of the bog that we have found ourselves in. Presently, there are many questions on my mind. Some of these questions are ones that men of faith have asked such as ‘have I been a moral or good enough man?’ or ‘Am I being punished for not doing the right thing?’ or ‘What can I do to improve myself in order to find my way past this hard spot?’ Often I look inwards to find an answer, and many times it’s there, I just have to do some searching and digging. Not only do I have a myriad of questions, I also feel that I have a few ways forward that I am working on putting together (they are still in the design phase and I have a lot of fleshing out to do before they are acceptable) that don’t necessarily answer the question, but hopefully can help me get to the other side of this schism that has developed in my life because of unwanted situations. I would hope that one or several of these potential courses of action end up in resulting in the most optimal solution for the current problem. Right now some of the ways forward (or methods of dealing with a problem if you will) that I am working on include: introspection with a focus on the problem(s) at hand, refocusing my attention to areas that I can have affect on, and trying to let go what is not important. This is where my old friend training comes in to play.

In the past when difficulties in my life have manifested themselves, I have thrown myself in the gym. Some of my best thoughts have come while working out; hell, I have had some real epiphanies in the middle of a set. That being the case, one of the ways that I am going to deal with everything that I am going through is to really pour whatever attention I can into my powerlifting. On the surface this may seem very selfish. But, in my mind it is not. Lifting has always been a positive outlet for me. Something that I can go do that relieves stress, helps me to feel empowered, and allows me time where I can leave my troubles behind and focus on something I can control (which is therapeutic and promotes emotional, mental, and in some cases spiritual recovery and healing). Simply put lifting (and other physical activities) helps me cope. In a world where I can feel overwhelmed and impotent to address so many issues that I don’t have any control of, I know that the gym is always there for me. Because I control what I do, it is my fault if I miss a rep or mis-program my training. It is my responsibility to put in the correct amount of effort and thought while in the gym as well as the controlling external variables. I can’t find myself at the “bottom of a bottle” because that will negatively affect my goals, I can’t give up on myself because I know I’ll end up in a worse emotional state, and I believe that allowing negative thoughts and emotions to engulf me will only tear me apart. Training helps me to develop goals and a method of achieving them. Basically, if I am realistic, achievement is in my grasp. And I am not going to lie; I kind of need a win right now.

There is something that is almost religious about a training cycle. You are forced to put whatever it is that is bothering you on the back burner for the time you are at the gym or suffer a suboptimal workout, ill feelings, and frustration with not only your workout but life in general. But, beyond that there is something about sweating that can help to make sense of a situation. I am not exactly sure what it is, but there have been so many times that I have come into the gym in a bad mood, and left on cloud nine. Some of this can be attributed to the release of not only endorphins but stress and the fellowship of friends that share the same goal as you. But, it is more than that. For some reason my head gets really clear when I have some weight on my back. My mind can become blank and there is only one thing that I have to do; move some weight from one point to another. Folks can help you out, support you, give advice, but when it comes down to it, it’s you and the weight. There is a beauty in that simplicity. There is control and power in that moment from un-racking the bar to letting it slam back down on its position of rest. I am not totally sure that I can articulate the feelings that one can get from a focused workout, but anyone that has used this as a coping mechanism probably knows what I am talking about. It can be the best part of a day or even a week. Clarity can wash over you and the release can help you deal with all the stresses in your life. This is true, especially in times of pain, stress, frustration, and even apathy. Maybe the simple fact that you are making time for yourself is one of the major factors in being able to deal with other issues. I am not sure, but my plan is to get after it.

Right now I am trying to focus my attention on Benchpress Nationals. I have to be mentally sharp when it comes to programming my workout, watching my diet, and being mentally and physically ready to lift. This is a forcing factor that makes me feel like I am in control of at least one thing in my life. Plus, with all that I put into training I get clarity of thought that I don’t have when I am not training. Other than being there for myself, my training partners are depending on me to be there for support, help, and the occasional kick in the ass, just as they do for me. This path that I am drawing out is helping me to deal with so many unanswered questions. It makes me not dwell on the negative because that will only make me weak. I am grateful for the ability to get my mind off the problems in my life and work on something that will positively affect me in the short and long run. Because I am able to push myself, I feel happy that I can physically and mentally do what it is that I need to do. However in my introspections, I have to step back and realize that there are so many people that don’t have this luxury, due to physical or mental handicap, inability to make personal time due to social or economical reasons, lack of will power, inability to muddle through personal trauma (think about those people that suffer some sort of hardship and do nothing but drink and sleep, I refuse to let this happen to me), among other reasons not to try to figure out a way of dealing with life. I’m in the process of using all the negativity in my life to motivate me into becoming better (mentally and physically) and overcoming these issues.

Aside from the therapy of training, my friends are right there beside me. They are there in times of happiness and sadness. They help me bleed out the demons that afflict me, and allow me to go on doing what it is I need to do in order to improve the parts of my life that I can influence. Some of them are in my everyday life. They work with me, share common experiences, hang out with me, and are there in so many way. These folks are my foundation. The base that keeps me striving to be better and not let ill feelings make me into something I don’t want to or shouldn’t be. My training partners are just as important (and are among the ranks listed above, I just feel the need to break them out seeing as how I am writing about lifting). They know when I am having a hard time dealing with the stresses of life and they offer motivational words, insight, and help in several ways to include emotional, spiritual, and mental support as well as the help I need to keep going in the gym. Without them I would not be able to tap into the therapy of training I need. I would be emotionally exhausted which would prevent me from getting under the bar. They are also there to provide physical assistance (hand offs, assistance with bench shirts, spots, etc), insight into a better workout, and help that can only improve my training cycle and aid me in achieving my goals, which will help me confront and/or overcome my problems.

There is always a danger in spending too much time in the gym and not working on or confronting the problems that are plaguing life, or creating more problems by having an unhealthy mental outlook on training (like spending all day in the gym or doing things that will be detrimental physically and/or mentally). This is where my friends and family come in to keep me in check. Knowing all this, I have set a goal of achieving new personal records at upcoming events and meets. Another one of my goals is being there for those who need me. Yet another overreaching goal is not letting myself be sucked down into a place that no one should let themselves reside. Although I am still working on trying to find the reason why things have worked out they way they have, I have the gym and compatriots to guide me. The weight will always be there for me, and hopefully so will the answers that I am seeking. I will continue to move towards my goal of successfully dealing with my insecurities and emotional pain; I will work on being positive and not allow friendships to sour. What will be, will be, and I must accept this, but only after doing everything in my ability to make the situation as positive as I can.

My thoughts go out to Brad (you tough son of a gun) and his family as well as my friends who are affected by what is happening, you are all my heroes and I am beyond grateful that you are in my life.

– I have traveled so far to find so little
Meaning in tragedy or tragedy
In the search for meaning
Dark clouds have lead me here
Confined freedom
Guides us to security
What if everything
I have been taught is a lie
And all of my teachers
Have been wrong this whole time
Compelling us to fight
The battles they would not
They have already won
And we have already lost
If we do not learn from their mistakes
We have already lost
If we do not learn to change…….As I Lay Dying

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One comment

  1. Very beautifully written Josh. Things happen as they do, reason or not, things bad, good, evil, or otherwise will happen. How we react, live, accept, move on, is up to us. The beauty lies within the chaos that is life and the love/hate we give our friends, neighbors, significant others, and strangers.

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