It’s Just The Way Life Is Set Up

life, pain, struggle, fear, faith, beauty, greatness, James Calderon, Positively James

It’s just the way life is set up.

There are a few things in life that I am completely sure about. For starters, the only thing that’s constant in life is change. Second, love makes this ride we call life, worthwhile. Finally, much of the amazing things in life are usually on the other side of fear, struggle and pain. If you don’t mind, I’d like to delve into the last of those certainties I mentioned above.

Just in case you didn’t catch it; much of the amazing things in life are usually on the other side of fear, struggle and pain.

I think it’s safe to say most people on this planet have experienced fear in their lives. Some common fears might be the fear of asking someone out on a date, losing a job, breaking up, chasing a dream, failure, speaking in front of a crowd, and of course, a fear of death.

In my experience, during the 39 times I’ve been around the sun, I’ve come to know that most of the yummy parts of life seem to be on the other side of fear. And that most of the joyous moments in life seem to be on the other side of pain. And a life filled with gratitude seems to be on the other side of the struggle.

It’s just the way life is set up.

life, pain, struggle, fear, faith, beauty, greatness, James Calderon, Positively James

Fear

I remember hearing at a young age to feel the fear and do it anyway. One memory comes to mind when I think of this. There I was at the piano in front of the entire school.  I believe I was twelve years old and getting ready to play Fur Elise by Beethoven for the school talent show.

I had been so nervous prior to going up there on that stage.  My hands were shaky and my stomach was in knots. I could see my mother in the crowd staring at me with a proud look, and giving me a head nod that told me I could do this.

As I began to play, shaky hands and all, the off notes traveled throughout the entire gym. Discouragement hit me like a ton of cinder blocks and I slammed my head on the piano, feeling the heaviness of shame and failure. I could hear the entire crowd simultaneously take a deep breath in, shocked by what just happened in that little gym.

Warm tears rolled down my face like summer rain on a window. I ran to the side of the stage where my mother was standing and crashed into her. I just wanted to go home at that point. I could hear a few people in the crowd cheering me on to try again.  It was then that my mom picked my face up with her comforting hand and told me that we only fail when we stop trying.

I was scared to go back out there and give it another shot, but my mother’s words were like the jumper cables to my battery. She made me believe that everything would be ok after I tried to play the song again.

I knew that this was a moment of definition for me. Not sure how I was able to grasp that at the age of twelve, but I did. I walked back out on the stage to meet some clapping and cheering, sat down on the bench and began to play my little ass off.  Not every note was perfect, but I played the song all the way through.  When I was done, the entire gym of parents and faculty, along with the other nervous performers began to clap and cheer for me.

life, pain, struggle, fear, faith, beauty, greatness, James Calderon, Positively James

I felt accomplished that evening leaving the school. That high lasted about a week. My life was never the same after that. I was a new me. An expanded me if you will.

Fear seemed to be a friend that was just misunderstood. I learned it was ok to feel fear, but not ok to let it hinder me.

I’ve encountered fear, pain and struggle many times throughout my life. And I’ve come to know that no matter what, if one keeps the faith, which can look like an unwavering persistence toward achieving their goals, that is where the magic happens. It’s just the way life is set up.

life, pain, struggle, fear, faith, beauty, greatness, James Calderon, Positively James

So, if you’re going through a break up, or thinking of giving up on your dreams, or whatever is scaring you to the point you want to turn back just short of the top, remember that this is all a part of the journey. It’s just the way life is set up. You can either choose to find comfort in the constraints of your current consciousness(excuses), or dare to be great by feeling the fear and doing it anyway, as well as accepting the pain and finding beauty in the struggle. I hope it’s the latter for you.

Keep the faith and appreciate all that life has to offer. Trust life.

Positively yours,

James

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