Running this morning was a bit of a chore. I’m on day 9 of a 30 day cleanse & I feel like I have a bowling ball tied to each leg. I am not a virgin cleanser but this one is new to me. So I shifted my focus from feeling like poop [a more than appropriate comparison when on a cleanse] to being thankful for this outrageously gorgeous morning & to the thought of how great I will feel 21 days from now. It was then that I noticed a woman walking by looking a bit bedraggled. In bold letters across her chest were the words “Don’t Give Up”.
I’m no stranger to that message. Don’t give up, Jill…I heard that voice from inside of me whisper. In an instant, I was transported to running this same trail 7 years ago but instead of bowling balls chained to my ankles; I ran choking down sobs of grief. Wave upon wave of sorrow engulfed me & I’d stop in my tracks. It was in those moments that somewhere deep inside of me- a glint of hope would arise & whisper – don’t give up.
My now “was-been” of 23 years had left & the precious family that I had poured every ounce of my heart, soul & sweat into was no more. Everything that had mattered to me was gone. Within those 5 crushing years my “was-been” filed for divorce, my best friend of 32 years died after her 8 year battle with cancer, my best friend from college committed suicide, my dad died, the economy crashed, we had to sell the family home, we moved, I returned to full time work on the same day my daughter started middle school & my son started high school and my family of origin was no where to be found.
I get what’s it like to be knocked down, struggle with all your might to get back up & just want to give up. Perhaps if I had had time to rebuild some strength, to at least get to my feet before the next fist to the face. Maybe then, it would have been different. But it wasn’t. Oh yes, I know what’s its like to want to give up.
But I didn’t give up…there was a power within me that was greater than my deepest sadness, my loss, my loneliness & my heartache. Thankfully, I mustered the strength to move forward in spite of the suffering and now the possibilities & vision are more expansive & amazing than they ever would have been before life fell apart.
Am I tempted to give up on this 30 day cleanse? You bet I am- but I’ve gained tremendous strength, guts & grit to preserve through most anything. So I keep running & I don’t dare give up!