Have you ever challenged yourself to a goal that made you question your own sanity? This past weekend, I had the privilege of running a half-marathon that made me question every ounce of my own mindset. My goal in entering this was to push my mindset out of my own comfort zone, so I could reach beyond my own limiting thinking. This was actually my 4th half-marathon, but I haven’t participated in one for over 4 years. So, what was I trying to accomplish by doing another one? Looking back now I realize that I was pushing my spiritual boundaries through my physical goals.
From the 4th step I took, I was literally in pain the entire 13.1 miles and had to keep pushing myself to reach “just one more mile.” My focus went from finishing at my best time to just finishing the course. I was miserable, I was scared, and I was truly wondering how I was going to do this. So, what did I do when my anxiety level began to soar and my attention remained on my fear? I began to pray. I dug deep beyond the layer of fear and just began asking God to help me through this. It wasn’t the experience I was expecting, but it was the journey I was creating so I needed a strength greater than my own to push through the stabbing pain that shot through my foot with every step I took. So, I asked God to be that strength and help me through this half-marathon I was obviously regretting entering.
There is a magical thing that happens when you surrender to God. You learn to ask and then to listen. After all, I had 10 more miles to endure this foot pain so I had plenty of time to just listen. During my conversation with God I asked how I was going to get through this without quitting, because quitting was NOT an option for me. I knew whether I had to drag my leg or crawl through the finish line, I was going to complete this half-marathon. So, as I asked God to give me strength, he gave me power. I heard my God whispers very clearly tell me to focus on being in gratitude. As I began looking around me at the beautiful miracle workers who surrounded me I thanked God for them. The joy they were bringing me through inspiring me, encouraging me, and even spectators giving me water and cookies. Then I thanked God for the ability for the use of my legs, my strong heart, and my healthy body.
The more I focused on being in gratitude, the more I discovered to be in gratitude for. It wasn’t until I looked up and realized that I had made it to mile 6 on just counting my blessings. As happy as I was to see that mile marker, my heart dropped because I realized I was still so far from the end. Seven miles is a long way to run/walk with severe foot pain and with that thought I felt myself slide back to a place of fear. “Gratitude” I heard God whisper as I searched around me for more to be grateful for…. and I found it. For the next several miles I fought the battle between my mind counting my blessings then back to the shooting pain in my foot. By this time, my entire body was starting to hurt from the fast pace walk I was pacing myself at. Mindset is crucial when it comes to achieving any goal. First your mind has to make the decision to achieve the goal and then your body will follow.
You all have such beauty and insurmountable pain existing in one place. It is no wonder people are falling more and more into fear. The strongest emotion is that which overpowers your senses, and from there you create your illusions. You do not need acknowledgement and support from those around you who do not understand their own truth. Instead, seek within your soul the eternal light of God. For you create the abundance in your lives through that which you desire from your heart. In the glorious space where you share love, you will receive the experiences of that which you create. – Through the Eyes of Truth – A Conversation with God About My Life, Your Life, & Discovering Our Purpose
When I saw the mile marker for mile 11, my heart lit up and I even smiled inside. I had only two miles left, then I could get off of my foot and eat my body weight in carbohydrates! I completed the half-marathon with the worst finish time I ever had. However, I gained some incredible and valuable gifts that far surpassed the time I could have beat. My greatest gift was tuning into my God whispers and realizing that during the most painful and anxious times of my life, I can ask God for guidance and receive it clearly and effortlessly. I received the gift of gratitude and realizing that everything around us a truly a gift if we only allow ourselves to appreciate the people and the lessons. I learned how resilient and determined I am and this empowered me beyond anything else.
Watching every person who passed me and who I ran past made me realize we are not in competition with one another but in competition with becoming a better version of ourselves. I learned a lesson that will stay with me for a very long time. I have realized that everyone is struggling with a pain that nobody else knows about. Be kind, be compassionate, and be encouraging. Lastly, and this is the reason I know I was meant to do this half-marathon…. I learned that God answers all prayers. We just need to be silent and wait to hear his voice echo within the walls of our own souls. Once you do, you begin to change your perspective and your focus. It is a scary thing to push yourself beyond what you once through you were capable of. However, courage already resides within you and the leap of faith is where you create new goals and new perspectives. So, what are you doing to push yourself out of your fear into creating a new goal filled with love? Your journey begins with a prayer.