Endurance - the power to withstand hardship or stress; "the marathon tests a runner's endurance"
Endure - to put up with; tolerate
Do you endure life or do you demonstrate endurance as you go through life? I used to believe that life was something to be endured - to just get through it as best I could. I had my moments of feeling close with God and boy did I pray to God asking God to relieve me of my burdens. But that was before I learned about endurance and before I discovered what and who I am really all about and before I fully entered into a relationship with God. For me, the difference between endure and endurance is love and gratitude. The key word in the definition of endurance is power and oh what power there is in love and gratitude.
So how did I go from enduring life to an endurance athlete (both in running and in life)? For me, it took the crisis of post polio syndrome to be reawakened and discover all the joys that life has to offer - joy, she's talking about joy? Is she nuts? Look at the papers, look at the economy, look at your 401K, look at .... When I was first diagnosed with post polio syndrome I could have bemoaned my fate instead of opening my heart and finding the blessing - turning adversity on its head if you will and to heal my life. With a body being completely shut down, I had to turn inward and I discovered God speaking to me and through me. I discovered the power of being connected to God - and finding God everywhere!
Joy, love, gratitude and happiness are an inside job. To hold onto joy, love, gratitude and happiness regardless of external circumstances comes from my relationship with God. And one of the greatest ways that I experience love and gratitude is to give - to give with an open heart and love and support others as they go on their journey's way. When someone experiences a success, I feel that deep abiding joy as though it had happened to me. I was not always like this - I would feel competition, and that there was not enough to go around and if someone else received attention then it was taking away from me. That came from a place of feeling unworthy and feeling that life was to be endured. I also allowed ego to get the best of me.
That's not to say that I do not experience feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger or frustration - it is to say that I ask God to help me when I experience these feelings and to help me return to a state of peace and Oneness with God. I invite God to enter into any and all situations throughout the day - either through my expression of gratitude and love or to ask for God's help if I find that I am in a situation which is beyond my control and my feelings begin to spiral out of control.
Spring is a wonderful time to be reawakened - I look at the leaves and the flowers and hear the birds' songs that seem to have suddenly, magically reappeared in the world. I feel God's love and power pulsating through nature and I realize that I, as a child of God, have that power pulsating through me. I feel God's love in the green grass, the gentle breeze, the fragrant scent that comes with a New England spring and I realize that as God so loved the world, God loves me.
That power - that love can be found in so many people, in so many places, in so many events and in all seasons - all we have to do is open our hearts and our eyes to experience that glorious, wonderful feeling of love. And with that love, life is no longer something to just be endured, it becomes a wonderful journey blessed by God's grace to provide me with everything I need to go the distance.
Keep Awake from "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World"
Keep awake and you shall see the signs along your way
Stir yourself from a spiritual sleep as you go about your day.
Give thanks, be grateful, remember - “seek and ye shall find”
Focus only on the positive – hold greatness in your mind.
Erase what-if's – instead you'll know that you can hold the key
And tell yourself with utter faith “I deserve a great life for me.”
Ignore the outer world of noise – feel only love inside
Ask God for all the blessings – your soul just open wide.
And once you're filled right to the brim, all worries melt away
You now shine the light of Love, forever shall it stay.
For more of the poems which inspired my body to heal and enabled me to run the Boston Marathon, go to www.newworldgreetings.com
and purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry. I donate 20% of the proceeds to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.
To have a customized poem created by an award winning social worker who has the gift to bring joy and healing through words, visit www.newworldgreetings.com and place your order today!
Every day is a new starting line - here's to a great run!
With my love and joy,