My high school wrestling coach, Sam Diprimio, said that when a match goes to overtime, when you and your opponent are both gasping for air and your muscles are burning and spent, that the primary determinant of who will triumph will be who wants it more. Our team motto was “Blood, sweat, tears- Love it!”
The same warrior spirit applies to emotional healing and personal growth. Unless I am willing to fiercely get onto the wrestling mat with my emotions, they will automatically win by my forfeiting the match. If I want to stay the same more than I want to change, then I will remain the same.
How badly do you really want to change? What are you willing to suffer to overcome your inner opponent?
Typically, there are parts of us that resist change. These parts have done a lot to meet our needs over the years. We develop these parts as ways of coping, so when we tell these parts that we want to change, they put on their head gear and say, “Oh yeah? Wrestle me for it!” It’s totally common to avoid taking on our habits like this because they seem to have so much power and it doesn’t feel good to lose. But unless we enter the fight, we’ll never grow.
It takes practice. No person rises to the top of their sport overnight. It takes years, sometimes a lifetime, of training. It’s the same with inner transformation. Shedding habits, learning new relationship skills, releasing painful emotions, and learning to truly love ourselves are not second nature for many of us.
It comes down to “who wants it more.” Will you give up? Or will you dig deep and find the strength? Will you day after day return to the “gym” and work on those parts of yourself that are holding you back from living up to your true potential? Will you continue to let your old traumas weigh you down, or will you face them fully and allow the intensity of their release to move through you?
I have worked with many, many people overcome their fears of change. They always find that after facing something they felt was insurmountable that the fears were irrational. They feel so much more joy, freedom, and strength because they won the match. They also find that the suffering was primarily in the anticipation of facing the fear, not in actually facing it.
You have a choice. Don’t forget that. Dig deep and find that will to win. Bring onto your team a coach or therapist who can help you find your answers and bring out the best in you. You deserve it, but you have to earn it.
"Blood, sweat, tears- Love it!"
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