This week has been a doozy. Yesterday, my husband learned that he has to undergo yet another surgical procedure related to the surgery he had back in late August. Since that surgery, he’s been in and out of the hospital with fluid collecting in his pelvis and in constant, unrelenting pain. Our lives have been in survival mode and I’ve often found that my workouts are the one place where I can let go of focusing on caretaking and get a break. As well, they’ve been a bright spot of positive news. In the midst of work stress and stress over his health, I could at least say, “Well, I lifted heavier today,” or “Well, at least my running is going well.” They also gave me more energy to handle whatever else came up during my long days and sleepless nights.
Yesterday, though, I’ll fully admit…I fell hard. I completely ditched my nutrition and ate comfort foods. This morning, my alarm went off and I debated whether or not to just sleep until I had to get up for work instead. It was windy outside. My legs were still sore from yesterday. What does any of it matter?
This week, Jews around the world begin the Torah (The 5 books of Moses) all over again with that first chapter of Genesis. The first thing G-d does, before creating anything else at all, is speak light into being. I’ve always found that a dramatic moment and also deeply meaningful. Before that moment, light didn’t exist and then, it is sung into being. I can’t imagine a universe without light, can you?
Light is so important, so key to everything that it had to come first. Without it, nothing else was possible.
I cling to that idea today, but today, it’s my job to speak light into being in my life. It’s my job to search for every shred of positivity I can and magnify it, not just for myself, but for my family. We need that light before we can focus on anything else or create anything else. I know for myself that when I become caught up in my worries or negativity, any strength I have is sapped. I’m defeated before I’m even in the boxing ring with any of my challenges. In darkness, I just can’t see to swing a punch and I fall back on the ropes, done. I was feeling very defeated and done this morning at 5am, when the sky was still dark and my alarm was nagging at me.
Sure, this surgery is smaller than the first and outpatient, so he’ll be home better to rest. Sure, I could focus on the positive, that this might finally lead to his pain easing and him fully healing, but he’s been through so much and our family’s been through so much. How could G-d ask us to go through even more?
Positivity and negativity mixed inside me and it was my work to separate the two and let there be light.
I got up out of bed and got dressed and made a compromise with myself, choosing to do an indoor workout rather than a run. I poured all my negativity into lifting weights and let the sweat pour it out of me and I consciously chose to focus on the positive. With each repetition, I felt my strength grow and my perspective shift as I lifted it out of the pit it was in yesterday, hauling it up with my arms and legs and tossing it up to the sky.
The sun rose and yes, there was light.
We each have a daily choice to make, to accept whatever our first response is to a situation or allow ourselves to be drug down into darkness…OR to choose to let there be light and then use that light to uplift those around us, too. Yesterday, I didn’t make the best choices, whether it was what I ate or the thoughts and mood I allowed myself to entertain, like toxic junk food for my spirit, but today is a new day and I’m blessed with the opportunity to make new choices. I can simply pick right back up with good choices that help strengthen my body and my spirit.
And today…I choose to let there be light…for myself and those I love.