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Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't Embrace The Boulders

The highway of life is filled with mole hills, bumps, potholes, and occasionally boulders. Big, fat, road-blocking boulders that fill all six lanes of your highway and stop forward momentum at fatal velocities.

Potholes are someone else's choice interfering with your forward progression, like the CEO embezzling a few billion dollars and your company going bankrupt. You have no control over this, and it's definitely going to throw you off your stride for a bit.

Mole hills are little things that may look big, like losing those last three pounds or remembering to get birthday cards in the mail by Friday. At the end of your life a mole hill is a trivial thing that's easily forgotten. Bumps are also small. They rattle you, but they won't kill you.

Boulders... those are a different beast entirely. Boulders are huge things that stop you from moving. Career-ending decisions. Dead end jobs. Addictions that throw you out of the loop of life and down to the sidelines.

Boulders take many forms. Sometimes they're an addiction. Sometimes they're a lifestyle choice. Sometimes the boulder is something we have very little control over, like a cancer diagnosis or clinical depression. Sometimes the boulder is something entirely of our own making.

Whatever the case, don't embrace the boulders.

I see too many people who see a boulder on the road of life and assume it's the end of the road.

The teen mom who's life came to a screeching halt because she had a kid, and fourteen years later she's never dated, never left home, never done anything but let one choice dictate her entire life. She's embraced the boulder and refuses to move on.

Or my alcoholic uncle who has lost his family and friends to his abusive drinking, who lives on the edge of poverty because his paycheck goes straight to the liquor store, and who doesn't understand why no one is excited that he's decided to try home brewing. Alcoholism is his boulder. He's embraced it. He has decided that alcohol is more important than anything else in life, and that he can't cut back on it because being an alcoholic is what he is.

The author who throws in the towel because on publishing house rejected their novel that came over the transom. ONE. Not hundreds of rejections. Not dozens of rejections. ONE REJECTION, and the author wants to quit because Sad Author wrote the book with that publisher in mind.

It makes me want to set my hair on fire!

I get it, I really do. Some of these are very hard things to deal with. Addictions aren't something you can always handle alone. Certainly a cancer diagnosis isn't something you can shrug off. Depression sucks, I know, I've got it. But, Dude! YOU ARE NOT DEAD.

It's a boulder. It's blocking your way. But it is not the end of the road.

Don't embrace the boulder. Don't sell yourself short and let a mistake or a low point in your life define you. You are so much more than the obstacles you face. You have infinite potential to do good and help others. You have the unrivaled ability to create something wholly unique and wonderful. Don't throw that all away because of a boulder.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Too many times people latch on to the martyr syndrome and accept that they have to simply live with that "boulder" attached to them for the rest of their lives. Not so! It does not have to be accepted! Good reminder. Your boulder example shows holding on to the bad things and allowing them to hinder you in a whole new light.

    Be blessed,


    1. Oh, thank you for your sweet comment! I'm glad this made sense to someone other than myself, sometimes I feel I don't translate well.

      Have a wonderful week!

  2. I like using the road analogy too. My usual reference to it is how the road is rough and difficult while traveling but when you stop to look back, it looks a lot smoother.

    Boulders are temporary setbacks. If I can't work around them, then I climb over them. Once in a while I use dynamite on them. There's been a few times when I've found the road did end after the boulder but usually I can find a new road to follow.

    I'm currently standing on top of my boulder, taking a good look around to see where I want to go next. I know what I would like to do, whether or not I can do it is the challenge. In the meantime, I need to work out a path through the boulders and potholes showing on the road ahead.

    Today will show me part of the road as we find out just how deep a particular pothole is. Or it might turn out to be Carvis's boulder. If so, then I'm going to need more dynamite.

    1. *helpfully adds more dynamite to your Christmas goody bag*

      I always say: Explosions solve everything.

    2. Well, explosions make it easier to see everything...scattered over a wider area.

      Luckily, the pot hole wasn't as deep as feared and isn't from too big a boulder. Just more of a rocky road to climb through. Seems to be the story of our lives.

  3. "You are so much more than the obstacles you face." That really spoke to me today. Thank you!