|"When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen -- there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."
SoCoOL's "Believe It or Not" ... I found this quote Here
YOUR Most MEMORABLE Experience of ...
Alright, I confess. SoCoOL Bob has been going through some "hard times" lately. Nothing serious, you understand, especially when compared to some of the difficulties of others, just one of those moments of depression when the "toughest" thing seems to succeed at getting you down.
I really don't remember experiencing too many "hard times," early in life. I do remember, but perhaps I've overcome them or they've been replaced by Good Times and/or new Hard Times. No, I really didn't begin to "experience" hard times, until at the age of of about 24, my wife left me, to be with another man, and took the child that bore my name. I was in my third year of law school then, and seemingly had earned the reputation with my wife, relatives, and even perhaps a closest friend, that I was some kind of a "bum" or something. Law school was too easy for me, they said, and working full time selling cars, playing baseball, basketball, bowling on one of the top scoring amateur teams in the country, was somehow not enough for them, and so, my wife left me .... the details I'll leave out.
It gave me the first real experience I ever had with "depression." Serious, "emotional depression" that left me practically incapacitated, at first for days, and then for approximately half the hours in a day. I couldn't work, and study, and my enthusiasm for everything I had once loved, disappeared.
That experience never totally left me. For a period of two or three years, it was the predominant emotion in my life. Over time I learned to deal with it, by "practicing" the philosophy about which you may have read. I had to simply try and turn "lemons" into "lemonades," didn't I? Nothing else would quite make sense, and so, I guess you could say "I" managed to "imagine" myself back into being my "better self."
I shall never forget having joined the Dale Carnegie Organization as a "sales associate." I had experienced some real "growth" in my overall self confidence while attending their classes, and then I had sort of abandoned some of the principles that "made that happen," fallen a few steps, and decided to "work" for Dale Carnegie, not because I was such "great shakes," but because I knew that my participation with them had been such a positive experience. As a sales rep, my job was to generate new business, especially for our sales class. The path I chose was to call on Sales Managers, General Managers, and business owners. These were the people that "made things happen," and I wanted to call on these type of people because they were in the class that could truly benefit from this program.
The problem I had, that predominated my thinking when I went out to make my sales calls, was not that I couldn't "do the presentation. ask the right questions, get the right answers." It was that I was still suffering from this incredible depression that had resulted from being once so loved, then totally abandoned, left behind, rejected, taken away.
I can recall sitting in this incredibly "crummy," 1963 Chevy with a bent in side, from a young lady who had literally run into the side of this "ancient" car, and then complained that she had stopped at the stop sign, before she bashed into me. It was very depressing. These guys I was calling on, some of them, were driving Mercedez Benz, or were at least doing "alright," and here I was, driving this incredible Chevy, calling on them to sell 'em a Sales Course. Right On !!!
I would take this book with me. "Think on These Things," by, as I recall, Joyce Hifler, or Hilner. ( Not available on the Internet ... at least from Universal Search.) Despite the fact that I was extremely depressed, accompanied by all the lack of self confidence that feeling includes, I would read this book, and the words would inspire me.
I recall one part in particular where the author asks you to experience the feeling of a huge dark cloud overhead. How does it feel? Now, picture the same "you" beneath the brightest sun. Feel the difference? Remember that the you that is "you," the "real you," is the one beneath the sun. Never forget that the "you" that is real, is the one beneath the sun, AND, that this cloud too will pass.
That would uplift me. That would give me the ability to capture and hold all the good things I was, had to say or do. And I would be able to do it. When I could successfully be that Bob Kennedy under the sun, I would call on that Sales Manager or Owner, and I would be the one, responsible for getting him or her, and some number of their sales people, into our Sales Course. And I would.
It seems, despite my best efforts, "Hard Times" do occasionally return, and when they do, I wonder how much of the pain I experience is whats happening now, and what remains from that first time I ever experienced, what were for me, extremely hard times. Don't you find that the "toughest" HARD TIMES, are the ones you experience in "the now," and isn't it the very fact that we can't get our minds off "the problem," "our lack," and on to "the solution," our strengths? Don't we also find it so very difficult to reach out to "others" because we feel so terribly uncomfortable talking or even thinking about these negative situations, and so do they?
I found then, as I do now, that taking an inventory of the positive things strengthens my internal ability to respond. For whatever reason, when I experienced that first "hard times," there were some who understood and gave me the space to feel depressed, without adding to the burden. There were some who were kind enough to remind me that I had this good quality or that ... that I would make it ... that they were on my side. There were these and other lessons that taught me to "face the worst thing that could happen," to prepare for it, and then ASK myself what I could do to improve upon that worst thing. And there were the inspiring stories of others who had experienced similar or much worse tribulations, and who had overcome. The Abraham Lincoln's, the Thomas Edisons, or, in modern times, the thousands around us who are either homeless, or helpless ... or the Christopher Reeves. You may not be any better than I at overcoming the negatives that occur in your life, but sharing your experience may help overcome your feeling of pain or lack, and may even stimulate others to help overcome your pain or theirs. In the tradition of the SoCoOL INTERACTIVE pages you are invited to contribute your most memorable experience of HARD TIMES, what you did to overcome it, or perhaps, what you are doing now. Even without knowing the details of your experience, I can tell you that there are a great many others who are understanding enough to "feel your pain," and to contribute their spirit, their thoughts, their prayers, to helping us all OVERCOME. Remember that the you that is "you," the real "you," is the you basking in the heart warming rays of the sun.
Thanks For Sharing Your Most Memorable Experience
of HARD TIMES
Some Other Links To Hard Times
- Hard Times Come Again No More
- Writing For Hard Times
- These Times Are Hard For Lovers
- Hard Times For An Honest Man
- Hard Times In The City
- Your Love Experiences #1
- More Hard Times
- Your Response To Hard Times
- Home At Last