I did something for the first time in at least 3 years today. I went to the gym and lifted some weights. What a dramatic turn of events from the period of 2018-19 when I was literally going 4 or 5 days a week without fail.
Sometimes things go wrong and sometimes it's a lot of things. In those times, it is often important to give yourself something to feel good about. Don't laugh. It's true. There are times where you need something- anything- you can find to look back on and say "Well, I accomplished this today.... "
Getting some of those cheap wins- and building on them- isn't going to suddenly reverse all your troubles but it will reverse the mentality of defeat. There is value in changing a mindset just enough to keep you moving forward so you don't get the proverbial car stuck in the proverbial snow.
It's all about momentum. A wise man has taught me this. Get up and wash the dishes. Cut the grass if it is all you can find to do or do what I did- go to the gym and sweat.
If it were not for this mindset, I would not have survived the last 5- 1/2 years of my life. This apostolate is the hallmark of someone trying to climb higher. You cannot get to the "climbing higher" phase without getting through the "just keep going" phase. Often, what you learn in the "just keep going" phase prepares you for the "climbing higher" phase. That has certainly been the case with me.
In order to keep going, I have read books. Lots of them.
These books have helped me understand the storms of my life and our Catholic faith. It's all part of that 4 persons approach again. The books feed the mind and the soul, and the exercise strengthens the body and helps the emotional well-being.
Small wins, to be sure but that's a big part of the Christian walk.
In fact, one of the greatest saints in the history of our church was a meek little woman who pioneered what became known as the little way. Her book- Story of a soul is one of the 2 or 3 best selling Christian books in history.
This is a pretty remarkable achievement for someone who was not a stigmatic nor a worker of miracles but every day, in every way, lived a life of utter simplicity and humility until she died at the tender age of 24 years old. It was precisely her simplicity that was so grand because she showed all of the rest of us how even doing the little things- like scrubbing the floor- can save us and others. Saint Therese of Lisieux is probably smiling now. She knows (and so do I) that this broken down 58-year-old body is only going to be able to benefit so much from a gym membership. That's not the point. Every little bit I can do is a small win. Enough small wins can keep you going to the finish line.