The Rough Boy


We all have strength, we all have the ability to make it through hard times. And no matter how good you are at life, hard times will happen.  Because life happens.  The loss of job, break ups, divorces, loss of loved ones, can ll happen. The question is how to tap into that strength we all possess during the rough spots.

The easy answer is you just have to do it.  You make up your mind, reach deep down inside where the heart meets the soul, you pick yourself up my the bootstraps (or heart straps) and you get on with it.

Getting on with it, over it and to the other side of it may take some time. Because it takes some time for the dust to settle so you can see new the landscape clearly. The good news is that with confusion comes many possibilities.  Many think that feeling confused or even lost is a bad thing.  And it certainly feels like it.  Modern times would have us to believe that we are never supposed to feel either way, or even uncomfortable. And we are always supposed to be secure and know exactly where we are headed.

But feeling less that secure about where you are and the future means that change is happening. And change is necessary for growth.  There is a story told about how a lobster outgrows it’s shell.  During the time that the shell is too small, the lobster feels incredibly uncomfortable and must shed it’s old shell in order to grow and change into the next phase of it’s life.  After shedding the old shell, the lobster goes someplace safe to grow into the next shell.  When it reemerges, it is bigger, stronger, better and bigger than it was before.

But it had to be uncomfortable first.  The truth is that change is precipitated by discomfort. So when we are uncomfortable, that means that we=, our lives, our souls, are growing. And just like that lobster, once we get to the other side of the growth, we will be magnificent.

I have been through my own rough time and have written about it extensively.  That was part of my growth period.  And now that I am on the other side, I can see the growth.  It has not been easy. It was painful, confusing, uncomfortable and difficult.  But here I am.  And when you are on the other side, you can see how small the old “shell” was.  My old shell is for too small for me to step back into it now. But why would I want to?  At some point it would be even more uncomfortable to step back than to move forward.

I had a good life before, I was happy.  But I was not at my potential.  I would not have to possibilities in my path now if I had stayed in that life.  And I would have – but God had other plans.  So he made it too difficult for me to stay.

Confidence comes with getting to the other side.  You feel and know your strength and take pride in it.  You don’t have to shout it out, you are fine tucking it deep into the knowledge of yourself.

I know I am strong and capable.  I have endured more in the past 18 months than many go through in a lifetime.  I owe apologies to no one. I am better, finer, stronger, more compassionate now that I ever thought possible. And honestly it was not possible without the growth from the past 18 months. You know you have nothing to prove and have no interest in the audience.

We all have songs with which we identify, on of those for me is Rough Boy by ZZ Top.  The lyrics ring true, and even those who dislike me will tell you how tough and strong I am.  I shoot straight, have no times for games and can not only take the heat, but cool it as well. Whatever the truth is, I’ll look you in the eye while I tell it or take it. Whatever it is, God willing, I’m strong enough.  Because God made me strong, He made me rough and He made me to last.

And after the growth, and after the confidence of realizing your own strength, there is a peace of mind and a comfort that comes over you.  There is a feeling of that which is yours.  That which you have earned, and that which you intend to enjoy.  It is called life.  And it feels as if you are taking your first breath of fresh are coming out of a cold, stale room.

Because after you have been so strong. you feel happiness on a level that few others can understand. Only those who have been made of the same fire can comprehend. God got me through the tough spots, he gave me the strength to make it through the rough times. Now life, love, happiness, is mine for the taking.

“I am the one who can fade the heat
The one they all say just can’t be beat
I’ll shoot it to you straight and look you in the eye
So gimme just a minute and I’ll tell you why
I’m a rough boy, I’m a rough boy” – Rough Boy, ZZ Top

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