Friday, August 22, 2014

How BAD do you want it?

Sometimes I wish that I could have my mother back from heaven for just five minutes so that I could say, “Thank You” for all of those life lessons that she taught me; things I didn’t really appreciate or understand when she died when I was in my 20’s, but have now come to appreciate. My hope is that she is looking down and ‘knows’ the depth of my love and gratitude.

For the most part, I really love my job counseling and advising college students who have found themselves in some sort of challenging situation: financial, academic, or personal; but, there days when I just shake my head in amazement when I encounter those with a sense of “entitlement” that challenge my patience. “But, WHY won’t let the Financial Aid department let me have more loan money…..just because I failed every class for the past two semesters….it’s just not fair”; “You know…that teacher was just so rude; he expected me to read like 50 pages a week. Geez, he needs to get a life!”; “Theresa, you just don’t understand what it’s like to go to school AND work 20 hours a week: I don’t hardly have time to play video games anymore” and other like comments are commonplace in my line of work. There are many ‘excuses’ but oftentimes, it take a lot of work on  my part to help him/her acknowledge responsibility.

Oftentimes, the student is right; I just don’t “UNDERSTAND” the sense of entitlement because I wasn’t raised that way. My mom taught me that “There are no free rides in life: if you want something; you work to earn it” As a kid, I complained and whined when I had to save up my babysitting money to buy a new 3-speed bicycle or the 8-track player/stereo in the 10th grade (both of which I still have) when other kids got them, “just because.” I didn’t like it when there were rules and expectations that I was expected to follow…..unless I wanted to move out on my own. What do you mean, “If I wanted to borrow the car, I had to put gas in it?  It didn’t seem fair and I didn’t like it….THEN…..but today…. I am so grateful….because  that principle “If you want it: you have to WORK for it” and the acknowledgement “That I can do nothing on my own but only by the Grace of God” have been the keys to success on this personal journey and have given me the determination (and bull-headed stubbornness that my family will attest to) to regain my life and mobility. I am so grateful….to God….and to my parents/grandparents/teachers and all who have helped instill that work ethic in me.

I asked a student yesterday, “How BAD do you want it?” In her case, “IT” was to get accepted into the Nursing program.  She had to double up on some pre-requisite classes and improve her grade point average drastically in order to be accepted: certainly an uphill battle, but not impossible. “How BAD do you want it”, I asked again. “I want it bad enough, Theresa, that I will do whatever it takes.” “Okay then… how can I help you get there” was my response to her.

If you were here in my living room, I’d ask you the same things. First…..what is “IT”?  What do you want: To feel better; to lose weight; to get a better job; to have more peace and joy in your life; to get off some of that medication; to be smoke-alcohol-drug-free; to………?  Once you define “IT”; I’d ask… “How BAD do you want it”? And finally, “How can I help you get there?” 

Today, I encourage you to ask yourself those questions and spend some time reflecting on your answers. My “IT” is to continue to walk without the use of a mobility device for as long as my Rheumatoid Arthritis and neuropathy will allow AND to continue to enjoy this freedom that comes from losing weight and being an ‘average’ size (not skinny; not size 6; not bikini-ready) woman. “IT” also means to be given the privilege of sharing my story with others for the Glory of God and to share in their/your person journey.   And so…the next question I ask myself EVERY SINGLE DAY….over and over throughout the day… “How bad, Theresa, do you want IT?”  My answer….over and over and over… is “I want “IT” more than I want that candy bar; ice cream cone; or bag of chips!”  And trust me….some days, I REALLY want chips…..but I want “IT” more!  This morning  I want to stay in this lazy boy in my jammies enjoying another cup of coffee…..but I want “IT” more….so I will drag my weary self to the shower so that I can get in my walk before work.   If you want to be successful in your journey; you have to want “IT” more than anything else. It’s not easy…but there are no free rides. If you want “IT” you have to work for it!

What is it that you want….and how bad do you want it…. WHAT do you have to do to get it….and How can I help you????   Those….my friends….are the questions of the day. There is no easy way. It’s a choice….over and over and over again….day in-day out….dozens of times a day.  BUT… it can be done and you are not alone in your journey.   I encourage you today....you can and you will change your life….if you want it bad enough. 

And finally….if you have the opportunity to say “Thank You” to your parents or those who have taught you valuable life lessons….then, please do so…before it’s too late. Somehow, I think my mother knows…but still, I wish I would have realized it sooner.


Make it a wonderful day today….and remember that I am here cheering you on every step of the way!