by Lisa Steadman
Sometimes your Love Life can be like a story my husband likes to tell. My husband was right. He usually is. And it’s downright infuriating!
See, ever since we started dating four years ago, he has been telling me about his favorite philosophical story, the Myth of Sisyphus. (Bear in mind that he was a philosophy major in college and that I tend to tune him out when he tells this story. ;)
In any event, the Myth of Sisyphus goes something like this. Sisyphus, a figure in Greek mythology, angered the Gods by defying death. His punishment? He was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.
Now, my husband likes to tell this story because, while it would have been easy for Sisyphus to get frustrated and angry about this menial job for the rest of his life, he instead made peace with the absurdity of his task and found personal satisfaction in doing the job well. My husband finds solace in the story.
I, on the other hand, find the story depressing.
Here’s why I hate this story. I don’t like to look at life like a constant series of challenges, i.e. the never ending chore of pushing a boulder up a hill only to watch it tumble back to the bottom and start all over again. It just doesn’t align with the way I choose to look at my life, or my love life. And the idea of being happy about such a crappy life sentence? In a word, I think it sucks.
But you know what? My husband is right.
As I found myself once again huffing and puffing up my favorite hike in the hills above my home in Southern California this morning, it dawned on me how right he is.
See, I hate this monster hill that starts my hike. Even though I do the hike three times a week, it never seems to get easier. Each and every time I start at the bottom, I stare up at the top and curse the journey I’m about to take. One step at a time, I tackle the 45 degree angle incline, huffing, puffing, pumping my arms, feeling my thighs burn. When I finally reach the top, I raise my arms above my head in victory, and meander through the beautiful hills, feeling empowered and peaceful. It’s a great way to start my day!
And every single time, within minutes of reaching that initial summit, I forget all about how much I hate the beginning of the hike.
Yet the next time I find myself at the bottom, I once again curse the hill and start trudging up it.
This morning, as I was halfway up the hated hill, I thought about Sisyphus, existential philosophy, and the choice we all have to either let our present circumstances (no matter what they are – love life, job, friendships gone bad) crush us, or rise above the monotony and embrace the journey we’re on.
Love Life and Beyond
– Five years ago, my hated journey involved healing my heart and moving on from my Big Breakup, the big event in my love life.
– Four years ago, it was summoning the strength to leave my corporate job and launch my passion profession.
– Three years ago, it was trying to land a book deal after tons of rejection letters.
– Two years ago, it was figuring out how to write my book with a serious case of tendinitis (voice software saved the day!).
– Last year, it was trying to find a way to still have a life, get married, and balance love and work in a more profound way.
– And today, it’s how do I grow my business to the level I desire, while still making time for hiking, yoga, and quality time with my husband.
What’s Your Current Monotonous Task in Life or Love Life?
– Is it figuring out how to heal your heart after devastating disappointment?
– Is it trying to find a way to make peace with being single, even though you’d like nothing better than to meet your perfect partner, settle down, and live in blissful love together?
– Is it the perpetual struggle to overcome any of the fears, obstacles, and blocks that keep you from living your life to the fullest?
Regardless of what Sisyphus-like journey you’re currently on, is there a way you could look at it differently?
Is there any way to make peace with the ongoing challenges you face?
If we know that life is sometimes hard, sometimes good, sometimes bland, and sometimes downright mind blowing…
And we know that we have a choice in how we react to the ups and downs a love life hands to us…
Doesn’t it make sense to summon our inner strength and choose to rise above our challenges, rather than let them crush us?
Could we (don’t tell my husband) learn something from the Myth of Sisyphus after all?
I guess what it all boils down to is this. If we know there will be bumps in the road, and we won’t always be able to anticipate them, isn’t it in our best interest to celebrate the uncertainty, embrace change, and adapt to our current circumstances?
I know one thing. Tomorrow morning, when I stand at the bottom of that hill, I’m going to look up, smile, and give thanks for the journey I’m about to embark on.
I invite you to do the same in your love life.
From Sarah: I’ve met this amazing woman. She is so down-to-earth and ready to help. You’ll definitely want to get her free newsletters and to find out more about her coaching. Visit her website, to discover more gems for your love life.