Embrace the Suck

“Embrace the suck: To consciously accept or appreciate something that is extremely unpleasant but unavoidable for forward progression.” ~ Unknown

Now this may seem an odd way to start a blog post on Easter Sunday. . . but as usual with my Asperger’s logical thinking, it should make sense by the end.

How often does it occur that we must absolutely face something unpleasant or painful in order to move forward? There is absolutely no other alternative or option? Whether it is a uncomfortable meeting or discussion with a co-worker or loved one, a painful decision to make, or a situation in which you have no choice — you simply must deal with it. Its happened to all of us at one time or another.

Several years ago there were memes on Facebook and jokes and satire and skits using the phrase, “But did you. . . die?” Sometimes even now, when I hear people whining about some of the simplest things — and I mean adults sounding like children whining over things that truly won’t matter 1-, 3-, or 5- years from now — I want to ask them, “Will it kill you?” In truth, being logical is not always a good thing because I can also be very impatient and judgmental with others. I try not to be, but I am only human.

Every morning, when I first get out of bed, it is extremely painful for me to walk. Not just that my joints ache. It feels as though knives (actually knives are too blunt, let’s go with scalpels) are slicing upwards into my feet with every step and my skin is so sensitive that I feel as if it is raw. I once described it as similar to the tins of kippers where you open them by using a key and peeling the top back, except my feet feel hot and burn as if someone peeled the skin off the bottom. The pain travels upwards into my hips and lower back. I try to spend a few minutes, the more the better, slowly stretching and bending and holding yoga poses.

It is typical for us to tense, and hold our breath and shy away from painful things. I see it every time I start IV’s. I place the tourniquet while I prepare everything else, this gives the veins time to fill with blood. I tell my patients to relax their shoulder and place my hand there while I say “just let your arm drop.” Then I tell them to take deep breaths and blow out as if they are blowing up a balloon. This helps them to relax and keeps their muscles from compressing the veins.

When I first walk to the yoga mat at the end of my bed and attempt that first stretch, bending from the waist, it hurts and I want to tense. But as I embrace the pain and take deep breaths, it begins to ease up. Instead of fighting it, I recognize that it’s there. I acknowledge the more I move, the more painful it will be. BUT as I recognize and acknowledge and accept it, I also begin to relax more allowing for deeper stretches and greater movement. The pain won’t leave completely, but I am able to manage it.

“Embrace the suck” is a military term often used by many whether it be sports or military, but probably not often used in faith settings. This morning, as we celebrate Easter and the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, let us not forget that if He had not “embraced the suck” of crucifixion and the weight of our sins (talk about unfair), we would have nothing to celebrate. Yet, even Christ, in the garden of Gethsemane, asked the Father several times that if there were any other options to please provide them. None coming, he truly “embraced the suck” unto death.

Daily, as I pray my rosary, I hold the crucifix in my hands. As I begin, I kiss the crucifix as a reminder to myself that not only are all things possible (Matthew 19:26) but that I can do all things thru Christ (Philippians 4:13) and I do not have to understand them (Proverbs 3:5).

Have a blessed and Happy Easter and. . .

Embrace the Suck!!

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