When things are not going your way, you may hear a faint knock on the door. But your attention is diverted by a loved one saying: “Don’t worry — things will turn around”. You again hear an almost undetectable knock, but another loved one will put their arms around you and say: “Don’t let this setback get you down — I believe in you, and no matter what, we’ll get through this . . . TOGETHER.”
While such timely moral support can be a godsend, and enough to lift your spirits to forge ahead, there may be times when the outlook appears so bleak, you don’t believe a word you’re hearing. You have a desultory little voice in the back of your mind that’s getting louder and louder, telling you: “Who are you kidding? It’s hopeless — so for Gods sake just give up.” At that point . . . and there is no mistaking it . . . that knocking at the door is getting noticeably louder.
Now compound the steep uphill climb you’re facing with not merely a lack of moral support, but “the little voice” is actually an inculcated chorus of your loved ones, who are not in any way trying to lift your spirits — in fact, it appears they are actually trying to tear you down. You’re confounded by this enigma — for you can vividly recall how you had always been there for them in the past, and how appreciative they were. “I couldn’t have made it through this without you” keeps playing through your mind.
So now you’re REALLY alone, and the pain you associate with the challenge you now face ALONE is borderline overwhelming. That knocking on the door is a deeply resonating pounding that’s reverberating in your chest. Someone wants in — and they want in NOW! And you KNOW who it is — because he has visited before. And although you’ve made it clear he’s not welcomed, he keeps coming back. It’s your old friend “Discouragement”, and it’s always been a one-sided friendship you’ve wanted to end.
DO NOT LET HIM — he WILL go away — but sometimes it may take longer for him to “take a hint” or otherwise “get it”. Because once you let him in . . . he may never leave, and screw up so many things in your “house”, it could very well end up in flames. Stay focused on the matter at hand and forgive your loved ones . . . for love is unconditional.
The setting for the video below is a Special Teams (punts, kickoffs, field goals etc.) meeting of the New York Jets during their 2010 Summer Training camp before final cuts. The short anecdotal speech is from the HBO Series “Hard Knocks”, and is reminder about the dangers of discouragement. It is given by Mike Westhoff, the New York Jets’ Special Teams coach to those players who may or may not make the team.