Growing up in Philadelphia was challenging. Philadelphia is a harsh city to grow up in. Many people, especially kids, feel like there is this need to prove themselves.
One of the ways that we proved ourselves in Philadelphia was through fighting. If someone disrespected you then you gained your respect back by beating them down.
It was the survival of the fittest mentality. If you did not fight then you did not deserve to have respect. It was as simple as that.
We all kept this vicious cycle of proving ourselves going. We thought that is was the only way to live.
Then on a cold winter morning, I was sucker punched.
I did not realize what had happened. One moment I was speaking with my friends and the next thing that I feel is being punched in the side of my head.
I became dazed and confused.
What had hit me? Why was I hit? What happened?
It all ran through my mind.
Then, after a few seconds that felt like an eternity, I came to my senses I turned and I entered into the fight.
Fighting for my respect, I was not going to back down from anyone or anything. I was not going to be someone who was afraid of a fight.[bctt tweet=”When life hits you and knocks you down don’t stay down… fight” username=”jim_Burgoon”]
As I reflected on this situation I realized something. I realized Life has a way to sucker punch you. Out of nowhere, the punch comes. We don’t see it, but we feel it’s impact.
100% of the time we are not ready for what hit us.
Has life ever sucker punched you?
How did you handle that?
Did you fight back or did you lay there and take it?
I want to tell you that every time Life sucker punched me I won that fight. I wish I could tell you that I handled it well. My heart wants to make you believed that I am a strong fighter.
I want you to believe that my hard exterior runs to the interior.
It does not.
Let me be transparent with you. Let me take off the coat of arms and show you a scar that I wrestle with.
There has been many times that life sucker punched me and instead of being strong I was weak.
Sure, I showed everyone around me how to walk through difficulty. How to keep on smiling when life just kept hitting me. I wanted people to believe that they could win any fight.
On the inside, I was dying.
My pain was deep. It was an intense struggle. Trying to fight through all the emotions that were locked deep down. Hiding my pain so that my armor would not seem so tarnished.
Looking back I realized that I was a fool. That I still am a fool.
It is foolish to pretend that you are stronger than you are.[bctt tweet=”It is foolish to pretend that you are stronger than you are.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]
I have been suckered punch by life so much that I feel like I don’t even recognize myself without the damage. Somehow the damage has become part of me.
In my imagination, I got up and fought back. Pretending to be a high ranking fighter in the martial arts lineage that I practice (Wing Chun). Beating every opponent that came at me.
In real life, I felt like that Natalie Imbruglia song called Torn (View Here). I felt like I was all out of faith, lying there shamed, cold and naked on the floor.
Have you ever felt like that?
Have you ever felt that your life was going in a great direction and then:
You were sucker punched by life!
You are lying there cold and naked, full of shame, trying to find some reason to get back up.
Maybe you are at that place right now. Trying to find a reason to push through. Looking for some shred of hope.
Your marriage was finally gaining ground then BAM sucker punch. You had an argument that sent a rift between you two. Now, you are lucky to recover from the pain of the current mishap.
Your finances were increasing then BAM sucker punch. You lost your job. The unemployment office denied you. You are sitting there trying to figure out how to feed your family.
The kids were finally beginning to behave right then BAM sucker punch. Now it’s Wrestlemania in your house. One of the kids broke a bone. You are sitting there with a bill and a problem.
You were at the peak of your health then BAM sucker punch. Now you are relying on the doctors and medicines to make it through.
Life keeps sucker punching away.
There is hope! There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Not every sucker punch results in a Knockout.
In fact, not every sucker punch results in a dazed or confused expression.
Every fight does not have to end up with you lying on the ground wishing for something better.[bctt tweet=”Every fight does not have to end up with you lying on the ground wishing for something better.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]
Your Faith is Key. I don’t make any apologies for being a Christian. I believe that the only reason I am as strong as I am is because of my faith in Jesus. You have to understand, I don’t think Jesus gives you hope. I believe He is hope.
When I was an atheist, I believed that Christians were weak minded fools. Christians were people who held onto their outdated teachings.
Then I become a Christian.
Before Jesus, I would drink, party, and do all manner of things to forget why life hurt.
After coming to know Jesus, I would be sucker punched by life, but this time I keep moving forward.
Faith is the key to your strength when you are sucker punched. I am only strong because Jesus is with me. It has helped me through all manner of ugly stuff.[bctt tweet=”Faith is the key to your strength when you are sucker punched.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]
Your determination is imperative. When the sucker punch came. I felt dazed and confused, but I did not fall. To fall down would have been a sign of weakness. It would have been a symbolic act to the person who hit me that I wasn’t determined enough to win this fight.
Staying down would have indicated that they had won before the fight even started.
When I am sucker punched I am determined not to fall down.
Why? I do not want life to dominate me.
I do not want life to think that it will be my master. NO!
When the punch comes your determination will determine your victory. If you are determined to win (The right way) then you have already achieved a victory. The victory is that you refuse to give up and give in when everyone else has fallen around you.
Keep your head on straight. When we are hit we go in defense mode. We find ourselves in an anxious place. Wondering what happened, where did that come from, or what hit me.
The suddeness of the punch takes your focus off what you matters most.
What matters most? Being at peace.
For example, my wife and I received some medical news that we did not like. It is hard to accept. It seems so overwhelming.
We have a choice.
To fall down under the pressure of the pain, or to stand our ground and press forward.
We went with the second choice. When life hits you stay focused on the task at hand. Your goal is not to fall. The true goal is to stay so focused that when you are hit it does not deter you from living in victory.
You cannot do life alone. Life hurts. It sucker punches you often.
In fact, you are hit so often that you live in a state of confusion.
Your relationships will be key during this time.
Why? The people you are closest to are the people who will pull you through and be the most help. The greater my relationships are in life the harder it will be to defeat me.[bctt tweet=”The greater my relationships are in life the harder it will be to defeat me.” username=”jim_Burgoon”]
Where I grew up we called the people who stood by your gang.
The mantra of your gang, “When you hit one of us you hit all of us!”
Lean on those relationships. They will be a key to you winning the battle and not fall under the pain of the punch.
I know it may feel like you keep getting hit. I understand what that is like. The feeling of drowning with no hope of survival.
So I am going to give you a strong encouragement:
Get up. Don’t be beaten by a punk. Go earn your respect back. Fight back. Live the life you were always meant to live!
Will you do me a favor?
In the comments, I want to hear your story. How has life sucker punched you? How did you survive? What would you add to my list that could help someone else?
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Suffering in Silence
Moving from surviving to thriving
Now you can win the most important fight of your life
8 Things to Do in the Midst of Failure
4 ways to fight for your emotional health
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