Without Suffering, There is No Growth

Vegas Baby!!  We went. If you pay attention to our blog, you probably know this. If not, it’s a pretty huge deal that Dan and I took 3 days and hit Las Vegas all by ourselves.  No. Kids. 

This hotel was wonderfully luxurious. We loved it. Photo: Susie Kellogg

We have never ever, not ever, taken a trip without our kids, not since our honeymoon anyway.   If you do the math. That’s 24 years, y’all.  Vegas was as exciting, fun, romantic and weird as it was hard to be away.  By the second day, I’m not going to lie, I was ready to pay the $100 fee to change our flights. Luckily, my husband was having none of it and we stayed.

I say luckily, because he deserved this trip in all it’s glory. He deserves my undivided attention and often life gets in the way and we are both pulled in one million different directions.  I will tell you I promised my littles that mommy would NEVER go away without them again, but I already know that’s a promise I will have to work at making them forget.

Why?  Because he had 3 glorious days where he completely forgot about work, forgot about his enormous responsibility to support his large family … he said maybe 1000 times in those 3 days, how awesome it felt to have no worries, no stress, to not even think about work.

To pretend I knew how he feels is a bit of a stretch.  I mean, I get stressed every now and then, mostly due to my failure to do something and so then I stress. I get overwhelmed occasionally.  I feel like I need a break on the daily, but Dan?  Oh my gosh, the weight on his shoulders … the stress, the worry, constantly having work on the brain, knowing without a doubt that failure isn’t an option … I can honestly tell you, I don’t know how he feels.

I can imagine, and when I do, my heart flutters because he does this for us. In a society that despises men simply for being men, and is trying to destroy their God-given masculinity, I thank God every day for giving my boys such an amazing role model. For giving me such an amazing husband, partner and lover.  I could not do what he does. Nor do I want to. I love being a woman. I love everything about it.

I mean, come on. I gave birth. I. Gave. Birth. To. A. Human. Actually, 12 of them. Me. That’s freakin amazing. Baby humans grew inside of me. My body nourished them and nurtured them inside my womb. Damn.

Suffering in Indescribably love by giving birth.
Our youngest boy entered the world on Halloween, 2012! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Then I gave birth, I brought them into this world. I felt the pain, I did the work. I suffered in immense love and dedication and gave these babies life.   There is nothing as perfect in this world as the moments after your baby is born. Nothing compares.

I nourished them solely with this same body for 12+ months. Me. I did that.  I spent countless sleepless nights and days staring into the eyes of my babies, trying to memorize their smell, knowing, without any doubt, that God chose me.

I am with my children 24/7. I have kissed EVERY booboo, rocked them all to sleep, seen every first, even been there for every lost tooth. I am so very grateful, because if it weren’t for Dan and his deep seated manhood, I would be working.

It’s not as though we’ve been stable for all the years we’ve been married. I mean, it’s not even as though we are stable now. We have made choices that demand we live paycheck to paycheck — or in Dan’s case, client to client or job to job.  

Over the past 24 years, we’ve been through some harrowing experiences.  I love that everyone, except for my mom, and anyone she tells, LOL, thinks our lives are easy, a cake walk, because in the beginning that’s what we wanted people to think.  

Why? Because in the beginning our lives were nothing but a struggle.  We married young, had kids young, many thought too young.  Many wanted us to fail and to suffer because we did what we wanted and didn’t follow their advice to … “wait”.

So, we did what the rich and famous tell you to do … we faked it, until we made it. Problem was we never really “made it” because we didn’t know what we were doing and were so concerned about image that every pay raise, every new contract, we upped our living expenses.  Rented a newer and better and more expensive place…I swear to you, this is one mistake our kids will NEVER ever make.  

However, we did grow wiser.  We did shed the mentality that money bought respect, because, in all honesty, it doesn’t. I know plenty of rich dirt bags and their money does nothing for their image.  

Now, in growing wiser, we grew smarter, we grew in maturity. We know what makes the world tick now … it’s not money, it’s people and generosity and kindness and compassion.

And … it’s also passion. The happiest people are those who follow their dreams and their passions.  Getting stuck in a rut for the sake of a paycheck is seriously a living hell.  Every person I know who works a job, wants out.  They want to win the lottery, they want to start their own business, they want to move to a different city or state.

If you suffer for your passions, you will see joy and light on the other side!
The beach is one of our favorite places. It represents everything our adventure is about. Photo: Susie Kellogg

Why? Because they want to quit their jobs.  But their jobs are what feed their kids and put a roof over their heads … it’s a catch 22.  And taking a risk?  Risking security is terrifying when you have children, some may even say reckless.

That’s why I harp on my teens and 20-something kids who have nothing to lose, who can live in their parents basements while working their businesses.  

But what about all y’all with kids and mortgages, car payments, food bills, and every other kind of bill?  

Work your dang job, but bust your butt after work.  Come home, play with the kids, make love to your wife/husband and then from 9pm-3am build a business.  It’s possible, Dan did it.

Or you can do what I’m doing and build a Network Marketing Biz. They get a bad rap, but they are awesome for SAHM’s who don’t want to devote 8 hrs per day to something other than her children.  I do about 1 hr daily and my business is growing, slowly but surely.  If I put in more time, it would grow faster, but I’m not really in it to win it.  I wanted to lose weight, I found this biz via a friend, and I lost weight. If it worked for me, I figure it’ll work for others. I still use the products, because I believe in them and every now and then I help someone else find the same success.

If you wanted this to replace your current income, and support a family, you’d have to work it hard-core, like everything else and follow the same model as the one Dan used: 9 am – 5 pm and then 9 pm to 3 am.

“But to avoid suffering is to avoid growth.”

This sounds a lot like suffering, for not a few days or weeks or even months, but literally years. And, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that’s true. It is suffering. And the problem with suffering is that we humans do everything in our power to eliminate as much suffering from our lives as possible.

We are programmed that way. But to avoid suffering is to avoid growth.

Suffering Equals Growth

Over the years I’ve begun to view suffering in a whole new light.  Suffering is like a tunnel. To get from Point A to Point B, we must suffer.  If you don’t suffer, you don’t move, you stay in the same place, which I’m pretty confident is akin to suffering, but it’s without a a purpose.

Now, we receive an exorbitant amount of PM’s and emails and comments on blogs and Social Media from people that are struggling in their quest to become free. For some reason, many of you think that if roadblocks appear, it means you are not on the right path, that you should stop. Or that the struggle shouldn’t be so intense.  

Nope and Nope. You are getting derailed by your pain and your fear.

If you want to step out into the unknown and begin a new life, a new career, follow your dreams, your passions, you have to be prepared for pain. You have to look fear in the eyes and not flinch. There is nothing easy about change or growth. You are going to feel it, and you are going to have to want it enough to persevere.

In fact, we’ve struggled so much in our quest for freedom that my new motto is simply, if no-one has died or is seriously injured, it’s all good.  No lie…

“There is no problem if we are NOT dead.”

I cannot let little problems or even big problems bring me down. Every day it seems like something happens. For example, Kady and Brody went home ahead of us yesterday.  Dan tied down Kady and Brody’s boats, himself, on the trailer hitch because Kady is teaching a kayak lesson and Brody has work this week.  

Dan is uber careful about tying down boats and locking everything up. If you know Dan, you know this is true. However, somehow he messed it up, he’s human, after-all. Kady lost her boat on the highway.  Another driver pulled them over and told them it fell off and was in the median some 5 miles back.

They turned around to go back and get it, but it was gone. There was not sign of it. I was annoyed, I was angry, I was frustrated.  She’s training, there’s no time to be down a boat … and it’s not a cheap mistake, either.

All I could say was, well at least they both made it home safe. Boom.  I mean that’s a blessing, right?

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression.  Every day doesn’t suck.  Every day is not wraught with struggle and pain and fear inducing encounters … just don’t sweat the small stuff.

Look at the bigger picture and charge full speed ahead toward your goals and dreams. Kick down the doors, bear down in the suffering, and put your heart and soul into yourself, your passions.  On the other side is your dream.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Embrace this mentality and you will truly be unstoppable!

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