Embrace the Suck
Embrace the suck. Wise words spoken to me while doing Trigger Point therapy on a client (I’m a massage therapist). Words that can be applied to a variety of situations in daily life. Words that can initiate an attitude adjustment and change the course of how we perceive the world.
Trigger point therapy can be a rather intense bodywork modality to experience. I’ve had it and know I need it more often than I get it. They are basically knots in the muscle that cause a string of radiating symptoms that can mimic conditions like sciatica, carpel tunnel syndrome, or cause migraines and deep ache. Working on them is like finding the problem, intensifying it all for a few minutes as they slowly melt and release what’s been causing so much discomfort. It’s definitely not a spa kind of massage, but extremely effective. So when I perform Trigger Point Therapy on someone, I talk them through it a lot and every single person is willing to deal with it because they know how much better they will feel after.
As I worked on one particular client, I found a real mean Trigger Point. I always ask if they want to tolerate it or for me to lighten up. They know if I back off, it will essentially take longer. This client said, “Go for it. I’ll just embrace the suck.” This lead to whole conversation on what that means, where it can be applied and how it makes a pretty damn good philosophy (with frequent check ins on pressure, tolerance and comfort/discomfort level.) This patient has a very positive attitude and it’s always encouraging when my clients trust my work.
The words stuck in my head every day since I’ve worked on this client. Embrace the suck. Embrace the things that you don’t like instead of letting them overpower you. Embrace the challenges. Embrace the obstacles. Embrace the discomfort. Embrace the annoyances, the frustrations, the pain, the tasks, the situations that are displeasing. There’s a big difference between embracing something like this than dwelling on them. When you dwell on things, these things have all the power. If you embrace it, you’re accepting it for what it is and therefore releasing all of the negative emotions that accompany it; or allowing yourself to simply experience these negative emotions rather than battling them.
There are so many areas that “Embrace the suck” can be applied. A few days ago, my stove range tried to catch fire in the middle of cooking. Thankfully, it only amounted to that awful electrical smoke filling the kitchen and living room. I had to get my boys out of the smoke and air out the house while their Dad made it safe (poor man, got wicked headache from it). Thoughts of how much a new stove is going to cost us, concern for what we can and can’t afford, and worry for how we are going to cook for the next week tried to creep in. My young boys have a power over me that always puts them first, however. In this moment, I embraced the suck. We went outside to my deck to discover that it was a chilly evening (we live in Alaska). Okay, no problem. I got this. I ran in the house to grab sweaters and a blanket. The boys and I wound up having a very pleasant evening just hanging out on our deck together. We snuggled up when we got chilly, relaxed on the blanket, and played our goofy games. I embraced the suck and let it be. It is what it is, might as well make the best of it. Soon enough, the smoke cleared, we managed to finish making the dinner and ate.
This lead to another issue this past week. Meals. The first day as it came time to feed my boys, I kept having to remind myself that the stove is not an option. Frustration tried to creep in, but that wouldn’t do us any good. Embrace the suck. Alright, this is a sucky situation but it’s not damning and sure isn’t a good enough reason to be pissy. We have a crock pot and plenty of food that doesn’t need the stove. My uncle even brought by an electrical pan cooker so that our meals can have more variety. Once I embraced the situation, it made it smaller. It just takes adaptation and some creativity… and a really awesome uncle.
These situations have been my biggest this past week. If I didn’t work on that client last week, I may have struggled to stay positive and adaptable throughout it all. It can also apply to small daily things. For example, I just finished a mountain of dishes that I really did NOT want to do. As I stared at them in defeat I realized something. I’m not helping the situation any by letting inanimate objects obscure my entire attitude. My young boys will not benefit from or understand why Mommy’s suddenly grumpy. Their world is beautifully simple and matter-of-fact. If it doesn’t make sense to them, then why should it make sense to me. Embrace the suck. The words crossed my mind at the exact right moment; before I let my mind fill with reasons why I shouldn’t have to do these dishes, why it sucks, and annoyance with how long it will take. I shook my head as if to fling the thoughts away, blasted some music and embraced the suck. My attitude and pleasant mood didn’t falter. Instead, it actually improved. These dishes have NO power over me! Yes, I had a nerdy moment and actually said that aloud.
I feel like if more people could just embrace the suck in their lives, there would be less anger, frustration, fighting, resistance and … really… pissy people. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” is another great phrase but not as versatile as “Embrace the suck!” There’s something about the phrase that’s more relatable and can apply to situations huge and small. Yes, some things really do suck! There’s no denying that things can just suck sometimes. Why not embrace it and keep that attitude in check? Rain, cold, mud, power outages, broken appliances, injuries, disagreements, careers, finances; this can apply to everything. Embrace the sucky aspects in life, get them over with, accept them, and keep going. Take control of the emotions that try to overpower us, and you’ll feel so free.