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Tag Archives: survivor

tenacity_amelia earhart

 

If there is a task to be done, it seems that the same personalities offer their help again and again.  It is the survivors that do what must be done.  They have lived through it, and in their empathy, move forward knowing that they have done it and can keep going.

I spent the weekend with my siblings.  One took charge when a stranger wandered into the middle of a child’s group, guiding away the individual to neutral ground.  Another stepped in to the middle of a crisis, doing the most unpleasant of tasks, because it had to be done despite the pain.

Is it inner strength or confidence? Perhaps, it is the remnant of how we were raised.  We operate with conviction in the midst of a crisis.  Resolving an issue is first and foremost, then can be debated later.  When challenged with life issues, we have witnessed, and risen up, to do that which must be done for someone else’s physical well-being, and dealt with our own emotions later.  We were raised with a sense of urgency and responsibility that I miss seeing around me; I find it to be inspiring.

There are plenty who like to take credit, but few that will roll up their sleeves.  That is the difference that separates leaders from managers and individuals from the collective.

To me, being tenacious in the face of challenges, is what gets the job done.  Whether personally or professionally, taking the first step is what moves it along.  There will be many doubts, and doubters, that will deconstruct after the fact, but it is an act of strength to care enough to make a difference.

 

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highly sensitive people are humane

These are cold and dark days where some of us reside.  Resilience, and the will to survive difficult situations, is a sign of strength not weakness.  Keep trying, keep believing, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Whether the blizzard is outside of your door, or within, you can weather the storm. May you be blessed with comfort and peace in a safe place that you create for yourself.

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Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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broken-fortune-landscape

There is a desire to commune with the Universe and accept its messages in any way that we can understand. So, with great intent, and hopefully a fortuitous choice of words, I opened a fortune cookie yesterday to see what the future portends.

Instead, my thought was written by someone who probably had a tough year:

Courage Comes Through Suffering

Very inspiring, and optimistic, indeed! It was not the message I was hoping to hear in a positive frame of mind.

empathy quote maya angelou

I continued to replay those words over, and through, my brain on an internal loop (as I am wont to do).  I thought about the people whom I have had the pleasure to meet through WordPress and those who have come to me for charity and a listening heart. They have struggled, battled and continued to face challenges. One thing that they all have in common is honesty. Their struggles have made them vulnerable and brave enough to share their stories.

I have noticed that empathetic people who have gone through personal battles want to make sure that it matters. Going through a painful experience alone is hard enough, but if you are a thoughtful and introspective person, you hope that you can spare the next person from the harshness of reality, or at least be a comfort to those who recognize your experience.

life lessons force yourself elizabeth taylor

We cannot always appreciate the suffering or depth of someone else’s pain, but we are reminded by those who encourage awareness and charity to help others. Organizations like Wounded Warriors, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), American Cancer Society, ALSA, Habitat for Humanity, orphanages, rehabilitation centers, AA, and many other incredible groups around the world work under the principal that accountability, community, and helping others makes you a better and stronger individual. Who better to understand childrens’ charities than one who has had childhood leukemia or a cancerous tumor? Who better to understand the challenges of soldiers returning home from war than their families and caretakers who face their own battles at home every day?

Do these people gain courage? For many, that unique experiential connection and awareness comes at a price; no one would want to voluntarily suffer the illnesses and tragic circumstances that they do. Many do not feel courageous. Rather, they feel fear, anxiety and worry over diagnoses and money to pay for medication and care. Each individual, no matter how “damaged” by life and trapped in their personal struggles, wants dignity. Inside that very frightened man or woman is someone screaming for freedom and recognition as more than just a “disease” or a “victim.” Removing your ego, and seeing someone else without judgment, changes the view.

People feel great pain within dysfunctional families. Shelters don’t have enough space or the necessary funds for the too many victims of domestic abuse or the homeless. Bullying and threats don’t stop in childhood. But, each wants respect, support, and appreciation for the strength they have exhibited to continue to survive. Apathy and ignorance can imprint the “labels” deeper and further stigmatize. Pity does not heal, kindness and empathy does. Once you can place yourself in someone else’s experience, or recall and share your own, you help to make the burden a little lighter.

I may not know what it is like to be you, but I am willing to listen.

warrior quote_sittingbull

For those of you who are scared to move forward this year, take a deep breath, and keep going by putting one foot in front of the other.

Wanting to leave auld acquaintances and difficult experiences behind is understandable. But, we learn so much more, and hopefully carry and pay it forward, when we remember, represent, and stand up to help others in need.

Wishing you fortitude, compassion, peace, kindness, and empathy in the coming year!

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit. It means more than you know.
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Eric Tonningsen stirs the mind and spirit by connecting it to intellect and emotion. Honest, thoughtful and endeavoring to improve others’ situations, it is no wonder that I find his words inspiring and empathetic.

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness

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“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” ~ James Earl Jones

I recently lunched with three friends. We enjoyed a casual conversation that, at one point, meandered into various thoughts and experiences about courage. The things no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that define you and that make a difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous outcomes.

It got a little deeper. We generally agreed that hard things are the easiest to avoid; to pretend they don’t apply to you. The sense that ordinary people (like us) accomplish great things because they often do the hard things; the things that take courage. Being the demure one among we four, I decided to ask the others what the hardest thing was that they ever had to do. Truly, the most gut wrenching act…

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