During this global crisis it may feel like everything we thought we could hold onto is being obliterated. Sometimes we may even feel convinced that our identity is being obliterated as well. To those of you that feel this way I offer you this reflection.
Nine months ago, my life came crashing in on me. After several emotionally grueling months of helping care for my once partially estranged father, who had suffered from a stroke in March of 2019, my marriage fell apart. It was July 2019, the eve of our very first wedding anniversary. We had been together almost 9 years and married for only one of those years. At that moment, as our relationship was disintegrating, it felt like the universe was taking everything from me.
But the universe did not stop there…Over the next several months I lost my home and my marriage. I lost all connection with my husband, who was my favorite person in the whole world. When our divorce was finalized in early December of 2019, I nearly lost my sanity. Eventually I would also lose my job.
“…there is something magical about that thin space between success and failure.”
After leaving the hospital in early December, I found out that due to restructuring at my company I was now the only person left in one of the departments I worked in. I was asked to absorb the work of 3 people. After two months of working more hours than I possibly had in my entire life, while grieving my marriage, I was told that my position was being eliminated.
In the span of 9 months I had literally lost everything in the world that I thought gave me value. I felt like an utter failure. In the midst of that I discovered that there is something magical about that thin space between success and failure. In the space between success and failure you discover that you literally have nothing to lose by simply showing up in every moment as you truly are.
Throughout this incredibly trying time I kept asking myself “What can I hold on to? What is my solid ground to stand on no matter who I am with, where I live or what my occupation is?” Over and over again these four core values rose to the surface of my reality.
Authenticity. Courage. Trust. Spirituality.
I have discovered that these four values are my solid ground. Authenticity challenges me to be honest about who I am and what I experience. I cannot be truly present to anyone or anything if I am not honest about who I am and what I experience. Courage challenges me to release people, places and things that are ultimately limiting me. Without courage it is too easy to settle for anything I can get rather than reaching for what I deserve. Trust allows me to take the next loving step even when I cannot see or understand the journey ahead. Spirituality allows me to cling to the truth that I am a part of a bigger human story and that, no matter how dire a circumstance I find myself, that the story is not over yet.
Enter COVID-19…I know you all are feeling like the whole world or your whole world is falling apart. I do not want to minimize the very real pain, fear, and grief that many of you feel as you lose jobs, livelihoods and maybe even loved ones. I encourage you to be present to all of those very real feelings but know that in the midst of this upheaval there are still truths that we can hold on to. Let’s start a conversation not about what we are losing but what we are holding on to.
Until very recently I was convinced that the losses I was suffering would most certainly be the end of me. For many of us it feels like the losses we are going through will be the end of us. For those of you who are despairing I offer you this simple truth…I am still here. I am still here despite grief and heart-ache that felt never ending. I am still here despite being pushed to work beyond what I believed I was even capable of. I am still here despite feeling like my sanity was hanging in the balance. I am still here despite the uncertainty of employment or income. I am still here and so are you.
In this blog I want to share my raw reflections on what it means to live life with Authenticity, Courage, Trust and Spirituality. I hope to make space for a community of fiercely authentic, boldly courageous, daringly trusting, spiritual beings to share their truth.
Tell me friends…
What are the values that you are going to hold on to despite this uncertain time?