The very morning after Zoi died, my sister Holly was awakened by the bright sunlight shining through trees across the street from my house. A few weeks later, Holly painted this for me. It symbolized that light always shines through the darkest of times in our life. To this day, the painting is the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning. I am grateful to have it.
Like the painting, early on in this journey I could see a faint light on the other side of a chasm that just opened up in front of me. This chasm was a combination of darkness, fog, unknowns, questions and challenges. It was the perfect recipe to stop me from moving through it. Yet, it became my mission to fight for my family and all of Zoi’s friends, to find the pathway to their “light.” And, if they couldn’t see it yet, then it was up to me to at least help them put one foot in front of the other. The hope being, that they too would eventually see their light on the other side of their chasm.
Have you ever been in a situation so big that you couldn’t see your way through?
Here’s the thing: We often avoid crossing our chasms in life. And, when we don’t cross them, we remain in a survival-mode at the event horizon. We wish that things were better. We wish didn’t have to deal with this. We wish that this never happened. We’re stuck in survival mode. I get it. I was there for a while too. This mode, however, is supposed to be temporary, yet some tend to live there for a few reasons:
We don’t have knowledge of how to navigate through the challenge or struggle.
It’s perceived to be too hard to move through the challenge or struggle.
Some of our biggest challenges in life, come at us when we least expect it.
We may find ourselves standing at the edge of the chasm, trying to see something, anything that provides hope. And, although there are questions, unknown’s and a tremendous fog that is in front of us, it’s really our fear that stops us. Fear tells us that what we’re about to go through something difficult without guidance, and that we are alone. It tells us we won’t make it through to the other side. And, most of all, when a glimmer of light does show up as hope, fear is right there to tell us it’s not worth moving towards. Fear loves it when we don’t move.
How about becoming empowered by our struggles, and thriving because of them? How about feeding the light by moving just one step closer to it? What if every step that we took forward, reduced fear by that same amount?
The chasms are there for us to learn something, Focus on the light, always. It’s there to guide you through your chasm, to teach you strength. It’s presence is a constant reminder to fight on!
Overcome adversity and build the resilience leader in you.
Struggle is inevitable. And, inside of any struggle we face lies the opportunity to navigate our way through it and thrive because of it. We ask questions that must be answered in order for us to move forward to the other side of that struggle. We cannot look outside of ourselves for the answers. We have to look inside.
When we are empowered to answer these questions, we build the toolset that helps us not just survive the struggle, but to thrive when we are in it. By a process I call MAPS, you too can address struggle in all aspects of your life including the workplace and at home. This is the process I use daily, and it has helped me navigate some of the most difficult struggles I've faced in life.