The wave of consensus seems to often guide us toward caring for ourselves in a protective and delicate way. We are to only go so far and never go beyond what we are comfortable doing- don’t push or pull too hard. If it’s stepping into fear or sacrificing who we are, then we must consider this a threat to our internal peace. Life is supposed to be well maintained and our psyche depends on it. Don’t ‘over do it’ or get too ‘stressed out’… don’t say ‘yes’ to something if it’s beyond our ‘comfort zone’ and God forbid the fearful ‘unknown’.
We exist in a society that says: Don’t take steps until you are comfortable with the staircase.
This is especially suited for the broken-hearted. Those precious souls who suffer great loss and grief over death, divorce or devastation of any kind. They are to care for their aching souls in a delicate and fragile embrace, not to extend themselves in taking risks or pushing forward too fast.
Well my friends, I have been witness to a completely different approach.
I have been blessed to see the strength of a warrior rise in the wounded.
No cradled infancy in the wake of the aftermath that left them in pieces. No delicate decisions where safe barriers were built to protect their vulnerabilities.
These women faced fires with an unbridled force and relentless might, grasping at any light they can to survive their circumstances.
What conquers darkness most?
Light, my friends.
And I see women all around me grabbing it with a growl of desperation in learning to live again. I see friends courageously going forward into the unknown daring to believe the possibility that in it, they will discover new light.
The more light shines, the more the darkness is illuminated. Amen?
So as I walk alongside some amazing women who have suffered awful turns, I see those moments where they transform into a conquering heroine in their own story. Instead of closing the doors and hiding beneath the shadows of their pain, they choose daily to open doors and take those bold brave steps searching for new rays to shine deep within their battered hearts and all the broken places that are buried in the dark.
A friend organizing a fundraiser to raise money to help research a debilitating disease her husband suffers from, as she cares for his needs every day.
Friends who courageously share their traumatic story online, in hopes that others will find comfort in their words.
A friend moving far away with her three small children to start a new life and her own business as a single mom: Her motto? “Say YES to everything.”
Another friend seeking counseling and classes and connections to help her endure a tumultuous journey of healing from a traumatic experience. Her life completely stripped of anything familiar, she stretches her arms far and wide to get the help she needs.
Another friend going through an agonizing divorce after 33 years, trying to accept this new life alone, as she dives into each opportunity she can to rebuild her life and fuel her faith. Not one step has been easy, but she pushes forward with a strength that inspires me. She shows up- whether she *wants to* or not.
These are no easy steps on that staircase, my friends. I have been privileged to have a view into this new world of daring risks and adventures and above all, DIScomfort in a way that extends far beyond contentedness. And yet, it is the most beautiful passionate piece of our human condition. Fighting for survival and finding the light.
It’s in us all.
Fight or flight? These women don’t run and hide- they fight.
Each one of us must realize our potential and power to survive our broken dreams. Yes- Suffering is sacred. Pain is powerful. And fear is real.
But light is healing.
Go grab it with a growl. Go beyond what you think you can handle, and take those steps on that wobbly staircase up and out into the unknown. Look for any light where you can find it. It will be difficult and terrifying. But if you have fallen into one of life’s dark holes- that shaky staircase may be your only way out.
Don’t be delicate. Be deliberate.
Dig deep. Grab hold. Go far. Push. Pull. Risk. Step. Do. Fight. Hard.