Tenacity. Resilience. Love.
Posted: March 30, 2016
You will fall and I won’t be there: Blessed are those who rise again, time and time again.I have three daughters. The Sole’ Sisters ( Yes, we gave them all the same middle name, Sole’). Sisterhood. Bond. Union-by-name. Hashtag what you want. They are a tribe. The load of weighty responsibility to raise them into strong, courageous, resilient, and tenacious female humans is a feeling mixed with deep pride, deep appreciation and excitement, but mixed with a heavy dose of apprehension. You can call it overwhelming. It’s a hard world out there. The world and the circumstances we endure over a lifetime can break you. They can dampen your spirit and leave you desperate, alone, broken-hearted and aching for peace. I know because…I just know. I’ve lived heart-ache, desperate fear, and aching loss. We all have. Many of us keep on truckin’ by rising up time and time again because we can access a renewed strength to take on the world and all she brings. So what gets us up when her world has broke us down?
Tenacity. Resilience. Love (self-love)A note on self-love: Self love is not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic. It’s a welcoming of self into your heart exactly as you are and treating yourself as a worthy guest of respect for all you bring to the table. Love is naturally thought of as connected to the feminine, but tenacity and resilience are not words organically connected to our modern construct of what it means to be feminine; to be a girl, a young woman, a loving mother, a female. I love the quality of tenacity and resilience in connection to the feminine. These are notoriously male qualities that many women do embody, and in my opinion are the key critical factors in girls, young women, adult women, and mothers overcoming life difficulties and rising up strong in our current modern day patriarchy so we can show up and still take care of what needs to be done. How do we teach tenacity and resilience? How will I ensure my daughters will embody this attribute? I will teach by role modeling. I will teach by gracefully absorbing the blows my life delivers and gently rising up in my pain, in my grief, in my fear and lovingly taking on the next day, paying the next bill, and having the next difficult conversation. This is different then white knuckling or from grinning and baring it. Because… enter love. Rising up again is about accepting and feeling the hurt, it’s about absorbing the shock and acknowledging the pain, it’s about surrendering to the bitter sweet process of feeling all that challenge brings and consciously and responsibly deciding to dip our toe in the waters of our life again, and move forward. It’s about gently leaning into stretch even though it’s uncomfortable, and choosing to say what is burning in your vocal cords. And for the love of god getting back up again is about owning self-love. Remember several sentences ago when I said, “enter love’?, well here we go: What I mean by that is, to be resilient we need to love ourselves enough to know it’ll all be worth it in the end. Having tenacity is about owning the part of us that wants to quit, but rather than quitting commits to an act of loving self. And it’s this self-love that prevents us from giving up. How will I ensure that my daughters embody this attribute and use it to strengthen their presence in the world? Well, I can’t ensure they will do anything that I think is in their best interest. But with loving patience and perhaps sometimes frustrated and desperate fear I will:
- Tell them how they could do things differently to change their course. I will encourage course correction rather than show them the action of jumping ship. I will explain the benefit to keep on, keeping on (tenacity)
- Tell them the importance of always trying again even if it hurts, or causes tears, or makes us feel uncomfortable. I will illustrate the requirement to try again even when we have failed. (resilience).
- Tell them that self love is where it’s at. I will help them stop avoiding the inevitable and with deep self love tolerate discomfort because sometimes, life is just uncomfortable. Better to know how to tolerate that discomfort then distract with any number of the dysfunctional strategies, involving alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, under eating, over eating, ya know the game…