Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
Finding our footing in times of need is a life skill that all of us must shoulder when the moment arrives at our door. The moment comes in countless forms and for myriad reasons, far too numerous to count. Some are small, while others are larger than life. In many cases, the scope of the problem is in direct relation to the person experiencing it. I am certain we have all counseled someone going through something that we, on the outside looking in, see for what it is, and see the solution as clear as day. But when you are the person who is weathering the experience, it is as vast as can be imagined and the impact it is having on us can be incalculable.
When those moments in life hit, they literally take our breath away. It feels like having been punched in the solar plexus, and causes a moment of sheer panic, whilst we gasp for air. In that moment of panic, where the air is not instantly forthcoming, our world is spinning completely out of control. Everything feels massively overwhelming. That is the point in life where this aphorism is of most value. Circumstances appear to be overwhelming, the cause of the circumstances seems indomitable and we are looking everywhere for that metaphorical life raft.
The ability to stay calm under pressure is not a skill that any of us are born with. It is a learned skill that is honed from each of our experiences that we ultimately conquer. If we look back at our life path, we all can recollect moments that felt as if the whole world was falling in. What we did to grow through that moment and emerge a better person on the other side stack up in our collective consciousness as resources from which to pull when our next circumstance rears its ugly head with intent to destroy our current happiness. The second time that a similar problem from the past arises, we are better at taking it on than the first time, and so we move through life, working and evolving as beings, trying at every stage to distance ourselves from the fears that overwhelmed us at an earlier age.
We grow by exposing ourselves to dangers of our own choosing. In those exposures, we discover ever greater internal resources that were not present earlier, and use them as the staircase to rise above the danger and elevate us to higher ground from which we may take personal inventory and then expose ourselves to the next round of dangers of our own choosing.
Winnie the Pooh not withstanding, A. A. Milne was very adept at finding some of those most precious moments that defined our youth and gave us cause to mature and grow wiser. I remember we had When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six in our home when I was growing up. I would look through them, but they never really captured my attention until I was an adult, looking backwards, in warm remembrances of my youth.
In the end, the core strength we all rely upon is our belief system. The brain is omnipowerful and the warehouse of stored experiences we amass over the course of a lifetime is far more expansive than we might recollect without a guided journey showing you how many of these moments you may have prevailed over and how you were most capable of finding your internal strength at a moment where you were metaphorically gasping for breath.
Life is most certainly not easy. But the journey that sculpts us is fascinating and delivers so many unique moments of value as to color a lifetime in a rainbow of experiences from which we blossom.
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