Yesterday I hit the wall. All of my resilience had gone. The adrenaline had completely worn off. Concussion, flooding, clearing up, being there as a listening ear, wondering if I still had a business left. The last month has been a test in so many ways that I can’t even begin to explain. I’ve felt like I was trying to plat sand or roll my stone up a mountain that got bigger every time I turned around. I was ready to sit down and give up.
I didn’t even want to make the effort to go to my lovely Damsels group this morning. As I got myself together I stopped and remembered something. The electric was off for 3 1/2 days in the flooding. It had a bigger impact on me than I expected at the time. I had to dig deep within myself to stay positive & somehow I did (mostly). Yet there are people in this world who don’t have enough electricity, or warmth or food every day of their lives. They keep going. So I wondered when I had gone soft on life? When had I lost my ability to take adversity and turn it into opportunity? Grabbing my orange coloured top & jeans I put as much bright energy around me as I could. Then out to the car on my way to the meeting.
My reward for talking myself through that low moment was a group of wonderfully supportive women who wrapped me in love & kindness. The compassion flowed abundantly. As I drove home I started to list all of the quiet kindness that has been shown in and to my community over the last three weeks. Not only random acts of kindness but the concerted efforts of many, many people to show compassion and strength. As we all process the changes life has brought about we are going through a range of emotions. These can involve feeling shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, depression, despair, fear and sadness. Thoughts can spin out of control. Sometimes a numbness sets in when we are too exhausted to process any more. These are our natural responses to change – something has to go so something else can be gained. Eventually we will all benefit from positives that occur after the changes become the new rhythm of our lives.
In my list I recognised the gentle strength that was on offer from all those who, in their compassion, empathised with the confusion that a dramatic change had brought about. Like the song, each person came with the invitation ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on’. Friends, strangers, young, old, all shapes & sizes, each in their way bringing me the gift of encouragement. I’m usually the one doing the encouraging so receiving and accepting this flow of compassion has felt a little strange. Roles are reversed as others are strong for me. The humble, unassuming service each person did, from lifting a floor at the church to a back massage, from encouraging me to keep raising issues affecting our businesses to buying me a latte, is awesome. It’s our true humanity shining through.
My bounce still has to come back. I’m learning to recognising my inner strength in knowing that my sparkle WILL return. My True Colours are Orange, Turquoise, Gold and Purple. I will be shining again soon, ready to return the kindness I have received quietly & thankfully to as many people as possible. Do you know your true colours? You have more strength than you know right now so shine brightly!
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