Just when you think you can't

A close friend of mine told me how her father always motivated her when things seemed to go wrong or when she felt like giving up, "Can't is NOT a word," he would relentlessly remind her. It was this passion to always keep going that helped shape her into the strong woman she is today. In turn, she shared that same wisdom with her own children to inspire and encourage them. When he died, his very words helped her come to terms with his death, and continues to inspire her to move forward even through challenging times today.

How do you handle difficulties?

My friend's story, like so many of our own is reminiscent of something insightful and so very true that Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot." When I look upon my own life, there have been times when I was fearful and anxious over events of which often I could not control. But the greater question was not so much about why I could not control the situation, but rather how I was going to control my reaction to that situation. Every encounter, every experience we have in our lives is a way for us to grow and mature. In some cases, it can be something we can personally control such as a job transfer or a move; in others it can be outside of our own control like a breakup, or even death. Even the best psychics cannot foretell a perfect future, but they can successfully adapt to make do with what the cards have dealt them.

Just when you think you can't

Allow me to share with you a little story about a palm seed. Once there was a young palm seed, which was planted in the sand among his older, taller and wiser palm trees. As the tides rushed upon the shore, the little seed shivered with fear afraid he would drown. "Surely the waves will wash me to sea," he cried to the tall palms. But the older trees simply stood in silence watching the waves go back out to sea. Frustrated, the little seed could not understand how the older trees just accepted the tides and never said a word. Because the water rushed over him, he began to spread roots and was anchored in the sand. Feeling stronger and more invincible now that he had rooted, he embraced the tides as he knew its waters nourished him and would help him grow. Years went by and he had developed into a lank young palm. Not quite as tall or thick as his counterparts, he still felt fairly tough and good about himself. Suddenly, a powerful hurricane blew his way. "Oh no," he urgently cried to the other palms, "I will surely blow away and die from these crashing waves, wind and rain!" But the older, wiser palm trees simply stood in silence as the wind shook them to and fro. Tired but exhilarated after the storm had passed, the young palm could feel his roots had more wiggle room. Since he had been blown from side to side, he could sense his roots sprouting again. He smiled and stood in silence among his older palms knowing why they never said a word. They too, like the young palm seed, had learned over time that each event occurred to make them stronger and more resilient as they pushed their roots further into the earth.

The moral of this story is that no matter what comes your way, if you learn to adapt and go with the Universal Flow of life, you will be rooted with strength, endurance, courage and inspiration to overcome all things. As even the little palm seed learned, fear only fed his feelings of anxiety. Do not fall into that same trap. Remember, just when you think you can't, you can.

Joan Marie Ambrose

Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

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Blog Date: 
Tuesday, August 20, 2013