On an ordinary winter Wednesday each woman revealed her fear. Keeping them up at night in three different states across the country were uncannily consistent concerns throughout the course of the day.
Each was well-educated, bright, and hardworking. All were achievers in professional careers—one running a financial institution, one running a law firm, one running a classroom. All three were loving and devoted mothers. They were stylish and smiling.
The demons they dealt with daily were invisible to the outside world.
Each knew that their life as they knew it could not remain. None were certain of their path forward. All were struggling and stressed. The questions kept coming on repeat.
Do I stay in this relationship?
Is this the work I’m called to do?
Can I afford to take this risk?
Coupled with their self-criticism, they lugged along the imaginary thoughts of others. How disappointed people would be if they knew what a mess her life was. The disparaging remarks that would follow no matter which choice she made.
Each woman was so hard on herself I wondered how she ever managed to form a smile.
Each one had a past she’d persisted in overcoming. The heartbreaking abandonment by a parent. The unforgettable rape. The chronic searing pain from an accident. The horrific humiliation by a bully boss.
With each life experience they’d garnered more grit than they knew. On this day they struggled to see their strength. To appreciate their courage.
As they strained to see their next step, my heart flooded with a combination of compassion and confidence. Compassion for their suffering. Confidence in who these women are.
What they could not see amidst the inane comments of the ignorant, the never ending to do list, and their own exhaustion, was who they were.
She had survived so much. She had gotten up, suited up, and showed up for her life. She had overcome endless obstacles to get to where she was that Wednesday.
“You’ve got this,” I thought.
We all doubt ourselves. We remember our past that once put our lives at stake while forgetting that we are still standing, breathing, and living this day. We forget how capable we are. How courageous we are to face our lives.
Each of these Wednesday women inspire me to be more of who they are to me: an inspiration of transcendence and resilience on an ordinary winter Wednesday.
What have you persisted in overcoming?
Are you willing to allow some self-compassion?
Do you see how capable you really are?