Running on Grit, Grace, and Gratitude –
I was recently listening to Mel Robins’s podcast and she got me thinking about my own top 3 lessons from the worst year of my life. While I am still reflecting on what my top 3 lessons would be, I keep coming back to these three words: Grit, Grace, and Gratitude.
The last few months have been refreshingly light at work, so I have been challenging myself to take this rare opportunity to pause and reflect. During the worst year of my life, I invested a lot of time in my mental health. I cannot recommend yoga and talk therapy enough! But it has been several years since then and I figured it was time for a refresh. This time of year is always a little strange for me. April is Milo’s ‘Gotcha’ month, my wedding anniversary, and my birthday. For as long as I can remember, I have always found myself feeling reflective and ready for a refresh and recharge in the Spring. This year is no different.
Grit. Being back in therapy has reminded me that I have done the work and know what I need to do to be the best version of myself, but just like anything, sometimes our skills need a little sharpening. Recanting my story to my new therapist reminded me of my Grit. When you are healthy, sometimes it is easy to forget where you’ve been. I think its important that we all remember our hardships and truly pause to reflect on how far we have come. The physical stuff like the surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, rehabilitation, but also the emotional stuff like grieving the life you once had, shifts in relationships, or waiting for the reoccurence. We’ve been through hell and back. We’ve beaten the odds and have the opportunity to live, which is denied to many. I challenge to you to lead with grit. Lean into the uncomfortable and embrace the gritiness of life. Let’s promise each other to live our best life every opportunity we get.
Grace. I don’t know about you, but this is something I struggle with. I will give grace to someone else a thousand times over, but when it comes to giving myself grace, its damn near impossible. It is truly an art to lead with grace and every single day I strive to lead with kindness and love. When I leave this world, this is what I want to be remembered for. Often I sit with my therapist and list off every single indiscretion from the week. I can name them easily. My brain mulls over every thought or action tirelessly throughout the day. I have mastered the art of overthinking. Every January 13th, April 9th, every scan, I spend the day reflecting on the could-haves/should-haves/would-haves. But the truth is, we all deserve peace of mind. Peace of mind in knowing that we did the best we could, with what we had at the time. Let’s pause a moment. No, seriously, stop reading right now and acknowledge how far you’ve come.I am actively trying to learn how to give myself grace. Its hard and uncomfortable, but so damn important. Let’s lean in and be be kind to ourselves. Thanking our mind and body for getting us to this point. Let’s promise each other to always lead with kindness, not only to others, but above all else, to ourselves.
Gratitude. Survivors guilt is a real thing. I absolutely love connecting with anyonethat has been impacted by cancer, but damn, sometimes it leaves me feeling raw. Just last month I met a new friend, who has a sister who is battling a very aggressive form of brain cancer. My heart is always full after chatting with her, but I also can’t help but feel a huge ache in my chest. This happens to me alot. Sometimes when I learn about someone that is newly diagnosed, a recurrence, etc. my heart just hurts so damn much. There are truly no words to describe how I feel in these moments, its gut wrenching. I feel the deepest sense of empathy and gratitude. When this happens, I am always humbled and kindly reminded of how lucky I am. In these low moments, I always send Becky and Taylor an ‘SOS message’. My wise friends lift me up and remind me, “We are amazing to have each other. Do not spiral. Someone else’s story is not your story, rather use it to continually be amazed that we are here and be nice to our bodies and our brains because we really have been through so much.” How blessed am I to have these amazing women in my life? Let’s lead a life of gratitude. There are so many that would trade anything for more time with their loved ones. Let’s promise each other to lead with a life with gratitude and empathy. Let’s be humble enough to remember that another person’s journey could easily be ours. After all, it is easy to imagine anothers reality, when we have lived it, seen it, and felt it. Let’s be the voice for those who have come before us.
I’ll keep noodling on my top 3 lessons from the worst year of my life. But for now, I challenge you to share your lessons learned. Let’s hear it, Love Blackbird!
Becky and Taylor, this includes you! Tag, you are it!