It happened! A moment of crisis that changes everything. That pivotal moment when the circumstances shift, an issue arises, and so does the difficulty of maintaining the visage that we create to protect us from the criticizing world.What happens when it all crumbles? Exposure of one’s true self during moments of pain can be scary. However, I believe there is strength in the stripping away process.
Like many that may have feelings of hopelessness now during the COVID-19 crisis, 2018 was a crisis year for me personally, spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. It was as if my world was flipped upside down while I stood still among the chaos. The difference was the rest world didn’t know my pain as it kept moving forward with business as usual. Now, as the entire nation is in some type of crisis, it’s not business as usual.We’re all standing still treading water as we anticipate how things will be on the other side of this.
My 2018 crisis taught me some powerful lessons that I believe can be helpful to those that are facing circumstances that seem impossible:
LESSON #1. You’re stronger than you realize. There were days when hope seemed like a distant thought. Hours before I was to deliver a keynote message, I remember thinking how can inspire someone to follow their dreams when I’m so broken inside. Looking back, I can hardly believe the things I accomplished during that time. I launched an e-book, spoke at conferences and local schools, coached, and facilitated workshops all while dealing with my personal struggles. It was because I was stronger than I realized. On my lowest days there was a strength inside me that would rise up. I learned how to press forward even when I didn’t feel like it. I learned how to allow my faith to fuel me.
LESSON #2. Your mindset is everything. At that moment I couldn’t change my circumstances, but I could change how I thought. If I kept my focus on the things that were going wrong (and a lot things were at that time), then that’s all I saw. It was accompanied by low motivation and low creativity. However, I became motivated and productive when I kept my focus on what I have been called to do: inspire, develop, and grow people to become the highest expression of themselves. This is how I kept moving forward.
LESSON #3. A crisis changes you, but you have the power to determine how. A moment or a season of crisis will leave its mark. That mark can be a reminder of your resiliency or it can just remind you of the pain or loss you experienced. There were times when I felt angry, bitter or even jealous and envious of others and their happiness. If I had allowed that negative energy to overtake me during the moment, then that’s what I would have become through the process. It’s sort of like refining gold through fire. I will never be the Andrea I was before after going through the fire. The same goes for us as a nation when we get on the other side of this pandemic. There is a stripping away of the old you during a crisis, but you determine into what.
My personal crisis pales in comparison to a global pandemic. But, I can say with confidence that the lessons I learned during that season of my life give me hope during this time. I know that through my faith I can stand in the midst of chaos. I know that if I keep my mind focused on the path before me I will keep moving forward despite of what’s happening around me. I know that things will change on the other side of this, but I have the power to determine how I change. May you be encouraged and stay hopeful during this time.