(Many of these ideas and concepts are inspired by the writings and perspectives of Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle. Thank you both for your wisdom, and for being the amazing, wonderful, inspiring, thoughtful, beautiful humans you are!)
What we need in this moment is a bit of grit, a bit of gratitude, and a bit of grace. These past few weeks I continue to find new reasons these 3 words and their unique combination mean so much to me. My newest revelation: in times of chaos and confusion, when practiced diligently, they can provide us with calm confidence.
Grit means leaning into the hard stuff in a soft way. Being a vulnerable and curious badass. Be honest about what we’re thinking and feeling, and open to new ways of living and working. Dive head first with an open heart into uncertainty and tough conversations. There is no “back to normal” but there will be a “new normal.” People will lose lives, jobs, money. Some may lose it all. Loss brings a chance for reconciliation, reprioritization, and redefining with dignity. This can be a time for radical cleansing. A cleansing of those things that no longer represent the best version of who we are. A cleansing of societal and cultural norms that leave people hopeless and oppressed. A cleansing of the systems that create corruption and hold us back. Let’s have the grit to face our fears and use this required shift to purposefully create a better future.
This can be hard, sometimes dark work. It can leave us feeling depleted, defeated, and frustrated. That’s why we need gratitude to help us reorient to the bright spots in our lives, even if they are just moments. No pretending that things are OK, but purposefully orienting our focus to what is going well, what we can control, and what we can be thankful for so that we have enough in the tank to do the required gritty work. Gratitude gives us hope and in uncertain and desperate times, hope is what keeps us connected. It shows us the good in ourselves and the good in each other.
Grit and gratitude are balanced humbly by grace. Grace allows us to approach grit and gratitude with an open heart and with kindness. Grace allows us to live in the duality that is required of us as human beings, especially as leaders of other human beings whether that be our family, friends, or co-workers. We are not either/or beings. We are messy and beautiful. We have capacities for joy and pain, love and fear, happiness and sadness. These days maybe we are experiencing these dualities just moments apart. For many that is confusing and hard…I am learning to appreciate the poetic nature of life that allows beauty and tragedy to coexist. My soul has been opened in a whole new way.
To fully experience life in this way, comfortable or even inspired in the midst these extremes, requires grace for yourself. To allow others to fully experience life requires grace for them. Use grace to empower your grit. Use grace to fuel your gratitude.
You are called in this moment to be vulnerable and curious. Do not close up. Do not armor up. Approach the world with an open heart, even at the threat of being hurt.
You are called to be fierce and kind. Speak up against injustice. Move head first into the battle to defeat oppression and break down the systems that are holding us down.
Just remember that a shield of love can be more powerful than a sword of anger…especially, when there is anger and ego coming at you.
Don’t believe me? Try hugging someone who is angry and see what happens 😉
This is why I so strongly believe in the power of hugs.
Hang in their friends! Squash fear and negativity. Spread love and hope!