Forward Through Adversity

I have always gained strength from people that press forward with a strong, steady, and graceful resolve. Many of the people I admire the most are those who always keep going forward with their chin up and their chest out.

The single mom that works nights and finds the energy to be at the kids soccer games, be at conferences, be present, be strong, make money, clean spills, kiss foreheads, pay bills, balance it all, and keep a smile in their face.

The firefighter that works full time at a career, wakes up in the middle of the night to work an accident scene on the highway, attends meetings and training, cares for the sad, the wounded, the scared, the broken, and the unappreciative. The firefighter that refuses to lose his or her smile after seeing so much pain, tragedy, and suffering in the world.

The military member of any of the amazing branches that has missed every holiday for four years straight, gives all of his or her ability, presence, grit, heart, mind, body, and soul to protecting us all. 

The military member that holds a picture of his family in his helmet and kisses it more than anyone will ever know. The military member that has walked thousands of miles with hundreds of pounds of gear, in desert heat, on sand and in boots. The military member that absolutely refuses to become cynical and although darkness has been all around, a smile and light always keep it away.

The mom and dad who lost their child. No parent should ever have to bury their child. No parent should ever have to endure the pain and damage that would surely come from such a traumatic and terrible circumstance. I have two friends that lost their daughter who was my friend.

I have watched as they have attached their beautiful daughters light to their souls and managed to continue forward. They lean on one another. They express to one another. They notice the pain everyone else is in and reach out to them all. They are quite possible the strongest and most resilient people I have seen in my lifetime.

They have more pain in their hearts than words can describe and yet they keep their spirits alive and continue as they always have to light up our world. The light and strength their daughter had (has) came from them, was increased from her, was increased from them, and light is what is left as our world's brightest lights do not ever go out.

The journey we all are on is individual and real. There is no bottom at times. Many of us have seen too much and wonder how much more we can take before we eventually stop smiling or caring. Yet, I see all the time the resilient hope, courage, and grace from so many of you.

We can't control what it was, what it should have been, where it came from, what others doubted, what others declare is true.

We control what attitude we bring and a persistent resolve to bring a vision to reality. A focus, a discipline, a constant grudge to hold no grudges, a constant agreement within ourselves to live with more passion and boldness.

Hey life, hurt us, banish us, cage us, persecute us, abolish us, chain us, glass ceiling us, maim us, injure us and our greatest promise to life is to keep coming forward. We are so strong together and we need to recognize that.

The legacy we chase is one of continued love and belief regardless of all the reasons this life has given us to give up idealism. Each day a gift, each letdown is a challenge. The darkness in life is an opportunity to put some light in it.