I was raised by parents were voracious learners. All around our home, my parents owned books and newspapers, as well as health and psychology magazines. Several versions of encyclopedias stashed on top of other editions. On top of Coffee tables, floor baskets, and shelves were filled with knowledge and available to me. I remember Poetry books by Walt Whitman, Carlos Williams, and Robert Frost staring at me when I helped do my cleaning chores.
Our extended family was Og Mandino, Leo Buscaglia, Hugh Prather, and Wayne Dyer, to name a few. Occasionally on Sundays, we'd attend the New Thought writer and minister Terry Cole-Whittaker (author of “What you Think of Me is None of my Business). She was the teacher that brought common sense and application to everyday life. I was fortunate that mom was such a progressive thinker too.
Og Mandino’s quote above brought a sweet melancholy remembering once how mother relished in expanding her consciousness. Hosting for years small weekly groups with other like-minded people, discussing and learning about spirituality and developing the self. But, one day that all stopped.
My mother’s depression took the best from her learnings and over time, she resisted helping herself. She never grew to her full potential and never gained enough self-empowerment where she could manage her inner world. The mother I knew was lost to a greater source than I’d ever be able to defeat.
One of the ways I learned to face challenges was to lean into the emotional pain and hurts each time with greater acceptance. I also plunged myself into reading and doing volunteer work as a teenager; another gift mom role model in her younger years. It was one of the greatest gifts she gifted me. Even if she couldn’t carry the torch of personal accountability for herself, she exposed me to great writers, poets, and thinkers. And I needed all of them for what I had to encounter in my life.
When you come to a truth or wisdom that improves your life, keep learning. When you come to a seemingly difficult time, keep moving through. Glean as much wisdom and apply it to your everyday life. Measure your resiliency by testing yourself. Enter your triggers with curiosity regardless of wanting to run away, avoid or lash out.
Resiliency is a muscle that requires courage and consistent testing until you begin to realize how powerful it is.
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