There is something beautiful that happens when small children begin to reach milestones. Sometimes they labor for days or weeks before they first use a baby sign, or begin taking those first steps… in our wisdom we can see the ‘before’, the ‘during’ and (now) the ‘after’. It doesn’t change how hard the next inevitable milestone will be, but wisdom prepares us for what the process entails. Brene Brown talks about this process in theater terms: act I, act II and act III.
To keep it brief, Act I is when the protagonist (you) finds their self on a journey of some kind. Act II is where the protagonist struggles, hits rock bottom, and works to solve the problem. Act III is where the protagonist learns the lesson and finds enlightenment. (Ref. Brene Brown, Rising Strong.)
A lot of this book focuses on that “messy middle”, and how that process of disintegration leads to a solution. But words don’t do this process very much justice… so I began a journey of my own. What I discovered was that many people come up on your messy middle and make a lot of assumptions of what they are seeing. Heck, there are times when even WE are in the messy middle and we don’t give our story the dignity it deserves, because our expectations are too high. The truth is, we want Act II to go away; we want to climb and get to the top unscathed.
Last year (2017) my word for the year was Rise. At the end of 2016 I read Rising Strong, and I also added a ‘rise’ tattoo to my collection (pictured). I wasn’t just fan-girling (not that self loving reminders are a bad thing by any means) I was making a commitment to myself. There is a higher way of thinking, and it sometimes knocks us on our asses… but that’s part of the process. It’s literally the defining moment of EVERY protagonist’s journey. It’s a right of passage. Hope.
So why don’t we spend more time talking about the messy middle, and what it takes to make it to Act III? I have my suspicions, but I won’t address them in this post. Today I want to properly introduce Lovely Resilience.
This project, this journey, is a celebration of the messy middle, the turbulence of the protagonists (you and I.) I don’t do fluff, I am not a “positive” person, and I don’t sugarcoat reality. I want that to be stated up front, because I’m leaving naivety at the door. Around here we acknowledge struggle, we ruminate, and we persevere until we find the value. Does that mean we are being negative or pessimistic? Yes sometimes. Let me clarify, I do not believe emotions are inherently good or bad. I do not feel that positive is better than negative, or that optimism is better than pessimism. I feel that close-mindedness is the true villain. I choose to confront emotions and challenge myself to not become stagnant. Unpack your emotions, but don’t buy the house. So yes, you will hear the good, the bad and the ugly… but know this (and this is possibly the most important thing I have written to date): if we do not walk through life with our feelings intact, we may wake up one day unequipped to walk in our own shoes. How do you know you can handle what’s on the other side of “grin and bear it” if you had to numb yourself to get there?
Lovely Resilience calls you to see the beauty in perseverance. The magic in enduring. The art of feeling.
Let’s take this hike together, I’ll meet you in the woods.
…it’s a journey of unconditional hope.