If I were to ask you to name 3 things that define the very essence of who you are, what would you say?
Your first thought might relate to your roles in life – father, mother, parent, or friend. Or you may list a few values you have grown fond of as a way of defining who you are such as grateful, persistent, generous or creative.
These are nice neat definitions that safely dance along the surface without getting into any areas too deep or uncomfortable.
But sometimes in life, we hit an immovable object that throws us off track for a time … sudden loss of a job, divorce, passing of a loved one, a physical injury or life threatening illness. Because of the consuming nature of such events, it becomes very easy to attach our self-worth to our external circumstances and let them become who we are … the divorcee, the widow, the unemployed (fill in the blank), the rape or abuse survivor, the cancer survivor.
We all know that the way to cope with trauma, with loss, with any life-changing experience, is to find meaning. But here’s the thing: No one can tell us what our experience means. We have to decide what it means for ourselves. ~Debra Jarvis
You Can Choose Not to Let Circumstances Define You
Today I’d like to share with you a powerful TED Talk presentation by Debra Jarvis – Yes, I survive cancer. But that doesn’t define me. Considering the nature of her message I’ll let Debra introduce herself to you, but I will add that it’s not necessary for you to have experienced a traumatic event in your life to find great value in Debra’s message. Whether we recognize it or not, it’s human nature to define ourselves by everything from our failures to our economic status, culture or our job titles.
What if instead of allowing the circumstances of our lives to define us, we choose instead to claim it all – the joy and the heartache, the successes, the failures and the wounds – as priceless experiences along an amazing journey of self-exploration and discovery? What if we could learn to celebrate the person we have become as we continue to grow into the powerful person we were always meant to be? ~Marquita Herald
Your Challenge. Revisit the question I posed above … ‘What 3 things defines the very essence of you?” Don’t try to answer this now, but instead, keep asking yourself this question over the next couple of days as though you were repeating a mantra. You may be very surprised by some of the revelations that slip into your mind after you let go of trying to come up with the easy answers.
Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald
Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.
She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.
To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click “here“.