Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Perseverance in an imperfect life

Yesterday, my husband and I snuck off to a matinee of The King's Speech. I'd been wanting to see it for a very long time. It was every bit as good as I had hoped and then some. Beyond the intrigue of the royals, WWII and the abdication over an American divorcee, it was a moving story of friendship and how a commoner, no less an Australian, became a King's first true friend and how that friend helped a potentially great man overcome fear instilled by upbringing.

It was amazing to me to understand just how lonely, vulnerable and screwed up a King can be ... no less than an ordinary citizen; maybe more so because of circumstance and the way in which royals are raised.

My favorite passage [with the exception of the scenes when the speech teacher actually gets the Duke of York to spew obscenities or sing his words without stammering] was when Lionel tells Bertie (the-soon-to-be-coronated monarch) he is the most courageous person he knows because he has persevered.

The struck a powerful chord in me and is a strong reminder of how our wounds not only force us to grow (when we rise to the occasion), but are often the source of our gifts. If only we can see that for ourselves and remember.

Sometimes when I take stock of my life, I feel I have underachieved. That I pursued a career full force with wonderful opportunities and successes, took time out to start a family later and then tanked because an auto accident [combined with other factors] resulted in fibromyalgia, a diagnosis that took years and me finally screaming it at an endocrinologist, who concurred. Not that having a name attached has changed anything. I have a full list of what I haven't been able to do.

But the notion of perseverance  – of getting up day after day to the wall of morning pain – stopped me. Even on days I feel I do nothing else, I persist and persevere. We all do in our own ways and with our own adversities. Think about it. And then begin another list. The list of what you have accomplished in spite of the wounds. Maybe even because of them.

I have been forced to slow down, live a more spacious and contemplative life. Would I trade that? Emphatically, NO.

We need to be the Lionels of the world and remind ourselves, as well as those we love, of what we have achieved. We must muster the courage to see, acknowledge and applaud our perseverance.

• When was the last time I gave myself credit for persisting? Muddling through?
• What difference can that make?
• Do I have someone to remind me or is there someone I can remind?
• How have my wounds aided or become my gifts?
• How has my life been enriched by the hardships?

I am beginning to understand
that life is in the struggle

otherwise, we'd be complacent,
ungracious, striving

not that we aren't those things anyway

but how much more so would we be if we danced 
through life unaware?

instead of being grateful for the opportunity
to live imperfectly

No comments:

Post a Comment