Building Character

30 Aug

When I was a little kid my dad used to tell me that losing  “builds character.”  He meant it in relation to when your team didn’t win or you didn’t come home with that science fair trophy.  At the time, I didn’t really understand what he meant.  I didn’t really understand he meant until very recently – when I underwent one of the most significant losses in my life –  my dream of a family life.  Very recently I realized that what my dad meant was that losing something important to you forces you to undergo a transformation – it forces you to evolve – to find a greater meaning than the  one thing you feel like you just lost.  

Losing the life I thought I wanted has forced me to undergo a transformation – to take on a journey to find myself.  I realized that I read “Eat, Love, Pray” by Elizabeth Gilbert too soon – I read it when my son was a newborn.  I didn’t really understand what message Ms. Gilbert was saying at the time (that’s how lost a new mother can be in her new life!).  

I recall that I thought  the protagonist was pretty whiny and I didn’t understand her personal struggle.   However, there are times when I reflect on her book and I totally understand her message.    While I still don’t love her book like many others have, I can, like I think many woman can, relate to her feeling of claustrophobia within her marriage and her rethinking the life’s path she took before she awoke one day and said this isn’t working for me.  

  She was a very lucky woman to have the opportunity and luxury to take one year off from her life to find herself and to forgive herself and heal – not many people can do that.  I certainly do not have that luxury (although there are many days I wish I did).  Even without the good fortune of being able to take a year out of my life to focus on myself, I am doing just that every day within the fabric of my life.   I, like Ms. Gilbert, am searching for all that she was searching for  – food to feed my soul (albeit more of a vegetarian/vegan ilk); I am on a desperate search for  spirituality (a hope to feel connected to my soul and the divine) and of course, I am hoping to find true, healthy lasting love.

Everyday I tell myself, I am grateful for this challenge in my life, the challenge of being a single parent, the challenge that is making me grow and evolve into a stronger, more balanced woman.   I hope that one day I will produce something that has touched the lives of others – just as Ms. Gilbert has with her book – but for me my production would not be a best-selling novel or a made for the silver screen film.  Instead, my production, I hope, would be that I can finally be a peace with myself and help others to be at peace with themselves too.

I hope you take the time to be thankful for the challenge that you are undergoing at the moment and have the knowledge that this challenge is encouraging you to grow and evolve into a more beautiful person.

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