What does it mean to persevere?
Often I’ve heard mySelf & clients declare…Why can’t this be easy? When does it get easier?
What am I doing wrong? is, another question that lies just below the surface. It’s like somewhere along the line we’ve made easy the gold standard for living, leading & serving well.
I get it. On one level, life can be quite easy, when learning to flow with life. To work with our resistance lovingly and with great compassion. And, it doesn’t mean the opportunity to persevere, to cross the chasm of change, to ride the passage of chaos and pain that fills the physical reality of life at times, magically disappears.
I feel today it’s a worthy question to ask…
What do I believe about easy?
To spend some time to ponder…..
How do I view perseverance? and most importantly, what stories do I then tell mySelf, about mySelf?
What genius does resistance offer? What does it mean when we look to another and see their relentless spirit flow in ways that to us, appears so easy?
Most often, our capacity to notice resistance, to notice perseverance, to notice courage and fortitude lives as something attainable only for another.
We can so easily see this in another. And yet it is our work to develop the capacity to see this in ourselves.
At a recent women’s gathering we were invited to introduce ourselves through the lens of a quality we most valued. As my time came in circle to speak, I took a breath and shared perseverance. I did a kind of internal double take in that, this word wouldn’t have been what I’d thought I would’ve said.
And yet, I trusted it came through when I needed to hear mySelf out loud owning this quality for mySelf.
Life has been for me, as it has for all of us, challenging at times. I have a deeply compassionate view of life and others that most often hasn’t translated to one with myself. I am an avid seeker and pioneer. One who will dive in and explore for the pure joy of it.
And, there are MANY times when I THROW my hands up and say “uncle”. Knowing my astrology has been extremely empowering to meet these moments with acceptance.
However, as I reflect, I can see that before even knowing anything of what I do today, I’ve had this innate drive and optimism that sometimes drives others quite bonkers. I trust in something greater than myself. Although it has taken many many years to develop a thoughtful relationship with this, I can say looking back, it’s always been there.
The fuel of perseverance, I believe is spun from the inner knowing we’re not our body, our personality, our story, our role, or our circumstances.
It’s the driving force that fuels the becoming process. This is illustrated in so many ways to us in nature. It shows itself in the process by which an acorn becomes an oak tree; the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly; the chick hatching through a firm membrane and magnificently, a baby is born.
I am a deeply appreciative fan and student of Margaret Wheatley’s work in the world. Over eight years ago I was delighted to read her beautiful book called Perseverance. At the time I was still working in Health Care and apart of a large scale organizational change initiative seeking not just change, rather, transformation. It was a time when each and every person involved was in their own way brought to their own knees of perseverance. I quickly ordered a slew of these books and gave them as gifts to every one who I felt would welcome this precious book & it’s wisdom.
Looking back now I can see at the time, I was looking for perseverance to be revealed outside of me. I am deeply grateful that fast forward eight years, I found mySelf in circle, now, owning the force of it, as my own. I still lovingly read this book from time to time as it fills my heart with wisdom.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a few words from the passage Meg writes on perseverance. May it fill your heart and ignite a remembrance that you’re also fuelled by the same source. And….that you’re not alone.
As much as our growth and unique journey of becoming the leaders we choose to be in the world is ours, it’s helpful to remember to connect with others who’re also traveling their noble path.
In fact, I would invite you to connect.
Margaret invites us to consider what traits embody perseverance for us. To reflect on the people in our lives for whom we admire their expression of this trait. In addition, consider, what you’ve learned from. Ponder how that is now calling you forward.
I look forward to the opportunity to walk with you.