Lately I’ve been thinking about the notion of steadfastness and strength. Such an old-timey word, but so on point. I’m not taking about the “grit your teeth and get through it” kind of strength. I’m talking about the kind of strength it takes to walk through hard situations, and hold fast to the truth in your heart. Remaining open-hearted, but staying true. Both as a single mom, and as a social entrepreneur, I'm being tested in ways I’d never imagined.
I used to be annoyed when I’d read authors who talked about how life’s challenges and hardships are blessings, thinking ‘riiiight, sure…nice spin”. But this year it’s starting to ring true for me, for the first time ever. Because with every challenge I face, I’m brought an opportunity to practice my approach. Just like pop quizzes in school, each of these situations tests me, and I’m faced with the hard questions. Do I need to re-set boundaries with this person? Am I being threatened or am I just intimidated? What am I really scared of? Is this shame I’m feeling? What is the story I’m telling myself? (thanks Brene!)
For the most part, I realize that I am called to be much more tenacious than I anticipated in order to pursue what I believe is true. And sometimes I just don’t feel capable. In the most trying moments, the steadfastness in me comes from the desire to be true to myself, and honor the people in my life.
Right now that means holding fast to my dream to grow 121Giving, to empower nonprofits. Although I get excited about our enterprise-level technology and scalability and all the other fancy industry words I know so well, what really gets me motivated is the impact on people. I want to see organizations around the country freed up to focus on their mission. I want to empower the hard working people on the ground who bring such amazing energy to helping those less fortunate than themselves. I have a vision of the impact our organization can have, and I won’t settle for anything less than the truest path there.
Many opportunities arise daily, many distractions and deviations. Things that might dilute the mission, or the ethos of the company and incredibly heartfelt team behind 121Giving. The more traction we gain, the more I’m tested, and the stronger I feel. Surely I complain to my dearest friends, about the constant battle to guard this dream and the culture I’m so passionate about building. I’m weary at times, and overwhelmed. I’m so grateful for them, because they remind me of my purpose, and send me back in to advocate.
Paul Ferrini says the following, which both challenges and encourages me. I hope it speaks to you too in whatever challenges you're facing.