Last night in my Authentic and Courageous Leadership graduate class at St. Mary’s University the topic of discussion was the value of learning lessons from our life journey. The questions I posed to the class were – Do they make time for daily or regular reflection in their personal and professional lives? Whom do they get feedback from? Do they have peers, family members, or confidants in whom will tell it to them straight without sugar coating the truth? What are they learning from their journey?
As we walk through life, we may find ourselves at the same challenging intersections time, after time, after time. If you are like me, this can be frustrating. I wonder what did I miss the first time I went around this block. Why am I here again at the same intersection? Making time for reflection and being open to seeing help me learn. This is a critical part of being wholly human.
Key components of being human are courage and humility. I know a colleague who defines courage as when the soul is at work, and the heart is at risk. Having the courage to pause and look back, having the courage to see experiences and interactions from a different perspective, having the courage to consider different choices of how we behave opens us to higher possibilities of who we are made to be. We are human, which means we are not completely baked, we are not completed, not one and done. We are in fact people that are alive and that are evolving and emerging into who we are made to be. Living with deep humility in the awareness that we are all flawed, all broken and all human is a place where we should be operating from. This foundational truth should be our operating system. Instead, we tend to go to confidence, bold and loud. Thus missing the beauty and wonder of the small, intimate, vulnerable and human.
We are human, which means we are not completely baked. We are in fact people that are alive and constantly evolving and emerging into who we are made to be. Living with deep humility in the awareness that we are flawed, broken and human is the place where we should be operating from. This foundational truth should be our operating system. Instead, we tend to go to with overconfidence, boldness and being loud. When we work from this place, we miss the beauty and wonder of the humble, vulnerable, quiet and human.
I love the saying when life closes a door, God always opens a window. My wondering is how many of us either in stubbornness or fear stand behind the closed door and never find the courage to find the open window?
When life happens, because it always does, we must find the courage to leave what we have known and be open to what is next. This takes immense courage because, like me, perhaps you been deeply hurt. But it is in our hurt and broken places that we can turn to a higher power to ask for the strength to find the motivation and ability, maybe for the first time in a long time, to choose something different. To make a change and to dare to look for our open window that awaits us.
When life closes a door, be brave, honor the hurt, and then consider stepping away from the closed door to find your open window. Make the time to ask for help, make the time to call upon the Creator who made you and loves you like crazy. I have seen people do this many times. It is beautiful and powerful. And I never fail to admire the courage it takes.