Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

When I was a young girl, my Grandmother used to listen to an old-time gospel television preacher. No judgement here, please, I’m sure you’ve heard these words before, and while they may seem silly to some, there was some power in the words that were spoken. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” I too scoffed at them once or twice, but as I got a bit older, I came to understand the true meaning of those words.

Our nation has been through a lot. We were faced with division, ridiculed for being a different color, having different beliefs, and told that loving someone wasn’t love unless it was “right”, many laws were trying to be reversed, and while I am heterosexual, I still support the right to marry or be with whomever you wish, I support my brothers and sisters, I see the plight that has gone on for far, far too long, and yet, here we stand, while many things still need to change, we are indeed still standing and we have become stronger. Our voices mattered, finally. While I know things will not magically change overnight, I know that we have hope instead of despair, it has lifted, and that we all will breathe a little bit better knowing that we the people will be heard. We marched, we resisted, and while I don’t condone some of the violent acts, nothing ever changes without some form of revolution. People who act, who get tough, who say that they have had enough, make things happen. They raise their voices loudly until they can no longer be ignored.

This carries over to our own life. We have to take a look at what we stand for, what we truly want, what we are willing to accept, and what we will fight for. The storms that we go through, shape who we are today. Do we believe in ourselves enough to follow that dream, or enough to say the words that we need to speak in order to make them a reality? Do we have the confidence to hit the send button on our work and put ourselves out there in the world? Yes, it’s scary, there is always the possibility of rejection, but what if things just work out in our favor? There are many mantras, affirmations that you could give to yourself, but the greatest thing that we can do for ourselves is to simply get out of our own way.

There are two quotes that I have relied on when I need to hear the voice of wisdom, both are by Rumi. The first is “Move, but not the way fear makes you move” and the other is “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Indeed, we were meant to be so much more. Ancient wisdom, but oh so applicable to us in this modern world. Whenever I need a little push, I turn to these words. They help me when I start to doubt myself. Forward momentum, never stagnate, grow, be. That is how these words help me today. Do not freeze because you are afraid.

Why be grounded when you can fly? Believe, go deep, and find your power, take it back if you need to, but start living your life, unapologetically, be who you were created to be. Toughen up, stand in your truth, and go ahead, step out into that world and show them who you are. Tough people, resilient people last!