Life Will Break You

 apples

apples

As we are moving toward the end of the year, many of us are contemplating our victories in 2014--the things that went really well--and also the challenges that popped up.

We all love victories.  It feels amazing to log success for sure.  But as I am looking back at these remarkable last 12 months that have felt like a hair-raising roller coaster ride, there's another layer that I have to acknowledge:  the biggest victories are born from overcoming challenges.  Now, this may not be a brand-new concept, but I do think it's one easily overlooked.

So when you take your inventory for 2014, pay especially close attention to all the things that were standing in your way, slowing you down or stopping you and give yourself big kudos for where your prevailed anyway.  Nothing drives us forward more than having courage, admitting to being human and carrying on anyway.

A  friend reminded me of this amazing quote by Louise Erdrich from The Painted Drum:

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” 

Eat your apples, friends!