My friend Laura's family has had a pretty intense month: her dad recently had a heart attack while on a cruise, and then, once he and his wife were back in Austin safe and sound, their home was severely damaged by floodwaters caused by the recent rains. Yesterday morning I was talking to Laura on the phone, and I asked how her parents were doing.
"Oh, they're doing fine," she said, cheerfully. "I mean, you know, they've still got a lot of work to do with the house. But they're handling it, and everything will be okay."
As I listened to her, at first I was surprised at how calm she was, and how well her family appeared to be handling everything. "I'd be in the fetal position," I think I actually said out loud. But then as I thought some more, I realized that I'd probably react the same way she and her parents have. Because the truth is, we generally all do: when we're faced with something that's tough, we deal with it, one step at a time. What choice do we have, really? Sometimes the only way out is through. We make it to the other side, and it's only then it dawns on us how intense the challenge we just tackled was. When it comes down to it, we do hard things all the time.
When we're faced with hard stuff, we all have the capacity to be curiously strong.
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."