Over the past few weeks, so many of you have shared your stories with me, and the one thread that runs through all of your stories is how you have found inner strength in some of the most trying of times. While many of our exchanges are about COVID-19, many more are about life and your awe-inspiring ability to dig deep within and lift your heads high to survive and thrive in some incredibly challenging circumstances. You have survived other pandemics, while your friends did not; you shed tears over not knowing if you would ever see your grandmother again; you are ready to pull your hair out trying to home-school your children at the same time you’re working; you’ve walked away from abusive relationships; and a vast majority of you come to work on the front lines, understanding that the oath you took would put you in harm’s way, but never imagined it could potentially carry over to your family when you go home after a long shift. And despite all of this, you also found time to teach your child math, enjoy a sunset for the first time in a long time, lay on the roof of your apartment building and look at the stars, listen to the birds over a cup of coffee, and rejoice over the birth of your adorable little girl, Hannah.
Here’s the interesting thing about inner strength—we all have it. We are all born with a desire to learn, to grow, to evolve into a more meaningful representation of ourselves. Even when the world seems like it is upside down and you lay awake at night questioning how you will make it through the next day, ultimately what you find is that the answer is within you. One of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare is “The meaning of life is to find your gift.” Something within you knows your purpose—live it each day. Something within you knows that you get what you think, not what you want—set your intentions on a positive path. Something within you knows that you have the courage to face your fears—embrace what scares you. Inner strength is the strength of the soul. The crucial piece to this equation is to have the courage to share with your heart, not just your mind. Daring to share your truth in these tough times—to admit what you are thinking, feeling, and needing—will deepen your inner strength far more than making small talk or having another TV binge. (Unless of course you’re watching Tiger King…wait, I digress!)
Connection is a powerful healer. As you continue to look out for each other, remember that while you draw sustenance from helping others in their time of need, you also need to be mindful of your needs as well. Sometimes when you share tirelessly to help others, you can get run down and lose the ability to keep helping. Even the toughest among us may appear unphased by current events, but may be running their battery down dangerously low. Often those who share the most, need the most. Giving support and also being open to receiving support, is a wonderful way to keep the collective energy of our inner strength circulating.
There is a level of contentment, kindness, calmness, and patience when you allow your inner strength to guide you along the way. Here’s a technique you may want to try: Take a few deep breaths in and a few deep breaths out. Place your hand on your heart and ask your heart the question most troubling you. Let your heart answer, not your mind. What you will find is that the answer is far less clouded with all that is supposed to be and more about what is your true purpose. As always, please take care of yourself and reach out to others when you need support. If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can call 800-799-7233. If you need help with suicidal thoughts, please call 800-273-8255 at any time. Do not hesitate to reach out. Your friends, family, colleagues, and the EAP are also available. If you need any sort of support for your mental health or staying healthy during this time, connect and stay in touch.
As you go about your day, no matter how difficult, have confidence in your ability to draw on your inner strength—you’ve got this!
Chief Human Capital Officer