Welcome back to The Secret Life of Wonder Woman! Today, I want to tell you another secret. This time, the secret is "tenacity."
Tenacity is that quality that sees you holding on against the odds, holding on when you can feel your grip slipping.
When I think of tenacity, I think of baby birds being born, cracking their way out of their egg. If that baby bird gave up at the first sign of resistance, he would die in his egg, less than millimetres from life and freedom!
Baby birds, baby crocodiles, baby snakes...baby anything that has to force it's way to daylight. For these little guys, tenacity is not simply a "preferred" quality. Not even close! For those guys, their very life depends on their tenacity!!
When I was in the hospital, trying to regain the use of my uncooperative limbs, I needed help with all of my personal care, including taking a shower.
For my first shower after waking up from the coma and finally being steady enough on my feet to make it from my bed to a wheelchair, I was helped by a tall, stern nurse. She didn't seem very happy to have to help me.
She wheeled me into place in the shower stall, turned on the water and then proceeded to hose me down like I was a cow tied out behind a barn. I sputtered and struggled to protect myself from the surge of water but I was not able. I couldn't raise my hands to my face; I couldn't even turn my head. I was helpless as the water sprayed in my eyes, nose and mouth.
I was devastated and utterly humiliated.
When she was finished, she pushed my wheelchair back to my room and dropped me off, without uttering a word.
I pulled myself into my bed and lay there and cried my eyes out. My body didn't work anymore and this was what I now had to endure.
I could have just laid back and kept crying, resigning myself to a life of weakness and self pity.
Instead, I dried my eyes and sat on my bed, determined never to have to have that humiliating experience again.
I reached as far up with my right hand as I could go, sliding my hand up the side of my face until I couldn't make it stretch any further. Then I repeated this step with my left hand.
I struggled back and forth, left side, right side, slowly gaining a fraction of an inch at a time until finally, after a couple of days, my finger tips could cross the top centre of my head!! No, I had not even come close to regaining full mobility, but I could now wash my own hair!
I was still unable to walk so I eased myself into my wheel chair again and made my way back to the shower room. I took a deep breath and turned on the water.
It took me over an hour to painstakingly clean myself and wash my hair, but I did it! I triumphantly wheeled back to my bad and collapsed, completely exhausted, into my bed! I slept the rest of the day but awoke with a smile - I had done it!!
Tenacity. That is what enabled me to finally wash my own hair again.
It's what keeps up moving forward when there are obstacles that would suggest we won't make it.
I coud have given up. I could have accepted that I would spend the rest of my life in weakness and pain. This outcome was unacceptable to me.
I see so many people who just give up! I can't, I won't, it will never work, it makes me feel bad.... So many times, we are somehow convinced that we are not worth the success, or not worth the effort to get there, or we don't deserve the joy that comes from creating newness in our life.
We risk losing so much because we believe that we can't make it.
My friend, I urge you, get up one more time. Reach out and hold on. Grip with both hands. Yes, it's hard but, sooner than you think, the pain gives way to new strength! New joys! Hold on - keep going - don't let go and don't give up.
When we give up, we surrender ourself to more of the same - whatever that was. But giving up means that we were trying to move forward, so keep moving!
Hold my hand if you need to - I will help you hold on. You are worth it to me, you are worth it to the whole universe, to God who made you.
You are beautiful and your song needs to be sung. If you don't believe it, then take it from me, I need to hear your song.
But.......but....it is always your choice to hold on or not; to be tenacious or not. It's always your choice and I will love you anyways.
I want you to know the joy of this celebration of YOUR life. You are worth it.
Hold on - keep going - lean into the wind and press forward.
You'll get there, stronger than you expected to be.
Then, take my hand and let's take a run at the next thing!!