How often do we find ourselves surrounded by groups of strong, intelligent, and extraordinary women? You might think the answer is not often, but I would beg to disagree. The reality is it happens everyday in our lives during ordinary moments, we are often just too busy to notice. We spend so much time focusing inward that we often overlook the occurrence whether it is a few drinks with the girls to a quick conversation when a co-worker opens their soul for just a minute and shows a glimmer of what’s inside.
Recently I had the honor of sitting around just such a table. I listened as jokes, life struggles, and accomplishments were exchanged over brussel sprouts and beer. You all know the table I am talking about and have probably found yourself there a time or two. This time was different though, perhaps I was different as I had recently undertaken several changes in my own life. I wasn’t just going through the motions of another social gathering, I was listening, really listening to each woman when she spoke and I was amazed when I found myself entranced as these women shared their stories. Some were of heartache, others of accomplishing goals, and some were full life stories – the kind that make you want to wrap the person sharing in a bear hug and tell them how beautiful they are for just having survived.
The real reason I believe this table tugged at my heart and felt so special, so unique was because it was representative of decades of life – from divorce, disappointment, love, laughter, pride, motherhood, loss. Gathered around this table were women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. That’s a lot of life for one table to hold. How often do you find that age gap gathered in one sitting? Call it divine intervention but these women had all crossed paths with a beautiful soul who attracts the best beings into her life and here they were sharing their hearts with friends, some old and some brand new. All brought together in this one moment because of the paths crossed and traveled.
What I found in listening to these women was that strength, courage, resiliency – those traits are not something you are born with they are only forged through trials and tribulations. These women didn’t know me and maybe they never really will, but my perspective is forever changed because of them.
Slow down and take time to reflect on the amazing women in your network. Take a moment to thank them for just having survived, because even if it is unbeknownst to you, they have a beautiful story just waiting to be told. I guarantee you it is worth hearing and it will forever change the way you view them. It may forever change the way you view yourself.
In a recent conversation that led to this blog a friend asked me why I don’t like to share, really share the pieces of my life or more importantly the impact those pieces have on me, and I responded by saying “I don’t want people to look at me like I am broken.” To which she surprised me by saying “Do you feel broken?” At the time, I couldn’t answer her because deep down I knew the truth – that is the first word that comes to my mind when I think about who I am. And though I may be broken, I am so much more than that. I am passionate, and resilient, and stronger than even I realize sometimes.
Sometimes the broken pieces are the most beautiful pieces. Find someone and give them a chance to show you their beauty.