I was talking to a colleague the other day about my *former* obsession with self-help books and how they would just make me anxious. I've read the most popular ones in a desperate attempt to get my poop in a group, but they always left me feeling guilty and with a laundry list of life changes I HAD to make.
I was given the advice to read memoirs and biographies instead. The thought process is that you connect with pieces of someones stories and find inspiration rather than a list of ways you and your life are inadequate. It has been a total game changer.
I've never resonated with someone telling me what to do (lol) but if it's my idea, I'm all in. I also recognize now that when I have the capacity to resonate and connect with someone else's story or experience, I am in a place where I can grow. When I do not have the capacity, I do not connect with those stories. It's been a helpful internal gauge of where I am at.
Today, I want to share some quotes/pieces that have really resonated with me recently.
"I made a promise that when I was out of the chaos, I would help others get out of it too. I would commit to doing the deep internal work to live my best life, be happy and smash all the glass ceilings and once I did, I would throw down a ladder." - Jamie Francis
My cousin Jamie has started a new business, in her words "I help the wives of addicts reclaim their life and live their full potential", which I adore. In her, "My Why" post, she wrote the quote above and it truly knocked me on my ass. For anyone that has been through shit and starts to come out the other side, isn't that what we all aspire to do?
For me, personally, I never understood the power of sharing or why people were drawn to me. It's only been in the last few years that I have really resonated with other peoples stories as I have worked on myself. I also have only recently been able to accept the impact of my own story and it's value.
I love the wording of "when I was out of the chaos". In my own work, I have always called it survival mode, but chaos hits home so hard too. I have many times been out of survival mode but still very much amongst the chaos. I also love the visual of throwing down a ladder - it's what I wish someone had done for me and what I hope to do for others.
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"... and then one day you wake up and realize you have been treading water for years." - Kelly Clarkson
I very much feel like this is the place I am in now, which also leads to the next quote. I never realized how much of processing and healing is treading water or just keeping your above water. I feel like I have lost so much time, but also recognize how important that time was for me to arrive here.
"I did what I needed to do until I was strong enough to do better” - @JoanStoryteller on TikTok
I, for one, have a hard time accepting how much time and space I needed to heal and get back to a place where I had capacity to be ambitious again. Like Jamie said above, to smash the glass ceilings - I knew I could get there again, but it took much longer than I expected. I still feel the weight of how much time was lost waiting for a day where I was strong enough to do better.
I hope these quotes resonated with you, and I would love to hear what stories or pieces you have connected with recently.