• Alicia Schoolman

The Courage to Continue: 1 Minute, 1 Hour, 1 Day at a Time

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

“Sometimes winning is not coming in first, it is doing the BRAVE thing, the HARD thing, and doing it with INTEGRITY… Belong to yourself first, speak your truth, never betray yourself for other people.” Brene Brown

None of us are perfect and our lives will never be perfect. We all have our struggles, but there is a beautiful gift for us even through our toughest days, weeks, months, or years. When we have the COURAGE, INTEGRITY, and PERSEVERANCE to face our struggles and do our work day in and day out, it gives us the opportunity to grow, learn, open our hearts and minds, find greater joy and gratitude in the simple little things, and become more loving, kind, empathetic, and accepting of ourselves and others. It helps us choose and develop healthier, more loving, more respectful, and more fulfilling relationships and brings us closer to becoming our best selves, living our best lives, and helping others in whatever way we feel called. This is no task for the faint of heart.

As my dear friend, Tim, a former army ranger used to say, “Embrace the Suck.” I’ve learned to muster up the courage and perseverance to “embrace the suck” many times in many different aspects of my life, and it is gut-wrenching hard work. It took me years… after crawling through the muck and darkness, with blood, sweat, and tears from the depths of my soul… my face, body, and heart scarred and feeling so broken, I finally emerged with renewed inner strength, greater wisdom, an unshakable faith in God, the ability to find joy and gratitude in the simplest of things, and with a much greater capacity to love deeply and “put myself in another’s person’s shoes.”

As Brene Brown says, “Sometimes winning is not coming in first, it is doing the BRAVE thing, the HARD thing, and doing it with INTEGRITY… Belong to yourself first, speak your truth, never betray yourself for other people.” At age 54 I’ve finally learned that I belong to God and myself first and to never betray myself for others. LIVING A LIFE TRUE TO MYSELF feels absolutely AMAZING; there is no greater feeling than living a life aligned with your soul, your values, and who God created you to be! And what a blessing it is in my life to share what I’ve learned to help others; it is my calling in this life second only to being the best mom I can for my children.

My daughter shared with me an incredibly difficult but empowering experience the other day. She said, “Mom, I was FEARLESSLY ME; I stayed true to me and my truth!” Seeing her inner light shine so brightly was such a gift. At age 22, she has the inner strength and sagacity to speak her truth. She shared how in that tough conversation, she saw how speaking her truth created an opportunity for the other person to stop and think. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but we when stand strong in our truth, it gives the other person a chance to grow… If they choose, but that is their journey, not our burden to carry.

When we’re struggling, it is easy for others to be critics while they are standing on the sidelines.

Remember, NO ONE EVER HAS THE RIGHT TO DIMINISH, JUDGE, OR DISRESPECT YOU in any way. People who treat you this way do not belong in your inner circle. YOU AND YOUR JOURNEY ARE SACRED, ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE EARNED YOUR TRUST DESERVE TO BE INVITED INTO YOUR INNER CIRCLE. We all need a small inner circle of people who love and accept us for our true selves, who respect us, and who are honest with us, especially when we need to look in the mirror.

Find your way through your struggles one minute, one hour, one day at a time and give yourself the same grace you would give your child or someone you love dearly. BE FEARLESSLY YOU living a life true to you, of course with INTEGRITY, KINDNESS, and RESPECT, ACCEPTING and LOVING YOURSELF 100% - all your scars (physical and emotional), heartaches, and mistakes… all your strengths, victories, and talents…! Love & Blessings, Alicia

P.S. This is my photo taken on the beach after a many years of "I will try again tomorrow."

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