By Tami Sulistyo
“Hello 2020. New Decade. New Year. New Month. New Week. New Day. New Hour. New Minute. New Second. Such opportunity!” That is what I wrote on January 1st. Looking back now that seems like a lifetime ago, a distant memory of the way things used to be before Covid-19 turned the entire world upside down. By nature I am a silver linings kind of gal, so I can’t help but look for glimmers of hope and opportunity amidst the tragedy, troubles, and constant continuing change.
I spend my days creating and delivering customized leadership development exchange programs along with a team of WILD women – women in leadership development at (www.calexanderassociates.com). We ask participants to share pivotal moments in their lives that helped shape who they are and how they lead. Sometimes the tale people tell is of a crucible they have gone through and the impact it had on their career and life choices, values, perspectives and behavior. A crucible is “a situation of severe trial leading to the creation of something new.” We are all now in the midst of a shared crucible.
My pastor talks of his time as a blacksmith, and how he would marvel at the melting down of materials that start out so hard, so rigid, so strong, so unbreakable. Sounds like the way we can get as humans sometimes. Yet when the blacksmith applies intense heat, pressure, tools and effort to these seemingly invincible things, they can be recreated, re-formed, refined, reshaped and made into something new. Amazing. Just like people. How awesome is that. Not fun. Not at all. Nothing I would readily choose. Ever. But what a gift in the end when we have been melted down in the process of going through a crucible – a situation of severe trial, and have been able to not only survive, but be created anew.
I am in constant awe of the resilience I see in the leaders I coach and people I meet, who demonstrate to me the incredible ability and agility of the human body, mind and spirit to walk through change, ambiguity, competing tensions, and all other forms of tough stuff at work and at home, time and time again. They come out of it having grown, having learned to thrive, finding hope, recovering their mojo, despite it all. I am incredibly thankful for the chance to hear their stories and come alongside them as a partner on their journeys.
My husband and I started this blog, storylighhouse.com, some years back, as a place for all people to share their meaningful stories of any kind. I believe every one of us has a story to tell. If you feel like sharing a story of your covid-19 experience, or any other story, we invite you to submit it on storylighthouse.com.
I heard a priest talk about the fact that salt doesn’t have to think about tasting like salt, it just is. And that light doesn’t have to think about shining, it simply does. If we take the shade off a lamp, it will fill the room with even brighter light. Salt and light don’t have to do anything other than what they naturally do. My wish for you is this: may your natural resilience and agility, that you were born with and have developed over a lifetime, fill you up and sustain you now through these trying times. Even when you don’t feel strong, I know you are. I believe in you.