We’ve all heard the overused cliché “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Kelly Clarkson even had a hit song with these lyrics. I think that we are all tired of hearing the cliché, and we laugh it off when we do.
The thing is, the reason why this cliché is overused is because it is so fundamentally true. If you experience an event, and it didn’t kill you, then it provided a lesson for you, if you listened. Therefore, making you stronger. It is that simple. If you are reading this article, I can only guess that no event killed you and every event has taught you a lesson.
Are you learning the lessons?
My lessons came to me four years ago in August. This was when my mom was in the hospital battling her illness and then eventually succumbing to it. I had to watch my mother put up a fierce fight, and then I needed to learn how to live my life without her.
I had to learn these lessons quickly. I survived and they didn’t kill me. These lessons allowed me to create a new career and business where I now share my experiences and help other people with their grief and loss. Thus, taking the lessons I learned and putting myself on a road to success.
The month of August is always hard for me. There are certain dates from four years ago that stick out in my mind. The day my mom went to the hospital. The day the doctors gave us her diagnosis. The day she started her first round of chemotherapy. The day of my final conversation with her.
When I was a kid, August meant summer day camp and eventually sleep-away camp, as I got older. We didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day back then.
Even before four years ago, as I became an adult, August lost its carefree magic. Living in Florida, August is insanely hot. There is always the possibility of a hurricane. The electric bills are astronomical. I guess I could move, but I love Florida from October to June.
August seems so much harder this year, though not as hard as it was four years ago. In addition to having the Coronavirus this year, Florida has been off the charts hot. We haven’t gotten much rain. We were threatened with two hurricanes. Luckily, they didn’t hit us, and I do pray for the people affected by them. I was speaking with one of my clients and she mentioned to me that she gets the “September Blues”, which for her means that summer is ending (she lives in a much cooler climate than Florida) and that Fall and Winter will be on their way. I guess, I can say that I have the “August Blues”.
Another lesson that I learned is that I need to mentally prepare myself for August. In July, I start doing self-talk and tell myself that I am strong, I can endure difficulties, and most importantly, August will come to an end after 31 days. I can manage that. Seems easy enough.
When I prepare myself ahead of time, getting through the month of August doesn’t seems so difficult. I also have to remind myself, that if it weren’t for the difficulties during the month of August, four years ago, and other difficult Augusts, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now.
I guess if I’m going to ask others to acknowledge their difficult roads which paved the way to their successes, I need to show August some gratitude and give thanks. If it weren’t for difficult Augusts, I definitely would not be where I am today. So, instead of sitting here with the “August Blues”, I’ll sit here with the “August Gratitude”. August, I know you’ll be back in 2021 and I will be ready for you.