The Challenge of the Inner Colossus
The Challenge of the Colossus
Challenges, is there any person in life that does not have challenges. The point of a challenge is to create conditions in which, you as a person, must test your skill and abilities to their fullest. Challenges are a blessing. They teach us who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing. People in the middle of a challenge may not welcome the feat of person growth, they may not feel overjoyed about the resistance life has provided for them, but hopefully one day they will feel blessed for the experience.
Imagine a small desert community, no trees, just sand and scrub brush. In that community is a mobile home. The contents of that home are a woman, man, three young boys and two unruly dogs. The woman is diagnosed with cancer, has the first operation and then the husband leaves her. Three days after the man leaves, the land lord puts a pay or quit notice on the door. The woman, who has not been released by the doctor, has to get a job to support the children. She had no vehicle, no savings, and no way to console the hearts of her children.
It was these challenges I faced in 2004. Challenges, I could not imagine overcoming. If someone had told me that experience would lead to a degree in psychology and subsequent Doctoral degree, I would have told them they were crazy. I might have even kicked that person in the chin for speaking such a ridiculous thought. College was never far from my mind but, any attempt I had made to accomplish the task was thwarted. To believe that I, a newly single grieving parent could accomplish a college degree was simply beyond my ability to comprehend. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” these words of Emma Lazarus were like a theme and I embodied their meaning completely. Poor me, tired me without a hope. Little did I know I was the new colossus.
“The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
—Emma Lazarus, 1883
(Those words are on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty.)
Do not misunderstand I am not above average however, I believe everyone is extraordinary. Everyone has untapped potential and power. Everyone can accomplish great things. You have within you the ability to change your life and improve the lives of others, you have the power to be amazing. Marianne Williamson wrote; “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” What powerful words those are, to know that we are powerful beyond measure is a fantastic gift and one that sometimes can only be emphasized by a challenge.
You may be saying that you are not strong, smart, or great, but, maybe you have not shown yourself who you can be. Maybe you have been content with the mediocrity provided by lack of dedication, lack of enthusiasm, lack of responsibility. Or maybe the proper challenge has not been placed before you. Whatever the case may be, it is up to you to become the person who concurs, the person who has faced down the challenge and has been changed for the experience.