A Letter from Persistence
I spent the weekend with Elizabeth Gilbert and Martha Beck! Yes, the Liz Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” and the Martha Beck of “Finding Your Own North Star.” I can hardly believe I’m even writing these words. Okay, there were 600 other women in the room (and 4 very brave men), but still, a whole weekend with these amazing women!
The workshop was very hands-on and one of the exercises Liz had us do was to write a series of letters. The letters were from Fear, Enchantment, the Principle (giving permission), Persistence, Enchantment, and the Divine. Each of these letters basically represented the different voices in my head. It’s a busy place in there! The letter that hit me the hardest was the letter my Persistence wrote to me. It leaves me feeling strong and proud and confident. It reminds me of all that I’ve been through. It’s not a pipe dream of what I might accomplish. It is a real reminder of the past. Here’s what Persistence had to say to me:
Dear Sarah Joy,
I am your persistence. This is what I’ve done for you.
Remember that week when you were totally overwhelmed by grief? When you came so close to just letting it take you? Remember how I wouldn’t let you give in? Remember how I pulled you out, how I helped you ask others for help? We did that. Quitters don’t do that.
I have given you the courage to stay and work your butt off for 14 years. You and I did the work until there was no more work to do with him. That is NOT quitting. That was us succeeding.
Sarah Joy, stop with the “I don’t know if I can do it.” Enough already! I have carried you through some awful stuff and you have carried on.
You did not die when you got fired.
You did not die when you lived with an alcoholic.
You did not die when your first husband was a sex addict.
You did not die when a former love cheated on you.
Woman! You carried on. Damn it. See how strong you are. You can lean on me. When will you just start believing in me? You are the most successful journeyer I know. Keep going there. I’ve got your back.
I love you,
I dare you to write a letter of your own. Remind yourself how amazing you really are. Let your persistence provide the evidence. What I know for sure is that every single one of you has faced equally hard stuff and come out the other side whole and complete. Remember.