Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Resilient Are You?


Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Jennifer Rothschild at a conference I attended.  Now, if you are not familiar with Jennifer, she's a lot like me.  She writes, blogs, and speaks professionally, only she has sold a half million copies of her six books (a few more than me *cough*), and has been on Dr. Phil and Good Morning America.  Oh, and she is a phenomenal speaker.  If you get a chance check her out.

Here are some ways Jennifer is not like me:
  • She has never seen her own blog
  • She has never seen her own books
  • She has never seen her own husband or child 

Jennifer has been blind since she was fifteen years old.

But I wouldn't be telling you about Jennifer if I thought she was superwoman.  The reason I decided to write about Jennifer is that she admitted on stage that being blind sucks, it's hard, she's had some terribly humiliating moments living with her disability.  Jennifer's message is not about how she's so great she overcame her blindness.  Jennifer's message is about how each person has a unique gift and it might come in an unusual package.

Sometimes being a self-published author sucks. After finishing my book, my soon to be thirteen year old daughter excitedly questioned me about when she could tell her friends at school they could buy it in the bookstore.  I had to explain that The Soulkeepers wouldn't be in the local Barnes & Noble but they could buy it from Amazon.  "But it's sooo good," she said. "Why not?"

As I've started getting fan mail from all over the country about The Soulkeepers, I've had days when I've felt sorry for myself for not having a hardcover in a bookstore window. "I'm good enough!" I say. "It's not fair!"  Well, who the hell said life was?

Then I'm reminded of the picture my friend sent me when I made this decision.  She found this tree in Colorado, growing out of a rock.  For her it reminded her of being a mom.  She said, "I spend so much time making sure my kids have everything...a rich soil of activities to help them grow into the perfect adults.  But then I see this tree, an evergreen growing out of the rock, and I realize that whatever it is they're supposed to be will come as much from their hardships as what I'm doing to make it easy for them. " This tree doesn't have any advantages but it is because it's supposed to be. Well isn't that a swift kick in the butt?

So here's to all the people out there with unique gifts in unusual packages!  Whatever has brought us to this place in our lives, it is not to fail but to succeed, to learn, and to grow out of our hardships. 

Today, I am that little tree and I've realized that my readers are the rain and, for now, that is enough.   

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