Taking Flight In Adversity

Is there such a thing?

Depends on who you ask, I suppose. To me, taking flight amongst adversity means making every attempt to keep your feet firmly planted – all the while making every effort to remain weightless and take flight in faith, despite the cinderblocks of stress, burden and pain that are somehow permanently fastened around your ankles.

Being grounded in faith and taking flight above circumstantial problems, health issues, financial burdens, relationship tensions, you name it – it’s easier said than done. I know I’m not the only one who feels that these battles, often seem to be gridlocked in impossible uphill conditions. Did I hit a home run with that one? Now, is every day just a complete and total mire? Of course not. There are brief windows of temporal euphoria. It’s just that sometimes we have to seek out the joys. Ya know, actually willingly take flight above a few burdens and find a few smiles. Sometimes it’s effort. It’s not always a walk down easy street.

The trajectory of success in this life journey is pushing comfort boundaries. Not by staying in ruts.

-Leslie Neighbours

To the people who know me, this may come as a bit of a shocker. As a student in high school, I had tremendous anxiety and fear about being called on to read out loud, or answer a question. I dang near hyperventilated when I actually had to do a presentation in front of the whole class. We’re talking sweaty palms, heart palpitations, red cheeks, and practically stepping on my own tongue every time I opened my mouth to speak. It was bad. Just grossly embarrassing.

That girl seems like a lifetime away now though. To be so nervous in front of people once upon a time, I surprisingly ended up developing a knack for social situations, and inevitably, staunch customer service. First, having worked with my mom in her salon for several years. Then, shortly thereafter, sustaining a decade long career in Esthetics throughout my twenties. It seems as though my conquering high school public speaking prepared me for my early years of people interaction. The cycle continued. The teenager years of customer service trained me for early adulthood social engagement in the career workplace. Although I never saw it in it’s entirety to begin with – I learned a lot, and I gained a lot throughout the whole process. Were there some awkward, uncomfortable, and difficult situations in that time span? Sure. But each time I was tried, it only made me better equipped to handle the next hurdle. And each challenge seemed to come one right after the other with no break. My career struggles morphed into more than just the run of the mill exhaustion and burn out though – my body was fighting an internal battle that I knew nothing of until my late twenties. Sometimes I wonder what my thoughts would have been if someone had told me years ago, that I’d need to maintain my sunshine composure under workplace pressure while managing nerve tumors.

I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Or would have underestimated the difficulty of it.

Life and all it’s many obstacles mold you. They mold you for the present, and they mold you for future bumps in the road. The hardships that await us would probably terrify us into a panic attack if we were to get a glimspe of them at our current state. Why? Because as humans, our tendency is to measure ourselves against upcoming challenges that we haven’t even been trained for yet!

THE ADVANTAGE OF AFFLICTIONS

Being boastful about things that ail us seem to conflict with our human nature. We tend to look around at actors, and actresses.. general fictional characters, and draw these fictitious ideas, or measurements.

It always shakes down the same though.

It’s always us against what we see. What we dream of. What we’d like to see in ourselves. Strengths we’d like to have. Characteristics that we wish were our own. It’s idolatry in the most innocent of ways. Sometimes our admiration is a betrayal to the unique creation that is 100% us. So WHY do we do it?

It’s enough to make one ponder.

I know that my Lord made me unique and great in a lot of ways. But I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t occasionally envy or covet from time to time.

I used to dance. I used to bike. I used to have a solid career. I used to be able to take car travel trips. I used to be able to sleep at night without excruciating pain. I used to be able to be active, and use muscles without debilitating pain.

The bottom line is…. I used to be able to do a lot that I can’t do now. But I gained so much more than I ever thought I would, as a result of going through some heinous times.

The years I persisted in my career, despite battling my mutation – trained me for pain tolerance, and persistence. It trained me mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m stronger now than I ever was, and my present day endurance outshines any youthful early twenties vibe that I ever experienced. I’m not as energetic as what I once was, because of the bodily fatigue. But my mind is more agile and combat ready than I ever dreamed it would be. Now.. that doesn’t make me any John Wick by any means. But, God had a different soldier in mind when He wrote my story. And the soldier that He made you, is unlike any other warrior in His fleet. I can guarantee you that.

Be uniquely you, at all costs.

Fight the confines of conformity and step into originality. Wholeheartedly accept the faith wings that you’ve been assigned, instead of dancing to the beat of the same drum as the masses. Show them what you’re made of, and fly into your God given destiny. Rise above downtrodden earthly titles, mandates and expectations.

We should be strapping on the wings of faith, and authenticity.. and not the cinderblock shoes of clone ship, that have been made to fit society by those who wish to keep us chained within the parameters of societal bondage. We were made to be uniquely like nothing and no one else, so why do we hold ourselves captive to such an unrealistic and unnatural way of life? We were born to be relentlessly genuine and unapologetically rare. Why would we comply with anything other than the carbon copy that we were designed to be?

I say we abandon the societal standards and adopt who it is God wanted us to be since the day we breathed our first breath of life.

Breathe vibrancy into lives that surround you by infecting souls with smiles, laughter and optimism. Bring life into deadened souls that have been dampened by the walk of life – even if it’s just metaphorically. Your inpspiration and good word could be the catapult to ignite someone to chase their destiny, instead of staying in the ruts of depression. You could be the spark to someone else’s fire. So light it.

Light up the world with the whirlwind of radiance and inspiration that you are – and watch the torches of unity, uniqueness and dallantry come to the forefront with dauntlessness. It’s the brand of courage that defies the mortal forces that make every effort to breed silence and acquiescence.

Be courageous. Be beautiful. Be you.

Bring someone else to life through yours.

– Leslie Neighbours, senior quote

6 comments

  1. Such an inspiration, and so courageous and positive. Cannot imagine the pain, the daily struggle, and the KO’s you have been subjected to.

    I shall try to follow your example: bring someone else to life through yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I needed to read this! My struggles are so small compared to yours, but real nonetheless. Thank you, Leslie! The Lord reminds me of you, and I pray for you each time He does. Thank you for letting Him shine through you so brightly! Sandi Brock

    Liked by 1 person

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