Friday, November 16, 2007

Making sense of a mess

There are many antecdotes that people use to comfort themselves or those they care about when something in their world goes wrong. "You've got to turn lemons into lemonade." "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger." "It's a character builder."

I was watching the news a few nights ago and Robin Roberts from Good Morning America was getting her head shaved because her hair was falling out from chemotherapy. They showed a clip of an interview with her asking her why she would subject herself to something like that on national television. And she simply said, "Because my mother taught me to make my mess my message." So much more more powerful than making lemonade or building character.

Making your mess your message actually gives you something to do with what's wrong with your life at the moment. That can mean cancer, a broken relationship, a lost job. You can scoop up your sorrows, however many there, however intensely they make you feel, and put them to work. And it helps you get through it, connects you to other people going through a similar situation, and helps them pull through too.

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