Break Down or Break Open

by Carolyn Lebanowski
“We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.”

— Ernest Hemingway

For most of us there is a time in our lives when we have fallen so hard, that if feels almost impossible to get back up. We are left on the ground shattered in shame, disappointment, anger or grief. You can feel the fire pulsate in your breathing, feel the burn at your core and the ashes drifting in the air. The thought of regaining composure or a sense of normalcy as we have known is almost inconceivable. Some refer to this as the ‘dark night of the soul’, a place that some of us will visit, and never wish to stay.

It is here where we are left with questions and choices:

“When we have been through a trial and survived it—or better still, transformed its terrors into revelations—then we begin to approach other adversities with a different attitude. Change and loss may still knock us off the horse, but soon we are back in the saddle, stronger and wiser than ever. As life progresses, and we continue to transform and refine our consciousness, we gain more insight and humility, greater strength of character, and deeper faith in the meaningfulness of life” – Elizabeth Lesser

The choices here are personal… and critical.

I am grateful for my own experience where I found the light in my broken pieces. I managed the darkness with unfaltering support from the people I loved the most and those who crossed my path with an uncanny connection to my heart.

And…there are those who wish to stay there a little longer by divine choice.

So, when and if this experience is a part of your journey – just ask the question:

Will you stay awake, feel the pain or go back to sleep and live a compromised life?

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Carolyn Lebanowski is an experienced and respected senior level executive with expertise in strategic development, organizational communication and executive coaching. She has 27 years of proven success with corporate organizations in organizational development and has spent the past 12 years as the Executive Director at Unity of Houston in Houston Texas, and is currently the COO of First Unity Spiritual Campus. As ILLLI’s Strategic Leadership Partner, Carolyn exhibits passion for life with a clear understanding of the relationship between the development of human potential and overall business success.

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