Living in a time like this, it is tempting to focus on all that has been lost, isn’t it? From revenue to opportunity to routine. From planned travel to planned celebrations, there is plenty of loss to go around. High school seniors can’t go to prom, or even graduate. Engaged couples can’t get married. Many of us cannot see loved ones. So many have lost their jobs. And even more grave, there is loss of life.  All of that can be so much to process, and feel so opressively hopeless, can’t it?

I’m going to step out on a limb to offer an alternative point of view that I feel is worth considering. When our Chicago restaurant caught on fire in October of 2019, I felt immense loss. It was actually stifling; and paralyzing. So please know that I recognize that feeling, and empathize with those of you experiencing that right now.

I remember one moment in particular that I did not want to get out of bed. My spiritual reserves were pretty tapped. The feeling of loss was overwhelming. I was laying there, staring at nothing while my mind played a montage of my life and all that was being impacted by the financial realities of our family business going up in flames overnight. It was a dark place, and I am not the kind of person that really goes to dark places often. But rest assured, when I go, I go full force. Typically nobody can really pull me out of that but myself. I have to remember who I am, what I believe, and why I need to keep moving. I am made in a way that I do not like to succumb to feelings of negativity. I hate the feeling of giving up and having no hope. I really do. I cannot wear it like a shroud even when I try, I just cannot do it. For better or worse I am a fighter.

So, I forced myself to name one thing I had gained since the fire that was now running my life. My challenge to myself was to call out one thing that had come my way that was not a negative consequence of that morning in October. Truth be told, I was annoyed with myself for even thinking up this ridiculous exercise. I pissed my own self off if you can believe that.  I was not finding one thing to be grateful for, or one thing I had gained.

It turned out that my first response that day was “confirmation of resilience…” – and I was writing about myself, my family and our brand. In that moment of immense loss, I found a gain. I don’t know if this practice will help you right now, but I am sharing with the hope that it might. Loss is terrible, draining and exhausting. Sometimes it is hard to find gratitude. Or see a gain. For me, the more I push my point of view, the more I find myself calibrating to the circumstances within the reality around me. The quicker I adapt to that reality, the more I learn about it – the stronger I become. That knowledge is also wisdom gained from the fire. Happy Monday, friends. I send you love, a little food for thought, and photos from one of my favorite places in Michigan, Brys Estate. Photos by Collin Pierson 

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