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Equanimity


I thought about the women in my life this Sunday morning. Like you, I awakened to the calls and text of loved one's wishing me a, "Happy Mother's Day."


One of those text from my son, talked about my "grace under pressure" in navigating the world, and raising two children as a single mom (yes, my ex-husband lived less than a mile away, but I understood my son's perspective).


I thought about those words, "grace under pressure." Equanimity. Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. Webster's dictionary even gives an example of the meaning of the word, "she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity."


Quite honestly, when I think about that word equanimity, great women leaders like Queen Elizabeth, State Representative Barbara Jordan from Houston, who died at age 59 on January 17th in 1996, the day after my 37th birthday, Coretta Scott King, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, come to mind.


I also think about my own mother. Navigating the world as a black woman in the sixties, raising four children with my dad, working as a social worker, buying a home in the suburbs of Detroit, white flight, the 1968 riots, the Civil Rights Movement, navigating her world, all with "grace under pressure." Equanimity.


I thought about many of the women I know who go about daily life navigating the challenges we all must face in our lives. I thought about old and new friends navigating life's challenges right now.


I recently heard an old speech Queen Elizabeth gave during Covid, in which she led the British people through a pandemic with equanimity. Even after being infected with Covid herself. Grace under pressure.


Yet, I also witnessed the many women (and men) screaming, crying and being just downright rude because they had to wear a mask (to protect themselves or others), take a vaccine (although every one of them have had to take a vaccine for Measles, Mumps, Rubella for the past nearly sixty years).


As I type this, I bring the words from Ecclesiastes 1:9 up on my computer:

"What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun."


Those words ring in my head and heart as I choose to remind myself of all the women I have loved and admired, who handled life, and who taught me to handle life with equanimity. Why? Because as they have often reminded me...there is nothing new under the sun. What is has been, is and will be again.


I remind myself, as I sit in my home office on a Sunday afternoon, after a long drive home, watching the sky break into sunshine following dark skies and torrential down pours. The sun always follows the rain. The good always follows the bad when we live our challenges as my son described, with 'grace under pressure."


I also remind myself that I have faced quite a few challenges lately. Yet, perspective, the right actions and the will to walk with "grace under pressure." has helped me as it has in the past, to come through and out.


I pull out one of my favorite quotes by the Stoic, Senaca who said... “It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.”


Equanimity. I love that word. Evenness of temper. As I think today about my daughter, and my granddaughters, I can only hope that what I pass along to them, that which has been passed along to me. This "grace under pressure." This equanimity, to be guided and led by faith, hope and love. Equanimity.





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