be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict); acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor.

Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Every day, it gets easier for me to relate. It takes humility, but I get it. I speak the following affirmation to myself often now – grow through it as you go through it. It may not be the cheeriest affirmation ever spoken, but it keeps me positive, it makes me feel strong, and it keeps me moving forward. It reminds me that every trial and tribulation has a purpose – a lesson to be taught or a test to be passed. And what happens after you pass a test? You advance to the next level. Ascend.

I’ve resisted the urge to wallow in self-pity and negativity. I found that it’s not productive and it’s not purposeful. It won’t get me anywhere I want to be. Of course, I give myself grace and space to feel whatever I feel, fully and authentically. It has taken practice to balance all the emotions these tough times have brought with reflection, enlightening and uplifting conversation, meditation and prayer. But because I have been trying and working on it – working on me – I can literally feel the lightness returning. Ascend.

The day Nelson Mandela was released from prison and walked towards freedom (Feb. 11, 1990).

When the going gets tough, the tough talk to God. I have come to accept that everything I want is not necessarily going to happen in my time, through my methods, or all by myself. So, I’m working on being still sometimes. Loosening the reigns sometimes. Going with the flow sometimes. And having faith all the time. Gleaning whatever can be gleaned from every event and interaction. And through this, I have come to understand more about myself, my relationships, my life, and how even the most undesirable of situations may fit into my divine assignment, my purpose, and my journey. Ascend.

Every trial and tribulation can be an opportunity if you see it as one; not only an opportunity to become stronger or “tougher,” but an opportunity to be better and do better. It’s not as if any one major hiccup exempts us from others in the future. If we keep living, a tough time here and there is all but certain. But I personally don’t want to have reruns of the same drama over and over. I want to evolve and grow. Ascend.

There’s freedom (and joy) in knowing that everything works together according to His perfect will.

When you see the dark clouds gathering on the horizon yet again, experience and wisdom will guide you. You’ll know what tools are needed to navigate it more efficiently. You’ll get through it quicker. Easier. Breezier. Usually. You might even be able to circumvent the storm altogether. Use divine knowledge to banish demons and conquer fears. Call on God to fight your battles. Channel knowledge of self to walk in your purpose and find joy. Win.


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