I got an email today from a vendor we’ve used in the past to help our clients. They’re a company in Iowa who produces rubber stamps. It’s been years since we worked with them, and when the email came through I almost skipped right past it. No, I don’t need a stamp today. Then I saw the flames…
There was a picture of a building on fire. Engulfed. Flames coming out the roof, and smoke as far as you could see. You see, this email was a follow up to a 3-alarm fire that occurred last week, one that required fire trucks from four cities. A fire that took twelve-plus hours to put out, a blaze that burned their business to the ground.
Like I said, I almost skipped right past this email, and then I looked closer.
I took some time to feel their pain.
As a business owner and an entrepreneur, I cannot imagine seeing everything I had worked for burn up. All the dreams, all the memories, all the hard work… turned to ash. Years of grinding to build something you could be proud of, gone in just a few quick moments. It breaks my heart to think about how it must feel to get that call, that your world is literally on fire.
A quote from the email I received:
“The outpouring of love and support has been absolutely overwhelming. Hundreds of messages, comments, emails poured in, many wondering how they could help or demanding a gofundme link. I couldn’t help but sob. Our gofundme launched yesterday. Writing it, I felt such overwhelming respect and empathy for anyone that has written one for a sudden tragedy. I managed to only cry a few times while writing, but I’m not sure if that is due to dehydration, exhaustion or processing. Probably all of the above.”
This business will rebuild. They’ll come back. I can tell by the tone of the writing that these are not the words of someone who is defeated. There was a lot of sadness in their message, but also gratitude. They shared their thankfulness that everyone was safe.
They ended the message with this, “Thank you for being part of our lives and business. The only way out is through.”
The only way out is through.
These are such appropriate words for where we’re all at right now. The only way out of this pandemic, these elections, job loss, virtual learning, etc., etc.,… is through. Resilience shows up when we pick up and keep moving – when we step through our challenges.
Someone needs to hear that right now. Your business may not have burned down, but maybe a relationship is in rubble. Maybe you lost a job, or your business is being impacted, and your future feels like it is in ashes. Perhaps all of the stress of everything has you feeling anxious, depressed, uncertain, and fearful.
The only way out is through.
Today, more than ever, laying down is no option. Giving up is no option. Surrender is no option. There’s more to our stories than just this chapter we’re in today, no matter the challenge we’re facing – we just need to move through those struggles.
This doesn’t mean we “get through” on our own. The journey of getting through anything usually requires other people to help carry us. It requires us to lean into one another and do life together. We fall down alone, and others pick us back up. They walk with us, and when they need to, they carry us.
Whatever you’re facing, the only way out is through. If you’re having trouble seeing the path through, ask for help. If you’re struggling with the anxiety and depression that comes with all of this, talk to someone. And, if you’re doing “good” right now, look around. Find the people who need to get through and help someone else on their path.
The only way out is through. And the only way to get through is together.
If you’re interested in giving to this business’s GoFundMe, here’s your chance to help someone else get through: https://www.gofundme.com/f/savethestamps