Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's Not A Concession Speech

Several months ago I shared a magical conversation with a friend. We discussed suffering, loss, and grief. While our circumstances are vastly different, our emotions and our pain are quite similar. So as not to betray her confidence, I shall say we both have holes in our lives, unfulfilled dreams, and brutally interrupted plans. We discussed these vulnerabilities without shame, but also expressed much hope and determination. And without hesitation feel grateful for our lives, holes and all.

As the discussion veered towards the gratitude for these holes, gratitude for the lives we currently live, she said something so wonderful and with so much confidence, that it sticks with me all these many months later. Sometimes, when I venture into a bit of a dark place and I pull out of it using tools like my gratitude journal or focusing on what I do have, I remember her words and everything falls perfectly in place. 

Immediately after she named all of the good in her life, despite her pain, she simply said, “And this is not a concession speech.”

Not a concession speech. She is so right. Just because we learn to focus on the love in our lives, rather than the fear, doesn’t mean we are grasping for straws. Just because we choose to see what is right, rather than focus on what is wrong, doesn’t mean we are defeated. And just because life doesn’t turn out exactly as it should in our heads or by what we see as a first rate life, doesn’t mean the life we have is second best. It isn’t a concession speech to be content as we are and with what we have. In fact, it is the courageous person who takes looks her circumstances, with the falls and the stumbles and the bruises and the torn heart strings and the dashed dreams, straight in the eye and is willing to return her life again and again no matter how many times it knocks her down. This is courage. This is a win, not a concession speech.

Thank you, Shantini. 


  1. Sarah - I have been reading your blog for years now, almost since the beginning, but I have never commented. You are an inspiration to me.

    I am 62 years old, and next Monday I will have a full hip replacement of my right hip, an operation that I know will relieve my pain, but which will also result in a loss of flexibility, and permanently close the door on some of the ways I am able to physically be in the world now. This is an operation that will permanently change my body in a major way.

    I have been focusing on and mourning only the losses. But, I plan to write the quote you offered in today's post - "And this is not a concession speech." - and keep it with me through every step of the operation, rehab and recovery process. I will keep the quote with me to remind myself to always keep fighting for the best life possible.

    Just with this short post, you have brought me to a much better place. Thank You for sharing your thoughts, hope, dreams and personal experiences with us so openly. You are my heroine.


  2. KerowynA,

    Thank you for such a thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I more than appreciate all of the comments, but felt I must reach out and tell you I am thinking of you and wishing you all the best. You are right, your life is not a concession speech. You are a warrior and have the scars to prove it. Best of luck and lots of love to you.



Thank you for commenting. I appreciate all of your words.