Jasna agreed to speak at one of my groups and here is an intro into her amazing life!
I love talking about resilience. In fact, my entire life is a story of resilience. I grew up in Bosnia during the war and lived in a refugee camp when I was nine, with a father in a concentration camp. It wasn’t exactly a childhood I would choose, but I firmly believe it is a blessing – just like any obstacle or suffering we may encounter. War taught me forgiveness, empathy, kindness and the resilience of human beings. Most importantly, it has taught me to be grateful for every little thing in my life.
Move into this country was a struggle between authenticity and proving to others that I can do what is expected of me. And then, that of a mother losing a child. All of these things, despite great pain, have given birth to a lovely new woman I am today and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How we respond to things in life is a choice. Resilience is falling down or going through suffering, learning from it and keep going. Today, I look at parents protecting their children with all their might. I see them praising the children for every significant and insignificant achievement. I see them put their kids under a protective cover and assure them that everyone else is wrong and only their kids are right, no matter what they do. I find this sad especially since every great leader – every – had to overcome a challenge or a difficulty, and was not overly protected from life. Failing and going through tough times builds us and gives us strength for other things to come (and other things always come up, just the way life is). We must experience NOT having in order to want more. We must fail to learn about ourselves and clarify what it is that we want. If I can expect one thing of myself as a parent, is that I will let my children fail and fall, over and over again. And then I hope to talk about it and create a plan about next steps.
We often get paralyzed by fear and tend to stay in the comfort zone because of its safety. Because of this – we never learn what we are made of. In fact, when we do not retreat and face the problems – we come to learn that we are much stronger than we think we are. It is never more than what we can handle.
I have lived through the horrors of a civil war and have seen the dark side. I have gone through the pain of a mother losing a never born child. I have seen what stress does to the body. All of these things have been a gift, a special gift intended to awaken my soul and get me present to the world within. I have learned that there is nothing to fear and that I am strong and able.
Now I know that seemingly unfortunate thing is also the greatest gift of all. Everything that we encounter is exactly what we need at the time. It is never more than what we can handle.