A Sense of Possibility: A LIFT Value Worth Living For
When I first heard of sense of possibility I thought to myself, what a direct and frank phrase to such an objective topic. Hope, faith, unity, and courage are just a few words that my mind correlates with this powerful statement. All of these words remind me of what LIFT is and who we are as a family and organization. Valuing a sense of possibility is very important to my role as a Member Service Fellow because it allows me to think outside of the box. It makes me feel valued by LIFT on a personal and professional level. It proves that LIFT values not only its staff and volunteers but also its Members and the issues that they face in everyday life. It motivates me to encourage members to acknowledge the unlimited possibilities that are available to them for the future.
I want to share with you a story of a member who has recently reignited my own sense of possibility. This particular member is shy and polite, yet very personable and sweet. She always comes in with the intent to do something meaningful during her appointments at LIFT. After a few minutes of our first meeting she opened up to me and confided that she felt discouraged and out of tune in regards to finding employment. I noticed that she was somewhat sad and she informed me her husband had passed two years ago. I could tell that she was still grieving. Her husband always provided for her and their family, so she did not have to work outside the home during their thirty-six year marriage. She told me it had been years since her last position and that in her eyes her years of working inside the home were not meaningful. She had done odd jobs here and there in retail and had custodial positions but nothing she felt to be substantial. Her husband was her best friend and the past two years had been rough on her. I let her know that she was valiant and courageous. I told her that despite not having a consistent work history; she was the rock that kept her family united and strong. She raised four children, took care of their home, and was also a shoulder for her husband during their marriage.
I told her to keep hope alive, stay positive, and look toward the future. Immediately, I could see a change in her outlook and a hint of a spark in her eye. I gave her a take away assignment: I asked her brainstorm at home things that interested her. I reassured her to not feel pressured but to look back on her past and think about what made her happy. I asked her to list things that made her smile, hobbies she may have had when she was younger — practically anything is fair game as long as it was something that brought her comfort and that she was passionate about. I informed her that the list would be a catalyst for us to take further steps researching jobs, trainings, or educational opportunities available to her. This member meeting to me exemplifies a sense of possibility; all she needed was a new perspective on how to analyze what her next steps might be.
One thing was for certain, I could relate to that member feeling discouraged. At times I have lost my own sense of possibility–I feel like I lose it a lot of times! I believe that the journey that comes with the constant struggle to keep it is what is most important to me. I keep my sense of possibility by having solidarity with my LIFT family. I think about my past and all of the struggles that I faced that have brought me to where I am now. Yet I also take into consideration other people’s difficulties and I count my blessings and opportunities. I believe that in every strong person is a drive and a constant determination to never give up. I believe that drive is pushed forward by coming to terms with what you do well, what you need to improve on, and what you can do for now to improve and better your tomorrow. I keep my sense of possibility vibrant in my life by asking myself “How can I be a change I would like to see?” “How can I encourage someone, even if by the smallest gesture or uplifting words to think positively about their future?” Sometimes it’s difficult to stay focused and inspired, but what gets me through it is feeling unity with every single person in the world. I recognize that no one is perfect and that there are constant changes and learning opportunities for people every day. Yet most importantly I take pride in knowing that all people are special and unique, that each individual has a valid and authentic sense of possibility within.
This LIFT core value, sense of possibilities, informs how I will think about my work at LIFT this year by inspiring members to take life day by day. I want them to not be so hard on themselves and to say, “look at what I have accomplished this far in life. Look at all of the possibilities I have available for tomorrow!” If I can inspire even one member to stay optimistic, focused, and united with other people around them it was all worth it. My sense of possibility lies in this: I would like whoever comes into contact with LIFT, to know that they have friend they can count on when they feel they’ve lost their hope for the future and even when they accomplished what we all knew was possible.
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