Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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When we Thrive

The Thriving Essentials Series: Episode 6


Life has a peculiar way of bringing us to our knees, but we know the value of being hopeful! – We have devastating experiences yet hang onto optimism. We make sacrifices and faithfully meet the needs of others, even when it sucks the breath out of us. And while under duress, when giving up seems to make the most sense, we hang in there.
But what do we do when we reach our breaking point with no hope rising in our hearts?

Seeking Hope.

Hope does not arise when we sit in solitude and indulge in wishful thinking. – Hope is born in longing and pain and bred in humility. We may huff and puff at the utterance of these words because humility is a quality we desire to see in others but avoid cultivating. – Think about it: When did you last hear one say? – This year, I resolve to grow in humility, and I will seek and pursue opportunities to cultivate this ability.
I bet most of us have never heard one say those words!

Often, we consider humility a sign of weakness and only embrace it when we feel life has given us no other option, but humility is not a weakness. – Humility is a platform of hope and a footstool for those who lead remarkable lives and thrive.
To illustrate this, I will share a story, near and dear to my heart.

No other option.

Many years ago, on a chilly Thursday evening in the fall, I drove home from work, and like most days, there was nothing special about the day: It was busy at work, and I expected to get home late, do more work, and wind down for the night. – Inexplicably, once I arrived at my doorstep, I had a feeling it would be a night like none other.

As usual, I parked my car in the garage and walked into the living room at 7 pm, where I saw my dad, greeted him, and called out for my mom. In response, my dad greeted me and said: Your mom is not home. She went to GriefShare at 5 pm and has not yet returned.
Noticeably, my dad looked and sounded worried! – My mom does not like being out in the dark, and to reach her, he called her cell phone several times to no avail.

Sharing Grief.

GriefShare was a gathering that my mom attended for several months after my wonderful sister Jessie’s passing. It is an opportunity for individuals experiencing grief from loss to meet, discuss, and support one another. Specifically, it provides a safe environment for individuals to share their experiences, get guidance tips, encourage each other, and heal.

The particular gathering my mom attended took place at a church that was nearby. Thinking she was there, my dad and I decided to head over! – When we arrived at the church, the lights were out, and the doors closed. Immediately, I panicked and suggested we drive around the neighborhood as she might have decided to go on a walk. Although it was unlikely my mom would have gone on a walk in the dark, my dad agreed. After several minutes on the road, I had a loony idea to drive to a location my mom had never been to! – A nearby cemetery! – This was also a most unlikely option, but one I thought of because of Jessie, even though she was not there! When we got to the cemetery gate, I was so spooked that I could not get out of the car. It was eerily quiet, and no one was in sight. After a quick drive on the grounds, we decided to go home.

Hope springs!

A few minutes after we arrived home, my mom walked through the doors. I was overjoyed to see her but could not help admonishing her for the fear my dad and I had experienced at her sudden disappearance.

She explained that she went to dinner with a friend she met at the gathering who was very distraught. However, one thing was undeniable – my mom was in high spirits! Her hopeful mood stood out because our family was in mourning. Therefore, it had been many months since I saw her happy.

An unexpected gift.

As we discussed, I learned the real reason for her joy. – My mom is very compassionate and empathetic. For this reason, she unwittingly attracts those in pain and can sit with someone in the depths of despair or at the peaks of joy for as long as they need her. Over the months at GriefShare, something unexpected and magical happened. As my mom listened to many express sorrows, though hers did not diminish, she adopted a humble disposition by focusing on others and supporting them. She decided that her world would no longer revolve around her and her pain. Then hope sprung!

Only two doors lead out of pain: hope or despair. When we pour ourselves into others by investing our time, abilities, and hearts to care for others as they experience pain, we open the door of hope. But when we only see ourselves and our pain, we despair.

Pouring into Others and Gaining Hope.

Being present for others builds hope for them and ourselves. Such presence often manifests as a patient ear, an encouraging word, and companionship in the dark valley of pain. Observing my mom, I noticed something beautiful: As her hope grew, she began to thrive. – She nurtured new enduring friendships, gained additional hobbies, made special memories, and began to laugh again.

Indeed, we break when hope expires. And we thrive when hope springs forth. But hope is not a mere wish. Hope is a confident expectation that what is needed will materialize. And on this journey, we need others. 

For you and to you,

For more insights on cultivating relationships that help one thrive, check out: Building Healthy Boundaries.


Image credit: Pexels | Liza Summer



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