Challenge the Storm – Where it all Started

June 21, 2016 / Alex Hanna  / 
challenge the storm

The Story Behind Challenge the Storm 

In May, 2015, the idea for Challenge the Storm was born. Poetry had been an outlet I used to channel my anxiety for just under six months. On a stormy evening, flying up the east coast, it dawned on me that I was not the only person struggling – something that we all know, but often fail to truly acknowledge. Each person on that airplane had their own unique struggles. Pain is not relative. Pain is just pain. We must support one another throughout our own unique struggles. Together, we will fight. Together we will battle on.

Ash Beckham articulates this with such clarity, in her 2013 talk at TEDxBoulder1

Hard is not relative. Hard is hard. Who can tell me that explaining to someone you’ve just declared bankruptcy is harder than telling someone you just cheated on them? Who can tell me that his coming out story is harder than telling your five-year-old you’re getting a divorce? There is no harder, there is just hard.

Source:   Ash Beckham: We’re all hiding something. Let’s find the courage to open up

The decision to change yourself

When we look around at a world so full of jealousy and resentment, each moment is an opportunity to make a difference. A kind word, a helping hand, the smallest gesture can make the biggest difference. We so often refuse to acknowledge the challenges faced by those who we view with envy. We see the new car, a bigger house, a tailored suit – but do we see the stress, the issues at home, the failing health? No. We plead ignorance to the existence of anything less-than-perfect, in our imperfect world. So I ask you this: what will you do when you are faced with your next challenge? What will you do when you recognize someone else is struggling?

We make important decisions each time we encounter such situations. We can choose to ignore them, pretend as if all the pain and hardship will go away if we shut our eyes tight enough. Or we can choose to face our storms head on: to battle the very thing that frightens you, taking away the power it once held over your head. Your resilience in the face of adversity screams like thunder for all to hear. You roar from the mountaintops: you will not be defeated, you are not afraid.

The decision to influence others