Overcoming Adversity in Music City

Coming to Downtown Nashville to cover the CMT Awards I thought, “one would never know what this city has endured in recent weeks.” Having seen the footage of the flood online, I wondered what I’d find here. What I found in the immediate downtown area was simply, Nashville. No sign of the devastation in sight.

But talking to some of the Nashville stars tells a different story. Martina McBride says that one of her neighbors has lost everything. “The house had to be bulldozed down. It’s all gone,” she told a group of radio people last night. Then as I sat with Rodney Adkins this morning for an interview, he described how the little creek behind his home had become a raging river, carrying with it miscellaneous neighborhood possessions, including a riding lawnmower floating down the temporary rapids. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “And our house. You’ll wake up one morning to see a wall buckled. Things are still showing up.” I could almost feel his experience vicariously through his re-telling of the story, and it was clear to me that beneath the well cleaned up downtown, Nashville has taken a beating, and gotten up to face another day.

“A lot of people doing a lot of hard work,” is how Adkins describes the rebuilding of Music City. And there is still much to do to completely heal from the effects of the flooding.

What I have taken from my visit to Nashville is a humble appreciation for the strength of the human Spirit. Since the beginning of humanity, we have faced tragedy beyond description, and yet we continue to rise to the occasion of Life. We continue to choose Love, to remain open to a better tomorrow.

I know that whatever happens in Life; whatever storms come to flood our experiences with challenges, pain, and loss, we will and do choose to rise above the moment and rebuild. We are stronger than we realize, and sometimes the gift in disappointment is being able to witness ourselves in the courage of braving the storm.

The next time you pass by a mirror today, I invite you to pause, take in your own reflection, look deeply into your eyes, smile, and acknowledge your own strength and willingness to overcome adversity. Witness the miracle of the presence of stillness which lies within you. YOU are an everyday hero. Here to you!



P.S. If you feel called to help the Nashville relief efforts, visit rebuildingtogethernashville.org.

P.P.S. Your continued support of our Oprah Winfrey Network Campaign has taken Life With Leela to over 301,608 votes and counting so far! Thank you, and please keep voting through July 3rd to help make the show a reality on the OWN. Together, we can make it happen.


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