Life changes in a moment and anything can happen to anyone at any time. How we handle life changing moments and let them define us, is completely up to us.
We have all had and will continue to have “life changing moments”, whether it is losing a loved one, the end of a relationship, loss of a job or illness. These moments are unexpected and can throw us off the “path” that we were travelling on and the very destination we envisioned getting to. While we don’t often have control over all the events in our lives, we do have control over how we react to the them and how we let them define us. Yes – I believe all events in our lives define us to some extent, but how they define us whether it be positive or negative is up to us. I also believe that there are some events that you don’t ever forget or completely get over, like the loss of a loved one, and that is ok, we don’t need to always forget or get over something, but with awareness and proper care we can heal, learn, grow, and move forward.
I have had several of these defining moments in my life including the loss of my mom when I was young, which completely transformed my childhood. Dealing with loss as a child is difficult because we often lack the level of awareness of an event’s true impact on our lives and our character. Losing a parent made me a strong person who really appreciated life and the people around me, but it also made me a very scared and detached person who feared people leaving me. As a child, I did not have the level of awareness to understand the impacts such an event was having on me, nor did I have the ability to change it growing up. However, as an adult, dealing with a defining moment was different, or at least I was determined for it to be different and to handle it with more awareness. So, when my world came crashing down, when my husband of 20 years decided to leave our family for someone else, I made a decision to turn what was happening into an opportunity – an opportunity to learn and grow. Fortunately for me, I was in a place where I was aware enough to know that I wanted more for my life and I did not want what was happening to hold me back in any way. For me, healing, growing, and living to my fullest potential started by understanding and connecting to my core and once I started to do that all else fell into place.
Here is what I learnt along the way and the promises I kept to myself:
Show Up To Life Each Day – I made a promise to myself to show up to life everyday no matter what was going on or how hard it got. Life is a gift and each day is a blessing, and even in the darkest of days you can find light, whether it be in the laughter of a child, enjoying nature, a friendship, or a hobby – find something you can connect with and that brings you joy.
Change The Song Playing In Your Head – After going through a myriad of emotions, including shock, disbelief, worry, fear and even the desperation of wanting to save my family, I made a very conscious decision to change the song. I have always been a strong believer in the power of the mind and each person’s ability to write their own story, and it all starts with your thoughts – so stop the negative song and replace it with a new one.
Accept What Is Happening And Let Go – Accept what is happening to you, where you are and stop trying to change and fix things, and most importantly stop blaming other people for where you are. As soon as I accepted and let go, a huge burden was lifted, which allowed me to start to get clarity and answers in my life, and it allowed me to begin to see what was next.
Share – Rally your troops or your “angels” as my dear friend calls them. Its ok to share and let your closest friends know what is going on, none of us have perfect lives and all of us are hurting in some way. We should be able to share with our friends and rely on them for support and comfort, without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. True friends won’t judge or gossip about you, and for those friends that do, Jack Canfield said it best – “every time we judge someone else, it is just a projection of our own self judgment”.
Believe In A Greater Power –Gabby Bernstein puts it so well “the universe has your back” and will give you the necessary support to achieve anything you want. Whether you want to call it God, Grace, the Universe or something else, believe in a greater power and believe that greater power is for you. The moment I let go and embraced where I was at, and believed in a higher power, my “angels”, “teachers” and “messengers” all started to show up in my life. I was being supported and getting all that I needed. At just the right time, the right people and circumstances were coming into my life and helping me achieve all that I wanted.
Understand Everything Happens For A Reason – While you may not see the reason right away, everything happens for a reason, sometimes there is a lesson to be learnt, a new journey to begin, or a new direction to be pushed into. Believe that there is a reason and live life as if it is happening FOR you not TO you. As I recently heard Arianna Huffington say “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”. You may not see the reason right away but if you embrace change and growth, your setbacks and so called failures can be the foundation of your greatest successes.