This is as good as it gets, Susan. You’ve done the best you can, so make the most of it… Welcome to a small sample of my self-talk as a working wife, mother and new co-owner of a home that needed a lot of work. Each weekday, you would find me driving our baby to daycare, taking the train into Boston to go to work, rushing back to pick up our baby, make dinner, spend a little time with the baby before bedtime, and then back at it the next day. My marriage was mercurial at best, and I felt like a failure.
It seemed like there was never enough of me to go around and because of this, I put myself last. I thought I had to, like I had signed up for the martyrdom package. I had such a longing to be happy and feel deeply loved as well as fulfilled in my work, but thought I had missed that boat. I wondered whether these gifts were only for the lucky or those more skilled and smarter than I was. I had no idea that these feelings had everything to do with my belief system which informed my self-esteem and confidence. But Life had a wake-up plan in store for me, and it wasn’t pretty – my series of unfortunate events: Invasive breast cancer followed by the dissolution of my marriage. I thought the Universe was kicking my butt, but it was actually cleaning my house.
This story is more common than we think. It may come with different details for others, but the theme is quite similar. We aren’t paying attention to the subtle messages that Life is trying to ping us with, so we’re finally hit upside the head with a major brick. Life, finally screaming at us, says “You have to pay attention to me now! I will not let you continue this way any longer!” Most of us still want to hide under the covers and deny the circumstance, let alone study the message, but when we begin to consider the message, our re-birth is at hand. This is not at all an overnight process. It’s a bit of a game of connect-the-dots in order to reveal the picture we didn’t want to look at, because it would mean that we might have to take action, something more frightening than the life we’re unhappy with. Once we take it on, the lightbulbs go on and we begin to consider another kind of life for ourselves. A life we would truly love. Dare we dream of such a life? I can tell you that after finding out that I got to live and not perish from breast cancer, I felt like I got a second chance to get this life right, and I was not about to leave everything up to circumstance. Does it mean that all immediately became wonderful? Not at all. But I became grateful, happy and filled with wonder at the possibilities of what I could create in my “new life.” Through forgiveness, bravery and humor, I found my way to love, fun and fulfillment. It’s an ongoing project.
As a life coach, I get the privilege of working with clients who no longer wish to wait to see whether their circumstances will change. They, too, know that there has got to be “more,” and they are willing to be uncomfortable in the interest of their growth in order to realize their desires. Again, it’s not an overnight process, but with consistent support and the tools to make significant changes, positive results begin showing up, and this empowers them to keep going. I love this work. The side benefit is that I continue to learn and grow with my clients.
Moving away from the mundane begins with the question, What would I love? What would I love to be doing? Who would I love to be sharing my time with? How would I love to spend my time? What level of health in my body would I love to experience? We have been trained to give up our choice and bow down to conditions, never fully aware that we are inviting conditions through our mindset, and these conditions are our messengers. After coming out on the other side of cancer and divorce with a clean slate to write upon, I felt like I was given the keys to the kingdom, and I wanted share this feeling with anyone who could benefit from my experience and insights. We deserve to feel happy and alive. It doesn’t mean that undesirable incidences won’t occur in our lives, but who we become in the process of facing and addressing them changes everything. We no longer resign ourselves to the condition. Instead, we have the chance to respond with greater awareness. I heartily invite you to consider what’s showing up in your life and check in with that deeper knowing that you may have been hiding from. There are gifts on the other side.