On this day one year ago my mom told me she was giving up her fight with cancer. Less than two hours later my daughter, my only child, came home from school and announced that she wanted to transfer to her dad’s school district. It was not a good day. I lived in heartbreak for months. I’ve never been prone to depression but that is exactly what I would call the period that followed.
Nine years ago on this day my life was forever changed when I learned of a careless, reckless act between two people — one person I love dearly, the other I barely know. It wasn’t a good day either. Again, there were months of sorting things out — my feelings, life in general, trying to figure out the why of it all. That’s just torture. Sometimes the why just IS.
I am forever changed because of each of these incidents. You’ve heard the saying, “once you see something you can’t unsee it.” The same is true for hearing, feeling, sensing; anything really. We are the sum of our experiences and then some. We become who we are because of the things we choose and the things that are chosen for us. Life is trial and error. None of us were given an instruction book. I’m convinced we’re all just winging it, but hopefully we learn and grow based on the experiences we’re given.
I had a choice in each of these traumas. I could be a victim or I could learn to empower myself. I stayed in victimhood for a while in all of them; that was the sorting out period. But time gives us perspective, thank God, and when given the choice I’ll always choose empowerment and growth. “The only way out is through;” luckily the through gives us strength, insight, wisdom and courage.
I’ve never had one day give me so much I wasn’t sure I could handle. I’ll never forget November 8th but I’ll also not let it decide for me. Today I take a little bit more of my life back. I’m doing something a little scary, totally out of my comfort zone, but hopefully one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done. And I’m doing it all for me, for my life, to help me continue to evolve. I will share more later, but for now know this:
Your life is not defined by your experiences unless you allow it to be. Your life is just that, YOURS. You have a choice in how you live it. Take care of yourself. Tend to YOU always. Love and care for yourself. Be gentle with yourself; doing so is not a luxury, it’s a God-given right.