When Life Takes A Detour

Building Strength

So many times I have heard, “… but I’m not as strong as you are”. My reaction is always the same thing … “Oh yes you are, you just don’t know it yet”. I didn’t know I had the strength within me to go through everything that  I struggled with and there were many times when I considered giving up and just accepting my situation as it was. But I wanted more. I wanted my children to have more. As I have stated many times in Power Within Her, I didn’t know what “more” was at the time but I knew it was not what we were living.

Do What You Can

So what I did was focus on “today”. I did what I could and let the rest go. I made sure I was present when my children were home and when they weren’t, I nurtured me. Sure there were times when I wasn’t my best, but on those days, I was the best I could be at that time. The next day, I worked on stepping up my game. I did the house work, shopping, school events and planned my nest day.  At night I would drop into my bed exhausted and sometimes cry myself to sleep but I would not give up. I completed the day and readied myself for the next one. I had no idea what was down the road so I didn’t focus on that. I could only handle what was immediately in front of me.

Wishing The Struggle Away

Our strength comes from the challenges we face and the unknown territory that is ahead of us. I am referring to our struggles and the fear of what is to come. These times should not be wished away. Instead, they should be lived, learned from and remembered. These are the moments when we grow and build our strength. It is not so much the destination we are looking to reach, it is more about how we get to those destinations. Our daily challenges are the victories, the memories and the proof that we did it. Living the experiences is what being alive is all about. Getting through the tough times and setbacks are what makes the outcome so rewarding. Nobody in this world who has reached their goals without struggle and failure.

The Unknowns Of Life

My friend Louisa Stringer, www.louisawiebestringer.com, a Family Caregiving Consultant writes in her documented journey with her family which is published in Expedition Portal https://expeditionportal.com/lumpy-land-roaming/

 “Rough roads don’t just lead to beautiful destinations; they are beautiful destinations. So often, the unknowns of life are what scares us the most. The reality is that these are what life is made of. When you travel down roads or trails that are on areas of the map that have the dotted lines marking dirt or gravel, those are the ones we should be pursuing. More often than not, those are the roads that lead you to places beyond your wildest imagination. They take you away from your thoughts and into your soul to remind you that beauty is everywhere we turn in this world. It takes a lot of slowing down to see it.”

Louisa’s journey with her family reminds us that it is the paths we travel that give our lives such meaning. The unpredicted journeys bring us to amazing destinations, but we need to explore the unchartered paths and live in each moment. Sometimes it’s the biggest struggles that unveils the most beautiful destinations. Don’t rush life by, live it.

Enjoy the ride!!!

The Choices We Make

Sometimes we make choices that don’t work out the way we thought they would.

I went for a walk the other day.  My watch was set for thirty minutes so I would know when to turn around and head home. As I crossed over a bridge and I glanced down to railroad tracks and thought it would be cool to walk the tracks instead of the busy road I was on. My walk continued down the next side street and just when my timer went off, I had reached the point where the tracks crossed the road. It was ironic, but I took the unfamiliar path knowing it would take me back to the bridge. Immediately, it got quiet and it was so peaceful and beautiful. I walked with a pep in my step and a smile on my face. It was kind of freeing to just walk, not knowing where I was but confident that I would end up where I needed to be.

The Unknown

When I reached the bridge there was no path up to the main road so I kept walking.  The tracks run behind my house so  I figured I would keep walking until it became familiar. I began to get tired and  saw a house through the woods, so I tried to climb the bank to take a short cut home but it was steep and I slid back down. Fear became an issue as I thought about someone coming out of the woods to hurt me? Then it was panic, worried a train might come and I glanced to each side to see where I could go so I wouldn’t be hit or knocked down. It was tiring and I ended up tripping over my own feet and falling on the tracks. I hurt my hand and cut my leg as I let out a swear word and then sat there on the ground. “Well, you better get up, you have to walk home”, I said out loud.

As I walked, I kept looking through the woods trying to find a way home. Finally, I saw a road ahead that crossed the tracks. I was so relieved. Looking around, I knew I had never been down this road before, so again, I kept walking. Eventually I reached the main road and discovered I had gone much further than I thought.

The Reality

Today I thought about my choice to walk down the tracks and how that one choice was an example of the choices we make in life ~ We think of something and want to do it but hesitate because we don’t know where it will take us. Our choices start off exciting and interesting but then turn into hard work and we start doubting ourselves.  We create our own fear and consider quitting or turning back. We fall and get hurt and blame it on the stupid idea. But because it became scary and hard we didn’t like it anymore.

I’ve decided to that walk again tomorrow because now I know the path, the length of it, the dangers and the beauty because I did it and I explored an area that I had never been to before. I found the strength to keep going and because I didn’t give up, I went so much further than I thought I could and I made it home. It’s not about failing or getting hurt, it’s about learning, building our confidence and doing it again. It’s about living and doing what’s in our heart even if it is a little scary.

Writing Tips

Make a list of 12 things that you would like to do. They can be simple enjoyments or big goals, activities or decisions. Do one of them each month and discover you and the world around you.

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Meaningful Mondays

We Can’t Fight The Changing Season

Let’s talk about the need for change and why change is so hard for us, even when we want it. Fall is a great time to explore change. It is a busy time, yet it is also a time for slowing down.  The leaves are changing colors, the animals gather food and create their homes, beginning their hibernation. Everything around us is changing and we adjust as it happens. It’s a natural process. For us personally, change is something quite different. It’s about willingly going into the unfamiliar. There is a feeling of safety in what we know even if it’s not good for us.

Change Needs To Happen Within Us

Let’s think about that… if we live in a state that we are unhappy with, long for something better but fear the idea of change, we willingly accept to remain unhappy. We actually choose it. It’s like putting ourselves in prison or worse, in a grave. Because if we continue to live a life we are not happy with or we stay in an abusive relationship (physical or mental) we are actually not living at all. We are allowing someone else to dictate the terms of our life, forcing us to live according to their will and not our own.

What we fail to see is the fact that change happens within us as we begin to ask questions like… Now what? Where do I go from here? What do I want? What did I say I would do but didn’t do? Why haven’t I left? Our minds begin to turn muddy with thoughts of the lack of progress. We suddenly begin to experience feelings of sadness or emptiness. We are in a process of change and with change comes the opportunity for learning. These learning moments accumulate and act as building blocks, eventually creating the foundation of our new found strength. This is the time of year when everything around us begins to change but it is also the time for us to create change.

Opportunity

The change is already happening in you. With the silence of Fall comes the space and time to look inward. We can take this season and make it work for us. When we spend the time exploring who and what we are, we bring ourselves to the core of what makes everything happen. We learn about, nurture and begin to love who we are. Fall brings the time for connection to ourselves. It is not the end of the summer, it’s the beginning of our next year to come.  The trees do not die in the fall, nor do they stop growing. They merely draw inward, nurture their roots and protect themselves as they ready for new growth.

Tips To Embrace The Season Of Change

As stated in my book, Power Within Her, the first step in making change is learning about who you are. The first tool you will need is a journal. If you don’t have a journal already, go get one!

This week, we will spend time writing about who we are, what is important to you and what makes us happy. It might sound unusual to start off this way but it is so important for us to know WHO we are before we begin to figure out WHAT we want. On the first day of the week write everything that comes to your mind that explains who you are. From there write about all the things that you don’t like and all of the things that make you happy or put a smile on your face. I call this step, becoming your new best friend. The way you develop a new best friend is by learning about them. What is their favorite song, color, holiday, etc. It’s time to spend time with you and really get to know who you are. Go for walks, garden, paint… just be with you and document all of your discoveries. Listen to your heart & enjoy your week.

Till next time…

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