As I sat down to write this post the day after Thanksgiving 2016, I was reflecting on "How did I get here?" You may ask "Get where?" And I would say to this peaceful place in my heart, mind and spirit. It was and is a long road and but also very possible and attainable.
Right before my divorce, I was an emotional mess. With two children who are now 15 and 8, I thought I had the perfect life. Things were revealed, came out of dark places, family members passed on; you name it, it happened. At the time, I did not realize that I was being prepared for a purpose and an opportunity to grow, to continue to love others despite my own circumstances and to get to a place of peace that I had not seen in years. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with the emotional side of the divorce; although I've moved on from the pain and guilt that it caused me. On top of that, the passing of my father and the lack self-confidence all reared their ugly heads at the same time but I had to find a way to keep going, to keep pushing and moving forward.
One day about three years ago when I was sitting home, I received an email about a book club at my church and the proposed book that we were going to read. I thought: "I can't take on another book, club, book club or anything at this point." After reading the email, I thought about it some more since I had time that evening to really sit and reflect on my situation a bit. The kids were with my ex-husband for the weekend and this was the first time that I did not have anything planned for the day. I look back on this time now and think that was meant to be as I needed the time to rest and reflect and also get rid of some bottled up anger and sadness.
Ironically, the suggested book reading for our upcoming book club at church was Prepared for a Purpose about a woman named Antoinette Tuff who saved an Atlanta, Georgia elementary school under siege by a lone gunman.
So, how did I keep going when I think I couldn't? Here are the steps that I took and roughly in this order:
Prayer: This lead me closer to God
Embracing my situation: Acknowledging the hurt and pain
Finding my faith and spirituality
Challenging myself to remain confident: Continuously working on myself building my self-confidence
Continued self-discovery: Being comfortable in my own skin; comfortable with silence
Reading more books: Broadening my horizons through self-study and gaining knowledge
Starting this blog in July 2013
Helping others while helping myself: Sharing the knowledge I've gained by helping others through their challenges
Additionally, there are 6 things I do on a daily and regular basis and when I think I can't keep going, I stop and reflect on these:
Take care of myself: Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally
Take baby steps: Slowing down; no need to rush through life
Tackling a small or large goal: Restores confidence and renews self-esteem
Challenge myself to achieve new goals: Think of and write down goals that I would like to accomplish; 1 or 2 a day is sufficient
Track accomplishments: Take notes and highlight successes
Stay informed: Keep up on what is happening through reading, self-study and being observant