Three Life-Changing Lessons that Could Possibly Change Your World – Look, I’ve made it this far, and it wasn’t without failure, falls, and disappointing outcomes. It has been an incredible journey thus far. And I want to share three key things I’ve learned that have sent me on my current life course.
Lesson #1 live every day as if it could be your last because it very well might be.
At a very young age, I learned the lesson of loss and it changed me in such a profound way. It has followed me through the next 45 years as this dark ever-present shadow lurking around every corner, waiting to receive me or someone I loved. I lost my grandfather quite suddenly at the age of fifteen, but that was my last visit from the grim reaper. I hadn’t realized then that he was just preparing me for what was about to come.
One beautiful warm summer day in July, we were doing what we usually did on hot summer weekends, spending time as a family, sharing it with all the other neighbor kids. Remember the days when neighborhoods were a tight community, and all the parents took part in raising the neighborhood kids? Man, those were the days, you couldn’t get away with anything because there was always someone’s Mom or Dad close by to direct you back on track.
This particular summer day, we took off with our family and 4 of the neighborhood kids to cool off in the mountains. A little fishing and cooling off in the lake what a spectacular day; it was literally perfect, up to the point when that dark shadow of death reached out and touched us again.
This time taking one of our children, still so full of life, my 14-year-old brother. Our world had changed, never to feel or look the same again. At the age of 16, I learned that tough lesson of loss and grief.
I also learned the lesson of life, the meaning of living every moment as if it were your last. To love hard, forgive easily, and embrace everything, even the things that are uncomfortable at the time. Since that day, anger has left me easily, forgiveness comes immediately, and love flows freely. The worse day of my life taught me the beauty of living.
Lesson #2 Always choose life.
You’re probably wondering what the hell does she mean by that? Of course, I choose life. I’m here, aren’t I? So you think that means you’ve chosen life? That you are living? I have been faced with this choice presented to me on so many occasions, but the one that really altered my life was the one I had ten years ago.
Being given a diagnosis by my doctors that I would not be able to survive with the condition I was in for much longer, and no options to change that. I choose life, to live every moment no matter how many we expected. Instead of spending time looking back at what had gone wrong and what I could have done differently, and not wasting time looking forward and preparing for the end of life. I chose to focus on the exact moment I was in, not backward and not forward, but right where I was standing.
I started stringing those moments together one by one. Creating them to make something beautiful that I could hold on to; and create a spectacular memory to leave here with those I love and store as many away for myself.
Lesson two is really about you, waking up right where you are standing this very moment, and choosing life! To live, to laugh, to love yourself and those around you.
Lesson #3 Recognizing the Value in your Lessons.
Recognize what you are destined for, and use that to leave this world better. It took me 50 years to figure this out, but as a wise woman once told me, “It’s never too late.” I’m living proof of that. When I realized what the purpose was for all those years behind me, all those very painful lessons, the failures, and the heartache were leading me. Well, WOW! Seriously WOW!
Everything up to this very second was preparing me and guiding me to my life’s purpose. HOPE! Feeling hopeless was a place I found myself visiting often. Too many times, believing I had no control over my destiny. And proving more than once, I had more control than I thought.
Strength comes from that feeling of hopelessness; it puts the needed pressure we’ve needed to fight back. Think out of the box and start looking for other options. I now meet with clients who sit in front of me with a look all too familiar, that look of fear and hopelessness.
I know now that my journey was set out before me to help me recognize that look and understand it on a deeper level. But it has also given me the tools to guide others along their personal life journeys. Hope is a powerful thing; once you get even a spark of it, it can set you on fire! On a path that no one, not even you, dreamed possible.
How did I recognize what I was destined for?
I didn’t, at first, but it’s like finding Waldo in one of those crazy pictures, and once you spot him, you can’t stop seeing it. Now that I see my purpose, I realized it was always there, right in front of me, but I needed all these experiences to refine it and give it meaning, depth, and passion.
What I learned in my six-plus decades is that from profound grief comes profound love and forgiveness. When I choose life, I am choosing to really live. When I embrace the failures and life lessons, I am gaining knowledge and meaning of who I am and what I am capable of.
- I would be the first to tell you there has been nothing unique about my journey.
- I am no different from any other beautiful human being walking this earth.
- I just now see the possibilities of my circumstances and a world filled with potential.
Find your purpose, and know it might change; what was once my purpose grew into so much more as I grew through those lessons, and as you travel your path, remember to show yourself grace and love.
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