There is no greater lesson I have learned in my life than “when you go through hard times you find out who you really are and what you are made of.” ￼
I learned this countless times throughout my childhood where I felt loved but never felt like I quite fit in. I really understood the meaning of this when I lost my mother suddenly when I was 16. And when a year ago I lost my father to cancer and my unborn son to miscarriage in less than a 24 hour period, this quote stood between me and a dark abyss.
Life can be hard. Life can be brutal. Life can be terrifying. But it is in these dark times that we must remember that “this too shall pass”. And just on the other side of now can be a life more beautiful and blessed beyond measure.
As the news of the spreading worldwide coronavirus began to snowball over the past few weeks, I found myself trying to remain calm, in a state of information gathering and in a place of preparedness. Yet if I am being honest, of course I became increasingly concerned day by day. By all reports, I am not quite in a population of greatest risk and concern to contract the virus. And if I did unfortunately contract it, by all statistics I am not at highest risk of severe impact (said certainly prayerfully).
I realized what was bringing me the greatest concern was the unknown. How will this affect my everyday? How will it impact my home? How will it impact the lives of my loved ones? Will everyone I know and love be okay? How will it completely change the world around me for now and forever more? So many questions and not a single person in the world has the answers.￼
As tonight’s breaking news updates about the pandemic came in like rapid-fire, despite all my best efforts to remain calm I instantly began to feel like I did when life was hard and I didn’t know what was on the other side of now. ￼
But as I said earlier, one of the greatest lessons I have learned is when you go through hard times you find out who you are and what you are really made of. As I felt my anxiety start to rise tonight, I remembered who I was and all the hard things I had crawled through in my life. Now is not the time to panic. Now is the time to go inward and search for strength because it is there. Now is the time to rely on the person I know I am. I have been through many days in my life where I just couldn’t picture how I could make it through tomorrow, but I somehow did. There is no doubt this will be an uncertain, scary and possibly painful time for myself and us all. And there is no telling how long it will last. But somewhere beyond this time of uncertainty, life can be beautiful and blessed beyond measure.
I decided tonight that although I choose to stay aware, informed and as prepared as possible with relation to the current pandemic we are now facing, I will do the things that have time and time again helped me through uncertain times in my life. I will refocus on wellness and how I treat my body. I will double down on my faith in God, it has not failed me. I will refocus on my home, doing what I can to continue to make it my place of safety and refuge. I will commit to reading more often both for personal and professional development. I will recommit to connecting often with family and friends, and thankfully the technology of our times allow us to do so effortlessly. And most importantly I will recite to myself as often as necessary that this too shall pass.
I know this virus has already caused much personal pain, destruction, heartache and loss of life. That is not lost on me. It is simply heartbreaking. I will keep those affected very personally in my thoughts and prayers always. I will take the necessary precautions to reduce my chances of being impacted myself and affecting those directly around me. And as I see ways I can support my communities and those less fortunate in these uncertain times, I commit to do so.
This is who I am, created from what I have been through, and this is what I am made of.
This is how I will remain steady in this storm.
~ C ~
I honestly don’t know how to feel about today.
I do feel beyond relieved that 2019 is over. Quite honestly 2018 and 2019 have been some of the most brutal I’ve had in my life. Every day seemed like a battle and I was exhausted. I have always been an optimist by nature but these past few years have brought me to my knees and made me question everything.
I could recently tell I was just tired of it all and it all caught up with me. I could tell because writing has always been a release for me, but these past few weeks I didn’t have the energy or motivation to even think about it. The emotions of the first holiday season without my dad or our should be 6 month old son crept up on me. The first holiday season without both of my birth parents on this earth was more than I could process. All of the life (and there was plenty of it) that happened to me over that last two years seemed to be weighing me down during this already tough time.
I was tired. I am tired.
But a new year was just around the corner. My entire life I have loved the idea of a new year and all the possibility it brought. It always has such promise and hope, and now more than ever I needed both. And a new decade, even better. So as the new year approached, I found myself anxiously yet cautiously awaiting the strike of midnight. I didn’t know what would come but I desperately needed a new year.
As the minutes of the year came to a close, I found myself with mixed emotions. I was sad because I knew when I left 2019, I would be leaving the last moments with some of the most precious people to me. I was heartbroken thinking of all the hard times. Yet I found myself filling with pride that I had made it through it all. And I felt warmth thinking about all of the loved ones who helped me through it all.
I don’t know what this new year will bring. But I do know I am ready for a new year and I welcome a new decade.
So today I welcome 2020.
~ C ~
~ C ~
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~ C ~
A trusted counselor recently shared this with me. There is so much truth – and power – in this message.
~ C ~
This week is the official halfway point for Autumn.
What a season it has been so far.
It has been more challenging than I ever anticipated or really wanted quite frankly. But even in the chaos (and it has been a true mess) I have found great clarity and have been blessed beyond measure.
I realized that when I fiercely stick to my wellness focus and living in the present, I thrive. But when I allow life to pull me away from those areas of focus, I begin to struggle. When off balance, every little thing that goes on can become traumatic, overwhelming and even seem earth shattering.
In this season of “starting over again“, I realize that we get opportunities to stop, adjust and restart as many times as necessary in life. Even though the season is halfway over, that doesn’t mean all is lost. But rather what a blessing it is that we have a whole other half of a season to get back on track and thrive.
I very much welcome the second half of Autumn.
~ C ~
I have to be honest. Focusing on wellness this Autumn has been so incredibly difficult. I’m honestly at a loss. How in the season that inspires me so much, do I also get so far off track?
My eating, sleeping, exercising regularly, personal development focus, staying in the moment and staying in prayer have all been off over the course of the last few weeks. I mean I haven’t been awful I suppose but I’m certainly not where I want to be in all of those areas, among many others.
Although several reasons as to “why” come to mind, if I’m being really clear with myself then I’d have to say this is the season for me where I am finding it easiest to “slip”. And by “slip” I mean come up with an excuse to avoid making a disciplined decision.
As an example last week I wasn’t feeling great, which usually happens for me when the weather starts to change from hot to cold each year. Over the week it was so easy for me to pass on going to the gym, order no-so-healthy takeout (because I was too tired/sick to cook) and let my house clutter quickly to build up (because I was too exhausted to manage it). Instead of pushing through the current state I was in, I gave myself a little too much grace, that ultimately negatively impacted my health and wellness even further. And this is just one example of how off track I have been this season.
Now as much as I want to beat myself up over this, I realize it will only waste more time. So my action plan is simple. Go back to the basics and focus on the little decisions each day. Because each little decision adds up and makes a big difference. I will get reacquainted with my vision board, daily goals and my gratitude daily recaps.
I am refocused and ready to take back my Autumn.
~ C ~
Over the past few weeks it has been so incredibly hard to focus on my wellness pillars. Everything from reading books, to listening to professional development podcasts, to working out, to focusing on the present, to eating clean has been an uphill battle it seems. I am doing my best but if I am being honest, I am not exactly where I want to be.
It’s such a slippery slope. A few small not-so-great decisions turn into a day full of bad decisions. And that can spiral into a week filled with unhealthy decisions. It can happen in the blink of an eye, which is the scary part.
But one new tool I have in my life this year is discipline. Becoming disciplined has completely transformed so many areas of my life over the course of the year. I couldn’t see it along the way, but as I look at my overall healthier state now, I almost can’t believe the person I was before.
So as I find myself struggling a bit to stay focused on my wellness pillars, I will lean on my faith that small positive decisions each day will continue to open doors in my life. I will just keep doing my best and focusing on the small decisions each day. It’s worked so well for me before so I know the sky is the limit if I keep moving ahead.
~ C ~