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Letting Go of Your Past, Step 3

Only one thing is worse than being in denial, and that is not knowing you are in denial.

 

Fifteen years after the accident I met with a therapist who walked me step-by-step through the guilt that was buried so deep.

 

My own thoughts immediately refuted what I had just heard. But, how could I ever forgive myself for killing this precious little boy?

 

Perhaps you are saying,  

“But he is the one who had the affair…”

“But she is the one who told me…”

“But he betrayed me and I was helpless…”

I understand. I felt helpless as well.

But as I grew up and took on bigger responsibilities, one thing became clear: if I was going to recover completely from this tragedy in my life and go on to fully live the life I was meant to live, I had to take 100% of the responsibility that was mine to take.

Step 3. Take 100% of the responsibility that is yours

Stepping Out Stronger, Part D

The challenge we are faced with is not slipping back into how things were before. In the middle of the crises, it’s easy to say, I won’t ever take this for granted or we will have family time each week or whatever it may be. However, when we find our NEW NORMAL, it will be easy to get back into “what was comfortable before.” So, how will we keep from NOT FORGETTING, what we learn and make the necessary changes so they will stick.

 

There are a few things I would like to suggest.

  1. Journal the lessons that you have learned, write an article or share it in a blog. Write it down to help you remember.
  2. Find a photo that reminds you of the change. For example, you may want to re-introduce family time. Just take a photo of the family around the dinner table or playing a game together.
  3. Take a photo, enlarge it and put it in a frame to hang on the wall as a reminder of the family togetherness, or something indicating the change into the New Normal.

 

My friend shared with me a big lesson that she learned through all of this. Because she had been isolated through some horrible circumstances several years ago in much worse conditions, she had no fear when the Coronavirus started spreading. She knew if she could make it through what she had experienced before, she would certainly make it through this. She was stronger than she realized and had learned some lessons she will never forget. It is her story.

Stepping Out Stronger, Part A

With the pandemic that we have been dealing with, you have heard many different messages, many different voices. So, how do you know what to believe?

  1. The first thing you want to do is Listen Closely.

Many people panicked, especially at the beginning of the outbreak which led to hoarding of toilet paper, water and basic food items. As I finally made my way through Costco on one of those unexpected early days of the onset of this virus, I saw the faces filled with panic and fear. These voices were loud. There were no smiles. No one stopped to talk to the person next to them. It was just pushing your cart through to keep going. Every person to himself.

 

Then as I listened to several leaders on-line, I heard a completely different voice. One leader said, “We’ve been through crises before and came out on top and we will get through this one, too. We will show you HOW to pivot in a time of crises. You can be sure they had everyone’s attention.

  1. Secondly Choose wisely

Which voice will you LISTEN to? It is the voice of fear and panic that leads to greed and selfishness or is it the voice of generosity that leads to more influence, more impact and more service.

Strengthening Your Story, Part C

“Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly.” What you do from a physical perspective will also bring clarity to your mindset. In January, I decided to do some major housecleaning. I not only cleaned the house but room by room I sorted, organized and got rid of the clutter. Within a few weeks I had several trash bags full of stuff I wanted to get rid of, had made 4 trips to the local thrift shop and neatly organized the things I decided to keep. Getting rid of the clutter allowed me to think more clearly, work more efficiently and enjoy our home even more than I did before. Very simply, it gave me clarity.

For the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge, I decided I wanted MORE Clarity and would achieve that in 3 ways:

One, do another level of deep cleaning, particular with drawers and shelves I didn’t get to before, choosing one thing each week.

Secondly, I have chosen to do some form of exercise daily for at least 15 minutes a day, such as going for a walk, jumping on our mini trampoline or getting on the exercise bike.

Thirdly, I have chosen to eliminate sugar, honey and caffeine from my diet in the next 21 days. These 3 things have already given me more energy, more inspiration and more clarity.

How do you get more clarity?

We would love to hear from you.

Strengthening Your Story, Part B

It’s so much easier to focus on your weaknesses and things that aren’t working but it is your strengths that will get you through the tough times. It takes a lot of courage to step beyond your weaknesses and focus on your strengths when you are feeling down. Here is a little exercise that can help you.

  1. Write the words I AM followed with your top 3 strengths on a 3×5 card or ½ sheet of paper. If you don’t know what your top 3 strengths are ask some of your best friends or family members. You may be surprised what they come up with.
  2. On the other side, write the initials for the days of the week. S, M, T …
  3. Every time, you feel discouraged, say “STOP”, repeat the statement, I AM and whatever strengths you came up with. Say your strengths out loud. Then put a check under whatever day of the week it is. If you say this and really mean it, each time discouragement comes knocking, you will find yourself focused on your strengths versus getting caught up thinking about your weaknesses. This powerful little tool will allow you to go from discouragement to more courage within minutes or even seconds.

Let me know how this exercise worked for you by posting below.

Remember, your story matters.

Strengthening Your Story, Part A

What’s the toughest thing you have ever given thanks for? Was it for someone who offended you, betrayed you, perhaps a boss who fired you?

Right now, may be one of those difficult times for you to say, “thanks.”

Regardless of where you are in your journey, “giving thanks” is more powerful than any of us realize.

To help us rise above the chaos and confusion and strengthen our story, I have developed a “ 21 Day Gratitude Challenge” beginning Tuesday, March 31st.

It’s a simple challenge but can make a huge difference if you follow through with it.

If you aren’t already a member of Amazing Storyteller’s facebook group, ask to join. (It’s the one with the butterfly). The daily interaction will be happening there.

  1. Record 10 things each day that you are grateful for in a notebook or on the computer. Then post in Amazing Storyteller’s the highlight of your day. There isn’t anything too small to be grateful for.
  2. Consider one thing you want to get out of this challenge and post it on Facebook. It may be a daily positive attitude, it may be something you want to accomplish, it may be a focused time of personal growth. It can be whatever you want it to be. You can make this challenge as small or as big as you want, but be sure it is a challenge for you. I’ve decided to do this challenge with you. I’ve decided to focus on three things: clarity, courage and connection. Because I want to be sure I can measure my growth, I will break this down to several things I will do to bring clarity, several things I will do to step out in more courage and also several things to increase my connections. We will talk more about this in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, choose a challenge for yourself and remember to post it in the Amazing Storytellers facebook group.
  3. Like and comment as you support others who are participating in the challenge. Also, don’t forget to tag others inviting them to participate in the challenge.

See you in the facebook group.