Friday Favorite: Day 33 of 365 Days of Motivation

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”  –Joseph Campbell

Whether your dream was the picket fence and 2 kids with the mini van and the handsome husband or the urban dream of living in Manhattan with  your lawyer wife or even living off the land after marrying a cowboy–this was never part of your dream.

Husbands and wives are supposed to raise children  and grow old together until old age silently steals one away from the other. This reality is far from that dream. It isn’t what you planned, but it doesn’t have to mean a life wasted.

This life is different, and probably harder than you had ever imagined a life could be. This life might be more of a challenge than you feel you can handle. Humans are resilient–able to meet intense challenges through dedication and hard work. Using their experiences, especially the difficult ones, to come back better, stronger, and more amazing than they knew possible.

This is where you are now: You can hold on to the life you had planned–the perfect life. Or, perhaps, you can accept that life is different, and allow yourself to see the new life that is waiting just beyond the fog.

Day 48: 365 Days of Motivation for Widows

We all need to grow continuously. –Les Brown

This nightmare broke you. You are in pieces, a portion of your soul has disappeared. It has left you on your knees searching for answers. The answer is simple, the journey is hard. The answer is you live, you work towards your once shared dream, and most of all, you do not give up.  The journey means you must rise up and take a step. Don’t give up on your dreams–your future–because part of  you has gone. That is even more reason to keep moving, keep living, and keep growing. So whether it is hard, slow moving, or yes, even if it’s painful, we have to keep growing. 

 

Day 40: 365 Days of Motivation

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

We often speak about living our lives to the fullest–living with no regrets. Those are ideas about life. Diane Ackerman’s quote gives us a visual to go with the ideas. I’ll be honest, I’m always thinking and planning and trying to move onward and upward–this statement still blew my mind. The biggest reason it affects me is because it is exactly how I have felt and didn’t have the right words to express it. I want to live the length and the width of my life. I want to achieve my fullest potential. I still haven’t figured out exactly what that exact potential is, but with time, I’m sure it will become clear.

I spent so many years just living. Some would say what I was doing wasn’t living, but rather just surviving. Maybe that’s what you are doing too–only you can answer that. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t just sitting around on a couch watching TV. I went to college, and graduated cum laude, got married, had more kids, spent time with friends, attended kids sporting events and recitals–I was living life and living it well. What I wasn’t doing was thriving. I was in the throes of life going through all the motions that I was supposed to. And, there is nothing wrong with it. I loved every minute of it. I wasn’t in the hole we call grief all the time. It was who I was supposed to be and I was so happy to be there.

About a year ago, I made a couple of decisions. It was time to start living the width of m life. One, I decided I was tired of thinking about writing and not taking the time to do it. It’s always been inside of me–a true passion. I’m not a perfect author, by any means, but I believe that I have potential to be a very good author. I actually gave myself permission to start this blog and believe I could do it. I quit telling myself I wasn’t good enough and started telling myself I was good enough and could only get better. I had confidence I could gain a readership that might follow me on to the books I will write (yes, it’s in the cards). It helps my soul to write and I hope it helps other people. It is hard to put yourself out there and let people see the truth. I opened myself up for rejection and criticism. Until then, that was more risk than I wanted to take. Last fall, I decided the rewards would be well worth the rejection and risk.

I put myself out there and did it. I have gained readership, although I am a little saddened that it hasn’t moved faster. The more I write, the better I get, and the more I hope people come along for the ride. The comments from my readers, the way writing can touch people is more rewarding than I ever imagined. I sat down one night, wrote a note to my friends to check out my new endeavor–just like that, I was starting to live the width of my life.

The other decision I made was to start a widow support group. I have not fulfilled this decision yet. However, I have done a lot of the research and compiled some information, possible places, and general ideas about the group details. I just don’t have the time right now to do it because of my grandparents–they are far more important and I wouldn’t trade this time with them for anything. I know what I want to do and I know I have the capabilities to accomplish it. I just need some time to be able to achieve it. I’ll get there and it will happen when it’s supposed to.

So, read that quote and really consider your life. Analyze your struggles, your reactions, and look at how you’ve grown. Really see if you are living the length or the width. Wouldn’t it be great to do both? I think it would. I’m working on it and I hope you are too.

Day 33: 365 Days of Motivation for Widows

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”  –Joseph Campbell

Whether your dream was the picket fence and 2 kids with the mini van and the handsome husband or the urban dream of living in Manhattan with  your lawyer wife or even living off the land after marrying a cowboy–this was never part of your dream.

Husbands and wives are supposed to raise children  and grow old together until old age silently steals one away from the other. This reality is far from that dream. It isn’t what you planned, but it doesn’t have to mean a life wasted.

This life is different, and probably harder than you had ever imagined a life could be. This life might be more of a challenge than you feel you can handle. Humans are resilient–able to meet intense challenges through dedication and hard work. Using their experiences, especially the difficult ones, to come back better, stronger, and more amazing than they knew possible.

This is where you are now: You can hold on to the life you had planned–the perfect life. Or, perhaps, you can accept that life is different, and allow yourself to see the new life that is waiting just beyond the fog.

Day 29: 365 Days of Motivation for Widows

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  — George Eliot

Having a baby at 17 changed my path. Suddenly college wasn’t on the radar and being a mom was. Everyone told me I’d never finish high school and that college would NEVER be an option for me.

We, as a family, went through hard times, there is no doubt about that. Our relationship took a major hit. We were so broke we often couldn’t pay utilities. We had rises and falls. The road was bumpy at times, but day by day we were improving.

Just as we thought we had it together, Randy was killed. Time for a new game plan. I found myself in between homes (we were in the middle of moving) with three children, no job, and no formal college education. Those were some incredible odds to overcome while grieving. And I felt the pressure.

All those words from so long ago were ringing in my soul and I knew I had to do something. I was 25 and alone, but I had to find away to make a life for my kids in the absence of my husband.

I harvested my dreams and all the gumption I could muster, and enrolled in school. Turns out my experiences with the death of my husband influenced who I was and my passion. During college professors encouraged my writing. They told me I had a talent for touching hearts and I should consider writing. I also discovered that I had a passion for people and helping others. This love I had for motherhood was carrying over into the lives of others and it felt good–no, it felt great.

Not only had I reached a goal that many thought I would never–or could never–reach, but I had found dreams to keep reaching for. I found confidence in skills I never knew I had. Together, it created a fire inside of me that has slowly grown over the last few years. I discovered a feeling of wanting to do more; I feel like I am not done yet–there is something more.

I have not only found the life I was destined for, but even more. Don’t be afraid to accept the experience for what it is–be willing to take the pain, the sorrow, and the growth. Be who you were always meant to be.