Lessons From The Pain

Your life’s experiences are your greatest teacher.   And when you’ve come up on the other side of then you realize you’re wiser, stronger and less vulnerable.  That doesn’t mean any of it is easy, far from it! But the simple truth is that the journey you’re on has a purpose. You can learn from it and make your life better or you can allow it to bury you and make it worse.

When I first started working as a coach my mantra was I’d lost everything in my life except my husband.  Those life experiences helped me to relate and resonate with others who had lost their jobs, their financial security, their homes, their stability.  Then my husband died.  Everything from  his cancer treatment, being there while he took his least breath and living alone on the far end of mid-life has taught me more than anything I could read it a book, listen to in a seminar or learn from a coach, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Still processing through our life’s experiences sometimes requires help.  I’ve read every book that called me, attended my share of workshops and worked with mental health professionals. All of those were tools that enabled me to gain a little perspective.  It was however up to me to take what I needed from them and to use it for my greater purpose.

I’ve learned so much these last 7 years and I wanted to share the most important lessons I’ve come to understand from this journey:

  1. Feeling the pain of the circumstance is critical in the healing process.
  2. You don’t have to like the experience. It does however help you to realize what is important to you going forward.
  3. You are not being punished.  Sure you would have liked to learn in a less painful way but it is what it is.
  4. Standing alone in the most trying times shows you how strong you really are… even when you don’t want to be strong.
  5. You have to experience this for yourself.  Those who support you have a different perspective but they are not in the same place you are right now.
  6. Tears and feeling lonely are short lived even though they may seem unending.
  7. You have to want to be happy again in order to move on from your misery.
  8. You choose to be happy or you choose to be unhappy.  You do however  live with your choice.
  9. You can make your life about the loss or you can make your life about the lesson.
  10. Give thanks for the experience then vow to use the lessons learned to keep history from repeating itself.

This will be my first St. Valentines Day alone and Monday is the anniversary of Jack’s death. I never thought I’d be in this place but I also know that it’s exactly where I was meant to be. I’ve come a long way in this last year. And I am thankful for that and for the gift of having the love of my life in my life for 36 years.

I wish for you so much to be grateful for…

With love, Cheryl

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