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

4 thoughts on “Lessons From The Pain

  1. This was beautiful Cheryl. As are you, inside and out. I am keeping these words in my heart (and a print out! hehe) to read when I backslide. You described it all so well, even though the circumstance may be different. I am so grateful for so many things. I have learned so much about myself and know I have soooo much more to learn. You are a beautiful example and always inspire me. I remembered this would be your first anniversary of Jack’s passing and have had you in my thought. You have done so well Cheryl and are always my inspiration. So much, much love and friendship to you. Love you, Joy

    1. Thank you dear friend. You have come so far these last years. I always find it amazing that what hurts the most becomes what gives us the most strength.
      Monday was the anniversary of Jack’s passing and I took this last week off work to be with friends, to get away and to be ok with where I am a year later.
      Sometimes are incredibly hard and I let them be until I am ready to let go of what is hard and do something simple 🙂
      Much love and gratitude for having you in my life Joy. Cheryl

  2. I will be praying for you. My husband will be gone three years in April and we were married 37 years. So in three weeks would of been our 40th anniversary. Needless to say, my heart is aching. So of course, I’m filling my day with important things that matter NOW. Moving forward is sometimes over-rated, but necessary. I am thankful I found your site — I can relate and know that I’m not the only one

    1. Oh Barb, We truly are walking on very similar paths. I am grateful you wrote to tell me what your journey has been like since your husband passed. It is so important to decide what we need now rather than living in the past… and I agree with you moving forward is necessary. Taking simple steps (for me) 🙂
      Sending you love & blessings, Cheryl

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