Guilt and Shame.
A Failed Marriage.
Conclusion: I am not enough.
How the hell do you suggest I do that?
When I was in the thick of these things, I thought that this was just what my life would be like.
Sounds fun, right?
Not so much.
The good news is that is no longer my story. I have overcome and continue to overcome as limiting beliefs resurface or show their ugly head. It was a process, though. And it was work. And I have to continue to consistently do the work every day.
I want to share with you the top 10 things that empowered me , and continue to empower me, to create hope and healing in my life. These aren’t original or new thoughts. I just searched for truth. Truth that would empower me to transform my life and this is what I found:
What do you have control over? What is yours? What can you do? In order to survive, I had to learn to surrender what wasn’t mine to God. I put the Serenity Prayer where I would see it every day.
At first, when I would say it, it was through tears and sometimes anger and hurt and confusion and despair: “Why God? Why this? Why?” Over time, things shifted and changed and it was as a weight was lifted.
It become more of:
“Here God, take this. It isn’t mine. I’m so glad that this isn’t mine and I don’t have to worry about it. I’ve taken care of my part and that is all I have to do. I know that you will take care of the rest and everything will work out for my good.”
The Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
2. The enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
One of my mantras has become:
“I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me.”
I could not have overcome what I have overcome without the enabling power of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He has given me strength beyond my own. Strength to do that which I could never have done without Him.
“Indeed, in the strength of the Lord we can do and overcome all things.”
-David A. Bednar
3. True Identity
I am a Child of God. And so are you. This may just be the single most important truth that empowers us. As we come to believe and truly understand what this means, everything changes.
“You are a child of God. He is the father of your spirit. Spiritually you are of noble birth, the offspring of the King of Heaven. Fix that truth in your mind and hold to it.”
-Boyd K. Packer
They say not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. That will never happen. The only one that will die is you. Forgiveness is for you and about you, not about the other person. In order to heal from my pain, I had to forgive. It will look different for everybody. It’s okay if it is a process and it takes time. You will know when you are ready to let go and be free.
“Forgiveness is a liberating gift that people can give to themselves.”
5. The Law of Attraction
What we focus on expands.
What we are seeking is seeking us.
When I obsessed over my pain and heartache and my victim story, I got more of that.
When I chose to focus on love and gratitude, I got more of that.
There is a meme floating around facebook that I love:
“If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer.
If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow.”
6. The Power of I Am
Once I learned and realized the power of I AM, I consciously chose what would follow those two creation words.
My mantra became:
I am strong.
I am brave.
I am enough.
“ I AM are the two most powerful words in the entire universe. What you say you are will manifest into your reality.”
Boundaries are so important, but the key, is that they are about love.
Boundaries need to be done from a place of love.
An easy place to start is to ask yourself three centering questions that I learned from my dear friends, John and Narelle Canaan:
*What am I willing to do?
*What am I not willing to do?
*What do I think is best for both of us?
8. Authenticity and Vulnerability
What does authenticity even look like?
Authenticity is embracing who we are and showing up that way.
As I’ve done this, as I’ve shown up in my vulnerability allowing others to see me as I am, I have experienced the truest, most beautiful connection with others.
I’ve developed life-long friendships that would have never occurred had I not allowed myself to be seen.
Brene Brown offers the wisest advice I’ve heard on this topic:
“I try to make authenticity my number one goal when I go into a situation where I’m feeling vulnerable. If authenticity is my goal and I keep it real, I never regret it. I might get my feelings hurt, but I rarely feel shame. If the goal is authenticity and they don’t like me, I’m okay. If the goal is being liked and they don’t like me, I’m in trouble. I get going by making authenticity the priority.”
9. Trusting Yourself – Intuition
This has been the hardest one for me. Learning to trust myself. Believing and accepting that I have the answers. For so long, I went to outside sources for guidance and direction. I would start polling people. I didn’t trust myself and my ability to make correct choices, but it went even deeper than that. Brene Brown opened my eyes to this when I read this line in “The Gifts of Imperfection”: “We want assurances and folks with whom we can share the blame if things don’t pan out.”
I choose to believe that I have all the answers.
I choose to trust myself and my intuition.
10. Laughter, Song & Dance
These things have been my lifeline. They have brought me true joy. Every day I laugh, sing and dance.
I love the symbolism we find all around us as we consider pain, struggle and heartbreak.
Beauty from ashes. Rebirth. Wings to fly. New life. Treasure from pressure.
As I think about overcoming the hard things in my life, I like to think of myself like a phoenix rising from the ashes. I have a beautiful life built upon the pain and experiences of the past. As I was broken down, as I struggled, as I lost, as I grieved, as I experienced that death of life as I knew it, I was given new life.
This isn’t just available for me.
It is possible for you, too.
You are an overcomer.
You are strong.
You are brave.
You are enough.
You may have to step further into the darkness, but, the light will come.
There is hope.
There is healing.
Like a phoenix, you will rise.