Have you ever felt like you just are just existing?
Do you know what I mean?
You feel that you have no goals, dreams or ambitions.
Your life lacks motivation. You see no sense in going on. In fact, the future looks pretty bleak from where you are standing.
Many people feel this way after experiencing a devastating loss. The loss of a loved one – a spouse, child, parent, sibling, close friend, partner – can leave you so numbed that you can’t do anything.
What now? Who will be there for you? The one person, that filled a big place in your life, has suddenly gone.
Any type of loss is overwhelming. The fear of living again almost always follows that loss. Days, weeks, months, and even years go by and you just can’t find the willpower to get back to the act of living.
Yet, live you must, even if only one day at a time.
You have to find the determination that moves you forward to your future. Your loved one’s greatest request is that you carry on living. It is not easy, but you can be happy again. You can have dreams. You can set goals and you can pursue high ambitions. Even if you never fully accomplish them, they will allow you to feel again.
To get you on the process of being again, find like-minded people who have also experienced loss of someone close. Find a group that you feel comfortable with and start to attend their gathering. If a group does not work for you then find one or two close friends to share with. There is nothing more comforting than sharing stories and communicating your feelings to get you through the grieving process.
When you are ready move on to the next process of doing something that reminds you the world has not stopped turning. This could be something small like going for a walk, attending a social function, or reviving a “put on the back burner” hobby. It could be something big, like learning something new or going someplace different.
The key is to keep the momentum going. Don’t stay stagnant and whatever you do don’t lock yourself away.
Cherish the memory of your loved one by living your life, to the fullest, one day at a time.
You are not forgetting them. Rather, you are choosing to embrace life for you — and for them.
Kick Fear Now and choose life.
The graduates are coming!
One by one they walk up the steps, move across the stage, and accept their diploma.
The time it took to accomplish this wonderful goal, whether 2 years, 4 years, or even more, will now be fully sealed and secured by this rolled up piece of paper.
All those late nights, tests and papers, essays and presentations are now behind.
No more pulling your hair out or burning the midnight oil while you guzzle down cans of energy drinks.
The hard work is done. Your labor was not in vain. The years of sacrifice is evidenced by this beautifully embossed diploma.
Some graduates walk across the stage looking very serious. With determination and purpose, their minds are already mapping out the next five years of their lives. Others walk with a smile on their face, a little bit of disbelief still in their eyes. They are pleased with their accomplishment, yet unsure of what to do next. Nevertheless, they are satisfied with a job well done. Then there are those that strut across the stage, big grins on their faces.
One turns and looks at the crowd, pumps a fist in the air and lets out a big “Yes”. A cheer comes from where family and friends are seated. It was a rough ride, so victory is all the more sweet.
Many of you have wanted to give up along the way. The assignments were hard, the pressure too high, and the setbacks just never seemed to stop.
For you who stayed the course and did not throw in the towel, you have earned this milestone celebration. You are people on purpose. Fear once held a big place in your life, but not now. You will accomplish anything you set your mind to because courage is now a part of who you are.
For you who stepped off for a moment, but stepped back on, I’m proud of you. You’ve come a long way in keeping unrealistic fear from taking its grip and hold. You have truly earned your diploma. You are a champion because of your determination and perseverance.
For you who have stopped and started, screamed and shouted, thrown in the towel and picked it up again to complete this course. I salute you. Go on and raise your hands in triumph because you did it.
Now, my question to you is – What’s Next?
Well, I say that it’s time to expand your vision, raise your sights higher, and move to the next level. Chapter 2 is about to begin.
You have your plans and goals, your dreams and visions. It’s all about moving forward courageously one action step after another.
Now, with that degree in your hand step triumphantly off the stage. It’s time to step forward to success — your success!
Watch out world! The fearless Graduates are getting ready to soar.
These past 4 weeks have taken me away from my weekly blog. Mainly it has been a time of regrouping, refreshing, and revisioning of where my life is heading.
Over the past few months I have lost many beloved friends. I am also dealing with an aged mother who has been extremely ill. As you can imagine it has all taken its toll on me. So when my daughter asked me to come down to visit her and watch my granddaughter for her spring break, I jumped at the opportunity.
My daughter lives in Wellington, Florida and in between taking care of my granddaughter I was able to do a little sightseeing of this beautiful community located in the West Palm Beach area. It was during my wanderings that I came upon the Wellington Patriot Memorial.
From the moment I looked upon the tall piece of steel beckoning me to come and see, I knew I was stepping into a special place.
While here in New York City the work is diligently moving along on the World Trade Center project, the town of Wellington completed this memorial in 2011.
The focus of my attention was a donated piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. The steel, which is divided into three pieces, once stood between the 69th and 71st floor of the second Twin Tower. It was an exterior column panel seven floors below where United Airlines flight 175 impacted. Its number is steel beam C-46.
On December 4th, 2010 the beam, covered with the American flag, arrived in Wellington after being ceremoniously and loving brought from New York .
Vice Mayor Matt Willhite told Sun Sentinel Reporters, “In December 2010 we brought the beam to Florida from New York. The whole time treating the experience with great pride and dignity.” He continued, “It has cost us more than we thought. But, it is an investment into our community.”
The flag now stands at the entrance of the Wellington Patriot Memorial.
Beside the oxidized piece of steel, in the center of the memorial, is the fountain. Its sparkling, clear water steadily flows down at points around the circumference. If you look carefully, on top of the fountain you can see the eternal flame. On Sunday, September 11, 2011 the eternal flame was lit, has continued and will continue to burn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Along the opposite side of the memorial stands 4 etched glass panes. Beautiful and elegant, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the World Trade Center attacks can be seen. Below the glass in bold black letters on a white background are the times of the attacks. In front of each of the glass panels is a seat where one can sit and reflect.
Willhite told the Sun-Sentinel. “This will be a place where generations to come will be able to learn about this piece of history.” He was absolutely correct.
On the ground of the memorial are bricks with the names of the First Responders who courageously lost their lives while in the line of duty. As I stooped over to take the pictures of the names the sun shone so bright that my shadow covered them over. Perhaps, when you visit this place you will see them for yourselves.
Just as the names are etched in the bricks and in the clear glass panels, so too the memory of that day on September 11, 2001. Everyone of us can remember exactly where we were, what we were doing and what we were thinking.
As my daughter, granddaughter and I moved around the Patriot Memorial we spoke about that morning. It was a strange day for the two of us because only 2 hours earlier, on that September morning, my daughter was sitting on an American Airline plane at John F. Kennedy Airport. The plane she had traveled on from London to Jamaica had engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing in New York. They moved the passengers onto an American Airlines plane because no other Air Jamaica plane was available.
In the bright sunshine we also spoke about the loved ones that we have lost throughout the years and those most recently gone. I also reflected on the health of my aging mother.
The serenity and peacefulness of the space allowed me to gather my thoughts and process the events in our circle of life. I came away with a heightened sense of gratitude for life and each new day that I see.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~ Aristotle.
The quote on the plaque given by the Navarro Family is powerful.
This year 2014, as we work to Kick Fear Now, let us move on with hope for a bright tomorrow. For me, it is a time to re-vision my life and chart new and different journeys. What about you?
Today is a good day to reflect on the life you still have to live. It’s good to embrace the good memories and the joys of the past, but you should never linger there for too long. Life is filled with both joy and pain, love and hate, sadness and happiness. It is interesting how we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive.
Can you find one reason to get up every morning and one thing that you can be grateful for in your life. If so, then you are already on your way to living the courageous life.
To help you further along your journey take a look at the book that started it all, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Actions Steps for a Courageous You, and don’t forget to send me an e-mail if you would like to read the first chapter for free.
“There is a window that is now open to you. All the gloom, despair, sadness, and other things that are negative will not be available in this window because you made the choice not to let them in.” ~ Sheila Lee
I met Sheila Lee at the National Black Book Festival that I attended in Houston, Texas during November. It was her voice that caught my attention as I listened to her speaking to another author alongside of me. It was so soothing and calm. As she spoke, I felt this was a woman at peace with herself and not only that, but she must bring joy to those people who often hear her voice. It was not until the following day, when I attend her workshop, that I heard her story and realized that Sheila’s peace had come with a great price.
Sheila Lee was 34 years old when her husband of 11 years committed suicide. She was devastated. The man who she had planned to spend the rest of her life with had left her alone with a 10 year old child to raise by herself. Despite the fact that this man, that she had loved so much, had abused her mentally and physically throughout their entire marriage, she was grief-stricken.
It would take time, but eventually Sheila would realize she had been released from a relationship that could easily have seen her being the one ending up dead. She laughs about it now, but she told us that many times she proudly professed that she would “die for him.” That’s how much she loved him.
Sheila has penned the book, Window Hood Not Widow Hood. She wrote the book to give encouragement and hope to others who may have experienced a devastating loss such as hers. She realized that there are windows of opportunity to be found in the face of adversity, you just have to get past the hurt to see them.
Sheila kicked fear to the curb in her own way. With perseverance, determination, and patience, she took one action step after another. It was hard work. Nevertheless, with time and the positive attitude that she possesses, she felt it was important to share her story. I for one am glad she has.
Today, along with the message in her books, Sheila gives comfort and solace to those who listen to her radio program “Morning Joy.” If you want to can catch Sheila’s soothingly, pleasant voice just listen to WRVS 89.9 FM, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. It is a great way to begin your day.
Sheila is currently running the Morning Joy Book Nook Marathon. From December 2 through December 13 she will be interviewing more than 30 authors to discuss their books and the reason why they wrote them as well as give some words of encouragement to the listeners. On Thursday, December 12, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., EST, I will have the pleasure of being interviewed by Sheila. The highlight of the Book Nook Marathon is the free gift pack of books from the many authors. There will be 12 winners of a drawing being held during the same dates. What a great Christmas gift.
“It’s easy to act as if you are a weathervane, always changing your beliefs and words, trying to please everyone around you. But we were born to be lighthouses, not weathervanes. Imagine a vertical axis running through the center of your heart, from your deepest roots to your highest aspirations. That’s your lighthouse. It anchors you in the world and frees you from having to change directions everything time the weather shifts.” Robert K. Cooper, The Other 90%
When you face your fears, you will find that everything you need to be the courageous you is already within you. When you access the power within, you will be able to rise up to the tasks at hand. All you need is a little motivation to believe in yourself.
Today you go deep — deep within yourself to access your power. Go ahead, I dare you to Kick Fear Now!
Courage is being stupid enough not to realize the danger
Involved to yourself
Smart enough to know you don’t have a choice,
But to take immediate action,
It’s a reflex action in the face of danger.
It’s something you have to do
And there is not enough time to wait
For another to make that decision
Jackie Logan, Pen-sanity
What does it take to be courageous?
How do we move from wanting to run and hide to standing our ground and taking action?
Many times it all boils down to making a choice.
Let me share what I mean.
A few years ago I worked for a wonderful lady, Jean Taylor Jackson. She was a trust and estates lawyer who, at that time, was one of the few female practitioners in this field.
One morning I arrived at work only to find her in a pool of blood. Sometime during the previous evening or night, she had suffered an aneurysm. She was lying in the kitchen, next to the stove. A small pot had boiled dry on top of the stove, and the tiles of the floor gleamed brightly against her blood. The raw smell of blood, mixed with the heat, was strong and repulsive. What made things worse, I cannot stand the sight of blood, any blood.
I knew that within seconds I was going to get into a cold sweat, start heaving, and possibly vomit. Although this wasn’t something I wanted to be confronted with first thing in the morning, I also knew that I had to deal with the situation. I had to get medical help. I also had to somehow reassure her that I was not going to leave her alone.
I closed my eyes and started to take long, deep breaths. I also told myself to stay calm, to just deal with the immediate situation. It was very difficult trying to ignore the sight and smell of the blood. It quickly rose up to my nostrils. The warm room only compounded the situation.
Things got worse when the paramedics had trouble lifting her onto the gurney. To move her, the three of us had to lift the dead weight of the body. It was hard. She was heavy and the blood was now getting on my clothing and my hands. Despite how I felt at that moment, I had to remain composed and focus on the problem at hand.
It took courage to get the situation under control so that it no longer provoked an emotional reaction within me. It took even more courage when, a few days later, I was faced with the decision of whether to take this once beautiful, vibrant woman off life support.
You can choose to fear or choose not to fear. You can exercise restraint or react without thought. You can choose to focus on your limitations or choose to look at your strong points and work on improving them. You can dwell on the bad or excel with the good. It’s really up to you.
Now it’s your turn to share.
What is the most courageous think you have ever done? How did you feel when you first started out? Was their anxiousness, fearfulness, trepidation or were you filled with anticipation and eager to do this thing you had never done before?
This post is dedicated to Jackie Logan and Jean Taylor Jackson, two beautiful woman who departed this earth way too soon.