“Better keep yourself clear and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world” ~George Bernard Shaw. While cruising through life, we may be enjoying the sunshine and admiring surrounding views from a sparkly, clear windshield. Yet grime can quickly speckle and smear, even posing a threat.
What can we do? How do we choose to react? We can use washer fluid, hope for rain, or ignore it. We can become angry and even allow the inconvenience to ruin our trip. We could decide to look at the events as an adventure unfolding or welcome detour and go with the flow, or deny there’s anything that we need to address. One opens us to fantastic growth and exciting experiences while the other can become dangerous.
The way we treat our emotional bodies can be thought of in the same way as the windshield. Most of us have fallen prey to what we’ve perceived as pests or pesky situations. What if they were presents with unfortunate wrapping? If we look at each of our experiences—especially the difficult ones—as teachers offering us wisdom and a step toward our best future, we can live with much more ease while we build strength, experience, compassion, and a deeper understanding and awareness. Then our views toward what can feel and look like negative incidents can quickly reveal themselves as the gems they are. If we look, we will see…
S: Seek the Positive. Ask: What has the experience taught me? What did I learn about myself? In what ways have I grown? What will I take with me? What have I overcome and discarded?
E: Embrace the Message. Ask: What patterns do I see? Is there a larger message embedded within my experience(s)? How can I use this newly gained wisdom to help others and improve my world?
E: Empower Your Self. Realize: If I can do this, I can handle anything! I am strong. I am determined. I am a champion. I am in alignment with my character and purpose. I am unique. My spark helps to light the universe.
There is much we are unable to control. Luckily, we can have reign over our emotions and actions. We can react with dense, low frequency emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, even hatred, or lighter, high frequency ones like forgiveness, gratitude, and joy, no matter how our circumstances may seem to others.
Though it may feel easier at the time to react from pain, I’ve found that holding onto negative feelings, such as by mentally reliving hurtful incidences or being unable to forgive someone, can have serious implications later. This can include loss of sleep and/or appetite, poorer quality of relationships and feelings of abandonment, unworthiness, guilt, lack of fulfillment, and/or poor health.
I realize these are bold statements to make; please know I make them with love. How do I know this? How can I be so confident? I’ve faced some devastating and scary challenges, including testifying against a sexual abuser when I was 12 years old. I had psychological damage from things I went through, caused by another’s reckless actions. I was mad, confused, enraged, and ashamed.
Often what we’re most ashamed of is a result of something that was out of our control, placed on us by others who were hurting. As Sandy Wilson’s book title declares, “Hurt people hurt people” (Thomas Nelson Incorporated, 1993).
For me, embracing the ugly was my turning point. Facing the situation—including saying it out loud—allowed me to not only see the gravity of the situation but also the opportunities within. I found a way to create something positive and empowering. I became a voice for the voiceless and came to realize my true calling: to help appease and eliminate abuse, especially child sexual abuse, and to help build a better world for us all through coaching, volunteering, research, policy and activism.
I doubt this would be true if I hadn’t lived through the misery. I became PROUD of that which I’d previously been ashamed, and the force it created drummed in my heart, leading me forward to choose and construct the life I want with more resilience, confidence, and compassion each day!
This drum is in each of us; let’s discover what really activates it! Let’s cultivate courage, knowing we will ultimately grow and succeed as long as that is our intention. Let’s transform our hurts into fuel to live our best life!! We deserve it, and we owe it to the world to be our best self! All we have to do is SEE!
If you want to dive deeper into this to let go of your hurts and propel into your future, please contact me; I would love to guide you as your coach!
Wishing you light, love, and healing,