2.5 years ago my life shook.
Have you ever had one of those pivotal moments that you know will change your outlook forever?
On August 3, 2016 my Mom was babysitting for my children and drove to her neighboring home. Minutes later she called me, so much terror in her voice, as she found my Dad face down in their entryway….blue.
I raced to their house and frantically attempted to revive my father, but it was too late. The paramedics came and I watched in disbelief as nothing worked.
It was the first time in my life that mortality hit me and caused real reverence. The first time I understood that every single day is a gift.
The first time I really felt to my core that life is so. very. short.
My Dad, who had lost some of his closest family members in early adulthood, lived every single day with this reverence.
Even though I didn’t know it at the time, looking back I can see how his behavior honored his perception every day.
My Dad was the kind of man who would give you the shirt off his back. He was a fierce protector and spent 40+ years of his life fighting for children who needed support as a middle school guidance counselor.
He dealt with hard stuff at work. Suicide, abuse, hunger, bullying and so much more. He saw it firsthand and in hindsight I can see how it could have tainted his outlook.
But my Dad was hilarious. He was this beam of light that refused to let the scummy situations of the world dull his shine.
Unlike my Dad, in my adult life a week has not gone by where I haven’t allowed a scummy situation to dull my shine. Early on the light would be dim for potentially months at a time as I woke up every morning and actively chose to believe the BS playing in my head.
Now, I’ve become more adept at recognizing the patterns and shutting off the conspiracy theories of my own making, but I can still find myself rattled for a few hours.
I think, like so many of us, it took me many years to figure out who I even was.
What did I stand for?
What did I believe with every fiber of my being?
What kind of legacy did I want to leave?
The mortality factor of losing my Dad was the beginning of truly understanding my DNA.
Who have I always been?
Were every single one of my decisions aligned with my innate self?
I was put on this earth to create more light. To help others identify their shine. To help them learn to wash off the scum and keep shining brightly.
I was put on this earth to help people learn to make the hard decisions. The gut wrenching stuff that keeps them up at night. The stuff that made me cry when I finally decided to write this story. The stuff that I know they will look back on 30, 40, 50 years from now and remember as pivotal turning points on their path.
I was meant to illuminate the path for those around me who were struggling to see the light.
I was meant to shine a brighter light on the path to heightened success for women.
I was meant to stand up for those around me who haven’t yet had the blessing of realizing what they are settling for, actively perpetuating, or allowing to continue in their life.
This is exactly why that word means so much to me.
Illuminate. It’s defined as “to make clear”.
It perfectly depicts the journey so many of us need to embrace because true lack of clarity is rampant in our world today.
I didn’t come to this realization on my own. There were many people who provided situations that helped me along the way. People I intend to honor for the rest of my life.
My family. My closest friends. My team. My patients.
People like David Jackson, Jeffrey Stamp, Tony Ebel, Jake Grinaker, and so many other key mentors and colleagues in the chiropractic profession.
The mortality factor played a big role in me choosing to honor my voice.
It helped me find my clarity.
It helped me stand up for what I believe in.
It played a huge part in me finally facing the truth that my DNA no longer fit in certain situations.
When you actively choose to contribute your light to one area of your life, it doesn’t mean the areas you formerly shined in are wrong.
Different. is. not. wrong.
What does this have to do with you?
I have learned in the past few years that the people who think they know…. are the people who really have no idea.
I was that person. I thought I knew what I was fighting for.
It took years for me to finally realize that I wasn’t only choosing the wrong battle…. I was on the wrong battlefield.
I was choosing to perpetuate my deepest challenges. I was running from my potential.
The conflicts in my life were there because I was choosing to stay in situations that were not part of God’s plan for me.
So I’m talking to you, yes you. The one nodding along but yet actively choosing to stand for things that will merely provide the short term validation you crave.
The situations that allow you to proudly display your surface self instead of digging through the deep and messy stuff inside.
When was the last time you made the gut wrenching decision?
Followed your heart?
Actually embraced the fact that things, in many cases, were meant to be hard.
Because after all, it’s the hard stuff that makes you resilient.
It’s the hard stuff that you will look back on as the beginning of something truly magical.
It’s the hard stuff that will make your children someday fondly remember you living on your terms, with your truth and purpose shining brightly for the world to see.
It’s a blessing to be able to look back at my Dad’s life in that way, and I know this is just the beginning of me living in a way that will allow my children to do the same.
Are you with me?