Have you ever had a realization or a light-bulb moment that completely shifted your thoughts, feelings, and actions out of being a victim and into a place of empowerment? I recently had one of those moments. Here’s what went down:
A few weeks ago I thought someone was breaking into my house in the middle of the night. I called the cops and they found no one. The experience scared the dickens out of me because I can’t handle the thought of something happening to my daughter, Ellie, and I feel responsible for her protection. I blogged about it when it happened (http://baileyheard.com/facing-fear-with-faith-and-action/), and really attempted to take my own advice about being proactive in setting up better protection for my family and having faith God would take care of us. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shut out the scary stories in the media, and instead of continuing to follow my own advice, I found my myself actually seeking these scary stories out. Since whatever we focus on expands in our minds, I eventually created my own horror story about what might happen to my family.
The fearful thoughts then leaked into all the nooks and crannies of every area of my life until I noticed I was becoming a shell of a person, existing instead of thriving, and responding to every situation through the lens of fear. Focusing on all the negativity in the world, which there is plenty to read about in the news, lead me to create a plan I thought would best protect my family from the doom I was sure was to come upon us. The plan involved asking my parents for help. Long story short, I sat them down for dinner at a restaurant, asked them to help remove me from the situation, and they said, “NO.” I reacted in tears, anger, and made unkind remarks I didn’t really mean. My feelings were hurt. I felt afraid and alone.
As humans we are extremely resilient. After I took some time to sit with my sadness and to understand what it was all about, I concluded the sadness was coming from the belief I wouldn’t have anyone to lean on if I truly needed help. I thought, If I can’t depend on my family, then on whom can I depend? In the past, my late husband, Andrew, was the person I depended on to take care of Ellie and me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but believing someone would come rescue me put me in a passive role in my life. On a subconscious level I believed someone else was going to take care of the important things for me. Although I didn’t see it at the time, my parents gave me a gift by saying no. By taking a hands-off approach, they were really saying, “We trust you are capable of figuring things out on your own without our help.”
This is still painful to write about because it was a hard lesson for me to receive. I was truly upset and angry with them over their decision, but at the end of the day, when you lose someone you love, you realize even if you’re angry or hurt by your loved ones, you don’t want to have regrets. That’s why you work through the tough times to come back together as a family.
This experience taught me it’s time to take more responsibility for my life. It’s time to rescue myself, instead of waiting for someone else to do so. I now see I have all the resources I need to figure things out. This truth empowered me, made me rise up, get resourceful, and dig deep to see what I am capable of, instead of depending on someone else to fix things for me. It also profoundly impacted me on a spiritual level, as it brought me back to the realization God is the One who comes through for me. I’m called to place my trust and faith in Him. Although I forget this on a daily basis He has already come through for me through the cross. He’s supplied me with all I need to thrive in this life.
Recently a dear friend of mine reminded me of my role to wake up each day connecting with God, take guided action by asking God what the clear next step is for my life, and to take the step. Her words reconnected my soul and shifted my mind, feelings, and actions away from my victim mentality and into a place of empowerment.
There appears to be so much to fear in our world these days and my heart is heavy for the tragic loss our country has recently experienced. In these challenging times there’s always an opportunity to serve, to give, and to show God’s love through action.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi
Blessings, my friend.
PS – Ellie and I are celebrating her Daddy this weekend! In honor of Andrew’s life and legacy we want you to share his books: Your Best Life Later, A Gray Faith, and The Ellie Project, with the men in your life! All of his books are 50% off at www.ellieproject.com today through Sunday, June 19th. Use discount code: fathersday at checkout. Thank you for your support!
PPS – I’m booking my speaking schedule for the fall! I would love to inspire and encourage your group through the power of my family’s story and the lessons I learned about how to transform life’s greatest challenges into fuel to create a more meaningful and purposeful life. Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org! Blessings.