WOW… What a year that was!!!
As we sit on the edge of 2017, getting ready to move into 2018, I look back at one of the fullest and most meaningful years of my life. It has been filled with highs and lows far beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. There has been more activity than I can recall in the past, blasting life at me from a fire hose. Just a few highlights…
After 9 years, Riley and Mitchel moved away, heading to start a new life with their Mom & Bob in Anglemont BC. As it was happening in the early part of the year, it was the single most crushing experience I had ever gone through. The emptiness, anger and sadness were all-consuming. Yet as the months have past, I have become so grateful for the life they are building. Mitchel is in an environment that allows him to experience life and new situations on a daily basis. Riley finds himself with the ability to focus, and is gradually starting to set his sails. He even has his Learners Licence (that’s a reason to be happy we are separated by a province). Kate and Bob are doing an amazing job with these boys… and I still get to see them in person and via Facetime regularly. As crushed as I was… this was one of the best things that could have happened for them. I am so happy that Kate had the strength to make this move.
As that was unfolding, another all-consuming emotional experience began. I finally found love. A love so strong and deep, it transformed me from the inside out. I had completely given up on ever experiencing this, which made it even more magical for me. It began one year ago tomorrow ( New Years Eve ). We moved fast, and made huge commitments. I was cautioned against it, but when it feels that right, I don’t believe in caution. Yet by the end of the year, that relationship ended. And the timing of when we began makes today that much more painful. It was the end of a dream that finally had come to reality. It spun me around, and smashed me against the ground. Yet as painful as it has been, I don’t regret a moment. I have learned and grown so much. I am reminded that I still have that ability to love so strongly. The love I feel for her hasn’t dissipated an ounce, but I’m learning how to not allow that to hold me back. I can cherish and hold onto the positive, while still moving forward. Life is made up of moments. Honor the past ones, and welcome the new ones.
PERFECT SYMPHONY – Ed Sheeran
In February 2017, Riley became a father, and I a Grampa. Christopher came into the world, and changed the perspectives of many people. While I haven’t been able to get to know Chris the way I would like to yet, I know this can change. And as he has a younger brother on route (due at the end of January), this could be quite an adventure.
Yet as new lives are brought in, I also have to face the reality of some lives passing. My Mom has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. It is likely that we are facing the last few months with her beauty. She is the very seed from which I have grown. Next to my own spirit, she is the biggest part of me. This is going to be so very hard.
And in the world of careers… I watched one promising career crumble, followed by the entrance of the most significant and promising opportunity I’ve ever had come along. And as I look back over the handful of meaningful careers I’ve had, I can see how the lessons learned in each will be playing a role in this one. I am so excited to watch this happen.
Despite my optimism and commitment to the new career, life has also taught me that I need to take control over my own future. Give myself options. Create and develop my own Plan B. And here-in is where SEACRET will remain such a big part of my future. It allows me to do something I love, coaching people towards wellness & greatness, while building a solid foundation for my future.
And then there are the ‘riches’ of life. Some of the above, combined with prolonged poor decision making brought me to complete financial ruin. Wiped out. Kaput!! But when I faced the reality of my monetary riches being depleted, I discovered a couple of other riches I didn’t realize I had. First… a friend that stepped in and gave me a safe place to be and rebuild. Without her amazing hospitality, warmth and compassion, I seriously have NO IDEA where I might be right now. THANK YOU !!
And I also found an internal resilience I had never tapped into before. An ability to see life’s cycles for what they are… stages of a journey… and find the courage to ride them out with dignity and hope.
After so many years of partaking in self-Development courses, and reading Self-Help books, I have finally come to understand that the answers to life’s challenges aren’t ‘out there’. They are tucked within our own innate greatness. We just need to do some reprogramming, and learn to live life guided by our intentions, instead of being restrained by our fears and false limitations. I am incredibly grateful for the guidance inward that I have received from sessions such as ACT Training, the MKE Course, and the insightful wisdom of the ancient Stoics. These have all helped me to abandon tactics, and allow myself to be guided by my compass.
Life is so full of ups and downs…. and they just don’t stop. Some areas are currently on the high side of the curve, and a few are still in the lowest of lows. But one thing is guaranteed… they will continue to change. The whole story is not yet told. The year that was 2017 reminds me of a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story. Additionally, no one really lives long enough to find out the ‘whole story,’ so it could be considered a great waste of time to judge inconveniences as misfortunes or to invest tons of energy into things that look outstanding on the surface, but may not pay off in the end.
Life is a never ending journey. Let’s see what 2018 has in store.
Bless you all. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. I hope to spend so much more time with those I love, and hopefully a little less time with the jerks.
I hope this transparent message isn’t mistaken for a pity request… nor some meaningless optimistic bend on a challenging situation. I have come to learn that we are all facing demons. We are all fighting battles behind closed doors. I have fought these alone in the past, and that was so insanely difficult. What I hope is that others who are facing obstacles which may feel overwhelming will reach out to the people around them for help. And that others will keep an eye open for people who may need a hug. Reach out… love… and allow yourself to be loved. We are in this crazy ride together. Let’s hold hands.