November. A month of what felt like destruction, but resulted in growth. I haven’t been through something so difficult since the end of a relationship two years ago. I thought that was the worst thing I’d been through in my life. I thought that was my pivotal turning point. I felt I had earned my battle scars and was in the clear. I never imagined I would go through something that could ever compare. Not so fast, life said.
Maybe I had plateaued. Maybe I had gotten comfortable. Maybe I had forgotten who I was and how far I had come. How hard I had fought to get here. The universe must have decided I needed a reminder, a push. And here it was. I was being nudged to grow outside my comfort zone. I’m not going to go into detail, because it’s a negative energy that has been draining and aging me for the past month. It’s something I want to put behind me, although it is still an ongoing battle. But, soon, hopefully, I will be free from the whole mess of a situation. Throughout it all, I’ve been trying to remain positive. I’ve been trying to live with purpose and intention, putting out into the universe the vision of what I want and how I need this to play out. That has not always been easy, but I’ve tried. I’ve tried to look at all the players involved with compassion and understanding. I’ve failed a bit at that.
I know life ebbs and flows. We all have our bad days or moments. But it has been a long time since I felt so discouraged, sad, lonely, frustrated and doubtful so frequently. A long, long time. I hate feeling that way. And I hate when I can’t let the moment pass without judgement. When I judge myself for coming from a place of fear and negativity. That is not who I am. I am spirited, I am hopeful, I am positive. And yet, I have allowed myself to get into a situation that has challenged that.
When I couldn’t sleep. When I would cry from the stress of it all. When I felt lost. When I couldn’t find a solution. When I had to set aside my pride and ask for help. When I wondered if this is all a sign that I shouldn’t be here, that I made a mistake. When I doubted the life I’ve worked so hard to create. During those moments, I had to stop and remind myself that there is a lesson in everything. No matter how awful an experience may seem, it holds a blessing. Having something bad happen to me doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s not payback for some terrible karma I earned. This experience evolved me. It granted me wisdom. It forced me to get real with myself on a whole new level. It reminded me of my strength.
For a long time, I’ve struggled to find my inner voice. That female intuition. I could never quite make it out. I’ve always been challenged by differentiating between my gut instinct and doubt. Through the ordeals of the past month, I’ve been able to master that. I know what she sounds like. I can recognize her now. I’ve learned to listen. I know that her voice will protect me in the future. Guiding me away from situations and people that won’t serve me, and will only cause me this pain.
One of the recurring themes of my coaching sessions is guilt. I feel guilty the minute I think I’m going to disappoint someone. This, in the past, caused me to act in a way that put others before myself. I’ve been working for awhile now on doing more of what makes me happy, independent of how others feel. But the events of November have taken that one step further. I learned a valuable lesson. Put yourself first. Look out for yourself, first and foremost. Without guilt, without question, take care of yourself first.
There have been other lessons learned this month. But I’d say these two are pretty big. As much as I hate what I’ve been through, I know these I’ll carry with me. I learned them the hard way, but I’ll be able to practice them for years to come. And, as draining and stressful as most of November was, there were many moments to be grateful for. I’ll be more protective of myself and my world. I’m going to appreciate the next step even more. I knew I had an amazing support system of close friends and family, but having to call on them so deeply this month has brought us even closer. I’ve found moments of laughter, growth, refuge, affirmation and joy in the most unexpected space. One day I’ll look back at this trial and know that it was meant to build me up. I’m able to keep moving forward, seizing each new day, with a renewed sense of strength, bravery and confidence.