Self discovery

July 6, 2015

Learning to begin again

“Sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of our climb that we lose sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb.” Oprah

Often we begrudge change, especially from circumstances we did not choose. But the truth is, change is often our greatest teacher, always promoting the growth we would have otherwise avoided. Change will inspire the confidence needed to pursue our dreams and the shift we need to take flight.

Sometimes the ingredients essential for changing our life enter slowly, like the perfect meal, taking time to prepare, it must be planned. With the conviction to end bad habits and make healthy choices, I took the first step in growth and quit smoking twelve years ago, a challenge my father would never obtain. The momentum started guardedly, even I did not believe in my ability. But as the days clicked by I thrived, becoming stronger in my conviction that I too could achieve this goal.

Eight months into my transition, my younger brother had a brain aneurysm that took his life after three weeks in intensive care. My heart was broken, my life was unraveling and the heaviness of it all drained my resolve. I began searching for something to hold onto, without letting it all fall apart, while I struggled to keep going.

Fractured with grief, I did keep going, carrying the pride my brother had in my abandoning the habit gave me the solace I needed to stay the path, and the belief that I would not disappoint him. Grieving his loss by not giving up on my goals was  a part of learning how to live without him. His belief in me kept me going through the rough spots.

Change it seemed, arrived in my life uninvited, and if there was a choice, I prepared to avoid it. My fears of the unknown would surface and I would cast justifications for not participating in the world around me. What if something bad happens became my mantra, reinforced with the heartbreak that had already occurred, leaving me paralyzed to the life ahead of me.

I had shifted from living to existing, spending much of my days in needless worry, while trying to maintain the footing I once had. Over time I recognized the same familiar fear in my mother, which ultimately became the epiphany I needed to redefine myself, and start living. Admitting that much of my fear had been influenced by my past, I was forced to observe what I was instilling in my own children, and remember that our story could have a new beginning. 

On the journey, I reignited my love for books, and one of the many reasons I love to read is because it inspires change, invites growth and celebrates discovery. A hefty step in the catalyst for change when we are Inspired to do more, give more and learn more with each story read. 

Recently several books took me on an adventure, (WILD) and (The Happiness Diaries) prompting me to reignite my own journey of self-discovery. While I don't plan to hike the PCT by myself, or even ride a motorcycle with sidecar, around the world, there are always things we can do, positive things that lead us towards living a more authentic life.

Change may not always be easy, and definitely not always welcome, but when we look back at some of our struggles we find our best selves emerging from the debris. Some of our greatest challenges carry the richest rewards. 

Once again setting goals and demanding more of myself strengthened my resolve, which slowly chased away my fears, or at least put them at bay while I rebuilt my will to survive. Beginning with a trip to California, I was ready for transformation, and although fear remained begrudgingly on my shoulder, it forced me to find the courage to live again.

As we search for our passion, a large part of the discovery is the journey itself. The road is paved with uncertainty and how we handle those moments begins with our approach. When untold versions of change appear to disrupt your plans, having faith that this too will bring you to a better place is part of the magic you need to explore. Through the rough seasons as we learn how to care for ourselves, we begin filling the empty spaces in our hearts by sending love and kindness back into the universe.

Facing each day was never easy, and honestly there were many days I chose not to face at all. I continued sinking, unable to grasp how to begin moving again, or even why. Leaving me to curse every dream I ever held and remain helpless to reconcile my own life.

All along family and friends were there waiting for me, softly singing comforting words, a blanket to wrap my sorrow in, with a safe place to join them again. While discovering reasons to live, I had to come back to where I once was, altered from the journey, but ready to see again, ready to live again and ready to love again.

Enduring some of my toughest life lessons has redefined me. Finding the treasure in each circumstance held the key, even if that achievement was just to survive... 

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  • July 9, 2015 @ 9:27 AM EDT
    By Jill
    "As we search for our passion, a large part of the discovery is the journey itself.As we search for our passion, a large part of the discovery is the journey itself." - That spoke to me on so many levels. Thank you for sharing!
  • July 7, 2015 @ 5:28 PM EDT
    By Tina   (Unraveling My Heart the Write Way)
    Thank you Beverly for your kind words and taking the time to comment <3
  • July 7, 2015 @ 12:28 PM EDT
    By Beverly McComb-Davies
    Love these thoughts...so insightful and born out of a "labor of love."

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