I want to share something with each of you that happened to me last week in class. There are a lot of people in my class going though all kinds of life drama. Our amazing instructor put life in perspective for us all by doing an exercise. We were told to write down ten things that made our lives count and that were the most important to us. Here is what mine were:
1. My Faith in God
2. My son
3. My family
4. My strength to tell my story to help others
5. My non-profit Standing Courageous
6. My dog
7. The Standing Courageous Coalition
8. The ability to be a motivational speaker
9. The compassion to love jobs which serve others
10. My boyfriend
That are the things that make my life worth living. I love helping others and can’t imagine any other life. So, the next thing our instructor did was tell us we had to mark off 5 off these things. It represented life’s hard turns and reality for many people. I gave up 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. We were then asked if we could live with what we had left. I could easily say yes because I had the most important people left in my life. Then our other instructor came along and randomly marked off three things. She said that represents the tragedy that some people experience in life. He marked off my Faith in God, my dog, and my boyfriend. I was left with my son and my family. I lost eight of the things that mattered most in my life during that exercise. She asked each of us to imagine our lives if we really did lose those things. Some people in my class lost children, spouses, families, and other really important things. I was lucky to have what I was left.
Think about that for a minute. Maybe try doing this exercise yourself or with someone. Today, I am thankful for the amazing life I have. I woke up today when many people did not. I am able to call my son and say I love you when many will bury a child today. I have a job to go to Monday morning when some people don’t even know where they will sleep tonight. I have a damn good life and I thank God, every day for it.
It feels good to be able to be in this state of mind finally. I no longer need to worry about how much I make because I know I have the skill to budget my money and make it work. I no longer need to drink to handle life’s stresses. Most of all, I have a family who supports me. My son turned out amazing in spite of all the wrong decisions I have made in my life and that means more than anything.
I am doing my spring cleaning today and I put that paper beside my bed a little bit ago to remind me how bad life really could be. As long as those things stay in my life, life can’t get any better.