Did you ever sit back and think about the lessons you have learned in your life?
The other night while I was attempting to fall asleep I started thinking about the lessons of my life. I wanted to create some sort of fancy smancy (is that a word? Who cares it sounds cool!) acronym that would just roll of the tongue. As I put together the lessons I found myself having too many consonants and not enough vowels. Actually, the first few times I had no vowels. So not a very good acronym.
The acronym wasn’t coming to me, but what was coming to me were the lessons that I had learned. I speak about 4 significant events that shaped my life. Now there are some other big ones in there too, but these 4 had a profound impact on my life prior to becoming a fully vested and responsible adult.
I sat with my counselor a while back and she commented how remarkable it was that I was able to become successful despite the variety of traumas that I experienced at such a young age. Yes I do have a counselor. I never thought I would get one, admit that I needed help from one or tell people that I have one, but she has been a great help to me.
Understand that I never looked at those events as being traumatic. I thought of them as “normal life”. When you have nothing else to compare your life to, you assume what happens is normal. Not nice, but normal. As I continue to develop my speaking career I thought I needed to define the lessons and create this goofy acronym that people can use in their own life. That just isn’t coming to me the way I thought it would.
What I did find in my thoughts were a list of power words that I gravitated towards because of the events of my life. I am going to take my time flushing out the thoughts and writing articles to explain each one in more detail over the coming weeks. The 5 words I have identified, I tie to the events of my life and how those words have become significant to me. Some of this I am still working on figuring out within my own mind and heart.
So here it goes, a little preview of what is to come. The words and the event it connects to are:
1. Death = Determination
2. Alcoholism = Attitude
3. Sexual Abuse = Strength
4. Leukemia = Living on Purpose (I know it is more than 1 word, but this is my life story!)
5. Failure = Faith
Now I need to be honest with you. I am sitting at a McDonald’s in Green Bay writing this and listening to some good old country music, specifically In Color by Jamey Johnson is playing in my headphones right now. I am having trouble controlling my emotions as I think of the weight, impact and control that some of those events had on my life.
Sometimes I get so upset I want to fight anything or anyone that walks near me. Just to show to myself that I am strong and willing to finally defend myself. I know that is wrong. Other times I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Just hoping that someday someone would find me and care for me the way I have always craved. Other times I just want to disappear because I think no one would ever understand what my life has been like.
Then I stop myself and think about the wonderful, supportive wife that I have and how much she loves me and pushes me to work on myself. Then I think about those that have come up to me after a speech and shared their stories with me. Sometimes they just thank me, other times they have tears in their eyes or are crying because they connected with something in their own life and other times they reveal their life stories that make my heart break. And then I am reminded that I have a purpose in my own trauma.
Those 5 powerful words are why I exist and why I am on a mission to let everyone know how important they are to this world. I want all of you that read this to know that you have value. That you are important and that your gifts and talents are needed in this world. Keep Living your Life on Purpose!!