Losing power isn’t always fun. Okay, whom I kidding, it’s never fun really. We lost power due to the windstorm that came to Virginia around noon on Friday.
We are pretty good at managing crisis and challenges come our way but one thing was clear, when your life kinda evolves being connected online, it can make things a bit challenging.
And clearly, I spend way to much time online and am needing to make the time to disconnect a bit of a priority.
It was pretty scary hearing the wind and the trees dancing in it. Our property is surrounded by trees and a few of them are close to the house which brings a level of fear to the horizon and also some projects we need to address this year.
My son handled pretty well too as he spent time focusing on his art but he too was challenged in staying entertained. The thing for him is that he needs stimulation in order to function and when you take that away it’s like he doesn’t know what to do with himself. And in that reference, we are both the same but I have learned how to cope over the years.
And as we sat in front of the wood stove with a propane lamp trying to keep us warm and entertained, we headed off to another night of little sleep as the wind kept howling.
As the next day rolled around, we were definitely ready for the power to come on but as we tuned into the work that needed to get done by the electric crew we also know it could be a while.
And with that came the concern of the food we would lose, how we would manage our entertainment without losing our minds in the process.
And before I knew it, I was sitting on the couch with notebook and pen and fleshed out a fiction story that came to my mind. I even ran out of ink because I was so in flow with the story that came to me.
There is always something you can do when you are in the middle of a situation that you can’t control. Ours was definitely challenging as we spend our time together in close quarters for the majority of the time.
At my 6 pm Saturday night as I was getting a new pen, the power came on and we danced and celebrated.. ok maybe not like that but it was definitely a relieve in many ways.
Isn’t it interesting how you want nothing more than to shower when your power is out? Or how much time you actually don’t spend together and then when you do, you struggle to keep positive or even pleasant.
How do you manage everything when you aren’t in control of a situation? Have a power outage story?
I’d love to hear it!
And I am off to keep fleshing out the story!
You have a story, just like I do. Maybe it felt like a bad comedy show or maybe it was much on the lighter side. And whether you are aware or not, you tell yourself this story every day.
Fear and anger keep you trapped and stop you from enjoying this life right here. The moment you let go of the blame is the moment you can set yourself free.
I blamed my parents, foster parents, the system and a lot of other people for all the things that were going wrong in my life rather than acknowledging that some things happen but that I am always and forever in control of the outcome and how I handle the rest of my life.
And truly the same thing is true for you.
You (and I) could go on blaming other people but here’s the thing, when you remember that other people have a story too, creates space for forgiveness and compassion. But more than anything else, it lightens the path for you to rewrite your story.
When you are willing to review your story, objectively and detach yourself emotionally, you can see your story from a different perspective.
Retell your story by acknowledging the pitfalls you have experienced and dig out the root cause. This isn’t about blaming but recognizing the parts most helpful so you can then rewrite your story.
So what does that look like?
The Review: One of my prime examples growing up was that my foster parent yelled at me telling me I would not be successful.
The Retell: I was hurt. I forever felt like I wasn’t good enough or smart enough. This meant I beat myself up when I failed at school, in my marriage or any other relationship I have had.
The Rewrite: My foster mother doesn’t define success for me. She has her version of success and I have my own version. Which means that I am smart enough and good enough.
The experiences through pain and love shaped you.
They helped build your character.
The defined your values.
And there is nothing wrong with owning who you are, rewriting your story so you can chase after your dreams and actually make things happen.
Last week, I did the unthinkable. I shared my story with about 10,000 people.
When I encounter people, I always tell them my story. My story is powerful and impactful and in my 20’s it was very different from it is now that I am 40.
Back in the day, it was about being the victim and receiving pity from the people around me.
Now, now it’s about inspiring others and give them the little nudge to move forward to not only follow their dreams but really be well with themselves.
Here’s what I shared:
From Foster Care to Creating Freedom
I have had enough experiences that last me multiple lifetimes.
I am a foster child and grew up in the system since I was 2
I was sexual, emotionally and physically abused during this time
I was raped twice in adolescent years
I married twice and divorced twice
I gave up a son at birth
I struggled with alcohol abuse until I had my a DUI
I loved the wrong people for the longest time
Left a 9-year relationship that had detoured into something else
I’ve seen my children struggle and succeed and struggle some more
I have watched my youngest son fight for his life from three liver transplants
Why am I telling you this?
Because people told me that I would not succeed and that I could not live my dream life
I have learned that listening to others is for the birds and that I love to go against what people tell me I should do
Here is what I know from the depth of my heart:
You have got to believe in your dream and know that you must earn your dream.
What I didn’t realize is that by following my heart that it would give me the ultimate life I wanted. A life with freedom. But it also gave me so much more than that.
A life filled with love from my boys, my friends and most importantly, love from me.
Love yourself and you will not only create your freedom but find your voice and unlock your confidence!
The feedback I received was overwhelming and had me in tears. So, supportive and yet here is what I really got out of it: I could inspire and motivate people. I made connections and build relationships. I could love myself through my story by showing others that it doesn’t matter where you come from, all you need is to believe that you can.
It has been an amazing experience to be so open about it all and be transparent about my past.
I haven’t always felt good about myself or my past let alone despite appearance thought life was good. Life was damn shitty at times and I am owning it. Life was freaking hard on more than one occasion but the key has always been to not live there.
No matter how difficult things may get, there is always a way. You just should allow yourself to take a moment and go within. Give yourself the rest that you need. Journal it out, writing about your thoughts and feelings is one amazing tool for you to reflect on in the future because you can then go back and see how far you have come.
Situations are temporary and you can’t control them anyway. What you can control is you and how you feel and respond to everything in your world.
Here’s to overcoming anything that tries to get in your way.