Deciding Changes Everything

I just found the password for my blog I started writing five years ago. After just three posts in 2011, it all went dormant. My passion for writing had a very short life because sad things started to happen, which has led me to this blog post …

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Over the past five years, I lost my marriage of 19 years, I lost some friendships, I lost my job of 20 years, my two daughters grew up way too fast, and I felt as though I was pretty much losing my grip on most everything. Life-changing events changed me, shook me to my core, and sent me to the land of deep soul-investigation.

Awhile back, I saw Robert Downey, Jr. on The Oprah Winfrey Show talk about how he was able to kick his heroin addiction. He said, “It’s not that difficult to overcome these seemingly, ghastly problems. What’s hard is to DECIDE that you’re going to overcome them.”

I was impacted forever by these words. Our choices truly dictate our future. While I wasn’t struggling with heroin addiction, I needed to overcome the feeling of failure and sadness.

Since I am not a fan of the victim mentality – I DECIDED to dig deep and lean into the lessons. For me, staying a student of life has always been a good guide for keeping my character-compass in check.

So I made myself get still. I mapped out a plan to help myself get out of a very dark place. I started to read, journal, and surround myself with amazing, successful people who had their fair share of overcoming. I opened up, asked for help, and became more transparent than ever. I talked openly with my parents and my siblings about anything and everything. I let safe people in. I got in front of godly, life-changing teaching. I prayed, I cried, I forgave. I chose not to be mad at anyone or take the path of offense. I examined my own heart and owned my poor choices and actions of the past. I went on a hunt to find the silver lining. And then it started to happen. I began to heal.

My thinking started to change and my actions followed suit. I started to become a person with purpose again. I got a new attitude (sing it, Patti!) and set new goals, which literally affected me mentally, spiritually and physically. I had challenges on my journey, but the determination to get on the other side finally beat failure.

Everything I feared would ruin me actually revived me.

Five years ago, my cookie-cutter life was intact. By society’s standards, five years later, perhaps it’s not. But my mind, heart and soul are in alignment and focused on what I have to offer, not what I lost.

I found peace in the storm and contentment in the chaos. I climbed out of what could’ve been a deep depression, but with God’s help, amazing friends and family, and DECIDING to overcome, I got on the other side. This is why the lessons matter. They don’t make us weaker. They make us better.

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The Power of Words

In a recent barking order to my child, I didn’t like what I heard. Why was I talking this way? It’s so not nice.

Then I read something powerful that challenged me. “[Our words] tell us what’s inside.” (Chris Tiegreen)

The connection between heart, mind and mouth is an interesting one. If my tongue really is like the rudder of a ship, then I have the ability to steer my entire life … perhaps others’ lives as well. Amazing to think I own such power.

What’s inside of you? What do you sound like?

I’m learning this lesson and hoping to get better. As I speak my words into existence – to my family, friends, co-workers – and even to myself, I hope to keep in mind that my speech and spiritual condition are a reflection of each other.

This challenges my humanness, but I always remember those who speak life into me. I’d like to pay this same gift forward.

“It’s a relational experience”

After attending a conference with gobs of millennials (males dressed in plaid shirts, gelled hair, cool framed glasses, Converse tennis shoes, and backpacks in tow – you know the look!) I had to ask – WHY BLOG? Isn’t it a bit self-indulgent? Their answer, “Well, everyone has something to say. This is about giving your passion a space to fall in and letting others interact with it. It’s a relational experience.”

Loved that. Got it.

So here I am, a Gen-Xer, jumping in.

My brain has been running a shop of its own for years, but putting it on display forces the hand of organization on some level. I’m ready to allow the journals in my head to fall on these pages.

More to come. Thanks for taking 37 seconds to read.

Welcome to my blog!

Stories are where my lessons are learned and celebrated. So with a little transparency (or a lot), I’m giving my head and heart a landing pad.

A quick intro to me: I love God, sunsets, words, and paying attention. Listening and talking to others are prime treasures too. I’m a stubborn girl with a soft heart, and a know-it-all with a lot to learn. I laugh hard and love harder. My favorite hobby is to notice everything.

No matter what I share, I hope it will end up resembling wildflowers – unpredictable, but rooted in good soil, and fun to look at when brought to the surface. As I bunch my “life lessons” together and let them bloom on my blog, I hope you like what you see … like wildflowers in a tin can – a rustic, love-crafted centerpiece for your table.