Do you ever have that epiphany that all the stuff leading up to this moment in time had a specific purpose? That is where I am in my life right now. The last few years have been such a time of growth and learning. I am a different person. I am a better person. And it is evident that it has all been leading me to this place.
I can easily look back at my life and see significant changes. I can see the me from high school. I was quiet and had very little self esteem. My freshman year in college I became close to a previous acquaintance, Angie, and she taught me to love myself regardless of what others thought. She taught me that I was valuable not for how others saw me, but for what was inside. I was changed. I grew into a person who was confident and clear on my goals. It was probably the first time that I was changed to much by one person touching my life. She helped put me on a path that forged the adult I would come to be.
As I look back on the last few years I can see numerous things that lay in he road of my past that have formed me and prepared me for the obstacles that lay ahead. I am thankful for each of those growth experiences even if they were hard to overcome. If I had not learned the lessons and applied them to my life, my road today would be much harder.
Breaking my leg in several places a few years ago was a turning point in my marriage. What?! Yes. It changed my marriage. I was laid up on bed rest for several weeks. I was reliant on my husband and kids to do everything for me. From someone who is "take-charge" and a control freak that was beyond difficult. I realized that I am not the one that has to do everything. I learned that others can be just as efficient as I am and can handle the responsibility. Even after bed rest was over, I had a year when I could do very little. I rested in the fact that my family was there for me and could step up. My husband really became a caretaker and I realized that he could be there for me. We grew together during this long time of recovery. He has absolutely taken care of me even to this day. There is rarely a time when I say I need something that he does not jump up and get it for me. He knows that every step I take is painful on some level still and he tries to alleviate that for me as much as he can. God is faithful, and while I still struggle with pain, I know that I have been blessed through the experience.
The other part of my journey was learning Reiki. Reiki has changed my life by making me be more aware of the energy around me and the energy that I am putting out there. I have learned that my energy affects those around me and vice versa. I focus more on making myself calm when approaching my kids and generating positive energy when I want it to affect them. The Reiki journey has been so very important in the way I view people as well. I have always been quick to assume things about people and quick to have a snarky come back. I think Reiki and the positive energy it creates in me has caused me to be more of a positive soothing presence. I am far more quick to assume the best in people. I give people the benefit of the doubt and see the difficulty in their situation instead of the immediate reaction of irritation. I feel it has strengthened my resolve to be an encourager. It has made me much more intentional in what I do. Reiki has drawn me closer to my friend Valerie, whom I took the classes with. We are bonded in ways I cannot completely understand. We share some sort of energy and it is positive and uplifting. I am thankful for her presence in my life. She is a rock, understands my humor and commiserates with me when needed. I believe that my Reiki is given from God and I accept the energy and healing he provides. You can read a bit of my Reiki journey here, here and here.
Last year we became a larger family by welcoming a long time friend into our fold while she was pregnant with her first child. We supported her emotionally and physically through her pregnancy and she became an integral part of our family. She understands my kiddos and their issues. She loves us as much as we love her. I was blessed to be at the birth of her son and cut the cord. Robert and I "play" grammy and grampy to an adorable, cherub faced, red headed baby boy. We adore them as our own, because they are a part of us. They have both given us so much joy. She is understanding of our trials and is super helpful when something comes up. She is always willing to give of herself to help us in any way she possibly can. She is loving and caring and I am so proud of the momma she has become. That boy's smile and smoochies can light up my day! I am so thankful that they are in our life and have given us another reason to focus on the good. God knew what he was doing when he stuck her in our lives!
The last and most important is the addition of my TRIBE in my life. I blogged recently about my third year in Orlando with my moms from Beyond Trauma and Attachment and I meant every word. My friends who are also raising kids from hard places are my lifeline. They hold me up when I need it. They laugh with me when I can't stand drama anymore. And they love me unconditionally. I have never in my whole life felt like I "fit" somewhere as I do with my BeTA girls. This year was very freeing for me. I felt like the misfit who was always picked last for kickball finally made it "in" with the cool kids. I felt loved and accepted. I felt important. Not important in a superior way, but important in a way that I was cared for by others. I feel as though I have found the spot I have always belonged. I feel like I have always had a BeTA fish shaped whole in my heart and it was finally filled. The most amazing thing about this tribe is that we are all so very different. We come from different areas of the country, different backgrounds, different political and spiritual persuasions, we have different sexual preferences and different thoughts about life, but we accept one another as we are on the same road with similar challenges. We respect one another and our choices are our own, but we can still support and love. For me, that is the true definition of family. I have been blessed with a few of those mommas who I know have my back at a moment's notice. I know I can hide out at their house 9 hours away when I need to escape (and have), I know they will fly here to help if needed and I know that I can call them and always count on them listening to my cry or laugh hysterically. I can wake up to them serenading me on facebook voice chat, get emails that they have placed a gift in my paypal account and have Amazon boxes delivered to my door. They are my strength. They complete me and hold me up more than they could ever imagine. I am humbled by he generosity and am forever grateful.
As I sit and ponder what the immediate future holds for our family in the liver transplant process, I can't fathom doing it as the person I was a few short years ago. The amount of support I have now and the love I feel from others is such a blessing. I would be an absolute mess without the love of my tribe. I would be crazy to think I could do this without the strengthened relationship I have with my amazing husband. I have a local friend that I adore and share a special bond with. I have a surrogate grandbaby who lights up my life and a friend who isn't afraid of my life and what it entails. I can look back and see that the journey God has put us on has driven us to a place where we can do this. I am much more at peace than I could imagine. I know this is because I am being held up. I am being prayed for, loved on and being sent positive energy.
I am forever thankful for the journey.
I have been prepared for this moment and I can do this.
Week Recap: The 7 of us
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