By Marianne Clyde
Don’t let the title scare you. I actually plan to live a long full life. As I hope you do.
However, as much as I am an advocate of the principle that we are co-creators with God, and nobody has control over me but me, I am also aware that there are times when LIFE just happens.
There is a natural disaster. There is a frightening diagnosis. Someone we love dies or is in an accident. The economy goes to hell in a hand basket. You get the point. Sometimes $#!% just happens.
Having said that, I’d like to return to my title. “If I should die before I wake…”
As I was taking my walk this morning, very excited about another upcoming workshop and very cool opportunities that Lorna and I spend a lot of time creating, I thought, “Well what happens if I DON’T live til 94 or so?” That’s the age the has been stuck in my mind for many years. I expect that is about when I will move on.
What if I don’t wake up tomorrow, for whatever reason? I began to think about what is the most compelling message I feel like I need to get out. If I don’t happen to live another day, what do I want my kids to hear? What do I want for the millions of women around the world that we expect to influence for good? What would that message be?
Rather quickly, it came to me that the most important thing I can tell someone is that
YOU MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE!
Every feeling you have, every thought that you think and every decision that you make is yours and yours alone.
Blame, toxic anger, un-forgiveness, self pity, fear or pathological guilt have no place in the life of someone who is destined to fulfill her destiny. If you have a vision, if you have a plan, if you have a dream, YOU are the one to make it happen. No one else. And no one can stop it, if you don’t give up.
Negative, unhealthy emotions and actions have no place in the life of someone destined for greatness, like YOU are. Sure we get angry, sure we get our feelings hurt, of course we feel devastated when a trusted partner betrays us. Feelings are only indicators of what is happening around you or in you, so you can make changes, re-define your priorities, examine your beliefs and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. They are INDICATORS like a TURN signal or a STOP sign or a YIELD sign, or a BEWARE OF DOG sign.
Feelings wake you up. People are in your life to teach you. They may or may not be permanent fixtures in your life. Circumstances happen so you can question whether or not you are on the right track or need a change.
Don’t let people, feelings or circumstances control your life. Don’t let them push you off track or worst of all, become a reason you stop pursuing your dream.
YOU are the reason you don’t make the money you want to make. YOU are the reason you always feel angry. YOU are the reason you get offended easily. The thoughts you have are what trigger emotions and reactions. And you can change your thoughts and beliefs in a moment.
It’s not always easy, but it remains a simple and direct principle. Yes, someone may have been a jerk. Yes, someone may have made a poor decision that ended up hurting you. But it’s up to you to reframe the incident, give it new meaning and move on.
The world needs the gifts, the skills, the dreams that YOU have. People are waiting to be inspired and encouraged by you. People are waiting for you to believe in yourself, and thus give them permission to live their purpose, too.
Holding onto un-forgiveness will drag you down and create a bitterness within you. Self pity, will take the focus off the mark. Guilt over something you can’t fix, will stop you in your tracks.
Replace negative feelings with healthy habits like gratitude, focusing on what is beautiful in the world, finding the good in situations and people. Learn to focus on those things. What you focus on increases.
You have an enormous amount of power. Use it to be productive. Use it to create. Use it to change the world.
Action step: Choose one negative habit that you have and replace it with something good. NOW.