We are who we are today because of our past.
We are who we are tomorrow because of who we choose to be today– ENB
Recently, on a trip home to Seattle to visit family and friends, my sister brought out an old box of my things that she told me she had been carrying around with her for over the last 10+ years. WOW, thanks, sis!
Excited, and a bit nervous at what could be inside, I opened it very fast. First, I pulled out my high school letterman’s Jacket, instantly I found myself smiling as I remembered how much I loved playing Tennis, and all of the great times spent with my teammates!
Soon, my eyes zeroed in on a diary. WHAAAT?! How cool is this?! As I have gotten older, it’s been a wish of mine to find and read old diary entries from my younger years! To find this gem was really exciting. I poured myself some wine and eagerly opened it! I was preparing myself for a few laughs and a glimpse into my young mind, wondering what boys I talked about. (Isn’t that what every teenage girl writes about?). I didn’t have to see the entry dates to know this was going to be a journey back into my teenage years.
The date of the first entry; May 5, 1993. I was 17 years old.
I started drinking my wine a little faster, and I started reading a little more slowly.
Quickly I realized what I was about to read was something much more than boys, and what outfit I needed to buy. I stopped breathing for a second and my heart began racing.
I was a junior in high school and had just begun treatment for an eating disorder.
This diary, and the following entries I was about to read, was my documented time through in -patient treatment, it captured my daily personal growth and wellness. This diary quickly became priceless.
As I read, I reflected, and as I read more, my reflection turned into gratitude. Gratitude for having experienced treatment and the guidance at such a young age. WOW!
Had it not been for working through, and overcoming this time in my life, I can’t say I would be the woman & coach I am today. This personal experience helped shape a part of my being, giving me a skillset that has allowed me much more than a degree, or acquiring a certification ever could on it’s own. (I believe it’s the experience combined with these degrees and certifications that give me depth and tangible tools to really make an impact with others)
I understand how hard it is to feel powerless, like you have no control, while having nothing but control. And more importantly, I understand what it feels like to dig in deep, to find and bring forth the inner strength needed in order to overcome, to live intentionally and to thrive regardless of what is going on around you, or inside your mind.
Until reading these diary passages, I had forgotten that after leaving treatment and discovering my inner strength, I found my voice for the first time. Although there were many other life changing experiences that have shaped my destiny (towards becoming a coach and living intentionally), this was the first time I remember choosing to stand up and speak out immediately in efforts to help others.
With the support of one of my teachers, I began speaking to a handful of classes at my high school about my experience with an eating disorder and going through treatment. GASP! I knew there was quite a bit of ‘talk’ going on, but it didn’t matter to me, I was more focused on helping anyone I could. And, surprisingly I don’t remember too much backlash.
My goal was to help educate and shine a light for anyone who may be experiencing something similar. It didn’t have to be an eating disorder, I wanted to teach people what I had just been taught, to give people the energy and empowerment that I was feeling so deep in my soul.
It didn’t feel like I had to be ‘cured’ in order to speak out, I just knew I could help people by sharing my story. When asked by my classmates how I was doing after treatment, I remember saying, “I don’t have an ending for you, but I do know my new story is about creating the ending I choose to create”.
This was my first taste in helping others intentionally, and the first time I knew this experience was given to me as a gift for me to share. I was no longer embarrassed, or felt like an out cast.
This was bigger than me, and I had to follow through with whatever was next.
A spark had been lit! I exploded into taking massive action in every area of my life!
Today, I work with many people going through what may seem like dark, or challenging times. I believe these challenging times are the lessons we can’t sign up for online. Can you imagine if we could; ‘I’d like to sign up to lose my business, lose my relationship, or lose my life savings, for 5 credits, please’.
It doesn’t happen that way. These lessons we don’t, and can’t ask for. That would be too easy to do. Instead, these lessons happen FOR us, and usually given to us when we least expect it, and when we don’t feel we can handle them. You know the saying, “when it rains, it pours”. I love hearing clients say this is happening to them, I know they are about to drastically change their life. And that is exciting to watch and help them grow into who they are meant to be.
Until you are ready to move through these challenges, and become the teacher yourself by first seeing it as a lesson, you will continue to experience challenging times.
Become The Teacher-
I invite you to think about your strengths and how they became your strengths.
*What have you experienced that allows you to help others?
*What was once a shadow that is now a light?
*What have you overcome and pushed through?
*How are you living today because of it?
*Who are you able to help because of it?
Maybe you are going through something challenging now.
Depending on where you are on your journey, what if you believed the darkness was a light instead? A light you can shine for others who have never been where you have been, or have seen what you have seen.
What if this is another gift for you to discover more of who you are?
23 years ago, I was embarrassed of being 17 and in treatment.
Today, I am a thriving Life Coach helping others discover and live in their greatness.
Helping people reach their full potential and thrive!
Without this gift at 17, I would be missing a large part of my skillset that I believe sets me apart and is a unique advantage.
Own all of who you are; your past, your present, and create a future of opportunity.– ENB
Diary Entry, May 1993
How To Set Boundaries- It’s no coincidence in 1993 I was the “student” and today I have become a “teacher”. Everything we do is preparing us for our future. Pay Attention.
What if your pains ARE creating your destiny?
I would love to hear how YOU are you living and shining your light for others- comment below, send me an email, Facebook or tweet with me!
Your Friend & Coach,