There are moments in life that shape the way we think, what we believe, how we view the world, and who we are. They are pivotal moments which can be big or small, tragic or not, but the one commonality is they teach us beautiful lessons; lessons that shape us and guide us. I recently spoke to a group of women about some of my most pivotal moments in life and the lessons they taught me. I challenged them to do the same reflection on their own life, which they did, and most were surprised as well as proud of how much life had taught them. Perhaps some of these will inspire you to reflect on your own pivotal life moments and their beautiful lessons. These are some of mine:
Growing up those were the words my sister and I most dreaded. Every 2-3 years we would be moving to a new state, new home, and new school because our dad was being relocated for his corporate job. I hated those moves, and yet they taught me an invaluable lesson and hard truth about life – it is constantly changing. Despite how much we want to avoid it, change is constant. Learning this at such a young age taught me to not only adapt to the changes life throws at us, but to expect them. It is definitely much easier than resisting them.
“I’m Getting Divorced, Again.”
I’ve had two failed marriages. It still stings a little when I admit it. Why? Because I don’t like to fail at anything. Yet, here’s another life lesson and hard truth that those “failures” taught me: you cannot succeed without failing. It is only through failing and making mistakes that we learn what is best for us. Would I have preferred to NOT have two failed marriages? Yes, of course. But they led me to a much greater relationship than I wouldn’t have known is possible without having gone through those experiences. As long as you do not define yourself by your failure, it can lead you to your greatest success.
Quitting my corporate job to start my business was probably the scariest thing I have every done in my career. My corporate job was high paying, “secure”, and a place where I was on the rise. Yet, it was sucking the life out of me. I wanted to do work I loved on my terms and being able to honor that calling taught me another one of my great life lessons: no amount of money or perceived “security” is worth your peace of mind and heart or your well-being. Nothing is worth that.
“I Have Cancer.”
If you’ve followed me for some time or read my book Fear to Flow, you know my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer a few years ago. Hearing his diagnosis and then watching cancer take him from this earth was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. And yet, as with most difficulties, there are not only lessons but blessings. This pivotal experience taught me a few invaluable life lessons: everyone you know will die one day – that’s a fact. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s true. Time is precious – treat every moment as such. And, tell the people you love that you love them. Don’t wait. Do it now.
“I Saved a Dog Today.”
I am deeply involved with animal rescue, mostly dogs, particularly basset hounds. My love for not only these dogs, but all dogs and all animals, runs deeper than I even know. So, being able to help save them comes as naturally to me as breathing. My involvement with animal rescue has taught me that in life, there is nothing more fulfilling than helping another living thing (be it animal, human, or otherwise) who is unable to help themselves. Lend a hand wherever you can – it will change your life.
“I’m Going Back to School.”
Last year, at age 47 I decided to finally go back to school and get my PhD in psychology. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 22. I was presented two other opportunities to do it in the past 20 years, but life kept getting in the way. Finally, the third time presented itself last year, and I said a big fat YES. I knew this was a part of me that needed to be fulfilled. It takes a lot of time and energy to run my business and work on a doctorate, but anything you want in life will take conscious effort; effort that is well worth it. What this has taught me thus far is that it is never too late to pursue a dream, and it is never too late to dream a new dream. There is no time limit. Pursue your dreams.
Those are my top six pivotal life moments to date. Some of these are worthy of more words and their own blog post and might even be expanded upon further in future posts – stay tuned!
What are some pivotal moments in your life? What are the places, events, and faces that shaped you and taught you valuable life lessons? I would love to hear about them!