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Have you ever hit rock bottom? Have you experienced a place or a time in your life when you felt and believed that there was nowhere to go or nothing to do? Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt helpless or that a situation felt hopeless? Have you experienced a time when you exhausted all your resources and explored every option but to no avail? Have you ever experienced a place where you knew that you consumed all your energy, every drop of your creativity, and every piece of your ingenuity but could not make any headway? Have you ever been in a relationship when you loved hard and care much but no love or concern was returned? Have you ever felt overlooked, unappreciated, and abandoned by your loved ones? Have you been there? Have you been or felt as if you were at the bottom?
I have. I have been at the dark place of despair with few options and no ideas. I have been emotionally bruised, financially depleted, socially alienated, and physically compromised. There have been times in my life when I did not know which way to go and I truly believed that I no longer wanted to go; I wanted out of life. I hit the bottom.
But I have learned that my bottom is where I was abundantly blessed. It was at the hardest times of my life that I was able to see God, to hear God, and when my ego didn’t affect my ability to follow God. It was at the bottom where I could cry, yell, question, and beg for mercy without feeling judged or misguided by my own pride. It was at the bottom where I was able to release expectations of what should have been or how I wanted things to be. It was at the bottom where I was able to quiet my despair long enough to hear the voice of my inner wisdom, which I knew was God’s voice. It was at the bottom when I had no one but finally understood that I had to have me and that I had to know God.
I believe that it is at the bottoms of our lives where we learn who we are and what we are made of. It is at those times when the pain is so intense that we are forced to reevaluate our lives, reconsider our purpose, and reexamine our beliefs. It is at that place of sheer desperation that we question our motives, our behavior, our relationships, and our own resilience. Since we have no choice but to look up, we are not ashamed to ask for assistance because we need, but really crave, relief. And so we open up our mouths, open our minds, and open our hearts to receive whatever the universe needs to teach us. We allow ourselves to be guided and spirit-led; we become truly spiritual. We allow ourselves to be shifted and lifted by the Source.
I have also learned that the bottom is the place where healing begins. It is the place when we start to see ourselves differently and, many times, more comprehensively. It is the place where we use our innate talents, gifts, and abilities to create new realities for ourselves, for our families, and for the world. It is a place of power, possibility, and potential where we stretch our wings and test our ability to fly. And since we have experienced rock bottom, failure no longer grips us, indecision no longer delays us, and the need for approval no longer stops us. Since we know the bottom intimately, we have renewed vigor to do what we need to do to live and thrive in a way that honors our very souls.
It is a tough and confusing journey; it is a time of refinement and clarity. And even though we may not fully understand the value of it or even if we can’t recognize the bottom as a gift, at the bottom, we are and will be blessed. We will be blessed by the bottom.
Yes, the bottom is a painful place and a place that we don’t want to frequent regularly. It is a place of extreme brokenness, but it is also a place of great reflection and restoration. It is a low dark place, but it is also the place of enlightenment, encouragement, and elevation. The bottom—the place of blessings!
I can admit it. I have been at the bottom, and I have been blessed! And I have learned that the biggest blessing is a newer, stronger me! And I declare and decree that you will be blessed at the bottom too. Blessings!
Chapter 39 – I Have Learned A Few Things
You are a winner and you will continue to win! I believe in YOU! Dare to Soar Higher!
Have you ever felt as if you were stuck in a rut? I have. There have been times in my life when I have felt stuck, cemented and confined by people, policies, places and positions. A few times I felt so emotionally trapped by routines, responsibilities and relationships that I stopped growing, learning, loving and living. I was emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually sinking, and I was sinking fast.
Thankfully some wonderful coaches and counselors helped me change the trajectory of my life and now almost 25 years later, I have learned a few things. I have learned that self-reflection is the first step to personal transformation. Yes, I learned that I had to learn more about me. I learned that I had to learn who I was devoid of expectations, fears, traditions, norms and facades. I had to discover who I was outside of what everybody else wanted me to be. Trust me, that was difficult; it required peeling back layers of my personality that I never knew existed.
For me, self-reflection was a painstaking process because I had to take off the masks and remove my disguises; I could no longer hide. I also had to stop acting, and the funny thing was — I didn’t know that I was even acting. I thought my beliefs and behavior were self-directed; I soon realized that they were not. I realized that my beliefs and behavior were influenced by whole lot of people who didn’t know me, care about, support me or even like me. Yikes! What a wake-up call!
During my self-discovery journey, I was forced to analyze my history to identify patterns, themes and the orgins of my bad behavior. I had to understand why I sabotaged my success, happiness, relationships and health. I was forced to evaluate my perspectives and define my truth, and honestly 25 years ago, I didn’t know I even had a truth. Imagine that.
I am not alone; many people are and have been in the same boat. Many people today are struggling or have struggled to understand themselves. Some, like I did, have and continue to struggle to find their purpose, accept their calling or even understand the need for transformation. Most successful people I know have been to THE place, the place of truth that helped them jump-start their journeys of personal transformation. I call THAT place “Blessings at the Bottom” (Chapter 39 in I Have Learned A Few Things)
Yes, most of us have been to that the scary, unfamiliar and agonizing place that demanded that we become more self-aware. I am sure that we all can agree that THE place is a challenging place but it is also an exciting place. It is a place of great promise, great purpose, great clarity and of great relief. During THAT place, we were forced to look closer, deeper and broader at the choices that we made or honestly consider the choices that we were failing to make. We removed our defenses and we became emotionally transparent to ourselves; we didn’t hide from our histories, failures, mistakes and secrets. We became self-aware and as result, we were ready to embark on our new journeys, our journeys of personal transformation.
As we learned in the previous post, self-AWARENESS is the first step toward personal transformation. After you conduct a full life inventory and commit to continuous self-discovery, the second step on the road to personal transformation is ACTION. Yes, ACTION! If you want a different life, you must make changes; you must do something and many times, do a lot of “somethings” differently. As we say in the South, “you just can’t talk about it, you got to be about it”.
But even though we know we must do something, it is the “doing” that scares us the most. It is the “doing” that keeps up stuck, stagnant and stale in our lives. It is the “doing” that seems insurmountable, unfathomable and just down right undoable. It is the “doing” that reveals our fears, unravels our resolve and makes us abandon our dreams. It is the “doing” that frequently stops us or makes us settle for relationships that are unfulfilling, jobs that are underpaying and lives that are unsatisfying. The “doing”, the failure to take action, is what limits our successes and negates our future.
So how do we address the “doing” so that it feels doable? I don’t know all of the answers but I have a few thoughts.
I encourage you to take Action! Never forget that motion motivates, activates and elevates. So get started because today is the first day of the rest of your life. And, don’t forget to get some support on your journey. If you need coaching or assistance, please feel free to call the Jamison Group. We would love to provide you with support and guidance as you embark on your new life.
Always remember to DARE to SOAR HIGHER because You are ALWAYS worth your best!
(Reprinted from my upcoming book, I Have Learned A Few Things About Success)
Have you ever thought about what’s really blocking you in your life? No, really. Have you thought about why you continue to stay in a joyless, sexless and unfulfilling relationship? Or, why you continue to work an unrewarding, unsatisfying and low-paying job? Or, why you continue to associate with people who have low goals, no goals or no guts? Or, why you participate in organizations that demonize, disappoint or degrade you and others? Or, why you associate with people who are envious of you and secretly covet your life? Have you truly thought about those things?
To be honest, I really did not consider those questions myself until one day I woke up and realized that I was lost. I woke up and found myself confused about my career, puzzled about my purpose, baffled by my relationship, mystified by my faith and confounded by the choices that I was FAILING to make. Yes, I was shocked when I realized that I was not making decisions at all; I was just letting life happen. I was not choosing anything; I was settling for whatever and whomever came in my life. And boy, did I settle. I sold myself short personally and professionally.
But thankfully, I have learned that living and creating a fulfilling life required that I make decisions. Yes, living a satisfying life required me to participate fully in the life process even when I didn’t feel equipped, qualified or confident enough to make informed choices. Even when I didn’t want to or feel up to it, I learned that I had to be the leader, director, and organizer of my life; I had to be the boss of me. Prepared or not, I learned that I had to guide, manage and love myself enough to make decisions that helped me SOAR.
Those decisions are not always easy to make and sometimes the options are less than desirable. But being the boss is not always easy and not making a decision is really a decision too. Something to consider right?
My clients often ask me the same question, “How do I become the boss of me?” It is a simple question, but simple questions rarely have simple answers. But here is what I offer.
I first tell my clients, who I call my teachers, to become AWARE. I encourage them to be become AWARE of what moves them, soothes them, angers them, motivates them, stresses them, relieves them, inspires them, etc. I advise them to conduct a monthly and sometimes a weekly self-inventory to learn what makes them tick, sick and stick. I encourage them to find out what makes them uncomfortable and then fully explore that discomfort. I hope I inspire them to learn what brings them peace, growth and liberation so that they can “live” in that space for the rest of their lives. Finally, I encourage them to get quiet and still so that they can hear the whispers from their souls because that is where our truth lies.
Becoming aware and staying aware won’t be easy, especially with all of the distractions that vie for our attention and challenge our minds. But I implore you to try. Try to be become more AWARE of the amazing person you already are, and try to stay committed to growing into the more amazing person you hope to be. Because once you become aware, you will better appreciate who you are, recognize your full potential, discern what’s good and who is good for your spirit, and transform your life into greater abundance.
Awareness is the first step. I look forwarding to sharing the other 4 steps in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.
I wish you success on your journey to greater AWARENESS. You can do it! I know you can. We are on this journey together.
If you are interested in working with me to gain more self AWARENESS, please contact me. I am always here to support and serve you!
Blessings to you always and remember to DARE To SOAR HIGHER!