Positively No Negativity Challenge
Day 45 of 84
Have you ever noticed the dividing lines in life? The ones that separate your life into ‘before’ and ‘after’? Maybe someone said something about you that changed how you see the world. Or perhaps it was an important event, like a divorce or an accident, or a diagnosis that changed your life.
I’ve realized lately that my life has been full of transitions that have been painful as I went through them, but once on the other side, they have made me a stronger, more gracious woman.
It reminds me of the birth process. When its time for the long awaited baby to emerge, the labour starts. At first there are little contractions with long spaces in between, and you think, “I can handle this. What were they talking about, ‘the pain of birth giving’?” And then after several hours the contractions and accompanying pain intensify and you’re gasping for breath. You use the breathing techniques taught in prenatal class and you get through that part. Not so bad. But then comes the most intense, most painful, most difficult to handle part: the transition. It doesn’t last long, but it seems like hours. You want to die. Shortly after that, your precious baby emerges and there is so much joy you forget the pain. You’ve gotten through the transition and now have a child to nurture and to care for. Life will never be the same again.
There have been events in my life something like that.
I could divide my life into ‘life as a smoker’ and ‘life as a non-smoker’. When I smoked, my life revolved around where I smoked, when I smoked, having a coffee with my cigarette, hanging out with people who smoked, and coughing.
Quitting was hard; it took a lot of will power and I had to isolate myself from people and activities that were linked with my habit. It took several months of withdrawal, cravings and will power. Once on the ‘other side’, I made new friends, I stopped coughing and I learned to enjoy my coffee without a cigarette. I felt much healthier and my life became better because I was proud of my accomplishment.
Another transition in my life was when my 21-year marriage ended. My life divided into ‘before divorce’ and ‘after divorce’. Before divorce I was married with children and supported by my husband. We homeschooled our boys over a period of fourteen years and lived a very ‘particular’ life. Social times revolved around other married couples and their children. Life was generally predictable and relatively comfortable.
Then came the dividing line: My husband announced that he was seeing someone else and my world started to crumble. At first I was in denial, kicking and screaming and trying to cling to the life we had. And then came the day I had to accept the inevitable. The transition lasted five years and they were some of the darkest years of my life. I had to learn to live as a single mom and also to live down the shame that accompanied divorce. I had to figure out who I was without a husband.
When the transition was over, by the grace of God, I emerged as a more capable, more likeable and happier person than I had ever been in my first marriage. I have since remarried and am now able to be thankful to my ex for leaving me and making my present life possible.
My most recent major transition came a couple of years ago when I decided that I was sick and tired of being overweight, tired and unhealthy. I got on a program, Bill Phillip’s Transformation, and it changed me once again, for the better. Over a period of 18 weeks and a lot of work I became lighter, more positive and more confident. It took a lot of dedication and discipline, but it was worth every bead of sweat. You can read about it here.
I continue to live the lifestyle outlined in Transformation and I am so grateful to Bill Phillips and all his work in this area.
Life’s transitions may be tough but like a refiner’s fire, they form us into something much more wonderful than before, more compassionate, loving and capable.
Think about the transitions in your life. Have they been dividing lines for you? Did your life become better after the pain of the transition?
I am thankful for:
1. The transitions in my life
2. Bill Phillip’s work in Transformation
3. The great life I have today, thanks to my ex
4. My three sons
5. Morning coffee, prepared by hubby