To say my life (almost 44 years now) has had several time periods that have been challenging and stressful is an understatement.
I just went through a process today called my Lifeline Exercise with a weekly Skype accountability group I belong to with two amazing chiropractors, mommies, and friends, Dr. Andrea Ryan and Dr. Amy Gillespie. This LifeLine exercise has you reflect on your life, and graphically represent from birth to your current age times when life was great, life was ho hum and when life was lousy. The purpose of this exercise is to build closeness and trust with your accountability group, and in my mind, help them understand you better. To know where someone has been, been through and thrived is to know them on a very deep and intimate level. And although I know both these women well and trust them fully, it is a scary process to just go through this, let alone share it and talk about it out loud with others. No joke, I felt like I needed a drink after doing it.
I don’t feel it’s necessary to go through and describe all the major life challenges I’ve experienced. Maybe in another time, and for another blog. My purpose is to not for you to feel sorry for me, or for me to stand up my (blog) soapbox as if to say, “See, life ain’t so easy for me at times, either. And here’s my proof!” My intention runs deeper than that. My intention is for you to know that I’m just like you. And you’re just like me. And we all go through such similar life experiences-ups, downs, and some where in between.
However, isn’t is so easy to look at someone’s life from the outside in and judge them? Let’s be honest. We’ve all done it. I still catch myself doing it at times. I’ve had people judge me more times than I can count. Even by some of you. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt sometimes. To see the look in someone’s eyes that says, “Yeah, right. I really don’t believe you right now and think you’re full of it”, when I speak passionately and purposefully about health, chiropractic and life. To see a look of distrust through their body language when my intention is to truly help make a positive and impactful transformation in that person’s life who I care about very much.
So back to the lifeline thing….here’s what my reflections are as I did this process and looked back on my life. Yes, I’ve had some really big challenges. Huge. And you know what? I don’t think that everything always happens for a reason. I think that some things do have a purpose, but sometimes it’s okay to just say that life is hard. Let’s be honest about it. But, what I do think is that what we choose to do with these challenges and experiences is what truly defines us. That we can reflect back on our life, learn from those difficulties, and move on. We can choose to not stay stuck in the past, and have a conscious philosophy to perhaps make different choices that will produce different life outcomes. Design our life.
So I encourage to take some time to sit down and do this Lifeline Exercise. See what you discover about your life. Be honest, don’t censor anything, and perhaps share it with someone close to you in your life. We are here on this planet together, going through similar life challenges and struggles, ups and downs, highs and lows, and all the in betweens. It’s easy to be so politically correct. ”How are you? Good!” Be bigger than that. Be transparent and honest. Be real. And begin to see the amazing shifts that start to develop in your life. Your awesome, beautiful life.