Starting Life Over: Why it’s Never Too Late
I remember the months before the Great Recession all too well. Life was great, I had two profitable businesses, and felt almost invincible. Still, I sensed there was something wrong in the great “out there.” Little did I know how accurate that sense of danger was as the international financial collapse unfolded. Within an unbelievably short period of time, both businesses were gone, and I was left with a staggering mountain of debt. Numb comes to mind as the perfect word to describe daily life in the long months that followed. Starting life over had not been a part of the plan.
Starting Life Over
We’ve all been through our times of loss, disappointment, and discouragement. Certainly, it was no stranger to me. For as long as I can remember, I fancied myself a survivor. Bring it on! Is that all you’ve got? We may imagine ourselves super-resilient, but when the blows of reality come crashing down, the physical and emotional toll is huge. Until we stabilize, we tread water in an attempt to get our bearings. We try to make sense of it all, all the while searching, yearning for what’s next.
There’s a very average human fear of the unknown. We like what we have, or had, and the thought of something else brings questions not only about how we’ll fit into it but our very survival. Sometimes, it dives all the way down to depression, which only adds to the debilitating state you’re already in. And even that may not be the end of the downward spiral. Our guest author Dani writes of the struggle out of a depression so deep that suicide was a daily choice.
I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve experienced it in myself and seen it in countless others. It’s like an inner safety valve. A moment when something inside reaches it’s limit and by chemistry or will or the hand of fate, you say “I’m done with the suffering.” It’s time to move on.
Starting Life Over : It’s Never Too Late
J.K. Rowling said, “Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I built my life.” Yes, once you’ve taken the fall, and hit bottom, there’s a firm place in which to begin rebuilding. While the times immediately following a life-changing event take much from us, they also leave us with the very strongest of who we really are. When you realize that, feel it, the cries of “why me” begin to change to a new found determination of “let’s do this.”
It’s been my experience that at that moment, we begin our rise, as the Phoenix from the ashes. We begin to look for resources, to re-invent ourselves. Fortunately, we live in times when there are countless sources of quality advice and inspiration. One of the most recent I came across was “It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again,” by Julie Cameron. Although written with a senior audience in mind, it’s perfect for anyone who wants a structured program of coaching that draws on and re-kindles the creative juices within us. Set out as a 12 week DIY course, it’s worth a look.
As you ponder what’s “out there” for you, don’t dismiss those books and inspirational things you’ve had on the shelf or in your computer files for so long. You kept them for a reason, and the reason is right now. I have a well-worn copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull that I’ve read many, many times, and still find peace and inspiration in the story.
Why You’re Bigger Than IT
Whatever “it” is, YOU are much bigger, much more powerful, much more of everything, than IT will ever be. You have much left to do, and many lives yet to touch in ways unknown. Just as the Phoenix, just as the re-birth of the forest after the fire, you will rise again.
The Great Recession hadn’t been the first time it felt like my life had burned down. But each time, I rose again. I decided that my past and the ordeal I’d been through didn’t define who I was. Rather, it strengthened me, gave me experience to use in moving on. You can, too. Start now, by believing.
You’ve got this. I promise.