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Something to learn

“If only there were one answer, one solution, and all could benefit from its wisdom.”

My previous article evaluated the advantages of always remaining vigilant about life’s lessons. It’s a personal goal of mine to experience at least one on a daily basis. While I never pressure or force myself to make them happen, I do remain observant and watchful. Most days they are subtle, but the momentous ones are memorable and life changing.

Ultimately, it has developed into a habit. There is no written record of sorts; however, undoubtedly I’ve written about many in the past. There’s no reward, nor a reprimand if it doesn’t happen. It’s woven into the fabric of my daily life. Since my purpose in life is to help others on their journeys of emotional healing, I equate these life-lessons to exercises which are necessary to keep me in tiptop shape.

It has been said that for many life coaches and mental health counselors, they’ve had their own transformative experiences which compelled them to follow this path. That is definitely true in my case. I recall three days after one of my biggest life lessons – the one which I refer to as “My Independence Day” – I recall thinking, “I wish everyone could have this exact same experience.” Little did I realize at the time it would become my direction, objective, and profession.

Fortunately, writing has been a joy and a passion for most of my life. During the first 2-1/2 years of therapy journaling was nearly a daily mission. 6 months after my Independence Day, I began to blog; and a year later, the ideas for my first book were outlined. Constantly being encouraged and inspired by my therapist, the outline migrated from my head to a Word document. On January 1st, 2015, one of my first-ever New Year’s resolutions was to complete the book by year’s end. The following Christmas Day, that goal was completed, and in August of 2016, the first printed copies arrived.

The book was certainly a labor of love because most days began around 3 or 4 am. My day job kept me busy and during the week, it was the best time to sort out my thoughts. Fortunately, I enjoyed writing at that time. There is something compelling about that hour. The darkness and calmness offered a tranquility which only enhanced the experience.

One of the ways which helped me succeed was my therapist allowing me to email him daily what I had written. Truly, I do not know if he read all of them but I didn’t want to let him down. Somedays were spent rewriting what was written the previous day and others were fruitful, only stopping when it was time to get ready for work.

This past week, my second book was published. Thankfully, the man who encouraged me to write the first one is now a coauthor on this one. He graciously writes in the Foreword about it being a “privilege” but I can assure you my gratitude exceeded description the moment he first agreed.

When I decided to shift my life’s purpose in this direction, my excitement was only outweighed by my zeal. Even now, looking back at that exhilaration, the words to describe it continue to elude me. I would talk to anyone about my story and there were several occasions I met someone during my day job and ended up speaking to them about my transformation.

But the lesson I was going to learn amongst all this passion and enthusiasm would soon come to fruition.

My own awakening came when I understood how shame influenced and controlled my life in many devastating and unseen ways. Consequently, this is my primary focus when helping others. Because it was incredibly apparent in my own life, I presumed it was the same for everyone else. Even meeting new connections online, there was no hesitation to talk about shame and how it may have impacted their lives.

Needless to say, some did not appreciate my blanket speculations and were happy to disconnect from me entirely. At first, I felt bad for them but soon realized it was both audacious and rude on my part.

As someone who’s dedicated to helping others, this was disappointing. However, it did teach me a very important lesson. No matter how passionate I am, no matter how many I may captivate with written or spoken words, no matter how many I may help, I cannot help everyone.

No doubt countless others have had transformative experiences and like me, wished the same for others. Mine does not take precedence over theirs. It will always remain unforgettable, but in order for it to be beneficial, it must be applied wisely.

This lesson will never slow my passion and intentions. I will always be ready to speak with anyone on the subjects of shame and emotional healing. What it has done is given me discretion; and oddly, a different kind of compassion that in my zeal, I was not able to offer.

What’s important is that people wanting help are given the needed assistance. What’s important is that others achieve the emotional stability and mindset to live a fulfilled life. As much as I’d love to be the one to provide it, it’s not imperative that I be the only one to whom they turn.

As I’ve stated in dozens of my articles, everyone’s journey is unique. My experiences may not relate to the kind of support and comfort they require. And besides, I’ve had the privilege of meeting dozens of other coaches and therapists, and being open to their ideas and methods have offered insights on how I can become more effective.

In the past, I’ve wondered why there wasn’t one direction, one resolution to find life’s hidden answers to living a happier and more effective life. Now I understand why there is not. Otherwise, I will not have had opportunities for even more growth than I believed was ever possible.

My thanks to Cassie Matias on Unsplash for the beautiful photo and I look forward to your comments.

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