Nobody tells you that when you are turned into ashes that there is not a timetable for returning as the Phoenix. Honestly, I thought that I would be further along in my recovery by now. I’m not quite sure what it is that I thought would be happening, but a year ago I was thinking that my life in 2018 would resemble what it was before my assault, which I really enjoyed.
Obviously, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The first photo below is of me heading back to work after my leave of absence a year ago. I was excited to get back to work and be with my work family. I felt that I had made great progress on my PTSD and anxiety. I thought I was ready to ‘get back in the game’. Now when I look at this photo I can see how absolutely exhausted I still was. My soul was depleted. My smile was there, but my eyes were empty.
Now, compare the above photo to the ones below which were taken last week:
I honestly can’t believe the difference! That my friends, is a genuine laugh & smile. I have missed that feeling of joy & confidence for over three years. Y’all this is amazing! (sorry for the southern thing, I was in Dallas last week)
What brought about this eruption of joy and confidence? Well, it was a long time coming, honestly. I’ve been patiently trying to follow God’s plan for my life and you know what? I haven’t been a fan! But, I’m still trying to follow as best I can because I know his plan is better than my own. Previously, I was a hard-charging person that had to be busy with work to be satisfied and fulfilled. Now, for the past year God has basically told me to rest…a lot. I heard a lot as a kid when I got revved up, “cool your jets.”. I’ve been cooling my jets and my patience has been tried.
Every couple weeks I think, “maybe this will be the breakthrough and I can get on with life”. Every week goes by and no breakthrough. That was until I re-learned last week that goals take patient and diligent small steps to achieve. My breakthrough is happening in real time. It’s just not happening on my schedule, but God’s schedule. Every day is a little bit better.
I have been “getting on with my life”, just not in the traditional way I thought. My soul has been getting filled in ways I never imagined. That empty soul from a year ago is starting to shine again. I’ve been able to take family members to doctor appointments, drive my niece to dance practice, and have coffee with long-lost friends. Those things fill my soul. I am blessed to be able to do all these things and more, now that I am back on the farm. I have phenomenal people in my life and they fill me up with their love.
Last week, I had the honor of being selected to become a Ziglar Legacy Certified trainer and speaker. I had been thinking about doing this for about nine months and finally bit the bullet. I had had enough of the, “I’ll start living my goals tomorrow” chatter in my brain. I craved personal development and motivation to keep me going on my path of going from victim to survivor to servant.
At the time I applied for the Ziglar Legacy Certification I didn’t have any real job prospects, so I thought that this would be a good way to potentially jumpstart a training and speaking business. Currently, I’m interviewing for a couple positions that would be wonderful fits for my passions in life, but I know that the time I invested in myself at Ziglar will come in handy no matter what happens in the future.
I met seventeen other individuals who are passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives. We each have our own stories to share and they are all powerful. I am proud of myself in that I shared my story of sexual assault and survival on our ‘graduation day’. Throughout the week, I really battled with my self-image and self-esteem. We actually went through the trainings that we were coached to present and I had a hard time. Why? I realized that I don’t have any specific goals. How am I going to teach goal setting if I don’t have any goals? I told the group that I felt like a blank canvas ready to be painted on and I didn’t know where to start. So, I’m adopting the Ziglar philosophy of goal setting and striving for a balance in my life between the physical, family, mental, financial, spiritual, career and personal aspects of my life. I have a lot of work to do, but I am excited to get started.
I want to get back to having more focused energy rather than “going with the flow” so much. I used to focus on dreams and goals when I was in college (twenty years ago), but I had abandoned this important habit until last week. I forgot, in the midst of being an adult, that I am an achiever. I enjoy setting goals and I love reaching those goals. Before my training last week, my very lax goals were around how much money I made and where I lived. So, I have started fresh with my goals and am excited to get going.
Can I share with you one of my goals?
I want to publish a book about my experiences over the past few years. This blog has helped me so much, that I would like to have a more formal book that can help people overcome their personal obstacles. I’m hoping to start working on my book this spring, so wish me luck!
I’m going to bask in this glow of new found happiness for as long as I can. I can’t wait to see where I am in a year and compare that photo with the others!
For those of you not familiar with Zig Ziglar-