How to Stand in Your Purpose-Part 1

Step 1- Love yourself 

That really may be the only step, but we'll go through some more. This step took me 39 years to complete. I was always a "we do life a certain way" kind of girl. I went to college, got my teaching degree, got married to a wonderful man, had three healthy kids, but so much was missing. I was always go, go, go and plan, plan, plan. I never ever stopped to enjoy what was around me, to feel the love that was there for me to receive, and to see the true potential that was always within me. 

I look back and wonder when it all began to change, and I believe it had to be when my cousin-in-law, Thor, died. Now, I have to tell you if there was a life that seemed perfect to me it was the Rodenbaughs. They were adorable, had good jobs, were building their dream home, had 2 beautiful girls, another on the way...and then one day...it just stopped. Thor went in for routine shoulder surgery and never came out. I will never forget that day. They put him on bypass for hours. I went to the hospital and the room was full and I saw my cousin, Jodie standing there, with her little pregnant belly and I thought, everything will be ok. They have it all. Life doesn't work this way. Then it wasn't ok. They took him off bypass and that was it. I remember going in a small room with Jodie to see him. He lay there on the table and she just held his hand and said, "he looks good." That was the beginning of my realization that you can't control everything. You can plan out the next 10 years to a T, but it can all be taken from you in an instant.

Shortly after that I got pregnant and I was terrified. I realize now that I spent most (if not all) of my time living in fear. I made decisions out of fear instead of love. I was older, I had just lost a baby at 10 weeks, I had two healthy girls. Maybe I was pushing my luck...asking for too much of a good thing. I went to my ultrasound and of course they found markers that the little guy was at a much higher risk for down syndrome. I thought, "I knew it! I was right! I knew I should have just stopped trying to have another baby!" I remember one night while I was asleep I woke up and heard the most awful voice, as clear as if he were standing next to me. He said, "your son is very sick and will be stillborn." Then, in an instant they were there. Three figures, really just tall beams of light. They almost singed to me, "your son is beautiful and healthy and we already know his name." Then they were gone and a feeling of peace rushed over me and for the first time I let the fear go and I trusted.

We're still on Step 1. It takes a while for some people.

While I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to get myself in shape. I had Dezmond on August 24th and 6 weeks later the journey began. I worked out every day and ate "healthy" (we'll get to the "healthy" part another time) every day. No cheating! I started to get strong and my confidence started to grow. For the first time in many many years I would go to the women's clothes and shop for myself instead of ending up in the kids' stuff. I started to care about my makeup and the way I looked when I left the house. Clothes have power and energy and before this time I was not using them to my benefit, that's for sure. 

So, I got in shape and lost tons of weight, but was I truly happy? I thought so. Did I love my new self? I thought so. What I know now is it became a time in my life that I believed all I had to offer was my appearance. People focused on that so much that I began to believe that's all I was. So, I still didn't truly love myself, because I still didn't know who I was. Little did I know, there was so much love and passion in that body. I had so much more to offer the world, I just didn't know it yet.

Then Dad got cancer...