“There will come a time when you think everything is finished; that will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour
Do you ever look at your life and say “What the hell happened?” Do you run across things that remind you of a dream you had years ago that was never fulfilled – and feel an ache? Or, do you feel like you’re just going through the motions of life without a real purpose?
First of all, it’s okay. You’re not alone! And if you’ve gone through a divorce, separation or traumatic breakup, believe me, I get that girlfriend. I’m guessing you were just trying to keep it together for yourself and possibly children too. But, I’m going to bet there are some voices that live inside you. Ones that whisper – or shout, “I want something more.” Maybe they remind you of someone you wanted to be way back when.
A “do-over” isn’t about going back and redoing what could have gone “wrong” in the past – or making different choices. What’s done is done and we learn from all those choices. Give yourself grace. A do-over is about taking your power back and doing the next chapter in your life on your terms. Nobody else’s.
That’s right. Not a man’s terms. Not your kids’ terms. Not your family’s terms. Your terms. Sounds great, right? But here’s the thing. To do that you have to get to know you in a way you may have never done before.
“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life,” wrote Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, the powerful and heartwarming book (then movie) about a woman finding herself again.
For many of us women, we’ve been the caretakers – and this is a major shift to focus on taking care of yourself. Maybe you had been married and put most of your energy into being a wife and doting mom (or stepmom) for your kids. Or maybe you were in a relationship where you were so focused on making the other person happy, you forgot to check if you were happy too.
Life altering events like divorce and breakups have a way of forcing you to look in the mirror. It’s a wake-up call – whether we want it to be or not. You don’t have to take off around the world like Elizabeth Gilbert did, unless you want to of course! But spend time with yourself. Book a hotel room and get away for the weekend – alone. Spend time in nature, relax and write in a journal about the things that are important to you and how you’d like to see your life in five years.
So what do you want to do? Who do you want to impact? How do you want to change the world – in a small or big way? Exploring that can launch a whole new chapter. And when it happens, it makes life exciting. Most women who embark on this journey report bouncing out of bed in the morning – with a purpose, ready to move one step forward in making that dream a reality. It’s like you don’t have enough hours in the day to pour into your passion.
Following my divorce I was exhausted, emotionally drained from a toxic relationship and decided to work with a life coach. Admittedly, I didn’t really know what they did before that! But I realized through working with Belinda that for many years I had thrown myself into being a good step-mom and wife and had put my goals on the back burner. Plus, months and months of a contentious divorce battle had taken its toll. Belinda helped me get in touch with what was important to me and discover that my passion really was helping other women.
Hey, I don’t care who you are, we all need an accountability buddy – a coach who’s in your corner and holding that mirror up to your face every once in a while. There’s a reason super successful people – like Oprah and even Tony Robbins himself – have coaches.
Mine made me explore my core values and talk about what was important to me – every time I talked about helping other women who had been through the things I had, my blood pressure literally rose (in a good way). I sat up in my chair, spoke excitedly, and had a passion I didn’t have before. Through this process, I discovered my purpose and have not looked back since.
Perhaps you gave up a dream you had when you got married to stay home with your kids – and there’s always been this little niggle urging you to get back to it. Or maybe, like me, you discovered something on your divorce or breakup journey and healing that you want to explore. It’s common for hardship and trauma to awaken something – or reveal something – that had been hidden for years.
I don’t want to be alarmist here, but whatever it is…we all have a finite time on earth to achieve it. So, go for it. Today. Don’t let fear stop you. Like the old adage says, “Do it now.” Your future self – and everyone you touch by creating your do-over – will thank you.