I have just been working with a client of mine who I have been business coaching now for a few months. She is a strong American woman and never fails to surprise, inspire and challenge me with her commitment and strive for how to give and get the most out of life. We began working together after she stumbled across Maybe McQueen at a time where she was desperately searching for ‘something’ or ‘someone’ that might help give clarity to a situation that felt so overwhelming that she was unable to get beyond feeling painfully stuck.
I wanted to share her story with you to give yet another perspective on how emotional crisis can, with a bunch of hard work and some serious commitment, not only become the making of you but also an incredible catalyst for the perspective shift required to enable you to live your life in a way that REALLY honours who you are as an individual, parent, partner and collectively as a family.
From the outside her life looked pretty good – three gorgeous kids; a stay at home mum who has also managed to create and maintain a super successful little business that can be run between drop offs and pick ups; and a loving daddy, who whilst working and travelling crazy hours, works a job that is not only meaningful but ticks all the boxes in how to reach his career goals.
Yeah sure, there were your usual issues – money often extremely tight, time together more than brief, two adults often working very hard to meet their end of the bargain and yet working their shifts very much alone – but somehow amongst all of that, they were living a relatively charmed life that was framed in love and with good intention.
And then BOOOOOOM in a flash everything was turned upside down and inside out….
After relentless sore bits and a few bumps in the wrong places, and having gone for a few unsuspecting tests, the woman nervously picked up the phone for her latest test results. Much to her surprise, she was told that not only were there some pretty scary black specks in more than one place, but that there were also the painfully obvious tell tale signs that her soul mate and the father of her children had been parking in somebody else’s garage. Like the unfathomable event of an off the radar earthquake, splitting the tarmac that she had been walking on for 15 years of life, tearing violently apart, she fell painfully and clumsily into a dark and dangerous bottomless pit. In the blink of an eye, everything that she thought she knew fell a million miles away.
‘So where to from here?’ she asked herself. Her wellbeing in question, her marriage feeling like a façade and unable in her usual resilient way to leap into action and find the best solution, all she could focus on was the pain, hurt and rage that ricocheted around her body like a pin ball machine, firing angrily without any intention to hit its target.
But, just as with grief, the emotional tidal wave that hit could be nothing other than felt and the bruise of betrayal, which had her wince with any sudden movement, slowly and sporadically began an awakening for wanting something in a way she had never wanted it before.
She wanted to be well, or at least take responsibly for doing all that she could to be. She wanted to feel love again for the man she knew he could be and for the woman she never allowed herself permission to become, and she wanted to create something meaningful from a clichéd situation where it would be so easy to just walk away.
One of the reasons I chose to work with this amazing woman was for her absolute determination to explore what is possible if you are just willing to try, and whilst her initial default state of mind was to return to the hurt and the almighty question of trust, her innate ability to gaze beyond whilst processing those overwhelming emotions turned what had so far been the crumbling of one world into the beginnings of something remarkable….
Here are the five questions that she began the next chapter of life with:
- What do I want?
- What and where do I take responsibility for the situation having arisen?
- What are the possible gifts to be gained from this?
- What are the learnings from this whole experience?
- What needs to happen for me to heal?
So, before I write any more, I wanted to pause and give you the opportunity to think on this and, without judgment on what you have read so far, explore where, what and how you could in any given situation, of feeling the victim of your circumstances, passionately and powerfully shift your gaze from the metaphoric bruises on your body to the possibility of what lays ahead of you are just willing to go beyond the NOW. To be cont…