A couple weeks ago, I had an epiphany.
During an appearance on the Circle of Love United podcast, we discussed my story and my book: The Resume’ of Life, Becoming Consciously Aware through Spirit, Mind and Body.
As the podcast progressed and people began to ask questions, I realized that everything I have done both personally and professionally — from my books and coaching to Bridging the Gap training— all contain a common thread.
My purpose in life is to inspire others to grow and to empower them to reach toward their greatest, best self. Everything I am, everything I do, and everything I write, revolves around this principle.
It sounds simple now, but during the show, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In fact, this has been the epicenter of my journey. Nevertheless, I had to go through these experiences, learn from them, and realize it before I could successfully help others.
There was a time I lived in a fearful state of mind wondering if there was something inherently wrong with me. I had lost trust in others, and worst of all, I had lost trust in myself. For initial appearances, I tried to appear strong, so I created a “suit of armor,” and it worked for a while. However, at the end of the day, I still felt alone. As time went on, that suit of armor got pretty heavy as I wasted a lot of time predetermining the thoughts of others, and how they might judge or treat me if they knew my truth. In essence, I was suffering in silence.
Today, the name of my company, Inspire and Motivate, IaM, entails this very principle. I strive to be a beacon of light for people who may be suffering in silence or who may want to transform their life from surviving to thriving. I aspire to help others to learn and grow personally. In turn, this improves their professional life. They begin to put the pieces of their puzzle together by establishing a greater sense of awareness towards enriching their life’s resume.’
A few days after the podcast, I ran into a childhood friend who told me she had been watching my videos. She shared a story of a family acquaintance whose young teenager had recently disclosed to her family that she was gay. Apparently, the family could not accept this disclosure and the young person committed suicide. Regrettably, this is not the first story of its kind that has been brought to my attention since writing the book. I wish I could say it would be the last, but I know in today’s world, it is not plausible.
The pandemic, the stress, the change, the fear, and the isolation, is adversely affecting us all. As we know, statistics show addiction, abuse, stress, anxiety, and depression are all on the rise. Unfortunately, of those statistics, suicide is right there with them.
This stress, isolation and fear is not only affecting us as adults but also our children. This story has proven that point.
It was on this day, as we spoke of the tragedy with tears in our eyes, she stated, “my friend, this is your time, and you are needed.” She went on to say, “I know you’ve experienced that pain and fear, and somehow you came through it. Your story is needed to help others.”
So many are suffering in silence. There is so much tragedy, fear and confusion going on today.
Many of us don’t know how to reach out or are unwilling to do so.
- Perhaps they feel reaching out would be a sign of weakness
- Perhaps they are afraid to reach out.
- Perhaps they feel they have no one to reach out to.
In turn, we are fearful of what others may think, that we may be ridiculed or judged and/or we won’t be validated or heard. In fact, we are afraid that we won’t be loved and accepted. Along with this fear comes a lack of trust. We become less trusting of others and predetermine our thoughts as to how others will respond. In essence, we lose trust in our self.
This young person took the most extreme action of finality possible. I am sure she felt fear, lack of trust and potentially isolated and alone.
I too have been on the receiving end of ridicule and judgement during my life. It is a difficult road paved with fear, mistrust, and isolation. The pain I feel when I hear these tragic stories is indescribable. I wish they could have found a support person to reach out to before it reached such a devastating result.
No one deserves to be judged and demeaned to the point they feel there is no other way out. No one should have to feel they are not worthy or to feel there must be something inherently wrong with them. No one should have to suffer in silence.
I have come to realize we are not here to suffer, and we surely are not here to suffer in silence. Too many of us are experiencing this in one form or another. We feel alone, maybe feel as though we have no one to turn to or trust. Many of us also feel we must handle everything on our own. By feeling this way, we isolate, become depressed and may even turn our focus to things such as alcohol and drugs. Some may self-medicate in effort to find some semblance of relief. Conversely, these negative influences will only take us further down a road of pain and isolation.
I don’t believe it has to be this way. Not for myself and certainly not for you.
My story isn’t the same as yours, and it’s not supposed to be. However, we are here to create our story, to learn and to grow from our experiences so we can reach toward our greatest and best self. Once we begin to take these steps, we can help others to grow and it becomes a ripple effect.
In the words of Mother Teresa—“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
My books have a primary theme—courage, self esteem and overcoming fear by embracing our truth and acceptance and by validating our strength and love within. We all have unique skills and abilities. We all have a reason and a purpose. You are not here by accident and you are not here to live your life as a victim of circumstance.
In essence, we all want to feel loved, validated and appreciated.
Oftentimes, we worry about the opinions of others, or what others might think of us, and we allow those thoughts and opinions to define us.
It is time you realize that you are your most valuable asset. In fact, your story may be the guide to light a path for another.
First, you must recognize:
- You are not alone
- You don’t have to suffer in silence
- Obtain a willingness to reach out and speak to someone
- Help someone else (pay it forward)
- Realize YOU Matter!
With social media today, many of us have bought into anger and blame as we move through our days and our lives. As we know, the pandemic has flipped our world upside down. It is time we begin to take the necessary steps to restore our sense of self, our love, and wellbeing. By doing so, we role model this sense of positivity for our children and those around us.
A few questions to consider:
1. Am I suffering in silence?
2. Am I fearful of the opinions of others?
3. Am I consciously aware of how I treat myself and others– kids, family, friends, colleagues?
You have the power to answer these questions and take the necessary steps to move from surviving to thriving. It takes courage, acceptance, empathy and love. It also takes a willingness to reach out and ask for help and the willingness to help one another.
If all is going well in your world, please take the time to check on others and be willing to provide an ear, a shoulder, and a potential helping hand.
As I end this blog, a song lyric comes to mind: “what the world needs now, is love sweet love, that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
I wish you the very best on your journey as you grow confidently towards empowering your personal resume’ of life.
Namaste’ my beautiful friend.
Terry J. Walker, M. A., is a Success Coach and Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Author. She is the owner of Inspire and Motivate, IAM, LLC and the founder of Bridging the Gap Training and Soul Stretching Success Principles.
Bridging the Gap Training – providing tools and techniques for parents and educators to inspire confidence, socialization, communication, and positive self development of our children.
Let’s all begin working together towards bridging the gap!
Find out more about The Resume of Life.
You can also check out my latest book for parents and early child educators:
Promoting Positive Self Esteem in Children.