Have you ever wondered why, despite your best efforts, you get stuck and can’t seem to figure out how to move your life forward? You are accomplished, have a successful career, and ready for your next level, but can’t seem to gain the necessary traction.
Several women lawyers have come to me stating they want to move forward but just when they feel they’re making progress, the pain of a past experience throws them for a loop. They feel absolutely broken by the experiences and don’t know what to do next.
Have you ever felt that way?
I am certain every human being has experienced a situation that broke them in a very powerful way. Personally, I have been broken and broken open various times in my life.
The first time I was broken was in 1993 when my mother died of cancer. I was 26 years old, she was 49. The experience of her death was traumatic. I was with her as she took her last breath and I can assure you NOTHING IN LIFE CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THAT.
She died. I lived. My heart broke.
(To this day nearly 24 years later, the mere thought of that moment in time can bring up the fullness of that intense, wrenching pain. So, I very rarely allow myself to think about it.)
Following her death, for a time, I lost my sense of self. Who are you in the world without the person who brought you into it? I was broken.
I did, however, recover. I went from being broken to BROKEN OPEN.
I came to have sympathy and compassion for people on a level I did not have before.
After my mother’s death, I co-founded a non-profit organization created to coach and mentor underprivileged and underserved girls and young women in Los Angeles.
The loss of my mother created a deep sense in me to be a ‘mother-like figure’ to those who needed one. Our non-profit taught them a wide array of life skills, including building confidence and self-esteem; grooming and hygiene; how to get a passport; and even how to dine at a fine restaurant.
We taught them that they could become and do anything they could imagine. We inspired them to travel the world. We assured them that life held limitless possibilities for them.
I went from broken to broken open and that work put me on the path I am on today.
Much more recently, I was ‘broken open’ again.
In July 2011, I was scheduled for a routine but significant medical procedure. The surgery was supposed to be about two hours long with a one-night stay in the hospital. That didn’t happen. My surgery was 8 hours long and I was in the hospital over a week. During that surgery, I sustained a surgical injury which required three additional corrective surgeries, one of them major surgery.
I am doing just fine now. I feel good and am medically fully recovered.
Though I did not feel at all broken from that experience, I did feel broken open by it in a really good way.
- I am truly grateful to be alive.
- I have an intensified love and appreciation for the people in my life.
- I am even more motivated to work at what I love.
- I am determined to be the globe-trotting traveler I was years ago.
- I refuse to eat anything that doesn’t taste good. 🙂
- Self-care is a priority. I read more and I rest more.
Being broken open in this way has made me want to demonstrate in word and deed my gratefulness and to be careful about holding on to petty disappointments.
Being broken open has changed me. I am not the same person I was before my mother died 24 years ago. I am not the same person I was before July 7, 2011.
The best way to move your life forward is to allow any pain that left you feeling broken to break you open.
So what about you? How have you been broken?
- Was it the death of a loved one?
- A break up you didn’t see coming?
- Marital betrayal or a nasty and contentious divorce?
- Being professionally attacked and maligned or fired from a role you loved?
- Realizing your best friend, wasn’t?
Though something intensely painful happened in your life, instead of allowing it to break you, heal your way through it and allow the new you to open up to new possibilities not present before.
If you need support in this regard, reach out and let me know. Sometimes going from broken to broken open simply requires the listening ear of someone who can help you create an action plan to move your life forward. I work with women lawyers every day to help them do just that.
I can help you create a plan to go from broken to broken open. Interested? Email me confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org or here on LinkedIn.