As many of us have heard, there is nothing certain in life but Death and Taxes. This has been quite true for me and I have learned how to use such experiences of Death and Taxes to my personal advantage. I find joy in them. I have recently come out of 5 really rough life experiences that hit me in 90 days (November 2016–January 2017). Three within 2 weeks of one another.
- Death of my body. I was told I had 6 months to live and I had to prepare a living will, create a new will, find a place for my four kids to live upon my death and distribute my estate so that my children had financial resources to get them through high school and college. I later found out that I am cancer-free after two surgeries were performed in December.
- Death of my business (I had invested 4 years and $20,000 in my start-up)
- Death of my relationship with my business partner (we left the partnership on speaking terms)
- Death of a parenting agreement (a legal process involving 2 years with 6 different legal professionals in two different states)
- Death of the relationship with a close family member. (I no longer allowed them to be angry AT me. If they can talk civilly without raising voices and yelling or projecting anger, they are welcome in my life, as soon as Anger is expressed, I remove myself from them)
These 5 major death events have totally transformed my mental landscape and attitude toward my current life.
The funny thing is this. I’m happier then I can ever remember and I spend time each day in a state of awe over the beauty and serenity of my current life.
Here are the points I’ve learned from these recent events and wish to pass along to you:
- The Phoenix Always Rises No matter how bad something may look, no matter how much fire and destruction you see to the years of work that you may have put into a project, job or relationship—you will come out of it a better person than you went in. Keep that in mind as the flames rise around you burning everything you’ve worked on to ash. You will come out of this situation “More & Better.” As a chemist, I understand the heat and pressures required to make tempered steel. Let’s just say after you go through a rebirth of fire (which is what it feels like when you’re in it), you become a stronger person then you went in and one that will create a much better and happier life for yourself. Better than you could have ever imagined before going into the process.
- What You Don’t Need Burns to Ash As you work on your taxes or work through a situation that causes you to lay awake at night trying to figure out a solution, realize much of what terrifies us is the fear of the unknown or that which we can’t control. In order to bring some peace to our lives, remember that we are tougher than we think and have more resources around us than we originally thought. As you stand in your office or home contemplating your situation, look at the abundance in your life, there are things and people within your grasp that are available for your use, comfort and care. They only need to be picked up or, in the case of people, call them and ask for help. They won’t think you silly. They’ll be happy to give aid.
- Get Back to Basics Can you Breathe? Do you have enough food? Do you have enough clothing? Do you have a place to live? Air. Food. Clothing. Shelter. If these items are covered, then the rest of what you have in your life is Bonus! Because my life is such an adventure, I have experienced personal life-or-death situations many times. I’ve worked in an emergency room, I’ve been nearby when pedestrians have been hit by cars, I’ve been unable to breathe for long periods of time due to illness. Facing Death has been a recurring theme in my life. Whenever I get super-stressed over an immediate issue, I remember the basics and it calms me so I can get out of panic-mode and get back into problem-solving mode.
As Spring continues to push its way along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it will find me finishing up my organization from taxes and putting the finishing touches on my Estate Planning. That will be the wrapping up of the past year and all the adventures it brought into my world. Spring will also find me working on three new books, a new business, and a new perspective on all the relationships in my life.
I marvel at the beauty and the people in my life. I realize I am surrounded by incredible experiences in each day. Use this time to your advantage and find your deep inner joy of being alive. Yes, you are alive. I’m alive. And it is glorious. Enjoy your day!