The Light at the End of the Tunnel

For a long time I didn't know who I was. I had no real vision for the future. I had a lot of dreams, but I thought that's all they could ever be. There was a time when I had resigned myself to the fact that I was destined for a mediocre life.

It was a pretty bleak existence, but I didn't see it at first. I used to be so focused on making everyone else happy, that I didn't have much time to think about what made me happy. I once thought that taking care of my needs, putting myself first; was a selfish thing to do. If there was one label that I had no desire to be attached to, it was selfish. I grew up an only child. I was constantly hearing that kids like me are selfish by nature, and it wasn't hard to understand that selfishness was not to be celebrated.

Everything got turned upside down when my father passed away. It was the most devastating time of my life. I was, I am a complete daddy's girl. My father loved me unconditionally and the feeling was mutual. His death shattered my world and made me question everything. Grief changes you. Your real support system reveals itself in times of need. I went from worrying about everyone else's happiness to just trying to survive each day.

I no longer had time for people pleasing. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I isolated myself. I didn't feel like anyone could really understand what I was going through. I was so deep in my wallowing in self-pity, that I had convinced myself that no one cared. I knew this kind of thinking wasn't good for me, but I didn't know what else to do. I sought professional help, but when the conversation turned to anti-depressants, I ran for the hills.

Long story short, I am no longer that person. It took years, but with the help of inspiring authors like Esther Hicks, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, to name a few; I have turned my life around. Instead of worrying about what everyone else wants, I finally took the time to figure out what I wanted out of life! In doing so, I had to accept claims that I had become selfish. The truth was I had. I finally realized that if I really wanted to be the best version of me for my loved ones, I had to take the time needed to become the best version of me!

In the decade since my father passed, my life has changed in meaningful and significant ways. I've done things that I never would have imagined possible. I became an entrepreneur, and in 2013 quit my full-time job. I stepped out of my comfort zone as a homebody and started going to networking events. I event started a career as a public speaker and wrote my first book Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve! If someone had told me this could be my reality, I would have thought they were crazy!

This is all to say this: don't wait for tragedy to strike to take control of your life. You can take back your power whenever you are ready. Every moment we have a choice to remain the same, or strive to do better. Don't let the fears, doubts and negativity from others or the voice in your head stop you from creating the life you want. You're not doing yourself or those you love any favors by playing small. Bishop T.D. Jakes says that greatness is contagious, and I believe this to be true. Take the time to do what makes your light shine; it's what we were put here to do!

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