7 Things I learned from my story
I am a firm believer that each person can use their story to inspire the world.
Yet, we do not always believe this to be true for ourselves. We disqualify ourselves because of our past, background and circumstances. We tell ourselves that we do not have the necessary skills or worst of all, that our story does not matter.
Who would want to listen to my story, right?
Within the walls of our story lies the most precious diamonds we can ever imagine.
- life lessons learned
- hope for a better future
I also never believed that my story mattered. I never believed that I had a story to tell. Little did I know how much people will learn from my story and how it will navigate them through their darkest hours.
I was born in 1971 into a loving family from which I learned a great deal about integrity, authenticity and being thankful.
At the age of eighteen, I already moved 35 times. My father had wanderlust in his bones. The result; we were never able to settle and build a good life. Nevertheless, we always had each other.
I learned that the people by your side matter more than the material things of this world. Perhaps that is why I am so passionate about people.
In 1991 I joined the Airforce, did my basic training and entered the world of financial auditing. I loved every minute. My dream was to become an officer in the Airforce, but I fell pregnant and got married.
I learned that life doesn’t always go as planned.
During basic training, I pushed my body beyond anything I could imagine, and I survived.
I learned that if I set my mind to it, I can achieve anything.
In 1994, 5 months after my son’s birth, my mom died unexpectedly. The shock, especially for my father, was enormous. I took the responsibility on my shoulders to carry my father during this time. I never allowed myself the much needed time to grieve, and this caught up with me years later.
I learned the importance of self-care.
My daughter was born in 1997. During that time, we tried to start up a small woodwork business. Even to this day, I feel guilty if I think about all the times I left my son to care for my daughter.
I did not have the time to give my daughter my undivided attention. I had to ensure that we meet our deadlines.
Now, as I write this blog, I realise that the same happened with my son when my mom passed away. I missed so much of their baby years, years that I will never be able to get back.
I learned that time flies by quickly and that we must treasure each moment.
My marriage was a disaster. On my wedding day, I knew I faced an uphill battle. Still, I believed that I would be able to change my ex-husband.
It took me 22 years to learn that we cannot change the people around us, especially if they have no desire to change.
We often feared for our safety and took refuge with friends. Emotional and verbal abuse were at the order of most days, leaving my children and me in a constant state of fear and uncertainty.
In 2007, our marriage faced a turning point for the worst. We had an armed robbery at our residential home. My children and I drew closer to God while my ex-husband did the opposite.
In 2013 we separated, and then the real battle began. I never knew a person could be so cruel and self-centred. During this time, I lost most of my friends and support. Only a handful of people were not manipulated by his lies, only those who knew my heart.
I learned the meaning of true friendship and how important support is when going through difficult times.
My ex-husband stole our family business from under my nose, which left me without any income whatsoever.
Later on, he confessed that he had various affairs during our 22 years of marriage. Just one more dagger into my heart, destroying the last bit of self-esteem I had left.
I had to climb the mountain of self-discovery and self-empowerment all over again. There was nothing left of who I previously was. In spite of everything, I am glad. I will not exchange the person I am today for anything in this world.
I learned that no matter how bad your circumstances, there is always a silver lining and hope for a better future.
HOW I USE WHAT I LEARNED
Today, I am a registered Wellness Counsellor, Transformation Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author.
I oversee the caregivers and counsellors at Doxa Deo Brooklyn Campus in Pretoria.
I present caregiving workshops to equip people with a heart to help others during difficult times.
I also founded an NPO – Royal Light Life Centre – where we assist women coming from a background of severe, prolonged abuse and trauma to take control of their lives and learn the skills needed to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
I sometimes still struggle with self-doubt and the lies about who I am and what I can do. However, I will not allow the enemy to steal what God has called me to do.
I have a passion for people, and I believe in their ability to take control of their lives and live a meaningful and purposeful life. No matter their past, background or circumstances.
I will pursue this quest to bring every person to believe it about themselves for as long as I have breath in my lungs.
DO I STILL STRUGGLE?
YES, I DO.
There are days when I hear the voices telling me that I will never amount to anything.
That I am:
- a failure
- not good enough
- always at fault
- do not have a bright future ahead of me
- cannot positively influence people.
Nevertheless, I know that life is a journey and that we need to have grace for ourselves on this journey.
Circumstances will never be perfect, and my past and background will always be part of me. The question is, how far will I allow these things to shape and influence me. Will I choose to take control of my thoughts and all the hurtful, deceitful core beliefs which formed over the years?
Hear my heart, I do not for one minute suggest that it is easy, but I know that it is possible.
It is possible to stand up and say NO MORE. No more will I believe all the lies, be a victim, be held captive by my past, background or circumstances. No more will I live in fear and believe that I will never succeed or amount to anything.
I will do everything in my power to learn the necessary skills, take control of my life, and live the life God has intended for me.
I know you can do the same.
DON’T WAIT TILL THE TIME SEEMS PERFECT
As I already mentioned, circumstances will never be perfect. We must make them perfect.
What do I mean by that…?
We can not wait until we have learned all the lessons necessary to influence those around us. We will never come to a place where we can say that we have it all together or that we know it all.
Life is a journey and ever-changing. However, we can learn the skill needed to navigate ourselves through this journey. Perhaps even create a journey within the journey of life.
Start now, discover what you have learned this far and then use it to enrich the lives of the people around you.
Your story matters because you matter.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY STORY
7 Things I learned from my story
- people by your side matter more than the material things of this world
- life doesn’t always go as planned
- if I set my mind to it, I can achieve anything
- the importance of self-care
- time flies by quickly and that we must treasure each moment
- the meaning of true friendship and how important support is when going through difficult times
no matter how bad your circumstances, there is always a silver lining and hope for a better future
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR STORY?
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