This is our very first episode of Smiling Again where I’m going to be talking about making a decision to start smiling again, because change always starts with a decision. And my very own healing journey began in 2010. Yes, I do take my time. It takes as long as it needs to take. And it was in November of 2010, and I had just received a message from my niece. To put it into context, my niece is just a couple of years younger than me. I had been visiting home back in Canada earlier in the year. It was at a time when that visit back home was at the peak of when life was spiraling into chaos and I spent much of that trip sleeping and really in a state of numbness and shock. So when I got this message a few months later, it was quite a lovely message to receive.
I’d like to read it to you to share it with you. She said, “you looked as though your spirit had been ripped right from you and with good reason, but I wanted to let you know that this too shall pass with time. This will get so much easier. Just remember that you are the only one in control of your feelings and how long you will choose to feel the way. Do trust that you will find yourself and your true smile again. Embrace this and know in your heart, it is the right thing you do what is best for you. You first, now. ”
I’d like to say something to her now, Kristi, if you’re listening, I found my smile again. I am making a decision to start smiling again. And thank you for being there at the beginning of this journey, I am forever grateful for that message and for your love,
All of these layers later, I’ve learned a lot. And I know that there is so much more to learn and to grow and heal. As I walk this journey, changing my life, I’ve learned that events can alter us emotionally and that we can become emotionally attached to our past. I lost my husband Chris, four years ago to chronic alcoholism. His tired heart stopped. We were divorced when he passed away, but as many of you will know it wasn’t out of lack of love. It was an incredibly difficult and painful decision that I made to leave him. And I had to make that decision for the sake of saving my own wellbeing and to protect my children from the trauma that we were living in. The truth is that our love never died.
I actually felt that I lost him many years before his death. And it’s because you hold on and on and on never wanting to give up hope. So it’s not just that one event that alters you emotionally. It’s the ongoing events and many of them, which are quite traumatic to live through. And as our stress hormones go up bit by bit, our body starts to break down and we’re living in survival mode. We think the same thoughts, where are the bottles? Um, what will he be like, how will I pay the bills? There’s just so many things that all start to go wrong and fall apart. So many things to worry about. And then over and over again, the same thoughts take over and we feel the same way again and again. And we perform the same actions again and again, we’re literally stuck in a rat and we just can’t see a way out of it.
And at this point, life hasn’t turned out the way that we had planned it, Chris and I had planned to grow great together. Um, but none of that happened and I hadn’t planned on raising two children on my own. On the other side of the world, from my family. It’s just what happened. And then as though you’re not, you’ve not been through enough, you begin to beat yourself up. Uh, yeah, I think we’re pretty good at that. I’m certainly pretty good at that. Beating myself up for not pursuing my dreams for not living the life that I’d wanted to live. So you push yourself harder and harder at a relentless pace to try to get to where you want to be or in survival mode. So we’re kind of stuck in the past. Somehow, somewhere along the way I remembered what Christie said to me.
I was the one who decided how I felt and for how long. And it wasn’t until two years after Chris’s death that I realised that I was feeling sad, not because of his alcoholism, but because of me, I had to make the decision to change how I felt. And I had to make a decision to commit to that change. So I did, I started to be calm, conscious of my thinking, my emotions and my behaviours. And I’ve learned that when we become super conscious of our thinking, our feelings and our behaviours, that’s when we can begin to change our life, I’ve become determined to change my energy. I’ve got a rebounder over there that I bounce on when I’m not feeling when I feel my energy drop, build it back up. So I’m determined to change my energy. And I’m determined to maintain it, to make room for the new ways to do that work no matter how I feel, because it’s in those hard moments when things are really hard.
And when you really don’t want to do it, that when you push through, when you push that extra bit, that’s when you breakthrough and that’s when change happens. I’m at the stage now where my new thinking, my new emotions, my new behaviours, they all have my body believing that I’ve changed my life and life really is starting to change. I’m starting to draw on all sorts of new experiences, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you. I think the trick is initially we have to get our brains and our body to believe that we are changing. So maybe a little bit of faking it until you get there. Um, but when you get there living a future reality, that’s filled with joy and gratitude and love. That’s where we’re headed for months. I’ve been sharing my beach hat with other people and in the marketing, I’m telling them to live life full of joy and signing off my emails with joy and everything that I do is all about creating joy and loving lasting memories.
And now all those months later, I’m at the point where actually that is becoming my reality. So that little bit of saying it before I was actually experiencing it, it’s called my brain believing it, it really is. We can’t think the same thoughts live by the same emotions, perform the same actions and secretly expect life to change. Now we have to change our thinking. We, which will then change our emotions, which will then change our behaviours, which will change our life. So I invite you to, to break free, to make a decision and commit to it, to do the work, to change your life, do the work, to change how you think change, how you feel, change, how you behave. And that’s how you will change. Your life is not easy. It’s taken me a long time. It’s not easy, but it’s easier when you get support. So I invite you to join me on this journey, make a decision to start smiling again, and together we can support each other over the next 12 weeks. I’ll be sharing with you one thing at a time to help you commit to your decision to change and to start smiling again. Thank you.