Breakdown to Breakthrough: There is value in obstacles

By Lileen Shannon

How many curve balls have been thrown at you during your Life Course (stages) that threw you slightly off path! These OBSTACLES are viewed by some as barriers to success. How we react determines how despondent and filled with feelings of defeat and hopelessness we can become; OR, we act in the knowledge that there is value in obstacles when these curve balls sharpen our tenacity and incite our desire to continue moving forward. We can take delight in small victories.

LILS STORY: The Breakdown: There was an unusual stillness in the house when I came to on February 2, 1983. There's something about being drunk, I don't wake up, I just come to where ever I left off. The usual chatter of my three children was missing as I jumped up to see if they went outside. The powerful effects of alcohol began to sneak up on me - taking me into periods of unconsciousness. I rubbed my temples to unclog the fuzziness in my brain as I tried to recall what happened the night before. I paced back and forth through the neat, but poorly decorated, nebulous living room that consisted of a shoddy, green sofa, and an old fashion stereo console. I opened the window to get a whiff of fresh air when I heard the faint sound of my husband's voice -- between my ears -- utter he was taking the kids with him. As I blinked my eyes to get my brain to tune in to the right station in my head, I recalled it was dark and the kids were hugging me as I laid slumped on the couch, numb, semi-conscious, and drunk. I call to mind, staggering, trying to maintain my balance, as I got off the couch and stumbled to the front door and waved to them.

The Breakthrough: I jolted to a sober frame of mind, crying softly because I loved my kids more than anything in the world and right now they were safe. This was my time to do whatever I needed to do to get better and although my stomach was churning -- a slow wave, like the motion of the ocean, revealing an emotion of both utter fear and the desire to build up my courage to live forward. I called my mother and told her I needed help. She said, "I've been waiting for your call, how long before you can get here." On February 3, I entered a women's program… 34 years ago. I've met many more obstacles and I continue to move forward my life and help others to do the same. How? I ask myself, "What positive outcome could result from this experience?" "How do I stop the chatter that keeps me focused on the past and transition to future-forward thoughts that keep me on the right path to reach my goals?" I help my clients by asking powerful questions that help to reflect on your life, your values, and what do you want to do to reach your goals?

How we respond to an experience can take us from breakdown to breakthrough? Your thoughts?

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