I was moved to hear Jennifer Lopez’s acceptance speech recently where she thanked all the people in her life who not only supported and believed in her, but who also cheated and lied to her.
And it got me thinking about my own life – and that the person I am today is the sum total of all that went before.
There were the guys I dated in my teens and twenties who never really loved or appreciated me – but who took advantage of my naive innocence, cheated on me, and used me for sex.
A special thanks go to all of those guys who were just as lost and disconnected from themselves as I was. And it was the emotional pain I suffered from those empty relationships that made me wake up and demand something and someone better for myself. Thank you, guys for waking me up. You did me a great service.
A special thanks goes to all of the years I felt insecure and not good enough in my work - the sick feeling in my stomach I endured for decades whenever I would have to teach, do a presentation, or contribute in meetings. For all of the times I felt anxiety and tried to find ways to hide out and not use my voice. I am so grateful for all of it, especially the day when I was asked to speak in front of a large group, and couldn’t find my words – what a humiliating day that was! If it were not for the suffering, exhaustion and humiliation, I would never have desired to get to the bottom of my insecurity and find a solution to my problem.
A big thank you goes to the early years when I was setting up my coaching business – the struggle to put myself out there so that I could find clients – all of the years I felt under-utilized, invisible, unappreciated, not seen, not heard – and the sadness and isolation I felt. If it were not for those years I would never have learned about the power of commitment, tenacity, endurance, what it means to be a pro, and the clarity that came to me about the people I’m best working with and WHY I wanted to do this work.
And last but certainly not least, a special gratitude to family members and friends – those who should NOT have lied, disappointed, or abandoned me. You showed me the fragility of being human and how difficult life can be. You woke me up to what it really means to be human. I cannot thank you enough.
In the words of Maya Angelou, wouldn’t take nothing for my journey, now. All of it has made me who I am today – all of it woke me up to the possibility of what could be.
What’s waking you up?
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