Read an Excerpt
Weather The Storm Find The RainbowSmile It Gets Better
By Connie S. Hill
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Connie S. Hill
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBefore I share, my personal story called "Weather the Storm Find the Rainbow." I would like to express some of my own personal thoughts. Most of my opinions have come from the personal experience of living through them. Some may even be suggestions that could help when having a difficult time coping with an unforeseen crisis. It is hard to convince someone that their life is going to be ok if you cannot instill some faith & hope in their mind. When a person experiences the feelings that come with a loss in one's mind that loss will cause feelings involving many different emotions. Family & friends who give their support to someone will help them enhance their coping abilities to deal with the loss. To weather the storms of life it is essential to keep your faith. Without faith, there is no hope and without hope, a person cannot move forward in life. Your belief in God will encourage you to continue on life's path even when life becomes difficult to accept. It is hard to accept the unpleasant things that happen on a daily basis. There will be times when life will test our inner strength. It is during that time, a person will need family & friends to lean on for extra support while their spirit heals from whatever their loss is. God must have truly loved us because he gave us friends & family so we would not have to be alone. Our family & friends will be the angels God sends to us in the human form in our time of need. Even a stranger who shows up when you need help could very well be working under the guidance of Gods hand.
For me my time of need came when my husband and I separated after twenty-five years together. You have heard many women and men say they loved too much or gave too much in their relationship. To those who have had a relationship end in divorce or a separation it's a typical statement. I have thought or said the same thing pertaining to my failed relationships'. While insuring another person's happiness, it is easy to lose your identity and forget who you are. Wanting to impress the person whom you love and doing things their way can change your attitude and appearance inside and out. I believe a person can love someone to the point it destroys his or her own character. This happened to me, I no longer felt like the person I once was, I was unhappy in so many ways. I felt everything that went wrong was my fault. I was afraid of making mistakes. It was the feeling of failure that took away my ambitions. I could no longer identify with the person I was becoming. I recall one time saying to a friend the word divorce to me meant failure. The lesson I had to learn was failure did not necessarily mean it was because of me. Sometimes what happens in our lives is out of our hands. You can only control your actions. If someone decides they no longer what to be with you the best thing is to let them go. When you truly love someone, it is not easy to let go of the dreams that you planned to share. When there is an unexpected loss of a loved one, it can be very traumatic. It does not matter how they leave you the grieving process is something you have to do in order to move on.
To weather a catastrophic event in life it is essential to have a connection with God. It takes faith, hope, and trust to keep a positive outlook when dealing with every day events. Traumatic experiences can send a person into a state of depression. Feeling hopeless and out of control can take your will, sending you down a one-way street of no return to sanity. When a spouse leaves so many emotions can overwhelm you to the point you see no hope in the future. The sad thing is the future has not even arrived yet so who knows what may be down the path of life waiting on you to find. Our dreams still can unfold even if the players change.
In the human form, a spirit is fragile and it can break easily. People's lives are shattered daily because of events that they may or may not have control over. To be in this world the years I have is truly a gift from God. Now I view life as it being a true blessing; each day I, thank God for the time he has given me to get my life in order. There was a time living was pure misery for me I wanted no part of it. My parents forced life upon me as far as I was concerned because of their choice. I had no choice when I was born. I had become one of the many fragile spirits that was losing the will to live. My thoughts became negative creating a feeling of hopelessness deep in my mind. What remained in my soul was a feeling of emptiness and despair. I was letting personal problems overwhelm me, making it hard to deal with reality. Because of losing the man I adored and loved, I felt everything that gave my life meaning was gone. I was angry over even being born. I just had a hard time finding a way to change things so I could see the light at the end of a dark path.
Sometimes it takes a crisis for us to pause in life, other words, to look at what needs changed. A pending divorce, stroke, and retirement the year I turned fifty changed my life. Dealing with those changes was exhausting to the point it overwhelmed me. Every day was a challenge for me to get out of bed and do something. I was tired of trying to do the right thing for both of us I was afraid of making a mistake. I had to make decisions that should not had been left up to me alone. I almost gave up on living because I was not happy any longer. I remember asking God everyday not to let anything else happen in my life until I resolved some of my troubles. I had too many issues to deal with and things seemed so complicated for me at the time. It made me sad to see everything being destroyed I had worked so hard for. What really hurt was I could do nothing to change it. Now I know without a doubt Gods amazing grace embraced me during that point in time. I would not be writing this today if I had not called out to God to save me. I had to learn to accept Gods will and realize he too was carrying my burdens. He had given to me no more than I was able to withstand. God knew my strengths more than I knew them. Finding the solution to deal with my problems was not easy for me. Walking away from the one person I wanted in my life was the hardest thing I ever did. If I had not closed that chapter in my life, there is no doubt in my mind I would not be here writing about this. I struggled with the unknown during that time and I felt so helpless and out of control. Unfortunately, there were consequences of how I handled my personal problems. Now that I can look back to that time in my life, I shake my head in disbelief. Letting go should be as easy as breathing if it creates chaos in your life. Why I let it bother me at that time had to be because of my feelings and thoughts about my future. Again, I have to point this out it is the moments in life that counts and the future comes in those moments.
Over the years, I have seen it does not matter what kind of storm comes your way it will pass eventually. As long as you include God in your life, it will be ok. Belief, trust and hope will keep the spirit motivated. For me to whether the storms in my life it took a lot of patience and faith. Sometimes we just need to slow down and wait, no matter how painful the circumstance is at hand. Patience is a virtue we all need to acquire when being challenged with life's troubles. Jumping to conclusion ruins the chances for most people to remain civil. When a person is out of control, they usually say things or do things they would not have done any other time. Many times my spouse said things to me that made me feel I was lacking and then he would say, he never meant it. Unfortunately, you cannot take back words once you speak them. Words seem to etch in your mind when spoken by someone angry. When you demoralize a person, it can be devastating to them in many ways. Hurtful words have the potential to cut deep into a person's spirit. In life, all it takes is the wrong word to destroy someone's spirit. When a person becomes upset, the wrong choice of words can end a good relationship. I had to develop patience and tolerance, before I finally started gaining back my direction. Once I learned not to take everything personal, I had insight of where I wanted to go. When I learned to control my feelings, I no longer lived with regrets. I tried not to say anything or do hurtful things that I could not take back. In other words, I thought about what I was doing or saying to another person. To undermine someone's confidence is easy to achieve by your choice of words. It will destroy a relationship to the point there is no way to save it regardless of what you do. That is what my husband and I did to each other; we used words to hurt each other intentionally. I lost respect for him just because of how he spoke to me. In addition, I said things back to him meaning to hurt him just because he hurt me. Now I always try to choose my words careful, regardless whom I am speaking to at the time. I want to speak to others, the way I would want them to speak to me. No one likes someone to speak to him or her in a negative tone of voice.
It is essential that you utilize and build a foundation of support around family and friends. They can help in making it easier to deal with the struggles of everyday living. As we, all know it is our faith in God that will sustain us when faced with our own problems. All the other support we have is what God sends us in our time of need. God will send angels in many forms throughout our life. God provides us with resources; it is up to us to make the effort to utilize them. The only requirement I have found to receive Gods help is to ask. Having belief in God provided me with the strength to seek ways to weather many horrific storms. I would hate to think where I would be today if I had lost my faith and hope. That mindset of knowing things could change got me through the time I needed it the most. When my life was turned upside down, it would have been easy for me to give up. I prayed daily and believed that God would guide me in the right direction. To keep hope alive I just could not be negative in my thinking. Although things were changing in my life, I learned to take on one day at a time. No matter what happen during the day I tried to find something positive about it. It was hard for me at first but as the time passed things seemed more acceptable and easier to handle. As I think, back to that time in my life it bothers me to know how much time I actually wasted. I have no ideal now why I wasted so much time on things I could not change. To let time slip away without making it count was so foolish. I let time slip through my hands like grains of sand and gave it no thought. What I know about time is once it is gone it is gone forever. Moments are precious because they will become a memory as time moves on.
When seasons in a life change, it is how we embrace them that matter in the end. Regrettably, many dreams die because we no longer visualize what we want in life. Being in the human form, we tend to compare the past with our present circumstances. Our inner fears can hold us back from achieving things that would be good for us to accomplish. When we finally learn to accept our difficulties as opportunities for new beginnings, it becomes easier to move on. From my challenges in life, I gained wisdom and knowledge. I learned to keep on giving even when I felt I had nothing left inside to give. Many times, the pain I felt created a false feeling of hopelessness. Despair seeded deep into my inner core as I struggled to find peace within my soul. At times, we have to reach deep and push ourselves to make sense of what is happening to us. Life and its challenges can hinder and prevent a person from healing physically and emotionally. I let my problems over whelm me to the point I could not see a solution. It was like trying to climb a mountain with resistance and never getting to the top because it was too far. I just could not see how I would get over the loss and be optimistic again. I lost the vision I had of how my life would be. I lost the desire to find happiness I was tired of trying and failing. I guess I was afraid of feeling anything anymore for anybody. In life once, you hit the lowest point than you need to look at all the reasons God has given you to pick yourself up. It is important you find the solution to your problem no matter how painful it is. With determination and a goal you set, you can climb any mountain. Try to visualize the change that will occur once you reach your goal. Remove the obstacles in your life that bring you down. No distance is too far to walk if it gives back your self-esteem. The words "I am too old to start over again" are only for those who have no desire. Let nothing take the desire out of your heart. I cannot say it is easy to walk the path of life. However, bad things that happen to us are manageable. In addition, with time, pain does ease.
Belief in God gave me the strength to overcome the obstacles obstructing my way and through him, it became possible. I would have never found my true potential or strength if I had not felt the pain and hurt of life's sting. Through my belief in God, I was able to accept what happened to me. The acceptance did not come right away it took a lot of soul searching on my part. The experience I gained from my tribulations will last a lifetime. I have walked the path that many walk in the trails of tears and joy. I have found myself standing at the cross roads in life not knowing which way to turn. In addition, because of the past I feared what I would find when I made the choice. This slowed me down when it came to rebuilding my life. It was hard getting back my confidence so I could make the choices necessary to move on. Most of the time I already decided my choice would be the wrong one. It was hard to keep from being negative in my thinking due to all the bad things that was going on in my life. I just could not be positive when I needed it. I had to quit thinking that everything would end up the same way. It was not easy to replace negative thoughts with positive since I was unhappy. I needed a mindset that would reflect only positive thinking no matter what happened. I had to convince myself that I still could find the happiness that I needed to make life manageable.
God had given back to me in ways I could have never imagined possible. If someone were to ask me four years ago about writing, I would have said there is no way. The stroke I had in 2002 kept me from comprehending simple things. Speaking was like learning a new language; words I said never came out the way I intended them. Even though I still struggle with my grammar, it has gotten easier for me to write. When I first had my stroke, I raised my voice and became frustrated. I did not mean to be loud I wanted to be understood. It had nothing to do with being angry with anyone. It was the way I expressed what I needed to say. I even became confused on what words to use when speaking. To someone who has never had a stroke it is hard to relate and understand the change it creates in a person. I went through months of physical rehabilitation and adjustment. However, just getting to where I am today, took a lot of inner strength and optimism. It was hard for me to comprehend and think logical during that period of my life. Unfortunately, that added to the stress of an already strained relationship with my husband. I never gave much thought to how he was feeling at the time. It was not that I did not care it was just I had too much on my plate to clean up.
When there is a major illness in a family, the caregiver will also suffer. Since I was focusing on my own recovery, I over looked how my illness affected my husband. I had many reservations about my life during that time I felt it was ending. What I did not know was actually it was just beginning for me. Even to this day, I still have problems with saying what I intend to say or how loud I speak. However, I have learned to control the tone that I use. In addition, the joy and laughter has returned to my life. I have become content with who I am and give no thought to the past. It took me a long time to realize there was not anyone to blame. Things happen every day to people, that is what living is about. Change and acceptance go hand in hand in a lot of circumstances. In the blink of an eye, life can change for anyone. To survive we need to keep adapting to changes. It is essential that we have faith and hope in our life. With that combination, positive thinking stays alive. Positive thinking helps to visualize the change as a challenge not a hindrance. I had to stop making excuses and do something about what needed to change. Being positive about negative things got me better results in solving a problem.
Excerpted from Weather The Storm Find The Rainbow by Connie S. Hill Copyright © 2012 by Connie S. Hill. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.