Twitter has been such a blessing for me.
I honestly can’t even put it into words without sounding like a giant cheeseball of emotions. If it wasn’t for this blog, I would have never even considered creating an account, so I owe a lot of thanks to you lovely readers for helping me grow this site enough that it lead me down the social media rabbit hole.
Furthermore, I want to thank Randi from functionalrandi.com who recently shared a post announcing her new blog.
She may not know it, but she is one of the handful of women whom I truly admire and appreciate. So it came to no surprise when I stumbled onto her post What Is Your Why and realized I had found the answer, or rather the question, I needed to hear in order to pull myself out of a very repetitive, distracting and defeating ‘funk.’
Later on I will share my answers, but I encourage you all to head over to Randi’s post and create your own. In less than 30 minutes you can open the door to ideas and an understanding of your top five personal values and why they matter to you.
Trust me, even if you aren’t feeling out of sorts or just killing time, this exercise is well worth the effort.
Have you ever wondered what the meaning is behind the things you spend your time doing? What your purpose is? We know what we are doing and how we do it, but many of us never take the time to find the WHY behind our actions. If you find yourself not passionate about what you do, or no longer find the joy in it…you may want to examine the WHY behind it.Randi of functionalrandi.com
I spent 8 years as the Clinical Supervisor for a Community Mental Health Agency. I spent my time meeting the demands my boss asked of me day after day, that I did not have the time to ask myself WHY I was doing it. Eventually, I could not find any aspect of my job that made me happy. I was miserable and exhausted. I had lost all passion and enthusiasm, and I fell into a deep depression.
Does this sound familiar?
It did for me, not specifically of course, but the overall wonder of why I was breaking myself as a wife, mother, blogger and in general what the hell was my goal in life?
Was I even aware whether or not I had one anymore?
This feeling of being lost is one of the common comforts (like a frenemy) that often leads me down a very dangerous road. Without a proper grasp of my own awareness I quickly become consumed by self-doubt and eventually give into the familiar fear of worthlessness.
Never before have I come across an exercise that actually helped me snap out this damaging cycle. Muffle the noise, yes. Postpone the emotional and mental withdrawal, absolutely.
But this system of questioning what matters to you and why…
Well, let’s just say it was enough that I not only felt the need to share my answers for others with similar struggles; but heard the call to spread this message and exercise as far as possible.
Thank you again, Randi. I pray your writing inspires others the way it has done for me, no doubt it will.
These are my personal answers as I went through this exercise. I am sharing them so that others can see how this exercise works and to prove that it did indeed help me come to a conclusion about my own why statements.
These answers are not a reflection of anyone other than myself.
You will not be able to complete the exercise by reading my answers alone, so be sure to check out the original post for a full explanation.
Step 1. Ask yourself a few questions and write down the answers.
Who in your life has helped make you the person you are today (coach, mentor, boss, teacher)?
I have been blessed to know a few different people who have taken the time to help me grow into the woman I am, however without a doubt, my grandmother would be the most influential person I know.
Write down a specific time when they exemplified what you admire most about them.
During my Grandmother’s divorce she couldn’t bare to bring any harm to her ex husband. Even after all he had put her through she left him the house, because he was handicap and they had made it accessible for him, she left him funds to take care of himself should he end up hospitalized and unable to pay for bills, she read all his awful letters, never once throwing the anger and hurt back in his face. When I wiped her tears as she cried, “I just don’t know what I did wrong!” all I could think about was how much love she still had for a man who hardly knew what an amazing person she is.
Think of a day at work when, as you headed home, you might have said to yourself, “I would have done that for free!” What happened that day to make you say that?
I used to work as a reservation agent for a fine resort. We would get a lot of calls were people lied to us to get things for free, however, one day a man called who not only sounded sincere but had to hang up as he choked on his tears. His wife was fighting her last battle with terminal cancer. He wanted to take her back to the place they had their honeymoon, “the happiest time of our lives together” he said. He didn’t have much money to spare, due to all the medical expenses, so when I created the reservation I made notes all over the place requesting complimentary upgrades to a suite, champagne and dinner at our Italian restaurant, all of which was approved by management and then even more was offered once they checked in.
At the end of his visit he wrote a very touching letter, thanking everyone who had been apart of their experience. The day they checked out we were all sad to see them leave, even through all they had been through with the cancer, his wife still glowed with joy and love for him. I will never forget his voice the day he made the call to book a simple room and the note he left us. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
What has been a pivotal moment in your life, one where you realized nothing would ever be the same?
The day I decided to quit my career in hospitality to stay at home with my family was very difficult. It’s cheesy and often overused, but being a stay at home parent is not easy. It’s been a real eye opener for me as someone who comes from a blue collar family, someone who has only ever known work, sleep, repeat. The isolation, the constant battles with tiny humans and the underappreciated tasks of a parent who struggles to feel like they are making enough of an impact in the household, let alone the world. Yet, it is all so very rewarding in the end.
At school, what was an experience you loved?
Highschool wasn’t good for me at all, however, college came with a sense of freedom to be myself and be respected as person, let alone an adult. My first college professor had this loving way of pushing us out of our comfort zone. She would ask us to complete an essay on hot topics like, vaccinations, politics, population control and resource management. One day she took the time to show us not only the importance of fact checking but how to correctly go about questioning our sources so that our emotions didn’t take over during these heated debates and essays. It was something I will forever be thankful for.
What have you accomplished that you are really proud of?
I know it sounds silly, but I am very proud of myself for accepting the reality of my mental and emotional health issues. As many do, I spent my whole life in denial, always belittling myself and thinking I just needed to get over my trauma without ever considering that I needed real help because of it. Four years with Postpartum Depression pushed me over the edge one day, as I was a complete mess on the kitchen floor literally crying over spilt milk it hit me that I was not okay. Since then I’ve started being honest with doctors and slowly I’m beginning to see improvements I never knew were possible.
Step 2. – 3. Personal Values (steps 2-3 explained in Randi’s post)
- Unconditional Love
Step 4: Develop your Personal WHY Statement: To ___, so that ___.
- To persevere through struggle so that I can be a light in the darkness for others.
- To continue growing as a parent so that my kids have a mother they can be proud of and not someone who gave birth without consideration for life.
- To build a relationship with my Lord so that He can guide my actions and my words when I am at my lowest as well as when I’m feeling ‘together.’
- To continue learning how I can make a real impact for families in need so that others not only have a helping hand but hopefully enough strength to pay it forward one day.
- To connect and help spread the truth about local cultures/tribes and Natives so that future generations don’t lose their heritage and the history of their people.
Thank you all for reading and God Bless!