It’s the Wednesday blog hop. Click here to connect with the other bloggers and see what’s happening with them.
Terri Lynn asked me to write a guest post on her blog. Terri is an expert at choosing happiness and using the Divine navigation system. As a sales manager she motivated and inspired others and became known as Fortune Cookie. She lives in Newtown Square, Pa. with her son Dan. Her intention is to show the benefits of putting happiness first.
Thank you, Terri for sharing my words.
Choice to Be Happy
by Samantha Light-Gallagher, author of Crazy Courage: A Young Widow’s Survival Guide
Choices are made every day. We make choices about what we are going to eat for breakfast, if we are going to exercise or what route we are going to take to work. These are just the small choices in our lives. What about the choice to be happy?
A big question might be: do we choose to be happy or do our life events make those choices for us? I believe we make the conscious or maybe at the time unconscious choice to choose happiness. If you look at two people with the same events, many times the person’s attitude impacts the turnout. Read more…
As the New Year has just begun, I sit back and think about last year. I have been able to do some very exciting and interesting things. I have been able to reach out to people who have lost loved ones. I have been able to encourage them as I was encouraged after my husband was killed. This has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I believe that this is my path. I do not like the circumstances that led me to this place, but appreciate that I am able to do something positive after my life was turned upside down.
In a previous post I shared I have been presenting material in training with law enforcement individuals on the severity of driving intoxicated. To be honest I didn’t think much of it before. I think I was like so many others and thought “oh, if they think they’re okay to drive, they are”. After my husband was killed by a drunk driver I take it much more seriously. I wish I had this passion before.
This is one example of how a tragedy can change your perspective. Our life experiences mold us into the individuals that we are today. There are typically two paths we can choose after an event happens to us. Those are the hardest decisions we have to make. We may even veer off the path a few times before sticking to what makes sense for us. I believe that is okay.
I am a person that needs answers, I need to know who, what, where, when and why. I have learned we may not ever get all those answers and I need to be okay with that. You can waste so much time looking for answers instead of focusing on the solutions. Solutions are where we can create something great… sometimes something even bigger than ourselves.
For example, I look at my children and I see so much potential in them. I see who they were when they were just babies, when they lost their father and who they are now. They are such capable individuals and I wait for the day they are old enough to see their endless potential. I am not a patient woman so waiting is not going to be easy for me. I believe with my encouragement and telling them how proud I am of them they will have the confidence instilled in them to conquer whatever lies in their path.
Last year I began volunteering with an organization that works with families and co workers of fallen officers. The people in this group are so passionate about what they do. They inspire me to move forward and support as many individuals as I can. We held a holiday party and being a part of that was amazing. Seeing the faces of so many people who have lost loved ones is ground breaking for me. Sometimes you don’t get to see how many people one person touches in their lives until they are gone. It reminds me of my husband’s funeral and seeing all the people in one room that my husband touched.
This makes me even more conscious of the conversations that I have with each person. Relationships are built one conversation at a time and when you lose track of that, you lose track of the relationship. I am learning to really listen to what someone is saying to try and understand what they might need or what they want to accomplish. At times, that can be difficult, because they might not even know yet. Just as I sat lost for many months, but I let myself be lost. This is when I began recreating myself to move my life forward. I am not the same person I was. I have a lot of the same characteristics, but a lot of my perspective has changed. Once I realized that, I was able to get to know myself again.
I sit here eagerly waiting for the events of this year…the ways in which I will be able to continue to support others and hopefully inspire. The changes that I hope will happen with one conversation at a time.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” -Bob Proctor
It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so please join us and read what the widows and widowers have to say in the Blog Hop!
I have been doing my best to blog every Wednesday, give or take a few days. I have decided to take a mini holiday break to spend the time with my family. I am going to be back to blogging at the beginning of 2013. The holiday season is very special to me and to my family. There are many traditions that are important to us, that at times can be time consuming, but well worth every minute.
Thank you to all that read my blog.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!
Over the last two days, I have presented to a DUI training class. Where law enforcement individuals are being trained on the risks of driving while under the influence. I was asked to present the story of my husband, that was killed by a drunk driver. I shared how the drunk driver’s decision changed my children and my lives forever. I was a little nervous, but overall it went well. I do need to work on more eye contact with the class. I think what this group is doing is great!
We are all in different places in our journey, but have taken a step forward in our life story without our spouse. The support you get from someone who has been down your path or some variation of it is irreplaceable.
I want to commend all of the men and women that take the time to give us a glimpse of their reality. The words they share can bring a whole realm of emotions and that is when you know it is written honestly from the heart.
Crazy courage is doing what is right for me, doing what I have to when I was in an emotional state that can become self-defeating, when I lost the passion for life itself. Courage is when I stand up and brush the dirt off and face all the difficulty, uncertainty, and pain by overcoming the fear that has overtaken my rational mind. When I add the crazy to the courage I am adding an intense enthusiasm that will show others that I have a mission to complete, even if that mission is to get out of bed.
It is when I ignore the voice that is telling me, you are not able to do it. It is not letting those fears and the pain control me anymore. It gives me the strength to surpass all of the weaknesses I may be feel. The state of vulnerability I may feel scares me, but when I learned how to eliminate that and replace it with courage I have control again.
Crazy courage is what it took to become myself again or some form of myself. It allows change to happen. It’s the courage to push past your pride, ask for help and accept the support people want to give you. Crazy courage allows me to tell myself the truth. I would lie to myself about my own reality and at times I would believe those lies. I cannot close my eyes in hopes that my truths will go away.
I listen to that crazy courage voice inside of me, the one that is telling me you can do it and ignore the voice that sometimes tells me I can’t. I take some deep breaths, count to ten, close my eyes and listen to what my body and mind are saying. At times, the crazy courage inside of me was soft whispers that hard for me to hear, but if I sit long enough and I will hear them.
When I hear and feel the crazy courage, I pull it out and bring it to the surface. I might wear it like a mask if I need to so I can get passed the first 30 seconds. I got to a point when I no longer have to listen to the whispers and it is on the surface so I can face what scares me.
I say give it 30 seconds of crazy courage and you will be surprised by what you are able to accomplish. It takes a lot of crazy courage to face those things you don’t want to do, but you have to do them anyway.
This level of courage is obtainable by anyone and I used it. It’s the courage that I used to get out of bed and face the world again. It was the strength that I found inside of myself to do what was necessary to survive and to continue to be a mother to my children after my husband was killed.
There are still times when I feel something inside of me saying, I do not believe you are strong enough. But I am strong. I just have to continue to believe in love…for life and for myself. And use my own crazy courage.
On the day before Thanksgiving, I think it is suiting to talk about what I am thankful for. There are several family traditions that happen during this holiday, but I believe the one common practice is to give thanks.
I am thankful for my two children. They are two amazing boys that make me laugh, cry and frustrated, amongst many other emotions. What they do most is make me feel proud to be their mother. They have accomplished and overcome so many things in their short lives. They show me that anything is possible. I am in awe at their strength and unconditional love they have for others.
The time I was able to spend with my late husband is something to be thankful for. It was not as long as I planned for, but he taught me so much. He helped create the person I am today and his death has created an undefined appreciation that I have for life now. He left me with that one final gift in my life.
My family and friends have been there for me in the ups and downs. With their help I was able to get through things in my life, I once thought impossible. I probably could have done it on my own, but their support made it so much easier for me.
I am thankful for the organizations that have supported my families and other families throughout the United States. For all of you that follow me and read my words. You give me inspiration and confidence that what I am doing is important.
I am also thankful for my admirer. I did not think that it would be possible to love another man after losing my husband, but it is. I am grateful he has entered my life. We are able to look into one another’s eyes and really see each other. He shows me each day who I am and gives me boundless love.
So thankful for all the love that surrounds me, strength, beautiful moments and joyful memories. May beautiful moments, joyful memories and love surround you during the holiday.
Petraeus is involved in a new scandal centered around integrity, honesty and being faithful. I find it interesting that these allegations are coming to light during the hearings for the Libya attack. They seem to overshadow the fact that Americans were killed in Libya on September 11th. The personnel who are involved in the scandal now may have a tarnished and diminished character. This may impact how their testimony is received for happenings in Libya; what they testify as to what happened during Libya might be taken with a grain of salt.
Petraeus, as the Director of the CIA, should be a man whose character emanates integrity, honesty, and certainly faithfulness, as well as having the ability to be covert and prudent…these are all qualities in which suite the man who is the head of the CIA. A person whose job it is to be discreet as possible did not do a very good job of covering up his tracks with his assumed affair. Talking about his character is one thing, but what about what he has done to his wife? The shame that he has brought upon his family is evident but in my opinion, he has also dishonored them. What is this saying about the leaders of America?
I do not understand how people are unable to keep their pants on, entering into an extramarital affair and breaking the vows that they have promised to their spouse. These things infuriate me more now since my husband was killed. I try not to judge, but Petraeus stated that he denied having an affair with anyone other than Broadwell. Both parties in this case were married. I cannot understand how people take marriage and their family so lightly.
Think about the families that have been effected by the Libya attack and the figureheads that were supposed to keep their loved ones safe. The heartache that the families must feel at the lack of support from the US government. This is just outright sickening!
There are innocent victims and families involved in all of this. The Obama administration was trying to say a video of a no name person caused all of these riots that led to American deaths, this I find hard to believe. Finally coming out much later calling it a terrorist attack. Really? I mean, it took place on September 11th and would have needed to have been planned out unless it is that easy to raid a US Embassy. In that case, we may need to look at the security that the US Embassy has in place.
All in all, this should be about the victims and getting them justice. It is nearly impossible to feel closure from the death of a loved one until you feel justice has been given to those that have caused the death. This is going to take a very long time for these families to feel like justice has been served if even they will ever feel that way.
I hope these families are able to find comfort one day and be able to grieve the loss of their loved one. To feel closure and for those that committed the crimes or did not do their part in preventing this act from happening get their justice for the victims and for their families.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.