This I Believe

Janice - Richmond, Kentucky
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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The Transformative Power of Tragedy

I believe in the evolutionary nature of beliefs as new truths are revealed through life’s experiences. I believe in the power of tragedy to transform a life. These two beliefs work together to bring about change. It has always been a tragedy that has transformed my life and led to the evolution of my beliefs. When I was six weeks pregnant I was involved in a domestic assault. Prior to this occurring, I believed that my life was predestined and I did not have much choice on how it would play out. I was a pawn in life’s cruel little game and I was not on the winning side. The assault was painful enough, but it led to the loss of everything I thought I would never lose – my house, my car, my job, and the life that I had worked so hard to create for myself. Through this enormous loss, I gained a new perspective on life – if I was not happy with where I was I had the power to reinvent myself and start over again. I had choices! I escaped the abusive relationship, left everything behind, began a new life, and was hit with tragedy again. Two weeks prior to giving birth I lost my job, my health insurance, and my dignity. I found myself sitting in the welfare office, humbled, trying to figure out where it all went wrong. I believed that if I worked hard enough this could not, in fact, would not happen to me. As my beliefs have evolved, I have come to realize that there are some things that I cannot control regardless of how hard I work or how good a person I think I am. I realized that even when life seems irreparably broken, things will inevitably change. The loss of my job, so tragic at the time, led to my being able to stay home with my new baby, to return to school full-time earning two degrees, and to find a job working from home. Patience is essential. When things have fallen apart, patience is the superglue that can bring it all back together again in a new and vastly different way. What appeared from the repaired pieces of all that had fallen apart was the life I had always dreamed of but had never had the courage to pursue. Most importantly, I believe in the power of a child’s love to mend even the most shattered and broken of hearts. I know that my beliefs will continue to evolve and that things will continue to change as I experience life more fully. However, I now see these changes as an adventure rather than an impassable wall on my path through this life and I cannot wait to see what comes my way next!