This I Believe

Tami - Houston, Texas
Entered on February 20, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, setbacks
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This I Believe

I believe that even the worst of times can hold redemption and meaning and can make us better people.

Once I prided myself on being a financially successful corporate sales exec (top one percent of female wage earners world-wide!), having a higher than average IQ (quite superior), being fit (high lean muscle mass), and attractive (former model, still had it). I even fully believed I was a better parent than my ex-husband and his new wife. Oh, life was good.

Well…life had a way of humbling me and a series of events tumbled me right down into a fully diagnosable mental illness, replete with mental confusion and anguish, loss of job, family and health. Though excruciatingly painful, it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me.

I found myself leaning on, for my very sustenance and support, the very people I had once disdained as not being up to my own high standards. This included practically everyone I once loved or who had loved me. Wow. What a place to be.

Stripped down to the bare essentials, I began to question the meaning of life itself. I examined my attitude in most matters. Looking back on who I had been, I came face to face with a woman that I no longer wished myself to be.

As I searched for the meaning in my own intense suffering and loss, what I found was something quite different than I expected. I found things like the value of giving and receiving, the intrinsic and awe-inspiring value in human beings of all shapes and sizes, and that true miracles have much more to do with forgiveness and love than the size of my figure or checkbook balance.

I now am so much stronger, and so much happier, than I ever knew I could be. My life’s work now is helping families and individuals dealing with mental illness, and that work is richly rewarding in each and every way. And my capacity to give and receive love from those around me is so much larger, as if my heart had literally grown in size.

Today, I hear so many stories of people going through some really tough times. I believe, if you allow it, those hard times can be the catalyst to turn your life into everything you ever really wanted and more. It happened for me, and I bless those hard times.