HOW TO SHINE LIGHT WHEN THE DARK FEELS OVERWHELMING
In this week’s episode of Confidence on the Go we’re chatting about:
- How I dodged a bomb this weekend and what that bombing taught me about gratitude and life.
- Giving yourself and others the gift of life everyday
- 5 reasons your light is needed and how to let it shine
Just a quick hello to all of my Keep the Faith listeners out there – thanks for being part of the community of contagious encouragement.
I am proud to be an educator and consultant for Beautycounter, a B-Corp company on a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone. The lack of regulation in the personal care and cosmetic industry is astounding and it is harming our health in very serious ways. We need more voices to join up on our mission. If you want to put your passion to purpose while being generously compensated, then I would love to start a conversation with you about what it means to be involved in the #saferbeauty tribe that is Beautycounter. Join the movement of #betterbeauty and message me via email to make your voice really resonate for a cause. Learn more at www.beautycounter.com/trishblackwell
THE BOMB AT SEASIDE PARK, NEW JERSEY
THE STORY …
I have never been close to a bomb before, but on Saturday I was close, too close actually, with my precious little family in tow, but by the grace of God, that bomb didn’t leave a scrape on any of us or anyone else for that matter. Intended to hurt and harm, it has done the opposite for me – it has awakened within me a renewed focus for the gift that is a day. Tomorrow is never promised to us, and Saturday poignantly reminded me of just that.
For unknown reasons, there was a delay of the race start, and so we routed our way through the athletic crowd at the start line and ventured back along the Oceanside boulevard next to the boardwalk chatting with one another in a general haze of good vibes, cheerfully extending “good mornings” to everyone we saw. Peddling gleefully, with the ocean breeze wrapping itself around our faces, a loud blast punctuated the peaceful air of that Saturday morning. It was more than a blast; it was a boom, echoing profoundly like a hundred gunshots combined together at one time. Curious and unable to identify what it was, we continued biking, until we stumbled upon the blast site, just two blocks from where we were when we heard the explosion. A trashcan placed between the road and the boardwalk where we biked was burning, having exploded from the inside out with shrouds of plastic thrown out onto the street. A billowing cloud of smoke snaked its way from the can towards the police and spectators that were beginning to gather. Caught in a moment of surreal reality, we slowed down, almost to a stop, and then, upon realizing that this really had been a bomb, immediately started back up and worked our way as far away from it as we could, generally avoiding every other trashcan we saw along our way. Sirens screamed from three directions and a two-mile radius of the area was immediately put on lock-down and inundated with first responders and public service agents, police officers, bomb squads and the FBI.
Had we paused for just one minute less, we would have been right there…had we biked just a little bit faster, we would have been right there…had we not let Ellie off the bike for a few minutes to play in the sand…had the other two bombs detonated as intended … who knows what might have happened and where my family and I might have fallen into that scene and scenario, but what I know for sure is that “what if’s” are wasteful. Rather than indulge in the “what if” game, I am indulging my focus on the “what providence” game. What providence that we were spared and that life can go on as usual. What providence that the timers for multi-bomb blast failed and that the crowd of runners were delayed from even reaching the area. What providence that we were protected from something we had no control over protecting ourselves from. Invisible angels surround us all the time, but it takes reminders, close calls, from time to time to open our eyes to these hedges of love that encapsulate us and keep us safe when we don’t even know it. I have always been mindful about trying to appreciate the fragility of life, but Saturday made that truth all the more evident. Saturday gave me a safe, yet very tangible taste, on just how quickly everything you care most about in the world can be taken away from you in an instant, and in an instant when you least expect it. We are given the gift of the day – of today – and there are no guarantees … and for me, in this experience of almost being in the blast range of a bomb, the greatest truth I can take away is that tomorrow is not guaranteed, not in the slightest. I have been fully in the pursuit of practicing presence, but now am even more motivated to do so. The reality is that we didn’t get hurt, we didn’t get hit, we didn’t suffer emotionally or physically, but we could have. The gift of being alive every day truly is a gift and I don’t want to waste it by not being as present as possible. Bombs are senseless – I have yet to make sense of this bombing attempt in Seaside Park – but what this one has done for me in particular is make sense of not being senseless about wasting any more life than I already have by being anxious about the future or too attached to the past. If I want my life to make sense, and if I want to make sense in a world that is often senseless, I must focus my senses on living in the present as much as I can and in every way that I can.
The bomb went off, or at least part of it did, but it was botched. Investigations later found that there were two other bombs linked to the one that went off that failed to detonate on their set timer. The timer had been scheduled to target runners and spectators for the Marine Corps 5K charity run that Brandon, Ellie and I had biked to go support that morning. I love biking on the boardwalk at the beach, especially in the cool of a September morning and double especially with my one-year-old Ellie attached to me in her own little bike baby seat. The temperature was perfect for our morning family adventure through the streets and boardwalks of the little Jersey seaside town my family calls home.
When bad things happen it can be overwhelming to understand, but I understand this: the world is dark. The darkness is real. There are hurting, mad, sick, angry people out there who do bad things. Hatred and fear turn people inside out. And, as a result, there’s one thing I know for sure: we need more love, we need more light, we need more community and connection and celebration for the gift that life is, and, to eradicate the darkness, we must unify together and shine our light, for where there is light there cannot be darkness.
I do not know what the future holds and it is in times like this that I give thanks that I don’t have to know, all I have to know is that God is in control and that He will take care of me.
HOW TO GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE
>To give the gift of life – to yourself or to others – you have to slow down and be grateful for what it is that you have….and then shine light on others through your appreciatively-tuned spirit. People who are grateful know that they have more than enough, so they shower generosity and love and light onto others … and that is what we all need more of
>Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Expressing that gratitude for yourself in your own thinking but also verbalizing it to those around you, being grateful for their presence and place in the world and for their safety and security.
>The gift of life comes in slowing down. If you don’t live slow enough, you will miss out on that which you should be thankful for. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but that it progresses itself slowly and methodically, and if you continue showing up every day, being obedient to the “exercise of the mind” that you are engaging, then your mind and your perspective and your speed of life will trained.
One thing connects us – whatever your beliefs or background – there is a universal agreement that evil is sickening. …which leads me to the universal need for more light, more love.
FIVE REASONS YOUR LIGHT IS NEEDED AND HOW TO LET IT SHINE
- The world is dark.
- There’s so much going on that we can’t see, so for what we can see, we need to be obedient in doing what we can.
- There needs to be more leaders – there is space and a need for you to step up
- There is no one who sees the world the way you do
- The light you shine, however bright or dim, is not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of others — never underestimate the power of helping someone feel less overwhelmed, or, in other words, the power of what the glimmering light of hope can do
Let your light shine by showering yourself in love everyday. Be so focused on love, on absorbing love from God and reflecting it out to others, that others there can’t help but be an overflow of love shining out from you and stretching out to welcome others in. One of the most consistent and desperate prayers I pray and that I will continue to pray is that God would use me as a vessel of His love and that it would pour so heavily into me that this overflow and reflection of light into the darkness might happen naturally in and through me.
LISTENER OF THE EPISODE:
Trish – I just started listening to your podcasts this past week. They really resonate with me and I appreciate your content so much. I will seriously consider joining your 7-day program.
So, why did I start listening? Because my self-confidence was shaken in a recent job performance review. I felt devalued by my boss and that I didn’t have a real voice in my future.
You see, I’m 59 years old and I hope to retire in 6 years. I’m at a spot in my life where I feel like my age and my gender are against me. I also have fibromyalgia and have slowed down quite a bit over the last year. I don’t really want to move on to another job, even if such a thing were possible. I do want to feel more confident and not so ready to accept another person’s perception of me as my own truth.
Thank you – d
Diane K. Sunde
I’m so glad you found my show and that it resonates with you – welcome to the #BeMoreMovement! 🙂 I love connecting with my podcast listeners and am thrilled to have received an email from you! 🙂 I think you’ll love the Emerge Experience (the 7 day program), you can enroll at www.trishblackwell.com/emerge and honestly, if you do it and don’t grow from it and love it, I honor my guarantee. I want people to know that they can invest in themselves and that it will be worthwhile, and if it isn’t, I honor that!
Your share about how you feel like you are being perceived at work resonates with me – and I love that you already pointed to the truth that you are the one in control of your own truth. Keep investing in yourself, in exercising your mind and in choosing your attitude and I think you will be surprised to see how differently your co-workers start to perceive and receive you. The fact that you’re a #BeMore-er tells me you are already investing in yourself and are committed to personal growth — don’t underestimate the value this will have on your work, on your happiness and on your life. I honestly think that the next six years of your working life will be six of your best years!
Mucho love to you!
I started this confidence coaching journey because originally I wanted to help people find freedom from body image issues – I wanted to share strategies on how to learn how to have body confidence; now, this has obviously morphed into more than that, but I have a heart for my core … body confidence.
For a limited time, until I reach 2000 copies given away of my book, I’ve pulled it from sales and am offering it to you, my tribe, because I love you and because I know that this book can change the way you feel about yourself and your body!
Get your copy at www.trishblackwell.com/ilovemybody