It was around 3:00 am on a rainy night in Chicago that I realized I didn’t know who I was. The year was 2007. Raindrops pounded my windshield in the darkness as I navigated the downtown streets, looking for my then-fiancé, who battled a drug and drinking problem. He hadn’t come home that night and he had called from a club where he had “regrettably” met up with his dealer. He said he was sorry and he wouldn’t ever let it happen again. He always said that.
I was trapped in an abusive relationship, and I didn’t know how I had gotten there. I simply was never that kind of girl. He had been my first love and he swept me off my feet. I fell hard, losing every piece of myself along the way to conform to the person he wanted me to be.
I can still see the windshield wipers moving like a pendulum, back and forth, exasperating the uneasiness I felt inside. It was at that moment, that dark night at 3:00 am on North Avenue I knew that I had lost myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I didn’t know why I was driving around in the dark, looking for someone who always ended up hurting me more. I kept driving, but knew that I had a problem. My problem was that in believing the lies he had told me, I had lost my self-dignity, self-respect and myself. He had told me I would be nothing without him, and I believed him.
When I finally left him a few months later, I felt empty. I had spent the past two years of my life being the person he had wanted and told me to be and I had lost any semblance of an idea about who I was. I didn’t even know what I liked to do; I only knew what we had liked to do, and to be honest, I don’t even know if I had liked that.
I did know one thing though: I knew that to keep on living I had to change something.
The change I made was small, yet profound. I decided that I needed to find out who I was again. I started exploring my likes and my dislikes and I started venturing out emotionally to experience bits and pieces of life again. I had to figure out what I loved about life again, from the smallest details to the largest ones, and so I started compiling a list.
As a result of this healing process, I rediscovered who I am. I found my personal power and life became beautiful again. I was able to authentically engage and participate in life because I wanted to, not because I was going through the motions for someone else’s sake. Learning how to love life again took me off of the sidelines of life and put me back into the game. Knowing what I love to do and what I love about life has empowered me to feel fully alive, to pursue my potential and to follow my passion to make a difference in this world. Never underestimate the power of knowing who you are and what makes you, you.
So, I ask you today, what is it that you love to do?
I ask because I want to help you become more of who you are. To become “more you” you must first know what you love, because it what we love in our hearts that really makes up the core of who we are. I’m not asking what you do with your family, or what you have always done; I’m asking what you absolutely love to do.
What is it that makes your soul smile?
What are the things about life that so mesmerize your imagination and heart that you can lose yourself in them?
You must know what you love in life in order to ever arrive at a place where you can fully engage in life. If you don’t know what you love about life, you will never have the freedom to express your most authentic self by participating in the things about life that make you tick.
I believe a life of happiness is attainable for everyone; you must simply have the right perspective. You must see the world for what it really is in order to be able to joyfully experience it, meaning that you must know what you love, celebrate that and then live it out.
It has taken me years to figure out who I am, and I continue to do so on a daily basis. So I encourage you to dig, explore, and taste and see that life is good. Know that the interests you have are unique to you, and you have them for a reason. Celebrate what it is that makes you, you. I encourage you to create a list of things you love about life. Make your list and keep adding to it. Below is mine to help get you started:
- I love to learn.
- I love to read.
- I love to write.
- I love to run.
- I love to snowboard.
- I love to surf.
- I love to exercise.
- I love to laugh.
- I love to drink wine.
- I love to drink coffee.
- I love beautiful photographs.
- I love type font.
- I love to travel.
- I love words.
- I love to speak other languages.
- I love to be in the mountains.
- I love to be by the ocean.
- I love taking walks.
- I love rocking chairs.
- I love sunrises.
- I love the color pink.
- I love challenges.
- I love contests.
- I love live sporting events.
- I love thunderstorms
- I love spending time with my husband.
- I love Jesus.
Do more of what you love in life by first knowing what it is you love. Create your own list and then really focus on savoring those things that made the list. Put your heart in the game. Let yourself really feel and really enjoy the simple things that make life so beautiful in your experience.
The more we love, the more love we have. Love is a wondrous thing. It is contagious and it is self-compounding, meaning that you more you love the more love you have to give.
Don’t underestimate the power of love in the way you experience even the smallest of details about life. I want to help you tap even deeper into that power so that you can love deeply and double your happiness in life. To help you do so I have created a new video coaching series, free to you, that will coach you through my tips on leveraging love to increase your confidence and happiness in the day-to-day of life.
It’s your time to step outside of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Start by watching the videos. In the video series you will dive deeper in love with the potential that life holds for you as you:
- Learn how to write your life backwards, starting with your passion and dreams first
- Get strategies on how to break the cycle of limitations (negativity, doubt, fear) that have held you back from living life to the fullest
- Be empowered to win more happiness in your life by engaging your heart proactively in the things in life that make your heart sing