There are two moments that are suspended in time, frozen in a freeze-frame of my psyche, unable to be shaken away. They are terrifying moments, my worst nightmares coming true, but I don’t ever want to lose their memory and so even though they haunt me, they flood my heart with purpose. It isn’t an easy exchange, but it one I will never trade in for anything in the world because these two teeny moments have taught me how to live in this world. Like actually live, and thrive, just not make it through the day and survive. Thanks to these moments, the worst two moments of my life, I am tasting the best moments of my life with a more refined palette, an insatiable one.
I’m talking about near-death-moments. They are frightening, and if you have never had one, count yourself lucky but also consider yourself missing out on this taste of life I am pathetically attempting to capture with my words. And that is why I share my words – for those of you who haven’t been gifted a moment like this – that you might taste and share my experience, for if you really let your mind sink into my memory, and we can create a collective, shared memory around it, you can walk away with the same emboldening lessons I have without having had to live through it. It’s a win-win. Your worst moments don’t have to be near-death moments for them to be capable of changing your life in a positive way. With the right perspective, anyone can take the worst moment of their life and gather from it an ability to live more beautifully, subsequently turning their worst moment into the start of their best. Every worst moment has buried deep within it a best moment – a taste of life hidden deep within that will add savory flavor to the rest of life.
My first dance with death came on the brink of heartbreak. I had just struggled through a terrible breakup, moved across the country and restarted my life. I felt alone, lost and like I would never find love again. On the outside I maintained a facade of happiness, but I was barely keeping it together and was emotionally void, convinced that I would never learn to trust another human being again. And then it happened. The details of the story are less important, as I have written about them many times before, so I will keep it simple here: I woke up, pinned to a strange bed, without clothes and being strangled by a man I didn’t know. I can still taste the weakness of my voice that tried to rise up to scream for help and the pleas that eventually erupted into the room upon empty ears. I was living out my darkest nightmare, but it wasn’t a dream. Death, for the first time, became real to me, and at that point I started to fight for my life. And fight I did. When I freed myself everything changed, my life would never be the same again; my life, at rock bottom, became more beautiful and valuable to me than it ever had been before. And I promised myself that I would not waste it.
The second moment that transformed how I see life was another knocking-on-death’s-door-moment, but came about much more innocently. I had been cycling with a friend on the back country roads of rural Virginia and in the span of just a few seconds everything changed. My feet stopped peacefully pedaling and I found myself skidding across the asphalt pavement on my helmet. I had been thrown off my carbon fiber bike by a large flatbed tractor trailer carrying thousands of pounds of mulch. The truck itself hadn’t hit me, but it had taken the sharp curve of the country road too quickly causing its load to topple onto me from above. A freak accident, I was hit by thousands of pounds of mulch bags and was sent flying across the road, on my head. My moment, the one I never want to let go of, was midair. I hadn’t landed on my head yet, my body hadn’t been torn up by road rash yet, and I didn’t yet know what was actually happening, but I knew my life was in the air. Time paused. The storyline of my life flashed before my eyes and thoughts of who I loved and what I didn’t want to miss out on in life popped tears into my eyes. I tasted death and though I had tears over what I would miss, I had peace over where I was going. And then I woke up in the grass on the side of the road after being unconscious. I was alive and again, I vowed to never under appreciate the gift of a moment of time ever again.
Someone recently asked me how I have the drive to wake up each day with such enthusiasm. Well, this is why. They asked me how I manage to be a mom, be a wife, be an entrepreneur, be an encourager and still be me. Well, this is why. They wanted to know how to live in such a way – how to make their life count and how to most the most of each moment. Well, this is how.
Taste and see that life is good.
Touch each day with appreciation as if it might be your last.
Take time to pursue what matter most to you, what really matters.
Then let go of everything else and just let yourself live, and live beautifully; and by that I mean damn beautifully.
I know that God has a plan and a timeline for my life and He does for yours too. He carries me and my story in the palm of His hand and I am eternally grateful for these little wakeup gifts He has imparted to me, for though the experiences carried with them much pain, they enriched the breath my body takes in ways I struggle to articulate. I choose to not live in fear about the uncontrollable in life – the maliciousness of criminals, freak accidents, terror attacks, disease ... the list could go on and on … because I know that, as long as I live as fully as I can in the present moment – that I live with love and with joy – then, no matter what might come my way, it will never steal my light from me. In fact, these unknowns propel me further in my commitment to “bring the joy” and I am determined to always make lemonade, very delicious lemonade, with the lemons that will inevitably come my way. Armed with this attitude you too can turn the worst moments of your life into your best. It’s not easy to do, but it’s worth it, I promise.
PS > Do not be discouraged if this mindset shift doesn’t come automatically to you. It took me years of study, coaching, discipline and mentorship to master how to shift my thoughts and to focus on always seeing the beauty in everything. That said, I am committed to helping you find the same freedom and joy that I have in life. I am committed to helping you turn your worst moments of life into your best moments. I am committed to helping you tap into the mental power of mindset and I would love to do that alongside you. All you need to do is join us in The College of Confidence at www.trishblackwell.com/college and we will start growing your mental mindset together. I’m here for you and The College of Confidence is set up to help you be victorious in your thought life so that you can manifest a beautiful and successful life, so come join us >>> www.trishblackwell.com/college