Trauma Forces the Hard Questions

By: Karen Sands

Do you know what it smells like for your work to burn? It’s a smoky overwhelming smell that permeates everything. You can never get it out. I can’t believe almost 15 years has passed since that day when I watched everything I owned and all my work go up in flames. Inside I was repeating a mantra, “It’s only stuff. It can be replaced. It’s only stuff. Let it go.”

Fires, natural disasters, layoffs, failed businesses, loss of loved ones. We all experience devastation in our lives, and with that devastation, a choice. Be consumed with mourning what we’ve lost, or honor that loss by moving forward with a renewed focus on what really matters.

As I rebuilt my life and my business, I found that having to reinvent everything honed my edge and reawakened the visionary inside me, the voice that had been weighed down under piles of papers and the distractions and tangents they represented. Now those piles were ash, and my mind was enlightened, my voice was free.

We are faced with choices every day, and sometimes we make the right ones, we take the risk, we listen to that voice inside telling us to leap—not because we have all the answers but because we’re asking the right questions, and we know that by doing so, we’ll be able to recognize the answers when they arise. Yet it’s one of life’s bittersweet truths that for many of us, it takes a traumatic event to force us to start asking these questions in the first place.

These aren’t easy questions to ask (and they aren’t the only questions to ask). Some are downright painful—especially when we realize there are parts of our lives, and even parts of ourselves, that we simply have to let go before we can live up to our true potential for greatness. What I refer to as our Signature Greatness DNA—that which makes us unique – our soul’s fingerprint.

Yet by letting go of everything that’s holding us back, we can move from the pain to the purpose, allowing the visionary that we all have inside to start asking the questions that will shape our future and the future of our families, our communities, our world.

Only by letting go can we join together in making a difference. Only by letting go can we grab hold of what really matters with both hands.

In the comments below I want you to share your first visionary question. Not the answer just the question. Let’s start today!

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This article was written by guest contributor Karen Sands. Karen is a blogger, journalist and author. Her focus is on women like you, or as she says the "ageless generation". Check out her website for more articles. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest