I was listening to a podcast with Brene Brown the other day and was struck by what she shared from her interviews with people who’ve suffered grief from terrible losses, such as the loss of a child. Brene shared that we often feel that when we’re sitting across from someone who has lost a child, we hesitate to speak of the joys our children bring us, because we don’t want to make them feel worse. But when we do this, what we’re actually communicating is that we don’t want to share about our own joys, because we don’t want to hear about, or aren’t prepared to hold space for, their pain. What people who’ve suffered tremendous loss actually want to hear is that we’re grateful for the joys in our lives. That we cherish our good fortune, because we truly understand that we are blessed and that not everyone is fortunate in the way that we are.

I have been a fortunate person all of my life. I also have suffered losses. But I think the greatest loss of all has been a loss of perspective. A loss of perspective that came from a loss of belief in myself and belief in a loving, guiding Spirit.

We all experience loss. It’s part of being alive. But we have a choice in the story we tell ourselves about that loss. We have a choice in the way we go about making meaning out of grief—whether we are grieving a departed love one, the end of a relationship, career, or way of life.

In the course of the past decade our so, I have chosen to follow my heart and walk away from a promising career as a scientist and an engagement. I have courageously ventured into the unknown world of business, coaching, healing arts, and teaching as a single thirty-something woman.

And though I have made these choices freely and boldly, I have been like a house divided, my mind following my heart grudgingly and shouting warnings that at times, drowned out the voice of my heart.

My mind has told me a story that my meandering path is a path that makes me less than others, peers who have achieved more in their young lives. She has told me that I have not fully realized my potential because Spirit holds me as less than worthy. And I have, at times, believed her.

Believing her stories of victim hood has been a handicap to my own happiness. And it has created a loss of perspective that has dishonored my incredible good fortune. She has hijacked my gratitude.

I’ve come to realize that my life is, truly, perfect exactly as it is. I’m supported in all the ways I need support. My responsibilities and commitments match my desires and capacities. My struggles propel my growth. My growth paves the way for my destiny.

My attitude of gratitude anchors me in the joy of my present moment. My fearful mind can take a backseat to my heart. The trees and the flowers, the leaves and the cactus, the animals and the stars can sing to me their song of love and I can feel the pulse of life in me that resonates with them and with all that is.  I am free to be grateful.

~ Emily Glidden

This will be my last post as a contributing member of the Women Move it Forward blog.  I have loved my time as a member of this group–our connection, the forum to explore myself as a writer and the opportunity to interact with readers.  Thank you to all the writers and readers.  May you all continue to move forward, staying true to yourselves and allowing your unfolding evolution.