In the very moment we speak with honesty, embrace vulnerability and take hold of the courage to embark upon the unknown – we allow a future filled with endless possibilities to unfold before us.

This is the moment that the Universe works its magic. This is the moment that manifestation happens.

Fear has the power to stop us dead in our tracks, blocking the Universe’s ability to work its magic in our lives.

I’ve spoken many phrases to describe 2020: “I’ve got this”, “I’ve seen worse”, “This is a time of reckoning”, “WTF”, “Is it over yet”, “No one will exit this year unscathed” and best yet, “I can choose what to make of this year, but one thing is for sure: it will not defeat me.”

Pain and heartache have the power to make us question everything we hold dear. Fear, on the other hand, has the power to stop us dead in our tracks, and when we stop, the Universe can’t work its magic any longer. When we stop, we give up control and allow the darkness, sorrow and fear to run the show. Once we give ourselves over to the darkness, there’s no way of knowing when we’ll have the strength to take our power back.

I can come out of the closet and declare myself a queer woman, an ex-Mormon, a civil-rights activist, a trauma advocate, or any other number of things….but if I’m failing to live an authentic life…if I’m hiding parts of myself from the people I love, I’m really only passing notes through the space between the door and the floor. In order to see the beauty of this existence we call life we must find the courage to fully come out of the shadows and live a raw, messy, gorgeous life full of errors and grace.

In order to see the beauty of this existence we call life, we must find the courage to fully come out of the shadows and live a raw, messy, gorgeous life full of errors and grace.

Nikki Jensen

The truth is that when massive upheavals occur, as they have this year in the lives of everyone, we are forced to look inward and search for meaning amongst the wreckage of our lives. Time has slowed to a crawl this year, and with that slowing we have been given the opportunity to examine the nitty gritty details of our lives; we’ve been allowed the time to identify if we’re happy, or not, if we need to make adjustments, and what those adjustments should be.

Where has your focus gone? Has it landed on problems that you have no control over? In my own life I have done this before, and subsequently ended up spinning my wheels in circumstances that put me in places that I didn’t need to waste my time, as doing so simply took me away from the people that I loved. It takes emotional maturity to be able to step back, take a deep breath, and then look at what’s in front of you and acknowledge that you really can’t do anything about it.

This past July my 14 year old daughter was diagnosed positive for COVID-19. This Dx required me to take time off of work….I had no idea how much work having a COVID-Positive patient it takes! SO much work! Sanitize, make sure they have what they need, sanitize, etc….. This daughter has also had Type 1 Diabetes since she was 4 years old. And she has the best attitude.

When I looked around at my life in that moment: myself and my partner at the time were both working from home, teenagers were struggling, the world was in disarray… stress was high! And yet, my daughter had the best attitude. And so I chose to follow her example. I approached the situation with a good attitude and it made the biggest difference. How often it is that children set the example for the parents. I am forever grateful to her for showing me the way in that moment. Her strength became my strength and my strength became hers. As it should be in a family.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

Granted, life got harder after that and hasn’t let up…but I work every day to keep my attitude in check. There are simply some days that are better than others, and that’s okay. At this point my attitude is where it’s going to stay:

  • Family of origin with generational abuse. Full disconnection for the past 7 years. My choice: no regret. Cycle broken. CHECK.
  • Divorce from a marriage with domestic violence. Survive to thrive.
  • Channel both experiences into a successful trauma advocacy for over 10 years.
  • Years of struggle to overcome PTSD and a lifetime of feeling less than capable of doing more than being a stay-at-home Mom. Status: working on it.
  • Formal resignation from the LDS Church after my trauma advocacy led me into contact with countless victims of sexual abuse by LDS Leaders and a full understanding of the practice of forcing victims to sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • Started school at WGU
  • Survivor of 2020 – impact: 4 struggling teenagers, broken hearts, failed engagement, moved to SLC to start new life.
  • Lived in SLC house in Hampton Ave for 3 months under shady Landlords, moved to new house in Emigration Canyon.
  • Breath deep. It’s all working out! Life is a grand adventure!

Throughout all of this, one underlying factor remains: How I choose to see it and what I choose to do with the information. And as the motivating factor for almost all actions is that of love, (not having it but wanting it, fear of losing it, a breakup, divorce, rocky marriage, new love…you understand my point.) I will leave you with this tidbit I found to day. It’s something I’m working on. Maybe you are too:

The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears.

Erich Fromm – The Art of Loving
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