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I’ve been on a life journey since losing my mom in May 2013 to Ovarian Cancer. I remember thinking the grief I felt that day would be with me forever, leaving me to feel the heaviness of sorrow from that day forward. I had 3 young girls to take care of and I was not going to let this huge loss be my breaking point. My children needed me. I had to “show up.” I had to be brave. I had to be courageous despite feeling like I was crumbling into a pile of sand. The journey was rocky but moment by moment life went on.

In January 2014, I realized my marriage was over. After 10 years, I realized that all that we invested was no longer enough. Our paths were no longer intertwined; our lives were not supporting the authentic people we were destined to become. This moment in time was extremely scary. I adored my children, and could not fathom spending time apart from them as I knew a divorce would inevitably create with split custody. I had to make a decision. Do I stay to keep the family intact or do I leave, allowing myself to experience vulnerabilities far greater than I dreamed possible?  I had to muster courage in the face of fear and reach deep inside my core in search of the answer. I had to stand tall when I felt knocked over and do what I felt was best for our family. I am now divorced and life is very different. However, our new normal is really good.

Little did I know that these two events were life-defining moments.  They opened a door that revealed who I was. At 40, I thought I knew that answer but I only knew the person I showed the world. I wore a cape to protect and hide the pain I felt from the loss of a parent and marriage. That superhero cape gave me control of my world as others saw it, even when it felt like it was spinning out of control on the inside. It kept me safe and hid my raw feelings of pain and fear. I began to realize though that living this way…pretending to be fine on the outside…led to feeling really lonely on the inside. I started opening up to close friends and family and as I did, I realized that all people had these same feelings. Life is beautiful but it is also brutal.

In my search for discovering myself, I slowly began to peel away that cape. I revealed vulnerabilities that made me feel ashamed. I waited for people to walk away, but they didn’t. They opened their hearts to me and embraced me fully. This encouraged me to keep peeling away my capes. In doing so, I experienced peace, dignity, and deep friendships. I learned that it was okay to reveal who I was wholeheartedly. The “real me” began to emerge and I embraced moments when I could tap into that person and learn more. My life mission evolved and I now have the honor of helping to inspire others who wish to do the same. If you are interested in a free strategy session to learn more, please visit my website at www.kristinswarcheck.com.

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