I have not shared this with many people. In fact, I’ve kept it a secret from many who know me and now I’m sharing it with the world. So, yes, this is a bit raw, even for me. Fourteen years ago today, I was homeless on Christmas Eve. I slept in my car in a grocery store parking lot. I remember thinking to myself that this was my lowest point. Even through today as I look back, that was the lowest point in my life. There it is. It’s out. It is a still hard for me to write this, even now.
So why did things look so differently? At this time, many years ago, I was attending college and working towards my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I had been living with my family. Then a week before that Christmas Eve, I was physically assaulted by my brother who had serious drug problem. Understandably, I felt I needed to call the police, but because my family was still in denial about my brother’s drug addiction and because they saw it as private, a “family matter”, I was the one who was told to move out.
Although my experience with homelessness was short-lived, it was nevertheless an adversity that has made me the person I am today. The experience of the assault itself, the deep sadness from a family rift and rejection, sleeping on the on the floor of my office or in my car, or on my boyfriend’s parents’ couch as well. The fact that it happened during the holiday season made the whole thing seem that much harder.
So much has happened in those fourteen years, forgiveness for my family and indeed I was privileged to be the one accompanied my brother when he finally sought treatment. So even the trauma of the assault has long since been resolved and my brother finally sought treatment. My story is not about a family drama, or shame or vulnerability, but how it is possible to overcome adversity.
Also, when I remember that Christmas Eve night so vividly, it’s not the homelessness or the family stuff that has influenced who I am now. It is my resilience, a trait I believe we all can find within ourselves.
As a successful entrepreneur, wife and mother, my life is vastly different from that homeless struggling college student. But I turned it around step by step and piece by piece, finding a place to live, paying my bills, completing my education, buying my own homes, travelling the world. And I have done so with resolve – resilience.
This is why I believe in my heart of hearts that anyone can turn around their life. And it is why I believe that success is not necessarily one big step but a bunch of little steps in the direction of your dreams.
For those struggling with hardships this holiday season, keep your chin up and continue to move forward. For those wanting to live the life of your dreams, it can and will happen when you decide to put yourself on the path to success step-by-step. I know you can and I believe in you. I did it and so can you.
What struggles are you facing right now? What can you do right now to start to overcome them? What is your first step?
What are you grateful for in your life? Or, what adversity have you overcome that you are grateful for in your own life?
I always encourage people to remember where you have been, look at where you are in the present moment, and then establish a vision for where you want to go. You’ve come so far from where you used to be. Honor that place and where you are right now. Be grateful for your journey as it teaches you the most valuable of lessons even through the difficult times.
On this Christmas Eve, I wish you all the blessings of the world. Additionally, I’m grateful for this space in the now and for the lessons I have learned on my own journey so that I can share them with you. Whatever is going on with you now, don’t give up, continue to move forward and believe in yourself.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to you and yours!
In love and light,