Sometimes all we need to do is weather the storm. In this case, it was a literal storm...
While I always attempt to write from my heart, this may be the rawest sample you’ve seen yet. It’s Friday morning and I am sitting on my couch, yesterday’s hairdo pulled back in a pony tail, clothes covered in dog fur, and I honestly have no idea what this article is going to be about. I haven’t been able to think clearly since yesterday afternoon.
I had the pleasure of meeting several of you at the local women’s expo in Wyomissing, PA, yesterday. It started out as a beautiful day that became even more enjoyable for me as my lecture was ending. And that’s when all of the excitement began.
As I was closing my workshop, the room became dark and the incredible banging started. At first, we cracked jokes, thinking that it was just a passing storm, but we soon realized it was not just any storm.
I’m not going to play this up like it was a huge devastation, because in the grand scheme of things, it was not. But, it was incredibly emotional. Tears began to run down women’s faces as they realized their cars were smashed, and some even demolished, from the hail.
As a coach, my first reaction was to stay calm and even try to help a few that were upset about their vehicle. After all, they are only cars. I felt that way, until I went out to check on my truck.
With my positive mindset, I said a prayer as an extra precaution, and confidently walked through the mounds of hail to confirm my vehicle was fine. I drive a Nissan Titan for goodness sake, I didn’t think a storm could do anything to that beast. I was wrong. The windshield was cracked in many places, there were holes here and there, lights were smashed, water was leaking inside, and the entire surface was covered in dents. My heart sank and my eyes filled. As soon as I saw my truck in that beat up state, I broke. I felt like a mother who led her baby into dangerous territory. I felt robbed. I was reminded at that moment how many lessons I preach every day that I have yet to learn myself.
As I looked at the other cars, I saw just cars. When I looked at my truck, I saw everything that it means to me. Not only has it been my favorite vehicle to drive for the past 10 years, and the first brand new car I ever purchased for myself, but it was there for me when I needed it most.
Many of you know my story and why I became a coach. It was all centered around tragedy — specifically, losing a close friend. When he passed, nothing could console me. After some time, I decided to do all I could to enjoy my life and my first decision was to buy a brand new car.
The day I sat in that Titan, I turned the key for my first test drive, and the song “Bad to the Bone” blasted from the speakers. I kid you not - it could’ve been a scene in a movie. I knew at that moment, I had one of the first signs from my friend. He was telling me to go for it. That truck was bad-ass. And what petite, 5-foot nothing, little girl wouldn’t want a huge pick-up truck?
That moment was a huge pivot for me in the way I started to see the world. It taught me to pay closer attention to the “coincidences” in my life. It boosted my faith and peeled me off the floor of the proverbial rock bottom. It was not just a truck, it was my saving grace.
That was the truck I drove to the cemetery at 3am in a crying fit. That was the truck that took me to the side of my childhood dog as she passed away. That was the truck that brought my son home from the hospital and took us on countless vacations. It was and still is, an extension of me.
After we realized the serious consequences of this storm, the skies took a turn for the worse. We were suddenly rushed to the bottom floor of the hotel. Women were running in all directions, calling to friends. Some were hysterical, not being able to get in touch with their children or their husbands to make sure they were ok. I was relieved to know my husband, son, and two dogs were safe at home, but it didn’t console me much. What if this is a tornado? What if the damage has just begun? What if something happens and I’m not with them? What if... I couldn’t even go there.
I called upon the angels, as I always do when I feel fearful. Not a second passed, when my eyes shifted and I saw hotel room 111. If you’re not familiar, 111 is a powerful number. There are many different spiritual interpretations for it, but they all break down to meaning everything is going to be ok. At that moment, I did nothing but cling to my faith. It was time to practice what I preached.
It wasn’t too long before we were told it was safe to go upstairs and figure out how to make our way home. In a sigh of relief, I realized how lucky I was. And although my truck isn’t safe to drive now, it did safely take me the few short blocks home. Others filled the parking lot and hallways, waiting for family members or tow trucks.
As I took a slow ride home, additional tears fell when I saw all of the people placing tarps over their vehicles and calling for assistance on their cell phones. I honestly cannot imagine the sorrow that people experience when a true disaster occurs. It must be tremendous.
Being the self-proclaimed queen of symbology, meaning, and purpose, I find myself questioning every aspect of this event. Why would this happen? What is the message? Where is the lesson? What have we all gained from this?
Of course, the message will be different for each person involved in Thursday’s shake-up. There is always an individual message with a common pattern that brings people together in the same place, at the same time, to undergo a similar situation.
For me, I’m clear on the personal significance of this event. I can see all of the not-so-hidden messages that apply to my life. I’m also choosing to take away several general reminders that may have become more stagnant in my mind than I had realized.
Never take anything or anyone for granted. Appreciate every beautiful person, place, and thing in your life, because it just may not be there a few minutes from now. And...even more importantly... At our core, we are all players on the same team in this game of life. We all have similar needs, similar fears, and similar dreams. It shouldn’t take a major storm or other form of loss for us to remember that and fully open ourselves up to one another.
For those of you who were affected by this storm first-hand, I pray you’ve all found your family safe and sound. I wish you abundant car-pooling and plentiful insurance claims.
May this experience enable you to see the beauty in your life even more clearly. From my heart to yours...