I See All of You

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence

My stress level can become so high I feel like a 25 lbs weight is resting on my chest. I have learned over this last year how to de-stress, to relax and know that I will be okay, everything eventually works out. When you are in the mist of everything, it is difficult to see past it.

In the past I was so consumed by life I fell off my life boat and into the deep dark ocean. Buried in the darkness, I couldn’t tell where the surface was, or if I was even headed in the right direction. I let the darkness take over; I was drowning.

A hand grabbed me and slowly pulled me. Of course, I tried to fight, but I was too weak. I surrendered. The hand let go, I panicked. Then another hand pulled me along. Eventually I saw light, a flicker of hope in the distance. I broke the surface with waves pounding me in each direction. Through the storm I reached out and found a life buoy. A stranger pulled me into the boat. I was back, coughing and gagging, but I was among the living again.

We all have helped someone along the storms of life. I am here today, because of a network of people who never gave up on me. You are my network.

I am thankful for that dark storm. It taught me so much about life, myself, and the compassion of others. I am so grateful for all of you, keep cheering, lifting, loving, and supporting each other. We need each other on this wonderful journey of life.

My sister has been the anchor for my boat my whole life. This last summer she went through a heavy amount of stress. I had never seen her so upset. She was the strong one. I found myself starting to panic right along with her, and then I remembered the tools I had learned during my dark storm. The universe kept telling me everything would be alright, but I wouldn’t listen.

I knew my sister would be okay. I had to shield myself from her stress. Instead I listened, offered support, lifted her up when she was down, and gave her my love. And now she is through her storm and everything is okay.

Being okay doesn’t mean things turned out how you wanted them to. The universe will decide, but you are still okay. And in my case, life didn’t turn out at all how I expected it to. Instead, I have been placed on a different path. A path I didn’t even envision. This is a path full of dreams, a path to my future.

Each week I sit in a little corner ice cream parlor. I love to read there and enjoy ice cream. In the distance I see a billboard, others see an advertisement.

I see all of you, a network of amazing woman. I appreciative all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Every week I see this ad and think of you. You are with me during my “me” time. Seeing the ad brings a smile to my face and fills my heart with happiness. Every woman deserves a great network.

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Guardian Angels

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