Ever have one defining moment that changes your life trajectory?
During the first week of sixth grade, the teacher called me to his desk to have a personal conversation. In a soft voice, he asked why my assignment had not been turned in. Casually, I said we spent all weekend cleaning out my father’s house. The teacher maintained a calm composure yet was perplexed about what that meant. He paused seeing I was formulating another thought in my head. Then, I said. My Dad died over the summer and we’re preparing to sell his house. The teacher with a sympathetic face holding back emotion stated in a kind voice, turn in the assignment when you can. I shook my head in acknowledgment.
This girl, introverted and quiet lost her daddy, the one who hugged her took her on field trips, and played in the park. At age 11, with zero coping skills, and hormones changing, I had no clue what happened. In six short weeks, inoperable lung cancer took my Dad’s life. He was a smoker and only 49.
Fast a decade later, my curiosity for why certain people died from cigarette smoking while others did not pique my intellect to start a career in science, medicine, and the public health world.
In my early 20’s, I held great contempt for anyone that smoked. The expletives came out of my mouth, “don’t you know what you’re doing to your body”, and “do you know how this affects others in your world.” Because somehow, only my view mattered. I saw no other perspective but my own. As the years continued, I realized not everyone who smoked died from lung cancer. What a concept and aha moment! How often have you ever held one viewpoint to only realize there was a completely another perspective available? Or, even many perspectives?
Due to my disgust with cigarettes, the thought of ever smoking pot, or engaging in other drugs never even crossed my mind. The opportunities presented themselves frequently, yet saying “no” was as easy as water dripping off the leaves during a thunderstorm. Only later, did I realize the loss of my father likely saved me from dangerous, potential drug addictions and people that could have dragged me into a gutter life? Somehow yet still not clearly understood, the early loss, gave me a set of learnings and tools that vitality changed my life. I learned and choose what not to engage in.
Experiencing loss and grief early in life gave me many valuable experiences. These are only a few. This major event, while initially tragic, became a jumping-off point to explore many dimensions of life, career, and how the world interacts. When my perspective changed, this became a learning opportunity to further investigate. Learn more. What else did I not know?
With each passing year and decade, I continue to learn and now coach, teach, and train around these newly discovered concepts. As any situation in life can knock us off kilter, the opportunity to learn, integrate and then implement a new way of being and approach to life and relationships makes us better humans.
What stories in your life are you still holding on to? What lessons require integration not only awareness?
Yes, life can give us some harsh blows. When you’re at peace with every rough patch of life, touchy conversation, bad job, and failed partnership, you become the diamond in the rock. Honor all that you’ve been through. Forgive yourself for slipping up. The past few years have been a wake-up call. The deep introspection bears immediate dividends.
What trajectory do you want your future to head in?
What are you aiming for?
Is it time for a pivot?
This is why my life has become dedicated to identifying, process, and releasing the root causes of trauma and sharing greater perspectives for which to live, work, and build communities. From here, all relationships and situations whether personal or professional blossom into a more fruitful future bearing wisdom for all.
Wishing you an abundant, joyful, and prosperous day!
Chief Energy Officer
© 2022. Lora Polowczuk. All Rights Reserved.
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