16998054_608183306045913_54047226451339335_nIt’s Friday and am I so happy. It’s been a busy week for me and now it’s time to rest and relax for a day or so. I’m going to take a long detox bath and read a book, then I’m going to fix me something tasty to eat and simply be. What about you? How do you relax and refresh?

As women, we seem to be tossed all over the place wearing many hats. But recently I had another defining moment that changed my life and how I live my life. I want to share it with you and hope that you can find some value here. Is that okay with you? So, here goes…

Many of you don’t know that over the past 2 years, my family members have had all sorts of illnesses. My mother was ill, my father (step-dad) had heart surgery, both my brothers were ill with one in the hospital for almost 4 months. I was running trying to take care of everyone, still operating my business, traveling, being mom to our 5 adult children and grandmother to 5 grandchildren…2 of which were born last year…one very early at 2lbs.10 ozs.  This has been a tough two years for my family because these were some very serious illnesses. I was facing losing my mom, my dad, and both of my brothers. I have no sisters. But through it all, I learned some very valuable lessons that I want to share with you.

1. I don’t have to do it all. In my attempt to be there for everyone, I carried a hidden belief that I was the only one in the family who could talk the the doctors and who could take care of everyone. This belief had me doing things that others in my family could do. They didn’t because I was there. Then one day I had this question pop into my head, “What would they do if you were dead?” All of a sudden, I answered out load, “They would find a way.” I realized in that moment that I could step back and allow others in the family to take the lead. I could serve as a support. Now because both of my brothers were down ill, I did need to take the lead with my parents. But I also solicited the help from my adult children and a good friend of mine who is a retired nurse and whom my parents trust. This took a huge burden off me, knowing that I didn’t have to be there every time. That there were others who were capable and even willing to help. I didn’t have to do it all. In doing so, I was teaching others how to do it without alway calling me first.

2. I Stop betraying my truth. There were days when I would push myself hard in my business and then run off to the hospital totally exhausted. Those were the days that I needed to stay home. Why? Because I served no real purpose if I was tired. I learned that it was okay for me not show up for them because I needed to show up for myself first. Now this was difficult at first because I didn’t want to appear as if I didn’t care. Yet, when we betray our truth in order to not betray someone else’s truth…that’s the biggest betrayal of all. The days that I showed up and didn’t want to be there were the days I was not living my truth. I learned to live my truth in every situation.

3. Let Love Always Lead. As I was facing the unthinkable that my family members would not recover, I realized that I had not left anything unsaid. I had a brother to die over 17 years ago and I know that I didn’t tell him that I love him enough. I learned to say everything that I needed to say to my love ones while I can. The doctors advised me to make sure my parent’s paper work was in order such as wills and powers of attorney. My attorney came out to my parent’s house to go over things, and while I sat there at the table, my heart began to break. I knew in that moment that one day the unthinkable was going to happen and that I had a short window to love more. So regardless of what is going on in my life, in my business, I will always allow love to lead. I will look for every opportunity to share love. I will call them and visit regularly. I no longer fill every moment of my week with work. If I’m not traveling, my weekends remain committed to the people I love. It has been made a huge difference in our lives.

I realize that my entire family do lean on me. I’m the baby of the family. My brothers are 12 and 14 years my senior, yet they look to their little sister for approval on things…the funny thing is…so do their wives. But they are the best brothers and sister in laws in the world. I love them and try every chance I can to show them. My parents are the world’s best parents and grandparents. My husband reminds me daily to cherish the time I have with them. His parents have gone on. I realize that in all of the hats I wear, I must be sure to save a hat for myself. Because when I save the hat for myself, I can better serve those who need my hat. This is what I know for sure.

What about you? What did you take away from this article?