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Strength, Courage, and Transformation
By Wendy Gladney
Published December 23, 2021

 

 

 

Wendy Gladney (File photo)

 

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I once read that we will be the same person in five years as we are today except for the people we meet and the books we read. Interesting enough about five years ago I met a young man named Jesse, I met him through his girlfriend (soon to become his wife) Marqueta, someone who had worked with me and my family for many years.  Jesse first appeared to be distant and aloof, but as time passed, we got to know one another better and I grew to respect and admire him.  Jesse was not only helpful and kind to me but I discovered he had a true heart of gold that cared about others and would always do what he could to lend a helping hand.  Unfortunately, he recently passed away and my mom and I attended his homegoing service.  When I was talking to my mom, she shared with me all of the kind things he also did for her, as well as my sister, Sarah.

I wanted to write about Jesse because the more I learned about him the more I came to understand that his life was not always easy, and he had to demonstrate strength and courage in order to transform his life and leave a positive legacy for his family and loved ones. By realizing his early choices in life did not determine or dictate his fate he was able to become the man he wanted to be. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, and uncle.  He enjoyed spending time with family; always showing up whenever needed. He became a leader that impacted the lives of many people, and he will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and everyone that knew him.

Making a transformation in one’s life is not always easy. Even when we want to or know that we should.  My husband says that we get our values from our teachers, preachers, parents, and friends. What are your life values and how are they helping you make good decisions and developing good habits? Sometimes, the chains of habit are often too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. Therefore, it is important and we must be careful and cautious about our habits, who we spend time with and what choices we make. Having the strength and courage to transform one’s life is not easy, but possible.

As we close out another year and as we continue to navigate the different strains and variants of this pandemic, now is a good time for us to take a serious look at our lives and question if there is anything different, we need to be doing. There are a couple of times a year I try to stop and do some real reflection to make sure I am on the straight and narrow with my life.  One is my birthday, and the other is at the end of each calendar year. During this time of reflection and introspection I ask myself what do I need to stop, start or change. What do I want more of in my life and what do I want less of?  Who in my life is a wind in my sail or an anchor on my tail?

Time is short and each day I keep hearing about another friend, colleague, or loved one that has made their transition. Stop putting off what you know needs to be done today.  Take the initiative to leave a positive legacy for your family by having the strength and courage to do what you need to do today. Strength is not measured by our physical capacity but rather from our will to keep going when we want to quit. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquest of fear. Change is inevitable but transformation is a choice. Choose to have a better life for yourself.

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.

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