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In his book, Self Matters, Dr. Phil explains that each of us has ten defining moments in our lives. These moments are deep and profound and can change who we are and redirect the course of our lives. While I’ve never actually counted mine, I can easily identify the top three.
The first occurred thirty-one years ago about six weeks after my husband left me with four young children. Lost, frightened, and filled with despair, I felt I could no longer handle these burdens that were placed on me. Upon awakening one morning, I found myself surrounded by a strong Presence, one of great love and comfort, offering me hope and strength. I knew immediately I was in the Presence of God and all fear vanished. I felt renewed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I knew I would be alright because I had God with me. Fear has never returned as my companion.
After a very long estrangement from three of my adult children, one re-entered into my life. My grandson would soon turn seven and receive his First Holy Communion. For the first time in many years, my ex and I would be in close proximity with one another. At one point during Mass, we are asked to offer those around us a sign of peace which usually consists of a handshake. Knowing my ex had a great deal of disdain for me, I prayed to God as to how to handle this delicate situation. His instructions? “Treat him exactly as you treat everyone else.” I realized God was not concerned with what my ex thought about me. He cared only how I treated him. This experience clarified God’s desire for me – to do what is right by Him and not be influenced by how others feel or behave.
My third defining moment came by way of the Prayer of Mother Theresa. It gave examples of the way we live life: if others are unkind to you be kind to them anyway; if they don’t appreciate the good you do, do good anyway.” And so on. But it was the final stanza that resonated with me: “It is between you and God, not between you and them anyway.” Suddenly, I realized that my life was not about me as a mother, daughter, sister, wife, business owner or anything else. My life was about my relationship with God! I am a child of God and I am here to live in a manner pleasing to Him. Living life on my terms is ego-centered and laden with mistakes, bad choices, pain, and suffering. But if I follow God’s Way, follow His direction, then every choice I make is morally right and I live a life of self-respect, satisfaction, immense joy, and inner peace.
Three moments that redefined who I am and how I live my life. I wonder what would happen if I discovered the other seven?
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