You are not alone

The last month or so has been a complete whirlwind. I feel like I have been stuck in the middle of a tornado, literally like I was in the eye and everything around me was out of control. It is maddening, frustrating, upsetting, overwhelming and downright exasperating. There have been days that I cannot look past the next five minutes. I have cried more in the last month then I can remember crying in years.

Why I am I telling you this? Because everyone needs to know they are not alone. If reading this resonates with where you are, where you have been or if you remember reading it 6 months from now, you will know you are not the only one who has been there. Sometimes something as simple as knowing you are not alone is the very thing that can keep you going and reignite the hope in your soul.

We all go through things, even people who look like they have it all together all of the time. I am telling you – no one has it together all of the time. Nobody. Period. Everyone reacts and handles life differently. Everyone is fighting their own battles. There is often a stigma attached to having a hard time or not quite knowing how you can get through another storm. That stigma sucks and it brings us down. It makes us feel guilty for not having all the answers or breaking down with an ugly cry.

The truth is: life is a journey. It is meant to be experienced and lived. With that comes the terrain that will challenge us, break us, build us up, show us peace and everything in between. Life is not always unicorns, rainbows and sparkly fabulousness and that is okay. Really, it is okay. Learn from the terrain the journey puts in front of you. Choose to live from a place of gratitude, hope, joy and peace. Those four things can help you navigate any storm thrown your way.

I would not survive when life throws me into the tornado if it were not for a few things (in addition to choosing to live my life from a place of gratitude, hope, joy and peace). I want to share those things with you.

  • My faith. For me that is God, angels and the Universe.
  • Daily mindset work (meditation, affirmations, prayer and yoga/exercise). The mind, body and soul connection is so powerful.
  • Looking for opportunity within the chaos. Opportunities for grace, for growth, for insight, for understanding, to see the miracles in every day, to dive deeper with myself. There is so much opportunity in chaos if you are open to it.
  • My kids. They give me permission to be silly, play a game, run around outside, read together, sing and dance around the house and more. I relax with them and enjoy being present in their space. It puts things into a different perspective. I recognize just how significant the blessing of being their mother is every day.
  • My tribe. I am talking about my family and girlfriends who always have my back, accept and love all of me unconditionally, know how to support me through times when I don’t know how to ask for help and give me the space I need without leaving me or invading my space when they see it is time. These are the people who always make sure I know I am not alone.
  • Helping others. No matter what the tornado throws at me, I am always aware of how blessed I am despite it all. Helping others is a part of what makes me who I am. It drives my passion and purpose in life and in times of chaos, keeps me grounded. Nothing you are feeling or going through can get worse by helping someone else, but so much can be gained on both sides.
  • Self-care. This could be a whole other blog post. I try but I am not always good at it even though I know how important it is. My friends who are reading this are probably laughing because there are times I can be on fire in this area and other times I forget what self-care even means. The bottom line is to do your best to keep self-care in the mix and get comfortable with it. It makes a world of difference. Even taking 10 minutes to sit quietly with a cup of tea in the middle of the storm can turn your day completely around or at least lets you recharge to continue pushing forward.

Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Know that even the strongest of people have weak moments and need support. Know you not alone. Believe in the rainbows after the storms.

Taralee A. O’Malley-Hurff is an educator, a philanthropist and a published author. Her book, 100 Things To Do Before You Are 10, is the go to resource for family bonding and adventure. Taralee has passionately contributed to the fields of special education and early childhood education since 1998, meeting her students as needed in the home or in school. She excels at recognizing each child’s unique gift and successfully ignites their love of learning through exploration, discovery and play. It is through this work that Inspired Education was born. As a philanthropist, Taralee currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Regional New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative. This is her 6th year as a Board Member. Taralee enjoys family life in Southern New Jersey with her husband and three children.

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