a 6-part series on the dimensions of wholeness …
to activate you in your life + leadership
In a moment everything shattered.
Five years of my life were taken away.
Everything I prayed for, worked for, hoped for, continued to break little by little until it was shattered completely in a matter of 48 hours. My son and then my husband were both gone.
What do you do when you are no longer a ‘mother’? No longer a ‘wife’? When you are faced with a complete loss, a shattered life, an identity that is no longer yours?
Grief consumed me. There was an emotional overload that I cannot even begin to describe.
Sitting on the floor in a circle of my closest friends, pastors, and family I was numb. I was covered in blood and tears. I remember their eyes all looking at me with deep tenderness and immense fear.
“What do you want to do, Jess?”
As basic as that question may seem, in this situation, every response my emotions, mind, and body went through felt like a ten-car pile-up on a bridge.
There were so many moving emotions and no safe space for them to go.
I had just left my home where not eight hours before, my husband and I had to say goodbye forever to our little boy, Jace. He was only four years old and suddenly became extremely ill. He passed away within 36-hours. I lost my only child. Was I still a mother?
We drove through the night back to our home. We needed to be home.
I couldn’t even prepare myself for what was coming next.
My husband who was disabled from a work accident that had caused a traumatic brain injury was preparing for his forever goodbye. I left our home where I kissed him for the final time. My husband ended his earthy life. I was a widow. Was I still a wife?
In that moment of indescribable overload, I was asked that question, ”What do you want to do, Jess?”. Something shifted in me. From that moment on, every decision I made would determine how I would survive this traumatic event, filled with grief and loss.
It would determine my success or my failure; I was the only one responsible for my life and its outcome. What did I want to do? Shut down, disappear, do whatever it took to remove the pain that consumed every fiber of my being?
Instinctively yet unknowingly, managing my emotions in that moment, changed the trajectory of my life and how I began to engage with my emotional wholeness.
Even in my deepest grief, I could make decisions. I was able to take one step forward in my darkest moment and answer that question, “What do you want to do, Jess?”
It became the first step in a long, intense journey to finding my wholeness.
Emotional wholeness is expressed in your confidence, realism, optimism, managing emotions and the ability to manage challenges.
The next years of my life were filled with transition. Through all my grief and loss, I explored and discovered my emotional wholeness pathway forward.
I found confidence in the identity I created for myself. It cannot be dependent on variables that have the potential of taking away your control. My identity was not that I was a wife or a mother. I had the gifts to share in companionship, love, and resilience.
Living and leading with wholeness is integrating every dimension of your life and fully living out your potential.
Even today as I walk the path of grief, I know that connecting and being present with each emotion is revealing something. By allowing myself to truly encounter each emotion, sit with them, and acknowledge them, I am able to set free the opportunity to truly evolve the way I respond and react in the next movement forward. It can be difficult to navigate and to decipher between emotional wholeness and the lies you have been told by the world of “how are you supposed to feel”. To many, it can feel all-consuming and seem that there is no way out.
Practicing the tools through coaching, being coached, and striving to be intentional of the call that God has for my life is my courage in action. The more I feel whole in my emotional wellbeing, the more I witness that each dimension pours over into the next.
The work you do today is directly correlated to how you live out wholeness tomorrow.
Whether it be through the trainings, my training coaches, and the correspondence with the others in this process; becoming a Spiritual Leadership Coach with Ezer + Co. has created more transformation into owning every dimension of my life.
Each day I must wake up and decide to pick up a piece of that shattered life and continue to build a new one. Some days I can pick up more than one piece. Other days I pick up the tiniest shard. But I keep picking them up. It takes diligent decisions. It takes grit.
It’s our choice every day. You and I are so much more capable than you could imagine. Grief is a (shadow) that in a moment, can come out with claws, unexpecting and unraveling your entire being in one moment.
Emotional wholeness recognizes the complexity of our humanity. It is truly transformative. Once the journey begins, the shattered pieces start to come together. It becomes more like stained glass, something more beautiful than you could have imagined.
I’m living proof.
Have some emotional work to do to increase your wholeness? Join a coaching group with a sisterhood of other women. You have choices and decisions to move you forward.
New groups are forming this year to help you take your life and leadership to a whole new level as you deliberately pursue wholeness in every dimension.