Growing up, my life was like Little House on the Prairie: country farm, loving family. I was very happy - and very sheltered. When I was twelve years old, my dad wanted me to go to a self-defense class – hoping I’d learn ways to protect myself. I know he had good intentions, but at the time, I wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted to play with the animals in the barnyard, read a good book, and run barefoot in the meadow.
As I grew up, I met a charming and gorgeously handsome man – we married young, and given my idyllic upbringing, I was completely unprepared for what happened next. What happened next was definitely not Little House on the Prairie.
I discovered that my husband had a mental illness. Untreated, it made him unpredictable and explosive. With each outburst, my self-esteem tanked and I began to pull back from my friends and family. My intuition screamed at me to run, but I stayed because I thought I loved him and I thought I could fix him.
One day, when I was pregnant with our second baby, I found him unconscious on the bathroom floor after he’d attempted suicide. From down the hall, I heard my 3-year old singing joyfully. Suddenly everything went still.
Silent. Breathe. . . just breathe, Lila, I reminded myself.
The contradictions in my life had climaxed and along with it the realization that his problems were not my responsibility. It was not up to me to “fix” him. He had to choose to fix himself and he wasn’t making that choice. I had to protect my children and take care of myself. So, I left him but was emotionally shattered.
I had to rebuild my life. I had to rebuild myself.
So, I turned to martial arts as a form of self-therapy. Kick by kick, punch by punch, I became more aware of my surroundings and my physical power. As I focused my anger and pain in a positive direction, something strange started to happen. I thought maybe, just maybe, I do have value.
Eventually, I happily re-married and life was full of new hope.
There’s nothing easy about blending a family, and now here I was a twenty-four-year-old mom with two kids under the age of four, juggling work, who is suddenly also mothering a teenager. The challenges hit and they hit hard. At times I felt emotionally spent and pulled in a thousand directions. Sometimes I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. Then the negative mind-chatter struck again. “I’m a failure” “I’m not good enough” “I’m not worth it”.
So, I kicked more. I punched more. And, I began to study Frequency Energy Medicine™. This energy training heightened my awareness and in time, our “blended family” was mixing – successfully, and with love. And, over months and years, I started to think about myself differently.
I do have value. I have power. I have purpose.
Ten years later, I was loving life. I just released my fist book, our martial arts school was booming, and the kids were happy. Life was good. Then I got Lyme Disease.
I suddenly gained 60 pounds. Severe fatigue, joint aches, fevers and mass inflammation had doctors running all sorts of inconclusive tests. When it started to affect my brain, I could no longer spell my name. Teaching martial arts and daily life routines became a relentless challenge. This was a new enemy. Fear. Frustration. Loneliness. Pain. Self-doubt. Depression. It was me fighting against myself. Literally my body was attacking itself. But I had to fight. I had to. I still had two children living at home to take care of.
Nutrition became a vital part of my defense and I pulled from both my martial arts and energy medicine training. I gained a new level of awareness – valuing and appreciating my mind, body, and spirit. I looked fear right in the eye. I gave it my best fight. It was the toughest sparring match I’ve ever fought – and I won.
I still deal with Lyme Disease, have run ins with my ex, and deal with situations that challenge my self-belief, and bring up fear. But you know what? Fear and challenges will always be part of your lives and mine.
You deserve to live it, well. With strength. With passion and purpose. With your quiet mind and warrior spirit.
You don’t have to be ready. You just have to be willing.