A very compelling piece of video surfaced today. The three young women who had been kidnapped and abused for so many years while locked away in a house in Cleveland spoke out publicly for the first time.
Each face and voice was unique and touching; each smile and word retrieved and honed, I suspect, at an emotional cost far greater and more painful than any you and I will ever be asked to pay. How brave to reveal themselves to the media and world. Yet, in order to move forward and rebuild their lives, how essential.
While listening and watching this piece, I found it prompted a train of thought I’ve been mulling often over the past few weeks during my relocation. The enticing if scary option to reinvent our lives again and again in the midst of transition, and the promise and danger that this challenging endeavor evokes.
The journey of rebuilding and healing for these three women will, no doubt, be a lifetime process down a bumpy, often treacherous road.
For most of us, finding ourselves experiencing any major transition thankfully offers a less dramatic but similar opportunity to change or rebuild ‘what is’ into ‘what could be’ or ‘what we always dreamed it might become.’
And while moving, especially long distance, is one example of a transition that forces us to rethink it all – which side of the bed will I sleep on, where can I find a pharmacy or dry cleaner, will the grocery carry my favorite cereal, what are the local traffic laws – marriage, divorce, serious illness, heading off to college, or traveling to a foreign country, especially a destination in which we have no knowledge of or competence in the native mores and language, will also create moments of chaos when up feels down and nothing makes sense.
Then, it’s in those moments when we find ourselves in impenetrable, deep water, unable to communicate that we need a bathroom or clean glass of water, that we discover how simple everything becomes. All frills are meaningless if our basic needs cannot be met.
It’s also at moments like these that we have the chance to uncover new internal strength and resourcefulness that we’ve come to possess since the last time we were stretched beyond our limitations that we can now call upon to help us survive and thrive.
That’s what Playing with a Full Deck on The Inner Bottom Line is all about. Developing a current inventory of our weaknesses, needs, strengths and values that are essential to making our home a sanctuary and our life and choices a legacy of which we can be proud.
For the rest of us who have been spared the horrific traumas these now-free, brave Cleveland women were not, the new vistas of change presented to all of us who decide to move forward and reinvent ourselves offer possibilities filled with untold and rich experiences from which we can grow and realign our boundaries and values – if we choose to do so.
But along with the promise and possibility is the threat of danger and stagnation if we choose to replicate only that which we think is impressive to others while covering up anything we suspect makes us less than the person we want others to think we are.
When that split deepens to the point where we begin to completely believe our lies, we lose all authenticity and credibility, and subsequently fall headfirst off our Inner Bottom Line into a whirlpool of self-deception and sabotage. And anyone who has thrown themselves headlong into a downward spiral of addiction or abuse knows how dark and lonely that life can be.
Yet, with The Inner Bottom Line, all that is initially needed to reverse direction at the start of a new day is the honest and simple intention to straighten things out. Along with no abuse, there is no ‘never’ or ‘always’ found on The Inner Bottom Line. Just values and choices and the opportunity to take back control of your life. Whenever you choose to be accountable for that choice.
Just as these three brave women did today.
You can submit your questions or book private phone sessions with Olive at theinnerbottomline.com, call into her blogtalkradio.com show, “The Inner Bottom Line,” at 661-449-1425 with your questions, or explore her new blog at whatskeepingyouawakeatnight.com. All letters and calls can be anonymous and confidential.
Kindle and audio versions along with the hard cover of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life, are now available on amazon.com.