Courage at the Crossroads


My dear brothers, recently, I found myself experiencing another visit to an all too familiar place, “the crossroads.” First, let me give you a little background about how I choose to navigate life.

I strongly believe in the practice of dividing my life into three distinct silos, my personal life, my spiritual life, and my professional life.  Over the past month, I have experienced significant upheaval (all right, to be honest significant is too strong a word), but as Dylan said, “the times they are a changing.”

These changes have led to consternation among some players in my life.  Let me share a bit about what brings me to this familiar place, the crossroads.

Recently my current employer made what they felt was a reasonable offer to retain my services.  Boy, were they mistaken.  In my 46 years of employment, I have never been so insulted by an offer.  After giving myself 48 hours and time to review this with the proper family members, I chose to decline the offer.  Since then, I have been advised that a counter is on the way, but the initial offer was such an insult that, let us say, the negotiation will be much tougher, if not impossible, at this point.  I am fortunate enough to be in a position where no bad options are available to me, which makes standing at the crossroads much easier for me than many people these days.

The second area in my life that is a bit more complicated involves my family.  I have shared with you that I have found another chapter in Terrell’s book of love.  I will soon be settling into a beautiful home in Las Vegas, NV; the news my family is taking with all the grace of the announcement that I have just gone bankrupt and need to find a place on their couch for a while.

I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this experience.  I have even talked more than once to widowed people that have had a promising relationship derailed by familial disapproval.  But I can promise you one thing, that will not be the case with me.  My relationship has been such an unexpected gift in my life I feel it would be criminal to allow the views of others to alter my remaining days in such a significant way.  I genuinely respect and recognize that all feelings are valid, but feelings do not carry the weight of changing such a decision in two other people’s lives.  I have listened to and been patient with (and full disclosure) not so patient with conversations on the topic recently.

When we face crossroads, brothers, we owe those who genuinely care about us an audience.  We must allow them to express their thoughts and feelings as there will be life after this event passes.  We must take in other points of view and eventually do what we can to avoid all-or-nothing scenarios.  I very much desire there be no losses due to love.

This is such an amazing time in our lives, and we have worked extremely hard to put ourselves in the position to share this chapter in our lives.  I know I am looking forward to the days ahead.

I recently discussed my views on how I’m looking at the future with an old friend.  I explained my belief that you can not walk in the front door of opportunity with the open back door of challenging work, so you do not have to face any difficulty that may arise during the process.  I still hold fast to this belief.

Though familiar, the crossroads always brings with it new challenges.  While not always pleasant to go through, in the end, I have found them to be a place of personal growth for me.  These experiences have allowed me to have “Courage at the Crossroads” I face.

Like always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback.  I thank you for continuing to allow me to share my thoughts with such a diverse and distinguished group of men.  Until next time.

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Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach.  Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss.  You can contact Terrell at his website thedebriefgroup365.com; there, you will find all my social media contacts or the Widow Support Network.  His second book Speaking from the Heart of Widows and Widowers, will be released soon.  More details to come.

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