First, Happy New Year, Brothers. Many of you have just experienced the first holiday season without your loved one; for others, welcome to January.
For many, the start of the new year serves as a time to set new goals or make new resolutions. I have taken this time to take a clear look at my life through what I call the view from the other side of the mirror. I am pleased to report that I am very hopeful about the reflection I see looking back at me. Life, though not perfect, is trending in a very positive direction. It was a year which I finally moved out of the last home my late wife and I shared. After being a primarily solitary widower for over seven years, I have galvanized a new relationship, accepted a new job, learned to navigate living in two cities, and worked through complex family issues. How does a man maintain a positive outlook while going through the changes being a widower may manifest in our lives? For the balance of this article, I hope to give you three tools to consider if you face such times.
- Be Authentically Yourself. If your experience is like mine, becoming a widower changed me in many ways. How I viewed it, most of the major tenants of my life underwent some modicum of change. How I viewed time, my career, finances, and in some small ways, my faith experienced some level of transformation during this season of my life. I very much believe in living with the choices we make in life. As the years have gone by, some of the choices I have made in my life have changed. For many, this can be explained as simply a change in priorities. For me, it was a much more profound transformation.
- Make Bold Decisions. Becoming a widower allowed me to make a reset in my life. The love of my life is a much different woman than my late wife was. What we expect from each other and how we share our lives is a complete sea-change from how I experienced love with my late wife. Initially, this experience was confusing and frightening, but to use a loose nautical term, the seas have calmed significantly as time passed. My recommendation, however, is to ensure you are keeping those closest to you informed of any significant changes you make so as not to cause alarm.
- Be Committed, But Flexible. I believe this approach gives us the support we need and the grace we much give ourselves when embarking on new efforts in life. There will be trials and errors, but this does not constitute failure. Commitment assists us in seeing our efforts through. It may take more than one pass to reach the desired goal. Look at it like this; sometimes, you need to make it to the second date to build a life-changing relationship.
The view from the other side of the mirror is a great opportunity to meet ourselves where we are in life. It challenges us to remain engaged in the journey called life. It, in some cases, can restore our confidence in ourselves, become a blessing to another person, and be the author of an entirely new chapter in our lives. Take it from me; it is worth the effort.
Until next time brothers.
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. Terrell can be contacted at his website thedebriefgroup365.com. There, you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network. His second book, From the Heart to The Heart, will be released soon. More details soon.
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