Thursday, February 23, 2012

From Bud to Blossom

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

I am going to switch gears for the next few blogs and shift my attention from the external resources that are available to help live a more mindful focused financially secure life to some of the internal factors.
Many women rely on someone else for their financial security, their happiness, and the direction they take with their life.  Women often stay in relationships that are destructive or abusive because they don’t feel empowered to take control and make the changes necessary to live a meaningful life outside of a relationship.  It can be painful to think about how to make your own way, to make financial decisions, go back to work, enroll in school to learn a new skill or be employable, but death occurs and divorce happens. We must learn to deal with what life gives us.
Women have the same choices offered in this life that a man does.  She may not perceive it that way. She may think that because of a choice that was made early in life to marry or start a family, or exit a career - that she is now a victim of her choices or that it is too late to change.
Let me share an inspiring story….
Mary found herself divorced at age 49. She had raised three children, been out of the work force for almost 30 years, had never completed college, and found herself “suddenly single”.  Mary received half of the financial assets from her 30 plus year marriage, but it was not enough to live off of for the rest of her life.
This was a critical crossroad for Mary.  Would she become a “victim” of her own circumstances and spend her time wallowing in self pity or looking for another man to take care of her? Or would she use this energy in a positive way to “blossom”.  Mary went back to school and received her degree. She found a job that paid her well, offered good benefits and rewarding work.  She ultimately left at age 65 with a 401(K) and a substantial amount of assets that she invested for her future from the divorce settlement. She is now in her seventies living a comfortable, joyful and fulfilling life. She is a great example of the power we all posses to bring about change to transform our lives.
Mary made some difficult choices. She made the choice to invest her settlement rather than spend it. She chose to persevere through college, to earn her degree, and to be persistent in looking for employment as a 50 plus year old college graduate.  Her friends pitied her “misfortune “and unexpected divorce at a time in life when most people are entering a more comfortable period, personally and financially. Mary is an inspiring example of the resilience we all possess.
If you know someone in this position, please share this blog.  If you are in this position yourself, I hope this story inspires you. Referring back to the opening quote, do what comes naturally to a plant.  Use the energy and take the risk to transform from a tightly closed bud to blossom into a beautiful flower.
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