What’s the gift?

The other day a friend told me that he was about to start chemotherapy. This was a complete surprise and what he said next was even more astounding. He told me that once he’d got over the shock, one of his first thoughts was ‘what’s the gift in this?’

This got me thinking, and you won’t be surprised that my question to you is

‘What’s the gift in you not having children?’

pass the parcelI know, you’ve probably thrown up your hands in horror thinking that it’s a bit of a stretch (to put it mildly) to imagine that there could be gifts in all that you’ve been through, but please bear with me. You’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I only have your best interests at heart and I do know what I’m talking about because I’ve been where you are now.

When I recently wrote the blog ‘How Long Do You Have?’ several people commented that it had taken a wake-up call for them to take action to live their own life. Linda said that she will ‘always be grateful for the kick up the backside’ she had from a cancer diagnosis that jolted her out of ‘living someone else’s life’.

Now obviously that’s an extreme kick and not one I would wish on anyone. In my view not being able to have children is also a kick and, with a bit of help you can appreciate the gifts it brings.

What do I mean by gifts?

What I mean are:

• Positive things that you only have in your life because you don’t have children.
For example I’ve written previously that we have the gifts of flexibility and freedom that parents don’t have.

• Skills, abilities or talents you have now that you didn’t have before.
I know women who say that they have more empathy now; they’re kinder, certainly stronger and more resilient.

And why it’s important to look for them

In the words of the Buddha;

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

All that we areWhat that means is that whatever you focus on increases in your life, therefore if you focus more on the negative; you will have more of that.

So, if you want your life to improve, then you need to pay attention that what’s positive. I’m not asking you to always look on the bright side of life, what I am suggesting is that you start to look for positive things. Start small and gradually these will increase over time.

What could your gifts be?

Here are some questions to uncover the gifts in your life.
1. What positive things do you have in your life that you only have because you don’t have children?
2. What skills, abilities or talents do you have now that you didn’t have before?

And if you’re still struggling you could start by;

• Looking for positive things in your life, start small and look for three positive things every day.
• Being grateful for what you have, and also for the small moments of joy and happiness,

Today what’s positive in my life is the beautiful lilac flowering in the garden and the new CD I’m listening to.

And I promise you that if you start small, in a few weeks you’ll look back and realise that your life is more positive than you first thought.

The biggest gift in my lifeLesley Pyne

The biggest gift for me has been working out who I am.

That may sound odd, but for many years I was living someone else’s life and I’ve used the freedom and flexibility I have to;

• learn and grow in new and challenging ways,
• do something I love which makes a difference,
• be more creative and do things that nourish me,

I know and understand myself so much better now, and for the first time in many years I’m authentically and honestly me.

In terms of skills, I’m not sure that I’ve unearthed any special talents, but I have developed many new skills and it’s a privilege to be able to combine these in a unique way to support and help you.

An afterthought

Life is the ultimate gift.

It is short.

Much of it is spent on futile and unimportant activities that drain your energy leaving very little time to be you.

I believe this makes it even more important to use that precious time truly being you and doing what makes you happy.

So a final question;

how many kicks do you need before you become who you truly are and have the life you want?

I make no apologies for asking you what may appear to be difficult questions. It makes me so sad when I hear or read about women struggling to come to terms with their life without children. I know that you can have a better life so my intention is to show you that a positive life is possible and to challenge and motivated you to aim for it.

Over to you

If you’ve discovered the gifts in your live, we’d love to hear how you did that and what they are.

If you find this daunting or you’re not sure what action to take, I’d love to help you. You can book a complimentary session via my online diary or leave a message on my contact page and we can spend 20 to 30 minutes to get clarity on how we can work together to create a life you love.

And if you leave your email at the top of the page you’ll be the first to hear about more articles like this and, as a bonus you’ll get the e-book.

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The post How long do you have is here and Linda Anderson’s website is here

8 thoughts on “What’s the gift?”

  1. Lesley thanks for sharing this, and for posing a tough question. Although I can’t comment as a childless woman, I know the heartache that comes from losing something you hold precious, and of having a life you thought you would live taken away from you.
    I’m talking about becoming a widow age 35, and having to build my life again, all the while struggling and fighting because I wanted the life I had PLANNED and deserved.
    Where is the gift in that ??
    I have grown to be much more of the person I was meant to be because of that. I’m living a life I choose, doing the things I love, and I appreciate that life is short and I must live it wholeheartedly. Thankyou for the tough question, the answer to which is a gift of appreciation..
    Ann Brown recently posted…How To Show Up And Be Your Real SelfMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for commenting Ann. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, and I reallly appreciate you being open about your experiences.
      I’m sure that your experience will help to inspire others, so thank you.
      Lesley x

  2. Your “final question” is particularly poignant, i.e: How many kicks do you need before you become who you truly are and have the life you want?… I am slowly getting there and am looking for the positives in my life so that I feel I have something to look forward to in the future. It’s about accepting/allowing and expressing gratitude. And it’s one step at a time. Thank you for your lovely words.

    • Thanks for your comment Anna, you’re doing the right things, looking for the positives and being grateful are great steps to take. As you say, one step at a time. After a while you’ll realise how many steps you’ve taken and where you are now will seem such a long way away.

  3. Great post, Lesley – I’m so glad you wrote it! You’ve touched on such an important and beautiful subject … seeing what is good in the painful experiences of our lives. It heals us when we look squarely at what has been difficult and painful, and ask what good has come out of this? At first it might seem unbelievably hard, like we are betraying out pain, but I have found that it’s freeing to say it was hard and it sucked – and then I got to do this other thing, or I learned this because I went through that darkness.

    Have you been reading Viktor Frankl and Man’s Search for Meaning??

  4. Thanks you Linda, Lisa & Donna,
    As you’ve all said, this is a really tough question.
    Donna I love your summary, I read Viktor Frankl many years ago, think I need to read it again, thanks for the reminder. 🙂


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