Embracing the Silence Part 1

Challenges show up seemingly out of nowhere—and daily. Bills piling up, that light checking account causing money stress… got kids? A spouse? A job? A boss, or a business to run?  

 How about sleep? When was the last time you slept, like really slept?  

 Maybe it’s been awhile—because after all, how can you sleep with all that noise in your mind? 

 The chatter is seemingly nonstop. Deadlines looming, kids demanding, spouse complaining, bills piling up, life savings going down. Your head starts to hurt.  

 When do you get a break?  

 Perhaps you can get a weekend off—or even a week—and take a vacation, but then you’re still reminded of the life you must go back to. The stress. The thoughts creep back in and the chatter begins. Perhaps you think it will end when you decide to retire. Then, you decide, you’ll finally live the life you dreamed of. 

 I’ve got news for you. 

It doesn’t ever end. And that life you are dreaming of? You’ll still be dreaming when you decide to retire. You will be in the exact same place you are now, wondering when life will get better. 

I know, because I found myself retiring very early in my late 30’s, and life was still hard. 

 “Wait, What?” 

 “Wow,” you may think, “it all sounds hopeless.” 

 This was my mindset for most of my life.  

 Go to school, get a job, start a family, and then finally retire.  

 I did all of that.  

 The trouble was, where it may be satisfying for others, it was far from my joy. Nowhere near what I felt was my true purpose. In fact, I found myself years later with several professional degrees, a family with beautiful children and a loving husband. I had a job and a home that I called my own, but life was still so stressful. 

Money was at the center of all my thoughts. How will I make it? How will I provide for my family? How do I pay these bills that keep getting bigger?  

 Because I needed to survive and I wanted to “make it,” I worked in a career for more than 15 years where I was a slave to time. I was paid well, but at what cost? My children suffered because I was barely home. 

 To make up for my absence, my husband and I took the family out every month to Disney in Orlando. Yep, every month. Part of the perks of being a Florida Resident: It involved just a few hours of travel and we had soooo many days of fun.  

 But you know what? My children still missed me. And because we spent much of our time doing outside things to have fun, we neglected our life savings and soon found we had none.  

 Savings? What savings? The minute we started to build one, we found ourselves needing to spend it. Whether it was on medical bills, life bills, family needs, or vacations, it was always going somewhere.  

 So, what did we do?  

My husband and I simply worked more to make more. What else would we do? 

 I remember my firstborn telling me years later about how he would cry for me because he missed me so much. He would often wonder, “when is mommy coming home?” I truly believed that family came first, yet I continued to put my work first because I felt like I had no choice. In my job my boss often needed me, and I was there for her because I wanted to earn that promotion.  

Why?  

Because I had to make money. I had to ensure my family had a secure life. I contradicted almost everything I dreamed of because of the need to survive.  

“I will be there for my kids soon,” I would think. “Just a little bit more time and I will be free. I will be a boss lady and I can make my own hours.” 

I wanted a career, a family, and a fat bank account. I wanted it all—but what I didn’t see was how much I was suffering and how much my suffering was affecting others.  

 After all those years of hard work, I never did get promoted. 

 My boss had no intention of ever letting me grow, because promoting me meant that they would have to work harder. I was too competitive, too rigid, and I had too much integrity. I made a habit of that. I carried so much rigidness in my work that I made more enemies than I ever cared to. My compassion was pretty much zilch. I had a belief that if I could do it then everyone should.  

 Why would I think this way? 

For me it was simple. I have lived with a serious disability since I was a baby and have surpassed all obstacles. I was diagnosed to be mute, deaf, and mentally handicapped for my entire life, yet I was far from that. 

In an effort to avoid being different, I was constantly in my mind creating more and more chatter through overthinking. Silence was obviously prevalent in my life, but I avoided it at all costs by staying busy. 

Silence meant I was different. It meant I had to live differently—which, to me, was unacceptable. I discovered that the busier I was, the more I accomplished. And the more I accomplished, the closer I believed I was becoming that person—-anyone but me.

To me, everyone else had their 5 senses, and they were perfect. Life was surely easy for them, I would think.

The judgment and criticism I endured as a child crept into my adult years and seriously affected my relationships. I created shame in others, and I had zero clue. I thought I was being a “tough cookie.” I thought I was inspiring others to greatness, because if I could do it, I knew anyone could. 

But life really works differently, doesn’t it?  

We all have challenges. Every single one of us. I was no different, yet I thought I was. I thought that everyone else had it easy, and they were choosing to be different. I thought they had a choice, and I didn’t. This angered me, because I was physically different when all I wanted was to be the same. To me, it was so unfair.

 Boy, was I ever wrong. 

 It took me a while to get it, and I experienced a whole lot of pain. The pain was so intense that suicidal thoughts haunted me for years. When will this ever end, I would think.

 I told no one, because I was afraid.  

 And because I was afraid, I avoided facing the silence by constantly thinking. And as I continued my pattern of overthinking instead of quieting my mind, life got even harder still.

To be continued…

The Power of a Mentor/Coach

I owe everything to my mentor, who has guided me through the toughest of times and inspired me to create a life I truly love. It would be an honor to do the same for you. 

If you would like to create a life you would love to have, like I have done, consider hiring a Mindset Coach to help guide you. 

Investing in yourself will be the wisest and most prosperous thing you have ever done—I know this from experience. For more information on my coaching services or to hire me for a speaking engagement, check out my website www.iamnicolereina.com.

Cheers to Love, Light, and Higher Truth—

Nicole 🫶

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