A Red Light Can Be A Green Light In Disguise

Okay, full disclosure: I’m stealing the red light/green light concept from Matthew McConaughey’s memoir Greenlights. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it and don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this blog.

Now that that’s out of the way…

A few months ago, my family experienced a tragedy – something that completely pulled the rug out from under all of us and caused shock, confusion and pain. As McConaughey would refer to this – we experienced a red light. And that’s exactly what it was. This calamity had us all slamming on the brakes. It had us questioning ourselves, our roles in our family and our faith.

This red light event happened just a few days before we left on a much needed family vacation. I remember sharing with my husband that I was devastated; all I could see was the red glare urging us to a grinding halt. We’d all be going away together feeling broken with an oddly indescribable feeling of pain puncturing the enjoyment we thought we’d receive from our r&r.

My husband Ron responded, “But Danielle. At least we’ll all be together during this challenging time.” 

And he was right. We bonded and healed as family on that trip. The sun didn’t quite provide that “feel good” vitamin D kick, and the food wasn’t quite the tasty treat I’d hoped for, but it was precious time spent together. 

Within four or so days I could see that in some ways, my family needed this tragedy. We needed the wakeup call it brought and we needed the opportunity to deeply reconnect again after a heavy year. As McConaughey would refer to this – we experienced a green light. My family and I talked deeper, focused on each other, and leaned harder into one another more than I could ever recall. We’re now set up for a strong school year, all of us feeling more grounded, loved and understood than we have in years. 

The next time a red light comes your way, it’s my sincere hope that you’ll remember my story and remain open to the possibility that the red light you experience may actually be a green light in disguise.  Don’t lose faith when something unexpected or hard comes your way. It may just be exactly what you need. 

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’re experiencing a hardship, “I trust divine timing. I believe the Universe has placed challenges in my life so that I can learn and grow.”

PPS – When we’re emotionally hurting, it means we have unprocessed feelings. Put on some relaxing music and do your best to quiet your mind. When you’re ready, grab your pen and journal. Answer the following questions: How am I feeling? What do I need to do to comfort myself during this difficult time? How can I show myself and others love? Although I may not be experiencing it, what green lights may come from this experience?

It’s not about you

Over the last few months, I’ve passed along several ‘I’m here for you if you want to talk’ messages to acquaintances and friends. I’d see something on Facebook that showed me they were struggling; maybe a less than cheery status update or an article they posted. Sometimes while chatting via Zoom, I’d sense sadness or worry they weren’t fully revealing something.

The majority of people I’ve extended myself to have thanked me for my kindness but haven’t actually taken me up on the offer. At times, this has been hard. I’m a healer after all. It’s a part of my life’s work to help people move forward from their hurt. And I’m a results-oriented person. I like success I can instantly measure like cracking a joke and making someone smile or giving someone advice and seeing their shoulders instantly sink into relaxation.

A few times, I’ve let my unanswered invites get the best of me, “What’s wrong with you Danielle? Have you lost your healer’s touch?”

Fortunately, the TrueMe is good about reminding my ego me that the way others choose to heal has absolutely nothing to do with me. I can offer to lend an ear. I can give advice. I can share stories of inspiration and hope. I can give tools and resources. But that’s all I can and all I should do. What someone decides to take and when (or not) doesn’t say anything about my abilities as a friend, as a coach, as a healer.

A bottle of water on my nightstand reminded me this. I know, this sounds really random but stay with me here. It’s a great story (in my humble opinion) and I think it will resonate:

Every night, I make sure I have a bottle of water near my bed. Normal enough, right? But, it’s rare that I actually take a sip of that water. Yet just its presence serves a purpose. Knowing I have that water bottle near makes me feel safe and prepared if I ever do get thirsty.

My silly ritual helped me to remember that sometimes, somewhere in the world, we’re making a big difference in someone’s life even if they don’t respond back to our offers of help: just like the water bottle. Even if I don’t drink it, it still provides a sense of calm before I rest. I believe that’s what I’ve done for those acquaintances and friends I’ve offered to connect with: I’ve been that bottle of water on their nightstand, I’ve helped them to feel safe. They know I’m there if they ever need me.

If you’ve been trying to give help to someone, but you’re not seeing results the way your mind thinks you should, remind yourself it’s not about you (I say this with love). Then picture that bottle of water on my nightstand.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this newsletter to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to remind you that your heart-centered actions always have worth, ‘I trust when I act from the heart, others feel it in theirs.

PPS – A little bit of gratitude goes a long way, for yourself and for others. Remember, your actions always matter. Let’s do yourself and your community a favor. Grab some sticky notes (If you don’t have those, grab a sheet of paper and tear it into smaller sizes, just big enough to write a short message.) On the sticky notes, write down short messages of gratitude – messages that can bring you and others a moment of joy in their day. Examples: “You are loved”, “You are worthy”, and “Give yourself a hug; you’re doing great”. If you’re out and about today, place those sticky notes where others can see them. At home with nowhere to go? Place those on your bathroom mirror, or anywhere you know you’ll look at least once a day. You deserve this. And so do others. 

A higher version of YOU

A higher version of YOU

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