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What are you stressing about? Everything is good!

Posted 9/14/2018

When we think about it, we really are incredibly blessed. If you are reading this, you can read. If you are seeing this, you can see. If you are breathing, you are alive. If you’re alive, you are eating and living in a comfortable home, I presume. If you are eating and living, you are earning an income. If you are earning an income, you are giving value to an organisation and/or other people in order to receive that income. If you are adding value to others, you are making a difference in this world. If you are making a difference, then you are fulfilling the purpose you have been born for. And this is just the beginning. With so much to be grateful for and excited about, why do we spend so much of our life stressed and worried?

Now let’s just say, your life is challenging at the moment. The question you need to ask yourself is, is that bad or is it actually good? Now, just so you know, if someone had asked me that question when I was being sacked from the St Kilda Football Club, when I was going through a divorce or when I had just lost my mother to cancer, I would have slapped them. All I can say, looking back and reflecting on what incredible blessings have come from all three of those seemingly devastating events, I would have to say, it’s good. As a result of being sacked as a professional footballer, I went on to find my passion as an author. As a result of my divorce, I found my beautiful wife Laura. Regarding my mother, please don’t get me wrong, I adore her, I miss her terribly, and I deeply wish she was still alive. Clearly, she can’t come back, however, so much good has come from her life, and, will continue to do so for many years to come. I am now in a place where I can see the good and I can be grateful that I knew her.

This was powerfully reinforced to me even further when I received the following email during the week;

Andrew, my reason for contacting you is to thank you for writing that book Dance Until it Rains. To cut my story to a short version, it’s been a terrible life changing bloody 18 months in my life. My mum had a brain tumor and I nursed her till she passed. My 48-year-old sister had 2 strokes and a heart attack and then my partner of 10 years run away with another woman 8 months ago. He was my life. None of which I have got over or moved on from, as I’m not sure how to. I have become a shell of myself with 'why me's' And a sad lonely existence. Well, last Sunday I went to Daylesford, a place that always inspires me, for 2 days as I leave there always feeling great. I was running late leaving, but come across an op shop in Castlemaine. I stopped, and there on the shelf was your audio book DANCE UNTIL IT RAINS. I put it on and drove to Mildura. You have changed my life with that book and the life lessons. I laughed, and, did a lot of crying for your mum’s life… and mine. Time to move on for me… stop blaming myself and start looking for the positives. I was so inspired with the story I rang my daughter 24 years old said, ‘you have to listen or read this book.’ She suffers very bad anxiety. After I listen to it again, I’m going to share it with a list of people. Thank you again. Your mother’s life and your book has changed my life overnight.

There is so much good, everywhere you look

As I read this email, tears welled up in my eyes and a lump appeared in my throat. There are so many layers I hope I can get across to you. I love the courage of this lady. The circumstances she had to deal with, over the last 18 months, were more horrendous than many people will ever experience in a lifetime. She had almost given up, she could only see the dark side, and, who knows how much longer she may have even survived. For her, hope randomly appeared in the form of my book, which makes me feel incredibly proud that I persisted with it when, many times, I felt like giving up. Now she can see a light at the end of the tunnel and she has found strength she didn’t even know she had. I can guarantee you that she will become a better person and help many people as a result of this time in her life. So, is it good or bad? It looks great to me.

What about my amazing mother? She is my greatest hero. She passed away in December 2004 after an incredibly courageous sixteen-year battle with cancer. When she died, I honestly didn’t know whether I would survive. It was, and still is to this day, the most tragic and heartbreaking event I have ever experienced. I could see no good at all, and, I didn’t know if I would ever get over it. For many months I would dissolve into tears at the thought or mention of my mother. Then finally, a couple of years later, I finally decided to finish the book about her I started, Dance Until it Rains. So, some fourteen years after her passing, she has been able to change the life of this lady. Someone I have never met, nor will I probably ever meet. My mother’s story has inspired this lady to pick herself up, dust herself off, find the positives in the adversity and get on with living her life. So, is it good or bad? That is wonderfully good!

So, as you read this blog and then get on with your life, I hope can look at it through a different lens. Can I encourage you to look at your strengths and uniqueness? Can I ask that you start to focus on the many and varied things you have to be grateful for? Can I suggest that you look at the challenges you are currently facing and dig into them to discover what there is to learn and the positives that will eventually come from them? It’s so easy to get stuck in our problems that we lose sight of the wonderful world that is all around us. But let me tell you… you are already blessed and successful in this life. You are on the journey of great wisdom, great accomplishment and great significance. Yes, I am talking about you.

You could spend your life worrying about every little thing, or, you could choose to see the good.  You could stress about not having enough money, or, you could be grateful you have enough and excited that you have the potential to make more. You could be anxious about your job, or, you could be grateful you have it and empowered that you are providing a valuable service to the world… no matter what it is you do. You could complain about a partner that either works too hard or nags too much, or, you could be incredibly grateful they are working hard to support you or that they care enough to nag you. You may worry that you don’t know enough, aren’t skilled enough or aren’t equipped enough, or, you can get excited that you can learn more, improve your skill and get equipped.

I was sitting in church last Sunday listening to the great message. It had a strong emphasis that there was no problem worth worrying about. In my head, I became excited about my life. Is everything perfect? No. Is there nothing I want to change? No. Do I have everything I want? No. But I know I will. I know my life is great. I am certain that everything happening is god’s will to help me become a better person and have a greater impact in the lives of others. Please, for your own sake, stop stressing and start believing that everything is good?