Learning from life’s moments of impact
I got home yesterday from an impromptu trip feeling tired both physically and emotionally. So I stayed in last night and gave myself permission to “veg.” Yes, on a Saturday night while most of my friends were getting in touch with their Irish side, I napped and watched romantic dramas…one after the other. It is exactly what I needed.
On the movie list was The Vow, 2012. If you don’t know the movie, it’s based on the actual relationship of a couple who was in an automobile accident just weeks after their marriage. The accident caused a brain injury for the woman, erasing all memory of her romance and marriage to her husband. It is the story of how the couple navigated this life-changing moment of impact.
What struck me most about the movie was the underlying philosophy about “moments of impact.” It got me thinking about the moments of impact in our lives – how they affect us, how we are changed by them and our reaction to them, and how these moments of impact have been prevalent throughout my personal transformation journey.
Moments of Impact.
The philosophy: We all have moments of impact in our lives – flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down. Some good. Some incredibly difficult. Those moments of impact and how we react to them define who we are. Each one of us is the sum of every moment that we’ve experienced, with all the people we’ve known, and it’s these moments that shape us and become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits that play and replay in our minds.
In the movie, the male character Leo (played by very attractive actor Channing Tatum), describes a moment of impact like this.
“A moment of impact. A moment of impact whose potential for change has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together, making them closer than before. While sending others, spinning off into great ventures, landing where you never thought you’d find them. You see, that’s the thing about moments like these, you can’t, no matter how hard you try, control how they’re going to affect you. You’ve just got to let the colliding particles land where they may, and wait, until the next collision.”
Perhaps I am overly influenced by my romantic side, but this was incredibly powerful for me. And the timing is perfect. As I reflect on my personal journey, I am flooded with thoughts of the high impact moments that prepared me for the trip and shaped the outcome – ultimately helping me arrive where I am today. Here are just a few that came to mind:
- The business partnership break/disappointment I experienced in 2010. And the emotional upheaval following the unraveling of this chapter in my life. While incredibly difficult both personally and professionally, it was ultimately this high intensity moment that caused me to get ready and eventually open myself up to real transformation. It is unlikely that I would be writing this blog had I not had this moment of impact…
- Meeting O’Neal Hampton in the fall of 2010. O’Neal walked into my life through the work door – the only one I was paying attention to at the time. He looked me in the eye and said: “We’ve got this…we can do this.” In that moment, he represented opportunity and hope for a different life. This time when opportunity presented itself I was ready to believe and grab hold, despite my fear. The rest is history…
- The day I embarked on my weight-loss boot camp experience and met Leif Anderson. There were so many moments of impact, including but not limited to my moment of revelation on top of the mountain with coach Leif by my side. The revelations and high intensity moments continued in the months that followed as I embarked on a life changing transformation with Leif leading the excavation team.
- Meeting and experiencing all of the new people along the path who have supported me – sharing this journey in some way. Including those I now have the privilege to inspire and coach through their journeys. Their individual stories, including their struggles and triumphs, inspire and change me every day.
- The courage to open myself up to ALL kinds of new opportunities and adventures this year, including my most recent venture into dating and the search for true romantic love. Enough said. This one is in progress and particles are still colliding and landing. I have incredible moments and some not-so-together moments as I reconcile the heart and the head. It is a challenge – but a fun one – and I wouldn’t trade one moment of the journey. For now, I am working to be patient as I await the next collision! 😉
I totally agree with Leo’s statement in the movie that a moment of impact and its potential for change has ripple effects far beyond what we can see or predict. That is both the challenge and the beauty. I could not have predicted how any one of these moments would affect me or influence where I am today, nor do I know how the story will play out. But the real joy is in living those moments, appreciating them, and being brave enough to let go and let them land where they are meant to land. And also to know when to grab hold and take a risk on something big and great and wonderful.
Today, I am spinning off into great ventures. I am practicing patience with myself and others, learning to let go of the reigns and live into those answers. I am experiencing first hand how true it is that no matter how hard we try to control how these moments of impact are going to affect us, we cannot. And I am reminding myself to allow the colliding particles to land where they may and gently await the next collision.
As I write this blog post, I question whether to hit “publish.” There are many more questions here than insights. More ambiguity than clarity. Perhaps way more feeling than rational mind. But it is where I am today – and therein lies the beauty. The beauty of these incredible moments of impact that make up who we are and how our story will play out.
How have moments of impact changed you? Do you try to control them or let the particles collide and see what happens next?