EDIT: The following article was written before the controversy surrounding Paula Deen. By leaving this article on Self Help Daily, I am BY NO MEANS supporting or condoning the outrageous statements made by and attributed to Paula Deen. Racism and intolerance are two things I hate most in this world. On the flip side, forgiveness and second chances are two of the things I love most. In that vein, after thinking about deleting this blog post, I decided to leave it. Why? The irony of the premise. The post is all about living the rest of your life – in spite of what has happened up to the moment you’re now living in. I hope Paula Deen, her family, her fans, and everyone offended by her statements will do just that. Pick up and move forward. All any of us have is the rest of our life – let’s not weigh it down with hate or anger. – Joi
I recently read a Paula Deen bio and was, at once, surprised and inspired by what she’s been through. When she was barely into her twenties, she lost both of her beloved parents. Married with two small boys, Paula took in her younger brother, Bubba, to raise as well. The tragedies left her nearly paralyzed and unbelievably overwhelmed by the world that she viewed as cruel and frightening.
During this time, she battled agrophobia, which is the fear of being in public. So she went through a phase when she was literally afraid to leave the house. She also endured a divorce around this time.
Then, on June 19, 1989, her world changed. She tells the story of how she woke up on this date and began to live the rest of her life.
Does that concept move you the way it does me? When I read it, it I could almost feel the words grab me by the arms and lift me up. You know how exciting New Year’s Day is? How it’s all about starting over and having fresh new chances?
That’s actually what each new day is. Think about it, each week we have 7 brand new opportunities to start fresh, to…
- …take what isn’t working at all and make it work.
- …take what’s working good and make it great.
- …break self-destructive habits.
- …begin self-constructive habits.
- …repair broken relationships.
- …strengthen all relationships.
- …learn something new.
- …see someplace new.
- …stretch our boundaries.
- …improve our minds.
- …come out of our shells.
- …work on that temper.
- …adopt a little love from a shelter.
- …make someone smile.
- …make someone laugh.
- …drink Chai tea.
The list goes on, just as far as the opportunities do. 7 chances are handed to us each week.
Here’s a lady who was kicked in the stomach by life and left all but mentally and emotionally paralyzed. She not only pulled herself up, she went on to (along with her sons) start a home-based business with just $200 to her name. This business led to a famously successful restaurant as well as best-selling cookbooks, her own magazine, dvds, a hot line of products, and a wonderful television show on Food TV.
All because she woke up one morning and thought, “This isn’t getting it.”
I hope with all my heart that whatever you may be facing in life doesn’t compare to what Paula Deen faced down. But, whatever it is…..wherever you are….remember this: Today isn’t just Tuesday, January 10th. Today’s the first day of the rest of your life.
Go amaze yourself!