Life events can be so shocking, it makes you feel like settling for whatever hand you are dealt. It feels like there is no choice in the matter. But settling has consequences, big ones!

Life comes at you hard and fast. These events change the fabric of who you thought you were. Talk about unsettling. When you don’t give yourself the permission and time to feel all of your feelings surrounding and said changes, it can come to bite you quite hard in your hind parts.

My husband and I lost our condo, during the economic downturn. It was our first big investment together. We moved 800 miles away from home to embark on our new adventure. And we failed publicly. We felt defeated personally. Then we lost our business shortly after that. I didn’t grieve ANY of it. I felt like no one had died, so just move on right?

Negative! I was publicly humiliated, we only had each other to lean on and truth be told, it rocked me to my knees. We rented a house and recovered from the onslaught of life changes.

A family friend of my husband needed some place to stay. I don’t recall feeling as though I had a choice. In fact, my husband didn’t really ask me. It felt like an obligation. So, I never framed the situation to my advantage.

I didn’t know I had the right. Hell, I was too numb to think about my rights. Don’t rock the boat, be a good wife. He (you husband) knows what you want, just leave me alone, so I can go back to being numb…asleep. This was my inner dialogue.

Fast forward three years later and I was living the movie, Ground’s Hog Day with NO end in sight. By this time, I realized my husband was full of guilt and resentment not only for his friend but for me too. I had no guilt and nothing, but resentment for my husband and especially for his friend. I was clear, I wanted off that Ferris wheel. I was freaking nauseous! And furious! ALL THE TIME!

I didn’t sign up for this to be my life. I had already been my mother’s primary caretaker, even though she had a caretaker and my father, but she wanted me to take care of her. I don’t regret being there for her though, but it was very hard. All things being equal, if needed, I will be my father’s caretaker. I am stepmother to my husband’s three children who are young men and they live out of state, so why is this my life? This question kept ringing in my head.

I had gained 20 maybe 30 pounds, I didn’t work out, I had extreme hair loss, I didn’t feel desirable, sexy or open. Instead, because I didn’t ask more questions, didn’t put my foot down…my settling in my own life had landed me in this place.

Where is my yummy feeling of being IN my body? Where is my spontaneous, sexy marriage? Where is my delicious husband? Where is the joy, that I signed up for? Where is my life?

My client, Carla* (not her real name) settled because of an old agreement she had made, even though she had changed her mind. She and her husband decided they didn’t want children. One day followed another and she couldn’t ignore it any further. She wanted to be a mother. In our work together, Carla admitted this was her true desire and that she was willing to do whatever it took in order to parent. Even if it meant losing her husband. She decided that settling without trying would be like dying. Today, they are proud parents and happily married.

There is a saying that when life gives you lemons make #lemonade. But what if you are allergic to lemons? Throw in your hand and re-deal.

I decided that my freedom was more important than what it looked like to anyone else. If being a good wife meant that I had to endure the dealt hand I blindly accepted, then it wasn’t something I wanted to do any longer. As I stated in the video, by throwing away or settling for what I saw, my husband and I were able to work our way back to the marriage we desired without a third party.

Lessons:

  1. Give yourself permission to grieve life events.
  2. Give yourself time to decide what you want for and from your life.
  3. Tweak as needed.
  4. Have courage: speak up for what you want.
  5. Never settle!
  6. Not deciding IS a decision. But you usually won’t like the results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where have you settled in your life?
  • What changes need to be made?
  • What are you willing to do today to move you closer to what you want?

Ready to stop settling? For support, go to: http://www.fondaclayton.com/center-of-attention-30-day-challenge/

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