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What I Did Not Know...A New Year's Message of Reflection

Many people grapple with the questions, "What is my life purpose?" and "What grand plan am I meant to achieve?" Natural curiosity and a desire to contribute to society in a meaningful way are part of our DNA, right? Interestingly, as I have grappled with the very same questions, I have also reflected on how my life experiences have evolved and shaped me, leaving me fascinated by the common interwoven threads and their lingering lessons. Case in point:

While experiencing childhood poverty, I did not know those experiences were necessary for me to learn humility and feel lack, that they would produce in me a burning desire to help others, or that poverty was relative to my physical surroundings and belongings - not necessarily a reflection of my state of mind and spirit.

When I decided to join the military at the age of seventeen, I did not know I would meet my husband of 38 years and counting, that we would be blessed with four incredible (adult) children, and I would develop and cultivate lifelong relationships with some pretty amazing friends.

When I was diagnosed with lupus at the age of twenty-seven, I did not know the diagnosis would moderate my ability to deal with stress in positive and negative ways, that I would eventually be able to encourage others suffering with this chronic autoimmune disease, or how closely Charles Dickens' famous quote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" aligns with the ebbs and flows of lupus.

There is certainly a whole lot more to my story, but what about yours? What life experiences have just begun to resonate with you, bringing you closer to understanding your grander life purpose and plan? With this (perhaps) newfound knowledge in hand, what will you either start or continue doing in 2023 and beyond to show you have been paying attention?

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