A woman with a heart of gold. A man who asked for her heart. A marriage she thought was made in heaven.
But then a nightmare worse than any of us can imagine...while she worked at bringing him home to live with her, she discovered that he was expecting a child with someone else and married her, as well!
This is Lea's Brave Story. How she walked the Path to a place where most women would have closed up their hearts and thrown away the key. And how she found her actual true love along the way.
Her Not Enough to Brave Enough Pathway... S.O.F.T. & Strong
S - Growing her Strong on the Inside so she can stay Soft on the outside
O - Open to life and love, to magic and miracles
F - Feminine - stepping a Love stronger than FEAR
T- Staying True to Herself
Lea shows us how to be our own Hero. And go forward in life, not remain frozen in time. It's all here so come on in and have a listen.
Send any thoughts or comments or let me know that YOU have a Story you could share that would inspire other women to stay the course - to be Brave - to my Private Message on Instagram @braveenoughforlove_.
GUESS WHAT!!??! I'm Bernice McDonald and I'm a Mindset Coach. I help women beyond 50 who are scared of love, of life, of seeing their dreams disappearing off into the distance as they age... I train them to rebuild their confidence, their 'Brave Enough'. To become their own Hero so they can fall in love with their lives again and go after whatever is in their hearts to do. Interested in becoming a member of the "Secret Inner Hero Society?" Just PM me on Instagram!
Episode 46: S.O.F.T. & Strong Transcript
Lea’s Brave Story - From Betrayal & Loss to Brave Enough
How can we be fearless after 50 today? I want to tell you a story about a woman who was married newly to a man from another country, and then discovered that he married somebody else while he was married to her. Lea is an example of a beautifully brave woman who lived through an experience that nobody should have to go through, but she came out an inspiration to us all. So come on in and have a listen.
This is the podcast that walks you down the path from not enough to brave enough for love for life, for making a difference in this world. However, that looks for you. This is where the secret inner hero society is alive and well. And you are going to be inspired by the stories of women are doing it. Be brave enough to live this life with courage. I'm Bernice McDonald, and I am excited to have you here. So get on in here and let's do this.
0 (1m 26s):
Welcome back to a brave enough for love soft and strong. That's you? How can we be fearless after 50? I see it all the time. Women who are aging, who get into their forties, their fifties or sixties. And it seems as if, instead of embracing life and becoming even better, they end up shrinking and becoming more fearful. They hide in their hearts like Sleeping Beauty hid in her castle, asleep.
0 (2m 10s):
She pricked her finger on the Spindle of Pain. And her heart went to sleep. All around, was a wall of thorns and the Fiery Fear Dragon breathed his fire outside to protect her. How many women do you know that end up in this place? That is not what I want for you. And that's why I'm doing this. That's why I am reminding myself every day to live beyond the fear. I'll never be fearLESS because fear is given to us as a gift to keep us protected, but I can be in control of the fear and I can go ahead and live my life.
0 (3m 3s):
Anyway, can I tell you this? You are beautifully brave. It's there in your heart. It's in all of us. And that includes YOU. Remember that you're walking a path. When you were born, you entered it. When you die, you will leave it. You are a heart that is unique and special and beautiful. And you are walking that path just as yourself now. Yes, all these bombs go off. These boulders drop on you, all the unexpected things that happen.
0 (3m 44s):
Other people throw rocks at you from their paths, living out of their own stories. You will feel that. All of these things hurt, and those are the things that shut you down. You don't have any control over those things. But you do have control over this. You can choose who you are going to be in the middle of everything that is going on around you. And it's pretty simple, really. When you think of it, it's about #1, how you see yourself and #2, how you see others.
0 (4m 27s):
How you see yourself...what story are you telling yourself? Are you the Victim or are you the Victor? And how do you see others? Are they out to get you? Or are they your neighbors, your fellow human beings, just walking on their paths, feeling as if they need to, for some reason, to spew their rocks at you, their words, their need to control... How do you see it? Because all of this determines how you are set up for those bombs and the boulders and your responses to the rocks at other people throw at you.
0 (5m 14s):
And this is how we conquer fear. This is how we go into a place of love that responds to life. Instead of allowing fear to control us. I want to tell you a story about a beautiful lady. I know and her name is Lea. She has a heart like gold, and that was eviddent because she gave up some of her life and her money to go overseas and work in a mission organization for a time. She was single when she went over there and while she was there, lo and she met a man and she fell in love.
0 (6m 1s):
Now, within two months after meeting him, he proposed. And three months later, she had returned home, but three months later, she went back and she married that guy. Well, with that new glow of love, she had to say goodbye to him because she needed to come back to Canada and start the process to get him a visa so he could come and live with her there. Well, after she returned home, a little while later, things began to unravel.
0 (6m 42s):
And she found out that, not only was he seeing another woman over there, but that woman became pregnant with his child and he also married her when he was still married to Lea. Can you imagine this? Can you imagine the devastation that she went through? How her heart broke. She had all of this hope and this belief and this, she thought her future looked a certain way and suddenly this bomb literally went off and destroyed that entire picture.
0 (7m 27s):
Lea had a choice to make about who she was going to be in the middle of this, right? I met her at a group called 'Divorce Care' that I was facilitating at the time. And I remember when she walked in that first night, she cried through the entire time that we were together. Well, I'm going to fast forward to now because Lea is now married to the man that she never believed existed. A man who swept her off her feet, who gave her the love that she always wanted.
0 (8m 17s):
I watched their, their love story develop on Facebook, actually. It was so full of magic and fun times and they looked so very happy together, which they were. So how did Lea do that? How did she go from that place of devastation to actually being open and free enough in her heart to trust somebody else again? How did she make that journey? Because we all know there are many, many women who would not have done that in the way that Lea did.
0 (9m 1s):
They would would have shut their hearts down. They would have either ended up in another very bad relationship because they were desperate or they would have just closed their heart down and never married anybody, telling themselves a story that love hurts... And it's not worth it. How did she do it? Well, I actually asked Lea that very thing. And when we think of it, Lea is the perfect example of somebody who went to the place of S.O.F.T.. Remember the acronym S O F T, which I use as, as the pathway to go to a place of being fearless, to stay alive...
0 (9m 50s):
...while we're alive, walking this path and not allowing the things in life to kill our hearts. Instead of being hard and hardened by life, we can stay in a place of S.O.F.T., which is such a much better place to be because it opens us up to so many gifts from life, to be able to be our best selves, to be able to face the fear and to be proud of ourselves because we take control of it. And we actually begin to live in love instead of allowing fear to shut us down.
0 (10m 32s):
That's exactly what Lea did. How did she do it? Well, she says that let's look at the 'S'. She lived and, and really focused on becoming STRONG. As soon as she found out what was happening over there, where her husband was, and that he had married another woman, and they were expecting a child, she got some advice from a friend, a friend that said, "Do NOT let this define you". She said she hung onto that advice. Another piece of advice she received from a woman who knew both her and her husband was this: She sent this to her.
0 (11m 18s):
She said, "The day will come when there will be tears of joy in your eyes instead of tears of pain. And that day you will be like a dream. Your mouth will be filled with laughter and your tongue was songs of joy. Lea wrote that and put it on her fridge. And she read it every single day to remind herself that she was not going to allow this to define her. She was going to go towards a place of love, a place, a future that held joy, not that was full of the sorrow of what had happened. Now that didn't make it easy.
0 (12m 0s):
It didn't mean that all that she just instantly went into joy but it gave her the fuel she needed. The strength she needed to grow stronger, to begin to take the steps towards coming to terms with everything and becoming a woman who was deciding to be strong instead of defeated by the circumstances, the bomb that had gone off on her path. The 'O' in S.O.F.T. stands for 'Open'. And Lea uses that word a lot. As she described to me what she had done to get herself through that pain, she said that she opened herself.
0 (12m 49s):
She opened herself to learning. She opened herself to actually looking at the much bigger picture she had had her hesitations about this whole situation. And red flags were popping up for her as she went along, but she chose to ignore them. Lea, I commend her for this, took responsibility for her own part in all of this. She knows now that she did not pay attention to the red flags, the warning that was going on in her heart. And she's not alone in that. I've been there. We have all been there but she wanted the love so much that she chose to ignore the warning bells.
0 (13m 37s):
So when it came to a place of being open to forgive, she, first of all, had to forgive herself. Forgive herself for being human, for wanting what she wanted. For not paying attention to the things that could have saved her so much grief. She also had to go to a place of forgiveness of her husband and his girlfriend. That's tough. But when you see themas people walking their paths, living their own stories, throwing rocks at you, causing bombs to go off for you. For some reason... sometimes we don't always even know why that happened.
0 (14m 19s):
Then you can give them that grace, and you can say, okay, I know you're coming from your own story and I have no control over that, but I can control who I am in response to what you have made happen in my life. That led her to that place of being 'Feminine' (the 'F' in S.O.F.T.) where she was embracing love. She went into that place where she was her Lover for herself, not just for others around her, but where she cared for her own heart. She accepted who she was.
0 (14m 59s):
She accepted her mistakes. She accepted her own needs and her own desires. And she gave herself room, again, to be human. She was on her path, her own heart, walking along, deciding how she was going to see herself and how she was going to see them. How she was going to accept that, how she was going to be in the middle of all that. And that brings us to the 'T' in S.O.F.T. - Being true to yourself.
0 (15m 39s):
Lea took responsibility for not paying attention to the red flags. And she chose to see herself as lovable. What happened did not mean that she was not lovable. It just meant that she had made a bad choice. And she says that what she did was she began to focus on the qualities in her life that would take her forward. The things that she stood on that were important to her, her own values. She focused on her faith and believing that good was going to come.
0 (16m 21s):
That, as that friend had told her, the day was going to come when she would be crying tears of joy. She focused on being optimistic. She refused to believe that that day was never going to be there for her. She just kept on walking that path of healing. She focused on courage, on becoming braver and stronger to take the steps she needed to make her divorce happen. To finalize those things, to bring closure to herself. And she focused on gratitude. She focused on all the things she could be thankful for such as the fact that she found out.
0 (17m 7s):
The fact that he had his visa in his hands when she discovered what was going on. He could have already been here. There could have been a greater mess. So she chose to focus on those things instead of focusing on of what she had lost. Now, Lea was open. She was open to the magic in life and she actually, after 18 months or so, began to date again. And she says that that was one thing, If she could give a piece of advice, one piece she would give is just to remain open.
0 (17m 55s):
So after about that year and a half, friends and family started setting her up on dates. She went on blind dates. She started online dating and she opened herself up to going through the experience and, and going out on a lot of dates that actually ended up nowhere. And just when she was about to give up, she accidentally came across a message from her now husband that he had sent her on Match.com. She said, and these are her words, "I knew immediately after a few messages, he was someone I wanted to get to know but a situation in his life delayed us to meet until two and a half months later.
0 (18m 45s):
So then he texted me and he said, 'Okay, now's the time'". And they met. And from then on, she says, they were inseparable. The pictures of their wedding are beautiful. She glows, She glows! This is a woman that came from Not Enough to being Brave Enough. She grew her Brave. You have that same Brave inside of you. You are beautifully Brave. You are a heart living your own life. You get to decide how you respond to the things that happened to you.
0 (19m 28s):
Even if you're partially responsible, you can grow from that. You can become better, not bitter. You can grow and not shrink. AndB my beautiful lady, if there is anything that you take away from this today, I want you to remember that Brave women do not come from staying in their comfort zones or from playing small. They are formed in the fire. That's you! I would love to know your thoughts on this story - on all of this. If you have something you would like to share with me, please send me a private message on Instagram.
0 (20m 14s):
Just go to my profile @braveenoughforlove_ and send me a message. I would love to hear from you. Okay. I'm looking forward to continuing our conversation around you becoming Brave Enough for Love. Being fearless after 50. So I will see you in the next podcast.