Map of Heartbreak – Loss as a Catalyst for Change

 

“What breaks your heart? The warrior knows that her heartbreak is her map. It will lead her toward her purpose, her tribe.”

– Glennon Doyle Melton, “Hurts So Good” article, O Magazine, Feb 2017

Pain as Fuel

In her article, “Hurts so Good,” author Glennon Doyle Melton wrote about a group of women in Iowa who had all lost an infant – and started an organization called “Healthy Birth Day,” with the goal of lowering the stillbirth rate in their state.

“Instead of withdrawing after their losses,” explained Melton, “or finding ways to disconnect from the magnitude of their suffering, they ran straight toward it. Their pain became their fuel. Their courage saved others from the misery they’d experienced.”

This is similar to how we chose to proceed in the aftermath of my husband, John’s, death as the result of a preventable fall at unsafe workplace. By “we,” I am referring to the police officers who started the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund and all the people who have (and/or still do) work for, volunteer with, or lend support to the Fund in some way.

In the early years, pain and anger certainly fueled our passion and guided our purpose. Nothing we did could bring John back but we all agreed that the workplace safety campaigns were better than doing nothing at all. We will never know the number of lives we have saved, or the injuries we’ve prevented…and we’re okay with that.

Would I recommend this path to others in a similar situation?

Hmmm…

Working closely with the JPMF to help raise public awareness about why and how to ensure workplaces – and the roads – are safer for everyone, including emergency responders has been my path, yes. I knew in my heart and soul, very early on, that workplace safety was an issue that I would need to tackle.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

But being a workplace safety advocate did not come without sacrifice in other areas of my life. The time, money, effort, love, and attention I put into the JPMF meant there were other areas of my life that didn’t get that. And that’s okay. I chose the path I did…every moment of every day. I have no regrets.

However, now that I have 17 years of experience behind me, I can safely say that trying to transform a tragedy into positive change so that others don’t have to experience similar suffering comes at a cost. We cannot do it all.

“Pleasant experiences make life delightful. Painful experiences lead to growth.”

– Anthony de Mello, Awareness

Thankfully, we get to choose how to respond to whatever loss we have experienced…and forge our own way forward. So regardless of whether we allow loss to be a catalyst for growth and change for ourselves and/or for others, just remember:

“Allow heartbreak to guide you at every turn.”

– Glennon Doyle Melton

When the love in your heart is your road map, you cannot go wrong.

Related blogs by Maryanne

Chick in the Road

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Childfree, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Writing by Maryanne | October 16, 2017 | No Comments

She Packed Up Her Potential…

 

 

“She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things…her heart glowed with a degree of happy assurance.”

– Anon

All our bags (and boxes) are packed…we’re ready to go

Have you ever come across a quote that resonates with you so strongly, you just KNOW it’s going to impact your life in some way? That’s what happened with me with the above quote – it was on a fridge magnet. I found it at a shop in Sidney in the spring, a few weeks before the developer came knocking at my door.

 

Sadie supervising the packing process as only a Retriever can 🙂

It’s been a busy couple of months, purging items and getting the house all packed up. But I’m on the homestretch now…the movers come on Oct 19th. All my worldly belongings are going into storage and Sadie and I are hitting the road on a writing adventure for at least 6 months, possibly longer. It depends on how much we like the bohemian life and, of course, what the universe offers up in terms of new digs.

As for my “cute pair of shoes,” these are they:

 

 

Yup, that’s right…PINK GAZELLE runners by Adidas! I found them in Nordstrom’s when I was in Los Angeles in the summer. I don’t think the salespeople had ever seen a customer so excited about a pair of runners before 🙂

And this is our road trip vehicle:

 

 

I wish! I created this little blue bus prototype over the summer for my brother, George, and his wife, Donna. They actually have a converted school bus (for road trips) that they painted blue, so I thought they might appreciate some decorating suggestions. Hah!

Take care and stay tuned. I will be blogging about our gypsy adventures.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

When Opportunity Knocks on the Door – Literally

Why Pink Gazelle

The Simple Yet Sacred Act of Showing Up

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

 

published in Beauty, Inspiration, Photos by Maryanne | October 11, 2017 | 20 Comments

Sassy in Sooke – Boudoir Photo Shoot Follow-Up

 

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

– Coco Chanel

As you may recall, over the summer I had some boudoir photos taken in East Sooke Regional Park. The photographer, Roxanne Low, and I had an awful lot of fun! We laughed and laughed and laughed…at each other, at ourselves, at the circumstances. And I think that joy and lightheartedness is reflected in the photos.

From the Search & Rescue exercise underway around the corner (sexy guys in uniforms, need I say more?), to the multiple hikers who traipsed right through the middle of our photo shoot, to the fact that, try as a I might, I just couldn’t get the hang of “ballet hands” (a way of holding one’s hands so they look relaxed and graceful), it’s rather amazing that I was able to stop laughing long enough for Roxanne to snap a few pics.

But snap she did. For I was in the hands of a pro who captured the essence of me: sassy, smart, strong and sporty 🙂

Here are a few of the photos:

 

 

 

 

 

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”

— Peter Adams

Related blogs by Maryanne

Laughing at Ourselves – Boudoir Photo Shoot, Thong Faux Pas & the Pub Crawl Sprawl

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life