You don’t know me anymore

smaller Roar photo


“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

–Nora Ephron

I have been forever altered by a life-defining moment that inspired me to raise the bar in every area of my life.

Still emerging from the resulting cocoon of re-creation, I have gained a few insights that simultaneously and paradoxically both deepen my coaching and lighten my approach to life.

The major shift is refusing to play out “victim” stories.   The truth is we are all tested by life.  Everyone has tough times.  Some are luckier than others, but no one makes it to midlife or beyond (or even out of childhood) unscathed by a challenge or two.

The picture-perfect Christmas cards and Facebook postings represent snapshots of moments, not the sometimes daily or weekly barrage of tests that spur our continued growth.

The people who “knew” me in the past, from members of my family of origin to colleagues and acquaintances, cannot possibly fully comprehend the woman I have become these past 20 months.

I would feel a stranger in some ways to a few confidants and friends of earlier years.

Even those without a dramatic event that affected their psyches often wish their brothers, sisters, ex-spouses, former partners or parents would see them as the more evolved adults they have become versus the younger version of themselves.

Some parents, like myself, hope our children will one day understand us as people beyond the role of caregiver.  I am told that day will not happen until my children have their own children, and they walk in the shoes of being a parent themselves.

On the plus side, I have a strong inner circle of kind and loving people who have stood by and grown with me through adversity.  One dear, smart friend chose the song below as a reflection of the new me, who has with great strength and tenacity stood up beyond “being nice” to assert my needs for right and fair outcomes:

While the sharing of the song was a gift to me, I believe the lyrics stand for all of us who finally learn to assert our own power and stay strong within no matter what life circumstances appear.

Sometimes,  “being nice” includes taking care of ourselves, regardless of what others think.  And yes, there will be some people who do not “like” the newer version of a woman who speaks her mind, trusts her intuition, takes care of herself, and knows her worth.

Yet, as a wise author client shared with me, when discussing the angst of a hurtful situation: “Goodness will only compromise itself for so long.”

Kindness and love must begin within to be shared authentically with others.



1.    I allow myself to stand up and express myself in my full power.

2.    I allow myself to delight in the authenticity of being a fully expressed person.

3.  I allow myself to appreciate and value those who hold me in the highest version of myself.

Beth Shedd’s montage reflects the natural and individual power we all hold within ourselves and the importance of nurturing and trusting in it – especially when we are challenged. Beth loves creating and photographing images that empower the viewer.


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  • Nancy says:

    Love this blog!
    It’s such a ‘big deal’ when we step into who we really are and begin to live authentically from that place.
    I honor myself for living in that place, and all others who live in that place.
    It’s an awesome place to really ROAR. 🙂
    LOVE the ROAR!!!
    Nancy Claire

    • Gail says:

      Thanks, Nancy: And I love your thoughts about “authenticity” being “an awesome place to really ROAR.” Much happiness to you. Gail

  • Dick Joseph says:

    Another work of art! You have an amazing ability to do a self examination with candor. Great job.

    One reason that nobody truly knows who we are is that we tend to be a different individual with each person we encounter. We are different with family than with friends…different with our kids than our parents…different with close friends than with acquaintances…different with business associates than with clients…different with lovers than we are with dates…. None of the people we reveal to others is either complete or false…we reveal different aspects of our lives to every person we meet…each one sees a piece – never the whole.

    Thank you, Gail.

    • Gail says:

      Dick: WOW…it’s nice to have my writing recognized as “another work of art.” Deeply appreciative. You are quite the wordsmith yourself and gave me much to think about as well, particularly with this line: “None of the people we reveal to others is either complete or false.” Thanks for taking the time to reflect on my blog then share your own wisdom. Gail

  • Angela Miele says:

    Awesome, Gail! I can feel your newly reinvigorated self leap off the page on this one! Great, job of self expression; let this be an anthem for the rest of life and beyond.
    With gratitude,

  • Debbianne says:

    Loving this: I “delight in the authenticity of being a fully expressed person.” Rock on with your empowered self, Gail!

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