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What’s Missing that Could Bring You Joy & Satisfaction?

Because I’m a life coach and business coach who’s been practicing for 20 years and I’ve learned a few things, people sometimes make the mistake of assuming I have it all together.  Uh … no.  I struggle with the very same things everybody does.

And there’s a very personal challenge I’ve been dealing with for over two years I want to share with you, because I’ve discovered some amazing life lessons as a result that could be helpful for you.

We’ve all had challenges with the pandemic … some health-related … others personal or financial.  We’ve all heard stories of people feeling isolated, experiencing rifts in their families, etc.  And I’m sad to say my family has been impacted by “philosophical” differences.

Bottom line?  I haven’t seen my family in over two years.

Oh, we talk on birthdays and holidays … superficial stuff.  I get to interact with my granddaughter on FaceTime.  But, it’s not the same.  I want to BE with my granddaughter.  I want to play with her and hug her.  I want to have real, genuine conversations with the people I love … even if we disagree.

And sometimes, we don’t have control over what’s happened.  We can’t “force” what we want.  We have to hold on as best we can to the vision of what we want … and continue to let go of the hurt, sadness, and disappointment. 

 But what else can we do?

I’ve thought about this a lot.  I continue to do the internal work of letting go.  But I’ve also spent time looking at what’s missing in my life … and how I can fill that void.

I wrote a newsletter a while back that was very personal, related to when my first husband died many years ago and I was bereft.  I remember reading that what we, as humans, all need …

  • Something to do
  • Someone to love
  • Something to hope for

I looked at those three criteria for a happy life, honestly evaluating what was going on for me now.

I have a very busy life and a thriving business.

I love what I do and I have lots of work!  No missings there.

I have a ton to hope for and a compelling vision of my future.

I was missing “someone to love”!

Don’t get me wrong.  My relationship with Tom is great and I love him dearly, but I also have a huge heart and lots of love to give.  But I don’t have a big family anymore.  And this Italian girl was raised around a big, noisy, extended family who gathered at Grandma’s every Sunday for a five-course meal with all my cousins … at the kid’s table, because there was no room for us in the dining room.

The reality is my family doesn’t live within a small radius anymore, and yet, I’m still stuck with the mental filter of “how families should be.”  And that belief was making me unhappy.

So, what to do to fill that void right now, while still hoping that things could change?

Adopt a puppy! 

A sweet little guy … Willy.  He’s so loving.  Always soooo happy to see us.  Pure unconditional love.  He takes a lot of time and attention … and brings such absolute delight!

Not a human to human connection, I get it.  But, let me tell ya, he’s a lot like having a baby to love.

So, my life lesson for you today is to evaluate your life based on these three criteria:

  • Do you have something to do that brings you meaning and satisfaction?
  • Are you surrounded by friends and family to love? Are you able to give that love freely?
  • Do you have something compelling in your future that keeps you moving forward?

But don’t stop at the evaluation part.  Find what’s missing … the presence of which would make a difference … and go out and get it! 

You might be tempted to think what you want isn’t possible.  Maybe that new position that’ll bring you meaning and fulfillment seems too far away.  Or that life partner.  Or the financial success you want just doesn’t seem attainable.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t have what you want, AND ….

Don’t be attached to what you want looking a certain way.  Be willing to adapt.  Look for answers outside of the “perfect” answer. 

I may not be able to create that family closeness I want … just yet.  But, I can still fulfill the longing inside in a different way and find absolute joy and delight in my puppy.  He’s created “family” for Tom and me in a whole new way.

Be willing to evaluate your life with these three criteria.  And then be open to finding answers in weird and mysterious ways … because you’ve put your desire … and your belief … out there in the world.  You’ll be amazed at how your life can transform … even if it’s already really good!



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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!