“WHY” I Woke Up with a Heavy Heart This Morning

why-i-woke-up-with-a-heavy-heart-this-morningHave you ever awakened feeling that something heavy is on your heart? You know that feeling when something isn’t quite right, or that you have something to do that you didn’t do yet, or a big job or a big assignment you have to finish?

That’s how I felt as soon as my eyes opened this morning. The feeling immediately reminded me of Billy Holiday’s song, “Good Morning Heartache

Good morning, heartache, you ole gloomy sight
Good morning, heartache, thought we’d said goodbye last night
I turned and tossed until it seemed you had gone
But here you are with the dawn

“Heartache” isn’t exactly the feeling, but a profound sense of calling or mission was. That feeling must have come to me the night before, quietly settled in my gut, and waited for me to notice it this morning.

More than 3 years ago, I went through a divorce. I had been married for 18 years. We had four children together. I moved out of a lovely five bedroom home in a nice neighborhood and into a two bedroom apartment where my four children lived with me part-time. The long days living in that apartment invited me to self-reflection. Self-reflection led to action. I held a seminar that encouraged divorced women that they were not alone through their divorce. Later, the action led to interviews with divorced women about how they got through their setback and moved on. The more I interviewed, the deeper I became in this work of bouncing back after divorce. This wasn’t a planned entrée. I could think of a ton of other concerns of life to get into. Not this one! But bouncing back after divorce kept calling me. People kept talking to me about it. Women wanted to know how I got through my divorce. Friends called and asked me to talk to their loved one. I couldn’t run fast enough away from the calling. So, I allowed calling to lead me until I had to stop and ask: “WHY” am I being led by this calling?

The question of WHY came a few days ago. The question came during the same time I was second-guessing my impact on the lives of women. In other words, the question WHY came when I was ready to quit and go do something else.

Quitting comes easily for the person who hasn’t clearly defined her WHY. I had not been able to clearly define my WHY although I could make up some default words about it, like: “happiness”, “peace”, “joy”, “success”, “health”. But those words weren’t satisfying my soul and quitting was still an option.

In his book, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action“, Simon Sinek talks about the golden circle: WHY | HOW | WHAT. Simon says everyone on the planet knows WHAT they do. Some know HOW they do what they do. But, very few know WHY they do what they do. By WHY he means what’s your purpose, your cause, the reason you (or your company or business) exists. Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?

Simone says that the inspired leaders and inspired organizations – regardless of size – all act and think from their WHY.imgres

WHY do I do the work I do?

Why do I speak about divorce (instead of doing “real” work as one bitter person said to me)?

Why do I coach women about divorce (instead of doing traditional work for which I’m better qualified as the same bitter person said to me)?

Why did I write a book about resilience (instead of keeping my business private as the same bitter person said to me)?

A colleague saw my Facebook posting about quitting the work I am doing. She called and pressed me to think about my WHY…to get very clear about it. Why would she press me?

Because your WHY will keep you going when you want to quit. Your WHY has to be so big that no bitter person’s comments or complaints can stop you. Your WHY has to be so moving that you can’t sleep unless you fulfill on it in some manner every day. Your WHY drives you, wrestles you out of the comfort of your bed, pushes you to exercise, compels you to turn down that second piece of pizza, annoys you until you apologize to a loved one even when you believe you did nothing wrong, inspires you to stop drinking.

After thinking, meditating, and listening to several motivational videos, I re-read Simon Sinek’s book and went through the steps to get clear about my WHY.  And then it came to me. WHAT I do is speak, write, and coach about resilience after divorce. I speak, write, and coach because I know how. I transferred these skills from years in corporate America to use in divorce recovery.

That makes sense, right?

However, my WHY (and all WHY’s) isn’t based on what makes “sense”, it’s based on emotions and emotions drive us. More specifically, it’s based on belief.

I believe every divorced woman is ENTITLED to a resilient life. I am called to hold up a lantern and lead her through the dark tunnel and into the resilient life that awaits her.


WHY I woke up with a heavy heart this morning is because my belief needed to be recognized and acknowledged. It could no longer be taken lightly. It demanded that I share it with the world…no matter if the world is ready for it or not.

What’s your WHY? Do you know it? If you don’t know, it’s time to follow the clues your WHY has been leaving for you. Uncover it. When you do, you will be UNSTOPPABLE in the face of any challenge, difficulty, or naysayers.

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