Rise with Victory from Breakdowns

Valeri Bocage  CEO Powerful Women International Connections

There are victories in breakdowns. Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. In times of struggle, our strength arises and shines. Breakdowns can be very painful. When we stay positive, and persevere, we always land on our feet.

My story:

While at an event in San Francisco, I saw my friend Tim. I had not seen him for a couple of years. We were so happy to see one other. Although my friend smiled when he saw me, I sensed something was wrong. When the event was over, we had a chance to talk.  I asked how things were going with him, and he said things were well. Since I could tell there was more to his story, I asked him about what else was going on. He opened up, and shared about his divorce.  He was in the midst of ending a 15-year relationship. They had a business project together, and it was going terribly wrong. The situation was causing him financial stress. Interestingly, he also spoke of the freedom that would replace the financial lost once it was over. Through pained eyes, he shared how his once-charming wife, had turned into someone he did not know anymore. Ultimately, she had asked for a divorce. I empathized with his pain.

I confided with him. I shared how separating, and divorcing from a relationship, hurts. People can transform into someone who no longer seems familiar. Sometimes it feels the devil just jumped into them. My friend’s hurt was apparent. At my core, I felt he needed to talk more, so I asked if he would drop me off on his way home. He agreed. His car was nice and fairly new, but I knew that upgrading would make a world of difference. His vehicle was full of memories of a failed relationship.

I said to my friend, “So, what are you going to do to celebrate your new life without her?” When someone leaves our lives, it allows for something new to replace the void. Victories manifest from the pain.” My friend said, “Well I am going to throw myself a party.”

I smiled, “Great, what are you going to do at your party?” He said that he was going to buy plenty of piñatas.  While chuckling, I asked, “Are you going to hit one of them, and whack it really hard?” He exclaimed, “YES!”   His smile lit up. The thought of using all his might, and hitting the piñata made him laugh. Doing so, would relieve some of the pain he was feeling. He deserved the comic relief of that laugh.

I thought about his car again, “What about buying a new Mercedes?”  He said softly, “Well I did already order a new Tesla.” My smile brightened, “You did? Even better! What color?” As he described the new car, he started lighting up again. I could see the excitement all over his face.

Then I told Tim that I know he is always trying to help others. I asked what he was working on to make a difference. He said that he was working with some other engineers and companies to send six boys into space. It was his idea. I said, “You realize you are actually going to make a world of difference for six boys, and change their entire lives, and transform their futures?!”

After reflecting on the magnitude of the difference he was making for others, Tim excitedly responded with one word, “YES!” I brought up his relationship again, and pondered. Had his relationship been going sour for years? He let me know it had been getting pretty bad.  He said that she had started changing, and it was dragging him down.

Then I changed the subject back to what had made him smile, “You are having a party with friends, and people who love you. You are going to whack the heck out of the piñata, right? And, you are going to buy a new Telsa! Each ride in your new car will be filled with positive, new memories.”  He responded. “Yes!” with enthusiasm.   I continued, “You, and your team of engineers, are going to change the lives of six young men.   You are going to make history.  He shouted with a big, “YES!”

Before I got out of the car, I said to Tim, “Your ex-wife, by showing she no longer knew how to love you, actually did you a favor by asking for a divorce. She has given you the freedom to have a life you really love, and opportunities for a future filled with anything you want. Tim, one day you will see your ex, run up, hug her, and say, ‘Thank you for divorcing me!’”

Tim laughed, and said “I think you are right.” Tim was smiling from the inside out when I left his car. Personally, I don’t believe in divorce. I love when people can stick together through all the hard times, come out together stronger, and celebrate the good times.  However, sometimes it is impossible for some people to stay together, especially if one partner is being verbally or physically abusive. When that happens, for the sake of one’s own sanity, it is time to let go.

Most times, if not always, it is difficult departing from a long-term relationship. Whether business or personal, saying goodbye is full of hurt.  Remember, departures have many perspectives. Look for the good. Even though breaks are painful, the process of healing brings much positivity.

Five Tips for Getting Through Breakdowns Victoriously

  1. Use the pain in a positive way. Create something new and better.
  2. Don’t drink your pain away, self-medicate, or become depressed,
  3. Celebrate, the departure allows space for something good to take its place.
  4. Do something good for yourself.
  5. Change the life of someone else. You both will be rewarded.

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