Many years ago, I attended an in-service at the college where I worked. It was one of those “pick one of these and attend or don’t bother coming back to work” sessions (Read: Mandatory). The choices were things like “How to fill out a supply requisition” or “use your float day or lose it”… but!… this time there was something really interesting (HA!) featuring this new Life Coach person.
Life Coach? Who ever heard of such a thing? I mean, I sure hadn’t! I did NOT hold high hopes, but I checked it off.
At the appointed time, I went to the Community Center where she would be speaking. Sixteen of us sat in a semi-circle around the room. Not very many, really. I gathered that others chose the “How to claim pencils on your taxes” seminar. We chatted and waited.
The speaker was late. A little. Yeah, I’m picky.
She blew in like a breeze, wearing a white skirt-suit… I remember this. She was petite, blond and cute as a daisy. She was a force… I could tell… but would she hold my attention for two hours? I mean… seriously?
She said many words… talking fast… breathless… a little edgy… not soft at all. Not hard, either.
Something grabbed at me and wouldn’t let go. And then she said “the sentence”.
She was talking… talking… talking. Easter… Father’s Day… ? A holiday, for sure. She was 14. Parents estranged… going to church as a family. She stood outside, with her parents. He opened the trunk of the car…
“… He had a rifle in his hand and he was raging at my mother…”
Wait, I remember thinking… what did she just say?
I leaned in…
Murder. Suicide. She was the only witness.
If anyone should live in fear, it would be this woman.
I remember that day very well. Like many before and after moments, it had the potential to change me, had I allowed it. It brought the subject of fear to the forefront of my mind but… I didn’t do the work necessary to rise above it. Had I done it then, I suspect my life choices would have changed and… well… woulda, coulda, shoulda… I didn’t.
Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten is her first book and contains the details to the story she shared with us. It also contains her journey through grief, anger, and fear.
Many years later, I saw her again… but it wasn’t in person. It was on TV. She was the host of a reality show about five women who share a house and try to rebuild their lives after trauma. It was called Starting Over. Rhonda Britten was the host and Iyanla Vanzant was her co-host at the time. Powerhouse duo.
The thing is… by this time, I was living with the consequences of the choices I’d made years before. Guilt and shame were my cloak. Oh, and regret. OH OH, and resentment.
I needed a re-boot. So, I read the book again. I also shared it with my son, who was going through a tough time, too.
On second reading, what this woman has accomplished is nothing short of miraculous!
The book is pretty special, too… but ya know, I feel like I was in on the ground floor since she was just beginning her “self-help” journey when I first saw her. I have a tender spot for her and this book. Can you tell? It really is an excellent tool for moving out of a fear-based life and into freedom. But it’s not for impatient people. It’s not a quick fix. It’s totally worth the time and effort it takes to pull yourself out of fearful living and into fearLESS living.