62: Take That, Universe!

62: Take That, Universe!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive

Take That, Universe!

Affirm the positive, visualize the positive, and expect the positive, and your life will change accordingly.

~Author Unknown

What makes some people defy the odds whereas other people facing the same circumstances fall apart? Is it genetic? Is it all about attitude? I believe that, more than anything, it’s our state of mind. For instance, when I wake up in a crappy mood, the first thing I do is adjust my internal language. Then I change my physiology, too, because when you stand up straight you feel better. Putting a smile on my face seems to change everything, too. It’s amazing how that works.

Another major factor that affects my attitude and success is peer influence. I believe in surrounding myself with people who think positively, and most of them are dealing, or have dealt, with issues of their own.

We all have issues that we’re working through, even if we don’t always wear it on our faces. When I meet people for the first time, I don’t have to say, “Hey, nice to meet you. You know what? I was raped and shot….” It’s more appropriate to say, “Hi, my name is Courtney and I love sailing, going out and spending time with friends.”

So how did I get to this positive thinking mode? I’ve had several setbacks in my life, wasting many years feeling I was “not enough,” which led to unrestrained weight gain. I blew up to a whopping 383 pounds to be exact. I just barely functioned at that point. I would go to work, where no one would look me in the eye, where I would be bullied and eat all day. Then I’d come home and eat and hide and cry “why me,” always ashamed and yet always feeling safe from the outside world. I couldn’t walk or stand on my own, had to use crutches, and had many health issues: sleep apnea, diabetes and cholesterol problems. What a way to live, eh? Yet I did just that for five years. I was slowly dying. Did I really want to die? I wasn’t sure.

What changed? My grandson. He came up to me and gave me a great big hug and said “I love you.” No judgment, just those three simple words that I had not heard in decades. It changed everything. I changed my diet; I joined a gym and began my long journey to becoming a healthier me. I lost a total of 205 pounds! I felt success with each weigh-in. I was able to walk without those awful crutches after losing seventy-five pounds. I no longer had to wear sacks; I could fit in normal clothes and shop in normal retail stores. To top it off, people began looking me in the eye and talking to me.

I went about changing other things in my life, taking big steps by working on me from the inside, and little steps — my reaction to things, my interactions with other people — making progress along the way. Yes, life was getting better and I was on top of the world. Until I felt it was time to make some changes in my home, and then the worst day in my life happened.

I hired a handyman to paint and fix some things around my home. This man came in and took his time doing a simple task, painting my wall, asking questions about living alone and making uncomfortable remarks. He made me so frightened that I asked him to leave, turning to open the door for him. Then I felt this searing hot/cold pain in my back in two places, my knees buckled and I fell to the ground helpless to everything this man did to me.

This man shot me in the back twice. To make matters worse, as I lay on the ground dying, he raped me. I woke up in the hospital several days later very “lucky to be alive” as the nurses and doctors told me. Really! My mind was screaming at me: “Why did you lose the weight? Why did you let this guy in? Why, why, why?” I felt so defeated. All I could do was wonder what I did to deserve this.

I couldn’t leave my home on my own for eight months, pitying myself and diving deep into depression. I was heavily medicated. The big question I kept asking myself was, “Should I die and just be done with this pain?” I considered it many times, but something kept stopping me. That little voice inside kept telling me I could get past this, I could succeed at anything I tried…. Finally, I decided to no longer be a victim.

I started healing bit by bit. I started believing it was not my fault, listening again to my self-help CDs, getting back in touch with people from my past. I began volunteering to crew Tony Robbins seminars, as I had in the past. I was healing, not with drugs, but by being with incredible people who themselves had overcome adversity. I started listening to what others thought of me. I started to believe I was a worthwhile person. Finally, I began to flourish.

Four years later I have a successful coaching business, helping others achieve their goals. I teach others about their state of mind, what they believe, the interpretation of the vocabulary they use on themselves, their body language, and where it can take them in life. I teach them what surrounding themselves with positive people can do in their lives and how believing in themselves can move mountains.

I am thriving; I am successful beyond my dreams in the friendships I’ve developed and in the business I started. I know I am loved and worthy of this love. My mantra is “I am always open and deserving to receive all that is good from the universe; I will succeed in fountains of abundance.” And I have.

~Courtney Campbell

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