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A Picture Doesn't Tell You Everything

Isn’t this picture adorable? 😊 Well, I think it is, but that’s because those are my babies. I can’t believe this picture was taken exactly 8 years ago at an Oklahoma City Redhawks Triple-A baseball game.

You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, this picture definitely has a 1,000-word story behind it. You might think by looking at this picture of smiles, that on the evening of September 2, 2012, our family had a blast at the ballpark, but in reality, it was one of the scariest nights of my life.

We lost our son in the stadium. He was weeks away from turning three. Definitely not a proud parent moment. And, don’t be fooled by the lack of other people in our photo - it was a very busy night in the stadium. We have always arrived at baseball games way early. Yes, we are that family.

I can’t tell you how long we frantically looked for him before we saw him with a stadium usher, but it felt like hours. The joy and relief I felt were immeasurable and I never wanted to feel that way ever again. Nevertheless, we lost our son again a few weeks later at a local museum. This was becoming a problem and I was having serious doubts about my parenting – that’s another story.

Nearly all parents have their own story of losing a child in a crowded place. Right? It’s not uncommon. Right? I need affirmation here, friends. Even so, it doesn’t make it any less scary or my specific story any less significant.

My point is, everyone has a story of loss, grief, or struggle. We might even have similar situational stories, but we each handle it differently based on our tendencies and personal experiences.

I, unfortunately, handled my experiences of losing my son by handing out blame. It was my daughter’s fault at the ballfield because she didn’t stay with him at the playground. It was my fault at the museum because I looked away. Not healthy or helpful in either case and both of these events deeply affected me.

Right now, as you manage work, home, education, finances, and all the other life obligations and responsibilities, remember that everyone around you is dealing with similar situations. However, they might be reacting to them differently based on their foundational voice, but it doesn’t diminish their feelings if they happen to be different from yours.

Each of the 5 Voices reacts differently under stress. If you know what your foundation voice is and are self-aware of your tendencies you can be in more control of how you lead yourself through a difficult time. If you know the foundational voice of those you lead at work and home, you can be the type of support that works for them – not you!

If you are ready to know what your voice is or maybe you want to know more about the power of it (yes, each one has it’s very own superpower!), contact me to schedule a time.

A lot more is going on in our lives behind the picture that we are giving others. Being self-aware and honest with our realities and tendencies is the major first step to becoming a leader worth following.

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brené Brown
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