Super excited to welcome Ashley LeMieux to Thriving Beyond Belief this week!
Ashley’s story is a messy and complicated one, but one that she feel like is her privilege to share to help you go through your own.
Included here is an amazing article by her sweet hubby!
3 Steps to Turn Your Life Right Side Up by Mike LeMieux
On April 22, 2013, my wife Ashley and I (pictured above) became parents over night to a 4 and 6 year old.
Up to that point we’d never thought about having kids.
We were asked to raise them and felt like it was the right thing to do —so we did.
We picked them up and brought them home to our house — I was now a dad.
A few years into everything, we wanted to make things more permanent and stable for the kids so we filed to adopt them.
It was unexpectedly and heavily contested.
We fought for them in a very heated legal battle for a year and a half.
We spent a large sum of money on attorney’s fees, attended a dozen court hearings, were deposed, and were drained of every ounce of mental and spiritual energy we had.
After 4 years of being a dad, my time was over.
Our kids went back to live with their biological family.
My wife and I and our families were devastated.
I stopped caring about life.
Nothing mattered to me anymore — work, what I ate, etc. I didn’t care.
For months, I cried every day because I missed them so much.
But several months ago something changed in me.
I realized what was happening to me and wanted to MAKE A CHANGE in my life.
I knew I needed to let myself grieve, but I was sick and tired of not being happy anymore.
I decided to live intentionally, every day.
I decided to work on things that filled me up.
I decided to surround myself with people who are happy.
I DECIDED to take my life back.
Set Intentions For The Day, Every Day
Fill out a planner, write on a white board, create a Google calendar… whatever you need to do in order to stay on track with what you want to do.
When you write down what you want to do each day, you’re more likely to do it.
If you don’t write anything down, you’re not going to do anything you want. You’ll do what everyone else wants you to do.
You’ll be tossed to and fro like a bobber in the water
You’ll be aimless and tired all the time, “working”, but not getting anything done.
Start your day by writing out, physically or digitally, your intentions for the day and stick to them until your day is done!
Let Yourself Feel Different Emotions
After we’d lost our kids, I had so many emotions, as you can imagine.
Most of them were anger, grief and sadness. Sometimes I felt despair and loneliness.
When I felt these types of emotions, I wanted to shove them out as fast as possible. They made me feel very uncomfortable.
I realized the more I tried to bury those emotions, the more they resurfaced and the worse I got.
I decided to let myself feel the emotions and just let things happen as they would.
When I did this, miraculous things started happening;
- I could feel myself heal, literally.
- I could feel happiness again.
- I could feel hope.
By letting myself just be, I was myself again.
Not my old self, but my new self. It felt good.
Take things one minute at a time
The pictures you see above are the last things we did inside of the home we lived in when we lost the kids.
The house was empty, new people would be moving in a couple days later and we would be moving to the other side of the country to Nashville, Tennessee.
I had felt so overwhelmed by the emotions I’d been having, I didn’t know how to take things even one day at a time.
I started focusing on each minute at a time.
I started recognizing things I still had in my life that brought me joy;
- My wife.
- My family and in-laws.
- My dog.
- My work.
I’d think about how helpful it would be to be able to sell what we owned and move to Nashville to “start fresh”.
I’d think about these things, one at a time, until I started to feel happy.
When I paid attention to what I had in my life that made me happy, I was happy.
If I did the opposite and focused ONLY on the difficult things, I was miserable.
My mind frame changed and my life started becoming mine again.
I was making choices about how I wanted to live and I was empowering myself.
Day after day of practicing these three habits has allowed me to go from devastated to determined.
When we stop thinking “We are the product of the things that happen to us” and switch our frame of mind to “I get to decide how I live my life and react to what happens to me”, our lives are fixed and we truly thrive
- She and her husband have been through a very traumatic experience of losing her two children.
- She is the founder of The Shine Project.
- It is very important for her to use her pain and her grief to help others.
- WEBSITE: Ashley LeMieux
- FOLLOW ON Ashley LeMieux
- FOLLOW ON Ashley LeMieux
- BUY The Shine Project
- TUNE IN: Last Week’s Episode #97 with Anne Graham Lotz