Ever feel you’re the only one?

“Everyone you meet has loved something, lost something
and is afraid of something.”

That quote may have saved my life.

When I first heard it many years ago, I was in the throes of upheaval on all fronts (death, divorce, job discontent, grief, fear, anger, sickness, sadness) and I was grasping at anything and everything to keep my head above water.

Do you know the hopelessness I’m talking about?

Many, many things helped to eventually pull me from my depths of despair — loving friends, family, therapy, my spiritual beliefs, moving to the city of my dreams, getting in touch with my “sparks,” and then meeting the man and life partner I’d wished for and feared I would never have.

The quote assured me that while I may have felt alone in my pain, I was not alone.

All of the wonderful, positive people I surrounded myself with had loved something, lost something and were afraid of something, too.

They had survived.  I just might, too.

I healed.

And, a short time later my “spark” caught fire and I started Women on Fire to connect women to inspiration, strategies and support to live the lives they dream of.

Today’s SPARK! is simply to remind you that no matter what is going on for you right now in this particular season of your life, as a Women on Fire sister, you are not alone.

And, this past weekend the power of Women on Fire connection and resilience touched me again when I was in Orlando visiting Women on Fire Book Co-Author Lori Gagnon.

Lori Phillips Co-author Women On Fire
These days Lori Gagnon’s workout regimen includes walking five miles a day several times a week

Many of you read Lori’s powerful and touching chapter of how she dated for 18 years before she met and married the love of her life.  Less than a year later, Tom was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer.  A month after their 2nd wedding anniversary and five days after her 47th birthday, he died in her arms.

Lori lost not only her husband but eventually her home and her job.

“The last four years since Tom died have been a time of struggle, deep soul searching and a time of discovering who I am, what I have learned through this experience and of deciding what to do with all that,” she said.

Last weekend I marveled at how Lori has emerged from her life’s darkest winter.

Looking beautiful, fit and healthy, Lori has a new home and a new job traveling internationally, which has always been one of her “sparks.”

“When I wrote the chapter in the Women on Fire book I was not ‘on fire’ in my life,” Lori said. “But writing it opened the door to the actual healing process that I needed to walk through. There were so many feelings and fears that I had tucked deeply away.”

“A turning point in my healing came at the Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago. Through all the experiences, encouragement, tears and joys of so many women sharing their stories, I realized the power in women to help each other. It filled me with strength.

“I knew I could move forward with new energy, enthusiasm and confidence. Today I am healthier, stronger and more secure in who I am and what I want for my life.”

Lori shared where she sees her life headed.

“I am looking forward to falling in love again, traveling to new and exciting places, helping others to find their stride in life after loss and experiencing life to the fullest — whatever that may be.”

Lori Gagnon is not only our Women on Fire sister, she is Lori Phillips Gagnon, my real-life sister.

Supported and touched by many Women on Fire “sisters,” Lori, my beloved real-life sister, has discovered the deep strength within her.

You are so very welcome to share your own experience of loving, losing and being afraid by going to the comments section below.

May you always know and feel connected to our Women on Fire community ~