Tae Lynne has overcome 25 years of physical and personal challenges. At the age of 27, doctors discovered a congenital kidney defect, which resulted in surgery on both kidneys, lifelong impairment to kidney function and the inability to carry a baby. Then came three surgeries to remove pre-cancerous cells from her cervix; two short marriages ending in divorce; the loss of her mother to aggressive, painful cancer and finally, being diagnosed with a chronic illness at the age of 44, which left her disabled and unable to work.
When you have a chronic illness where you involuntarily sleep 10-12 hours a day and can barely lift your head off the pillow, sadness, despair and self-pity begin to permeate your every thought. Soon days turned into weeks, then months, then years and it became apparent that the life of the formally vivacious, active, “Type A”, driven career woman would be changed for good. From a young age we are taught to get good grades, go to college, get a high-paying job and climb the corporate ladder to achieve the American dream. But what happens when you are suddenly no longer capable of that? You feel like a failure and as though you no longer have a purpose in life.
During times of struggle, it’s natural for a person to think “Why me?” or “What is the point of living like this?” or “What do I have to offer the world?” Admittedly, there were dark days when thoughts of suicide seemed like the only way to end the pain and feelings of low self-esteem, lack of purpose and value to others. Being bed-bound on the worst days and house-bound on the good ones did not help. When any physical, emotional or mental stress put Tae back in bed, life looked pretty bleak.
While healthy, Tae was an avid volunteer helping the elderly and the handicapped, along with pet rescue organizations. In order to pull herself out of her own despair, she realized getting back to helping others might be the key. She began to volunteer with a local hospice organization. Although it was often difficult to maintain the 1-2 hour, weekly commitment due to her own illness, the time spent giving to someone in a less fortunate position made her grateful for what she still possessed.
She began practicing acts of kindness to everyone she came into contact with…a customer service agent on the telephone, a grocery store clerk, a stranger on the street. Tae realized that no matter what someone might be going through in life, everyone was put on this planet for a purpose. Perhaps her purpose was not to raise the bottom line of a corporation’s profits, but to raise the consciousness of others to spread kindness in the world.
She believes there are people who are still invested in the human condition. Our children are growing up learning that hatred, bullying, prejudice and violence are normal and acceptable. This has to stop! It can even start with self-kindness and self-love. If you aren’t kind to yourself, how can you know how to be kind to others?
BE the gift that you want to RECEIVE.
Click here to see some of the inspirational books that have personally helped me along my journey!