Lola Colored Glasses

Final thoughts

Intentional living is a personal ethos I adapted after having the most prolific breakthrough moment of my life. October 11, 2015, the day I realized that I was only weeks away from being the same age my mother was when she was killed in a car accident. When I realized this was all the life my mother ever lived, my entire lens of life changed. After that moment, I wanted to make sure that everything I did had meaning and purpose. Every second of every day is a gift and I didn’t want to waste those gifts, I wanted to cherish them, and make each one count.

Because of this, I have learned to analyze and question everything I do and my motives behind them. Self-awareness allows me to be better for my family, friends, clients, and strangers. Every month I sit down to write the Lola monthly newsletter and I ask myself “what do I want to say and why do I want to say it”? I want to make sure that the stories I share add value and meaning to your life. As long as I know I lived a life of impact, if it be God’s will, I can die peacefully. My hope for you is that, you too, experience that same level of peace in your day to day lives.

Years ago, with the help of my husband, I learned that I have a coping mechanism that appears to be very healthy and positive, but it’s actually quite destructive. I have a tendency to put on what I call my “Lola Colored Glasses” too soon. Lola colored glasses are my unique version of rose colored glasses. Wikipedia describes “Rose Colored Glasses” as:

Optimism (, the tendency to see things in a positive light;
Rosy retrospection (, the tendency to view past events in a positive (often unrealistic) light

Doesn’t that sound healthy? It looks super healthy in the moment but come see me about 2 weeks later, when the traumatic experience begins to manifest itself. Weeks after an event, I have kind of “forgotten-ish” the event, meaning I am not thinking about it, but my emotions are still seeking resolution. Prior to my husband pointing this out to me, I didn’t realize it. Thank you Heath, for being my constant observer and care taker.

I remember the first time Heath brought this to my attention, it was after my very first mentor passed away. Stephen Wake, RIP. I would not be who I am without the leadership and guidance of this man. Heath had heard me tell many stories about him. After hearing about his passing, my heart hurt…I empathized with about his son, Avery, and wife, Tricia, who was also a mentor to me, and one of the most loving human beings I have ever met . Stephen also had two sons and grandchildren in England…I kept on thinking about how I felt when my mother had passed and assumed they all felt very similar feelings of grief…but, in my “usual Gina fashion”, I just went on with the “normal scheduled programming of my life”.

About two weeks later, Heath could see me spiraling. I didn’t notice…I just chucked up my impatience, overly-emotional reactions, and anxiety to whatever was happening in the present moment…not the tremendous loss of someone I loved. I never allowed myself to feel the feelings. When they finally manifested, thanks to my husband, I recognized my very dysfunctional coping strategy.

Thanks to Heath, I was able to use this insight during a recent traumatic event, ironically, involving Heath. Here is a very brief synopsis of the event:

Heath is diabetic and his sugar had dropped in the middle of the night, not unheard of, it happens. We keep glucose packets nearby for this very reason. After giving him a couple packets, he left the room, I assumed to use the bathroom. After a while, I grew concerned and ended up finding him laying on the concrete steps outside. I tried to give him more sugar but it didn’t seem to do the trick so I called 911. I ended up having to give him CPR for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived.

There are a ton of fine details missing from this story, but the point is this was one of the most traumatic events of my life and afterwards I behaved as I always do…dust myself off and get back to living life. This time though, I knew what was going to be in store for me.

Equipped with the understanding that all my emotions were going to be surfacing in about 2 weeks and my intentional lifestyle, I was ready! I had several conversations with Heath, we talked about how we were going to have to use incredible grace and mercy with one another as we sift through our emotions. I also reminded myself that the weight I felt on my chest was a result of nearly losing my husband, so I wouldn’t try to simply blame it on day to day stress.

So, here’s the reason I share this with you…we must have awareness of how we react to situations in our lives. Do you immediately feel all your feelings or do you sweep them under the rug? Awareness of how you respond allows you prep both yourself and your family, seek help if you need it, and allows you process everything, helping to ensure you are not haunted by an event over time.

Matthias Barker, LMHC (find him here ( refers to trauma as “little t” trauma and “big t” trauma…we all experience traumatic events…some are little, some are big, some are immeasurable…no matter what, it’s all trauma and it must be dealt with before it snowballs into something far worse.

Remember, dynamite comes in very small packages yet it does catastrophic damage. Whether we are talking itty bitty “t” trauma or massive “T” trauma, it all needs resolution. Consider a couple days of deep meditation, journaling, talking to a dear friend, or seeking a medical professional…make the time to do it, if you don’t, it will come involuntarily.