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Full Circle Moments: Finding Freedom in Letting Go

In September 2021, I dropped my youngest son off at college and a day later I was “living the dream” in Chincoteague, VA, a magical place on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where the wild ponies live. I was an empty nester and in a bold declaration, I decided to sell or give away most of my earthly possessions and move 31/2 hours away from the suburbs of Washington, DC where I had lived for over 30 years. Everything I owned fit into a U-Haul. I  was about to step into a storybook life.

At first, it was thrilling to live near the ocean, surrounded by nature and only being responsible for myself and my beautiful Golden Retriever, Sadie. Very shortly after though, the reality began to set in. The feelings of freedom, connection and joy quickly wore off.

I missed my tribe dearly - my 2 young adult children, the love of my life and friends who had become family all who still lived in the DC suburbs.  Intellectually,  I knew I would be starting over in Chincoteague, but emotionally it hit me unexpectedly like a ton of bricks.

I thought I was prepared for this Empty Nest thing. I’ve been through all the hard stuff - in 2007, I had memories surface of being sexually abused by a close family member; I’ve been exiled from my family of origin for over 15 years, I’ve had a marriage fall apart, I’ve been fired, I’ve lost dear friends to cancer and suicide - loss is part of life.

I have an advanced degree focused on managing change; I help people navigate transitions, grief and difficult emotions for a living, I know and use all of the tools and still I fail AND I get back up again.

The key is learning how to get back up. How to show up and accept ourselves with grace, compassion and forgiveness.

I’ve lived most of my life feeling like my outsides don’t match my insides. “Shiny, Happy People” Corinne on the outside and “Sad, Rageful and Ashamed” Corinne on the inside. It wasn’t exactly my fault - it was a result of growing up in a home filled with secrets (addiction & abuse) which led to a marriage mired in secrets. 

And now, I have landed in a beach town with 3 traffic lights and my outsides are finally matching my insides.

woman staring at sunset
Full Circle Moments: Finding Freedom in Letting Go

One of the ways I was able to navigate the feelings of loss, grief, confusion and doubt centered around little messages of hope I call “Full Circle Moments.” The ability to recognize how everything has come together for my greatest good has been a powerful force in strengthening my hope and faith in the future. It’s looking for the silver linings in the messiness. 

When I was packing up to move to the Eastern Shore, I found the offer letter for my first professional job after college. It was dated April 14, 1988. Exactly 10 years later, on April 14, 1998, my daughter was born and I became a Mom for the first time. 

The ability to recognize how everything has come together for my greatest good has been a powerful force in strengthening my hope and faith in the future.

It stopped me dead cold; chills ran up and down my spine. Tears welled up in my eyes and I let out a guttural release. I was not alone. I was right where I was supposed to be. To me it was God reassuring me that all was going according to plan. I did not need to know the details. They were already taken care of. I was already provided for. It was up to me to pay attention. It was up to me to choose to believe that all was coming together for my greatest good.

There was no way for me to have remembered the date of my first offer letter. I rarely kept things like that. And for some reason, when I needed the reassurance the most, the letter appeared. FULL. CIRCLE. MOMENT.

Full Circle Moments allow me to have a greater sense of freedom and invite me to have a stronger faith. I gain greater confidence that the details of my life are already worked out. All I need to do is surrender - which is much easier said than done. 

It’s my job to pay attention and stay aware. To look for the synchronicities and connections that are happening every day. Now, I eagerly seek out Full Circle Moments as a way to connect to a Grace, Compassion and Love much greater than myself.

Where do you see “Full Circle Moments” happening in your life? I’d love to hear about them! Email me.


Meet the expert:

Corinne Coppola on Her Nation Magazine
Corinne Coppola | Internal Family Systems coach

With over 25 years in business and leadership roles in the public and private sector, Corinne has led and developed programs to help hundreds of people overcome depression, anxiety, negative patterning, and behaviors to live with confidence, ease and peace. As an Internal Family Systems coach with a focus on trauma recovery, her clients have gained the courage to take on new adventures, overcome health challenges, deal with grief, take back control of their lives, stand up for their beliefs, regain love and connection in their most important relationships, and more. Her Healing the Heart programs include relationship topics such as Boundaries, Forgiveness and Conflict as a tool for Connection through virtual small group Healing Circles, in-person retreats and 1:1 coaching.




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