By Pam Feinberg-Rivkin
Who knew that this shy girl raised in a fundamentalist Christian home would have have lived the life I have. I certainly did not have any concept over what my life would turn out to be.
My story starts in Corning, New York on a dairy farm with my family. I was one of five children. I was extremely shy and not able to feel confident as a young woman. I did have a boyfriend in high school, but broke up with him to be with another boy because I thought I felt a deep connection with him.. I thought I felt a soul connection.
Well… not knowing this boy well, I found myself without him just a few days after I had given a part of my soul to him, or at least that is what I felt had happened. Not knowing why this happened to me, I plunged into school and multiple relationships with guys, and then ultimately my first marriage at age 19.
That first marriage was the beginning of now four marriages, and confusion as to why I could not commit to a long term relationship. I can tell you that now nearing the age of 60, I was not able to truly connect in a long term relationship because I never found out about me, and what I was about.
My second marriage lasted ten years. I stayed because I was determined to show my family that I did not make a mistake. I was afraid of what was going to be said. I didn’t want to be thought of as a failure. I thought that was important. I was always trying to please everyone and not really pleasing myself or doing what was genuinely in my best interests.
I did not feel able to stand up for myself and simply let my family know that I was in an abusive relationship. I also wanted to have a father for my two beautiful children. However, as I started to listen to my intuition, I knew that I needed to leave that abusive relationship. I eventually broke off that marriage and went tumbling into my third marriage. I did not even give myself a chance to regroup and find a life for myself and my children before feeling that I was in love and believing that someone else was going to take care of my needs.
The truth is, I was not taking care of my needs. How can anyone else do that for me? I had it backwards for sure. As I started to embrace therapy, coaching, self-help books and getting stronger with acting on my intuition, I became more spiritual and connected to who I actually am. However, this has been a journey and not a destination. I am still on this journey of finding out who I am. I am still figuring out who I should surround myself with.
Over the past 40 years, I have lived in Upstate New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Orange County Calif, Michigan and Florida. I have converted from Christianity to Judaism and have embraced learning other religions and cultures. I am now in my fourth marriage to a wonderful man who adores me. We are on a journey of finding out how we can continue to have a deep relationship and allow each to grow independently as well.
I have two adult children, 29 and 23, and two step-children, ages 23 and 24, all of whom have had their own personal journeys. I started out as a Registered Nurse in 1977 and then started my own business in 1996 providing Care Management for catastrophic injuries. Now I work in home care services and addiction recovery services, serving over 1,000 individuals and families. I can joyfully say that I will be a grandmother and cherish the moments I will have with my grandchild and any other grandchildren who come along.
Those are just facts to my life. The real journey has been a spiritual one — and I don’t mean religion. I realize now that I was meant to have my life unfold as I grew and became comfortable with my spirituality. The exact time of my “ah-ha” moment and beginning of understanding this was when I heard a Rabbi speak on Kabbalah and our connection to other people and why we are connected to those that take us on our journey and lessons.
As I started to embrace the knowledge of how to connect with people and how my life now unfolds with purpose and meaning, I have a greater understanding of why my life has been as it is. We all have our own journey. Those we encounter and bring into our life teach us our lessons. We have to be connected to those people in order to fully learn these lessons.
I am forever shocked and grateful when I have learned why situations in my life have unfolded as they have. I can truly look back on those moments and say they were the catalysts for what would eventually occur in my life. That knowledge has brought me greater courage to face future events. We do have choices for what our life is about, but do not have choices over what others are going to do or what events are going to come out of our choices.
I can be clear about the present and how this affects me and others, and then make choices based on that. If I knew 40 years ago that I would have this life now, I would make the same choices. If I knew that some of those choices were going to be painful, I would have done everything else but take the painful route. We don’t know when pain will show up, but I do know that through pain, life shows up big and transformation occurs.
All I know now is that I am truly grateful and honored to have been on this journey, and not because I have landed in a windstorm of fame and fortune. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and continue to learn. My life is filled with gratitude that I am able to share an open, connected, loving, passionate life with my family, friends and co-workers. It has been meaningful and forever changed me. I have created a deep purpose to life with the people I have encountered and continue to be with and serve.
Keep living the life you are meant to live, whether painful or not. We will always find joy and peace on the other side of pain. We can achieve personal growth by letting go of the past and future and living in the present.
Pam is a visionary leader who has dedicated her life to assisting those with Catastrophic Injury, Elder Care, Addiction, and Substance Abuse issues. She is the Founder and CEO of Feinberg Consulting, national based company with a powerful mission of supporting others in healing their lives. Pam has inspired others to transform their lives at the most difficult times. She is a testament to inspiration, commitment and courage. Pam is a friend for which I am beyond grateful to have in my life.
You can connect with Pam and her exceptional team by visiting www.FeinbergConsulting.com