How does one survive the darkest moments of life and find ways to live again? Mary Anne Zani weathered many tragic and traumatic incidences and has emerged with a new sense of purpose and zest for living. She is a single mom, a fibromyalgia and cancer survivor, has a loved one still in the Missing Person list, experienced death of her mother, mother-in-law and aunt – all within a year.
How did she rediscover life?
I asked Mary Anne this question and this is what she said:
I learned not to take any part of life for granted. It is important to tell my family and friends that I love them. Each person’s life is a gift from God. There are blessings in life no matter how grave a circumstance is.
I also believe that our experiences benefit and help others going through similar hardships. I have learned to live one day at a time and that it is okay to have days where I feel grief. I get in touch with it, pray and let it go. My family’s lives have been turned inside out and through it all God is with us.
Mary Anne is a mom of faith. She has raised two wonderful children who have also discovered their own purpose in life. Her son Andrew is a fitness and personal trainer and her daughter, Angela Marie is a senior in high school.
As a mom I know living by faith is easier said than done. So how does a faith filled life look like for Mary Anne?
Mary Anne said:
Living everyday to the best of my ability as God would have me live is how I look at a faith filled life. In the course of a day, I am in communication with God. I start my day with meditating on a daily spiritual reading that includes scripture passages to reflect upon. Sarah James’ book, Jesus Calling consists of daily devotions.
The themes are focused on thankfulness and trust. Making the best possible choices throughout the day and realizing, I do not have to necessarily like what I must do, take care of or what is in front of me in any given situation.
I need to just do the next right thing. I turn to God and say, “I don’t like this or that, please help me to accept things as exactly how they are in this moment. “
The practice of acceptance is applied through reading a little booklet, Acceptance, the Way to Serenity and Peace of Mind by author Vincent Paul Collins.
The Bible, books and stories of overcomers are ways most moms of faith fight the good fight of faith and live a positive lifestyle. Of course oppositions like fear would always like to derail us.
Mary Anne still suffers at times with the lack of faith especially when there is a lesson. She continued:
I may withdraw and tend to isolate. I go within my head. The mind can be my best friend or my worst enemy. There is a process for letting go and letting God. Life flows when I surrender to God’s ways.
My mind can go to lower frequencies meaning any feelings of anger, frustration, jealousy, hopelessness, and fear can be debilitating. Although these feelings are part of the human condition, it is what I choose to do with them, and how long I choose to stay there. I do have to feel the feelings and let them go. The times I feel like I cannot pray, I realize I do have a prayer; one word, “Jesus.” I call upon the name of Jesus.
We have to admit that life is not always a bed of roses. How do we speak life to a negative situation? Mary Anne’s answer to this question:
This question is based on how an individual perceives a situation. We all have biased perceptions. God is in each situation, both negative and positive. I cannot come up with a perfect solution to a negative situation. God has perfect solutions in God’s timing.
I do what I can and God takes care of the rest. The answers will come through prayer and patience. The importance of being gentle with ourselves and with others is compassionate and loving. The Saint Francis prayer speaks to the contrast in life.
Mary Anne’s life was dramatically changed from working in an administrative position in an Ivy League University to becoming a divorced single mother financially bereft and physically disabled. When she was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer, her children were just nine and eleven years old. Her ex-husband went missing the day after her 21 days in the hospital. His car was found abandoned in another county.
She experienced tremendous health and financial challenges – from one tragic incident after another and the moment she had to tell her young children that their dad was missing. To this day, he has not been found. It was during the six months of aggressive chemo treatments that she found Young Living Essential Oils.
In her own words:
One day a dear friend anointed me with Frankincense oil and immediately I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I intuitively knew that the oils would be life saving and life giving. She visited with her son who was a support to my children. My children also used the oils that raised their frequencies.
I asked Mary Anne if she could give a few suggestions to moms who are struggling with health, emotional and mental issues. Here are Mary Anne’s tips for living a life of faith:
1. Each person has his or her own path. I encourage women to find their voice within their bodies, mind and spirit connecting to creation. Many of us have been told what to think and how to feel.
2. Find your truths. I am divinely created in the image and likeness of God. Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, assists in looking at the self and moving from an ego consciousness and group consciousness to a global consciousness.
3. The idea to look at him, her or them without judgment moves us toward love. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. Honor each life even if you see a person who doesn’t dress as you dress, talk as you talk, live as you live.
4. Love everyone and hate no one. An example is my children have tattoos. Many young people have tattoos. I used to cringe when I would see them on other people. I acquainted tattoos with the dark side of life. I did not know much about them. I have come to the understanding that tattoos are an expression and an art form. Without expression we have depression. The message and gift for me is to express myself, otherwise the outcome is depression.
5. In the past few years I am learning more about life than I ever expected to know. I consider myself an observer. I tell myself. Just observe. See how I feel, and ask myself, is there a lesson in this for me? What is the gift? The gift is the process of the letting go and letting God.
Each of us, including each child has a Higher Power. Children need to have their own experiences and find their own truths. I have guided my children and now release them as young adults.
Please listen to this 50 minute recorded interview to find out more about Mary Anne Zani’s passion and future endeavors. Mary Anne is passionate about helping others find hope:
You can connect with Mary Anne at http://www.millegrazia.com/
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.