Gratitude Affects Your Latitude
Going from $200k a year to losing my marriage, business, home, assets retirement and then a loving girlfriend within weeks of her diagnoses taught me one valuable lesson. Be in much gratitude for whatever you have been given in this life.
What you are about to read is my real life story and what happened to me. I personally lived through it along with every joyous moment and also many unwanted court documents that one had to experience. This is my true personal life story about gratitude in the flesh that I felt prompted in my heart to share with the world.
In life as humans, we are often looking for the next thing to move onto, whether it be the next accomplishment, the next milestone, the next week or even retirement. We are often focused on the tomorrow and the future. I know for myself, this was my focus for many years. Admittedly, I knew very little about gratitude, especially on a spiritual level, often finding myself always wanted more and more out of life, more stuff, more, more, more. In this post, I am sharing from my experiences and current perspective. This is my story about gratitude, my hope is that you will relate to what happened to me and how I came to understand gratitude on a deeper level.
My Life in Texas Gratitude at a Minimum – Year 2000
My name is Greg Kapitan and the year was early 2000. I was living in Houston Texas, was happily married and had three amazing children whom I adored and am proud to say, we were and are a family full of love. During this time, I decided to start a home exterior company installing siding, windows and roofing on homes in southeast Texas. The company started off quite small but it grew quickly. I spend much of my time personally making sales calls and could be found actually doing some of the physical work myself. It wasn’t long before I had hired numerous crews along with four salesmen to help run the area to sell our services to homeowners. The company was doing well and began to make a lot of money. Aoon found our family was acquiring all types of material possessions to “satisfy” my family’s needs, wants and desires. At this time, I had been married to my wife for nearly ten years as I observed my three children growing up so quickly as most do.
The Money Years 2000 – 2006
At the peak of the company’s success in 2006, it was bringing in well over $200,000 per year, we owned a 3,400 sq ft home with a four-car garage, complete with a built-in pool on a 3 acre plot of land all all completely paid for! We had all the vehicles, boats, wave runners, dirt bikes, appliances, toys as well as homes in Utah and in Florida, one of which I bought especially for my widowed mother to reside in.
By this time, we had acquired quite a lengthy list of cherished possessions showing the great success of the business. Something I realized later is that the word gratitude was nearly non-existent in my, and my family member’s, vocabulary. I was so wrapped up in making money, ensuring I got the jobs rather than my competition and the local fame that had quickly become the norm, I often could not see past the madness of it. Once again, that word gratitude was unrealized on the level I understand today.
The Fall Of The US Economy – 2007
As we move forward into mid 2006, just prior to the economic crash, things were going great and the future was looking good. My wife and I made the decision to buy another home in Utah with its grand mountains. We selected a home that overlooked the Utah valley and had a view of the lake below, an amazingly beautiful and inspiring location. After I personally was living in Texas for nearly 20 years, I decided to give living in Utah a chance as I had been wanting a different lifestyle for myself and my family. It wasn’t an easy decision as Texas had been very good to me and my family. However, my wife and I had decided at that time that the change would be good for our family as we were struggling with some issues.
So we packed up everything we had acquired in Texas and made the big move to Utah. A buyer was in line to purchase the business and it seemed everything was falling into place and looking good for this huge change in lifestyle and location. Part of the reason for choosing Utah was that I desired to be more connected with the earth and outdoors, I guess I did not realize it at the time, but what I needed most was to be more in gratitude, this was really what I was seeking. I did not know that at the time as I do now.
Then along came the year 2007, this is when everything changed in ways I never imagined as the economy started its big crash and things were no longer on track. First, the sale of my business did not go through as planned and we had already relocated to our new home in Utah. I found myself commuting by airplane from Utah to Texas to keep the business afloat. This lifestyle put a huge strain on me, my marriage and my business. The sinking economy made matters even worse. While in Texas working in early 2008, I received an unexpected surprise when I was served with divorce papers making this was one of the darkest days of my life. Looking back now, I realize this was time time in my life when my gratitude level was at an all time low.
The company had plummeted to $750,000 in debt with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the only way out. What made matters worse is that I had hired a general manager to assist with the company in Texas had taken what was left of my vulnerable company and started his own choosing a similar name. I felt deceived, dishonored and was devastated, I cannot even express all I was feeling through all of this. But I will share that in hindsight, with new perspective, I understood that all this man simply did was recognized a great opportunity and went for it. I took it personally at first, however after some time I am happy to report I have absolutely no hard feelings for the man. This has been replaced with gratitude, I can feel this in my heart.
Move to Florida – 2008
The time now is mid-2008. I finished packing up all I personally owned in Texas (not much) and headed east to move into my Florida home where my mother was residing. It was a very strange experience to show up there on my mother’s porch after a successful business, marriage, children and now at age 45 with a failed marriage behind me, I was moving back in with mom. OK, I owned the home but it had been mom’s home and the whole situation was all a bit uncomfortable, there was a strangeness about the change. Admittedly, I was thankful and feeling gratitude for having that home to to home to as well as my mother waiting with open arms. A very big adjustment was not being able to be there for my children each day as they were experiencing mid-teen years with my oldest in his early twenties and the guilt I felt as they were there, without me, their “daddy”.
I found the pain of missing my children intense and difficult to deal with, experiencing deep hurt on a daily basis. I started spending as much time as possible on the beach as well as partying to ease the pain of everything that happened. After about a year of the closing and finalizing of my divorce, I started dating a variety of women for companionship, to ease the loneliness that I was suffering from.
Meeting June And Then Her Passing Sparks Gratitude For Life – April 2011
A few years went by when I met a woman named June who was a sweet, soft-spoken beautiful spirit. A natural redhead who had a big heart. She and I hit it off with right away and started dating as it was a fun flowing relationship. We could often be found at Blazzues which was one of our favorite jazz clubs where we enjoyed their live music and dancing floor to the fun Cajun music.
This following relationship soon ended when about a year later she began complaining of pain in her mid-section. Although she was somewhat resistant, I encouraged her to let me take her to the hospital only to find out to our unbelief she had stage 5 cancer. Within two weeks, my companion had passed on from this life. I spent nearly a year in mourning of her sudden and unexpected passing.
200k + A Year to Homelessness in Utah Sparks More Gratitude To Just Be Alive April 2011 – May 2012
After June’s passing, I again packed up all that I had into the most valuable thing I owned at the time, an older Buick 4-door car with high mileage. I could no longer afford the Florida home as well as it was to be included in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I was honored to complete my time in Florida by speaking at June’s funeral and then departing the next morning driving myself back to Utah to once again be close to my children.
My Daughter Theresa Wiping Away My Tears In Utah
This was quite the humbling experience for me to have gone through. Here I was on top of the world and now found myself in the basement of my daughters boyfriends home sobbing over the loss of nearly everything. The 17 years of marriage to her mother, our home, the business and now my girlfriend June was gone. Looking back, I am so grateful for my daughter Theresa wiping away my tears as she would often come downstairs to see how I was doing.
A New Room Now With A Window!
In Utah I now found myself renting a room in a basement with no window, from my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents for $200/month. This was yet another very strange situation. I found myself with few options, one of them was the possibility of living in my car, I was on on the verge of being homeless. I soon moved out of the basement room with NO window upgrading to a room in Salt Lake City WITH a window.
This photo is of my room when I lived in Salt Lake City Utah it was a rented room for $220 per month. My bed consisted of a 3” thick foam pad on the floor. You can see that my room also served as my office with paperwork all about as I was working door-to-door knocking as a merchant service representative for Capital Bankcard.
This has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life going from being a successful father, husband and business owner to realizing the need for nothing, living in a small basement room with no window as I continued to mourn the loss of a loved-one, I truly felt I had lost everything. But it had also provided me with amazing insight and realization as I found myself now in gratitude that I was alive, here in the flesh, I had my children and this is what kept me going.
Life in Utah was quite a challenge, there by myself, trying to get re-established and keep my spirits up. It was great to be close to my children but I found the dynamics with them to totally different than what I had experienced as their father back in Texas. Our relationship was different as well as the influences of the Utah culture on them and business. I thought I might start another construction business in Utah and looked into what was required to become and exterior contractor and soon realized that the regulations in the cities and state regulations were stringent and costly.
On top of it, they were wanting to review my personal financial situation deeming and/or judging my worthiness of even starting a home exterior business in the state of Utah. Well, with the bankruptcy in my recent past, this was not going to happen so the state of Colorado started to look like it might be a better option and it would only be 6-8 hour driving distance away my children. They were quickly growing up now well into their teenage year and young adult years at this time.
Meeting Michelle and Learning About Gratitude Maximus – May 2012
Mid-summer of 2012, my life took the biggest turn for the better. I had just joined a group on Facebook called, “The Lunar Love Circle” now, “The Moon Show”, this was a group embracing things that were earthy and spiritual in nature. In the group, I shared a post, it was honoring June on Memorial day. It was through this post in this group where I met my beloved Michelle. She responded in the comments to the post about June regarding her love’s passing. It wasn’t long before we decided to meet up in person for Sushi together. From that moment on, she and I have not been apart. We soon got an apartment together in Salt Lake City Utah. We enjoyed living together in our new place. However due to the smokers downstairs and the cold long Utah winters, we decided to make the move to a warmer climate.
Move back to Texas (Dallas) Jan 2013
After 8 months together in Ut Shelly and I made the decision to move to a warmer climate, Texas became our obvious choice being that I (Greg) had business connections there. We packed up everything that we owned in our two vehicles and moved to Dallas Texas. Greg chose Dallas becuase he had way too many memories in the Houston metro area to go back. In this photo you us having dinner together own Home Depot box becuase we did not own a kitchen table.
Michelle, “Shelly Love“, and I shared many thoughts and perspectives and she help me see and taught me more in depth about gratitude, about being thankful for everything and whatever comes our way. She also spoke to about not being attached to the outcome and to just be in the moment, in the NOW. Wow, this was all new to me and but it made sense and I found myself quite receptive to this new information incorporating practices and changes into my daily life immediately, I started feeling more joy and passion each and every day. I have learned that “we” are so much more than our business, our possessions, and even our personal names. The whole concept of external approval from accomplishments and what others say about oneself, went out the window.
Insights Gained From My Experience
- Gratitude affects your latitude
- Self worth is not based on externals
- Love is what matters most
- Jealousy is a waste of energy
- Be content and unattached to any outcome
I wondered if I’d had more gratitude in the past, how things might have been different and how much time I would have saved searching for fulfillment outside of myself, in things to try to find happiness. I now know that this comes from within, it comes from being in gratitude for everything, everyone and every experience. This is certainly one concept I will carry with me and hold dear to my heart for the rest of this life and certainly into each of my life experiences. The more grateful you are, the more elevated your life and spirits are, Gratitude affects your latitude!
Note: Back in the past, year 2000-2007 ish, I would get jealous of my business competition, today I could care less. Gratitude helps you shift away from the drama of all that is useless into a higher vibration, a higher love. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Please share any thoughts you might have in the comments section for Oneness Love below and thank you so much!