Creating a Life Full of Joy from the Ashes of Pain
Entering the month of November, I am reminded of the importance of gratitude in my life. I'm not talking about spiritual bypass (when you paint everything with a positive brush and ignore the deeper issues), but an actual depth of feeling thankful at the core of my being for everything in my life. The good, the bad, all of it. It wasn't always this way though. Before my first spiritual awakening, I wasn't really sure what I had to be grateful for. I was in a corporate job that was draining my energy and my home life was in absolute chaos. I was the heaviest weight I had ever been and using food and alcohol to numb my emotions. I thought that people who talked about gratitude or happiness just had an easier life than the one I was dealt. They certainly didn't understand the abuse and misfortune I had endured. Good for them that they could be happy but it was never going to be like that for me. I had bad luck or at least that's how it felt at the time.
Then, something inside me shifted. I remember thinking that I there must be something more for me out there. That I had done everything I was "supposed" to do and still I felt lost and empty. For my New Year's resolution that year, I decided to be more positive. By that I was thinking maybe not complaining about my misfortunes so much. One small change in my pattern began a chain reaction that crumbled the world I knew around me. Then it built up a new one that was beyond what I could ever imagine. This has happened several times throughout my life. I heard someone say recently that when we are trying to manifest something better into our lives, it is like we are raising our hand for the Divine to come in and wipe out everything that isn't working. Most people stop holding the intentions for change when this happens. They see that things are getting temporarily worse and they just want the comfort of the familiar. I was no exception to this and it took me several years at a snail's pace to begin seeing things from a different perspective.
As my life felt like it was spinning out of control, I held on to my dreams like a life raft. I wanted a loving partner, children, to be healthy, and to bring joy to people as part of my career. First I started working on my own limiting beliefs and addictions. Then as I began to heal, I was faced with another enormous obstacle...relationships. I had really only been in a couple romantic relationships in my younger years. I met my ex-husband when we were 18 and we stayed together until I was 29. After that I had to work through my naivety when it came to trusting people. I realized that I was an over giving codependent. I tended to open my heart to the people who were most likely to break it. I had always been close to my mom and had a handful of friends from high school. However, I had never really taken the time to be myself in relationship with others. I just always tried to be exactly who they wanted me to be and to let my needs fall on the back burner. What that created was a ton of resentment and negative momentum in relationships.
The breaking point came after getting my heart crushed by yet another unavailable person I adored. This heartbreak brought me to my knees as a culmination of all the pain I had endured. I knew again that something needed to change. How was it I had healed so many parts of myself, but I hadn't quite started to understand how to relate to people without losing myself? How did I always end up with friends or romantic interests that left me feeling abandoned and used? The common denominator was me. I had already spent the better part of a decade healing but there was still so much more to discover. I was running away from my pain, my past, and myself. I tried keeping so busy that I didn't have time for the inner work I knew I needed. Then the pandemic hit. I was now working from home completely and I felt plunged into solitude.
I decided I was going to take some time to work on myself. I began an inventory process for people who have been through a lot of trauma in dysfunctional families as a child. I held so much guilt for feeling like my childhood was a burden and impacting my current reality. My mom was always there for me and she is the strongest, most hard working person I know. We always had what we needed and there were some beautiful memories. At the core though, I knew that my father's alcoholism and absence from my childhood had created a panicked desire in me to "make" people love me. Various other family members had been abusive as I was growing up and I realized there had been narcissistic abuse and sexual trauma in my early childhood. These were all parts of my life I had to sift through, crack open, and heal. It was not an easy task. One I felt many times would break me. I would get so angry at everything I was uncovering and working through. There were times I would even be mad at God. How could the loving compassionate Divine I had fallen in love with let things like this happen to me? I just kept answering the call and showing up with faith for the spiritual assignments I was being given. I felt like I was shattering my former self, all while attempting to be a functioning member of society. My psychic abilities began opening up even more than they had previously. Friendships and activities that I once resonated with felt heavy and dense. I felt like no one understood what I was going through.
There were positive aspects of my life through all this breaking and remaking. By now, I had an unshakable trust in my Higher Power and the compassionate helping spirits. New began coming into my life. I was beginning to understand how to consciously manifest the life I wanted. All the inner work I was doing was paying off. People, groups, classes, mentors, and abundance were flowing into my life. I was learning to be open hearted and authentic as I started interacting in a more balanced and reciprocal way. I had learned healthy boundaries. People had been telling me that "No." is a complete sentence for years but now I understood what it really meant. I started to love myself. Not just for the way I looked or what I could accomplish but I really started to honor, nurture, and care for myself.
I knew I wanted to start manifesting a meaningful romantic relationship. My mentor, an incredible psychic and healer, told me that someone was coming into my life for a healthy relationship soon. I sat down and wrote a list of everything I wanted in a partner. I mean everything, there were hundreds of things in tiny print. I wrote down how I wanted to feel too. I allowed myself to feel the feelings that I wanted to experience with a partner in the present moment. I felt like I was calling towards me someone that I was always meant to meet. I still had some healing to do but I dipped my toe in the water of dating. I had met a man online during my healing process who seemed different from anyone I had ever met. I wasn't completely ready at the time and I was so scared of opening my heart to romantic love again. He was gentle, patient, intelligent, and kind. He had the most genuine smile and breathtaking eyes. We stayed in touch as friends for 5 months without ever meeting in person. We helped each other work through some difficult situations and emotions. Something inside me said I was supposed to know this man. I kept saying to my mom that I had a feeling this was the person my mentor was talking about but I was too scared to let him in. I had even gone out with a couple people in the mean time that didn't trigger me to look at my fear of receiving love so deeply.
One day he asked me to meet up to go out for ice cream. He had asked me out a few times but I was just so filled with fear of getting hurt again by someone I really cared for. Finally, I said yes. I was done with online dating anyway. I wasn't meeting people that felt like they were happy with themselves or wanted to build like I did. So why not meet the really sweet guy that seemed to check so many of my boxes for what I wanted in a partner? Neither one of us was sure if this was a date or if we were just going as friends. We had a great time and I kept seeing the number 555 all day. I see a lot of repeating numbers and this one means big changes are coming.
We fell in love so fast and effortlessly. When two givers care for each other it's a beautiful thing. He was everything on my list and so much more that I didn't know I needed. As we built an incredible, supportive, balanced relationship over time, I started to blossom more and more into the person I was meant to be. We've been together for a little over a year now and I can't wait to see what the future holds. I've never had anyone treat me with as much tenderness, love, and respect as he does. I didn't need someone to save me, I had already worked exhaustively to save myself. What I needed was this stable safe partnership to help me be truly vulnerable and feel seen. To love me on days when I feel the most broken and celebrate with me on days when I'm ecstatic and giddy. I can't even tell you how happy I am today. It wasn't chance or luck that lead me to where I am. It was a lot of taking on the next challenge, facing my fears, and allowing people to love me. I have friendships that make me cry with tears of joy for how deep and loving they are. I have a passion for helping people who are stuck and looking for how to break out of the same cycles and fears. I’ve lost over 111 lbs and counting. I feel the most comfortable in my skin I ever have. Things are starting to fall into place more every day. I see a vision of a life I always wanted and I'm finally living. I'm grateful for the time it took me to find myself because without that I wouldn't be the joyful and abundant person I am today.
Last night we were laying in bed cuddling while looking up at the beautiful star light I had just gotten. I felt so calm, peaceful, and content. As I looked up at the swirling starry sky, I realized that I had always seen this picture in my mind's eye. The nebula with purples and pinks surrounded by stars. When I was a little girl my favorite colors were pink and purple because of this exact image that I couldn't quite place. I realized I had been calling my past self through the years into this moment. It was that gentle pull that kept me feeling that there was something more, even in the dark nights of the soul I faced. I took a moment to thank the Divine for that constant nudging towards the woman I’m becoming. I held gratitude for all the versions of myself I've shed and released over the years. I know I'm exactly where I was always meant to be. An inner knowing was guiding and comforting me through the darkness to get to this place.
Now there's a new pull, an adventure I've only recently started to embark on. Where I leave fear behind and unapologetically step into the power I've always had but never owned. I can't help but feel my future self calling me towards my dreams. I have no doubt that they will manifest exactly as they were meant to. Wayne Dyer said, "You'll see it when you believe it." I know that the more I believe and feel my desired life being created, the more I'm drawing it to me. There are so many gifts in all I've been through. I know a new phase of my life has begun and I embrace it with open arms and a trust I've never had before. I believe in what my heart wants me to see.
May you have a beautiful month of November filled with deep gratitude for the beauty and the challenges of life. They all lead us to where we are meant to be in the end. Many blessings and so much love.