I’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’ve been weak and foolish and selfish. I’ve hated myself to such a degree that simply remaining alive was torture.
Whatever you are going through, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to last forever. The very next moment can hold hope, peace, and even a miracle.
Those are not empty words. I’ve experienced moments of magic. My life is so different today, compared to where I’ve been, that I don’t feel like the same person.
Here is the story of my first breakthrough into wonder and the light that set me on a path toward recovery, and ultimately, joy.
I had been reading One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant, which is a wonderful book about finding happiness, by the way. My attempts at meditation had been improving (probably because I had been reading something spiritual, and I was more open).
As I am writing this to you now, I can remember this event from years ago, as if it happened yesterday. I can still recall exactly how it felt, and what I thought. I will forever carry this memory.
I had propped myself up with lots of pillows on my bed. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I had been terribly depressed, contemplating suicide. I wanted some peace. That’s all. Just a few minutes of peace.
Usually, it would take some time and patience for me to quiet my mind and find that meditative state, but on this occasion, it happened immediately. It felt as though my body was slowly sinking into the bed, yet my spirit was rising. My soul was being lifted. I had the feeling of losing control. Instead of fighting against it, I just let go and went with it. At this point, I felt this surge of Love. That’s the only way I know to describe it. It was pure Love. Surrounding me. Filling me. It was so intense that I had a thought that “it’s too much. I can’t stand much more.” After what I believe to be just a few seconds, my spirit rejoined my body and I opened my eyes. My face was wet with tears. I sat for a while in stunned silence.
I didn’t know what had just happened. I couldn’t explain it away. Just to be clear: I had not been diagnosed with any mental illness (except depression). This had not been an hallucination. I had not fallen asleep. This was not a dream. Whatever it was, it was real and it was wonderful.
I had plenty of bad days after that, mostly because I was not yet healed of some bad habits and didn’t do what I should to take care of myself. I had not yet reached that “rock bottom” place. I would have to travel this road for a while before I would seek out and discover the real answers, but something had changed. In the back of my mind, no matter how bad things got, I knew I was never alone. There was something or someone that loved me with a Love that was bigger than me, bigger than I could even imagine.
Perhaps 2018 was a rough year for you. You didn’t accomplish your goals. You made terrible mistakes. Guilt and shame whisper in your ear “You’re hopeless. You don’t have what it takes. You’re a screw-up.”
Please believe me when I say this. Nothing you did (or failed to do) in 2018 has power over who you are today. You are dearly loved more than you can imagine. The force of this love instantly obliterates every trace of your mistakes. Shame and guilt cannot live in the presence of something so perfect and powerful. Real Love does not remember your mistakes. You are simply loved. No matter what.
As you step into the light of a new year, I encourage you to take a few moments and sit quietly. Allow those limiting thoughts of shame and unworthiness to pass through your mind and let them go. You are allowed to forgive yourself.
Begin the new year with a fresh, clean spirit of hope. Something amazing is in the path ahead. Your miracle awaits!
Have a beautiful new year!
I love you all!