“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”. -Albert Camus
I have endured many winters. The past seven years have been the longest seasons of my life, with only a few hints of spring dangling like carrots before me, far off amid some elusive horizon line. Within those years, I have struggled with chronic fatigue, inattentive ADD, a life-altering cross-continental move, a marriage that ended in divorce, three deaths in the family, one year after the other, financial strain due to anxiety-induced hospitalizations and the subsequent depression due to some of these experiences. Often, I tell myself that in truth, I haven’t really been through a lot compared with so many other people, and that I am in fact, quite fortunate. Lately, however, as I have come to reflect more deeply on my journey thus far, I realize that both of these perceptions can be true to one degree or another, simultaneously. There will always be people who have fought more battles, whether of an external nature or an internal nature, than I feel I have. That does not invalidate my own challenges because, at the time, what I was dealing with was just enough for me. I also realize that I must honor the uniqueness of my life’s path and how those challenges have shaped my life’s over all trajectory. Furthermore, I can be lucky, comparatively speaking or not, and still struggle depending on the impact of only one or two struggles that would have another person saying: Hey, this isn’t so tough. I’ve dealt with far worse than this. The moment I remind myself of this is the moment I set myself free from the comparison spell we all find ourselves falling under from time to time. Then, I begin to honor the person I am today, in spite of everything.
August and September 2019 proved to be the first kickstarts in my path to bettering myself not only from the outside in, but also from the inside out. With my divorce underway and another painful interpersonal chapter opened, I sought help from a licensed therapist as I came to identify and work through my own subconscious stories—the ones that led me to where I was at that specific point in time. From where I was laying, love looked like the night sky mocking me, an unreachable cloud and I some small, earth-bound joke who could never touch a star on it. For the next seven months darkness ensued, with tiny cracks of light coming through the door. Finally, in spring 2020, after what I vowed to myself to be the last painful experience I would endure for a long while, I found the strength to gather seeds, walk through that door and plant a new garden, where the sun would melt the frost in my heart. Although I am still a work-in-progress (aren’t we all?), I am getting there. Slowly but surely, I will climb that mountain.
From now on, upon seeing where I go wrong, I choose to take a closer look at the subconscious wounds that I sometimes so unconsciously place in the driver’s seat and work on myself in a more holistic manner. I will take back my power and live closer to the surface of my skin, becoming increasingly unafraid to be who I am. I know that the more fearless I feel to live in a more authentic manner, the closer I will come to both discovering and embodying my own soul’s purpose. Once I do this, many other things will come into alignment. I will meet more people who resonate with who I am and where I am going. They, too, would have been on their own healing journey at one point in time. I will pray to my higher power more consistently and receive answers in rays of synchronicity that envelope each corner of spirit that still shivers in the cold with doubt. Opportunities will continue to arise at seemingly perfect times. More importantly, I will eventually learn to surrender to life’s process entirely and to trust that the universe has my back. I will continue to be less reactive and more of a passive observer, waiting for the storm to pass should one arise. I will sit and watch as life unfolds back and forth, in lapses of waves that come as a conduit between myself and the divine. Then, my thirst for answers will be quenched.
In November 2020, I joined a twelve-step recovery program and am freeing myself from the spiritual shackles of co-dependency, love addiction and anxious attachment. I am learning that to be alone with myself and in my own energy is empowering to me, a bliss beyond sufficient explanation. I am learning to look within and identify emotional triggers as a set of compasses guiding me in the direction of an onward flowing river, one that I can kneel down beside and drink from yet again. There, in that space, I can ask myself what the sponsoring emotion behind that trigger is and what that feeling is telling me about myself and my current, ever-changing core needs. If, for example, someone doesn’t answer me and I find myself feeling insignificant, I identify feeling significant as a need I have and actively set out to achieve goals I set that remind myself of how and why I am important. I remain committed to seeing myself through, regardless of whatever else seemingly gets in the way. In doing this, I quickly learn that I don’t need anyone else, that I can embody wholeness with or without someone there to hold my hand in moments of space or uncertainty.
I will continue to write self-improvement articles that inspire others and create vision boards and take classes to upgrade my skills, learn new things and build on my existing resume. Each day will feel like a new dawn, with new trails to blaze as I set my feet on the ground each morning. Miraculously, I will lose my lifelong tendency to worry both excessively and unnecessarily, as I continue to trust the strong voice of my own intuition simply by tuning in despite all the noise and chaos outside of me. I will see myself as a beacon of persistence, because I still fight through certain inner obstacles, just as I have for quite some time, now.
I will also see the gifts that have been bestowed upon me in the face of these struggles, such as wisdom, grace and humility, for example. I will continue to strike balance and pace myself in an all-too-often harried world.
All in all, I am coming to honor myself and celebrate this re-birth, after being stuck like a snow plough in the thick of winter, knowing now that spring is well on it’s way. I will kneel in awe to smell the roses, marveling at the beauty that surrounds me. I will see myself for the strong woman I am becoming today, and dear reader, in the face of any obstacles you’re thriving above in your own journey, so should you. Cheers to spring and to the soul’s re-birth!