~Female reader from New York.
How I Found Myself Again
So, the other day, I was speaking with a friend, as we often do, and before you know it we were having a very deep and meaningful conversation about life, love and all the possibilities that are out there just waiting for us to claim. We can claim them anytime we want. The world is ours for the taking. How exciting is that! Yet it’s amazing how few people believe that. They accept things as they are. They fail to see that they actually have a choice in how their life plays out. And that it has everything to do with how they THINK, and what they BELIEVE. The truth is, anything is possible for anyone. What's ironic about this, is that I was one of them not long ago. I had lost my passion, and drive. I accepted my mediocre life. I didn't care. There were no thoughts of my future or wanting more. No one, five or ten year plan. I was just going through the days on auto-pilot. I was an emotional mess. Days were a blur. I had lost faith in myself.
I wasn't born this way, quite the opposite. From the time I was very young, I made it clear that I would have every good thing life had to offer, and plenty of it. But, I never fully believed what I was saying, I just hoped it was true because I wanted it so much. I grew up; and had many jobs, many relationships and lived all over the country. I had experienced life on many levels. I thought I had learned a lot, and I am still sure I did, but nothing had prepared me for the hell I went through a year ago, when I lost the biggest love of my life. At this stage in my life I believed I had done the “work” necessary to maintain a mature, healthy, loving relationship. I even told my friends that I felt like a “big girl”, in a “big girl” relationship. I was kidding around, but serious. I felt that I deserved to be loved unconditionally and to have it all. I wanted this man to be my “forever”.
I was madly in love. The kind of love you feel to the depths of your soul. The kind you dream about. I had never experienced love on this level. When it ended something inside me died. My spirit, my soul, I was lost. I felt hollow. I felt like a stranger to myself, I didn't know this person. I felt no joy, it had left me and I seriously didn't know if I could ever feel happiness again. I could feel nothing but pain, loss, and hopelessness. My whole world was black. I spent more time in seclusion, than I ever had in my life. I cared about nothing. I was depressed. I remember talking to my friends, my therapist and my mom, and saying that I had no idea how to get out of this dark place, how to get myself back. What's funny is that I remember my therapist saying that I would never get back the person I was, because this experience would change me forever. I would get myself back, but it would be a new version of me. A completely changed and transformed version of myself. She said I would be extremely proud and very thankful for, this new me, because she would be so very strong and confident and wise, and she could handle anything after this. I heard her, but I literally did not know how to get there, how to get to the other side. It was a very slow process and when I say slow, I mean minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. It felt like an eternity before I felt even a tiny piece of a person that I could recognize. Everyone had advice for me, but none of it mattered because nothing mattered to me. This sounds so ridiculously corny, but I really just had to start telling myself that one day I would be ok again. That one day, I would find this new and improved version of myself, that my joy would return, and that I would start to care about something, anything, again.
At first, it wasn't my own faith, it was the faith that my friends and family had in me. They would tell me that I was going to be ok, that this too would pass and that all would be right in my world again. I figured if they believed in me, maybe I could start to, just a little. It was still difficult to find anything of interest, or anything that brought me joy, but the one thing I came up with was travel. The thought of travel, anywhere away from here, made me feel some sense of relief and curiosity. I was curious to see what a change in scenery and circumstance would do for my soul. This was all I knew and I was not going to ignore that voice inside that was telling me to GO. Some of the best advice I ever received was this: "do whatever it takes to take care of YOU, to preserve yourself, and nurture your soul. And above all else, listen to YOURSELF. It knows you better than anyone." So, I was going to do just that. I hadn't figured out the specifics of where I would go, although many places came to mind. I was just “winging it” letting go of the details. Even though I have an entire bucket list of places that I was dying to visit. Then out of the blue, I received a text from an old friend. He was spending the winter at a ski resort, snowboarding, and wondered if I wanted to come out and snowboard. Within a day, I agreed to fly out for a long weekend. So without any more thought, I booked my ticket and jumped on a plane.
Snowboarding on the slopes of those beautiful mountains, in the crisp mountain air and sunshine, were just what I needed. Not to mention that I was with a truly amazing person and friend. We have been friends for over a year, but I still didn't know him very well, and now we were spending five days together. I just hoped all would go well, and that we would have a fantastic, fun filled weekend. Let’s just say, any concern I had was put to rest the moment I landed. He took care of me, and every little detail of everything we did. He was fun and sweet and a perfect gentlemen. He treated me like a queen and a lady. Which was just what I needed but, didn't realize I needed. Our weekend was amazing, and fun and all I hoped it would be. And my snowboarding skills have greatly improved! We said our goodbyes and he dropped me off at the airport. As I was waiting at the gate for my plane, he sent me a text message, one that brought tears to my eyes. I quickly looked around to see if anyone could see this, but then I decided I didn't care if they did. I was totally surprised by the sudden emotion I felt. My first thought was "hormones". But what I realized in those next few moments, was that he, and my time there, had represented so much more to me, than what had happened on the surface. And, I hadn't even realized it until just now. I truly had a “wow” moment. It hit me all at once, rushing in like a flood. Months ago, in the midst of my pain, I had felt the need to get away. I didn't know what this time away would do for me, I didn't know the details, but somehow I knew I needed it, and needed it more than anything. And now I was standing here, realizing I had done it. I had followed my heart and listened to my voice, without even realizing it until after the fact. By doing so, I had gained much more than I ever imagined. In these precious moments, I realized that I was finally over the worst of my heartache. I was healing. I had healed a lot. This weekend put life back in me.
And, oh my god, I had felt joy again. I had laughed out loud! I had the privilege of seeing myself through the eyes of someone else, someone who genuinely cared for me. I could finally see through his eyes, the things I couldn't see myself. This is what he saw; an amazing, beautiful woman. He said he was happy that I was a part of his life. That he had a great time with me, and couldn't wait to see me again. I was amazing and beautiful? I had become fun again? When did this happen? This meant everything. This meant I had changed, transformed. This meant I mattered. This meant I was doing ok. Maybe this was the new improved version of myself. Could this be true? As I contemplated this, I realized this was all true. This experience and validation, brought me back to myself, but introduced me to a brand new me. It brought me back to the person I knew I was, only better. It was like the feeling you get when you come home, except it had been myself that I had missed. I was overwhelmed with emotion and joy. I had been blessed in so many ways, and I was so grateful.
That was the first moment I truly realized, I had come out on the other side. It was like waking up from a bad dream and realizing you're still alive. All in the world was ok. I was feeling all the things I never thought I would feel again. I was actually living life again. This got me excited. And the excitement got me thinking about all those possibilities and opportunities that are out still out there. They never went anywhere, I did. I was lost, but now I am found. My mind was buzzing, just thinking of all that was waiting for me, in love, and in life. All I needed, was to find myself again. Believe in myself again. Find my passion for life again. And somehow, through all of this, that’s exactly what happened. Except this time, unlike when I was a child, I truly believe I can do or be anything. I believe in the power of my thoughts and my intention, and I intend to have a life that's anything but mediocre. My focus is on AMAZING! I don't have the details all figured out, but I have the end goal in mind. I have a vision. I have hope. I have love, joy, passion and ambition. I believe.
~If you have an inspiring story to share please email it to me at email@example.com I'd love to consider it for publishing on both of my blogs either anonymous or with a link to your site and by line.