I ended up in a twelve step meeting a couple of months after my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married anymore. I was devastated; having trouble eating and sleeping, feeling isolated because I had lost a lot of friends in the separation. The coach I was working with suggested a meeting, and found one for me in town. The first meeting I inwardly criticized the room, thought it needed to be redecorated. The second meeting I realized everyone in my life is codependent. The third meeting I started to believe that the program might help me if I worked it. Two and a half years later, I know my program has saved my life. I have found a sponsor and am working the steps slowly but surely… getting ready to do a fourth step soon. When I was ready to give up on life, this program showed up to demonstrate that grace is active in my life, and I am truly grateful.
Something beautiful is happening… I think it might be resilience? Stamina? Endurance? Wisdom gained from experience? But as I found myself caught in my monthly darkness today, instead of falling all the way down into the dark hole of depression and believing my life was never good and never will be good I remembered that this was a temporary darkness, and all I had to do was ride it out. I prayed. I breathed. I reassured the little girl in me who was never allowed to feel sad or angry that I saw her and loved her. It didn’t change the mood. it was still awful and dark and sad, but some part of me knew this was temporary. What can I call this? Empowerment? Evolution? Grace? That has a nice ring to it. I think I’ll call it grace.
When my happiness depends on the actions of others I’ve given my power away. When my peace depends on certain conditions being met I’ve given my power away. When I rely on someone else to help me to feel a certain way I’ve given my power away. When I believe I need something from someone in order to move forward I’ve given my power away. I gave my power away too many times. Now it’s time to call it back.
Something has changed. I don’t feel so stuck. I’ve chosen to stop listening to the old programming, and replace it with something better. I have to be vigilant. If I don’t watch it, the same old stuff will come cropping up, fill my consiousness, and make me miserable: You’re not good enough. Your life is a mess. You’ll never be happy. You’re a failure. When I start to hear that stuff (it usually begins the moment I wake up) I listen to my affirmations app, or The Quote of the Day Show Podcast, or I repeat this new mantra out loud: I am immune to the opinions of others, positive and negative. I am neither greater nor lesser than anyone else. I am fearless in the face of challenges. Yes, I am choosing to rigorously reprogram my mind. Little by little, day by day, I’m starting to feel okay about myself and my life. Even if there are some unknowns about my future. Even if there are some unresolved questions in my heart. Even if I sometimes mess up… I choose to live my life as an adventure, a life that no one has ever lived before. This is my life. I choose to live it on my terms.
A friend who is close to
15 years my junior
wrote about the uncertainty
of her life right now,
the turmoil in which she finds herself,
how challenging it is for her right now.
I remembered being 25,
full of turmoil,
full of debt,
thinking there was something wrong,
hoping a spiritual master would show up
and show me the way.
One day way back then
I imagined who I would be as an old woman,
smiling, peaceful, happy, content.
Reaching through time,
taking both my hands in hers,
she reassured me that it would all be okay.
I cried and trusted her.
Today, I ask my present self
to reach back to my younger self
and reassure her once again.
She, who was so full of doubt,
would be happy to know
that my life has great purpose now.
She, who was so anxious to
see a clear path
would be happy to know
that she has no choice
but to always be on the right path.
There is no wrong path.
There is only one path.
Life is the path.
Allowing an experience
to flow through you
without trying to understand it,
embellish it or fix it—
just having the experience—
is at once extraordinarily challenging
and extraordinarily simple.
It’s as challenging as remembering to breathe.
It’s as simple as remembering to breathe.
If there is one skill I learn in this lifetime,
let it be me learning
how to let it be.
What can I say
that hasn’t already been said?
If I waited to be original or inspiring
I might never say anything at all.
So I simplify,
and then I can express from my truest self.
I look at what is in front of me,
what is within me,
and I experience that.
I don’t try to understand, evaluate, or judge,
I try to just experience,
to breathe through the experience,
to know that this is enough for now.