When I was a little girl, I lived in an imaginative land I had created for myself.
I had the best childhood there.
I always loved to play outdoors with my friends, ride my bike so fast I thought my legs would give out, and pull pranks with some girlfriends I had befriended in the streets.
I surrounded myself with a hundred things in my imagination and outside my house to escape the tumultuous reality of what was happening inside my home.
We suffered from financial constraints and an even more constrained relationship between my mother and my father. They were lost between being good parents and fighting their own demons, which somehow resulted in them raising bruised, insecure, and rebellious children.
I never blame the problems of my own life on the doings of others—I believe we do the best we can with the information and resources we have available at the time. The great wisdom of how to deal with difficult situations comes much later in life—if we are lucky.
When I was 13, certain difficult situations at home—which scared me—led me to run away. I was not trying to get away from my family per se, but I was trying to run away from the gripping fear of the present situation. So what made sense in my immature mind was to take flight.
Thankfully, I did not get quite far, and I returned safely soon after. Looking back now, that is where my methods of dealing with uncomfortable situations took root—to run away and to find anything that would take me away from circumstances that are frightening.
Years later, I wanted to get away from the difficult aspects of my own personality, in the process wrecking the peace of my inner soul. If I were to go back in time and mention all the horrid things that had happened to me, I could cover pages—but that’s not why I chose to pin this down.
What I wish to say is this: There comes a time in every person’s life—either you have already witnessed it, or maybe it is yet to come—that we face a crisis, a trauma, a tragedy, or an event that brings us face-to-face, in an unbelievable confrontation, with who we have been up to this point.
We see the incredibly hurtful and painful things we have done to others and what they have done to us. It is only when we sit with that deep sense of shame, that the fog finally lifts and our mind is clear.
I have known deep vulnerability, inner pain, and escapism from myself and my life. It is only when we sit with our darkness and our light, our good and our bad, our beautiful and our ugly, that we can truly forgive ourselves for the errors we have committed and transform through honest change into the people we wish to be.
Having lived with anger and lack of self-worth, I have lost people I loved and relationships all in the process of looking for that validation in all the wrong places. But every time, I was let down.
Because that’s what we do: We are not perfect, so why do we expect perfection from someone else? As a result, I started the journey of looking inward.
I spent time with myself; I sat with my soul; I read books on self-discovery and courage; I scribbled my feelings furiously in my journal; I cried for hours; I hugged myself on the floors of my bathroom; and I promised myself that the rest of my life would be dedicated to the service of others.
I know I will always be imperfect, and I can only speak for today. But I also know that without struggle and realization, no great change can ever be achieved.
“No one but myself,” said Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Helena. “No one but myself can be blamed for my fall. I have been my own greatest enemy—the cause of my own disastrous fate.”
And then came the light. Ah, the light.
It’s the wonderful glorious warmth—we are free to call it God, source, energy, Jesus, or Earth. It said to me, “All the answers, all the love, all the peace, all the joy, all the happiness and validation you require is right within you.”
Nothing and nobody, no person, no relationship, no material object, no job, no money can decrease or increase that deep sense of love and belonging that is available and our divine right on this Earth.
We can run around like headless chickens all our lives, but we cannot escape from the hole in our souls and that feeling of nothing being enough.
That is the calling of our souls to come home, and once we get there, nobody else can convince us otherwise.
“To secure the planet and enrich its resources in the service of an enhanced quality of life, person has to cooperate with person, group with group, and nation with nation.” ~ James Hemming