Once upon a time, many years ago, I lived in an absolute tornado of existence being thrown from one chaotic moment to another. As my life progressed, things took more and more turns for the worse until one cold February night after what was probably going through the ‘worst’ years of my life, I had a vision. It wasn’t like some magical vision before me, I was bathing my little boy at the time – he would have been 3, and I was feeling so dizzy that my vision was blurring to a point where I could barely see his head to wash his hair.
I stood up trying to steady myself while he splashed happily in the bath water beneath me. I held on to the door frame to stop from swaying before stepping into the hallway at the top of the stairs, chastising myself for once again for being in such a mess. There was something deep within me all along that was searching for a better life, I just couldn’t seem to connect with it. Masked over by far too much self sabotage and utter destruction.
In this moment, in my minds eye, I saw with such clarity what lay in front of me. I was 34 years old and if I didn’t sort myself and my life situation out there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t make it. Even if I didn’t think I owed that to myself, I did owe it to my two beautiful children. There were two paths – one where I continued and my life would no doubt end before too long and another where I took a different path and got myself better.
Thankfully, I took the different path and that’s when the change began. I was so afraid to ask for help that I just sought solace in books and resources I could find online – free courses and programs that would help me get myself well, emotionally and physically. In reality I was in denial of how bad my situation was but considering what I had been through the years before, I was absolutely petrified that people would think I wasn’t fit to be a mother and that would just destroy me. The only thing I cared about was my two children and they became my reason to live and my reason to get better.
Shortly after this I found Buddhism, meditation and then yoga. Giving up the destructive habits took many, many more years, but one by one I gave them up. They returned of course because that’s the wicked thing about self sabotage, it is so deeply ingrained within you that it is like sticky black treacle that doesn’t seem to ever go away. The trick is in knowing how to deal with it and surprisingly, that’s inviting it in, rather than resisting it and pushing it away.
I became a life coach, yoga teacher and studied meditation. It was like by helping others I was healing myself. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t overnight become this enlightened and happy smiling being. I suffered deep dark depression for years after giving up the addictions and the bad relationships continued, just hidden and away from the children. This dysfunction took many more years and came to a head when my daughter became ill.
Something I have learned is this; self development, healing yourself, changing your life and all that goes with it isn’t about striving for improvement, in fact that is exhausting! It is about uncovering what has been there all along and restoring wholeness. When you feel you are ‘broken’ you try to fix yourself through external sources, but truly, you are already whole….and so it is about reconnecting with that wholeness, to yourself and who you truly and already are.
Buddhism, yoga and meditation are now central to my life and I thought how lovely it would be to share and help others with their own life struggles through what I have learnt and experienced in mine.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.