11 April 2016
How I Went from Feeling Dead (for Years) to Feeling Alive
Oh man, the title of this post gets me.
To think that I used to feel dead...
And now to know that there was a way out.
Oh my heart.
THIS is why I started this blog.
I figured someone out there might feel stuck, too.
And I wanted to give people hope that there was a way out - and by that I mean a way out of your misery, even if your circumstances didn't or couldn't change.
The key to feeling alive was this:
I had to make peace with pain.
I had to...
Own it (instead of blaming it on something, someone).
Let it surround me.
Realize that it didn't define me.
Stop resisting it.
Be grateful for it.
And let it move on.
Because pain in this life will never, ever, ever stop coming our way.
We will ALWAYS have something in life that we desperately wish we could change.
Until we learn to have a different relationship with pain, it will continue and continue and continue to weigh us down.
I love this quote by Carl Jung: "What you resist, persists." So true, right?
Here is an example:
Infertility. Pain up the wazoo on that one. That pain was never going to end until I had a baby. Oh me oh my. I resisted and resisted that infertility. Didn't want anything to do with it. Feared it. Hated it. Pitied myself. It was my worst nightmare coming true.
But I finally realized that having a child would NOT be the end to my pain. There would always be something else, and then something else. My cycle of resistance to things that weren't going exactly as I had planned would never end unless I made some internal changes. And here I was trying to bring some kids into this!
And so, I decided that infertility would be the reason I would learn how to heal from pain. Because I had the hope that I could teach my kids how to do the same one day. I decided that infertility would be my practice.
I began by stopping to blame infertility - as if I was justified in moping about for months and years on end. I took ownership for my reaction TO infertility. I couldn't control whether or not I had a baby, but I could control how I reacted to it.
I realized that everybody has something they wish they could change. Why continue to pity myself and say woe is me and hide myself away? Perhaps this pain could lead to something. Perhaps it could connect me with others. It was no longer something to be avoided.
I decided that infertility didn't have to be the end of me. Failure or disappointment in this area didn't have to define me or hold me back from living a very joyful life. There were other parts of life that were dang beautiful. I could embrace my life just as it was.
And yes, I even became grateful for the infertility. Like wouldn't-trade-it-for-anything kind of grateful. Because it made me who I am today. It was the reason I learned to be okay with pain. It set me on an extraordinary path. It was the beginning of understanding happiness from the inside-out. It is the reason for every bit of peace I now experience, it's the reason I experience a beautiful life.
2016 is quite a year for me. It marks the ten-year anniversary of my awakening, the anniversary of changing my relationship to pain. And because of it, for the last ten years, I have felt alive.
How are things for you? What is some pain you're experiencing right now? Could you imagine becoming at peace with it exactly as it is?
Sending lots of love to all,
P.S. Our retreat in Ecuador takes place in one week!!!! Our hearts are full to the max as we think of some hopeful people getting on a plane and coming to embrace more LOVE for themselves, for others, and for life. If any are able to come last minute, we'd take you in a second. Flights right now are in the low $400s - the cheapest we've ever seen (at least out of NYC). Register HERE. See what many people have written about the retreats HERE.