Looking back on how I arrived at this moment in my life there is a certain defining moment that came to mind, this being the moment I chose to admit to myself, and my family that I was being sexually abused by my grandfather. Of course after reading that statement it would only be human nature to extend some sort of empathy, but I assure you although it may seem egregious (because it CLEARLY is), given the opportunity I wouldn’t change what happened; it is part of what made me who I am today and for that I am grateful.
As a person who once struggled with the gambit of textbook emotions after such a trauma (e.g. self loathing, guilt, anger, pain, you name it, I felt it, and it was all floating around in a bottomless pit of darkness), I can stand here and say that there truly is light in every situation, even the ones that seem to shatter you from the inside out. This darkness is what I believe to be my moment of truth. In this horrifying scenario, I was faced with two choices, to live in the darkness forever, or reach out to the light that is waiting for me to choose it. Naturally, it took time and the help of many people to reach these realizations, and without sounding trite, hindsight is truly 20/20. Every day since has presented me with those options, but I couldn’t see the big picture just yet. This choice to live in the light and defend myself against the injustices of the world, set the tone for the woman I would become. I can’t say I know exactly why I knew what I had to do, some call it instinct, intuition, fate etc., but something inside me woke up and literally guided me to save myself, despite the fear of persecution and alienation from my family. For the first time, I experienced a true sense of a higher power, God was working within me.
Human resilience is astounding, and that of a child is unmatched. I remember being eager to go back to being a pre-teen worrying about the typical adolescent dilemmas and to feel normal again, but what I didn’t know was that fear was spreading like a poison in my mind, body, and soul. Fear chimed into everything I thought, did, or dreamed about from that point on. It manifested as the lump in my throat when I wanted to speak up, the nauseating churn in my stomach when I envisioned bright lights, music and singing as my life’s dedication. Nothing seemed attainable, and I didn’t feel confident enough to stand up and fight for anything. Given enough time you eventually get used to what seems like inevitabilities of this world, and we accept fear as a part of life!!
The danger of living your life in fear is you’ll never experience your greatness and true potential. Ever since identifying the culprit in the labyrinth of my childhood trauma, I recognized I was the only person I needed to live a happy and fulfilled life. I have learned to love myself as I am, flaws included. We are not just a compilation of personality traits, accomplishments and awards; I have come to realize we are endowed with so much more. At the core of this concept of self actualization and your true self is love. Unfiltered, unrefined, raw, brilliant, and astronomically endless. All we have to do is tap into this precious resource, and the potential is boundless. First start loving yourself, then open your heart and soul to love, use every situation good or bad as an exercise in sharing love and kindness in anyway you can. Finally, surrender to it. Love is EVERYTHING.
Fun fact: The ONE thing in this life we actually have control over is our thoughts. What you think of yourself is more accurate than any mirror in all the universe, and it has the sole purpose of designing your reality. If we emptied our mind, and selected our thoughts as if each one had the potential to become reality, we might think twice before manifesting vampires, or chupacabras into our life. Let’s leave those thoughts to the architects of fear, like J.J. Abrams or Rush Limbaugh. (Sorry, I’m not sorry.)
We all have some hidden pain, something that holds us back, I implore you to release it. I have pledged to myself that I will no longer let fear corrupt my full potential, and using ancient methods of eastern spirituality I will master my thoughts, and love WILL continue to pour into my life. You can do the same, all it takes is surrendering to the love and truth you know lives within you.
To reiterate the importance of identifying what keeps you from your happiness, and admittedly what kept me from mine, I’ll leave you with what the wise FDR once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Spread the love, and share your mindful thoughts in the karma comments below.