There’s a lot of instruction floating around about finding oneself. Listen to your heart. Tap into your power. Dare to be you. Follow your dreams. Conquer your fears. FIND HAPPINESS WITHIN!!
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard any variation of this advice over the years. I’m sure I even spewed some of it myself right here on this blog. Wait … do I sound bitter? I sound a bitter. I don’t mean to. I will never say that there were not times when a decent bubbly mantra helped me through a rough patch. And there were many rough patches, so I was willing to take whatever help I could get. I looked deep within, mantra-ed and meditated my ass off, gathered crystals, cleared chakras, called on ancestors. But the perpetual pit beneath my ribcage simply did not give a fuck about any of it.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong, is what I thought for a while. Maybe I’m not focused enough on what I really want, or I’m too focused on what I don’t want and causing my own negative results. Even during the times that I felt loved and hopeful, I was still SO damn sad and never sure of what I was doing or why. I just couldn’t see an ending for me that was ultimately happy.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that those methods of self-healing don’t work. They just didn’t work for me. They weren’t what I needed at that time. Instead, I needed to get my theoretical ass kicked, and that was facilitated by my interactions with others.
It happened when I went toe-to-toe with someone who challenged every fiber of my being and wasn’t afraid to tell me when I was wrong. It happened when I stopped feeling sorry for myself long enough to actually hear the pain in my ex-husband’s voice when he spoke to me … pain that I caused. And it happened when I began to understand that the bullshit that I was trying pass off as “finding myself” and “living my best life” was actually me avoiding the real work of healing — and frankly, being selfish as fuck.
There’s no question that I stepped on some heads while I was clawing my way out of the hole I was in. And I’m not going to lie and say that I reached back in to help pull anyone out. I simply couldn’t see what I was doing to others, and probably wouldn’t have given a damn anyway. I made decisions that were piss poor, then justified my actions by pointing a finger at someone else. I can say that now, because claiming the part of me that is dark and selfish is just as important as claiming the part of me that is powerful and giving. Denying either is pointless. I needed to face that shadow side of me to understand the full spectrum.
Now when I pray, I don’t just ask for health and happiness. I ask for compassion and the capacity for pure love. I ask for forgiveness for my actions that have caused others pain. And I ask for the strength to always move in a sphere of honesty and authenticity. And sometimes I do it with crystals, and sometimes I ask my ancestors to be a wind at my back. I’m very grateful for open eyes and true love and understanding for every part of me.