Pride and Prejudice

June 26, 2015 was a tremendous day. I finally had enough money to secure car insurance (no small feat when you have been uninsured for 5 months), renew my driver’s license, and my car’s registration. My income had been reduced since the Spring college term ended, and I knew money would be tight. A series of errors in my payroll check for my summer gig at another community college made it even tighter. I knew I was going to have trouble paying. I knew I had to ask for help.

A week or more prior, I woke up one morning and put on my glasses. Unfortunately, they snapped and the left lens came flying on the floor. My father witnessed the aftermath and offered to buy me new glasses on the spot for my birthday. It was generous and was offered without the type of grumbling I am accustomed to dealing with in such matters. As the date of my birthday continued to draw near, and I continued to deal with payroll issues, I realized that I would not be able to pay the Secretary of State.

The boys suggested that I skip the glasses, wear contacts, and ask my father to spend the money on car insurance. It was logical. It was practical. I had an appointment at the optical department at Walmart the next day. All I had to do was tell my Dad and cancel it. When I woke up the next morning, I tried to build the courage to have that conversation for an hour and just couldn’t. I went to the appointment with my father and got glasses.

I felt horrible that I couldn’t do it. I was embarrassed and afraid. Eventually, through conversations with my sister and the boys, I realized that I had to come clean to my father. We had a brief private conversation where I told him that I didn’t want him to perceive that I was just trying to mooch off of him. I felt horrible about asking him for anything, inconveniencing him, but I needed help. Being honest and vulnerable was the only way I was going to get the help I needed. With minimal grumbling, my father helped out with funds.

So, I was sitting at the Secretary of State when the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage was announced. I knew it was coming, but was surprised to see that it actually happened. It was hard to maintain my composure. With so many people around me, did they know? No one talked about it out loud, but I furiously surfed Facebook and news websites for the details. I was so consumed that the hour and a half wait seemed to take only 5 minutes.

I went to hang out with the boys for the day. We were going to celebrate my birthday. I could tell that they were a little off. We didn’t talk about it for a few hours. When it was addressed, it was related to posting a line of the doxology in a comment to my former pastor’s post embracing the same sex marriage ruling. The boys thought it was inauthentic of me to post, “Glory be to God from whom all blessing flow,” because my current religious positioning was less than traditional doctrine. I told them that I thought it was appropriate because it was a very Presbyterian thing to do in response to a big decision, the election or church leaders, offering, etc.

What this started was a catalyst to talk about needing to be open. I have a side of me that was raised Presbyterian. I have a side of me that sees my home church as a second family, but I rarely have talked about this with them. It is like I categorized things in my head, and if I wasn’t in that section…I don’t normally share it. It is not intentional omission. It does sort of feed the concept of being different things to different people. That is where the struggle is real. You build relationships with people at work, at church, at the bar…..but what happens when those people come together? Who knows the real you? I know it is possible to be authentic all the time, but I hadn’t lived my life that way until recently.

The boys also seem to point out that I was more excited by the day’s ruling than they were. I was flying the pride flag, but I didn’t mention that I was also part of the LGTB community. I had thought about posting something earlier in the day, but waited until we would be together to do it. I had even done a draft of what it would be. We shaped the final draft together, talked about the pros and cons to posting it, and eventually I cut and pasted it into a status update. It was the moment that I had fully come out as a lesbian on Facebook.

We went swimming for an hour. We found a way to toss each other up and out of the water several times, sending massive amounts of water out of the pool. It felt great. It felt like a celebration. I felt weightless for a moment in time. When we came back, several people had liked the post and some left sweet comments. I felt a ton of love.

The love continued over the weekend. Several people sent me lovely birthday messages, my father said he was proud of me and loved me, and I even got to go to my favorite pizza pub and eat my cake too. It was a great birthday weekend.

On Monday, I felt like I was riding the wave until the boys shared with me that Max’s sister’s fiancé had posted some anti-gay stuff on his Facebook page. He even added an American flag filter to counter the pride flag filters that people were adding to their profile pictures. Knowing that Max’s sister had talked to Max on the Friday of the Supreme Court ruling, asking if Alex and Max wanted to get married with them on the same day the following week, at the same ceremony, because now they could, they felt compelled to bring it up to her. She immediately said that she couldn’t take sides, brought up a stupid free speech argument, and ignored any discussion with her brother, even though he was hurt. She did have her fiancé take down the post, but he just replaced it with a picture of a flag transposed over a wave at the beach scene. Whatever.

It would have been left there, but the next day she decided to post an article on “Jesus’s Response to the Gays” with a comment that thanked her fiancé for showing her the “real truth.” In the article, it clearly stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Alex was compelled to respond, asking if she really thought that his relationship with her brother for the last 14 years was sinful and what was he supposed to do as a gay man in the situation. I took another tactic. I told her that before she decides to start pointing out the sins in others, she might want to look in the mirror. Last time I checked, she had a long laundry list of her own sins that would keep her busy. I also made mention that her value system seem to shift as often as the weather. She was neither better nor worse than anyone else.

Max’s sister replied to the comments from Alex and me. She mentioned that she had only posted the article and wasn’t pointing fingers at anyone. That provoked another response from Alex and I. Alex offered nothing but love and I offered her a “bullshit.” Later that day, a call between her and the boys confirmed that she did think they were sinners and that marriage should be between a man and a woman. She played the victim. Why couldn’t she exercise her right to free speech? Why couldn’t they come to her church and confess their sins? Why were they always trying to put her on the spot and cause drama?

The boys tried to calmly explain that she was the one posting this stuff. Shouldn’t they have a right to tell her, as her brothers, that it was hurting them? Other people read this stuff, and it didn’t reflect well on her. When confronted, all she could spew was her recently acquired opinions that she had been taught or nothing at all. She couldn’t take responsibility for her words or her actions.

While the boys were going back and forth with Max’s sister, I was burning a little. I was glad that I had a chance to voice my opinion to her but it didn’t feel right. Max and Alex deserved better. They have always been “out.” Max’s sister knew this about him. For years, she had been vocal about supporting him. She would share that her brother was gay and that others should be tolerant. Now, all of a sudden, she was singing a different tune.

I contacted some friends privately on Facebook, and asked them to send Alex and Max a love note. They did, and I think it did touch them. I was often included in them, and was really moved by the love and support. I tried to take a nap to forget about it. I tried to get lost in an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance,” but the momentary relief was replaced by a nagging feeling once I left my mind unoccupied.

I texted the boys to see if there was anything else going on. Apparently, she blocked them from her Facebook. She also defriended me. The boys seemed okay. In a way, it gave Alex fuel to proceed with his drag queen career. If he feared that others would throw similar fits, and this was what it was like, than proceed ahead because he knew he could handle any bully. It feels better to live an authentic life instead of caring how others perceived you.

There was a question of whether or not we would attend the wedding. After the initial confrontation, the boys felt like they were going to go so she couldn’t throw it in their faces latter. Now, I am not so sure where they stood. Why would you want to go when she has gone out of her way to make you miserable? For someone who repeatedly plays old tape about how the men in her life keep abandoning her, she really tries to throw a fantastic fit so life follows suit. Why wouldn’t she vow that love is conditional? In order to be worthy of love, you had to fit all the conditions in her world. That is all the love she feels she deserves. Needless to say, we ended up not going.

I thanked the boys for handling the situation with such dignity and class. They confronted her with love, even though she couldn’t handle it. Instead of getting swept up in hurt and disgust, they made peace with the situation and forgave her, knowing that she was fighting her own demons. Less than a week ago, I feared that I might have gotten such a response. Seeing them actually get one, made me feel that I could handle it too, so I need not be afraid. I blocked Max’s sister so I never had to see her words again.

I woke up today hoping that I had finally shaken the bad vibes off. For the most part, I had. What was odd was that she hadn’t deleted my sister as a Facebook “friend.” My sister noticed some alarming things on her news feed. I told her to not show me, but I couldn’t resist. There were six stupid posts inferring that we were “intolerant,” “assholes,” and “judgmental.” I told my sister that she was never to tell me about any of her posts again. I went to my room to get ready for work. When I came out, my sister told me that she had posted some things on her news feed, mostly clips about how the Bible shouldn’t be used to beat people with and that the most important commandment was to love your neighbor. I smiled. It was sweet. My younger sister, one of the most devout people I know, was defending her lesbian sister and her gay sudo brothers. It goes to show that there is more love out there than hate, and siblings can get along….even on Facebook.

New Beginnings – A Time of Action

I am learning to realize that the one thing that you’re the most fearful about is probably the thing that you should face and release. You are already thinking about it, so you are creating momentum about it. Sooner or latter the universe is going to give you what you want.

As I realized that I had cancer, I had to laugh at some crazy coincidences. I was born on June 27, so my sign is Cancer. As a child, in the summer I was trapped in my home without adult supervision daily. I would get lost in St. Jude marathons and worry about those bald headed kids that where sure to die. My mother battled colon cancer for two years before passing away at the age of 56. My father got the exact same cancer. I worked for the American Cancer Society for five years.

When I was diagnosed, I did something that I had never done before. I only started to focus on the positive. I changed my thought patterns, found my self-worth, and built a bubble of love around me. I raised my vibration. As Abraham Hicks states, it is really the only thing we should focus on. Let the Universe pull together the rest. I just began to trust. Trust that I was put here on the planet to have fun, learn, and love. Nothing in this life is meant to be against you. The Universe, your spirit guides, all that lives and breaths is behind you, supporting you.

I knew after my surgery that I was going to be okay. I was loved. Everything was for a reason. Even though I still go through those darker periods on occasion, I have never been as depressed as I was before this all happened. I came close to it last week because I began to judge myself. The second you let expectations and judgment enter your reality, it is easy to get bumped off your high-flying disk.

Sometimes you feel reluctance to do something for a reason.

Your internal guidance system lets you know if you want to attempt something before you are ready for it. I used to judge myself as lazy when I got this feeling, and plowed through whatever I thought needed to be done, just to be done. I thought this was one of the key characteristics of being an adult. I also assumed that being an adult should suck.

This never really worked out well. I often resented doing what I was reluctant to do. Sometimes I thought that if I martyred myself enough, someone would see and praise my sacrifice. Nine times out of ten, people wouldn’t notice (which would make me even angrier) or I would brush off their complements and accolades.

If you can wrap your brain around the fact that you are a vibrational entity, that is connected to source directly, and the vortex of anything and everything you want is available to you if you can just match its vibration…..you can embrace your internal guidance system’s warning that you are not ready to move on yet. I have heard Abraham Hicks refer to this as waiting for the grid to fill in. You don’t have to do anything to speed up this grid; the Universe has the manifesting covered. All you need to do is soften your resistance, and ride the boat downstream. Nothing you want is ever upstream. Raise your vibration by doing what brings you happiness and joy. Trust that the Universe has your back.

For a control freak, who was raised to believe that you hard to work hard and sacrifice for everything you get in this world, it took me years to understand this. Even when I finally got it, I still sifting through negative thoughts. I knew that my Emotional Guidance system was in place to let me know that when I felt bad about something. I was firing off rockets of desire in the opposite direction. It only helped clarify what I wanted, but it still would scare me.

One of the ways to actively work through fear is to confront it. Calling the mortgage company for me was extremely tough, even if it isn’t for someone else. If I start to feel my throat close up, and I don’t want to tell someone something because I am afraid of upsetting them or embarrassing myself….I now know that I just need to do it. If I do it right away, I feel so much better. If there is a rough patch that develops, immediate attention prevents permanent scars.

I know this. I have become intimately aware of this principle, but I still find myself choking up. Sometimes my body will grind to a halt and not want to function. I may have missed the opportunity to speak up. That doesn’t mean that the opportunity for positive confrontation has passed. Focus on improving your vibration. When you feel better, just strike while the iron is hot.

I talked through everything with Alex and Max for weeks before I gained the courage to face my fear and call the mortgage company. It got my mind right. I worked on treating myself with kindness and understanding, instead of belittling my perceived flaws. I watched others do courageous things, and took courage from their demonstrations. I listened to nothing but positive and affirming programming. Finally, I realized that I had the least resistance in the morning when I got up. One day I just got up and did it before I lost the courage to it.

I am not saying that this is an easy process, but I feel like I grow by leaps and bounds when I do it and feel so much better. Inspired action feels good. It feels easy. Often, it also indicates that the best possible outcome may be achieved as well. Make decisions out of love, not fear. Don’t second guess yourself once you have decided.

I think being diagnosed with cancer was something I had dreaded my entire life. Once it happened, I was able to say been there, done that. It wasn’t so scary. Now I can focus on what I want in life instead of what I don’t.

Helping a Friend

I have been feeling so good recently. I am feeling loved. My body feels good. My mind is so hopeful and enthusiastic. Being on the high-flying disk is a radical experience. I am finally comfortable being me, authentically me. The pain of self-judgment melts into the comfort of self-acceptance. For someone who has spent decades feeling so bad, this joy is ecstasy.

Still, no one can be in this place always. I think the more accountability you hold for your own emotions, the easier it can be to stay. I have heard over and over again that people join you at the vibrational energy you give out. Sometimes when we are in extended relationships with family members or loved ones, what holds us from changing is incompatibility of the vibrational energies.

Alex and Max, again, have been with me from the beginning of this year. They probably even started the ball rolling on this year of releasing judgment. I remember Max, in particular, talked about the excruciating desire to change our lives and that they wanted me on the bandwagon so I wouldn’t get left behind.

It sounds selfish, but I think it was one of the most loving things anyone has done for me. I love you. I see our current path heading to undesirable outcomes. I have to change this pattern for me because I know the joy that is behind it. It is my deepest desire that you take that journey with me. To participate in it. To embrace it. If you can’t, I love you so much as to let you go so you can find what you need in life. But, my deepest desire is that you stay right here with me so we can expand together.

All three of us have progressed so far. We have found aspects of ourselves that have truly inspired us and brought us joy, but we have also felt the feelings we have kept in order to hide these aspects from ourselves. We are all becoming much closer to who we really are.

I believe that this process has been radically sped up because we are doing it in unison. When each of us experiences a breakthrough, it inspires the rest of us. When someone experiences a set back, we all learn from it.

This week in particular, I was feeling great. I attribute one night in particular to a magical experience. For someone who has always questioned what she really wants, visions were coming fast and furious. I had an inspired day of writing. So much seemed to be going my way.

When I saw Alex and Max latter that day, I couldn’t hold back my excitement and joy. I was so filled with positive energy that I thought they must be flying as high. I attributed them to the cause of my feelings, why not?

They both stated that they were having a difficult day. Max had woken up late and was beating himself up for not accomplishing stuff on his to do list. Alex and Max live an existence where they don’t have to keep a normal schedule. They don’t work desk jobs. Still, the pull of society is that everyone goes to work at 9am and gets off at 5pm; good people get to sleep by midnight, really tugged at Max.

Alex refers to this as “hall monitor” syndrome. Whenever we were having a great time, there would come a point where Max felt he needed to act like a parent in order to get the kids to behave. He was the oldest in his family, and often felt like he played a parent to his younger sister.

Max is not a boring, lifeless person. He is one of the kindest, more compassionate and caring people that I know. In recent years, when he starts feeling the need to play the “hall monitor” or if his blood sugar is getting low, he can become pointed.

Before, when he made these switches, it killed me. As someone who barely had any self-esteem and felt like they had even fewer friends, when my best one bit back it ruined me. Sometimes it would for days. If the person I loved more than anyone else could treat me that bad, why should anyone else?

I often would never say anything to Max about how I felt when these incidents occurred. Having experienced my parents’ blowouts growing up, I learned that the best course of action was to shut up and hide.  Often, it took Alex to point out to Max that his mood was elevated.

As I began to release the disease to please and recapture my voice, I learned that I had to confront Max during these times. It was so horrific at the beginning that Alex would often have to sit us down to work it out. As I became more honest and assertive, I felt these attacks less.

One of the things we all learned about was the power of blood sugar. All three of us are insulin resistant or diabetic. Back in the day, Alex would hit low blood sugar, step out of a car, and demand to walk home.  When I had it. I would get incredibly weepy. I would refrain from turning on others and just go on a death spiral of how horrible I was. Max has always just gone to a super bitchy place.

This week, Max was feeling very stagnate. He has witnessed our forward momentum, and he doesn’t want it to stop. In his world, we need to get on the bandwagon. Eat right. Go to the gym. Get on a schedule. Write down our plans and start executing them.

This came to a head in a Mexican restaurant. The boys asked if I was hungry, and if I would like to eat there. Now, they don’t really like Mexican food…not the way I do. I also know that I like this restaurant more. I was surprised, honored, and delighted that they asked to go there, knowing it wasn’t their first choice and that I hadn’t asked to go there. I felt as if they where honoring me for no other reason than the fact that they wanted to.

My delight was a little short lived because I knew both of them were low blood sugar. Max in particular was having difficulty. I tried to get Max to describe his feelings and he would run into a brick wall. Everything went back to being fat, not following through, having all these tasks left undone, etc. Knowing that had nothing to do with it, I kept digging. As it brought up something, he would verbally lash shut down. He was having so much difficulty being vulnerable.

I looked at Alex and he looked spent. I could feel his pain through his eyes. He had been dealing with this for a while and had come to terms with what was right for him. If Max couldn’t change his path, he felt like they might have to separate in order to continue growth. Somehow I knew that Max was at the crucial point of change. He was so close that it tasted so far away.

I gave the boys some words of encouragement and let him know that I had faith that this could be worked out. I was flying on my high-flying disk, still looking at the positive aspects of the situation. I used my newfound knowledge to listen, really listen. I shared how I saw comparisons to my growth and what I had to do to change.

I know they were listening, but I know it is annoying to hear someone that you are use to commiserating with or feeling better than because they were at least more miserable, try to tell you what to do. It is a switch of hierarchy. There also has to be some real faith and trust that the other person isn’t blowing smoke up your ass as well.

At the end of the meal, I felt compelled to share one of the lessons that I wrote about previously…but I kind of got left at the table. I took a really deep breath. It was the moment that I was completely knocked off my disk. I was upset that I had let it get to me. I was discouraged because I desperately wanted Max to feel better, but I didn’t know if I knew what to do. The frustration turned into momentary anger until I reminded myself: NO ONE is responsible for your feelings but you. Yes, Max might have knocked me off, but I was the only one keeping myself away from the high-flying disk. It was totally within my control.

I also reminded myself that the quickest way to get into the vortex was to love something, anything. I went through all the things I was grateful for and retapped into my love for Alex and Max. I was immediately back on the disk.

We took a break to do some things and regrouped. When everyone was calm and nourished, Alex and I turned to Max and told him that we love him and wanted to help him. We kept asking clarifying questions, waited for his response and digged further. We reflected back to him exactly what we saw him to be and how much we loved him. The glare of the truth light was excruciating for him. He would hide under blankets or yell at us, but you could tell that he wanted to be released.

What came to head was that his trigger bad emotion is embarrassment. He is afraid of being embarrassed. He is afraid of others embarrassing him. Embarrassment is the gauge he uses to determine his worth all the time. The “hall monitor” was installed to keep anyone from feeling embarrassment. On the other hand, when Max felt threatened…he would release a verbal lashing to instill embarrassment in others.

This was so affective with me. Max and I are so alike. In me, he saw me struggle with the same demons he did. I was worried about being a disappointment, but the same things he thought were embarrassing did often not embarrass me. That way, when he got frustrated that I was beating myself up, he would embarrass me about something I felt okay about. This would cause me to second guess myself, and feel even worse.

I had been so self-conscious about my lady bits that I grew cancer in them and had to rip them out. I told him, you can continue on this path with a similar result…or you can just relax and find some way to appreciate that which embarrasses you so much.

Often times, the solution is just finding some aspect to love. You might have to start with easier things around the target, but eventually….you have to look at the thing you hate the most and either decide to keep resisting it or just let go and learn to love it. So often, the object of your obsession is not as horrific or unique as you think it is. Only by shining the light of love and acceptance on it, can you fully accept how wonderful and marvelous you are.

We are at our best when we are most in tune with ourselves. The more we can honestly say we love ourselves, the more joy and happiness we can feel. It is only then that we can manifest exactly what we want for our lives. This is our purpose on this planet. Just like in the Never Ending Story, the Universe is built on all of our dreams and desires. There is nothing exactly right or exactly evil…..everything is good.

Feel better.

God Wants You To Know

I am connected to this link on Facebook for an app called, “God wants you to know.” A friend of mine use to get it linked to his cell phone. Mine is only connected to Facebook, so I only see it part of the time. I don’t have a smartphone, so it is when ever I just happen to think about it.

Today’s message seems very significant for me:

“Today, Mimi, we believe God wants you to know that shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. There is no need for you to go it alone. There are people who love you, and who are ready to give you much needed support. There are even more, – way more than you can possibly imagine, people who CAN love you if you give them a chance. Make ‘share joy, half the sorrow’ your motto for today.”

It has been a cold and rainy day today. Yesterday my bones ached so bad that I stayed in bed for the most part. Today, they still ache, but I am so bored. I can understand why some people still work. Even though I hurt, the boredom can kill.

I have been surfing the web looking for cancer support websites, freebies, etc. Sometimes looking up cancer support resources can make situations worse. I post on discussion boards, but often I get no responses or the other responders are significantly older. It makes you wonder if anyone gets it.

Some of my other friends and family are almost too worried. Yes, I have cancer. No, I am not dying….at least that I know of. I am not hunched over a toilet. I am capable of some housework. It isn’t super bad, but it isn’t great either. There is a balance that is missing.

As a single person going through this, some may say that it is easier. I don’t have to worry about a spouse or kids. At the same time, I often don’t have them as distractions from this cancer blur. I look at my animals and wonder if they are even getting sick of me.

So, this little message means something to me. People know I am out here. People do care. Learning to accept the love is something that has always been difficult, but I desperately need to try it. I think it is really about releasing any judgment and just being grateful for what appears.

I need to remember that someone reaching out to help isn’t expecting something in return. They are loving me because they feel love.  In the Daily Love today, Mastin Kipp talks about how several people feel like they have to prove their love. He offers the following, “Love is not asking us to prove our worth, but to accept it.”

Accept that I am worthy of this attention. Accept that I am worthy of interest and understanding. I am worthy of great things happening to me.

In the end, just believe: I am worth it.

Commence Time Traveling

For most of my late 20s, I felt numb. I went through the motions. I worked 80-hour weeks. I had so many obligations. I had no personal life. I spent every hour of every day working for someone other than myself. At the age of 30, I knew this had to change.

My best friends moved from Chicago to the house across the street from me. It wasn’t forced; it just happened. I went from feeling like I had no confidant in the world, to having my best friends only a stone throw away.

I gave up any obligation that I didn’t enjoy or didn’t serve me. This was tough. I was always a “yes” person. I thought that if I did good deeds that somehow I would benefit from the good karma. Loosening up the schedule helped me regain some balance, but I began to be horrified of the absence of something keeping me busy.

I had a huge birthday party and invited all of my friends. We had the best time, completely drunk and singing poor karaoke. I felt the love and began to release it. Slowly, I distanced myself from my friends. I needed to not feel as if I was being used. I would force myself to hang out with some of them, and pretend to care about their laundry list of life’s irritations without feeling like they cared about any of mine. In order to gain clarity, I needed to redefine my relationships.

I joined a weight loss competition and lost 80 lbs and 4 dress sizes. I felt good and kept it off for almost a year, but my father became diagnosed with the same cancer my mom died from 5 years earlier. I had to take a leave of absence from work to care for him through surgery and recovery. At the same time, my sister decided to get married. I had to balance being the both mom/sister to her and daughter/spouse-like/nurse maid to my father. I eventually gave up on myself.

I went back to school. I earned a Masters in business in order to become a better candidate for a managerial job. I started a Doctorate to try and become a college professor. I quit the Doctorate program when I realized online education is a scam. I returned to my alma mater to get teaching certification and picked up a second bachelor’s degree. I have always been, and will always be, a fantastic student. What I wasn’t prepared for was a life of indentured servitude. My student loans total over 6 figures. I have no idea if I will ever be able to pay them off. To just pay the interest on them, I would have to give up more than 40% of my income.

I switched jobs, went from employed to unemployed. I focused on teaching because I loved it. Once I got into it, I realized that too often the last thing teachers are allowed to do is teach. I have seen miserable administrators and have felt 12% pay cuts. I have worked more than two jobs to just afford to do the first.

Still, I kept plugging away.

I have to say that over time, my enthusiasm began to diminish.

I stopped exercising. I would binge eat crap food. My addition to fast food was ridiculous. I would buy groceries and watch them rot because I would be too tired to cook when I got home. I would go without eating more than a meal a day for a week, then purge on fantastic meals on pay days. My erratic eating lead to extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. On days I ate well, I felt euphoric and capable of doing anything. On days I ate minimally, I found it difficult to get out of bed. I had no energy. I would become so emotional-depressed, sad, upset.

I was still trying to conquer the world, but the engine on my car wasn’t working to capacity. I spent days in bed. I felt crappy. I would get bronchitis regularly. I couldn’t breath or would often be short of breath. I was bleeding all the time. I felt like a horrible, worthless monster.

I started to feel so far from whom I thought I was, that I didn’t recognize myself any more.  I was so disgusted with myself that I would go on regular death spirals of self-loathing. I knew I was not well, but I was too depressed to care.

At the end of December, I was feeling okay but I knew my health was not optimal. I was becoming increasingly concerned that life was just an exercise of going through the motions of what others’ expected you to do. Success equated having all of your bills paid, a closet of expensive clothes, a husband and kids….and I felt like I was never going to achieve it. I was a failure on so many levels.

I was at my best friend’s house and we were having a little dress up party. We got out make-up, wigs, and costumes. While I watch the two of them painting one another, I felt a level of euphoria I had not felt in years. I was so incredibly happy in the present moment, something that was incredibly foreign for me to feel, that I was positive that I was close to dying.  In my experience, people could only appreciate true joy if they were close to dying. It was the only time, I felt, like people would allow themselves to recognize it and feel it.

In that chair, I felt my heart race. My breathing was already shallow. I thought…tonight might be the night. I looked at my best friends and knew I couldn’t tell them because I didn’t want them to worry. I felt so happy and at peace there, with them. I couldn’t think of another place on the planet that I wanted to be. I loved them more than life itself. We took videos of us lip syncing and dancing, and I felt like I was leaving a legacy that they could go back to after I died to remember how much fun we were having together.

Hours latter, we sat down to watch some TV. An old commercial from the early 90s came on for some collection of music. It spanned several years, and I had sworn I used to see this commercial all the time when I was younger. As I watched, I felt myself begin to time travel. Seriously. I am not kidding. I saw myself as a fat 13 year old. I felt pathetic because I was being bullied at school and spent hours in my bedroom alone. I could feel how scared and lonely I was. I moved to my thin self at 18. I felt indestructible. I was a straight A student. I was loved by my friends and family. I collected awards and scholarships, performed in theater and singing groups, and felt the world was mine to own. I felt the glee of my 20-year-old self in Spain. I saw the wonder of the world through my 8-year-old eyes.

It then dawned on me…. I had thought the best times of my life were in the past. I thought being an adult meant that I could no longer find moments of complete wonder and fascination. What I realized was that what I had been telling myself was absolute bologna. I still was capable of feeling as great as I did during the best times of my life. That feeling of complete joy was still accessible. It didn’t go away. I have always possessed it. I had just convinced myself that it didn’t exist. Whenever I wanted to feel those feelings, all I had to do was tap into what I already possessed.

I bawled with overwhelming joy at this revelation. My friends looked at me with concern. I told them what I had experienced and they saw a level of joy from me that they had not seen in years if ever. A light had been reignited.

It was from that moment that a series of incredible realizations and grow experiences were built. I am so eager to share them with you. Patience is not my strongest virtue, but it is my intention to do so with this blog over time.