Wow! What a year in the books for me, and hopefully for you as well. It’s crazy to think that 2017 is coming to an end. And 2018 is getting ready to pounce on us. It feels like the year just started, and now, it’s over faster than Christmas break when you are a kid. This year had a lot of firsts for me, and I did things in 2017 that I never thought I would.
It’s been two years since I started my journey of healing my life, and changing everything. I never thought where I am today would be where I would end up. When I started this journey I was alone. Sure, I had a small selection of close friends, but it was just me. This was a journey I had to take. This was something I had to do for myself. I needed to do it. I set out to change my life. I set out to go beyond my anxiety. I set out to go beyond my depression. I set out to live my life and be more than an anxious/depressed person. I was not living up to my potential. I was not living at all. I was existing. I was going through the motions. Day in. Day out. Repeat.
Setting out to heal myself has been such a liberating journey for myself. It’s also been a scary one, and a hard one at times. It’s hard in the sense that to heal ourselves we also need to confront ourselves. Confront the way we have been living. And we have to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. That last part is one of the hardest things we will do.
Accept ourselves. Accept things have happened to us, and are part of our growth and learning. Hopefully we learn from our missteps and stumbles in life. It’s easy to just sit there and wish we did this or that differently. What if we tried harder? What if we were nicer, or funnier, or better looking. What if. What if. There comes a time in our lives that we must accept that what has happened to us. Happened. And perhaps it could not have happened any other way. We can learn, in time, to let go. Many of us, myself included, want to control so much of our lives. That we sometimes forget that much is out of our hands, and all we can do is just enjoy the ride.
My journey has been a powerful journey for myself and has revolved around healing myself from the inside out. Not just with the physical issues I have faced with my body, but with the emotional healing of the mind and spirit.
That was the healing I was not expecting but was the healing I truly needed. Being a male we are told from an early age, that “boys don’t cry.” That we have to be men. And act like men. We have to be tough. This is what society dictates of us men. We have to be rough, rugged, and tough. On the inside, and it’s not OK to have feelings. If you do, just suppress them, and ignore them. As an adult if you tell a kid something he’s going to believe you. So as a kid we are always trying so hard to grow up so fast. We want to be adults. We want to stay up late. We want to do the adult things, whatever they are, we want to do them. So we stop enjoying the things about life that kids enjoy. Do the things kids do and love. If I could have fully understood that being an adult meant getting a job, and paying bills, I would have stayed a kid forever.
It has been a while since I have written anything on this blog. Yet it’s not for a lack of not going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, I have been all over the place these days, and have been really busy. I’m loving every moment of it. I just have not had much to write about and also have not had the time to really sit down and write.
Lately I have been doing some introspection on myself as I do that quite a lot. This journey, and this blog, have been about the healing of my life, and changing it for the better. The other day I was having some quiet time to myself and really just pondering on my life, my journey, how far I have come, and in letting go of things that no longer serve my highest good. And in letting go of those things, I was learning to empower myself. Which is what those experiences have been for me. They have been lessons that have taught me so much. Albeit many of them were painful, they still helped me become the person I am today. Through it all I have come to love myself for the first time, in my life. In doing so I have also come to the realization that, “it is OK to be me.” When I came to that, I was taken aback, at how powerful it is, yet how simple it is.
I have come to see that much of my life I had become a conformer to those around me who influenced me in not so positive ways. They were people that brought me down, whether they were intentional or not, they succeeded in causing me to become someone I wasn’t, but I thought I was. These were people that came in all shapes and sizes in my life, from school teachers, to relationships, to “friends” over the years. Random people on Internet forums. All telling me how things should be, or how I should do things, or how I should react to them. When you don’t know any better, you start to believe them. It lowers your self esteem and you start to doubt yourself and your abilities. Their way of being becomes yours, and you basically become defeated, wounded, and in many cases defeated. You no longer cease to exist how you were created, but become this Frankenstein creation of their design.
I will be the first to tell you, it’s not a good way of living. Yet it becomes our only way of living because we think it’s right. Because they told us it was. We hardly ever stop and think, well maybe they were wrong. For many of us that become wounded, we are not strong enough to stand up to them and stand firm within ourselves. At the time, I did not. I just shied away, and shut down. Building up wall, after wall, to protect myself, without even really realizing I was doing it.
I could have chosen to accept their reality was the only way to be. I could have chosen to stay that way. And lived their life. Miserable in the process. Shut down and defeated. (You probably would not be reading this blog right now if I did.) Or I could have set out to change everything and be so much more than I could have ever imagined. I chose the latter. I chose a better life. It was not easy. It has been a roller coaster of a journey over the past two years and I have loved every moment of it. I chose to heal my life. I choose to work at myself. I chose to really look at myself, the way I was living, and really work to make changes. To heal. To free myself of the shackles I was wearing. I had to do it. I had to put in the work. I had to actively do it. I had to actively work at it. I had to hammer away at the walls I had created. Brick by brick. Piece by piece. In time they slowly came down. I opened up more. I become more than I thought I was.
In that process I have learned one big truth of life. That it is OK to be me. It’s OK to like what I like. It’s OK to do what I do. It’s OK to be me. I am a beautiful person, inside and out. I don’t need to conform or settle. When you listen to those who don’t have your best interests at heart it takes you to a place you don’t want to be in, if you allow them to do so. If you give them that power over you. They have no power over us until we give it to them. When we stay strong in our own lights, in ourselves, we see our own worth and what we deserve. And we deserve great things. I am so grateful for those that I have met on this journey, good and bad. It was those “bad” ones that showed me what I don’t want from people. Those good ones helped me to see myself for who I truly was. When I could no longer see it within myself. I am forever thankful for them. They helped find me when I had gotten so lost in life. They were earth angels sent to bring me home. I am glad to finally be home. Now I know my worth. I know what I deserve and now I don’t settle for anything less than that.
Now I work through forgiving those who inadvertently took my light from me, and forgive myself for putting myself in that place. It was all learning and it was all to help me become the person I am today. Now my light is bright and it shines out to all to see.
Wanting to heal my life has become a normal part of my life these days. I have spent the past two years doing just that, healing my life. However that was not always the way it was. And for many other people in these shoes, or similar shoes, healing their life is not part of it. In my opinion it is why so Kant people become frustrated with their lives and stuck in ruts. I know from personal experience what it is like to be in a rut that one feels like they can never climb out of.
The biggest setback people have in making real change within themselves is a lack of wanting to heal and change. Change can be very scary. We don’t know what is beyond our comfort zones and beyond what we see as true for us. Everything else is unknown and that unknown scares the crap out of us. I could have just went out that one day, and then, been done with it, had I not have had a desire to heal myself and change myself. Changing myself is part of healing. It will become the result of healing I should say. The more we heal and let go, the more we change and become better than what we thought we were. Because we become so much more than we ever dreamed we could be.
For many people they struggle with this concept because they refuse to change who they are. They like who they are. But most times, who they are is lacking so much. In my experience two years ago I thought I knew who I was, turns out, I had no idea who I am, because it’s a never ending journey of self discovery and learning. That is what life is all about. Learning, experiencing, and growing. If we stop that, we might as well be dead, because we are no longer living life.
Life truly is a mystery because you never know where it will take you and it will always give you what you are wanting to experience in some way, shape, or form. We have no control over what happens to us, for the most part, but we can control how we react to it and grow and learn from it. Most of us fight and struggle with that, and end up living a life they are not happy with.
To get to where I am today, I had to let go of everything I thought I was, to make room for what I wanted to be. I had to desire to heal my life from the inside out. That has been the most instrumental in healing my anxiety and fear. Was healing myself, taking my walls down, and opening up to who I truly can become. That person is so much better than the person I thought I was, and the person I will become tomorrow, will be even more so.
It all starts with that desire to heal ourselves and our lives. It is what propels us forward to new things and growing even more in life. When we have that desire to heal, that desire to change ourselves, and be willing and open to change whatever we need to, we will find that we can move mountains within our lives to accomplish things we set out to do. It all starts with us. We have to want it. No one else can do it for us. They can guide us and teach us, and show us much, but it all comes down to us wanting to do it. We have to make those changes. We have to put in the time and the work. Then we can watch it all spiral from there. Trust me, it will spiral and grow in ways we never even thought possible. Once we light that one spark within ourselves, it will grow to a fire of epic proportions and life will be so much more for us. And we are worth that and more. We are worthy and deserving of good things and being happy. We have to allow ourselves to be so.
Most people who struggle with anxiety have a lack of belief in themselves. They doubt what they can do. Those fears and insecurities have become such a strong presence within their mind that that is all they see and believe. It’s their normal thought processes. To release that they need to heal themselves. They need to heal that doubt. That disbelief. Once they do that they will find they are better able to manage their anxiety. Without wanting to heal themselves and their thinking those patterns of fear will always continue to play out. Is it a process that will just happen overnight. No, it will take time. Healing takes time, patience, and love. But it’s so worth it if we are willing to give it our attention.
So today, do something good for yourself. Decide you want to heal your life and allow it to change. You will be surprised where it will take you. I know I am. It all starts with us.
Yesterday, while glancing the internet, I was sadddened to learn about the loss the music industry received when it was revealed that Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, had been found dead, from apparent suicide.
It is always truly heartbreaking to see someone take their life. I know first hand how bad depression can be, and to be in a place where I have wanted to take my own life numerous times. Reiki and energy healing really helped change my life and turn all that around for me, to a place of real and lasting happiness.
It then becomes more heartbreaking as most families and friends know nothing about the struggles we face, and when they do know about it, it’s usually way to late. So someone asked me, “Sad to hear that.. Why do you think this happens with out family realizing somethings wrong” I replied to them many who are depressed put on a false face, where they project a look of being happy, without actually being happy. Some don’t want others to be burdened with their pain or suffering. They don’t want their pity, and so keep it to themselves. And for a vast majority they don’t feel like they have anyone that’s really listening to them. They have a tendency to feel alone with it, even though they may not truly be alone. To them they are.
My struggle over the years was always a silent one, I didn’t really talk to people about it. It was always my burden to bare. I also did not want anyone’s pity. To me when that happens you start to feel guilty about the way you feel and act, and that just sends us further down the hole we are in. Or worse they tell us to “suck it up.” To others our struggles may not seem like a thing, but to us, they are huge. They are real. So we keep them to ourselves.
That’s not to say there is nothing you can do for those who are struggling. There is plenty to do for us. Being there for us and just listen to us. Listen to us ramble, listen to us complain. Hold that space of love and light for us. Because we are not seeing it within ourselves. We need that light to be there to remind us of what we already have within us, that we have forgotten. We don’t want to be told we are wrong, or that we shouldn’t feel that way, for many we already know that, but we can’t always help it, because we feel defeated. We are tired, and run down, from being strong all the time. So listen to us, don’t tell us how we are wrong, we hate that, we want to be heard, and loved. Because in those moments, we don’t love ourselves. To us all we see is what is wrong with us and our lives, we need to be shown and felt what is right. We need your patience, and support, and encouragement. To help us get ourselves back on our feet again. We have to find that light, and that spark within ourselves.
Finding that spark is a journey within itself. It’s not an easy one. It will be hard at times, and will really push us from the edges, back to the other edge, before we come out to the other side again. That in itself can be scary. Change always is. I struggled with depression, and even wanting to end it, for a long, long time. There was a lot within myself that needed to be changed. For there was a lot of healing that needed to be done. Those wounds within me, were still bleeding. I may not have shown it, or even saw it, but they were there, within me. I had to find the healing I needed, to come back from the edge of the void I was living at. I had to make that choice and decision that I wanted, no I needed to, heal my life. I had to truly want it. I had to come to the realization that what I was doing, the way I was living, was not working for me anymore. I needed more from life. It wasn’t life that had failed me, I had failed life, for I was not living. I was just existing in life.
It was energy healing and healing myself through using crystals, and Reiki, and crystal bowls, that really helped me open up, and change my life. Which helped bring me to people that were there for me, supportive of me, and able to see the spark within myself that I no longer saw, that really helped me find my way out of the darkness, and into the light, and no longer look back. This journey has been an incredible one. I have learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, and am now a person so drastically different than I was before I set out two years ago to change my life.
Change can be scary but it can be so incredible if we allow the chaos of it and allow ourselves to be more than we ever imagined. We are incredible beings capable of incredible things. We just forgot that along the way. The more we believe in and trust in ourselves the more our lives can truly change for the better. All it takes is us truly wanting to change. To live a better life. And then just enjoy the ride.
We all deserve happiness and we are all capable of being happy. We just have to realize happiness is within us. Not something we have to find outside of us.
(If you are struggling with depression, and suicidal thoughts, reach out to people. Talk to a trained professional. You don’t have to struggle alone. There are many there that can help you. )
This popped up on my timeline today, I wrote it a year ago.
“Just about a year ago, I was in a terrible place in my life. I was unhealthy, out of shape, in a lot of pain emotionally and physcially. I was in a very, very dark place in my life… I then decided to do something about it. Turn my life around. No one was going to do it for me. So I cleaned up my eating, and started running. Within a short amount of time things were changing and improving for me. I was becoming more than I could ever imagine. Within that time I dropped 70 pounds and got into the best shape in my life, I am feeling happy, healthy, and so much light. I am truly, for the first time in my life. Happy. I genuinly am happy to my very core, and I look forward with much optimism to the future and all that it will bring. I don’t wear tank tops, never have. It was not easy sharing a pic of one, even if I do look good. Na na na na na… Batman.”
It’s hard to believe the guy in the left is the same as the guy in the right and that that guy was me at one point in my life. Two years ago I sent out to change my life for the better. I never thought I would get to where I am today. Since I started that journey I have been to the Poconos, twice, to a Washington D.C., to Gettysburg and there is so many more adventures in there. I never could have fathomed being able to do any of that. Yet I am proud to say I have done that and so much more.
I have seen and done so many things, and met so many people over the course of that two years. I am blessed and thankful for it all. I’ve seen first hand what fear can do to us and our lives and I know for us to get through the fear we have to walk through it. We can pray for all the strength in the world by only we can act upon the opportunities presented to us. Only we can act courageous in the face of fear. Many will supposed and encourage us but it’s up to us to act. Not everyone will understand our new journeys because they only knew us as the old us. Yet we become something so much more.
My journey has shown me that if I can do it anyone can do it. Two years ago I set off on an epic journey to change my world and I am so glad to have done so. I look forward to where I will go tomorrow.
That pic was a year ago, I have lost even more weight and finally am at a place where I love the way I look, and don’t hate to have picture taken.
Here is what I look like today.
I’m creating a life I am proud of an can look back upon and smile. It’s not been easy and has challenged me in many ways. I know how eat it can be to just want to give up and run away. How the depression dark thoughts I have fought can still have a tendency to creep up on me and want to consume me. But I keep my head up, and keep the energy going, and keep moving forward to better things. And this time, the depression doesn’t win. It didn’t have power over me anymore. I don’t give it any. I don’t give in to it.
I live life.