Stay strong and allow that wounded inner child to step into the sunlight.
As the year draws to a close, I find myself in a reflective state of mind. It was triggered by a conversation had yesterday with a best friend…wherein we discussed our viewpoints on how the universe (in my perspective) or God (in his perspective) works in our lives.
When I made the executive decision to move away from the city due to constantly being in danger (there’d been weekly shootings in my backyard in ongoing gang warfare) and relocate to the most rural place I could find, it was to heal myself. To do the hard work, the heavy inner lifting that would be required to overcome the acute PTSD I have lived with for decades, undiagnosed until earlier this year.
My first encounters in the town I moved to were with the types of people whom I had strived to get away from. What’s interesting is that I found myself wondering why I had moved so far away only to find worse people? I had several moments in which I was triggered to the point where I thought I’d never be able to recover. But then I remembered a couple things…
In my spiritual journey here on Earth, I learned that when the student is ready, a teacher appears in their lives. I also learned that when we make a solemn vow to improve ourselves, often the universe will test that resolve. If I had remained in the city, the chaos and noise would have never allowed me the quiet time to understand this. But living in the mountains, it was so much quieter, calmer. And I was able to look within to find my conscious response. For the first time in too long, I could hear myself.
Did I give up? Or did I take the triggering events for what they really were — the opportunity to change, to grow? I stumbled a couple times, but eventually got it right. Even though my friend warned me of the types of negativity I would encounter, I wasn’t ready to hear it just yet. When I was, I took the lesson and learned. The moment I showed my conviction and resolve to grow, my universe grew calm and beautiful. No longer did I struggle with my reactions and responses. Moving away from toxic relationships helped tremendously, as they were the source of much of my triggering moments.
In our discussion yesterday, my friend commented that, since escaping those toxic persons, I appeared much more relaxed, calm. I let his observation settle in my mind before realizing that he was right. I felt calm…a far cry from my mental state weeks, months, and years before.
Prior to moving, my goal was to rediscover the honest, funny, friendly person I’d been as a younger man. I want to live a life of authenticity and integrity. So I set out to get the help I needed, and began the difficult work of healing my wounds.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Johann Goetz, who once stated:
At the moment of commitment, the Universe conspires to assist you.
My friend’s relationship with God is very similar to my relationship with the Universe. It’s a process that is innate to each of us, no matter what identity we give to it. No matter what our individual beliefs are.
Committed to my desire to grow, to heal, to move forward, my efforts were met with metaphorical doors swinging open before me, one after another. Not only did the toxicity I met when I first arrived fall to the wayside, but opportunity after opportunity appeared before me, allowing me to make decisions aligned with my commitments.
And so I sit here on the verge of a new year, feeling optimistic and happy. A person who experiences depression or PTSD has those options taken away from them. It’s not simply a matter of “thinking good thoughts,” or being grateful. Those of us with such issues have no idea how to think good thoughts, or how to be grateful. Why? Because we are locked in a dark room in our minds that we cannot find the way out of.
Sometimes, though — sometimes — we CAN find our way out. That process is different for each of us, depending on how our illnesses manifest for us.
For the first time in three decades, I feel great. I have learned to implicitly trust those around me who are trustworthy, to learn that I am an amazing person with an amazing life, surrounded by happiness and opportunity.
My friend and I seemed to come together through happenstance, but during our conversation, I discovered that there truly are no coincidences. It happened due to the conscious efforts on both our parts… and I find that he is exactly the person I want to be my friend, my colleague, and my confidant. Placing unfettered trust in someone is a gargantuan step for me. And now I wonder what took so long for me to learn how trust truly feels. My previous ideas of trust were based on the toxicity I carried within, and which I shed over the past weeks. Learning to trust, and learning to love ourselves are the kindest acts we can perform in our lives. They allow that wounded, hurting inner child to see sunlight for the first time, to come out and play.
And now I can say, with complete certainty, that it’s truly worth it.
Have a safe, warm, and happy New Year.