More than ever before I have been really feeling the power behind this beautiful quote by Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I grew up learning about Gandhi and his teachings on Ahimsa (non-violence), Seva (selfless service) and Satyagraha (soul force/truth force) at Temple camp throughout my teenage years. At that time what I was learning was really powerful for me, but I never really understood how to apply it to my own life.
We’ve been taught to believe that just one person alone can’t change the world. It takes a group of people or community to really set forth change in motion. However, where does it all begin? It begins with one person questioning, inquiring, seeking and searching for another way. A better way.
My own personal growth journey started this way. I was seeking a better way of life because I was sick, tired and beat from constantly being depressed. Life wasn’t beautiful or worth living to me. I just wanted the pain to stop and all I wanted to do was ‘go home’. I remember I would always say this to myself: I don’t like it here, can I come home now? I have battled depression all throughout my life. I still do today, but its grip on me is less and less as I’ve found ways to center myself and learned to practice self compassion. In this video I share my personal story about depression:
I remember during the summer of 2011, I stumbled upon a Youtuber who mentioned the book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay in her video. What she shared about her experience of reading the book really spoke to me and right away I started searching to find out about the book and the author. This moment is when my personal growth journey (I wasn’t aware of it at that time) began and I embarked on the spiritual path. I spent the next two years studying, understanding, seeking, reading and doing everything I could to educate myself on the principals of love, joy, bliss, purpose, passion, compassion, kindness, oneness and Spirit.
I had reached an all time low in my life. That was the year I call my divine storm. I began my senior year in college in the Fall of 2010. I was anxious, confused and not ready to graduate. I was searching for meaning in my life, and I had been told education was the way. But I didn’t enjoy school and I didn’t enjoy most of my classes. I majored in International Studies thinking that I would do something in the political realm or become a diplomat. When everyone asked me what I was going to do with my degree I would say, “Oh I am going to be a diplomat”. I said that because some part of me has always wanted to affect change on the world, and I loved the idea of being in charge of promoting peace, kindness and love. As I did my research and explored the idea of being a diplomat, it didn’t resonate with me. I didn’t want to spend the next 2+ years of my life in school, when I hated it. So I decided instead, that I would just work for a while until I figured out what I really wanted to do.
Right before I graduated college I went on a study abroad trip to the UK for 5 weeks. The whole entire time I was there I could not focus nor enjoy my trip. I was so worried about what I was going to do when I got back home. I had no job lined up like everyone else I knew, I had no clear direction that I knew I was going to take nor did I have the support system that said, hey its okay you’ll figure it out. After my trip, I moved back home with my parents and spent every waking hour applying to jobs with no progress. I never ended up landing a job after months and months of searching. I felt like a huge failure. I felt it was because I didn’t graduate with a good enough GPA, I wasn’t smart enough, I had no skills sets and that I was of no value to anyone even my own parents.
At this time I was living in an environment that was toxic, negative and constantly reminding me of how ‘useless’ and how much a ‘disappointment’ I was. It really affected my self-esteem and self-confidence. However, it was nothing new since I had been dealing with it since childhood. During that summer, I thought many times about killing myself. I was so depressed and unhappy. It was as if God had turned his back on me and I was constantly being reminded how I fucked up! To escape I either had to leave my parent’s house or kill myself. I tried to kill myself, but each time I would stop because I would hear this voice saying “keep going”. I would stop and say for what? And there would be no response back and I would just helplessly cry till I fell asleep.
Without going further into detail around what happened that summer, I ended up leaving my parents house with 1 suitcase and $150 with no idea where I was headed. A part of me is not ready to share it openly because I don’t want to upset anyone. Someday I know I will open up and talk about my story fully, but for now this is all you’ll know.
My whole life I’ve been told to do what everyone one else is doing, follow the crowd, secure a good job, make a boat load of money, buy a fancy car and build yourself the biggest house you can imagine to fill with luxurious things. I bought into that. That was my idea of success. That symbolized “I’ve made it!” Compared to this idea of success, I wasn’t matching up at all. Heck I hadn’t even begun the road to success. That made me feel inadequate and stupid to even think that I could possibly achieve success. Most of all how could I be successful if I didn’t even know where to begin or what I wanted to do?
Having gone through all of that, I will tell you this, I have figured out what I want to do, but it took a strong hard looking at myself. It took me reaching rock bottom to awake and ponder the true meaning of life: Why am I here? From that question I started to pull myself up and walk on my OWN path.
That day when I left home I feel like I made a commitment to myself (I didn’t realize it at the time, I do now) and to God that I will use my life to elevate consciousness, be love, be light and help other people transform their misery into a miracle to live a passionate authentic life! I no longer choose to suffer and I want to alleviate people from their manic suffering. To help people realize that there is another way and that THEY ARE THE WAY.
What I know now is that, what I went through in life has led me to where I am today. Now, I have immense gratitude for what happened and through the eyes of self-compassion and self-love I’ve found a new way to look at myself. I have understood that I can choose to be whoever I want to be and being myself is the best gift I can ever give to me. So each day is about giving myself back to myself. Unraveling my story, limiting beliefs, fears, trauma and challenges to ignite a passionate love affair with life because life is love made visible. That is what my life’s message is. In being your authentic expression, you create the space for others to be their authentic self.
So in me opening and sharing a bit of my story, I want to tell you that YOU ARE THE CHANGE you are seeking. By being the change you can affect change on the world. You can change the direction and outcome of your life! Take that step. Step forward. Speak up. Share with the world who you are. Give yourself back to yourself. Shine BRIGHT. Be the LIGHT.