Why am I alive? What`s my purpose?
I`ve been asking these questions for many years, but particularly for the past 3 1/2 years. Four years ago I sunk into a deep depression, and felt like I was being led to empty my life of everything that I held dear. I let go of being a college and career group leader. It was something that I threw myself into and even though I found it incredibly challenging and uncomfortable, I was able to shower my love onto these women and I received their love back. I also let go of being a youth leader to a group of high school girls. Being a part of those two groups was my purpose in life. Without it, I because an empty shell. Devoid of any life, I went through a dark night of the soul. I knew that my life was being stripped bare so it could be built up again, and I clung to that for as long as I could. A year into the darkness, I lost all hope and I let go of my faith in God. The pain was too immense. The loneliness was all-consuming. The nothingness terrified me.
Then my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and died a few months later (May 2016.) That tipped me straight into a hazy craze of panic and anxiety. When the panic occasionally eased, the depression hit me like a ton of bricks. It`s not the hardest thing I`ve been through, but a very close second.
I`d done much searching for answers over the years. I changed my diet, my life style became simpler and simpler as I let go of my car, I decluttered….. I listened to podcasts, read blogs, I tried anything I could that was free. I knew I needed professional help, but wasn`t able to afford any sort of private therapy. I had tried government-funded therapy often enough to know that the system is a nightmare and would make things worse.
When my Mom was pronounced terminal and I started talking about killing myself, my relatives put together some money for therapy. I looked around long and hard before settling on seeing Kalyn, a Christian Spiritual Director, (a strange choice because I didn`t identify as Christian at that point) and getting EMDR.
Kalyn was wonderful, but I couldn`t fully trust her because I feared her abandoning me, so there was always an unease in the relationship. I met with the EMDR therapist once and it was a disaster. I was crushed. I was literally counting on it to save my life. I had 36 years worth of trauma stored in my body, and no way to release it. The panic attacks were crippling. The anxiety symptoms were off the charts. I was back to burning myself with my iron on a regular basis. I was not coping, and those closest to me were scared. I wanted to be hospitalized, but it didn`t work out.
My aunt suggested body talk as an alternative to EMDR. Her therapist`s waiting list was two years, but Kalyn also did bodytalk, and Jenna was able to see me in a couple of weeks. I walked into her house crying, unable to communicate, shaking, not able to fill in her intake form. She finally said, let`s go downstairs and get started. That was the start of a beautiful transition.
It`s been seven months, and I`ve found the answer to my questions. My purpose is to be present in the moment and figure out who I am. That resonated as truth for me as soon as I heard it.
How am I working on it? I practice gratitude. I read Radical Forgiveness, and am working at practicing it. I`m starting a meditation practice. Walking meditation resonates with me, so every day me and Sweet Sam go outside to give love, to receive love, to notice different body parts, to hear the sounds, and to talk to my spirit guide, Joshua. I`m learning about living life with intention. I`m digging deep into who donna marie is by doing an audio course by Danielle Laporte. (It`s called Fire Starters.) I found a wise woman to learn from.
I am already obsessing over the next set of burning questions. How do I attain balance? What is balance? What do I need to do to take the utmost care of my soul, my mind, my physical body, and my physical possessions? Can I experience joy and peace while taking care of myself? Will life always be exhausting? Will I ever feel physically strong and resilent?
It would be nice to take a sabbatical from all this heavy lifting my mind is going through. I`m weary in all sorts of ways. But that`s not how it works, so I continue forwards with self-love, and a strength that I`m not quite ready to acknowledge.
Once again the end of the day has come, and it`s time for my little family to get tucked into bed. Thanks for reading!