When people ask what I’ve learned from the experiences in my life I have to smile. What always comes to my mind is faith, accountability, courage, forgiveness and compassion.
I have learned perception is everything, And, most of all participating in your own rescue is not an option. It’s a necessity.
My life has been an amazing adventure from the very beginning. Some may hear my story and say, “How did she survive”? I have gone from the highs and lows of a childhood where I had no idea that my sense of always being different, feeling and seeing so many things beyond my understanding would ever make sense, to an eating disorder, to alcohol abuse, to rape, violence and drug addiction. While any one of these experiences can be defined as horrible, collectively, it’s my life. They all led me to the person I am today, and enabled me the gift of insight and deep compassion for others who suffer.
All of those painful devastating things led to an extraordinary spiritual awakening and the deep integrated recovery that is a reflection of who I am today. I could tell my story as a victim or I could tell it as an adventure where I was the heroine that found the magic of meaning in all stories. Both would be true.
And there are other stories within the stories! There have been more that shape the person I am: writing and singing music, creating bestselling books, meeting the man of my dreams, and countless others. So what do they all mean? Whatever I decide they mean.
I tell them all the same thing. Perception is paramount. I’ve learned to define what the experience could mean to me, only when I allow myself to see through Spirit’s eyes and then the choices really begin.
I’ve learned that in order to thrive in life you MUST participate in your own rescue. This means being willing to take ownership of your role and actions in the experience. Make the choice to:
- Love yourself enough to ask for help.
- Love yourself enough to say no when it is necessary.
- Love yourself enough to receive the help with an open heart. Your self worth depends on it! Participating in your own rescue also means that you are willing to be brave enough to do whatever it takes to turn yourself around.
Throughout my life I’ve had what some would deem as insurmountable events show up. I had many opportunities to give up. Surrender. Allow life to happen “to me”. But, I discovered along my journey that these events shape me and give me the tools I need to help others with their journey. My ideal is to use my experiences as an example to others of what can happen when you make a choice to define the experience as opposed to allowing the experience to happen to you.
This line of thinking and feeling has brought me to deep levels of self worth. When I can guide someone out of the dark to a beautiful new landscape, my heart is filled with love for all that I have learned. Paying forward is my ultimate reward!
When you CHOOSE your perception, participate in your own rescue, and love yourself enough to allow the experience to educate you, you will grow by leaps and bounds!
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You hit home when you say that your experiences led you to who you are today. I believe that is so true for each of us. My dear friends, Andrew and Tamara Overlee, the founders of Joy of Healing, have taught me that the challenges in life are opportunities for us to learn and grow. My own battle with painful, chronic, debilitating fibromyalgia has a harrowing journey fraught with ups and downs. Hopefully we too can all learn from our struggles and truly feel and express compassion and empathy for others who suffer. As you say we MUST participate in our own rescue. Giving up is not an option! Thankfully I loved myself to seek out the help I so desperately needed. And because of the wellness work that helped me to discover and resolve the numerous unresolved issues in my life that, no matter how hard I tried to deny and ignore them, kept surfacing and making me so very ill I am in remission both pain and prescription free. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiriting others to, love themselves enough! Love and blessings.