The tiny bright ball of energy was whirling in front of me. It swirled and spun while even smaller dots of yellow light zipped around the ball like moons orbiting Jupiter. I was mesmerized. All I could do was observe it in my mind’s eye. The light was growing bigger and bigger, suspended in space in front of me. There was no thought. There was no time. There was no “I”. Nothing existed except for that ball of light.
This was what I experienced during my recent meditation. I don’t want to attach too many words to it or complicate it in any way. I don’t know exactly where it came from or why. During this moment, there was no “me” to even form these questions. “I” had disappeared and felt only one thing: peace.
I have been practicing meditation for a short time now after being on hiatus for many years. I used to practice it on a daily basis in my early twenties. My dad had died and I turned inward. I looked to nature and God for answers. Meditation came naturally to me. It made me feel good.
Then with the steady onslaught of kids, marriage, jobs and all the stress that followed, I slowly abandoned the practice. In the years since, I’ve become an anxious, fearful and even negative person. I fell into the trap of feeling like a victim, wallowing in my physical, emotional and spiritual pain. I even relished the pain in some strange way and allowed this illusion to define me. I was a very unhappy person. I felt like each day was a test to slog through, a marathon to win, yet there was no finish line where I would feel better. I only continued to feel pain.
My spirituality wasn’t just put on a back burner; it was taken off the stove completely and grew cold. And my mind and body suffered. I went through a traumatic birth with my firstborn son, suffered severe post partum depression and the downward spiral began. From then on, I had years of aches, pains, surgeries, depression, traumas, anxieties, panic attacks. And much worse, I had given in to the notion that this was to be my life. I gave up. I gave in to it. I found myself in nothing but a sea of negativity that I barely kept secret from those around me, yet I was slowly drowning in it. I didn’t like myself. I put myself down all the time without realizing it. I never gave myself encouragement and had zero confidence. I was angry at the world and angry at all of those in the past and present who I felt had treated me unfairly. I blamed them for my pain and suffering.
Then something happened. I got sick of all of it. I didn’t want to be this person anymore. Why was I hanging onto all of these past hurts and pains? What purpose did it serve me? I needed to forgive them and myself. What does forgiving myself mean? To me, it meant allowing myself to enjoy life; to accept that I deserve to be happy again. It was okay. Everything was okay and will be okay. Yes, these negative things happened to me and yes I am angry. That’s okay. You need to move on now, my inner voice said quietly, you need to LET IT GO.
I began to talk to God again. I prayed a lot. I began paying attention to all of those signs we all get but ignore. I decided to start taking care of my body by practicing yoga. Yoga was hard at first, but soon I fell in love with the deep breathing and gentle stretching. It was 20 minutes of the day carved out just for me. I started taking care of myself. This led to the sad realization that I had lost touch with my spiritual side.
Then a big breakthrough happened.
I realized that feeling good about myself, my body, my mind, my spirituality was OKAY. Not only that, it was NECESSARY. Why push it down and bury it inside of me? Why not allow it to be? What is so awful or scary about truly being happy? I deserve it and I am worthy of it. I am in control of it, no one else.
I felt like a baby being born again. Like a huge weight had been lifted off me. A weight I had put there myself. No one else is to blame. It’s hard to admit to yourself that yes, deep down I am pure and worthy of happiness. My intellectual side had taken over for so many years, that I had lost touch with my inner wisdom. And no matter what mistakes I make, I am a good person who deserves love. Who deserves to be happy! This was the single most powerful thought to shake me to the core of my soul. Yes, it is okay to be happy! Now, go and DO IT!
I decided to start meditating this past year. Just 10 minutes a day, here and there. Soon I was on my way, back on track to finding the true “me” by losing the “I”. It is still a process. I have days where I feel negative thoughts seeping in. But I have discovered ways to make them fade away now. For a few minutes, they hold no power over me. I find my days to be filled more with positive thinking and in turn it’s seeping into everything I do and everyone I interact with around me. It’s a slow journey but I’m willing to take it head on as my life depends on it.
When I meditate, I long for that magic moment all my thoughts drip away, even the sensation of my body fades. I feel nothing but peace. Time and space don’t exist. I am powerful. I am full of love. I am happy again. I am reconnecting with the True Me. And it was all within my reach the whole time.