We all have a story, but is it really serving our growth?
Since surviving a ‘terminal’ brain tumor and surgery at the tender age of 12, I’ve been blessed with a clear vision for my life. But today I recognize the ‘shadow’ of this blessing.
Through tragedy comes great insight and thus, empowers us to breakthrough limiting beliefs. After my surgery, my Olympic dreams as a professional gymnast were shattered, which rocked me to my core. I had gone from being a ‘star’ in everyone’s eyes that knew me to being the laughing stock of my peers. Teenagers can be very mean. I could barely walk and looked ‘disabled’. Yet, I refused to be a victim. I became a fighter, fueled by anger and rage. Eventually, with the support of my incredible mother, I chose to channel this into discovering my purpose.
Raised by a single mother with 5 younger sisters, I was the man of the house. This fatherly role defined me and unbeknownst to me at the time, my identity as a ‘helper’ became a dominant trait that has continued into my adulthood. I became very good at helping people and this brought me fulfillment. So it was natural for me to think that my purpose was to help people. And how better to celebrate my life than to help others achieve their goals and manifest their dreams into reality. This became my driving purpose, for which I built into a life path.
Looking back at the past 30+ years since I made this commitment, I now see the ‘shadow’ of this beautiful intention. As is said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And mine have always been pure, but this came at a cost. As I was so driven by helping others, I sought out those that needed my help. This put me in a trap. I needed to be helping to reaffirm my identity. My obsession with ‘helping’ left me vulnerable to being taken advantage of time and time again. I would keep giving until there was nothing left and then I would snap. They cycle repeated until it became absolutely unbearable. Another breakthrough was coming.
It is impossible to help another if we cannot help ourselves.
This was true for me as well as those I was ‘helping’. This was the trap. Born of a pure intention, my empathy kept pulling me into other’s suffering so that I could pull them up. But I held onto this suffering and it became an addiction of sorts. I would keep taking on more suffering from others under the guise of helping them achieve their potential. And that little boy that was a competitive gymnast and driven to do something ‘big’ with my life kept attracting me to tackle bigger and bigger ‘problems’ in the world. I saw the world as broken and I wanted to be a savior. I didn’t see my ego creeping up on me at the time. Unaware, I became a martyr of my own vision.
I was young, immature and unprepared to handle the immensity of what I was seeing…the real effects of climate change, extreme injustices against women and children, an impending systemic collapse of humanity as mental health issues skyrocket and the threat of a global economic collapse that leads to total chaos. I felt the effects of this deep in my bones to the point where I feel into a deep depression from which I’m still recovering.
After spending 10 days in deep meditation in 2014, from a state of deep stillness, I knew for sure that life is perfect exactly as it is. And thus, so am I perfect exactly as I am. Everything is happening for a reason and it is informing our action. We are evolving as a species in response to our current state of awareness. I was able to feel in my body that I am connected to all life. It is in me and I am a part of it. When I surrender to life, I allow it to guide me. Everything that I am experiencing is simply feedback informing my conscious action. When I trust in my body, I trust myself. I am safe to allow my feelings to become my emotional guidance system.
As I learn to love myself and accept myself fully, the good, the bad and the ugly, I heal my relationship to my ego. And in that I’m learning how to channel my passion, drive and hunger for life inwards. My obsession with doing, achieving and going fast continues to backlash on me, showing me that its time to evolve. A new me is awakening; one that is learning to slow down, to listen to my body and allow my intelligence to direct my action more consciously. This hasn’t been easy. I continue to stumble every day. These patterns run deep and it takes great commitment to reprogram our nervous system out of a fight, fight or freeze state.
Modern neuroscience clearly shows that we are a product of our environment. We are human biology in motion. We are what we eat, we are a product of our thoughts and we become like those that surround us. Change this and everything changes; period. Easier said than done; familiarity is a ghost that haunts us through life. Yet, we are powerful beyond belief. Everything starts with a decision. A choice to move out of our suffering and into a state of liberation. There are no excuses here. If they arise, know these excuses are simply the ego holding us in a state of fear that is attempting to protect us from something that no longer exists. These are simply imprints from the past; stored emotion that has been repressed because we are afraid to feel them. But when we are brave enough to go into these feelings, we will discover they exists to be healed and that peace, joy and liberation always lies on the other side. A wise person once said we should laugh as much as we cry; the more the merrier.
Imagine what the world would look like if all humanity felt safe to express our full essence into life. Imagine what we could create together if we could accept ourselves fully as perfect exactly as we are now. Imagine the liberation we would feel in our body and the mental space created by releasing all judgement. Imagine the power. Imagine what we could create with this. We become unstoppable and our creative energy would flow with freedom and ease. This is our destiny…to express our creativity as a grand celebration of life.
What a dream…let’s begin!