Happy Birthday! I can honestly say that this is the very first time I have said these words to myself and actually mean them. Please, no pity. I felt plenty of that over the years as well. That is part of what kept me so down for so long.
I rejoice now with what I have to offer those who still may not be able to say happy birthday to themselves. My story is a gruesome one at first sight, but it is ultimately a story of redemption and forgiveness. It is a story of suffering and strength, of suicide and recovery.
Of course it is probably far from over. I am only 59, but I have learned some lessons along the way – lessons that will get me through whatever challenges life has yet to bring. I must be careful for what I wish.
Until I was well into my thirties I was desperately trying to kill myself. Sometimes actively, sometimes passively, but always desperately trying to find a way out. Life was too painful; I could trust no one, least of all myself. I had nothing going for me; in fact I was positive everything and everyone was against me. Life sucked and it was personal.
I could write for years about all of the reasons “why” I felt this way. My childhood, which was horrific, my young adulthood, which was worse, and then as an adult, oy vey! If you have read my blog, I tell a bit here and there, but that part of my story, it turns out, really has no bearing on my life now. What I have learned is that I can choose freely now!
Indulge me while I tell you a bit about my journey from suicide to wishing myself my first happy birthday. It started with therapy, then a 28 day rehab, then more therapy, group therapy, intensive therapy. Then I did the EST training, including the Six Day course, followed by seminars about personal transformation. Next, I went the ashram route, with meditation, prayer and chanting. Then I married a successful stockbroker (back when that was not an oxymoron) and spent money and traveled. Still unhappy, I tried a vision quest. This is the one where you spend three nights and four days alone in the wilderness with no food. I was still searching. I journaled daily and read every book I could on self-help and healing. I tried sweat lodges, white water rafting, rock climbing and rollerblading. I exercised until I blew out a shoulder and then threw myself into body work. I got divorced and worked myself to death, taking course after course in more body work, energy healing, chanting, more transformation, and more therapy. Are you exhausted yet?
Then I learned I cannot run from, or toward, anything. I can only choose day in and day out to accept what is right now. I do not have to like what is, but if I want to be at peace, I do have the opportunity to choose. By not choosing what is, we suffer.
Every single one of the programs I participated in stressed this ultimate truth. So, what took me so long? I was searching outside of myself for a solution that can only be found within.
All of the actions I had taken in my early life were in order to find a way out. Now I can turn inward and find peace, just for the choosing.
I am a wonderful choice!