I was sitting at my piano earlier today—something I don’t do nearly often enough—playing around with a song that I wrote a couple of years ago when my heart was very broken. As I was singing the words to that song, it hit me out of the blue that I am finally healed. It hit me that I am okay, that I survived and I am a better person for it. Now I can look back at everything that happened to me that made me write these completely forlorn and heartbroken lyrics. I can finally say I understand what happened and why.
After weeks, months, and years of processing what had happened and wrestling with my own inner demons, a sweet peace has finally permeated my being and the consequent healing is nothing short of miraculous. I am happy. I promise there was a time I didn’t think I would ever feel good again. This has made me realize that there is an important message here.
I know there are people out there who are hurting and are thinking, “I can’t do this—I can’t survive it.” I promise that you will. If you will just go through the motions of whatever you have to do to get through that day, that hour, that minute when you think you can’t possibly do it. If you can just hang on, things do and will get better. The clouds will clear and the sun will shine again. It has taken me over two years to get back to the person I know I can be. I lost myself completely in utter sadness and hopelessness. Depression is too kind of a word for how low a person can get. It’s important to understand that hope and joy lie just beyond those dark clouds. I realize once again what a beautiful gift life truly is.
So, here I am basking in this awesome epiphany when the Universe decides to bump it up a notch. I switched places, moving from my piano to my computer. On my computer I found a personal FB message from a very cool guy I used to train. He has come through a very physically challenging time to arrive on the other end of it. He can now see that his life-altering obstacle was all just a part of life that he had to learn to roll with. It took a lot of pain, frustration, patience and a subsequent hip transplant, but he is now in a place where he can pick up where we left off and get back to his original goal to be a healthier version of himself through health and fitness. He plans to use what I taught him as he moves forward in his journey. He is thanking me for what I did for him back when (little did he know) I was feeling so low that it was all I could do to move through the motions of a typical day—back when I felt my life was pointless. Yet, I made a difference in his life. What a blessing to hear this from him! Thank you Universe!
What perfect timing for me to check my FB page and see his heartfelt gratitude. He wished me well on my journey and hoped that life was bringing me all the wonderful joys that life can bring a person. And thank God it is! I went through the dark night of my soul to come out on this side and feel the warmth of gratitude and joy again. Feeling the rays of hope and happiness infiltrate my being. Something I feared I’d never feel again. To cross through such a mental and emotional abyss and arrive on the other side with a new perspective of strength and respect for myself again is no small miracle.
It made me think of that line in the movie, City Slickers, where Curly (Jack Palance) tells Mitch (Billy Crystal) about the secret to life, that ONE thing. They are both on horseback, herding cattle through Colorado and Mitch is hanging on every word as Curly reveals his life-long, hard-learnt wisdom. As he holds up his cowboy-gloved index finger, Mitch eagerly asks Curly to please give it up. “What’s the secret?” And with a cigarette hanging from the corner of his weathered lips, Curly says, “Just one thing…you stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.” To which Mitch implores, “That’s great…but what’s the one thing?” And Curly half smiles and grittily says, “That’s what you have to figure out.”
I love that! I think maybe I figured it out. Or at least my version of the riddle. Here it is. Are you ready? Drumroll, please. Life is not about the destination. It’s about the journey. I’ve always had some goal, some dream, some thing or some one that I was yearning for or working towards. In the back of my mind I was always thinking when I get this, I will be happy. When I achieve that, I will be happy. When I go here or there or when I make this or that happen, I will be happy. When I find the right partner, I will be happy. I have forgotten the joy in the journey. I’ve forgotten to notice the sights and sounds that I am missing along the way because I am so caught up in the dream of some future that may never arrive. Happiness truly is an inside job, and until you do the inner work, nothing and nobody can or will make you happy.
It’s about taking chances and making mistakes and learning from them and picking yourself back up and doing it again and again until you finally realize that the reason you keep repeating these experiences is because the Universe is trying to teach you a very important lesson. Once you finally understand that lesson, you go on to the next experience and the next lesson and so on. Yes, you are going to break some hearts and yours will probably be broken also. We all suffer loss, and I am sure there are many more challenges in my future. But I will heal and you will heal and we will all be better people for the lessons we learn. We keep going, growing and evolving along the way, because that’s life. That’s the journey. It’s what we signed up for when we agreed to allow our spirits to come into physical form. We are all spiritual beings having a physical experience. It’s the magic that makes the pain and sorrow and the happiness and joy of life on planet earth worthwhile. I know that’s easy to forget when you are in the throes of heartache. Life is a gift. It is a blessing. Life goes by so very quickly. Why squander our precious time with guilt, regret, anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, envy?
That’s my ONE thing. My City Slicker aha moment. I want to help people, as well as myself. Life goes by in what seems like warped speed and we need to appreciate all our blessings. One of those blessings is our bodies. Our health. We spend most of our time torturing our bodies with unhealthy food and substances and then wonder why we are overweight and unhappy and in terrible health.
My books are not rocket science. I wrote them with the intention to be able to read each one in an hour or so. They are succinct and to the point. They may not bring about world peace or cure cancer, but they are a step in that direction. If you take the steps that I lay out in any one of these books, you will be healthier. You will have less of a chance for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension—just to name a few. By making healthier lifestyle choices along with stress reduction techniques that my books recommend, you will look and feel happier. Your quality of life will improve exponentially. These add up to a much more healthy and peaceful life. World peace and a cure for cancer? Maybe. One person at a time, one book at a time, together we can make your odds against cancer better and make your world a more peaceful place. And that’s how we change the world. We start with ourselves.
Thanks, Curly! I think I figured it out.