It has reached the end of a week long holiday with my family in Cyprus. I’ve eaten well, slept well, read well and been… Alright.
Of course it would happen in this way. After six nights of undisturbed sleep, I find myself jostled awake by my subconscious on the seventh night, only to feel restless and out of sync. So I get up, make my way into the kitchen, tablet in hand, put the kettle on for a brew and park myself on the sofa at the foot of the cosy little apartment we’re in.
I’ve found myself on this sofa every morning with a cup of tea, lying eyes closed with devotional music filling the room and Pinterest open on my lap. What a sweet way to ease myself into each day. I could get used to this. I should get used to this.
Guys, you were there for The Breakdown Chronicles. Months of me revelling in my own pain and darkness and genuinely unfathomable misery. After that, I spent lots of time away from my writing and especially writing here. Why? Because I couldn’t actually face the inner turmoil. Writing is my god given route to healing and I chose to ignore her because I didn’t even know where to begin. I was so caught up in this vicious cycle of ego driven fear that I had turned my back on a connection I previously invested in: a connection with myself and with a greater power of my own understanding (call it what you will: intuition, the universe, God, love). I would spend time meditating and tuning into the voice without words that has guided me to fulfillment and inner peace. I would invest time in reading books on self improvement to try and deepen this understanding. This faith was at it’s peak a couple of years ago and it meant that where difficulties arose, I could consciously navigate my way out of them, fuelled by inner wisdom.
I neglected this part of me a few months into my final year of university and in trying to reaccess it when I needed it, nothing really resonated with me anymore. So I decided to hate the self help industry in favour of my five senses, choosing to experience only what’s in front of me and to stop turning inward.
The result? Looking outside of me for sources of instant gratification and finding them, revelling in them for as long as possible so as not to feel the emptiness in the space beneath it. I ignored deep seated feelings of poor self worth and unhappiness. I looked to my relationship for comfort, leading to me putting my boyfriend on a pedestal and feeling permanently unworthy or uncool in the face of differing opinions. I looked to getting drunk as a way to be present and savour a good time. I looked to television as a distraction from the shitstorm. I took to working out all the time and focusing on the external picture more than the internal one.
One morning I woke up and was making headway through a list of mundane tasks when I went online to cancel my ‘audible’ membership (a pay monthly service for audiobooks) I had two credits left so I bought two books. One was on my ‘suggested’ tab and it was called ‘The Universe has your back’ by Gabrielle Bernstein. I had previously listened to Gabby’s lectures and I found her, for some reason, fake, pretentious and capitalising on the self help industry, much like other so called ‘spiritual’ gang members (aka people who sell dreams and are full of shit). But the previous week, a friend whose book choices I respect actually recommended it. So I thought, why not? That night, I listened to it for the first time and I was hooked and moved all at once. As I listened intently, Gabby’s words resonated with me so much that my entire body shook, my heart rate soared and I cried tears of relief, sadness and joy. I remembered after months of forgetting, a lesson so pivotal to my life that it shocked me, the degree to which I had forgotten.
Happiness comes from within. It can’t be found anywhere else. No romantic relationship, no friendship, no alcohol, no party, no food, no gruelling workout guide with a promise of abs and no amount of binge watching TV will ever fill you up the same way that a spiritual connection will.
In realising this, things have begun to fall into place. More books have fallen off the shelves. More moments of clarity have presented themselves. I feel the desire to meditate again. To write again.
I even decided to put a chunk of my wage aside to invest in a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help me redesign the hazy neural connections that have led to automated cycles of negative thinking and resultant beliefs of poor self worth. There are some dark places I would rather not go back to.
I want a life full of self love, compassion and alignment with my purpose. I want happiness. Real, deep seated, internal happiness. I want inner guidance in difficult situations. I want to connect again and more deeply this time, more lovingly with a view to long term inner contentment. I want to heal.
I want to write myself better.