What a year it’s been! It’s really seemed like the ultimate roller coaster. I can’t believe I’m leaving for England in less than 4 weeks. I’m freaking out a little bit. But in another way, I’m so ready. When I get on that plane, it will have been exactly one year since I set out across the ocean for The MASON’s research trip through Europe. I can’t believe how much has changed.
On Sunday I completed Gabrielle Bernstein‘s 6-week May Cause Miracles course, which is founded on the radical idea that only love is real. The book is based on the principals from A Course in Miracles, and provides daily affirmations, activities, journaling prompts, and meditations to recalibrate your mind back to love. The premise is this: in every moment we have the choice to choose love or fear. But the really incredible thing is that your choices become your reality. Most of us turned to fear a long a time ago. But in every second of every day, we have the option to choose love instead. And when you do, incredible things happen. Every time you shift your mindset from fear to love is a miracle.
I’ve already started to see the miracles roll in. But it hasn’t been easy.
A huge component of choosing love is forgiveness. And that means letting go. But is there really anything harder?
Whether it’s our lover, friend, job, business, or old dreams, sometimes we hold onto something so tightly that we don’t see how toxic our relationship to it has become. Not until it’s wrenched from our clutches and we’re left feeling broken and out of control do we realize the destruction it’s caused.
But consistently, from inside that heap of sadness and loss, these storms show themselves to be blessings. Once we learn to let go and heal, we’re free to move forward into new adventures, into the people we dream of becoming.
I had one such experience earlier this year, soon after my 25th birthday, when my relationship with one of my closest friends (who was also my business partner) completely dissolved. Or, as it felt at the time, exploded in a bombastic cloud of destruction. Shit had hit the fan.
For many reasons, this experience was terrifying and soul crushing.
There were many financial fears involved, but even worse was the heartbreak at losing a relationship I’d held precious and believed to be so strong. I went through all of the stages of a romantic breakup: I was angry. I cried a lot (a lot). I felt powerless. Some days it was hard to get out of bed. The dreams that had felt so close, now seemed impossible and far away.
At first it seemed impossible for me to forgive. I didn’t want to. My ego told me that I was the victim and I held onto my anger like a righteous badge of honour.
But slowly, little by little, something started to change.
I still felt ripped up inside. Sometimes I still do. But I don’t want to anymore.
My mind has shifted; I want to forgive. And slowly, I’ve begun to heal.
That’s what Gabby teaches. By surrendering to forgiveness we open ourselves up to it and we begin to let go. It’s as simple (and difficult) as that.
It’s an on-going process, this whole letting go thing.
It’s not something we can just choose to do. To let go. To heal. To get over it. To move on. But there are choices we can make to, to crack ourselves open, become vulnerable, and let the process happen.
Unfortunately, first, you have to feel everything. Every excruciating moment of hurt. My first reaction to shame and heartbreak is to turn away, to find a way to numb or distract myself from it, so I can just feel better already. But numbing ourselves will never lead us back to love. We have to honour the entire process in order to move through it.
And just as important is sharing those feelings. In the darkness of silence, shame, pain, anger, humiliation, fear, self-doubt, and misery are allowed to fester and grow. By outing them to our closest confidants and the pages of our journals, we strip away their power. We start to see the artifice of our fears. And then we can begin to choose different thoughts.
That’s a powerful realization when you really believe it: you can choose your thoughts. You can choose to be grateful for the things that nearly broke you. Because they didn’t. Because you’re stronger. Because you learned from them. Because they helped make you whole.
So, all this to say: this year didn’t turn out anything like I expected. I’m no longer travelling the globe to make The MASON. But I am about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. And through all of the loss, I’ve learned the importance of choosing love over fear. I’ve learned to expect miracles. I’m allowing joy to enter my life in a major way. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
an apropos fortune cookie; finding the perfect black flats in adorable small town vintage store; wood oven margherita pizza; choosing to let go of a commitment that had become a major source of negativity in my life; almond macaroons; a rock ‘n roll pin-up shoot in graffiti-laden alleys; re-purpling my hair; vampy purple nails; jacket weather; late-blooming gardens; sweaty, late night dancing with my besties; greasy breakfast the next morning; picking up prints from a roll of film.
Thanks for making it all the way through this post. I know it was longer and more personal than usual, but more and more I realize the importance of sharing what makes us vulnerable. And I always want you to know where I’m at in my life.
What made you love your life this week? How can you become grateful for the obstacles you’re facing?
Top photo by Camille Porthouse.