The First Step…
The First Step…
I grew up in a household, in an entire area for that matter, that was ripe with negativity. Judgements, prejudice, gossip and low self-esteem were the very essence of the people that surrounded me. Although, at that time it was all just normal behavior to me. I had never been exposed to anything any different. My parents were raised that way as I assumed their parents were as well. And it wasn’t just my parents, it was most of the people that I knew. We were all consumed in that “Bible Belt” mentality that left little room for individuality. As I look back now I can understand why I never really felt comfortable as a child and teenager. These types of emotions and behaviors carry with them thick, heavy energies that I was incredibly sensitive to although at that time I didn’t even know what that meant. All I knew is that there was a constant “buzzing” within me that was an irritation that I could never turn off. Sheldon from Big Bang Theory would call it a deep itch within his brain that he couldn’t scratch. As I got a little older I learned that I could drown out the buzzing with alcohol and for quite a while that was my way of making the insidious task of sitting inside of my own skin more tolerable. The unfortunate reality of that hit me when the hell raising side of my personality got the best of me and getting into trouble became all too frequent. I got to the point in my life where I knew I had to make some changes.
There is an old saying that states, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”. That couldn’t have been more true in my case. I somehow stumbled into massage school when I was about 34. I found a program that was a combination of online and hands on learning that allowed me to work and go to school at the same time. The first day that I walked into class I was greeted by this short, curly headed woman that changed my life forever. Her name was Laura and I was absolutely in awe of her. She had this aura of pure positive energy that I had never experienced before. She was so passionate about even the smallest of tasks that I couldn’t wait to get back to class every week. She was there to teach us massage, but the gift that she gave to me was so much more important than that. She showed me the light. She helped me walk out of my dark prison that I had been living in for so long. She showed me that it was ok to be me, even if that meant being different than everyone else.
That was just the first step in my journey of change. I would like to say that simply being exposed to that wonderful woman was enough to change my negative beliefs and thought processes but it wasn’t. There was a very long road ahead of me. I can’t say in the beginning I worked at it every single day, I was still in that space between wanting to be better and simply surviving. I unfortunately stayed in that space until I met the man that would be my future husband. As I look back now I realize that he was the catalyst of change in my life. He was my reason for striving to be a better person. I wish that I could say that I just woke up one day and realized of my own volition that I had a intense fire burning within me that drove me to change. That is not what happened. If you want the God’s honest truth, survival mode kicked in and kicked in hard. I had somehow fallen into this relationship and when I say fallen I mean fallen. It really happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to process it. We met and were married 6 months later. When the dust settled I realized I had to get my shit together. This man may has well been raised by Ward and June Cleaver compared to me. He was this beacon of light for me that radiated a kind of pure goodness and unwavering patience that I had never seen before. It was kind of scary and intimidating all at the same time because he was setting the bar so high I didn’t know how I would ever be able to function that way.
That is when I became the guinea pig. I read, I researched, I ate, I breathed and I lived to find a healthy way to make the buzzing inside of myself go away. We will have been married 9 years this December and I can ecstatically tell you that the buzzing is finally gone. There is a calm that has descended over me like a fluffy white cloud. The addictions are gone, the destructive behaviors are gone, all that is left is a deep desire to help other people find their way out of their dark places. I want so desperately to be that light of pure positive energy for you that Laura was for me. I want to show you how to kick the negativity out of your life for good. The only catch is, you have to decide that you want it. You have to want it more than you want anything else. This is the first step, a single decision. You have to decide that you are going to go against the grain of what society tells you is “selfish” and make a commitment to yourself. You are going to put yourself and your physical and emotional health before anything else. Because learning how to let someone else love you isn’t the answer. It is learning how to truly love yourself in a way that you never knew existed, flaws and all that sets you free. That freedom will bring with it pure joy that you never knew you could feel. It is time for you to decide that you are worth fighting for.