Who am I, why am I here and how do I make life better?
These were the questions I was forced to ask myself, when, during my early twenties, remaining in a state of depression and feeling lost and alone was no longer an option: it was change or die, previous excursions into the shadowlands had taught me this. Having recently completed an interior design diploma and been keen to launch my consultancy business, my hopes and dreams had remained in my mind sky, because I lacked the faith and confidence that I needed to act. I would constantly tell myself that I was doomed to fail, destined to be alone and lonely and that I would walk forever on the edge of the rat race reality, existing but not really living. These were the beliefs that my world had conditioned me to perceive, and so this was my truth, and my truth was killing me. I desperately needed there to be more to life, and so, with all the passion in my heart, and a small glimmer of hope in the possibility of a greater story, I called out to the heavens above, hoping something might hear my plea for guidance and grant me a reason to keep living.
What happened next initiated a journey of spiritual awakening, truth-seeking, deep healing, and an immersion onto a way of living and being that would eventually reveal to me the keys to outshining fear, breaking free from the shadows, moving into peace, freedom and happiness, and ultimately enabling me to understand how to co-create harmony in our world. It began with a vision of a dying world and of lost souls wandering the Earth, disconnected from their hearts and from each other, and a message of inspiration inviting me to heal my world from within, which led me to my next truth-seeking question:
Why do we suffer and how do we overcome suffering?
I reviewed my own story of suffering; a tale of innocence and a gradual descent into darkness; the result of many years of being bullied, rejected, and abandoned, in different places, at different times, and by different people, leading to a long battle with severe anxiety and depression. I learned that we are subjects of our genetic inheritance and the environment in which we are born and that we are mere reactions to life events based on this combination; we are like ships upon an ocean where only the sturdy and well-balanced are able to ride the most challenging waves. On reflection, it was clear that, fundamentally, I suffered because I lacked the management tools for coping with my world, and because I existed in a realm of too much fear, and not enough love. When I transferred this perception to address suffering on the world stage, I learned of a similar truth; the world needs more love.
How does life work; are we governed by freewill, fate or destiny, and what power does one person have to effect change?
In a world in need of love, and when there are so many people living in fear and fuelling destruction, I wondered what one lost soul could possibly do to help create harmony? I explored the nature of freewill, fate and destiny. I meditated on whether there may great plan overarching the story of our lives, that unbeknown to us, is carrying us on an unseen ocean towards harmony, and all we do is connect with this knowing and live with faith in the vision. I researched the power of intention and how the power of our own heart and mind may influence change in the collective and I considered the impact of one person living in alignment with the values of the heart.
I learnt that we are subjects to cause and effect, until we awaken, that freewill and fate may be siblings weaving the paths of our lives, that we can learn to claim our freedom and take the resigns on our lives, and that when the power of the mind is harnessed and the heart moves into peace, it may become possible to arise as a co-creator, influencing how we live, and how others live, and pro-actively being a conduit for love, and an ambassador for peace and harmony. I had a theory, and now I had to start living it to unveil the truth.
I set my intention and I crafted my vision of peace and harmony; a home in the sun, writing inspiring books, helping people to heal and grow, sharing my life with a partner, in love, with a happy family, good health, free of my own demons, an organic garden, cherished friends, abundance and success, and people around me living in peace and harmony.
What is love?
Over the next year, I battled through thoughts of faith and fear as I explored how to create harmony, and then life opened up, with an opportunity to move into my dreams; a new home in the sunshine, heralding new possibilities and potential. I continued in a battle of faith and fear as I tried to outshine my demons and make peace with my world because even when you change location, you cannot outrun your shadows. I initiated a course of therapy and one of the first things my therapist said to me was: ‘You need to learn to love yourself’, and I honestly had no idea what she meant! I knew that I was not happy, I recognised that I still spoke to myself with harsh judgment and criticism, and I continued to be haunted by depression, past traumas, and so many fears. ‘You need to get angry’ she would offer, but I did not want to get angry, I did not like the feeling of anger, I wanted peace.
Overtime, as I reviewed my past, and allowed myself to get angry about things that I had every right to feel angry about, I discovered that with anger, my fears transformed into a sense of inner power, because I was reclaiming my truth: I was angry with people, with life, and with myself, for many things done and said, and for those things that were not done or said, and needed to have been.
Therapy provided a space for anger to move into acceptance. This was hard work and it took a long time to really get what acceptance actually means. Through acceptance, as if by the very nature of accepting, a new sense of peace and freedom emerged, and in this new peace and freedom, I found myself moving into realms of forgiveness, and to choose to focus on appreciation and gratitude, while my self-talk evolved from those of criticism and judgment, into the realms of compassion and kindness; I was moving into a new kind of love; self-love, and through genuine self-love, by the very nature of being in love, my heart began to open to other people and my world.
What does it mean to Live in Harmony?
The emergence of love was a gradual process and is a dedication to maintain. It requires applying empowering tools to help manage fear, doubt, and the voices of negativity, and a commitment to the art of acceptance, the voice of love, compassion, empathy, kindness, appreciation, gratitude, forgiveness, and the ways of peace, It is through the emergence of my love that I have come to understand what living in harmony really means.
Living in harmony is about making time to understand ourselves and each other so that we can learn to better accept ourselves, and how people are, and why people are. It is about choosing to forgive ourselves and each other, not because it will make certain things okay; so many things were not and are not okay, but because we choose to bring peace into the present. It is about connecting with our truth; how we really feel, because only when we stand in our authenticity can we heal and grow, and only in our authenticity can we process our true sentiment, and so avoid, consciously or subconsciously, projecting our shadows onto other people and our world. It is about embracing our freedom, through this authentic way of being, and claiming the power that arises through connection with our true heart, and it is about radiating the true heart; living in compassion and kindness, choosing to focus on appreciation and gratitude, and making the choice to respond to life with love.
I began to embrace my new truth about who I am, how I am, how others are and the way the world is, and with all courage in my heart, to live in love, which meant making some big and important choices. If I wanted to be true to my heart, I would have to set some new boundaries, pursue greater and more exciting career goals, and with this risk greater failure, rejection, and abandonment, and perhaps the pain of judgment from choosing to expose my truth. But, to live any other way was no longer a choice; I had made my dedication to love.
I set my boundaries, I lost some friends and made some stronger friendships, I changed pathways, took career risks, and I developed myself as a coaching psychologist, creating continued and ongoing success, growing myself in a new and unexpected way, and always in alignment with the values of my heart, true to love and my vision of harmony. I formed a community support network in my home town and then I made the choice to be a mother, a single mother, through the process of in-vitro fertilisation. I knew that no matter what happened next, I was living the truth of my heart and I truly believed this would lead me to harmony and help me understand how to co-create harmony in the world.
It was during the 37th week of my pregnancy that my baby girl became distressed, she stopped moving, and she died. The suffering is immense and it does not end. I had a choice about how I responded to this tragedy and I had to respond with love. I grieved deeply, feeling every true and overwhelming emotion, and I continue to grieve; this pain is part of my world, I have to accept it, I have to live with it, there is no other truth. I choose to be thankful for what she has gifted me; the recognition of my ability to love greatly, to respond to the suffering in my life and my world with love, and to no longer merely survive, but manage to thrive.
Harmony is not about everything in the world being shiny and bright, where suffering is ended and there is only joy. Harmony is about accepting the suffering when it occurs, processing it, and then choosing to respond with love and never giving up on the truth of the heart. Being a mother mattered and so, while walking with fear, and still grieving, I summoned greater courage, and, in the name of love, I walked on, into a second pregnancy, and I gave birth, at home, to a very special, healthy, happy and joyful baby boy.
I believe that when I stand in love, I exist in my harmony and that when I open my heart to others and the world, and actively co-create with love, and when I connect with and respond to people and life with acceptance, compassion, empathy, kindness, strength, courage, faith, trust, peace, integrity, and truth' the values of the heart, then I am one person helping to co-create harmony in the world around me.
I believe that when you stand in love, when you exist in your harmony, true to the values of your heart, truth to your true feelings and emotions, and living with a mind full of love, and with the power to conqueror fear, you help to co-create harmony. You don’t have to wait until you can maintain this way of being to be able to make difference; we all rise and fall through the days of our lives, this is our nature. In those moments when we do rise and when we can maintain a vibration of love and peace, we are powerful, and when we fall and know that with faith and a loving response, we shall soon rise again, this deep and complete acceptance, enables us to maintain and grow harmony. I believe that when we stand in love, true to our unique vision of harmony, we shall meet each other in the dawn of a new harmony on Earth.
Many reading this will resonate with my words because you are in a similar space, you recognise you are setting foot on your path or already making brave footsteps, you may be revisiting the path, or you are smiling with a warm heart because you feel thankful that the ground your generation laid is bearing fruit and we are responding to the call to love.
Currently, this global pandemic has the potential to unite or divide our humanity. This is a call to stand in your love because this is what you can do, this is within your power and it will grow your power, and you will change the world. This pandemic can become the tragedy that we choose to use as a global shift towards living in greater love.
I invite you, from wherever you are, at whatever life stage you are at, to make a pledge to stand in love.
I, (name)…………………………….with pure intent and a heart open to giving and receiving love, dedicate myself to the path to love, with the understanding that in doing so, I am being true to myself and contributing to the emergence of greater acceptance, authenticity, connection, compassion, empathy, kindness, integrity, truth, and peace in my world, by actively and consciously living by these values.
Together, and only together, we are moving into a new harmony.
Harmony, with as many beautiful visions of its projection as there are people on the planet, can be our collective vision. There are no rules, there is no fixed path, there is just a choice; to love yourself and live from a loving heart.