I remember sitting in a restaurant eating supper with my family and a close friend back in May. There was this old familiar hum of commentary along with a sense of complacency of the same old subjects. It was comfortable. Yet something inside of me was restless. Deprived.
At the table next to us there were a few girls laughing and smiling and having a genuinely great time. Their table was surrounded by lightness, voices full of cheer. The strength of their tribal energy could be felt in the air. Their eyes sparkled and their giddy laughter shot like a knife straight to my cold numb heart.
I remember several thoughts and emotions coming up as I stared at their table in awe. Resentment, jealousy, sadness, loneliness. I wanted that. I wanted to have a place in a tribe. I wanted to belong. I wanted to be loved unconditionally. I wanted what they had – joy, lightness, peace, laughter. I wanted to stop doing and start being. Tired of stretching thin, of having a hand in many buckets with constant to-do lists. Endless obligations and responsibilities. But never really feeling truly apart of anything, of feeling at home. Too busy with activities to really be fully attentive to anything. Running through life with blinders on, taking whatever new turn in the road I could find.
It became so blatantly obvious that I had become my own thoughts. That people become what they think. They become what they eat, what they do, who they surround themselves with. You attract the energy you emit. In a downward spiral my negative energy snowballed into more and more negativity. I thought I was living an inferior life, therefore my life felt inferior. I acted in a negative manner which caused my friends and family to act negatively. This in turn kept feeding my own negativity. It became a vicious cycle. I was choking on my own pessimism. Trending down into my own disintegration, one thought after another.
I stared up at the universe and begged for mercy. I was ready. ‘I am awake.’ Desperate for change.
Several weeks after the restaurant incident, I took a step out of my comfort zone and decided I would reach out. I would bravely throw a penny in the wishing well. So after a few days of stewing, I finally sent a text message to one of those women sitting next to us in the restaurant. Living in a small town, you get fairly acquainted with who people are. So I sat there holding my phone and my breath, my finger anxiously hovering over the send button. What door would this open, I thought. What would she think of me? A million thoughts entered my mind in those few seconds as I hit ‘send’. I put my phone down, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and walked away – wondering what the heck I had just done.
That is when I knew the universe answered my pleas. That finally something was getting through. Because the woman on the other end of that text responded with open arms. The warmth of her caring response touched my soul. And I have her to be forever grateful for. Because from there my life took a turn. Not just another to-do-list turn. Not another responsibility. Just a hand that reached out and said, ‘yes, I am here.’ From there I was able to cut the ties to my downward spiraling life. I was able to breathe in fresh air for the first time in a very long time. I was finally able to hold onto something, not knowing where it would lead, but trusting it would nurture my need to belong. Trusting that by letting go of the negative energy bit by bit, I would divert the downward spiral.
One text message led to another and eventually I found myself with a ‘big’ invitation. A big chance to say yes.
A spark had ignited in a world full of darkness.
And much to my surprise, I found myself headed to a retreat. Unexpected. Uncertain. Completely out of my comfort zone.
Next time I’ll tell you how that retreat changed my life.
Thanks for reading.