I look back on my life a year ago and I’m stunned at the difference.
This time last year I was just settling into my new life back in Colorado after a big move from Philadelphia. I was still reeling over a bad breakup (the reason I moved back to my home state), was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life in terms of a career, and had to start building my life from scratch.
I had no high school friends to call and all my college friends lived in other states (and my best friend was in London). I had just graduated from college with a good degree from a great school, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it (curse/blessing of the Liberal Arts education!).
I was really sad and lonely, and the depression I’d struggled with for years before heightened with a vengeance. I was in a dark place and I had no idea how to get out of it, or if I could get out of it.
I know it sounds melodramatic, but that’s what it felt like from my perspective. I felt so broken and worthless and useless as a woman, as a college graduate, and as a human being.
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to do this whole life thing anymore. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, the life I wanted was out of reach.
I didn’t feel like a victim so much as I felt helpless and hopeless, but at the same time, I also really wanted the world to change, not me.
Why? Because I didn’t think that I was powerful enough to create the change I wanted to see in my life. I thought it would be next to impossible to view the world through a non-chronically depressed person’s eyes. I also didn’t want more proof that I was ineffective and worthless.
In reality, our thoughts about the world precipitate the changes we want to see.
At one point or another, we all have to decide to take responsibility for ourselves and the lives we’ve attracted. For a long time I was resistant to changing my thoughts and I didn’t even know it! I was used to the comfort of old patterns of thinking even if they made me miserable. I just didn’t believe there was another way that would actually work!
But there was!
Last fall, I embarked on a several month journey into the depth of my own human experience and decided I was going to commit to this whole life thing. I began working with a spiritual mentor who introduced me to a whole new realm and way of thinking, and eventually branched off on my own in a very “Eat, Pray, Love” sort of way to really find myself.
What I learned was that if you train your mind well enough, you can experience any kind of reality you want.
It takes time and a lot of concerted effort, but it’s entirely possible!
In one year, I went from extremely depressed and worried I’d never get my shit together to having the exact life I wanted.
Instead of waiting on the world to change, I began changing my thoughts, which led to shifts in my situations and experiences. The more I trained my mind to see the silver lining, the more enjoyable my life became and the more I started attracting what I had wanted all along.
Today, I wake up happy and grateful because I am in love with my life (though an extra half an hour of sleep would make me even more grateful! ) It took a lot of dedicated hard work (when I originally typed the word ‘hard’ it came out ‘heart’, and maybe that’s more accurate). It took heart work too to get where I am because I had to remember I was worth it.
And now, I’m right where I want to be in my life.
I’m back in school, working towards a degree in Psychology.
I’ve got a research position working in a behavioral genetics lab.
I’m working on my second business product, which will be launched later this year.
I have great people in my life and wonderful relationships that are supportive, healthy, and not toxic! And I’m single, so you know this isn’t a result of rose-colored love glasses!
And every day there’s something I enjoy, whether it’s listening to mix CDs on the drive to school, meeting up with my sister and friends for dinner, dancing in my apartment to keep me awake during a study break, or going to see Marianne Williamson speak (like I am tomorrow!)
Do things happen that are genuinely out of our control? Yes, but the quality of your relationships, the general situations and events in your life, and the way you feel on a daily basis are under your domain.
So consider this the sign you’ve been waiting for: that life can get better, that you can have what you want (even if it doesn’t happen right away it doesn’t mean it won’t happen), and that the universe is conspiring for your highest good.
Remember that you are worthy and enough, right now, in this very moment.
You always were and you always will be.
Have you ever had to make a big shift in your life?
How did you get through it?
(Picture: My sister in a forest in Ireland)