Sometimes life takes you out on a road trip. One that you certainly didn’t plan and absolutely didn’t want to take, but it’s not your decision. You just have to pick up and leave without even having time to pack your things, not even a toothbrush or clean underwear. At the time you may curse and cry, scream at the heavens and beg for mercy, or maybe you decide to curl up in your bed all alone and shut the world out.
It’s different for everybody how we deal with hard times and if you have been there, you know what your strategies are. And as Les Brown once said when I attended one of his seminars, about going through a dark time in life: “Well, either you’ve been there and recently come out of it, or if not, you’re going to get there soon. Isn’t life beautiful, right?” And of course he laughed, Les Brown style.
But he’s right. No one gets through life without being forced by certain events to dig deep within themselves. It’s called crisis, but I would prefer renaming it connecting.
Connecting with your true self, your true potential, your soul, your deepest source of information and infinite possibilities.
For me, my journey really started shortly before reaching the age of thirty.
I felt like I had gone 15 rounds against a hungry and fit Mike Tyson, beaten and bruised, down on hands and knees. I didn’t realize then that life was pushing me towards my individual starting point for destination “Me.” So I did what most of us do: resisted. Refused to listen or see the signs that popped up along the way until I ended up missing a corner and crashed in to a wall. I felt scared, lost and really small. I didn’t see any way out of where I had put myself, or who to ask for directions. But, as it usually happens: help came in a way I never would have expected.
One day my mother called me and asked me to come with her on a meeting. She told me about this man who others said had the ability to see what you need to know in your life, especially if you had turned the wrong corner and had no GPS. I was really skeptical, but I figured I had nothing to lose so I came along for the ride. Still skeptical though.
I entered a small room in a little cottage on the countryside. It smelled like an old vacation home that hadn’t been used since last summer and needed a real change of air. For a second I felt like just turning around and run out of there, like that little boy I once was. Then a knock on the door, and he entered. He greeted me with a big smile and I could feel his warmth as he shook my hand. “Are you sure we haven’t met before? You feel really familiar”, he said. “I don’t think we have sir”, I replied. He smiled and told me to relax and just let whatever messages that I needed the most come through. And so we began.
I won’t transcribe the entire conversation. But that hour changed the direction of my life.
Afterwards I cried for days, but not tears of sadness. Okay, a little bit but only because we talked about things very close to my heart, but maybe mostly because I realized how I had squandered so many of the gifts I had been given. How I had been focusing on everything I didn’t have or failed at, instead of all I actually had in my life. And the possibilities that lie ahead of me, but I refused to see. My perception was way off, so to speak. I was stuck in my past and what went wrong then and those feelings had me imprisoned. It was a moment of true clarity. An eye-opener if you will.
He said a couple of things I do want to share. because I think they can also be useful for you.
For me they were life changing and helped me rediscover my true potential. Maybe they can bring something positive in to your life as well.
The first thing he said was this:
“You look at yourself as a failure. A looser. Let me tell you my friend, you are not! What you are, is lost. You were going somewhere, that road wasn’t right and you ended up driving around looking for the right exit. And when the sign came up you didn’t see it, because you were still looking for the old sign. So you have just kept on driving, without any meaning or goal, just feeling empty and lost. And that is a terribly destructive way to live your life, right?”
He looked at me with his big eyes steadily focused on mine. Tears were running down my face, because that insight was so true that I felt the pain all the way to the core. “Yes, you’re right. Can you help me find the way out of here”, I asked? He leaned forward in his chair, put his hands together under the chin before he answered.
“It’s actually quite simple my friend. Here’s what you’re going to do: Listen to your feelings, put words to them and then act upon them. Your feelings are the messengers from your soul, and they will never tell you a lie.”
And that became my ticket back to life. Away from average. Not back to where I once was, no, I started building something entirely new. I walked in to a life where I shifted from a very externally focused life where my body was, in my mind, the only thing I had going for me. So I went from a life completely set for a life as a professional athlete, to becoming a person dedicated to help others reconnect with themselves, with their feelings, becoming who they really were born to be. Unique and beautiful.
Photo credit: unsplash
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