I am an indecisive introvert that didn’t really fit in anywhere except my mom’s arms and possibly inside Harry Potter books.
When my parents suddenly and unexpectedly passed away 6 years ago, I was unaware of how deeply I fell into depression – my mind only aware of 2 things: first, I have lost the two most important people in my life and second I will never find someone who will love me like they did ever again. As Nigel, my boyfriend’s sister put it, your parents are your safe space, as his and mine were. (Well, that’s if you get lucky in this lifetime.) And that I definitely did. I knew that no matter what I did or how many times I fucked up they would love me, still, with all their being. But what happens if you lose your ONLY safe space? My world stopped and funny enough the real world… didn’t.
Loneliness and anxiety sat with me everyday and as I tried to sweep it under the rug my mind unconsciously began looking for love everywhere and anywhere – I found things and people that could numb the pain and so I used them daily without thinking of the consequences until things took a turn for the worst.
Travel was my only escape but it wasn’t enough.
After quite a few mistakes and feeling like a complete failure in life; I finally realized how unhappy I was making myself through my habits, thoughts and with staying in negative cycles. I also realized that I wanted to change – I started craving for healing and happiness even though I had no idea yet at that time on how or where to begin.
My awareness on mental health and mental hygiene only very recently came through my sister who is a Psychology graduate and now a yoga teacher; we started being honest with each other and being more open to each other. Watching Ted Talks also taught me a lot of things they don’t teach in school – Guy Winch on why we all need to practice emotional first aid – this one’s my favorite.
I accidentally stumbled upon the doors of healing when I started practicing yoga – yoga continues to heal my mind, body and soul while teaching me patience and perseverance. Through meditation, I have learned that calm and peace aren’t just words. My journey to healing has also led me to Cambodia – I joined a spiritual retreat for a week; I learned so much in that one week from my spiritual teacher, from the women I met at the retreat and from Cambodia and I believe I found a big piece of me in that solo trip.
Traveling has also changed for me since–it has now become a different kind of learning experience and the tiny details I now notice. In every place I go – it teaches me something; Cambodia taught me healing is possible and it also taught me what happiness truly meant, Bali has taught me how it’s possible to mix the old with the new and that it’s possible to live a creative life. I have also been more open in meeting new people and I’m very happy to share that I have six new beautiful souls I get to call friends from different parts of the world.
The life I have chosen to live by allows me (whenever I remember to allow it – takes practice) to create more space for love, compassion and empathy for others and myself. I learn from my sister everyday and I also learn from the people in my life. My boyfriend came from a rough childhood and had unhealthy habits since he was a kid; now, a very different person, he still fights for good thoughts and there are still days that being happy and feeling enough is a challenge but through him I have learned that change is possible and love will always be at our core. I found that when you love yourself right, you also love others with that good kind of love.
Battling with my demons and childhood conditioning while climbing through mountains of self doubt and negative thinking is still and I believe will always be a challenge that I face and will keep facing everyday but every time I come out on the other side – I know it’s worth all the effort that I put in.
It can be very difficult to go against what you are used to. To change in order to become a better version of ourself is no easy task – patience, perseverance, faith and lots and lots of love are needed. Surrounding yourself with people who love you genuinely also helps by a whole lot.:) By changing our thoughts and releasing the old habits that no longer serve our highest good – we make way for new habits, new routines and we start realizing that we have the power to be anything that we want to be and that we have the power to create the life that we have been dreaming of. I am not there yet but everyday I see progress and most importantly, I now believe this – the life that I want for myself is possible and I am worthy of love and light.