Are you an Empath? An Earth Angel? A Light Worker?

Who am I? What’s my purpose? The hardest questions that we’ve ever had to answer. Sometimes I think we only try to answer these questions when we are vibrating incredibly low (like after a break up, or major life trauma), which makes it even more difficult to address. Like Who TF am I? I have no idea! You tell me! And then the cycle starts of allowing other people to determine who we are.

It’s time for each of us to take that power back. We, and only we determine who we are, and what were supposed to do. Yes, like me, you may believe that parts of who you are were predetermined before you were born, but essentially you get to choose whether you engage with that aspect of Self.

I struggled with this at the beginning of this journey (and still do sometimes) because when you open yourself up spiritually there are SO many different gifts, titles, types that can guide you to your soul’s purpose on this earth.

Are you an Empath? a Yogi? A Goddess? A Hippie? An Earth Angel? A Light Worker? An Energy Healer? A Witch? A Teacher? A Spiritual Advisor? A Bohemian? A Guru? A Wanderer? A Psychic? An Intuitive Counsellor? A Clairvoyant? A Medium? A Wild Woman? A Shaman? A Medicine Man?

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In the last 6 months I have opened myself up to the possibility, and explored several of these concepts. I’ll keep it at 3 for now, as these 3 were the eye-opening names I needed to see. Keep in mind that this is a snippet of what I’ve come to learn about this incredibly vast world of purpose. So please comment below, add what you feel drawn to add, or correct me if Google wronged me.

Empath

I was already familiar with the idea of being an empath. A strong sense of empathy is required to work with vulnerable people (including social work – me), so I find that a lot of people in helping professions tend to land on the spectrum of highly sensitive people and empaths. An empath is someone who deeply feels the emotions and energies of other people around them. Empaths will absorb energy from people and environments, and can actually feel the pain other people are experiencing, or have experienced just from hearing their stories. This makes us extremely sensitive and usually quite adverse to being in huge crowds.

This is why the terms “self-care” and “boundaries” are used alllllll the time in social work. And why burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma are so prevalent. I believe that empaths can be incredible in helping professions (because they have an innate ability to connect with individuals) if they are aware of the impact energy has on them, and are able to set very strong boundaries and participate in heavy self-care rituals. Unfortunately, I was doing these things, but only to a certain extent and that ruined me (or so I thought).

At the time I came to realize that my burnout – my crash – was actually a spiritual calling, I began researching my soul’s purpose. Google was so helpful.

Initially I took a quiz in Emma Mildon’s book The Soul Seacher’s Handbook. I ended up being right on the line in between Earth Angel and Light Worker, both of which resonated nicely in my heart centre.

Earth Angel

Earth Angels are spiritual beings that are born to the earth, and called at a soul level to help humanity. They are “programmed” in a sense – to awaken to their true purpose through different life events. Earth Angels are not used to taking on physical form, as they have lived previously on the psychic and spirituals planes. They are here to help and to inspire others, and teach the message of light, love and peace. Earth Angels are on earth to help raise the vibration of the collective.

Light Worker

Light Workers are healers whose main purpose is to help others find their light. Light Workers hold space for others to be healed through the universal life force energy. They have often experienced their own crises in life and can acknowledge their shadow side. They have been “recharged” through a strong spiritual awakening. A Light Workers may also be called an Energy Healers or a Reiki Practitioners.


Sooo that’s where I started. Was I going around telling everyone that I’m an Earth Angel? Absolutely not. But I was inspired and I started exploring my intuition, my “abilities” if you will. I was reading about the spiritual realms and how I could connect with my true purpose. The answers that continued to be shown to me were to meditate daily, to use crystals regularly, to ask for guidance and to explore different divination tools (like pendulums or tarot cards). And to pray, or at least talk to my angels if “praying” doesn’t sit well with you – although if you are here reading about spirituality and universal energy, praying shouldn’t be what stands out as weird to you.

Every day I asked how I could serve for my higher purpose. How I could step in to my purpose and shine like I felt I needed to. I asked to be guided, shown, activated – whatever! I begged for this. And then I always said Thank you. Always.

I had some really intense spiritual moments when I begged like this. One time when I asked what my purpose was I heard “to teach”, and when I asked what I heard “about me”. Another time I pulled cards and out dropped “Workshops and Seminars” and “You are a Powerful Light Worker”. I cried… A lot. As I learn more about myself, I find my purpose shifts a little and as long as I keep going back to asking for that guidance and reassurance that I’m on the right path I am totally okay with that.

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If I can offer any advice, even as a new journeyor, don’t get caught up in the labels. They were helpful to me at the beginning because it gave me direction, it helped me to understand that I wasn’t the only person going through this. Do your research, find people that inspire you but remember this is your journey. You can be/do whatever you need to. Whatever you feel drawn to. You may have gifts that have yet to be discovered. Let spirit show you where you need to be. Your potential is endless. ✌️💖

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3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2 🙌💖

Thank you Bittermarshmellos (link below) for nominating me for this challenge!! Below are the rules and my nominations for today.

https://bittermarshmellos.wordpress.com

DAY 2 QUOTE:

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This quote comes from a poem by Maya Angelou. To read the whole poem, which I highly suggest you do, visit the link below. There is a biography for Ms. Angelou as well.

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise

This poem has meant a lot to me throughout this journey. I actually plan to have “still I rise” tattooed on me at the end of this month. It exudes confidence with such force, and demonstrates the value that we need to find within ourselves.  Despite judgments and opinions, she’s still going to rise. Are you? You will shine too bright for some, and you will find that people will try to blow out your flames to keep you down. But you can still rise up!

I believe she’s not only referring to the external forces that try to drive my bus, but also my ego, my inner critic and my saboteur. These suckers are strong. They fight me each and every day to stop this awakening, this transformation within me. They want to “protect” me, or at least years ago they did, but I’ve built them up with so much self doubt that they are huge obstacles to any kind of success now. But that’s just it – they’re only obstacles. Obstacles that, with commitment and hard work, can be overcome. Let go of fear, and rise!

My favourite part of this poem is at the very end,

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For those before me that couldn’t speak for fear of being killed. For those that didn’t make it through the dark tunnel of depression. For those who weren’t allowed to shine. I rise.

✌️❤️

Rules for the challenge are :

1. Thank the person who have nominated you for the challenge.

2. Post 3 quotes (1 for each day) for 3 days consecutively.

3. Nominate three more bloggers for the same challenge each day.

Today’s Nominations:

✨Widdershins Worlds

https://widdershinsfirst.com

✨emmalh

https://babyimbored.net

✨MagickMermaid

https://magickmermaid.wordpress.com

A Lonely Journey Towards Awakening – Where’s My Tribe?

I was told right off the hop that this journey would be a lonely one. I knew it would be, but I never expected what was coming.

I was grieving the loss of my relationship, I was trying to push through years worth of burnout and compassion fatigue to try and rebuild relationships with my family and friends, and I was drawn to things spiritually that most people pass judgment about instantly. It was hard for me to be around anyone for longer than 20 mins without feeling completely drained, but I forced myself to call at least one person per day and have a real conversation with them.

I have two friends that I could talk to about my journey. Everyone else I felt judged or misunderstood. I’m sure this had a lot to do with the fact that I barely understood what was awakening in me, and pieces of my ego were still making judgments about it.

My friends, and even my dad, are still willing to listen without judgment and entertain my desire to do card readings or reiki. My friends love crystals and even attempt meditating from time to time. They are as supportive as they can be of my journey, without actually going through it themselves. And they have absolutely no idea how deeply meaningful that is ❤❤

And this is where my heart knows that something is still missing. Whatever it is I’m going through – an awakening, a calling, divine purpose – I feel like I need people who are also going through it. People I can talk to about phases of the moon, the rising of the feminine, the law of attraction, frequency and vibrations of crystals, energy in all its forms, She… Someone who hears the word “witch” and doesn’t instantly want to run in fear of me casting spells against them. I need these people to lead me, to resonate with me, to inspire me. There is something bubbling so intensely on my surface and I dont know how to release it.

As much as people are awakening and this new-age spirituality is taking different forms and gaining a much larger following, it is still very difficult to find those people. To create a tribe of soul sisters, of moon goddesses, of gypsy spirits.

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It makes me wonder if most people are (like me) still hiding in what Rebecca Campbell calls their “spiritual closet”. In her book Rise Sister Rise, Campbell talks about this spiritual closet we hide out in, in order to protect our sacred beliefs. But she says;

“we must not waste our time hiding parts of who we are from the world around us. It is our weirdness, our secret passions, our deepest beliefs that make us who we are. Come out of whatever closet you are in”.

One of my wishes in creating this blog was to communicate with like-minded women and men who feel the energy shifting in the world, who feel the entirety of their core changing.

My other wish is two fold; that I could help people understand and have less judgment towards a spiritual calling, and even perhaps inspire those who are just starting their journey as I did a few months ago.

This journey is lonely in one way – but it is undeniably the most soul-filling feeling of connection that I’ve ever experienced. ✌❤

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Tarot Told Me To Leave My Partner

The first time I bought cards it was this Tarot Basics box. I was starting fresh – total newbie, purchasing a how-to book on top of that, as I didn’t know the box would come with a learning guide. I was a little messy at the time too ok? Don’t judge.

It had been about a month since I started a disability leave at work, and since my partner had cheated. She and I had just celebrated a rather awkward Christmas and New Years with our families and had decided on New Years day that it was best if she stayed with her parents for a day or two. My understanding was that she was going to figure out if she could actually commit to me. That’s how much I allowed other people to determine my path. She cheated, and I asked her to figure out if she could commit 🤔. We humans are a little loopy.

Anyways, she had been there two days so far and, it was a Wednesday (hump day – go figure – you’ll get the idea), I decided that I was going to treat myself to a new book and some sushi. I ended up in the New Age section at Chapters – all oogley eyed and inspired -and came across these Tarot cards. I figured it would be a fun way to entertain myself until my partner returned home (I told you I was messy). I also found Emma Mildon’s “The Soul Searchers Handbook”. It brought tears to my eyes! This was exactly the type of guide I was looking for.

Last night I did everything I was supposed to. I cleansed (or cleared) the cards, I consecrated them with my energy, I held them to my heart and bestowed blessings and intentions and I did a reading. I chose The Oracle Spread.

 

The Oracle Spread is 3 cards. The left card is the present problem, the middle card is the way out, and the third card (on the right obviously) is the future if you are prepared to follow that path. I asked a pretty basic question about what to do with my relationship and literally everything screamed RUN! 

 

  1. Present Problem: a farewell. Great danger of being sold short or cast as an extra. Current issue demands a lot of effort – putting down inner roots in order to scale greater heights in outward life.
  2. Way Out: end of a journey or eternal repetition or vicious cycle. Discover your personal values and what is truly essential for you.
  3. The Future: rebirth. Bury what is dead and be open to receive what is to come. Learn to forgive without forgetting. Draw the line.

-journal entry Jan 2018

I didn’t trust them, or maybe I did, and I just refused to follow through with the guidance. You see, at this point I knew deep down that my relationship was over. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up the fairy tale I had created in my mind. So much of reading cards is intuition. I knew what these cards were telling me right away and I chose to ignore them. I wasn’t quite ready to make such a big decision for myself. So I allowed my mind to race through all the possibilities of becoming a stronger couple, of being fought for and adored wholeheartedly. But it didn’t feel natural.

I woke up the next morning and cried. I cried for a sign – any sign – of what to do.  Not even five minutes later I found out that my partner had cheated again. While I was doing my card reading, she was “reading” someone else… if you know what I mean 😉 Now, this is not intended to make my ex out to be a terrible person – she isn’t. She was struggling just as I was. Though I don’t agree with the way in which things ended, I do believe they were meant to end between us. And maybe this was the only way my stubborn ass would let go of the fairy tale. I had fought against the universe for awhile. And I’ve heard it a few times that the universe will show you gentle sings, if you don’t listen they’ll give you a little nudge, or two, and if you still don’t listen you will get a good smack. I got smacked.

And back to the actual point… my first experience with Tarot was incredibly accurate, and that hasn’t changed since!! It continues to get stronger as I become familiar with the cards, and as I choose decks that I am drawn to. I have had some really cool experiences where I end up in a puddle of tears because I am so mesmerized. The cards never cease to bring me hope, validation and encouragement. Sometimes they knock me down a peg or two, but to me its like a best friend telling you the raw, hard truth, even though you don’t want to hear it. The divine messages that come through these cards are only meant to lead you to your highest good.

I really like keeping a diary of my readings because there are times I still rebel against them and choose not to listen. When I find myself wondering where things went wrong I can look back in my diary and see that it was me pushing against the grain again, and not following the guidance the universe provides. Essentially these readings allow my trust in the universe to grow, and my trust in my own intuition ❤️✌️


🌸 Spreads I Enjoy 🌸

  • I like the spread Tiffany Maloney discussed a few years ago in this blog;

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18172/how-to-do-a-basic-tarot-reading-for-yourself-or-a-friend.html

  • And here are a few of my favourite spreads I found on Pinterest;

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The Infinite Value of Self-Worth

In what ways do you find value? How do you measure self-worth?

These are the questions my new therapist asked me. I had just finished explaining how I felt like I lost the five fundamental things in my life; belief system, relationship, work, friends/family and myself. I thought it was an interesting question, one I hadn’t really thought about before. I told her that I feel valued when my friends rely on me, when I make my parents proud, when I surpass an expectation at work, when my partner tells me they love me… My therapist was quick to point out that none of these examples demonstrate self-worth. I was finding value in external sources alone. I didn’t place any value on myself without the validation from others/events.

“As far as I can think back, there is so much truth to this. Most, if not all of what I do, revolves around not disappointing people, but impressing them. And when they value me, or at least I perceive that they value me, I keep going. I literally can’t think of a time where I wasn’t trying to prove myself, in one way or another, to another person. I feel like I am no longer of value to my work (hence not getting the job), my relationship (hence her infidelity), my family and my friends (I’m sure I have disappointed them with all of this) and this is why I am lost.”
– journal entry Dec 2017

What a risky move – allowing external sources in my life determine my value. Essentially I was placing my mental and emotional health directly in their hands. Whether they wanted it or not, I was giving it to them. For whatever reason, I didn’t feel that I was good enough to place value on “just” me. But here’s the thing I’ve come to realize – the value that we place on ourselves is the only type of worth that we actually have control over. In that way, WE get to determine how these external factors influence our inner sense of value.

Society has this idea of what “success” should look like, our parents believe it, our friends believe it, and we believe it. We seek value and worth in “success”. We fall in to this trap and become so heavily influenced by what we’ve been taught, or conditioned to find value in, that we completely forget that we alone determine what’s of value to us. And our self-worth should always be first on that list. It’s not about the fancy car, the big house, the picket fence and seven children. It’s not about impressing your parents, graduating with honours, or choosing partners that your friends will approve of. It’s not about the size of your waist, the number of Twitter followers you have, or even whether or not your partner is unfaithful. It’s about you! It’s about creating something internally that allows you to see your value, to stand unapologetically in self-worth. This is the only way to achieve the success, the happiness that you desire. This creates a rock hard foundation that not even the worst of external circumstances can break.

The hardest part for me, was actually believing this. It took several therapy sessions for me to see things about myself that I love. I looked at my morals, attitudes, behaviour patterns, archetypes… I wrote positive affirmations in my journal over and over and over. I was trying to re-wire my brain, my mind, my heart to fall in love with myself, and after 30 years of living for others, this ended up being a pretty difficult process.

One day my therapist asked how I thought any of this related to my belief in a higher power. I believed God loved me, and valued me – but that “He” was external to me, as was everything else I allowed to shape my view of myself. My therapist challenged me on this. Is God external or internal? I figured out that this was the reason I wasn’t connecting with the whole concept of a religious God, because I viewed “Him” as external. My lightbulb started flashing when I proclaimed that I believe in Spirituality, in Energy, in the Universal Life Source. If that beautiful, Divine love and light is inside me then I am ABSOLUTELY of value. And I know that I am part of this infinite existence, and that it is internal.

“Spirituality is something deep inside me. And if its in me, and its all love then it would make sense that I’m all love, and all Divine. I’m a Divine being deserving of love. And before I look for that love from anyone/anywhere else, it needs to come directly from the source of the Divine, me”.
– journal entry Dec 2017

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Total Game Changer!

At the end of the day, you are all you got. And you’re the only person who needs to approve of you. Impress yourself. Value yourself. Other people may not understand you. That’s their loss. Make yourself your priority. Be kind to yourself first. It’s not selfish. It’s a necessity, believe me. And its not easy. It’s an entirely different way for most of us to think and behave. I often find myself slipping back and seeking value in others – it has been so deeply ingrained. My therapist reminds me every so often that the journey for self-worth is ongoing, and if I continue to find value in myself I will get stronger, as will my spiritual presence. Today I know I am worthy, and I love myself fully and unconditionally because I am Divine. I know that I will be okay. And so will you. ✨❤️

 

Emotional Buckets: is yours full?

My best friend recently taught her 3 year old about her “emotional bucket”. She told her that we all have emotional buckets and its our job to keep them full. Sometimes things can happen and the bucket empties a little bit, but its important to find things (like hugs and colouring) that can fill your bucket back up.

I wish she had shared this wisdom with me too. Though I’m sure even if she had I wouldn’t have listened because I was “fine”. It took me several hard smacks to realize I wasn’t, and then it sunk in that my bucket had been empty for a long time. Fortunately I realized this before it had any major impact on my clients. Me and my life, on the other hand, took a much harder hit.

So what does an empty bucket look like for a helping professional? It looks like burnout. It looks like compassion fatigue. It looks like vicarious trauma. And it can literally happen to anyone… yes, even you.

Symptoms that I have (finally) recognized;

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Withdrawal from family, friends and activities which bring joy
  • Cynicism/Hopelessness
  • Detachment
  • Lack of concentration and focus
  • Increased illness; headaches, heartburn, back pain
  • Increased absence from work
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Poor job satisfaction
  • Poor self-image, self-worth
  • Loss of pleasure in life/relationships
  • Disinterest in intimacy
  • Feeling burdened by others
  • Loss of sense of spirituality
  • Work-related nightmares, or even consistent dreams about work
  • Mood swings
  • Greater sense of fear
  • Prolonged sadness
  • Feeling of numbness

And please believe me, it was much harder admitting that I was suffering from these, than it was to suffer ignorantly. Even now, having this written out in front of me makes me really sad. There is a lot on this list that I am still battling every single day, even though I have been off work for months and I’m no longer experiencing a crisis of faith.

I wish that I could have been one of those people that can catch when their attitude, or behaviour is changing and nip it in the bud right then and there. Please be one of those people if any of those symptoms resonate with you. Develop a self-care plan and STICK TO IT. Go the therapy (stop bottling those emotions – you aren’t saving anyone by doing that), set really strong boundaries – even if it feels mean. Exercise, meditate, journal, take a friggen break and TALK TO PEOPLE. Maybe even do a bit of listening, your family and friends may realize more than you know.

For me, I believe this journey needed to happen this way. I’m a stubborn person, and I think it took me falling this hard, being pushed right to my limit, for me to finally wake up. I believe that the universe knew it was time for me to lose everything, including any belief I had in something greater. I believe that everything in my life needed to be shaken up so that I could piece things together, find myself, my purpose. It happened for my highest good. That doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer today. I still have difficulty getting out of bed most of the time, I cry uncontrollably when returning to work is brought up, I have terrible mood swings… But this outlook literally saved my life.

And slowly but surely I’m working on refilling my bucket.

❤️✌️

The Start of “Something more than Ordinary”…

Fun fact: some “guided” retreats are also “silent” retreats. I had no idea, and considering this was my first retreat ever, I really had no clue what to expect. I arrived on the Friday, everyone ate dinner and shared stories as to why this retreat came at the perfect time in their lives; most women already knew each other, so you can imagine the blow my pride took the next morning when I was greeting everyone with a cheery “Good Morning”, and no one replied. In fact, they all stared at the ground as they passed by. I couldn’t imagine what I had done to upset all of them so much, and instantly I was beating myself up. They hate you. They think you shouldn’t be here. This was a mistake. My self worth was non existent, and I was so vulnerable to other peoples’ impressions of me, even if they were perceptions of impressions.

Once I clued in to the fact that it was a silent retreat, and people weren’t actually being incredibly rude, I was able to appreciate the solitude. I stood in awe of the picturesque sky starting out over the lake, the birds flying overhead and disappearing into the distance. But in all this beauty, I could not stop my mind from going a mile a minute.

I was worried about work and my relationship. I could not wrap my head around why my life was turning out this way. Why was I being stripped of everything I loved, everything that I knew? I questioned my belief in a higher power so much that weekend. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of a man with a white beard, or with any sort of sin list – considering I could easily check off over half of any list you presented to me. But I was desperate to find something, anything to believe in. I knew I wouldn’t last long if I stayed where I was.

I believe now that that “something” actually led me to this retreat. I didn’t want to go, I had originally called (only a few days prior) for my partner to go and there was one spot left. Was it fate?

“Something more than Ordinary. That’s their tagline at this retreat centre. Isn’t it exactly what I’m searching for? Something not so mundane and routinely? Something that speaks to me on a deeper level and brings some peace while encountering the chaos that is “just a regular, ordinary life”. 

Maybe there are other ways to connect and get to know God that have nothing to do with going to church. I’m sure there are. Even being here, Sister Jane has never said the word “God”, she uses the word “Divine”…”

My heart knows I am loved. My head, chatter from others, books people have written try to confuse me, to sell me on untruths. But if I am still, and I am listening, this is a matter of the heart – not the head. The sunsets here are incredible. There is something about the sun setting on the lake that is just so magical. For the first time this weekend I can say that I’m connecting with the theme – Wrapped in Wonder. Looking out at the burning red sun and the ripples from the water radiating that warmth, I feel energy around me, and all the wonder that it brings. I’ve come to discover that I am Wrapped in the Wonder of Creation – nature. This is where my peace is. Any time I am near a lake, I feel it very strongly. It was hard to connect with being wrapped in wonder of my being this morning, probably because I’m being very hard on myself lately. But I find such peace in nature – creation. It’s indescribable, and it’s so real.

Reading back in my journal now it just amazes me the tiny little nudges, hints, signs that I was getting from above. Very few that I was able to catch on to at the time. People would look at that and say yes, it’s fate. I would say that it’s Divine timing. That’s the thing about a journey right? It’s all about timing. Nothing happens when you want/expect it to, it happens when it’s meant to. And there is always learning being done along the way, whether you like it or not.

It was at this retreat, sorrounded by silence, that I decided to be honest.

I wrote down a list of my symptoms and I went to my doctor. That may seem ridiculous to you, but I knew that if I didn’t write everything down and actually put the paper in his hand, I would have lied – to him, and to myself. He started the process for a short term disability leave from work before I could even gather the courage to admit that I didn’t feel competent to work with individuals, especially individuals who are incredibly vulnerable. As a social worker, it was my duty to be open and honest about my shortcomings. Too often I see people pushing past their warning posts, for what? That has absolutely no benefit to the clients! It is so important to admit that we are suffering – we are not super human! It is so easy for anyone in a helping profession to push themselves to the side, to look at other peoples struggles and instantly minimize their own.

Often we are afraid of how others might judge us. I know I was – my manager might think I’m weak and shouldn’t be working here, my parents will think I’ve failed, my co-workers will never trust me… When it got to the point for me that I felt like I was either going to end up in the hospital or face these fears, I chose to just deal. And for the most part, the response was the complete opposite than I had expected. Yet another shift were seeing in the universe – people are more and more open-minded when it comes to mental health. So let’s keep talking about it!!

✌️❤️

The Beginning; Burnout, Fear and Fools

Have you ever found yourself feeling like a fish out of water? Like an actor in a movie, that you didn’t even know existed, and probably wouldn’t want to watch even if you had to? I’ve always considered myself a sort of “black sheep”, though looking at me, and even knowing me, you would never have guessed it. It didn’t even bother me really, because I played the part you all expected me to. At every level, I even had myself fooled – I’m that good of an actor – still really unsure why Hollywood hasn’t come to scoop me up.

This skewed, internalised perception of who I am, and who the world expects me to be had complete control of my life up until about 4 months ago, and like I said, I didn’t even know it. After my breakdown I had a few friends apologise for not seeing it coming, and to be honest, there’s no way they could have because I had no idea. I lived my life as if everything was perfect, because I truly believed it was. I had an apartment with the person I wanted to marry, I had great friends, and a close enough relationship with my family. I had started a career three years prior that I knew I was good at, and I had a belief in some sort of higher power that encouraged me to be grateful for all of these things. I was happy, successful and loved.

And then something happened, and I crashed. I had applied for a management position at the same place (an organization who supports people with mental health issues). I didn’t get the job, and if this doesn’t seem like a big thing to you, it doesn’t matter. To me, it felt like my entire world was falling apart. It made me upset to the point that I dreamed about hurting myself. I had visions of waking up in the hospital, on the mental health unit. I had disclosed to my partner (very non-chalant-ly) that if I didn’t get the job there was a chance I wouldn’t want to live anymore. I thought I was making a joke at the time, as did they. It wasn’t a joke apparently.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was incredibly burnt out, I had drained by own cup so severely that for the year before all of this, I had slowly been withdrawing from everything I loved. I remember telling my partner that I couldn’t go to social gatherings, or even AA meetings anymore because I just couldn’t bare to listen to people talk anymore. Even the thought of it made me want to crawl in a hole and cry. I always thought of myself as a social person, I loved people, I always had a long list of friends, and an even longer list of topics for conversation. But at this point, I hated everyone. I started seeing the last year without the rose-coloured glasses. I saw how I had withdrawn completely from my friends and family. I saw the lack of intimacy and interest in my relationship. I saw the absolute dread of going to work. I saw the vicarious trauma in nightmares and new irrational fears. I saw the selfishness, the lack of compassion, the irritability I showed at work. I saw the tears, the shakes, the terrifying thoughts. I saw them all for what they actually were. And that was the scariest part. Applying for that job had subconsciously been my light at the end of the tunnel, and now everything was dark.

And then my partner cheated on me. Within a week I had lost the five fundamental things that made me who I was; my belief in a higher power, my partner, my job, my family and my friends. Physically my partner, my job, my friends and my family were still there, but there was no connection to me. And if I wasn’t connected to these things, I didn’t exist, therefore I lost myself.

I sat in the darkness for a week before I started journalling, and I’d like to share my first journal entry with you… I guess this is where the vulnerability begins;

“The past few weeks I’ve fallen pretty hard. I’ve fallen in to a trap where I feel lost, like I have no purpose. I feel unloved, and not valued. I’m seeing that the things I thought I was doing right were actually creating a shield around me that even those closest to me couldn’t penetrate. I feel so sad, and so incredibly lonely. I feel like I am literally questioning everything in my life because everything is so off balance. 

I don’t even know where to start to rebuild on these things. And maybe it’s not even about re-building, but just building in general. Maybe I need to find a whole new way of living, a whole new view of who I am as a person. It’s scary, terrifying really, and I feel myself resisting it sometimes, but I think the scariest part is that my brain fools itself in to thinking that everything is fine- like it wants me to keep coasting like this. And I am fooled, and then I fool everyone else around me. I talk a good talk. And this scares me to my core because how will I ever really know when I am on the right path?

The only place I feel comfortable starting with is my belief in a higher power. I had a dream last week – I was standing in the middle of a room, alone, screaming, begging for help and one man approached me. It was a pastor from a church I had gone to maybe twice in my life. So I’ve signed up for a spiritual retreat, and I leave in four hours”. 

Church was never really my thing. I didn’t connect with it. I didn’t connect with “religion”. But I was so desperate at this point to find something, anything that could pull me out of the darkness. And for whatever reason I was drawn to the word “Divine”.

And so the journey from social work burnout to spiritual breakout truly began…

❤️✌️