This month, I celebrate my 42nd birthday. Now I know this may not mean anything to you, but it has great significance for me. As I look back over the past five years of my life, I realize what an amazing amount of transformation I've experienced. I wanted to share my story with you in hopes that at least one person out there will read it and find the encouragement and inspiration they need in order to become the person they were truly meant to be. Here's my story:
After years in the business world, I decided to try my hand at being a "stay-at-home" mom. Soon I realized that even though I deeply loved my children, this was the hardest job on the planet! With a 4-year-old on one hip, a 2-year-old on the other, an ailing mother with dementia, an elderly father living on his own, and a husband working hard to keep his business going and pay the bills, I had lost myself somewhere in between. I no longer had an identity. Who was I? Did I have a purpose outside of "caregiver"? I felt completely drained, used up, a shell of a human being.
My mother died later that year, and my depression became deeper. I felt terribly disappointed and angry at the way she left me. I was never alone, it seemed, but I felt utterly lonely.
My emotions had begun to manifest themselves physically. Like clockwork, every month, I would get an unbearable strep-like sore throat. Knowing what I know now, I realize it was from not speaking my truth, not expressing my feelings.
The following year, my sister asked me to go on a trip with her. She was sure I needed some time for myself. I, of course, was very reluctant to even entertain the thought with two small children at home. I had responsibilities, and how would my husband feel about the added duties? So after mulling it over for a time, I woke up one morning and made a command decision... I was going! This was my life, too! I was going to go on a trip with my sister! Everyone was just going to have to make do without me for a few days.
So she and I went to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz. I did some soul searching there. I searched for a missing piece of myself. I didn't know what it looked like or how to find it. Then one day at the resort, I decided to schedule a service for myself called "Healing Touch." For many years, I had been interested in the metaphysical and in spiritual development, but "energy medicine" was a new concept to me. This process of healing another individual of emotional and physical blockages using only the healing energy inherent in each of our bodies and minds was positively fascinating.
After arriving back home, I ignored what I had learned on my trip and put the search for my life's path on hold. Subsequently, I became very ill. My doctor prescribed stronger and stronger antibiotics, but for some reason, I continued to get worse. I was desperate to get well. One night, afraid that I might fall asleep and never wake up, I thought to myself, "What if this medicine doesn't work? There MUST be a way for me to heal myself." At that moment, something miraculous happened... the instant those thoughts poured from my mind, the idea for what became my first book, "The Healers," flooded in with rapid fire. So crisp and clear were my visions of the characters -- children from various parts of the globe, each with their own healing abilities, teaching others to heal their own lives....
In the morning, the details were still so vivid in my head that I was compelled to get pen and paper. I finally found what I had been searching for: a greater purpose in life, an identity, a creative outlet to express my true self, a way to spread a message of hope and love to humanity. In a universe of unlimited possibility and abundance, I had attracted what I was ready to receive. My illness and depression were no more. This was my healing.
So what have I learned over the past five years, exactly? Well, first, I've learned that we all possess a power within us to better our own lives. And, yes, attitude is everything. I've realized how desperately important it is to listen to what your life is telling you and to lead the life your heart is begging you to lead. I now understand when it's time to let go and quit trying to control something and instead ask for what you need and be open to the answers that are trying so hard to come to you. And last but not least, I've learned that life is a perfectly orchestrated symphony, of good and bad, and that every moment presents us with a new opportunity to listen and learn just a little bit more.
For more by Donna Labermeier, click here.
For more on becoming fearless, click here.