June 11 is my birthday. It is also a day recently pointed out to me, that was once the date for highest suicides. The irony and morbidity of that tidbit of knowledge did not go unnoticed. However, upon deeper reflection I felt a personal liberation in that statement that I may now use as a birthday gift to my Self every year forward.
Life, to me, is one big Game. And I am my own knight in shining armor. Every day is filled with challenges and setbacks, joys and rewards, wins and losses, and ups and downs. But how you react to them is how the game is ultimately played: get swept away in the negativity, and you're constantly battling dragons and demons to push your way ahead. But allowing yourself to see the tiniest sliver of light in the moment, even when it feels tough, will guide you down the flowing river of your higher purpose with ease and joy.
Sometimes it's easier said than felt. My ego, whom I've aptly labeled He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, would sometimes say "My life has been battling the dragon of depression since I was little." This story is only partially true. I don't deny I have allowed myself to float away in a sea of sadness for periods of time. Sometimes the dragon felt so close, I was paralyzed, unable to get myself out of bed. I could blame various masked villains coming in and out of my life who made me feel this way: being bullied, feeling like I didn't belong, not feeling successful, genealogical disorders. And I tried on several masks of my own to hide from these foes: escape into drugs, over sexualizing the self, hiding from others, and pretending I'm someone else. I even contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. But always the mask would be ripped off and I'd be left standing there raw, naked, and vulnerable. And whether I liked it or not, my knight in shining armor within was wiping away the blood, sweat and tears, victorious one more time.
I thought this was what life was about: battles make you stronger, struggles make you appreciate, pain allows more love. Yes, all of this is true, but if I'm playing this Game of Life, and also happen to be George R. R. Martin, or J.K. Rowling, or insert some other awesome Creator of a magical land, then why would I consciously choose to make it harder for myself than it needs to be? Why can't I just eliminate the battle and feel the joy? Thus began my personal quest for the answers, which all started when my father died from the very thing I was losing my battle to. Watching him take his final breath, and then seeing the leftover shell I no longer knew to be "my father," I was awakened to the most important, vital, and supreme tool of knowledge Life could give me to "battle" anything in the future: everything is energy.
The Great Law of Physics tells you an atom is made up of protons and neutrons being circled by high-speed electrons. When atoms collide, a spark of life is formed and substance is birthed. This takes the shape of literally everything you experience with your senses, and is in fact, the very essence of your senses themselves. Experiencing this alone should blow your mind because that is its purpose: to bring you back to your heart and your connection to everything. It would explain why we feel "good vibes" or "bad vibes" or why "opposites attract" in a relationship: since everything and everyone is made up of a bazillion balls of whirling energy, we are constantly magnetizing towards us whatever we are "putting out there."
That pure buzzing energy is our Soul. And it becomes form through our filtered thoughts, perceptions, and stories over time. As this energy is always in motion, expanding in each moment, so too are we constantly crafting our life experiences. And when you realize this, you realize the gift of being your own knight in shining armor in your personal Game of Life. Your tools to forge you forward? Your feelings. Ever notice how easy it is to wake up feeling sad, and you may be crazy, but didn't it feel like everything you read and everyone you met that day told you some story of sadness that compounded on top of each other? Nope in fact, you weren't crazy; you were unconsciously crafting your life experience for the day.
Now imagine you wake up feeling sad, but instead decide you will consciously change that feeling each step of the way. Sure, you can't jump right into joyful bliss, but you can allow the space for some other form of happiness or relief to present itself. And suddenly something does. Look around you; once you begin to feel it, you will see it. When you start to create from that place of empowerment, you begin to change your story and realize the truest meaning of "This too shall pass." The situations you create then simply become clues on your choose-your-own-adventure path, and your feelings let you know how hot or cold you are to that ultimate whirling buzz of light within. By giving your feelings all of your energy, the manifested situations no longer have a hold on your heart. You are now the Master of your Game.
Nothing is ever permanent, everything, even this moment, is temporary. And each inhale of life releases an exhale of death. That is the awesome infinite circle of expansion. And this is why June 11 is such a powerful day for me now. As I celebrate the birth of life, I also embrace the gifts of death: to feelings unwanted, stories that no longer serve, and death to moments that will never be again. This has given me a gift of acknowledging the sheer preciousness of our time on this planet, how fleeting and fast it really is, and how fun it can really be when we see it for what it really is: a Game I can choose to fight or a Game I can choose to play.