Midway through an acupressure session a friend and I were doing together, on a step about forgiveness, his face appeared in my mind. A face I swore up and down I never wanted to see again. A person I swore would never be allowed in my life in any capacity. But in that moment, all I wanted to do was pick up the phone and thank him profusely for the gift that was our time together.
To thank him for being who he was, the ways he (and my choosing to be with him) hurt me, and to let him know how much I deeply love and appreciate him. To hug him tight and thank him from the bottom of my heart and soul.
This is what the work is about.
Healing. Forgiveness. Love. Openness. Truth. Peace.
Getting ourselves to a point where life feels so amazing that we want to laugh and cry at the same time (something I've found myself doing lately). Where we look at the people and experiences that nearly broke us and give a genuine, full body and heart felt thank you. Where we feel an intense, overwhelming sense of gratitude.
Thank you to those who hurt me, breaking me wide open, so I can experience love more fully. Thank you rock bottom for grounding me so I can stand taller. Thank you rejection for guiding me to the right people and experiences. Thank you loneliness for giving me the capacity to appreciate connection, and the desire to brave depth. Thank you sadness, pain, and depression for deepening the range in which I can experience joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Thank you to the lost years for prompting me to find myself and my passion.
Thank you in advance to those who will hurt or reject me in the future. To the hard times, challenges, failures, and mistakes. Thank you to the unavoidable struggles and road blocks that will litter the path of bringing my dreams to life. Thank you to all the people and experiences that will crack me open again and again, because loss, heartbreak, and pain will only open me further to the beauty of this life.
As I settle further into myself and my truth, open my heart more fully to others, and step more deeply into the work I'm here to do, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for every. single. thing. I've been through in this life.
I wouldn't be able to love so fully, deeply, and passionately had I not experienced the losses I've experienced. I wouldn't be able to smile so big, laugh so hard, and feel so absolutely in love with life had I not been cut so deeply over the years. I wouldn't be able to appreciate the business I've built and the work I get to do had I not struggled so hard to get things off the ground. Had I not failed miserably more times than I can count. I wouldn't be so fully and completely myself, and comfortable in who that is, had I not gotten so disconnected in the first place.
I understand it doesn't feel this way when you're going through it.
Usually it just feels hard, exhausting, and deflating.
I get that. Believe me, I get that.
But that's why it's so important to continue doing the work.
Questioning everything and everyone in your life, and only allowing the people and things that really light you up to stay. Challenging yourself to continue growing emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Never getting too comfortable or letting yourself fall into ruts. Doing the things that scare the crap out of you. Being willing to get more and more vulnerable with the people in your life. Following your whims and passions and letting them guide you towards the life and work you're meant to have/do. Speaking your truth, especially when it's hard and scary. Forgiving people, even if they're never allowed back in your life. Healing the layers as they come up.
People who meet me today assume I'm just one of those shiny, happy people who didn't have to overcome any obstacles... but really, that's so far from the truth. I can tell you story after story of failure, epic mistakes, hurt, suffering, pain, depression, and struggle. The light, joy, passion, and love I exude today comes from many years of darkness.
And whether your darkness is the same, worse, or less intense than mine doesn't matter. We all struggle. We all get hurt. We all make mistakes. And all these things deepen our capacity for amazing love, joy, passion, and fulfillment, if we're willing to do the work. Consistently. Even when it's hard. Especially when it seems like all we do is take one step forward, and five crashing steps backwards. Especially then.
Don't give up.
Keep doing the work.
Buy the books, take the course, hire the coach. Talk to your friends, journal it out, go for a run. Cry, scream, laugh. Take a self care timeout, then get back up and try again. Where I am today is a result of never giving up, never stopping the work.
What will you do today?
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips book. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question!
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