What my journey taught me about self love and forgiveness.
A few weeks ago I was stuck in the desert at Zion National Park during a heat wave of 118 degrees on the verge of collapse, with the nearest help a few miles down a road I didn't have the strength to walk.
But for some reason, call it faith or delusion as you may, I knew I was going to be okay. So I sat there and I waited, with no expectation except to rest and prepare for my journey ahead.
No panic or fear, just complete and utter presence and surrender to my situation.
Suddenly, help came with friendly faces (and a car) and for the first time, I hitchhiked my way back to safety with the trust of strangers.
I had the idea in my head that I, being an avid hiker from the East, would be able to hike an unknown trail for several miles, in the desert heat of summer, never having been out West a day in my life.
When the Unexpected strikes, life will quickly and surprisingly humble even the strongest of Egos!
After having thanked my rescuers, I made it to the trailhead, already two hours behind schedule and already exhausted.
With a pounding migraine from heat exhaustion I decided to take a dip in the Virgin River, and put my grand hiking dream to another day and another season.
As the waterfall washed over me, I kept thinking how this journey still gave me exactly what I was searching for all along.
I can plan in my mind my destiny all I want, but ultimately, there is a much more intelligent universal creator than my human mind.
(And if you pay attention closely, every wrong turn in life, death, loss, and struggle always leads you to somewhere, to some lesson, to some person...and we end up surviving and adapting...sometimes better off than before!)
I was stranded in the desert alone, but was saved by Grace. I was now bathing in a cool waterfall, in the Virgin River… in the most gorgeous of places I have ever been.
[side note--later that night I took myself, alone, to see Dave Chapelle and Joe Rogan live in Las Vegas. It was my first time since long before COVID that I sat in the presence of hundreds of people, laughing, in good spirit].
I decided to allow this journey, and that day, to be ceremonial to my recent life decisions... a new home-state, new career, and life as a single woman focused only on herself. I would use this experience, this story, as a second chance and a new beginning in life.
“No” to addictions.
“No” to working jobs for less than I deserve.
“No” to relationships with men who do not commit to me.
“No” to homes that do not allow me to feel safe.
YES...to a life of pure Grace, Faith, and Presence. Above all, yes to a feeling of deep humility for all the places I have been...but no longer wish to ever go back to again.
The life I dream of is obtainable, it exists, and I deserve it. And I allow it all when I conquer fear.
When I returned home--empowered, strong, humbled, and grateful--I was at peace. Not because my life was perfect (in fact chaos still reigns at every corner), but I am at peace now because I released the desire to follow neither my mind nor my heart...
I seek only to serve love, and that now includes myself. I forgive myself for all the ways I’ve caused myself pain, and therefore others, even when I knew better, because it is in our human imperfection that we fail and we fall.
But through the grace of God, may we all start over each day and rise again and again to do better and to be better.
Always choose and come back to love...pure, universal, overflowing, consciousness of love that drowns all fear...
But make sure you include yourself too!