The Thief of Joy


It's been a while since I've posted my thoughts in this sacred space. So I’m going to get real and raw here...

Again.

For the past two years I’ve been going through a lot of inner transformations—a ton of emotional healing and work around self-love. I’ve been re-awakening to who I am on an intimate level, remembering my value and my worth as I healed grief, survivor’s guilt, trauma, and loss--not to mention my physical body and all it has been through from the hell of Lyme disease.

The past few months, part of that healing has been wrapped around self-worth and comparing myself to others. I felt twinges of jealousy over strangers’ successes, felt small in comparison to others’ experiences—experiences that I’ve dreamed of but that haven’t come into fruition just yet. I looked at others through a loved one’s eyes and thought, they must think person x is better than me—or at least better for them—because of exhibit a or exhibit b. In the process, I completely stripped myself of my successes—what makes me unique, beautiful, and valued in my own right.

So, I spent an evening recently looking back on everything I’ve done in my life that I’m proud of:

I’ve traveled. I hauled logs down a mountainside and spread compost in a cliffside garden in the south of France, navigating the country completely on my own for a month and making friendships (and writing a book) while in the middle of my first spiritual awakening. (And if that doesn’t tell you the adventure/hellacious beauty that trip was, I don’t know what will.)

I saved my own life. I didn’t give up when dozens of doctors told me I was fine when I was dying. I trusted myself and did my own research and found the doctor who would help keep me here. And then, in the middle of my darkest hours, I sought the help I needed and saved my life again.

I built a business when I was going through hell, published my first book, and then wrote my second book and built another business—a non-profit that would help hundreds and thousands of people—when I relapsed and went through hell again. This one makes me cry. Because this one makes me proud. That I could take the experience of this pain and turn it into something useful—and for every single one of you who has done the same, I say this: you’re fucking amazing.

And now I have my third business that is guiding others through their own healing and spiritual journeys, and the messages I receive from those I’ve helped makes me know that I was meant for this. I was meant for all of this.

Every single step it has taken to get me here and every single step beyond to get me wherever I’m headed, and I’m meant for this. This is my path. And sure it might not look as exciting or seductive as others, but it’s where my heart has led me. It’s where I’m meant to be. And I’m so damn proud of it.

But wait. There’s one more thing I left out. It’s not my house or my travels or my businesses or my dreams. It’s not the amazing bonds of friendship I’ve formed along the way, the family I’ve nurtured, the sisterhood I’ve formed.

You know what I think when I look back on my life and I see the beauty in it?

I think, I was brave. I think, I was strong.

I think, I didn’t just survive...

I thrived.

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Susan Pogorzelski.

 

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