I am joy. You are joy. At our most basic level of existence, we are all pure joy. That is our natural state, the way we are supposed to be, to live. This, plus many thousands -or, so it seems!- of other realizations over the past year have brought me to a life full of light and love, peace and gratitude, so much so that it has become my purpose in life to spread that joy, so that others can know the sense of absolute bliss that life is really all about.
You might think the word ‘bliss’ is a bit strong, or that I use it lightly to describe my current and almost constant state of mind. However, in my heart it's not and I don't! Dictionary.com defines bliss as "supreme happiness, utter joy or contentment, the joy of heaven, heaven or paradise, extreme happiness, ecstasy, the ecstasy of salvation; spiritual joy." This last definition just about sums it up for me; I now live in an almost perpetual state of spiritual joy. Believe me; it was not always this way. From the age of 13 until a year ago, at age 47, I suffered with manic depression (Bipolar Disorder). There were many years of relative normalcy, but as I grew older and life's lessons and stresses got harder and more difficult, my life started falling apart. I was a young mother of two when the manias and depressions started ruling my life, until finally I fell totally apart and spent a total of six weeks in a psychiatric ward. This was followed by years of grief, darkness and pain. But now there is such joy in my life that I want to share it with you. I am absolutely passionate about sharing it with the whole world, in fact!
Let me explain. As I hinted at above, all of this ‘touchy-feely, we are one, hug a tree happiness has only occurred in my life in the past year. It was just over 12 months ago that I had a sudden awakening. One by one, from root to crown, my spiritual energy centers rapidly became infused with new life; a Kundalini rising. I believe either the Universe got tired of waiting for me to ‘get it’ and decided it was time to wake me up and wake me up good, or it might have been that to wake up after 47 years of sleep was in my soul's contract for this lifetime. Perhaps I had a certain number of lessons to learn over a certain period of time before I could assimilate the experiences I needed to fulfill my potential. Who knows? Either way, it happened- and I won’t ever go back.
Today, and every day forward, I am a new person. I am calm, centered and grounded. I am also excited, expanded and soaring! I am at peace, yet I am fervent and impassioned. I have surrendered, yet I am powerful. I am content, yet I desire and act upon the fulfillment of my dreams and visions. I am one and I am all. In other words, I have gotten back in contact with my pure essence, the pure essence of all that exists. You may call it God or Spirit. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what to call it, although ‘energy’ comes to mind. I know what it is, though. It is pure, unbounded, intelligent potential. It is pure light, pure love and joy. Just now, in re-reading the last few lines, my heart swelled with an aching and shining wave of joy and gratitude. This, this knowledge, this feeling, is bliss.
When I think back to ‘before’ - my mind seems to have compartmentalized my life into a ’before’ and ’after’ awakening - at times it is hard to comprehend the darkness in which I existed. But I remember it...especially the feeling, the emotion of it. I remember reluctantly crawling out of bed in the middle of the day to finally walk the poor puppy that had been whimpering for way too long. I remember throwing a coat on, not even bothering to change out of my nightgown (which I had been wearing for days) and heading out into the cold. I remember how dead everything was; the trees, the grass, the wind. Not even the birds sang. Everything, everything, was grey. The clouds were grey. The sky was grey. The cars were grey. The houses, people, and even the sun, were grey. I remember wondering why anyone would want to live. I certainly didn't. So I trudged the puppy back into the house, crawled back into bed and tried to shut out the voices in my head that were planting dangerous and sad ideas. I took the medications the doctors said I needed to be sane (sometimes 18 pills a day) and I stayed in bed. For a long time. Years. Actual years.
Oh, I would get up and try to perform the most critical tasks necessary for existence. Sometimes I was even able to act almost normally. But, just almost. I was never ever quite right. But always at the forefront of my mind would be the relatively safe haven of dreamland and how much longer it would be until I could take refuge there. And if eternally hibernating myself body, mind and soul in sleep got old, (as if that wasn't enough self-punishment) my psyche would throw me into a whirlwind of non-productive, at times abusive, and always messy mania. In other words, I was in a very dark place and a total wreck; a burnt out, lit up shell of what I was meant to be. I had lost all concept of and contact with what reality is; what you and I really are. Spirit. Spirit is real. Spirit is reality and knowing reality is awe-inspiring. But, spirit was just as dead and grey to me as my perception of my world and my life.
Fast forward several emotionally traumatic years and life altering events. Perhaps that last survival instinct I had left finally realized the desperation of my life. Something, mostly unconscious, in me finally realized that something had to change, or I really couldn't take it anymore. I weighed my choices. My children won. I came to the realization that I could not burden my children with a self-inflicted release from the pain of my life. Knowing that they might blame themselves, when in reality they were the only light in my life and love in my heart, I could not carry out any one of the several suicide plans I had concocted over the years. I also felt that because my diagnosis of manic-depression (I do not like to use the term bi-polar. To me this label has become a catch-all diagnosis for physicians to use when they encounter an emotionally unstable but not psychotic individual) might be hereditary, they would be haunted their entire lifetimes by the specter of uncontrollable madness in themselves and their future children. I could not do away with myself, leave them to deal with this alone, and perpetuate a curse. I also knew that I couldn't continue to live and yet feel only dead pain inside. Despite the seeming hopelessness of my situation, something inside me kept telling me that there was something more to life than the miserable roller coaster of mania and depression on which I had been riding. Thus it was that I learnt that it is often when we reach a point at which we can either break or break-through, when we are at our most desperate, anguished and sincere in our want for release from our pain, that Spirit responds.
I had been manic for several days, had not slept for more than three nights and was driving both myself and my partner crazy. I was all over the place. I turned to an online friend for the comfort and understanding that I was craving, and she offered to send me energy. She told me a bit about how she would do it, and even though I had never heard of the idea, I trusted her and agreed to follow her instructions. At the appointed time, I lay down on my bed, closed my eyes and tried to relax. Within five minutes I was fast asleep and I slept for probably ten hours. When I awoke, I knew the mania was gone, and not just because I had slept. I felt different: calm, peaceful and centered. These were definitely all new feelings for me. My energy was different. And in me awoke an intense curiosity about what had happened. What was this energy she had sent? How did she do that? Thus began a new type of relationship with my wise online friend, my healer, my teacher.
As she gently taught, I eagerly learned. As she unconditionally loved, my heart opened up. As she wisely guided, I took my first unsteady but hopeful steps. Towards what, I had honestly no clue, but I was so fascinated by this concept of energy and healing that I couldn't get enough information. I believe it was because of the shift in my own personal energy, and my openness to new knowledge, that synchronicities started happening in my life. I was in what I now know to be ’the flow’, the entrainment of energy and information. The right books, articles, people, music and events literally flowed into my perception. One thing led straight to the next, and the next, and the next. Before I knew it, I found myself immersed for the first time in my life in metaphysics, world religions, quantum mechanics and physics, spiritualism and, most of all, just plain energy. I was fascinated by energy. It was in learning all I could about energy that I came to believe I could learn to manage my own; that it was indeed a manageable thing.
Although I do not recommend this for anyone, for it can be extremely dangerous, I began to start slowly weaning myself off my medications. I also began applying the new knowledge I was gaining through my incessant research. Living by the laws of quantum physics, I began applying principles such as compassion from the Christians, energy control from the Hindis, and mindfulness from the Buddhists. Most importantly, I began to formally meditate. It is my firm belief that meditation was, and is, my saving grace. It allowed me to still my mind and to begin to touch a perfect peace that lay within me, a peace I had never known. In that peace, I found my true self and what I found was not the mixed up, purposeless and desperate person that I had thought I was. My pure essence was love, peace and joy!
I was changing, or was I? Was I so much changing as just beginning to really just learn to be? Being what I was created to be? In my spiritual practices and newfound level of energy I began to feel an incredible, overwhelming and truly universal love. In that love was a feeling of such connection to everything and everyone and in that connection my life started expanding and true miracles began happening. In a matter of months, I was literally led from being a reclusive, purposeless and sometimes desperate ‘maniac’ to something entirely different. I was compelled to do extraordinary (for me) things, such as forming a local consciousness group, getting off disability, and starting a business in which I could attempt to share with others my passion for energy. As I sit and write this today, I have been free of all mania, depression and medication for eight months. My life has never been more productive, peaceful, and full of joy and true abundance. Blessed with loving support from God, Spirit, energy, or whatever you want to call ‘what is’, I know that now I can live a life in which I can make a difference in this world. As I continue to live and love in the flow and be guided by the Universe, there is no end to what I can accomplish. And I will never go back. I will never go back. I am now, finally and truly, what I was meant to be...joy.
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Written by Joy