We all go through times in life where we are *severely* tested. Where is seems like there is no light in sight.
This year, 2019, has certainly been one of those years for me.
In years prior, as I built my blog and business, I have written and posted extensively on the following topics:
Trusting one’s life journey
Having faith, even when things fall apart
Staying in the present moment
Finding grace and gratitude for ALL of our experiences
And, so on …
I thought I had a fair grip on all of these things. And, of course, I was teaching and preaching exactly what I needed to learn (we all do this!).
But ohhhhhh golly.
Did I ever NOT know what was coming for me in 2019 (starting with a 6 year de facto relationship ending on Christmas Eve in 2018).
It’s been a landslide. I have not talked about most of it. Of course, the split was hard, but truly, that was just the beginning.
Suffice to say, my belief in EVERYTHING I was previously teaching and preaching, has been utterly and completely tested this year. Stuff relating to relationships, family, friends, finances, my business, and more.
I’m still in the thick of it, but I’m far enough through, that I can see the light.
There is a passage in my absolute all-time favourite book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, that sums up this time of my life quite perfectly.
The alchemist (a character in the book) tells the boy (the boy who is following his heart and his dreams within this story), about the final thing he needs to realise about following his dreams.
‘What you still need to know (about following your dreams) is this: before a dream is realised, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learnt along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realising our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved towards that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point which, as we say in the language of the desert, ‘one dies of thirst, just before the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’.
Every search begins with beginners luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested’.
My, oh my, oh my. I cannot tell you how many times I have opened this book, The Alchemist, up to this exact page, in this year of 2019 (so far!). So many times.
At the times in life when we are literally being *severely* tested, it is so easy to want to give up. To throw in the towel. To say, I cannot take another minute of this.
I have been to the depths with this, most days of this year.
And honestly, I have encountered SO many other souls – both personally and professionally – who are also in the complete and utter depths.
It ain’t easy. Staying true to your path – your soul path – is not really that fun, a lot of the time. Staying on track when I know I could choose something that isn’t my truth (but that would be ‘easier’) is not a breeze.
It takes every ounce of my will, and determination, and resolve, to keep building my business and following the path that I know with CERTAINTY I am here to take, when it looks like none of it is flowing, like it’s not getting any easier, like I am about to implode from fear and uncertainty and all the other ‘fun stuff’.
When we experience turbulent times in our life, it’s really easy to look to the external world for distractions, instead of going within and connecting with our TRUE self, and finding the wisdom that lies within us. And following that, no matter what.
Now, at this point, I can safely say I’ve well and truly learnt what surrender really means. What true trust is. What real faith is. What it means to stay in the present moment – today, right now – and let tomorrow unfold as it will.
And you know what …
… I’m so grateful for all of it!
Even though it’s still a bit of a mess, I’m grateful for all of it. Because I KNOW, I absolutely know, that I am being grown in ways that I sooo needed to be grown, so that I can step fully into the person I am destined to become.
I know that the grief, heartbreak, having *zero* money at times and not even knowing how I was going to eat, being forced to dig so deep and BELIEVE IN MYSELF, being forced to swallow my pride and ask for help, losing people from life …
… it has cultivated a strength in me that I did not have before.
It has also cultivated a level of surrender, and trust in my own life journey, that I definitely didn’t have before (although, I thought I did!).
I have also created prolifically throughout this time – eCourses and eBooks (including my eBook, Finding Grace In Darkness, which may help you if you are also going through a terribly hard time) – which I am so proud of.
I have picked myself up and surprised myself with what I can do and create and get through, time and time again.
And so, if you are being severely tested as well … just know, it is growing you. In ways that you probably don’t love, but in ways that you really do need.
And, I know it sometimes feels like you cannot go on for another moment.
I know it feels like some peoples lives are SUCH a smooth ride (except, you don’t know what’s happening in their minds or behind the scenes).
I know it feels unbearable and I know that, at times, for fleeting moments, you maybe feel like it would be so much easier not to be alive.
But you ARE alive … and you are moving through what you are moving through, for a reason.
You may not know exactly ‘why’ just yet. You may not ever know. Maybe you don’t even need to know.
But, while you don’t have to love the circumstances that surround you, you can deeply love the person they have helped you grow into.
You are, without a doubt, so much stronger, more tenacious, braver, more courageous, and more capable, than you ever knew.
Remember, dear human, that the darkest hour is always before the dawn.
Your dawn is coming! I don’t know when, but it is. And when it does, you will be GLAD, so glad, that you stuck with your truth. That you persevered.
So, instead of giving up on yourself …
… cry, collapse, rest, grieve, seek help …
… and then, keep going.
Because you’ve got this.
Whatever you’ve been delivered, you’ve got it.
But you have to believe it. And my certainty about this FACT, is greater than your doubt.