An online friend of mine, Kevin Gianni (see previous blog entry introducing him), has been producing a terrific series of videos and blog posts. At the end of each post, he asks questions of his readers. In his recent post, he asked his readers:
What struggles have you been through
What did you do to get out of them
What advice can you give to others why may be struggling now
Well, those are some big questions, don't you think? I recommend watching the video, if you haven't already seen it. I started responding to his questions, but found that my response was getting extremely long. I was reflecting on all of the changes that I've made recently, and how those changes came about. So, I edited my response to be less lengthy and decided to post my full response here in our Pure Jeevan blog. Even though this is a personal entry, more than anything else, I thought it may possibly be helpful for any of our readers who feel they are at a point in their lives when things aren't going well and they can't see any way to make changes.
My full response to Kevin's questions...
I think you've captured a lot of the points in your video, Kevin. It's about the questions we ask ourselves, or don't ask. I think many people go through life without asking themselves the deeper questions. I don't know why that is, but it seems to be the case. Sometimes, if the timing is right and people seem ready to truly embrace some changes, I'll ask them a deep question and leave it at that. They don't have to answer me, of course, because the answers are really for themselves.
Anyway, I've been asking myself questions my entire life---ever evolving and changing in one way or another. However, there came a period of time when I stopped asking myself anything, when I fell into a dark depression that I kept hidden from everyone around me. Those were the dark years; they started off gray and gradually turned black over many years. But, I realize now that the dark years were necessary; it was during those days that I lost so much of myself. When it was time for me to emerge from the darkness, I was a new person.
What brought me out of that darkness, though? It was a question! I asked myself what changes I could make to live a happier life. I'd been asking that question of myself most of my life, but during the dark years I merely existed, not questioning the blackness around me. The question triggered an awakening from deep within. At first my answers were superficial: I can organize my time better, I can spend less time on the computer, I can buy some nicer clothes so I don't look so frumpy, etc.
But, it was time for me to emerge, and the question went deeper. I started to ask myself what it was about my life that I was unhappy with, what life would be like if I could change things. Once I had the image in my mind of what life could be like, I asked what needed to be changed in order to live as I imagined (happy, healthy, confident).
Why should I let temporary discomfort keep me from being happy? Why should I give up my own happiness so that others could be happy at my own expense? Why do I hide who I am, out of fear that others will feel uncomfortable? Why do painful events from my past shape who I am today? I asked myself these questions, and so many more. I didn't consciously think of the questions--they just came to me, one after another. Each question was like a little key, unlocking another door that had been keeping me from my place of true self, true happiness, true freedom.
Then, I made a plan. I'd make all the changes necessary, no matter how difficult some of them were. Instinctively, I knew I needed to address all areas of my life (body, mind, spirit, emotions) to get to a balanced state of being. However, one change was calling out to me greater than any other at that point. It was to be my starting point: I'd slowly change my diet to one of consuming only raw foods.
There was no turning back for me. The questions went too deep, I saw all of the locked doors that were in my way from truly being myself, from truly living a happy life. I'm still asking questions, still finding more and more keys that bring me closer and closer to opening that final door. It's a journey that I'll never regret taking. Yes, with the changes I've been making there has been pain, fear, and sadness---but, I don't regret any of the changes I've made. They were all necessary and have brought me to this point in my life where I am right now. I'm continuing with this journey, one of discovery and creation all at the same time. Even with the negatives that have come with the changes, there has been so much happiness, lightness, and bliss along the way, as well!
The brief answer I gave to Kevin's questions was:
Yes, I've been through struggles and I pulled myself through by asking questions. My advice to others is to start asking yourselves questions. If you haven't asked deep questions in the past, start off with some that aren't so difficult to answer:
"Am I happy right now "
"Can I imagine myself happier in the future "
"What changes can I make to bring about a better life for myself "
I really do think that many changes (at least in my case) come from the questions we ask ourselves. If you ask the right questions, something will awaken from deep within yourself and you'll find the strength to make changes.
What about you? Have you asked yourself some questions in the past that helped you make some major, positive changes in your life? Are you at a point right now where you are ready to ask some life-changing questions of yourself
I wish for all of you a life filled with happiness, purpose, and above all love, love, LOVE!
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On April 30, 2008, wrote:
I love this post, Wendi. Thank you for sharing. I had a similar experience myself and I really related to how you were in such deep darkness and lost so much of yourself, that when you emerged, you were a new person!
On May 2, 2008, wrote:
Thanks for the hugs, Sarah! I wonder if all of us who make major life changes go through some sort of dark period from which we emerge as new people?
Lots of love to you!!