If I could write a letter to my younger self, I’d say “Listen. When awareness is able to break through the noise and the chaos, listen. Awareness comes from your soul and it’s asking you to face your fears and set yourself free.”
I spent far too many years ignoring moments of awareness – moments where I fully understood my worth and how my fears were keeping me trapped or moments where I heard myself quietly saying, “There is something wrong with me.” Those moments were short and fleeting because fear is powerful and I lacked any understanding of my spiritual nature.
I carried on with a life that reflected others’ expectations. It was easier that way. I didn’t rock many boats, did what I was supposed to do, tried my best to be perfect, avoided confrontation and arguments and slowly began drinking more and more to quiet moments of awareness that revealed either wisdom, self-hatred, shame or anxiety. I didn’t want to hear the messages because I might have to do something about them – I might have to ask for help. Instead, I chose another glass of chardonnay – problem solved.
But no, the problems weren’t solved, just postponed. It seems that alcohol was working for me and against me. I could delay the problems and the feelings but it seemed that the more I postponed, delayed, avoided and squashed the feelings, the more frequently the moments of discomfort and awareness occurred. And then I became curious.
I wrote about curiosity recently but as I’m thinking about it now, I’m realizing that those moments of awareness were direct conduits to my soul. I was trying to save myself. Alcohol and my fears were slowly killing me and I wanted to live – fully. In order to do that, I had to say goodbye to alcohol. The only way healing, growth and spiritual connection could occur for me was by being sober first. Then, I could do the work. Then, I could live fully.
So, back to the letter to my younger self: “Life is more fun, sober. Life is more real and authentic, sober. Spirituality thrives in sobriety. Families thrive in sobriety. Problems and disagreements can be solved in healthy ways when you’re sober. Self-respect is nurtured in sobriety. Pain can be weathered in sobriety. Mental health struggles are managed more easily and successfully, sober. Love grows stronger in sobriety. If you’re having those moments of awareness, listen. Face your fears and take the action needed to move into a life of freedom.”
Ultimately spiritual awareness unfolds when you’re flexible, when you’re spontaneous, when you’re detached, when you’re easy on yourself and easy on others.
~ Deepak Chopra