Three years ago today, in the early hours of the morning, while pinned down under the opening salvos of what I resigned myself to believe would be another long attack of deep depression, I experienced the spiritual Awakening that changed my life, for good.
It took about an hour of spontaneous enlightenment to wash away the associated detritus of more than twenty years of mental suffering; the guilt, anxiety, fear and a whole host of other negative emotions that had ensnared my being were finally gone, leaving me free to start again and live my life with a peaceful mind and open heart.
Literally even just a day before I experienced this shift of consciousness, I wouldn’t have dreamt it was possible that such a dramatic change could come about… especially not to me.
It still feels like a miracle, of sorts. I didn’t pray or hope for it. It just happened, out of the blue, without me setting down an intention or attempting to will myself into being happy, at long last. My mind was clouded with self-loathing and gnawing sadness, and, lost in the fog of ego, the urge to destroy myself would have been much higher on the ‘things to do’ list than seeking salvation from the torture I was going through.
Although I’m still not quite sure what happened, it felt as though some supernatural force had decided that enough was enough and since I couldn’t find my own way to achieving inner peace, they’d give me a boost. That hour of revelation and the waves of energy I felt pulsate from my crown, down to my chest, made me feel as though I was downloading a secret rulebook on being a happy human.
Without the events of that day, it would be impossible that I’d be writing this now. At best, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the extraordinary journey I’ve been on over the past three years, and at worst, I may well have ended up killing myself.
Hindsight’s speculation doesn’t matter, now, though. Whatever happened happened, and here I am, firmly planted in the now.
I believe that this same enlightenment is open to just about everyone in the world, and – without meaning to sound like I’m full of myself – I know that, through my writing, I’ve helped an awful lot of people towards discovering their own space of inner-tranquillity.
There have been ups and downs over the past three years, but the downtimes are simply not comparable to the severe plunges I experienced before the Awakening. I have the occasional bad day – like any other, normal human being has – but I don’t let psychological debris collect in my mind. If unpleasant or negative thoughts enters my head, I have the awareness to shoo them away and think of something useful and positive, instead.
The greatest lesson I learnt was the gift of forgiveness; the ability to forgive not just those who we consider have done us harm, but also – and, arguably, more importantly – to forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness of oneself is an exquisitely liberating process. It allows you to unchain your spirit from egoic, mental suffering and begin afresh.
Forgiving others does not even mean you have to tell them that they’re forgiven. If you consider someone has hurt you deeply, in the past, letting go of that pain is a gift, first and foremost, to you. Once you learn to jettison the thoughts that hurt you – which are only ever negative and needless – you clear extra space for good and positive energy to enter your world.
When you forgive, do it whole-hearted. Don’t just say it or think it; feel it in your being and know it in your soul. Anchor yourself in the present moment and reject the inane and incessant babbling of the egoic mind. It is generally an idiot.
The same peace within me is waiting for you to discover it within yourself. It’s available right now, if you’ll only see it.