How Far We’ve Come

It’s been over three months since my last post. After writing Dear MichelleI became a marathon enthusiast of Netflix, in addition to taking long naps and consuming plenty of fast food which contributed to my weight gain (I’m usually toggling between five to seven pounds).  Each time I sat with my laptop and placed my fingers on my keyboard, all I could do was type jibberish (ndkwldmfkthslsiekdkdeldk).

Hair, Make-up, Photograph Gus Castaneda

All of my attempts to focus on the present failed.  I Returned to Gratitude and yet felt depressed, ungrateful and angry with myself.  I sought closure and rekindled a beautiful friendship with my former model scout Gus Castañeda.  We met for lunch, talked for hours; I went on and on about my kids (the way moms do with pictures and all).  Gus complimented my writing and reminded me that, “Everything happens for a reason,”  Yes, yes.  I know.  I know.  All things happen for a reason, still, as I gawked at the pictures of his muses that he transformed from girl to goddess; I felt suffocated from the smoke caused by the burning of my charred dreams.  Seeing the photograph of his mastermind grace the cover of magazines like Vogue, had me shaking my head.  I kept thinking, That would have been me.  As I turned each page of his portfolio, I was struck with the whip of lamentation.  Drving home, I nursed my lacerations by focussing on my children who would have never been born if I had taken another path.  I thought of my sweetheart and the love we share between us.  Yet, when I looked at my own reflection, I felt uninspired.  I kept chastising myself for staring at my past.

Eventually, I gave up.  I surrendered to my feelings, and allowed myself to do exactly just that…feel.  I felt sad, angry, resentful, entitled.  I examined various events and had to admit that although my modeling career may have been deterred by my mother, I had other opportunities that I completely flaked on.  Yes flaked (which is worse than failed).  But WHY?!?  Oscar Wile wrote: “Each man kills the thing he loves.”  Time and time again, I practiced the art of self-sabotage.  I wouldn’t return phone calls.  I would cancel appointments.  I wrestled with depression and succumed to despair.  My constant refuge was my children and my writing (which I buried in my notebooks).   As time went by, I became more erratic, increasingly unstable and addicted to repeating the patterns of my past.  Although my soul searching quest began in 2004 where I immersed myself into reading self-improvement books, there was a gap between acquired knowledge and practice.  The disharmony between my mind and spirit began to show up as inflammation in my body espoused by acute pain.  And even now, the mobility in my right arm has decreased due to my muscles spasms tendonitis.  Oh, What in Me Created You?

Paulo Coelho writes in the introduction of The Alchemist, “I know a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal–when it was only a step away.”  Earlier I asked, Why?  This is the Why.  Self-Sabotage birthed by guilt and championed by the Martyr in me silently renounced fulfillment, success, beauty, health, abundance, and sheer happiness.  When a current of luck came my way (and it did many times), I swam to the nearest wreckage and hooked an anchor of despair to my heels.  As I  drowned in salty waters (caused by my tears) I wondered why my life was plagued by misfortune.

But it wasn’t.  Neither then, nor now.  My conflict arose from not living (as Coelho writes) my Personal Legend (“It is what you have always wanted to accomplish.”).  Coelho’s enchanting story continues, “In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World.  When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World.”

My Personal Legend is writing.  For years I felt that I first had to make money in order to write because I had already decided that I could not count on earning a steady income as a writer.  I felt guilty committing myself to live by the creed of my Personal Legend.  I felt regret for the years past that I didn’t practice a daily discipline and completely ignored how far I have come.

To remind me, I went back and looked at pictures of me and my children when they were babies.  I began to cry when I saw a polaroid of my youngest daughter Priscilla as a newborn.  I’m sitting in a wheelchair in a green dress with a flower print, being wheeled out of the hospital.  I was twenty-five.  When you first glance at this picture, you may see a smiling young mother, but if you look closely, you will notice that my right eye is swollen and smaller than my left eye.  This is not due to a deformity but rather the remnants of a gruesome black eye that I concealed behind a patch for weeks.  I was dreading returning to the house where so much violence lived.  But months after this picture, I would garner the courage to take my babies (ages four, two and eight months) and raise them on my own.

For the past three months, I felt upset with myself for the time I wasted and completely ignored all that I have accomplished.  I return to Coelho’s words, “We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far.”  You could be forty-eight, fifty-eight or twenty-eight… it doesn’t matter.   You can embody, as I have, the words the Englishman says in The Alchemist, “I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago.  But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.”

As 2016 comes to an end, approach 2017 not by making mental or physical notes of what you haven’t done, but rather celebrating all that you have accomplished.   As Coelho says, “…If you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.”

Why are we here?  Have you discovered your Personal Legend and yet blame others for not realizing your highest potential?  Have you, like me, practiced the art of self-sabotage when the window of opportunity was one step away?  And after realizing your defeat, do you numb the pain with past time sedatives (friends, alcohol, Netflix) in order to hide from the reality that you have conjured? Together we can allow ourselves to feel what we are going to feel.  Accept responsibility (without blame) for our choices.  Understand that our past conditioning has in great part lead the way.  Recognize, how far we’ve come (seriously…write it down).  And by God, live the life that we were born to live.

With Love…Always,

Michelle

 

11 thoughts on “How Far We’ve Come”

  1. Well this seems to be something that I also wrestle with “Self sabotage” . I’ve looked high & low , deep & shallow, introspective & retrospective , and have even asked the common and wise man for answers to this age old dilemma. I’ve even done a deep psychological analysis of my upbringing trying to find the root of this issue, so I could cut it at its lifeline. It turns out to be, I didn’t have to look high or low , all I had to do was look straight ahead in the mirror and the answer was staring right back at me. The answer begins with ME and the answer will end with ME. So as Iam staring at myself in the mirror , I suddenly felt like I was sitting in a circle at a Alcoholic Anonymous meeting and it was my turn to introduce myself, suddenly the answer became clear but I wanted to say it out loud to myself because by doing that it made it real versus just a thought in my head, so I continued with my introduction to this made up circle of addicts I’ve imagined and said it in the traditional way people introduce themselves at these meetings so I said ” My name is Bob, and I haven’t loved myself for the last 20 years” and there it was plain as day. You see “self sabotage” is just another way of saying “I don’t love myself enough to feel that I deserve this job, opportunity, this other persons love, or forgiveness, etc……… . Now at what point does one start feeling like this varies from person to person. It can stem from having a low self esteem since childhood, a breakup, or even after having a child some mother’s tend to think they’re fat and ugly, and it also can stem from emotional, physical , or sexual, abuse. Now figuring that part out shouldn’t be to hard if your honest with yourself, what’s tends to be the hardest part is understanding and believing that no matter what the reason is , you love yourself enough to forgive yourself, you need to know that one action , one incident , one word , one place or one accident etc……… doesnt define the total of who you really are. You must allow yourself to make mistakes because we all do , and how else would we appreciate or learn when things are done right. Never compare your situation , your problems, or even yourself to others, because everybody is unique and so are there situations & problems just like yours are. You have to love yourself enough to know that the hurtful things that people can say , or not always done out of spite , by most part people some times speak before they think , or sometimes people say mean things because its just a self reflection of themselves, and its easier for them make fun of somebody else rather than address the problem within themselves. You have to love yourself enough to know that you are not those hurtful things people can say . We must also look at all the abundance of good things we have in our life and not at the few things we don’t. We are all unique beings , with unique meanings , with a unique lights that shine from within us that lluminate so many other peoples lives. You are loved, love yourself, for we are spirits that come from a loving place.

    1. Dear Bob,

      Thank you for your beautiful words. Have you read Kamal Ravikant’s book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It?” Your words reminded me of his premise so simple and yet for some of us, not so. Thank you for the reminder. “You are loved, love yourself…” As are you.

      1. Dear Michelle,
        I am sensitive to peoples energies & emotions, and can I just tell you that your reply was so sincere, so honest and so beautiful and heart warming. Its not always the size of the gift or fanciful words written on paper that matter its all about the intent and the energy you put into something when doing it. Right after reading your reply, I automatically felt a beautiful warmness enveloping me, and I know this was a hug from you to me. Do you know how it feels to shed light for someone that gives of themselves day in and day out for others unselfishly till there’s nothing left for herself, do you know that I just had to shed just a little bit of light just enough so you can find the switch that turns on and illuminates the universe with your beautiful soul & consciousness. To give a person like you a hand , is really a privilege & an honor, Michelle. I really couldn’t explain what you’ve given me in return without you even knowing it , this is something that categorizes under PRICELESS. Your a beautiful person Michelle, I can just feel it. Remember the path of of an enlightened and righteous one can be a lonely one , often misunderstood, you have to understand you have been chosen to see things for what they really are, to wonder and question life’s riddles, and to ponder about the higher state of consciousness. At times it can feel like a curse, you feel like you know to much and it can ruin things for you, but that is also an illusion because once you fully grasp the idea that compassion and love permeates through this whole universe , and that includes having the upmost compassion & love for yourself as well, it is only then when everything in your life will fall into place , just the way you’ve been planning it to be. All good things come to those who wait. P.S. I haven’t read Kamals book but in my lifelong journey of self discovery, realization, and potential , I’ve read many different types of religous scriptures, read books and poetry by some of the best authors , I’ve observed man & nature at there best and worst, I’ve been intrigued by unsolved mysteries, the paranormal, and even U.F.O.’s and a recurring theme seems to stick out to me , that only love & compassion can transcend through the darkest ends of the universe, it can beam through the darkest thickest most hateful cloud of negativity, and is the only answer to all of mans hurt, pain , and tragedy that we have unfortunately done unto ourselves.

        1. Dear Bob, the privilege and honor is mine. Thank you for sharing your light and beautiful words that I will store in safe keeping, especially the reminder of loving myself. And thank you for being on this journey with me. Showers of blessings to you in 2017 and Always.

  2. Pretty,

    My dearest sister. This was all so beautiful to read. I am extremely proud of your writing abilities and encourage your true calling to be a writer. Thank you for sharing. Love you, your sister Yvette!!! 🙂

  3. Mija,

    Keep writing, you are truly in inspiration for many people. What I love the most about you, is that you are honest and tell it like it is, only a great writer can do that. I love you!

    Your Mami!

  4. I would like to bring in this new year 2017 , with tons of gratitude for all the things that are real & true in my life, and I am not talking about money and other materialistic tangible possession’s. There are those would may read this and say “That’s absurd, everyone needs money” so in order not to digress from my original topic, can I just safely say to those people ” You will hopefully learn in time or may not, it is totally up to you! That sometimes you may have to read between the lines , open your mind, and not always take what you read so literal” I would also like to remind people of all the new doors of possibilities that are opening up this new year , it could be love interests, family, career , promotion, etc…….. but it is of the up most importance we proceed this new year with an open mind, for it is the open mind that opens these doors , and coincidentally a closed mind , can or will close these very same doors of opportunity! So please do proceed this New Year with an open heart , open mind , open your arms to the love , compassion , and understanding that we should all have for each other. I would also like to extend my appreciation & gratitude for Michelle , for creating & inviting me to this website, this inspiring source of collective consciousness, for it is these types of connections that are helping our civilization go through this transition , I mean this literally & spiritually. Our galaxy is entering parts of the universe we’ve never been to , and with this physical transition, we must also change our frequencies , our vibrations to meet this transition. We must get rid of out dated beliefs that no longer are needed In our new paradigm, we must get rid of old fashion ways of thinking that no longer make sense or are of no use to our new selves. I guess you can say humanity is getting a promotion, and that promotion will be an altered state of being. We will be closer to the source & evermore closer to becoming one with the light, and you only need to look within to find this light. So Thank You Michelle, may the Universe bless you because you have blessed the universe with your existence!! Good Day Everyone!! I will post a short inspirational story soon, hope you guys like it.

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