You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
I have met some of the most incredible people in the past couple of years, truly inspirational human beings. They inspire me not by their material wealth or what they own, or what they do for a living, but by the example they set just by living their everyday lives.
I have met thousands of people over the course of my life. I have had fairly deep conversations with hundreds of them and have learned a great deal about myself by listening to what is shared in the conversations I have had.
I can remember when I was still a child thinking that most people really did not feel safe or comfortable being truthful with others when asked for their opinion on things relating to that person’s character or personality. I remember thinking that most people are liars and I wondered why it was so hard for them to just say what they really thought.
As I grew older, I also grew colder and more distrustful of those around me. I spent my adolescence mastering the art of deception, by pretending to be happy when everything in my world was falling apart and everything I believed in up to that point was painfully wrong.
As I grew into my young adulthood, I was an expert pretender. I was brilliant at bullshitting anyone and everyone into believing whatever I wanted them to believe about who I was and what I was really made of. I reinvented myself becoming a different version of myself depending on who I was speaking to and what they could do for me.
I was a very accomplished liar with the perfect hair, make-up and wardrobe to back up my various bullshit personalities. The outward appearance definitely made the lie look plausible and generally prevented any further questions as to whether or not I was “for real”. I did not feel for anyone, or myself for that matter. I understood what feelings were and watched other people feel in order to learn how to act when affected by a specific type of feeling.
Pretty scary really…definitely a sociopath. No conscience, no feelings, no regard for anything. Lost, scared and even in a room full of people, I was very much alone.
There were a few people during that time in my life, who saw beyond my facade and tried very hard to penetrate the walls I had built around my true self. They actually gave a shit about me and that was no good for me at that time. I wanted to exit life (stage left) and if anyone cared about me, that could not be accomplished so I did whatever it took for me to make them run, screaming as fast as they could away from the monster that was me.
What came about as a result of my pushing them away was truly miraculous. I began to feel despite my best efforts to be devoid of all feelings…I felt sadness. I felt shame. I felt guilt. I wept, but only in the times that I was safe from anyone witnessing my tears as they flowed from my eyes in a flood of salty rain.
I felt as though the world had abandoned me…The world didn’t care to look beyond the phony mask I wore to find the scared little girl who desperately wanted someone to love her..the person I hid from the world so that the world could not hurt her any longer. I remember sitting alone in my little room, blasting music to hide my sobs as I fell deeper into a suicidal depression. I knew that something was going to happen, and it would be life-changing and assumed I was going to die very soon.
The reality of the situation? I did die. I died a horribly painful death. I sunk to the lowest level I possibly; could fucking over everyone who had the unfortunate luck to cross my path and drinking and drugging myself into a very, very dark dismal place.
I was a resident of hell. I had no hope, no faith and no desire to live. I had no friends, no family and my dog had run away. (hopefully, she found a new loving home.)
I felt as though my existence on this planet was just taking up space and that a more deserving soul could use the space I was wasting and make it worth something.
I attempted suicide on three separate occasions. I felt like such a complete and total failure after the third attempt was thwarted by a stranger accidentally walking in to my hotel room thinking it was theirs and finding my almost dead body on the floor. Fortunately, they did not call the cops. Rather, they sat with me until I woke from my drug induced coma. I was pissed that I woke up and even freaked out by the stranger in my room.
That stranger should have had angel wings, because that stranger ended up being the turning point in my desolate life.
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
From that day forward, I began to unravel the mystery of why I was so afraid of myself. It wasn’t anything the stranger said or did in the brief encounter we shared. It was something I saw in that strangers eyes that melted my resolve and somehow altered the course of my life. (Thank You Stranger.)