This is a question people sometimes ask me when they hear my story, and it is an important one. I hope to give it justice with the answer I write here. Before I answer though I need to put out a disclaimer: although I smile and laugh and always have in spite of what I have been through, I have also cried. LOTS. I have been depressed, and I have been suicidal, and I do not want to discount how hard those places are to be in. If anyone reading this is in those places right now, please know my heart goes out to you with the maximum amount of love.
So how do I smile, how do I laugh? Because smiling and laughing are symptoms of the only true healing medicine in the world: love. And no matter how much evil I have experienced, and seen, I have always known that love wins, that love is bigger, that love can always be found, even in the darkest place. Every time you choose to live, you are choosing love, and when you choose love the universe will respond with more love. At first it was hard to take on love. I knew deep within my soul that it was the only thing that would heal me, that would sustain me, that would enable to keep going. However I didn’t trust it. Everything I had been told as a kid about what love looked like was a lie. I had faulty mirrors. I thought love meant putting others before you, I thought it meant letting people hurt you, I thought love meant being silent, not having a voice, not being allowed to protect yourself. I thought that was the loving thing to do because I was putting someone else’s needs ahead of mine. I was wrong. Thankfully my soul never forgot the truth. You see truth is always deep inside us. Even when we think the wrong things, or have been told the wrong things, somewhere deep internally within us, knows what way up is. Hence why some people call it an internal compass.
Anyway, back to love. Love has always been around me. Love is how despite the number of times my life has nearly been taken from me, it hasn’t. At some point I realised I was a sponge, and it was my job to squeeze myself out, to release all the negativity I had been through, to not hold onto it, and drop by drop to soak up all the goodness around me. Sometimes it would just be a drop here and a drop there, but over time I realised that instead of filling my sponge from tiny puddles I could take my sponge to the ocean where there is an endless supply of water.
Goodness is everywhere and it is the only thing that matters. We do not need to try and stop thinking negative thoughts, we need to look for positive thoughts. Negativity is just an illusion. If you focus your attention on something else, it dissipates into thin air and disappears.
Of course this doesn’t happen overnight. It is a slow process. And one that you have to keep coming back to and repeating certain steps over and over. But over time that sponge of mine has filling up with more and more goodness, more moments that take my breath away and moments when I feel the presence of God all around me, and moments when I feel that I am living out my divine purpose moment by moment, which is the greatest feeling ever. So my answer is very simple and yet very complex to put into action at the same time. My answer to the question I am asked is that love is the only thing that is real and dependable and to be trusted on, and once you know this you can’t help but smile. The stuff I have been through doesn’t matter in the long run. It doesn’t define me. Of course it is a part of me and always will be. In fact it is a piece of me that I hold close because it reminds me to have compassion for myself and others. It reminds me of the brokenness of humanity and yet how beautiful that is, because moment by moment we get a choice to rewrite our history, to have a do-over. There is nothing that can’t be forgiven. So my very experience points me back to love.
Love is all there is.