#1000Speak: Connection Can Save Your Life – how it saved mine

Welcome to another edition of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. May’s theme is connection. You may have read my flash fiction, Fiona Meets the Universe, I wrote specifically for this event. Read below how connection saved my life.

I recommend listening to this Pure Healing mix while you read.

 

Photo source: unsplash

Photo source: unsplash

 

Connection can save lives, but what does it mean? There can be superficial connection, but true connection has the power to heal and save us. The first connection we should make is with ourselves, another is with higher power, and the third with other people through relationships. Connection happens on many levels through small moments.

We learn to love ourselves and believe in ourselves through small achievements, unseen battles fought and won (sometimes lost). If we work on developing a good relationship with ourselves, we learn to connect to our heart, to be less judgmental and critical of ourselves, to be forgiving, patient and kind to ourselves. It may take a long time to build a good relationship depending on how much love you were shown in childhood, how many blows to your self-esteem you had to endure, but it is possible.

Just a few years ago, I felt disconnected, alone, chaotic, depressed. I contemplated suicide daily. I’d been battling depression since age 15 caused by mental, physical, and sexual abuse experienced at the hands of adults whose job description was far from what they were doing. I have since forgiven and I do not want this post to be about the past. Since age 15 (probably younger), I felt unworthy, disconnected, and alone.

My quest to forgive those who had wronged me led me to discover darker aspects to myself. I uncovered a truth about humanity. We are all capable of being monsters, given the right circumstances. If I had given in to my depression, I too would have become one. I was slowly becoming a monster day by day.

I decided to look at myself fully, not just the aspects I liked and proudly let others see. It was difficult. I let myself be a monster some days (no one was harmed in the process). I needed to feel what it was like.

I have now fully integrated, become whole. I feel connected with the Earth, nature, and all of life. I see and feel we are all one.

Maybe you’re wondering how I accomplished this. How did I go from depths of despair to a fully integrated, happy human being?

The first step I took was getting professional help. I had over one year of therapy, which included 3 months of group therapy a day for 5 hours each day (that’s 300 hours of just group therapy). Therapy helped me be more aware, act with intention, and regulate emotions (I already knew how to name them). Most importantly, therapy taught me how to speak so I am heard, so my words are clear.

I began meditating and being mindful. This has been the most life-changing practice. Allowing oneself to experience one’s body, emotions, states, thoughts in such a way changes you. You learn to separate yourself from the ego (the mask) and connect to your higher power (also known as inner light, inner wisdom, higher self, inner shaman, God).

This connection to higher power is the second most important connection we can cultivate after our relationship with ourselves. Relationships with other people are also important, but when you are strongly connected to higher power, no storm no matter how powerful will be able to destroy you or even move you. Connection to higher power gives you roots so deep and stable, you can be like a thousand-year-old oak. You will be able to withstand much, remain calm and balanced.

Connection to myself and higher power has erased all illusion of disconnection. We are all one. We are all sparks of the divine. We are the expression of infinite beauty. I can see this in the birds and trees, the wind, sun and rain. Nature is important in cultivating a feeling of connection. When you spend time with the Earth, your only conclusion can be interconnectedness.

For me, depression did not win. In fact, I triumphed over it. I feel whole, connected, at peace, loved, and so worthy. Life has a new meaning for me. My tough childhood prepared me for experiencing and appreciating the greatest joys and love. I can now appreciate the hardships that I have gone through. Despite the pain and their appalling nature, my life experiences have led me to a place of love and inner peace, an understanding for life on this planet in all its beauty and cruelty. I am naively optimistic about life, because the darkest places no longer scare me. I have been there and survived.

If you are looking for reading materials on meditation and mindfulness practices to develop this connection, I recommend the Sounds True store. Their newsletter is worth signing up for as they regularly send free materials to read and listen. (I am not compensated for this recommendation.)

 

To read other Connection posts, click here.

How have you found connection? Share your stories and experiences.

 

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21 thoughts on “#1000Speak: Connection Can Save Your Life – how it saved mine

  1. Where do I even start with this post. First, I adore that song, Circles. So much so I shazam’d it and then bought it on iTunes, followed by the rest of the album! God did it make the post so powerful. It was touching beyond belief. Its an incredibly emotional post as it is, but there is something about music – the right music, that gets inside my soul and that song, definitely did that, it connected me even more emotionally to the piece.

    Second… I just wanted to say I think you are a hero, and a survivor, and the strongest most inspirational woman. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sacha. I don’t know about being the strongest most inspirational, but thank you. I love that you played the music. I was listening to that entire mix while I was editing and rewriting this, and the music just seemed to work with what I was writing. I felt I needed to share it.

      Like

    • I hope others will be inspired. I hope I can give some sliver of hope. Thank you for stopping by, Lisa.

      Like

  2. I’m so glad that you are in a better place. We all have a dark side and kudos to you for looking at yours. Most of us want to just pretend its not there. It sounds like you have found your way through meditation. Keep it up! We all are so much stronger and more powerful than we think and it is b/c of that connection we have with the All. Thank you for sharing your story and your path. You have a lovely blog. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by. I was scared to go there, but now I believe a dark side unexplored can be very dangerous. It seems easier to pretend it isn’t there, but closing a door on something doesn’t make it go away. And what we fear is always scarier than what it really is. At least that has been my experience.

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  3. Your post made me teary. So profound and so true. I also suffer from depression and I am on the same path that you have found. Just in the last 3 years I have began to connect with nature, to revel in its beauty, to forgive myself and the past, to release old wounds, to accept life as it is, and just in the last 6 months I have begun connecting to the divine and realizing that God is in me. I even started attending an interdenominational church whose slogan is Embrace Humanity, Express Divinity. I am 45 and have NEVER been a church goer, despite my catholic upbringing. But finding my connection to God has been a game changer. Just this last Sunday, the Rev used the phrase you used…we are sparks of the divine. Lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your church sounds like something I would enjoy going to. Glad to have you on the same path. Company is always welcome.

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  4. What a wonderful story of redemption – i’m so happy to read that your mind was flexible enough to overcome all of the horrible things you’ve seen in your life. This piece is the essence of what #1000Speak is all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was fortunate enough that I still had plenty of good in my childhood. There are days it seemed that the bad outweighed the good, but that simply wasn’t true.
      From all the articles I have written for #1000Speak, this felt the most personal, so I am glad you think this is what #1000Speak is about.

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  5. Ula, thank you so much for sharing your journey here and offer that spark of connection. When I think back to how lost and confused I was at times when I was younger, I see the need for powerful testimonials for overcoming adversity and persevering…like yours and mine. If you can do it, I can do it. People feel more empowered. Take care xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rowena, how lovely to see you. I do hope that my story (and yours as well) can inspire someone or at least offer a glimmer of hope, shine a light in what seems a dark place.
      BTW, I look forward to reading your post on the Sydney Writers’ Festival. I’m soon going to the Big Book Festival in Warsaw, and Zadie Smith will be there, so I am excited.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What is the Big Book festival like? Inbteresting you should mention Warsaw because I heard Australian pianist Roger Wodward speak at the festival and learned that he’d lived in Poland under communism and became quite politically active. He said that while many artists sat on the fence, he felt he couldn’t. That the Australian thing is to stand up for your mate.
        I just love immersing myself in writing, reading, book culture. Just amazing. Enjoy doing the same and I look forward to hearing your experiences! xx Rowena

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    • This will be my first time at the Big Book festival. What drew me in this year is all the writers from abroad. It’s mostly meetings with authors, discussions, and other additional events. It lasts 3 days, starts on Friday in the evening and lasts all of Saturday and Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bill. It was difficult to write, but it felt right – the right situation, the right time for me. It does make us stronger and shows us what we are made of.

      Liked by 1 person

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