This is my life. This is my life. This is my life.
In that moment, in a flash of bright light (I kid you not – my memory of this moment is an overwhelming sense of light), I had an epiphany.
THIS IS MY LIFE.
I repeated it in my head over and over, as if I was swiftly and powerfully rising from the bottom of the sea, about to burst to the surface and take life-giving breath for the first time. I certainly felt alive for the first time. I remember looking around the ‘cell’, as if I had stumbled upon the meaning of life itself and thinking, ‘am I the only one who knows this secret?’
Suddenly, like rapid-fire, I had revelation after revelation:
I choose to live.
I choose to be happy.
My parents do not choose for me.
My friends do not choose for me.
No one has more power over how my life turns out than I do. No one benefits from me being happy more than I do. Why should anyone else care about me being genuinely happy, if I don’t care enough for myself?
This moment was the first time in my entire adult life ( roughly 7 years) that I truly believed I could get on the path of happiness. Finally, I wanted it more than anyone else wanted it for me. Writing this out, all these years later, seems a bit trite.
Every perceived illusion I had told myself prior to that moment: the one about my employers wanting the best for me, my lack of confidence in my aspirations, my astonishment that the one person I thought wanted the best for me, didn’t – they were all reflections of me and my fear. No one else. And what did it take for me to understand this? It took giving up 100% of my liberties and privacy in order to discover what freedom truly meant to me: everything.
After I got ‘released’ from prison, I felt awake. The shred of hope that had kept me alive for seven years had turned into a tapestry of limitless possibilities. Yet, full-fledged re-entry into the outside world took time. The walls of my prison haven’t shattered entirely, but they have been severely weakened. Just as it took years to build them, it will take years to completely tear them down. But I made peace with this, because now, I know that I have the time.
I thank my lucky stars that I chose to show up for myself, all those years ago – and that I continue to do so, each new day – each new moment – of my life.
So, lychees, what about you? Are you maybe facing a similar situation and might be looking for advice. Are you living inside your own prison? Do you know someone who is? Well, I don’t have all the answers. But what I do have is my commitment to add value whenever I can. Please share your story in the comments if you feel so compelled – or share my story with others, if you think it could be helpful to them.
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