My Journey to Self-Love & Spiritual Awareness
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When asked to write an article, I honestly didn't know what to write about. I didn't want to write on advice or how to “help” but I wanted to focus more about my journey to awareness. Well, for starters, if you told me two years ago that I would be a vegan & a Buddhist, I would've probably laughed my pants off. Also, If you told me that I would be in a more happier mind state without money, I would've laughed my legs off along with my pants.
My Life Before Awareness
A couple of years ago, I moved to NYC; I had various materialistic goals that I thought will ultimately lead me to full-fledge happiness and fulfilment. I wanted to be the social butterfly; the girl that has millions of followers on Instagram, & has a hot/rich boyfriend to strut around with. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with people that want to pursue that in their careers, but I knew that lifestyle was not for me. The foundation of this goal came from the low-self esteem I had about myself. I also thought that these Instagram Girls I will see on my timeline were living the life. But are they really?
Social media is a very prominent example of the Art of Deception concept. Everything that glitters isn't always gold, right? But back then I wasn't aware. I wasn't happy with myself, & I saw (assumed) that these girls were happy because they are smiling in their pictures. So I would do EVERYTHING to accomplish this false, intangible illusion.
I would put on pounds of makeup, & took 3 hours to dress up, just to take pictures, not go out, but solely take photos. I would befriend people that I knew were no good for my energy. I just wanted to assemble an “Instagram squad” to compliment my artificial lifestyle. I would spend money on material items that I couldn't afford, & live beyond my means. Of course I would sleep with men who I thought would elevate me in the social hierarchy.
However, I was even more unhappy during this time. I even contemplated suicide. I really thought that being beautiful meant everything &, hence to the Law of Attraction, I attracted people that thought the same way. I felt like I was falling into a long pit of sorrow. But when you fall you have no where else to hit but the bottom.
A Lonely Lifestyle & Redefining Success
I was dating a guy on my “social status hit-list”,& of course the same-ol’ series of events happen. I had sex with him, he didn't give me attention, & I found myself lonely once again. I used to hate being alone, because I would have to come to terms with myself, & I couldn't face that. I remember crying to myself, screaming repeatedly “WHY DO I LOVE SO MUCH!!!”. But oddly- enough I stumbled across an old book from David Orr. I opened a random page and found this passage:
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, & lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable & humane. These qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."
I needed to find out what success meant to me. My only success is to be happy. Getting likes on Instagram, or having a lover did not make me happy, these things will fill a void, but I would still feel empty.
I felt like a drug addict; trying to suppress my feelings temporarily. But happiness is not an effect: it's a cause. I can only make the cause. I am the only one that has the ability to make myself happy. I went through a period of isolation, as in Self Love isolation. I started reading books, & learning more about happiness, thats when I came across Buddha’s philosophies. I conducted more in-depth research on the Noble Truths, & The Eightfold path. The thirst for knowledge was evident.
This was the start of my enlightenment period. My suffering came from superficial desires; the materials I didn't have, I wanted, which led me to appreciate the things I do have. Most importantly, I started to appreciate the smaller things, because the small things make a BIG difference. I realised that happiness starts with myself. Love, starts with myself & in that brief moment of realisation, I released all the negativity out of my life.
I felt like I was breathing new air; a more refreshing air. I started to forgive not only myself, but the people around me. That killed my ego BIG TIME. I am more than materials, more than the physical realm.
I am the product of this beautiful earth.
The more I dived into my spiritual journey, my environment changed. I was around positive people. I enjoyed my life more. I loved myself more. I found my calling. I wanted to help people find this path, walk on this path, & appreciate life with me. My goal on this earth IS to “love so much”. Because in this world we need love, compassion & kindness. We are not perfect. There is no such thing as perfection, but, no matter where you are in life, you can change your outlook. I hope you realise that you have a purpose on this earth! You are a part of something greater to all of humanity.
If you are going though trials in your life, just know it is for a significance. These obstacles help you learn, & grow; just like a plant drenched in rain. No matter what path you are on, you will get there. You just have to go through that dark tunnel in so you can reach that light at the end.
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