It is your divine birthright to live the life you’ve been given.
When I experienced significant emotional, physical, and sexual trauma in my early years, it did more than make me feel unlovable. It made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of existing.
My whole life then became an attempt at proving that I was worthy of being alive. Nevermind that I was worthy of being loved for who I was. I wanted to know that I was allowed to simply live.
I had to prove that it was okay that I existed.
That I wasn’t an abomination to life itself. That I wasn’t hurting people simply by being alive. That I wasn’t inconveniencing the rest of the world by existing.
Guilt haunted me every time I tried to make a decision for myself. Indecision followed me everywhere, seeking answers from everywhere but within myself. What could I possibly know? I was barely here.
But deep down the trauma had actually made me believe that I wasn’t worthy of existing. And because I carried this deeply ingrained belief that I wasn’t worthy of existing, then my efforts to prove that I was worthy of existing all failed.
All the way until I reached a point where I was thousands of miles away from everyone I knew and loved, I couldn’t get a decent paying job no matter how hard I tried, my business was failing, I was going hungry for days at a time, I was in a deeply psychologically abusive relationship, and I got evicted for being months behind on rent.
I had literally manifested a scenario that was proof that I didn’t deserve to exist. That I wasn’t worthy of surviving.
It was an incredibly painful period of my life. A period of time that taught me so much about myself, about pain, about suffering, and about the inner workings of this universe.
And then I had to choose – give up or be brave.
In order to get myself out of that situation, I reached a crossroads. I was so deeply embedded in fear and survival that it seemed too difficult to get myself out. I had no support system because I hadn’t let anyone in on how bad things had become and I had no money, no opportunity, no options.
But in a meditation, a tiger appeared abruptly and powerfully and had a simple message for me. “Fight for your life.”
And I realized that I was about to embark on the most difficult part of my journey. The part where I faced all of my worst fears. Where I had to fight for my freedom.
I remember taking a walk, not knowing where I was going, but desiring to disappear from it all. And coming to a clear decision point. To live or not to live.
When we’ve been beaten down into submission by our early traumas when we were too young to protect ourselves or to know what to do, then when things get hard we tend toward victimhood, despair, hopelessness, shame, the freeze response.
Shame can be more terrifying than death when we’ve buried so much of it within ourselves.
I would have to face my shame in admitting to others the situation I had gotten myself into, in moving back home with my tail between my legs, in moving in with family who didn’t always approve of the decisions I had made for my life, in admitting to myself what I had done to get myself into the situation I had fallen into.
I would have to face my fears of being around those who were involved in my early traumas and my fears of the retaliation of leaving a toxic situation.
And because I had detached and isolated myself from everyone and everything I loved, there wasn’t anyone or anything else left to live for. If I chose to live, it would have to be for me.
The tiger had given me a glimmer of hope. I did believe in magic. And I did believe that tiger had my back.
If a tiger could show up for me, then maybe I could show up for me too.
And the tiger had brought something else with it too. It had brought with it a feeling of power that was beginning to swell up inside of me.
Which I definitely needed, because the beginning of transformation is always the hardest.
I decided to be brave.
In that moment, I finally allowed myself to say, this is not okay. This situation is not okay. Where this life has ended up is not okay. And from this is not okay, I was able to move into action.
In saying, this is not okay, I chose life. I decided that I would get to choose what is okay and not okay in my life. Which meant I was really taking ownership of my life for the first time. “This is not okay” and “never again” became my new mantras.
After the break up and at the beginning of my move back to my home state, I stood in front of a mirror in a hotel room, sobbing, in so much pain I didn’t think I would survive it. Looking into my eyes, it was like I saw myself for the first time.
And I felt so, so, so, so, so sorry toward her. For letting her down. For abandoning her. And I said to her, over and over and over and over again as I clutched the mirror, sobbing, setting my forehead against hers.
“Never again. Never again. Never again.” Never again would I allow myself to get into this kind of situation. Never again would I abandon myself. Never fucking again.
From that rock bottom, I began convincing myself that I deserved to live.
And what I learned is that the most powerful thing we can do is to go back to those early trauma memories and unleash the emotions stored there. To fully feel all of the pain, no matter how scary. That’s how we can heal trauma.
To give the pain massive, sacred, safe space and time to unleash. To feel, to continue to feel, to continue to feel, to continue to feel, and to eventually resolve. Because in feeling the pain, we allow the suppressed parts of ourselves to come back to the surface.
So I faced my fears and my traumas.
In embracing my trauma and facing it head on, I have experienced incredible surges of power and relief within me. I’m able to embody the intimate interplay of power and tenderness simultaneously.
And I have finally fully realized the belief that I am worthy of existing.
In fact, it is our divine birthright to live this life we’ve been given.
It is our divine birthright to live this life for us, to make our own choices, to make our own mistakes, and to experience the radical love and prosperity that are available within us.
Because we’re worthy, because we are.