Since childhood, I thought that the rewards of life came from me and whatever effort I made, constantly straining to squeeze even a single smile out of life. My narcissistic mother would hiss that I “should be grateful” and I am “a very lucky girl” until the moment I moved out of her house, that I didn’t deserve the material things I got; I was fundamentally “bad” because I seemed to constantly upset her, reflected in my frequent punishments like being grounded every other week. I know in my soul she was just parenting me from a loving place, that her idea of punishment for any perceived wrongdoing was a genuinely loving method to guide me to become the best person I could be, but the message I heard is that I’m invaluable. That I’m incapable. That it’s just hard to get by in life, let alone “make it.” I’m sure this is a message we’ve all heardat some point, and without the positive self-esteem to back it up, we can’t help but internalize it and it hurts like hell. That message saturated my consciousness. On top of that, my mother showed me that the only way to financially support myself was to marry a millionaire, like she did. I don’t think she ever meant to discourage me, but without ever encouraging me, that’s how I felt and that’s how I’ve been living. Until this year.
I thought I just wanted a new job. I thought it was asking too much out of life to be able to fulfill any more of my dreams than the bare minimum. In truth, it wasn’t just the 9–5 I’ve been unhappy with: I can’t stand winters, the overcrowdedness of Manhattan, the fast-paced lifestyle, how geographically huge it is. Every ounce of street harassment has been chipping away at my fighting spirit. I thought I needed to just suck it up and push through another 7-10 years so I can keep my apartment in NYC until I finish my Graduate School program of choice which is here (that I haven’t even been able to apply for yet because of the prereqs I need to do first). My dream to just hopefully maybe eventually get a new job that might almost make me a living with no extra cash-flow for enjoyment or savings felt like it was within my abilities, but that’s only because I thought my abilities were so limited. Thankfully, I cracked.
As a result of daily prayer and meditation, of looking inward and strengthening my belief in myself, my self-esteem has skyrocketed. Oddly enough, the desires coming from within during meditation started popping out and expanding and my dreams got a lot bigger. Bigger than my modest prudent reserve of a savings account “for emergencies only,” bigger than my salary, bigger than my punishing inner voice could possibly imagine. And admitting that these were my dreams scared the living shit out of mebecause the didn’t seem possible at first. But the fear is just fear, which is the opposite of having faith. If I genuinely believe that the universe is fundamentally loving, then fear is an illusion. I’ve heard in AA meetings When fear knocks, faith answers and no one is there.
When my faith that the universe, loving and infinitely abundant, is supporting and guiding my path, the fear shrinking to a mere speck of dust, insignificant and powerless in the face of my newfound confidence, I began to feel the power that having faith can accomplish. Not only is it giving me the strength to take action, but I’ve found the determination that I do deserve anything and everything that my little heart desires. And why shouldn’t it happen for me? That is how I arrived here. My dreams got huge, and my vision could only expand when I started believing in a higher power that was capable enough to get me there.
So it looks like, universe-willing, I will be moving to Savannah in the next few months, to live on the beach, have a car (I love driving!), fulfill my MA prerequisites, and work at a job that advances my career, motivates me, nurtures my soul, and empowers me. I will be accomplishing things that I would never have dreamed possible if only I believed that I were limited to what my paycheck tells me I’m worth.
I fly to Savannah in October to start making this a reality: I’ll hand my resume to potential employers, absorb the city’s vibes, and give myself permission to say no to the move if it’s not what feels right. Key word: feel. I have to constantly keep meditating to clear away the spiritual dirt that piles up in my mind in order to hear my soul’s voice, to access the light within me, which speaks to me through those little gut instincts that arise but we so frequently ignore. And guess what? I didn’t have the cash in my account when I wanted booked the trip and that old fear crept in. But upon taking action for my betterment (which this is), I suddenly noticed how things naturally fell into place. I have freelance cash coming in for out of pocket expenses. I found a very affordable AirBnB, available only for the dates I booked my trip. My credit card flight points cover the full cost of travel. Things just naturally seem to fall into place when we take action that aligns with that inner voice. And running it by my AA sponsor and network, they agree that this all sounds like a great idea for me (with bigdecisions and changes like this, I still suggest asking a support network for verification that it’s not ego making the call 😉 ).
And you can have any of this, too. Anything you really want. Just dream big. I mean, really fucking big.
Have a beautiful, serene, healing day!
Disclaimer Charlotte Grey does not claim any professional training in social work or psychiatry. The suggestions listed on this page and on this website are meant to inspire supplemental treatment options for self-help. It is recommended that professional treatment be combined with any solutions discussed herein for suspected or known psychological or psychiatric malady, and that the content of this website not be used as substitute for professional treatment.
writing © Charlotte Grey Writings
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