We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. ~ Dalai Lama
 
Last week something happened that shook my very foundation. The events are not my story to tell but the ripples it caused within me beg to be given voice. 

 

A critical incident occurred and now I don’t know who I am on the other side of it. I don’t know who I am supposed to be. I feel on the precipice and I’m not sure what to choose. In the fog of fear and grief and regret, I am questioning pretty much every decision I’ve ever made. Wondering if my life is focused on all the wrong things. How can I think/talk/write about self-care and living your dreams when this other scary, saddening thing is going on at the same time? Have I been devoting my life to all the wrong things, to trivial things?

This is not the first time these questions have pulled at my heart. I am aware of my privilege, aware that my life could’ve turned out much differently than it has were it not for the resources around me and within me. I see people struggling with addiction or homelessness and I think, “That could be me.” I know I have a lengthy roster of risk factors and I wonder, “Why me? Why was I spared? Why do I get to live this amazing, abundant life?” I feel equal parts guilty about and driven to use my good fortune. There is a voice in my head that tells me I’m not doing enough to help others, that says because of my happiness I owe the world something more.

Then words I read somewhere recently come to mind: I cannot be sick enough to make you well. I cannot be sad enough to make you happy. I cannot be poor enough to make you rich. I cannot suffer enough to alleviate your suffering.

And I remember – the best thing I can do for all the people I love, which includes all beings everywhere on my best days, is to elevate my own soul. To do my inner work, raise my own vibration, find peace within myself. Self-care and self-love are anything but trivial – I truly believe these practices will change the world. I remember that my callings, whether they be teaching about Badass Self-Care or volunteering at the local women’s shelter, come from the divine within me. Honoring the whispers of my soul is giving back to the world. I cannot suffer enough to alleviate your suffering but finding peace within myself may help you find peace within yourself. And so I will carry on doing my work.