From the outside, my life was a decent one. – good job, healthy children, socially adept, and living on Costa del sol, Marbella.
A place many consider a paradise.
But within, I was dark, unhappy, and all but a lost soul.
The worst of all was that I did not yet realize any of this. I thought I was just low on energy at times and needed, as an introvert, to seclude myself from outside stimuli for as long as up to six days.
The days were long and seemingly uneventful. The vibrance and wonders of the mountains, seas, and sunsets that all could be viewed from my living room window, were all unable to reach my soul.
The only thing that calmed me was the sauna and any movement that made me sweat. I was completely unaware that I was slowly withdrawing from the gifts of life.
Through signals and opportunities, life tried to include me and help better my internal health.
It was as if I was carrying around loads of weight that made me unable to grasp anything else.
I had little or no contact with my spirit, nor sufficient will to live any more than I already was, which in retrospect was not living at all. Things slowly started to change as I felt a pull to empty my cup.
I began ending a few unhealthy relationships, and I vowed to never seriously date again unless it was true love.
Up to this point, my life had no meaning, no direction, and my fire was all but extinguished.
What was life about, why do I exist, and should I be searching for greater meaning? If so, where do I begin?
This intention sat me on the path I am on today, and it started with the realization of death. Upon contemplating death, I came to understand the impermanence of all things as well as the illusion of control.
This brought up a memory of the first time I came to know death. It was back in Jamaica. I was less than ten years old when I was alone walking up the street towards where I lived.
I noticed a boy about my age halfway up an almond tree holding a long thin metal rod with a bent tip, creating a hook.
With one hand firmly gripping the tree, the other fully stretched guiding the hook, he reached for an almond but caught the electrical lines running along the sidewalk instead.
The scene that followed was not something I could digest at the time. And I don’t know how much time passed while the current coursed through the young boy’s body.
His father, I assumed, rushed out and knocked him off the tree after a few attempts. The kid fell to the ground sounding as if a big pillow had dropped.
Sometime later, and having no relation to the boy, I ended up going to his funeral as if I was meant to be there.
Having integrated these two truths – that death could find me at any moment and that the only things I had control over were my mind and own actions, I had unknowingly given myself meaning and a goal of sorts.
I still had some darker aspects of my person in need of purging. So I took a firm stance in my social life that meant no more pleasing others at the cost of my own inner peace.
When asked to meet up or take part in any social event, I would respectfully decline if I honestly did not feel like I was honoring myself.
This was a consequence that derived from my enlightenment about death and the decision it birthed.
I began prefacing all my decision-making with the question – knowing I could die tomorrow, is this the best thing I could be doing with my time right now?
As this was a new beginning of my life’s journey, many wasteful activities were easily avoided without regrets or fears of people’s opinions.
I have since continued walking a path that is true to my nature, intentions, and soul.