- Susan Dawn
This Is Life
I wrote the following in 2019 at the peak of so much healing and transformation. That process continus even today as I say goodbye to the old and the stagnant and what’s no longer working or meant for me and allow myself to welcome in the new.
The end result stays the same—no longer surviving but thriving.
I’m not in survivor mode anymore. I think I’m realizing I haven’t been for a long time. I think I’m really beginning to realize and see with clarity and humbled confidence how amazing I’ve been and am. How ready I am to keep growing and expanding and thriving.
Here’s to the experiences we’ve lived—what it taught us about ourselves—and what we choose to create.
Here’s to life.
* * *
I’m going to get real and raw here... again.
For the past two years I’ve been going through a lot of inner transformations—a ton of emotional healing and work around self-love. I’ve been re-awakening to who I am on an intimate level, remembering my value and my worth as I healed grief, survivor’s guilt, trauma, and loss.
The past few months, part of that healing has been wrapped around self-worth and comparing myself to others. I felt twinges of jealousy over strangers’ successes, felt small in comparison to others’ experiences—experiences that I’ve dreamed of but that haven’t come into fruition just yet. I looked at others through a loved one’s eyes and thought, they must think person x is better than me—or at least better for them—because of exhibit a or exhibit b. In the process, I completely stripped myself of my successes—what makes me unique, beautiful, and valued in my own right.
So, I spent an evening recently looking back on everything I’ve done in my life that I’m proud of:
I’ve traveled. I hauled logs down a mountainside and spread compost in a cliffside garden in the south of France, navigating the country completely on my own for a month and making friendships (and writing a book) while in the middle of my first spiritual awakening. (And if that doesn’t tell you the adventure/hellacious beauty that trip was, I don’t know what will.)
I saved my own life. I didn’t give up when dozens of doctors told me I was fine when I was dying. I trusted myself and did my own research and found the doctor who would help keep me here. And then, in the middle of my darkest hours, I sought the help I needed and saved my life again.
I built a business when I was going through hell, published my first book, and then wrote my second book and built another business—a non-profit that would help hundreds and thousands of people—when I relapsed and went through hell again. This one makes me cry. Because this one makes me proud. That I could take the experience of this pain and turn it into something useful—and for every single one of you who has done the same, I say this: you’re fucking amazing.
And now I have my third business that is guiding others through their own healing and spiritual journeys, and the messages I receive from those I’ve helped makes me know that I was meant for this. I was meant for all of this.
Every single step it has taken to get me here and every single step beyond to get me wherever I’m headed, and I’m meant for this. This is my path. And sure it might not look as exciting or seductive as others, but it’s where my heart has led me. It’s where I’m meant to be. And I’m so damn proud of it.
But wait. There’s one more thing I left out. It’s not my house or my travels or my businesses or my dreams. It’s not the amazing bonds of friendship I’ve formed along the way, the family I’ve nurtured, the sisterhood I’ve formed.
You know what I think when I look back on my life and I see the beauty in it?
I think, I was brave. I think, I was strong.
I think, I didn’t just survive...