Two years ago today, April 26, 2018, I made a cup of tea, poured it into a mason jar, and was getting ready to go to bed. As I was leaving the kitchen, the bottom of the mason jar fell out and boiling water cascaded onto my leg. In shock, I ripped off my jeans and moments later burst out in tears and screams. There was a huge burn on my thigh that began bubbling and spewing puss. My roommate in her ignorance and shock, poured apple cider vinegar onto my wound that made it burn even more. I screamed in pain as she continued to insist on it, thinking that was the remedy for it. After rinsing my leg in the shower, I realized that I would have to go to the hospital. I had never gone to the emergency room before, and because I was living in Spain, I didn’t even know where the hospital was. I ended up getting in a taxi, crying and holding my pussing leg, and going to the nearby hospital in the middle of the night.
That night marked the beginning of my true awakening. Before then, I had been headed down a dark and destructive path. Abusing my body, torturing my mind and emotions, and devaluing myself as a human being. I had been living in Spain and attending my first year in university. The choices I made that year were so far from who I am now, and the learning experiences that I had were brutal. I needed a wake up call, in the form of a second degree burn. Around that time period was when I started to come to face the reality of the damage I was doing to myself. My voice was suffering, my body was suffering, but I kept pushing through and ignoring the warning signs. In some ways, that burn saved me from consequences far worse.
After I returned from the hospital, with the reality that I would be in a bandage for a while and couldn’t do my dance assessments the following week, I was cursing my bad luck. I felt hurt and vulnerable and shocked. I’d never broken a bone or been hospitalized, and I had never gone to the emergency room before. My feelings of reckless invincibility were challenged. I could barely walk, I couldn’t dance, I couldn’t work, and now I had a hideous scar on my leg that would last for years. I worked as a dancer and a performer in a restaurant, and I wanted to work as a model, but now I couldn’t do anything. I was forced to lay in bed, heal, and my greatest fear of all, rest. It was terrifying to come to terms with the fact that I would have to be by myself. I had barely slept in my own bed that whole year up until then. I regretfully had to contact my employers and tell them I couldn’t work because of my injury. I felt myself losing money, and losing the attention of the casual relationship I was in. I had to postpone my dance assessments, and sat by watching as my classmates completed them.
But I started sleeping again. After two weeks of proper rest, my voice started to come back. I started feeling more alert, I started being able to remember things again. My lack of rest had made my short term memory practically nonexistent, it was scary. I was sleeping enough to finally dream again. I started meditating in the mornings before school, and quickly it became a habit that I couldn’t go without. I booked a session with the nutritionist at my school, because I couldn’t dance and I wanted to stay in shape and learn how to properly feed my body. I slowly let myself unwind, although it felt strange and wrong in so many ways. But the most important decision I made, the one that propelled me down the path I’m on now, was by far the most random. I was walking with my friend past a homeopathic shop, and they advertised the services they offered. One of them was Reiki. My friend said she did a Reiki session once, and said it made her feel really weird for a fews days after, then a lot better. That sparked my interest.
I went into the Reiki session feeling quite nervous and apprehensive. It was in the back of the small homeopathy shop, with a middle aged Spanish woman who had a peaceful energy around her. She played some calming music on the speakers and asked me why I came. I told her that I was trying to change my life, to become more healthy and happy, and that I had a burn on my leg that I wondered if she could heal. She said she would direct energy towards healing it, but she couldn’t guarantee anything. As I lay on the table and she channeled energy into me, I felt so many different emotions. Fear, safety, love, vulnerability and anxiety poured through me. I could feel the blockages and tension being released and washing away. Afterwards she told me I had a lot of trapped energy around my head, and that I needed to meditate and calm my racing thoughts.
The day after, I did feel weird. I wandered around the town feeling lost and deeply lonely. It was a scary feeling, of being cracked open and wanting to hide. I felt so vulnerable. But as I was rebandaging my wound, I noticed that my leg was starting to scab over. I slept for a long time. Over the next few weeks, my leg healed miraculously quickly. I started feeling a lot better. My energy was returning, my voice was returning to its strength, and I became more dedicated to school. I followed the meal plan the nutritionist made for me, and started working out and losing weight. Early summer is the most wonderful time to spend in Spain, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had fun with my friends, made deep connections and had amazing experiences that I’ll cherish forever.
Fast forward, two years later, and I’m a completely different person. I’ve been at least 3 different people since then. I took care of my scar and now it’s practically disappeared. I became a Reiki practitioner, with the power to heal myself and others as effectively as that woman did for me. I’ve continued meditating every day, often two or three times a day. I’ve had countless transcendent spiritual experiences and been through so many lessons. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived enough already to be set for life. I had such a hunger to experience everything, from the darkest and dirtiest to the holiest. All of those experiences had value, and I wouldn’t regret a single one. At 20 years old, I feel like I’ve lived multiple lifetimes in just one.
But I can say that now I finally feel safe within myself. I feel loved and cared for by a force much larger and more powerful. I couldn’t say that it all began right then at that moment, because this journey has been going on since I was born and before. It has always been a current running through me that I ignored or denied or wasn’t ready for. I couldn’t say that I’m “awakened” or “enlightened”, because then it would feel like there’s some sort of destination to get to with an absolute finish line. When it’s really just a winding and confusing road. Some days I think “wow I finally made it” only to find more and more left to work through. But certain truths and missing pieces slowly become revealed, and once you find them, your soul aches with joy. It’s a process of illumination. Some days the light shines out of me so brightly, and some days it’s more dim. This story is just one piece of an intricate and detailed puzzle. I may share more pieces with you in the future if you’re interested.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like to hear more, or if you can relate to any of these experiences.