It was only when I took the journey inward through my meditation practice that I found my home, a space where I felt at peace for the first time in my life. This space was where I would go to be enlivened, rejuvenated, empowered and healed of the pain that had taken me so far away from knowing myself and having any kind of relationship with the Divine. It was the place that I felt the purest form of love. I recognized this love from my spiritual home but had never felt or experienced it here on earth.

Love does not separate, it does not condemn, it cannot be bought or bargained for. Love does not judge, expect or manipulate. It can be painful to love, especially when that love is experienced like the opening of a wound, as at the passing of a dear friend, parent, child or spouse. It can be so hard to say goodbye without trying to hold onto the one leaving, just to ease your pain. But it is through loving that you can understand the ultimate act of love is not to hold on, but to allow love to move into and through you.

Meditation was my access into the parts of me that I had never explored before, never developed, never knew existed. I didn’t know what I was capable of until I went out on my own, not knowing what I was doing, or even what I was supposed to do, and not having anyone to rely on to show me who I was or to tell me where to go or what to do.

This was the best thing for me because…

I stumbled, tripped and fell into some dark places more than once (or twice), but it was during these times that I realized I wasn’t alone. I realized I could connect with my Angels any time and that I was much stronger and much more capable than I ever knew. I wouldn’t have realized these things about myself without these opportunities, these growth spurts. I had to rely solely on my choices, and all the decisions about my life fell to me.

My entire life changed when I began to meditate. It didn’t happen overnight, but the changes in me are significant. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago.

When I first began to meditate, I was doing it to relieve stress in my life. That the practice resulted in an opening up of my awareness to life’s possibilities was an unintended and serendipitous consequence. I was simply following advice from many outside sources who said that meditation would help combat stress. I really knew nothing beyond that – except that I resisted it for many years.

This was the beginning of coming to love myself.

But what happened after that was extraordinary. I connected into something I couldn’t explain. Only through my experience did I begin to broaden my perspective of what life here on this planet was about. My perspective started to shift, and I began to feel strong enough to examine my internal landscape, something I had been terrified of doing up to that point.

I know I have mentioned meditation many times in my blog articles, but this practice was the beginning of my inward journey, the way in which I began to find myself, know myself and move away from what I had become in my fear-filled existence up to that point.

Lacking trust in myself and God, I was building my life on a faulty foundation. This foundation and all that was sitting on top of it had to be taken down piece by piece. Each piece needed to be examined to determine if it was worth keeping or should be thrown out and replaced with new, stronger pieces. Some pieces could stay but would need further development.

My internal examination at that time was the beginning of the unwinding of who I thought I was or who I thought I should be and the start of my awakening from the depression I had been under the influence of for so many years. I now know that the pain I had experienced all that time came out of not knowing myself and not having developed myself enough to love me.

In last April and May’s blog articles, I outlined the plethora of symptoms of depression and listed many approaches to handling depression that helped me uncover and discover the real me and might help you, too. You may read these blog articles, “Unwinding from depression – Part 1 and Part 2”, by clicking the links.

When you compare the process I described in the April and May blog articles with the one I am talking about now (which covers the last five years or so of my life), you can see, I think, that I have been more actively engaged in my decision-making process. Recently, the choices I am making are based on my internal guidance, Angelic support and intuition – rather than being driven by outside pressures, intimidation or my own fears.

As I have begun to sift through what to keep and what to discard in my life, I continue to have a lot of support from my Angels and my Spiritual Teacher. These were things I did not have, or I was unaware of them when I first began meditating all those years ago. This guidance allows me to become conscious of my past and present actions and how they have affected me and to what extent I allow them to continue to affect me in the present.

I have come to understand that, in the past, I didn’t have the consciousness to see the repeating patterns, the lessons not yet learned, the things I was avoiding altogether out of fear…because it was not time for me to know. My past experiences and all that I had become up to this point were necessary. I call this, “The Ultimate Angelic Boot Camp!!”

I have begun to understand that I have a choice to continue taking the same actions I had been (expecting a different result) or surrendering my will to that of the Divine. This has been a new challenge in the last five years but one that I feel better prepared for. Each lesson of this kind has shown me how strong, tricky and influential the ego can be and, combined with the outside pressures and subconscious programming I am still subject to, it is a lesson dam near impossible to master.

I have started to feel a powerful source within my core that enables me to speak my truth and take the steps to fill my needs. I have begun to think things through instead of being impulsive and landing in trouble. I have started to feel worthy and that my life matters and that I am not here just to exist but to fulfill a higher purpose.

As I have begun to develop self-compassion and love for who I am becoming, I create boundaries for myself. I no longer tolerate unkindness, manipulation or jealousy within myself or associated with me.

How about you? I am betting that, this Valentine’s Day, you can be open to giving yourself a Valentine of exploration into who you are at this moment, of being honest about any shortcomings and weaknesses, of taking that first step toward developing compassion for yourself. This process of unwinding all of what you think you know can uncover new perspectives and beliefs. As you see your own programming unwinding, you will come to a new place that allows you to be less judgmental and more observant of yourself, and, thus, of others.

When we clear the negative programming and beliefs from within ourselves, we can then abstain from judging others despite their appearance, their past, their religion, their skin color, their financial background, and so many other things that create separation and loneliness.

Your immediate world is a reflection of the entire world consciousness. And what shows up in your immediate space is a mirror of what’s inside of you. Feeling threatened, jealous or frustrated, irritated or angry about or around a certain person, issue or experience simply reflects back what is within and beckons you to change.

This Valentine’s Day I invite you (and anyone you care to include) to take this incredible journey of self-discovery. Take your future into your own hands, go within, get to know yourself and BE the LOVE and change that the world needs. Know that the effects of these changes within you can shift this planet into a more loving and compassionate place for all of us. Now, isn’t that better than buying a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers? You bet it is!

If you are or someone you know is gravely ill or in need of Divine intervention and support, you can join my Sunday Group Healing Call. The Sunday Group Call is free and an opportunity to share in the healing power of the Angels in a group setting. You may also read my previous blogs articles and newsletters by clicking here.