Why Our Story Matters

My story matters. As does yours. There are so many layers and components to me being where I now am, that no matter how many words I write will probably never express the full detail of my life. I don’t want to get bogged down in my story or the details because I’ve spent a very long time dragging the sad parts of my life with me. I’ve now felt the sadness, grief and despair and I’ve moved towards freedom and love. But I also think that I need to share some context so that I can then continue to focus on what really matters-  coming closer to consciousness and choosing love in every part of my life.

I think the easiest way for me to describe what has happened is by asking you to think about your life. To reflect on the things you do every day and then to imagine them all disappearing at once. I once had a normal routine that I took for granted, even sometimes begrudged due to its monotony and repetitiveness. I’d wake early to exercise (gym or a walk/run), I’d come home wake my kids, go through the morning in a rush- breakfast/packing lunches/feeding the dog/hanging the washing, I’d drive my kids to school, grab a coffee and head to work. I’d work all day in my job that I had spent my entire career working towards, then I’d spend the late afternoon/early evening dropping kids to sport/music/friends/work etc. I’d go to the shops for groceries, maybe have a quick catch up or phone call with a friend, before heading home. Dinner with the kids, cleaning up, housework. Then I’d do a bit of writing/reading/TV on the lounge with the kids. Before falling into bed exhausted. This routine, with mild variations (such as every second week I wouldn’t have my kids and would then travel long distances as part of my job with the Government) had pretty much been my life for the majority of my adult life. It was what I had come to rely on, it was familiar and probably like you- I pretty much knew exactly what was happening each week.

But during this time something else was also happening- I was also becoming ill and had been managing symptoms of IBS for close to 2 years.  But now fatigue, major food intolerances, chronic constipation, muscle weakness, unexplained weight gain and severe brain fog had become my reality.  I tried to find the answers as to why a once perfectly healthy 40year old female who took really good care of herself, could suddenly feel as though she had aged 20 years in the space of a few months. I saw nutritionists, was regularly at my local GP of 13 years, a Biomedical Doctor, a Rheumatologist, and a Gastroenterologist. I had test after test, colonoscopies, gastostrophy, bloods, urine, breath, faecal samples. I took compounded medication, eliminated sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, gluten, etc. I slept more and I eliminated anything in my life unless it was absolutely unnecessary. I stopped going to the gym, out with my friends and working around the house. In the space of a few months I very quickly deteriorated to the point where I had to take a month off work so that I could do nothing but rest.

My once normal life changed so rapidly in a matter of months. I had no control over what happened next. But in the space of three months both of my children suddenly left home, I had to resign from my job, I had no way of supporting myself, I lost the majority of my friends and I became so sick that I could barely leave my bed. My once normal life was gone and I fell into a state of absolute despair. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, PTSD (from previous traumas) surfaced and I was in a constant state of fight/flight/freeze mode. I had no where to be, no one to look after, no partner to give me the support that I needed and no desire to be alive. I felt completely alone and isolated.

I tried to get help, I was flying across the State seeing specialist after specialist, I was seeing a Psychologist fortnightly, I was regularly at the Doctor, & in and out of hospital but I kept coming up against brick walls. Mostly I was being told that I had depression (& I did but this was a symptom rather than the underlying cause). I reverted to a child like state, and I stayed this way for close to 6 months. The only thing I could think was ‘I haven’t done anything wrong, why am I being punished’. I was depleted in a way that I had never been before, I cared about nothing. It felt like I had died except that I was very much still alive and living a nightmare. I couldn’t eat, or poo, or move, I couldn’t talk or think or leave the house, I couldn’t pay bills or get dressed or wash my hair. I couldn’t talk on the phone or send a text. I had no idea what day, time or month it was. I was sick, I was grieving for my children, for my life that I had just lost, I wanted nothing more than to wake up and go straight back into my boring familiar routine. I wanted to escape my body and slip effortlessly into somebody else’s life. I wanted to be anywhere except where I was. But mostly I wanted to be dead.

The thing about illness is that everyone thinks your just dealing with the illness- with whatever it is that is going on with your body. But its not true- at least not for me. In the stillness I was dealing with everything that had happened in my life, the mistakes, the shame and the guilt of every ugly event that had happened.  I was dealing with the ‘what if’s’ & ‘if only hadn’t done that’, ‘if only he hadn’t done that to me’. I was thinking about every single person who had hurt me. I was remembering all of the things that were wrong with me, all of the ways I had failed at life, all of the expectations that I hadn’t fulfilled, all of the things that I had wanted to accomplish and couldn’t. But mostly I was dealing with the reality of being me-  in the ugliest, messiest, rawest version of myself. Illness – I would discover- was never about sickness, illness was the opportunity for me to make peace with myself and my life so that I could begin to focus on what really mattered. I had to completely destruct before I could become whole.

It took me three years. I remember thinking when I resigned from my job that I just needed three months of rest and I would be fine. Never did I think it would take three years. Three years of finding the right people to help me. There were so many things I did to be okay and while I could sit here and tell you in great detail about the month long stay I had at an integrative health retreat where I had daily psychotherapy and somatic therapy, the faecal microbial transplant I had to restore my gut bacteria, the food that I ate, the supplements that I took, the healers that came to me at the time I needed them, the move I needed to make so that I could be near the beach, the meditation, yoga practices and spiritual books that bought me back to life, and the ways in which I forgave myself and those that had hurt me. The thing is this was MY JOURNEY which doesn’t mean the answers I found will be right for anybody else. The real key to my healing  was having the time and space to figure my way through and believing there was a greater purpose for it.  I needed to work through all of the pain and betrayal and find a way to make peace with everything that had happened. I needed to relive my story so that I could start telling a different one. I needed to be alone in a way I never had. There was no quick fix, cure, time line or magic pill..this was about me healing myself in the way that felt right for me. Nobody could have told me ‘how’ to do it. I followed my instincts, and my intuition. I researched everything and I took on board the things that felt right. I saw health professionals and walked away when it no longer felt right, I found new people that could take me further on MY journey. I stayed true to myself in every way. NOBODY ELSE WAS LIVING MY LIFE, NOBODY ELSE KNEW WHAT WAS RIGHT FOR ME. And that is how I recovered. Above everything else I listened to myself and I learnt how to conquer the fear that I was never going to be okay.

So you see, the story does matter because it is the foundation of where I am now-  just as your story is a reflection of where you are now. I ran from my past for so long but all I was doing was dragging it with me in every way instead of stopping and confronting and feeling what I needed to feel. I no longer see any of my past as a ‘bad thing’, I don’t wish that it never happened, I’m not resentful and I’m not re-living it. I’m not upset at the medical system, I don’t feel animosity to the people that in some way probably could have done more to help me, I’m not angry at the people who were unable to be there for me, I don’t blame my children for leaving when they did nor will I spend the rest of my life making them feel guilty. I have forgiven the people that have hurt me and I have forgiven myself because I know it has all happened exactly as it was supposed to. I know to hold on to any of it would only mean that I am letting myself down and moving me further away from where I want to be. I’ve moved on but I still respect my story- but I don’t need to tell it in absolute detail. I’ve let go of the need to stay attached to it and I know that it has led me back to where I need to be.

Kylie West
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Depression

Depression, I haven’t written much about it yet. For two years I struggled terribly with my mental health. Every day for two years I contemplated suicide hundreds of times a day. Trying to stay alive became my full time job. I also had depression to a milder degree for 10 years prior to this. For 12 years depression and anxiety invaded my life in so many ways, but mental illness has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. My mum has suffered terribly ever since I was a child. She is a big part of the reason I chose a different path for my recovery. I’ve seen her spend decades trying to get help, going in and out of mental health wards, only for her symptoms to worsen. Anybody who has had anything to do with mental health knows the cycle of destruction that it can cause. But I also know that this was the experience I needed – had I of not watched and been part of my mums struggle I have no doubt that I would be in a very different situation right now.

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Our Greatest Teachers

I’ve had so many people hurt me, treat me in ways I didn’t deserve, taken advantage of me and use me for their own advantage. I’ve felt betrayed and deserted but mostly I’ve felt like I didn’t matter. I too have hurt others. I look back at some of the ways I treated people and know that as hard as it is to admit that I have been the cause of others peoples distress, it was all a part of my journey to get me to where I am now (that doesn’t mean I’m making excuses but rather I have forgiven myself, confronted that particular pain and am committed to moving forward). Now I can do better, now the last thing I want to do is hurt others, use them, betray them, push them down with negativity. I don’t need to do this because I have made peace with myself, I’m no longer hustling for my own worthiness, I no longer need to be right and I no longer need to prove myself. I’m here to lift others because I have lifted myself. I can so easily see that my bad behaviour was always a reaction to me not feeling good about myself.

When I started out on my spiritual journey of healing and coming back to consciousness (moving closer to God) I was bombarded with the overwhelming message that I needed to walk away from toxic people and situations. And I agreed – I let go of a lot of friendships because they were no longer in my best interests. They weren’t overly bad, there was nothing really shocking happening – they were probably the type of friendships that I suppose many people think are the norm. But they were based on doing things that were no longer serving me – drinking alcohol, gossiping, bitching, putting others down, judgement, relying on attention from men, and little white lies. I also had friendships where I felt I was being used- where it felt like I cared more about the other person than they cared for me. As much as it hurt letting go of these friendships (some that had spanned decades) especially because this was happening in the midst of my breakdown when I was extremely ill and extremely vulnerable (the time that you need your friends). I also knew deep within that it was the right time to let go in order for me to go on and heal in the way that I needed to heal.

But there were also many people in my life who even though they had hurt me and treated me in ways that I didn’t deserve, I still didn’t want to completely walk away from. I wanted more than anything to feel connected and loved and while it would have been so easy (and yes I contemplated it) to throw my hands up in the air and walk away and say see you later. I knew deep down that this was the opportunity to heal old family wounds. To forge a new way, to create something different. To forgive and  let go of the wounds and scars that had caused so much destruction. I was lucky that these people acknowledged and accepted their part in my downfall. There were no excuses, no trying to blame others, instead ownership and apologies. And that was deeply healing for me (& yes I acknowledge that this isn’t everyones reality). But it still took a lot of time, and to be honest for a long time I still struggled with frustration over how the people around me were choosing to live their lives. I would fall into judgement and wonder if I was the only person in the world willing to stand up and stay true to myself, to fight for the life that I knew I deserved.

But this is what I have come to know. You can’t walk away from everybody who doesn’t see life in the same way as you and who won’t live in the way that you expect them to live. No matter how much you try to surround yourself with positive energy and people there will ALWAYS be others who can bring you down. People at work, family, ex partners, even people in the supermarket or at a restaurant all have the ability to steal you of your energy. It doesn’t matter how much you protect yourself. You can’t eliminate everyone in your life who no longer aligns with your new found beliefs. You’d be sitting in a room by yourself trying to protect your energy instead of living the life of your dreams and focusing on the only thing that matters- feeling good.

The only thing that I could do was strengthen myself, I had to build myself up and find so much love within myself that I had no other option then to give everyone else love as well- especially those that continued to treat me badly. Other people’s actions no longer destroy me in the way they once did, other people are not responsible for how good or how bad I feel- I am the only one responsible for how I feel. Now I know when the behaviour of others upsets me it means that something within me needs to be healed. Its an invitation to go deeper within, to heal myself in every possible way. Last week I was treated poorly by somebody who has treated me this way for a very long time. But instead of reacting, instead of tearing this person down and falling into old ways of blaming and fighting I was able to instead see this person as somebody who was living in fear, somebody who was hurting, somebody who was teaching me and strengthening my resolve to be the person I knew I wanted to be. It changed everything and while I was still deeply upset and hurt ( I will never deny my feelings) I was able to feel these emotions and support myself through it instead of falling into an absolute heap and acting out in ways that no longer serve me. I chose to look through the lens of love and I’m proud of myself for doing that.

My way forward is love, acceptance and compassion. I see everyone through the lens of love-  knowing that we are not seperate but instead remembering that we are one with the Universe. I know that everybody who comes to us in our life was sent for a particular purpose. The people that have hurt me the most have been my greatest teachers- they have shaped me and moulded me into this person I now am and for that I am grateful. They continue to be my motivation to stay close to God, close to myself, they act as a reminder that we all have our own internal struggles and pain and that we are all here to heal these wounds. I know that my way is not the right way for everyone, that everyone has the choice to live their life as they please and for me to stay trapped in judgement and expectation or to disconnect myself from family and people that I love is only keeping me trapped within myself, it is only causing disconnection when all I want to do is move in closer. But I’ve also noticed something else – when I act in the way that feels right for me- whether that means talking about staying true to myself or seeing the good in others it rubs off on the people around me and I am reminded it is not my words that teach but rather my actions.

 

 

 

 

Kylie West
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The Only Thing We Need is COURAGE

Courage..’To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart’.

This resonates deeply. True courage for me has meant many things. Never giving up, picking myself up after many falls, and doing things that scare me. But there’s something else- something that for me runs much deeper than anything else.

True courage means never ever letting myself down. Never settling for less than I deserve, never believing that I need to be less than who I really am, and never allowing another persons words or actions to convince me otherwise. True courage means living my life in the way that is real and meaningful to me.

It means that I will never betray myself.

And here’s how I do that

  • I live my life the way that feels right to me, and right now for me that means speaking my truth and living life in a way that is not overly socially acceptable. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, I don’t eat sugar, processed foods, gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, grains, etc. I don’t have many friends, I don’t make plans, I don’t need to be surrounded by others, I don’t have a partner, I don’t date, I don’t work, I don’t watch tv, I don’t read the newspapers, I don’t gossip, I don’t talk about others behind their backs, I don’t judge those around me or tell them how to live their life and I don’t spend extended periods of time with people who drain my energy. I don’t beat myself up or try to please others. I don’t go to social functions if I don’t feel like it, I don’t do things just to please others. I don’t live in my head worrying and fretting about what may happen. I’m not lonely, I don’t ache for something more.
  • What I do do is right for me. I meditate, I walk the beach, I spend time with people I feel connected to, I write, I read, I eat real organic food, I pray, I spend time with my kids, I sometimes go to a movie, I cook, I dance, I paint, go to Ukulele and clay lessons, I ride my bike, I swim, I think and I be. I have the most extraordinary conversations with strangers. I go to yoga, I take notice of what is happening around me, I go slow and I stay as present and in the moment as I can. I focus on the good in the World and implement action around how we can do better. I feel what I need to feel by trying not to push the discomfort away and I make space for others to do the same. I know that everyone has the right to choose how they live their lives and I try to see everyone as God sees them. I say no when I mean it, I’m kind to myself and I constantly remind myself that I am aligned and exactly where I need to be, deeply loved and forever protected. I feel full, loved, connected, whole.

Its taken a lot to get here. I’ve betrayed myself many times over my life. I’ve been in relationships (both romantic and friendships) that have caused me to act in ways that weren’t in alignment with who I really am. I’ve stayed because I didn’t want to be alone, because I didn’t think I deserved better, I didn’t think I had anything much to offer anyone and I believed the words of others who told me that if I left I would never amount to anything. I stayed until I couldn’t.

I’ve stayed in jobs, I’ve let people walk over me, I’ve lost my voice, I’ve let others manipulate and control me, I’ve pushed it all down and tried to numb it out. Ive tried to convince myself that I don’t need anything more than a mediocre life (as long as it looked good from the outside!- as long as others saw me as successful and a high achiever).

I’ve closed my heart off to try and protect myself, thinking that I didn’t need others, I’ve shut down from people that loved me, I’ve pretended that I didn’t need anyone else and I convinced myself that I was nothing but a failure. I’ve lived in fear and denial, guilt, shame and self hatred. I’ve tried to control everything only to have it all fall apart. I’ve spent a long time blaming others for destroying my chance at happiness. I’ve let others dictate my life for far too long. I’ve stayed stuck in the anger, bitterness and resentment. I’ve cared too much about what others think of me and I’ve tried to be both less and more to rid myself of the inner angst and self loathing.

But amongst it all – I’ve done the only thing I needed to do. I’VE NEVER GIVEN UP ON MYSELF. AND I NEVER WILL.

I walked away from a marriage, friendships, my career, the town I lived in, my possessions, a long list of chronic and mental health diagnoses, and a complete breakdown BECAUSE I KNEW DEEP DOWN I COULD HAVE SOMETHING BETTER. I STAYED TRUE TO MYSELF IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE EVEN WHEN IT MEANT HEARTACHE, GRIEF, LOSS AND LONELINESS. That to me is COURAGE, that to me is enough.

 

Kylie West
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The Only Barrier You Need to Breakthrough

You can imagine the life you want, you know how you want to be living, you can picture it so easily in your mind. It seems so easy until you remember all of the obstacles in your way. Its easy to come up with a million excuses why you can’t be living this life – its easy to blame it on your lack of funds, your responsibilities and all of the barriers in the way (my dad would kill me if I don’t finish my degree, my wife wants to have another baby, I can’t just walk away from my job I have a mortgage and mouths to feed, I’m not smart enough). And while all of these ‘excuses’ may in some way seem valid, its much easier to blame your lack of action on these reasons rather than confronting the real issue.

 

You now when you go for a job interview, or a first date, or your meeting up with a new group of friends? Your vulnerable and exposed and you think you have to make a good impression on others. And while there are many ways to boost yourself – most of them have to do with the ego- to make yourself feel more comfortable..the truth is what you are trying to cover is the self-doubt that you feel inside. It sounds something like this ‘I can’t really do this, I’ll never get the job, what if they don’t like me, I’m sure there will be somebody better than me, I’ve not got that much to offer’. Its the tiny voice in the back of your head that comes out when your about to do something that really matters- and the more you try to drown it out the louder it becomes (hence the boosting- little white lies/drinking/money/who you know etc).

You know when your talking to someone and they try to boost you up- maybe your partner, your parent, a friend and they tell you how much they believe in you, how great you are, how much you have to offer, that all you have to do is believe in yourself and your nodding your head in agreement but the whole time your hearing this voice within saying ‘YOUR NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO DO THIS’ & ‘I CAN’T DO IT’.

ITS THIS. This is what you need to confront. Its this ingrained belief you have about yourself that has been deeply implanted by your parents, teachers, coaches, relatives, friends, ex partners and society (telling you in some way that you need to be more, do better, achieve etc). This belief that you are not enough as you are- this is what keeps us stuck in fear and forces us to forgo our dreams about who we can become. This is how we stay stuck in the lower energies of ego, hiding behind our roles, identities and other people. This is why we convince ourselves that our lives are fine because we are safe in the jobs that we have, that our relationships really are fine (when their absolutely mediocre and we deserve more), this is why we allow other people to convince us that our dreams are silly and not worth the risk. Because at our core- we don’t believe in ourselves and we don’t know how to escape this belief.

But when you realign with Spirit, when you choose love over fear, when you confront all of the beliefs that you have about yourself and start changing the story, when you become your own friend instead of constantly beating yourself up with your stories of lack and insignificance, when you start BELIEVING that you YOU really do matter- thats when the magic begins.

 

Kylie West
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This Is What Happens When I Know That I Am Enough

I am enough. Its the mantra that helped me stay alive, got me through many panic attacks, major depression, anxiety and guided me through the hardest years of my life (along with a lot of help). I never believed it when I started saying it but I needed something to focus on when I was going out of my mind. Even now I say it to myself when I’m doing something that I find challenging- like walking in to a crowded room or when I see people I would prefer not to see (difference is now I believe it!).

The words sound simple enough but they are layered with meaning. I am enough- just as I am- without having to be anything more or anything less. I don’t need to hide who I am and I don’t need anything to boost me up. As I am- is more than enough. I’ve had to do some serious work to get here- its taken three years of intense healing, of finding my feet, of being thrown into a life that I could never have imagined. I’ve suffered, I’ve grieved, I’ve lost, and I’m here- exactly where I am supposed to be. Whole, happy, content, inspired and full of love.

It may sound as though this mantra and belief is just for my benefit. But its not- its much bigger than just being about me. it has changed the context of my life. You see when I say and belief ‘I AM ENOUGH’. I’m also saying to everyone else that you are also enough – just as you are. I accept myself completely and I accept you completely. Its changed everything and it has enabled me to re-connect back to Spirit and align with my higher self.

When I know that I am enough and you are enough I’m not living my life feeling seperate and disconnected. I’m not in my head thinking about how others have hurt and betrayed me, or let me down. I’m not constantly judging those around me or saying one thing out loud and thinking the opposite in my head, I’m not criticising those that I love, I’m not questioning myself and others (why hasn’t she answered my text, what have I done to upset her), I’m not wasting time and energy on worrying about what others think of me, or living in my head wondering why I don’t get as much attention as others. I’m not worrying about things that might go wrong, or upsetting others, I’m not trying to control every part of my life.

Because, while all of these things seem to matter- in the big picture- they really don’t. Getting sick gives you that perspective, its a wake up call. I think about all of the energy I used to waste on these things and when I was close to death these were the things I wondered why I had wasted so much time fretting about. They keep us ground in fear instead of living in love.

That doesn’t mean I never feel sad because of another persons actions-  I do- but now I know how to feel this and let it go, I don’t hold on to it for an excessive amount of time. I can now say when somebody upsets me ‘Okay, this is more about them then it is about me- what is their fear, what is actually happening for them?’. Because I know when you feel good about yourself and when your happy in your life you don’t treat others poorly. We waste so much time on things that are out of our control because we feel like others shouldn’t treat us in ways that aren’t great- and they shouldn’t-but they are also giving us a gift to learn more about ourselves.  When you come from the mindset of I AM ENOUGH you can let others actions wash over you without letting them define your life and your happiness. We always have a choice- to stay stuck or to move forward. I will always move forward.

Kylie West
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I AM, WHAT I AM

Accepting myself – just as I am- has changed my life. Removing the story of who I am ‘supposed’ to be and stepping away from the pre-conceived ideas of what I should be doing with my life has given me a freedom I never knew existed. I – like most of us- was moulded from a very young age. my parents, my teachers, my relatives, my community told me how I should be and what I needed to do to fit into this world. And I accepted this challenge- doing whatever I had to to make it look as though I was succeeding at life. But it left me believing that for me to gain love and acceptance I had to subscribe to a particular way of being – I had to fit in and I had to keep others happy- something that I no longer have any desire for.

Nobody I knew ever talked about ‘feeling fulfilled’, ‘ fulfilling a higher purpose’ or ‘choosing love over fear’ but I saw the evidence of what happened when you didn’t do this all around me. I saw the unhappiness through fighting, control, perfection, drinking, affairs, lies, loneliness and illness. The first time I heard about ‘fulfilling your highest potential’ was when I studied child development when I was 18. I remember being fascinated by Abraham Maslow and his concept of what a self-actualised person was. This was where the awareness of ‘something more’ came about, but I think the seed was already planted firmly within me. I remember thinking ‘wow, if you look at a person holistically and make sure all areas of their development are working together than that person has the greatest chance of fulfilling their potential- whatever that may be’. I thought about this idea a lot over the coming years but I pushed it away -never thinking that it would be something that I could do.

What I didn’t realise was the calling would become so loud and noisy. That I wouldn’t be able to escape it, nor stop thinking about it. It was always there – long before I got sick- I would lie in bed at night imagining that I was talking to people on a stage, I pictured myself writing books and helping others heal. But I also couldn’t escape the limitations of my mind- the belief that I would never be able to achieve these things that I so strongly desired. When I got sick and my life fell apart I knew that it was no coincidence. I knew deep down that I was being put on the path I needed to be on. This- to a large extent- was the reason I was able to find the strength to keep going but it was also part of the reason that I stayed sick for so long.

I knew that very early on that I wasn’t going back to my old life. It wasn’t a case of getting better and going back to my old job, my old friends, my old way of being. This disruption was forcing me into something new and it was the very thing I wanted most to escape from. It scared the living daylights out of me because I knew how important it was, and how much it would matter to the world. I didn’t want it, it was too much, too overwhelming, too big a responsibility. I wanted a nice quite life, I wanted a husband, I wanted my kids back and I wanted to live like everybody else. I stayed in denial for a really long time. But I could never escape the feeling- the calling- relentless, occupying my mind, stirring something deep within my soul that felt like home.

But here’s the truth. If I don’t do this, if I were to turn my back and run from this gift that God has given me- I will spend the rest of my life in absolute despair. I won’t be able to live with myself. This isn’t just something that I can take or leave, its not about providing for my family, feeling accomplished, or helping others – THIS IS WHO I AM. This is a calling so deep and so strong that it has dictated my entire life- and the lives of my children. I can’t come this far and back out just because I’m scared. And I am..so freaking scared. But I also know that I am enough, I know I have courage and strength because I’ve stood in the darkness for a really long time thinking of nothing other than being all that I can be.

I’ve found the peace within me, I’m happy now, I know that the people I need to love me- do- right now, just as I am. I love me just as I am. Which is why I can now go on to do what GOD has asked me to do.

 

 

Kylie West
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See Only The Face of GOD

I’ve got people in my life going through really hard things at the moment. People I care about deeply. It would be easy for me to fall deep into worry and fear. The ‘What if…’ scenarios could easily destroy me and take away my internal peace. This fear is the thing that makes me want to tell my people that are hurting what they should do. It makes me want to write lists, send them long detailed messages about how they have to get their life together because its not fair to everyone else. I want  to start ranting about how all they have to do is start liking themselves, I want to send them meditation clips, research papers on the importance of gut health, food, sleep and water. I want to send deliveries of supplements which I know will help lift their mood, and write a detailed step by step guide of what they should do, how they should think and what they should feel.

But I won’t. Because I know it won’t help. I would be just another person telling them how to live their life, reiterating that there is something wrong with them and that they are failing at life. All I would be doing is reminding them that they are letting others down, and they are letting themselves down. I won’t do this because they already know- they are already thinking these things and beating themselves up because of the mistakes they have made, because of their inability to get out of the pain. They do not need to be made to feel worse for being human.

Instead I choose LOVE. I choose to see these people close to me who I love and adore as the faces of GOD. They are my teachers, they are teaching me compassion, love and empathy. They are hurting , they are suffering and all I need to do is love them unconditionally- just as GOD does. To be there when they need me, to remind them that they are loved, to SHOW them that something better is possible- that the hard times can be the catalyst for change if they so choose. I choose to see them as the best possible version of themselves- not as a hindrance or someone who is causing me stress because they are not acting in the way that I think they should. I see them with love and light and I know that they have the ability to do what is right for them. To listen to their own intuition- not so they can do the ‘right’ thing for their family, their partner, their children BUT so they can do the right thing for themselves- so they can become who they are destined to be.

I know they can and will heal, I know this has been the wake up call that they needed. It has come at the perfect time and they are protected in every way when they choose to follow their own internal guidance system. They have the ability to lift themselves if they so choose. My only role is to remind them that I believe in them no matter what.

Kylie West
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The Giant Hole of Emptiness

For most of my life I’ve had this giant hole of emptiness within me. Its kept me stuck in the anguish of believing I didn’t really ‘fit in’ or ‘belong’ anywhere. It kept me trapped in a life that was ‘supposed’ to make me happy. I kept convincing myself that this emptiness would disappear as soon as I had the boyfriend, the high paying job, the beautiful home. This emptiness and longing for more never really disappeared- it just grew larger and I spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to convince myself that I ‘should’ be happy.

 

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We Have To Feel Our Pain Before We Can Find Freedom

Louise Hay saved my life. I have no hesitation in saying that a big part of the reason I am alive is because of her healing meditations and books. When I found these very early on in my journey I was also led to Wayne Dyer. Without a doubt these two people have changed my life. It was no mistake that I was led to their work, I like to think of it as one of the many miracles and divine interventions that have come my way.

Louise is and always will be the Queen of self love. There were days when all I did was listen to her on You Tube. Initially- while I was in the throes of heavy depression, anxiety and chronic illness- I didn’t have the energy or the mental capacity to read her books. All I could do was lie in bed – so it made sense to try to listen to something productive instead of listening to the same bull shit stories I was making up in my head (I’m a waste of space, nobody needs me, I’m useless, I can’t do anything right, why can’t anyone love me, why did this have to happen). And to be perfectly honest there were a heap of times I threw the phone across the room out of frustration. Frustration and anger because even though I knew that learning to love myself was what I needed to do- the reality of doing this while I was in the worst state of my life was far too complex. I couldn’t love myself because I hated myself to the core- it didn’t matter how many affirmations I repeated.

 

But what it did do was open something within me. I knew why I hated myself – because my life was a mess, because I was alone, because almost everyone I had ever loved had betrayed me in some way, because I had just failed at life, because no matter what I did it was never good enough, because I WAS NEVER ENOUGH. It felt like no matter how hard I tried to live a good life, how much I followed my intuition (which always meant taking the harder option over the easier option), how positive I tried to be I just couldn’t escape the turmoil and drama. Now, of course I know and can see that everything had to happen exactly as it did. But at the time it felt like I was being punished and there were moments when I questioned why I couldn’t just settle like I saw so many other people settling. I constantly asked myself ‘Why do I need more?’.

When I listened to Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer I began to understand the ‘more’ that I needed was actually normal- it is our birthright to fulfil our destiny. For the first time I knew this longing within me was not a mistake. I knew I wasn’t crazy to believe that everything had happened for a higher purpose. They spoke about fulfilling my destiny, re-aligning with who I really am (Spirit), and loving myself unconditionally. They made it sound really simple and I knew I wanted to live this life because I agreed with everything they said- BUT for me to be able to do any of this I knew I had to delve deep into myself. What I had to do was feel my pain and confront all of the things that had happened in my life and all of the negative beliefs I had about myself so that I could then finally make peace with who I was. So that I could finally learn to love myself so that I could become as God had intended me to be – LOVE.

I couldn’t pretend I was fine, and just forget everything that had happened, I couldn’t just ‘be positive’ and try to convince myself that I could love myself. This was about falling apart so that I could put myself back together in the way that was right for me and addressing the underlying beliefs I had about myself. It was about supporting myself through the pain of what had happened in my life by feeling it, by accepting that it had happened. I was no longer prepared to carry my past with me, I was no longer prepared to beat myself up for the mistakes that I had made, nor was I willing to numb myself and try to escape from my reality and the person I had become. And most of all I was no longer prepared to live my life by staying small and thinking that I could never be the person I wanted to be. I had to walk head first into the pain. It was the only way and it is the most courageous thing I have ever done.

Kylie West
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