No one knew where I was. No one seemed to care anymore.
I had nothing to live for. So I was preparing to die. But as I closed my eyes and said a final prayer aloud, something unexpected—no, miraculous—happened. I began to feel dizzy and fell to the floor, the gun dropping out of my hand. As I lay there, motionless, a blinding white light began to fill my body. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. Yet, I cannot discount or deny what happened to me in that motel room only twelve months ago. Was it an experience of the divine?
Was it a spiritual awakening? Was it simply a physical reaction to the extreme stress I was experiencing? Truthfully, I do not know. What I do know is what happened there set into motion a series of events that have transformed every element of the life I once knew. The light grew brighter and brighter. Soon, my entire body began to shake, as if I were experiencing a massive seizure. Sweat flowed out of me in torrents as my arms, legs and torso trembled on the cold and filthy floor.
This continued for what seemed like an eternity. That was it. Once these words flashed across my mind, I stopped shaking. I just lay there, in a pool of perspiration, staring up at the ceiling. I had never felt such internal peace in all my life. I was completely in my body, fully within my heart.
Life is a treasure and you are so much more than you know. After a while, I slowly rose to my feet and packed up my belongings. I no longer had an interest in taking my own life. Maybe that voice was right—maybe I did have much more within me than I was currently aware of.
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Generally, when we face hard times, we think the way we see the world reflects the way it really is. This is a false assumption. We are simply viewing the world from our hopeless frame of reference. We are seeing things through sad and hopeless eyes. The truth of the matter is that when we begin to feel better, our world will look better. And when we return to a state of joyfulness within, our outer world will reflect that feeling to us.
We receive from life not what we want but who we are. Trust that the winter of your sorrow will yield to the summer of your joy, just as the brilliant rays of the morning always follow the darkest part of the night. I no longer was a desperate case, feeling sorry for myself. I no longer saw no way out. Some sort of power had been returned to me that day. And though my life was still a mess, truth be told, I had begun to know that I possessed the power to improve it.
For some reason, I trusted that help was on the way and that happier days were coming. Little did I know how wonderful this help would be and how beautiful my life would become. But before I get into these details, you may be wondering what circumstances led my spirit to fall into such a state of decay that I could even consider taking my own life. Only a few years ago, I thought I was living the life everyone dreamed of.
I had a lovely and intelligent wife who loved me deeply.
I had three healthy and happy children who excelled at all they chose to do. I was making more money than I could have ever imagined, as the owner of a string of hip boutique hotels located at sophisticated hot spots around the globe. Movie stars, the fabulously wealthy and the glitterati in general were among my clients.
I traveled to exotic places, accumulated many toys and became fairly well known, at least in the market-space within which I worked. Then, one day, my entire world fell apart. I arrived home late after a business dinner with the vendor of a property I was interested in buying. Rachel usually left a few lights on for me but, on this night, the house was completely dark. Where was Rachel? Where were the kids? I walked inside and turned on the lights in the entrance hall and the kitchen. Only silence greeted me. It read:. I do not love you anymore. My lawyer will call you in the morning.
Nothing can prepare you for a letter like that—nothing. Although I had pretended that my marriage was working, I knew we had drifted apart.
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All the time away from home, traveling and doing business, had been time stolen away from my marriage and family, and the love we once knew was gone. I had also pretended to be a good father and, from the outside, I probably seemed that. But the wise souls of my children knew the truth.
My mind never left the business and emotionally, I was unavailable. I guess the truth is that I was an extraordinarily selfish man back then.
I believed the world revolved around me. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to be recognized. I wanted to win. And in the process, I lost what was most important. The letter and the divorce litigation that ensued ripped my heart out.
I was forced out of my own home and began to live in one of my hotels. I could see my kids only once a week and every few weekends. I began to drink heavily and gained an embarrassingly excessive amount of weight.
I had always been ruggedly handsome and very fit, but that all unraveled. Thankfully, I did not lose my business.
But, mostly, I was home alone, sitting in a dark room listening to old Billie Holiday songs and having long conversations with Jack Daniels. This was the misery that eventually led me to that seedy motel room I told you about. But you should know that this was the misery that also led to my salvation. I have discovered that pain and adversity are powerful vehicles to promote personal growth.
Nothing helps you learn, grow and evolve more quickly. Nothing offers you as big an opportunity to reclaim more of your authentic power as a person. Our human eyes view it as a negative experience.
This is pure judgment and behind this false belief is pure fear. You see, suffering occurs when something happens that we did not want. It occurs when life gives us something unexpected, some new condition. And the appearance of a new condition in our lives, whether this means an illness or the loss of a loved one or a financial setback, means we must change and leave the old, the shores we once clung to. We are asked to let go of what we expected and, for a human being, letting go can be frightening.