By Audrey Geliga
PROMPT — Who am I today?
I have been on a journey of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-rediscovery, for almost three years now. I thought that I had begun my journey, years before that, but I was wrong. Maybe I was partly there, but not enough to really make a difference in my life. What triggered this journey was a result of a medical emergency my daughter had, in October of 2018. I have been through my fair share of traumatic situations, but this was different. This was my child. Nothing is more traumatic than seeing your child suffer. Almost automatically it is as if something mentally and emotionally shifted in me. What was important and what was not, suddenly became clear to me. As if a cloud had been lifted. I started investing in positive psychology and wellness classes. I discovered Reiki. They were all life-changers for me. What followed that, was a re-discovery of my creative being. It had been buried for a while, as I was caring for two children with Special Needs. And while they still require their therapies, Mom is now at a point in her life where she has time for herself. I signed up for writing classes and the words started coming out of me, almost as if they were screaming to be heard.
I want to share with you now, an accumulation of some of the things that I discovered while I was pouring out my soul on paper, during these classes.
On this day I want to remember this…I want to remember that life is precious. That we should appreciate the beauty in everyday life. Without warning, someone you love and care about could be gone. Yes, there will be times of emptiness and sadness, but that we should not remain stuck in that feeling. I want to remember that I have a lot to be thankful for and that I’m learning each day what my purpose in life is.
I have learned to be independent. I have learned to weed out the toxic and because of this I know who cares about me and who doesn’t. I have realized that I am capable of things I didn’t think I was, and it makes me feel strong, confident, and proud. I no longer feel as if I must concede to what others think or say. I have learned to appreciate the beauty that each day brings forth and to seek out the light and to make the most of what has been given to me.
Years ago, my story might have gone a little something like this: I am a liar. I am manipulative and I cheat my way out of everything. It leaves me with a temporary high. I outsmart almost everyone I encounter. But I am forever running. I am running away from people and from situations. I don’t trust anyone, because I was so naïve for so long and I allowed others with not good intentions, to destroy me and my life and so I can’t stay in one place. I am lonely and I am alone. I feel as if I will never get any rest.
I guess I’m lying to myself now: I’m not alone. My demons are forever with me. Here’s what I want you to know NOW.
I have spent almost four decades wrapped in trauma and disappointment and self-hate. But I never gave up. I didn’t realize that about myself. How strong and determined I really was. If you knew my life story, and one day you might, you would have understood how easily it would have been for me to throw my hands up, walk away, crumple up, and disappear into darkness. Don’t be mistaken; there definitely were times of despair, but I NOW know I am a phoenix. I have risen. And I’ve done it more than once. I have not only helped myself, but I have helped others as well.
I NOW know I can stand up for myself, and to not be dismayed by others. I NOW know that I can be independent if I choose. I don’t, but it’s comforting and powerful to know that I possess that strength. It is reassuring to know for sure that there is light and if I put my mind to it, I can achieve my goals.
I want my stories to be comforting and eye-opening to people who might not understand what goes on inside a person, at any given time, or for lengths of time. I want to encourage others to ask questions and to be empathetic. The Dream for me is to inspire others through my creative work, to believe in self-worth and self-love, and to come together as a community. Sometimes it is a struggle. People are afraid to open up and be real with themselves and with others. It’s hard because you don’t know how others are going to respond. It’s difficult too, because once your raw truth is out, it’s exposed to anyone and everyone.
I don’t just have One Dream, though. A new Dream has emerged from this journey that I have been on. And that is to live at peace with myself and to make sure I stand firm and that I do not disappear. To be the best I can with my children and to teach them the things I didn’t know about myself when I was younger.
I wish to go forward with compassion, but also to know that I do not need to say, “yes” to everything, and that there is freedom and joy in that.
Beauty is all around me.
I feel at home.
I feel at peace
I feel safe.
Audrey Geliga graduated from St. John’s University. She worked in television before she decided to be a stay at home mom. She has two children, both whom have Special Needs. She spent years advocating through children’s books, a blog, public speaking workshops, and having a book club of her own. After her daughter had a medical incident, she spent the last three years on a journey of self-love and growth. Through positive psychology and Reiki, Audrey has re-discovered her creative roots and is excited about where this journey will take her. She writes from Floral Park, New York.