In June of 1997, I swallowed every prescription in the medicine cabinet (there were quite a few) and chased them down with tequila – after drinking all day with a “friend.” In the wee hours of the morning, wearing only a tee shirt and my underwear, I dragged my blankie and curled up on the railroad tracks out in the woods to die.
Somehow someone found me and I was rushed to the hospital and stomach pumped. I spent two days in progressive care and then four days in the ward where they take all sharp objects and shoelaces away and have only one handle on the door – on the other side.
For years I could not recall anything about that event but awareness began leaking into my consciousness. Now I know that I was crying out to and was praying for help like I had never prayed before - desperately, and from the depths of my soul.
Fast Forward to 2008
While I did a variety of things over the years to improve my life, including 12-step recovery for over 15 years now, studying many spiritual paths and practicing holistic health, my big breakthrough came in April of 2008.
That Spring I had a kundalini experience and with it such a feeling of purification, lightness. So much burned off. It was incredibly intense and not something that I would recommend to anyone given a choice!
This occurred right around the time that my partner started backing away from our relationship. He would be gone for weeks at a time.
I kept falling deeper and deeper into every painful feeling, every painful experience. I noticed, however, that something very profound had shifted. I was no longer in the same relation to pain as I had been for so many years.
From Suffering to Surrender
Then on June 30th, my eighteen-year-old cat Tigger passed, and on July 2nd, my partner ended our relationship. Mentally, I kept making a list of all the reasons I had to feel pain, which had been my modus operandi for most of my life.
What was different with this grief was that I was not fighting any of it. I kept falling right down into the middle of it, feeling it deeply, fully, expressing and venting it by crying, primal screaming or punching pillows, whatever was needed in the moment to allow the feelings to fly freel
Suddenly there would be moments when the bottom of the emotion would drop out and I would land in a pool of peace or bliss. I remember thinking, “Wow, you mean pain can be blissful or peaceful too?” Then everything began to change.
Surrendering to what was, I landed right smack-dab in the middle of me, someplace I’d never been before - home, complete, nothing needed. All of a sudden, everything felt sacred, all of it, from the very beginning of my life, every piece a gift to help me land here…Here.
As I cried, now from a Love that was alive in me, I wanted to thank my partner and Tigger for the gift they gave me. This heart that I thought was shattered and taking on one more battle-scar was washed clean and now filled with amazing gratitude for Life, with all its dips and curves.
Today I can’t imagine missing one moment of this sweet gift of Life - so precious. My awareness expands so much at times that the ‘local self’ seems like a funny trick I am playing on myself.
An example: I went to Mount Shasta to pick up some class supplies and while driving, gradually became aware that I Am so Big. I am all of it and nothing is moving separately from the whole!
It seemed so funny to have all my attention on this “little me” driving in this little vehicle, moving around in myself and not really going anywhere at all. I felt like I should have a sign displayed on my vehicle: “Caution, driver under the influence of God and may be in an altered state.”
What an incredible sense of freedom living in this Heart space. How did I miss this all these years? So close, so far, so beautiful, so very sacred. It is amazing to be so alive in this body. What a gift.
Shellee Rae lives in Ashland, Oregon. Following many spiritual paths, she has been seeking Self-realization since 1986 and has been a Holistic Practitioner of Reiki, Massage, Nutritional guidance, and Spiritual counseling since 1999. In 2008 she had a sustainable, full-embodied Awakening and now also assists others in their awakening process. Her book, released in May, inspires hope and deeply touches the hearts of those who read it. For more: www.shelleerae.com