Holding Out for a Hero

Holding Out for a Hero…

S_A-hero-is-someone-who-has-given-his-or-her-life-to-something-bigger-than-oneself.For the first time in almost 20 years, I am single, and although I’d ideally love to be in a committed romantic relationship someday, I am truly grateful. You know why? It’s a new paradigm. I have learned, through harrowing experiences the last few very intense years of my life to be grateful for EVERYTHING. Cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment? Grateful. Flat broke? Grateful. Recovery? Grateful. Divorce? Grateful. Homeless? Grateful. Am I a crazy woman? No. I am a woman with a lot of faith, and finally and for the first time in my life, my faith comes from personal experience, not from a mentor, teacher, preacher, pastor, bible, book or billboard. It comes from getting down on my knees in inexorable pain and surrendering to a power greater than myself, the daily practice of step by step healing that has carried me through the most difficult period of my life, and from an amazing support group of people who love me for exactly who I am in this moment, not for anyone they want me to be or change into.

How can I be grateful for something seemingly bad, like having no money? Or getting cancer? The simple fact is this. These situations are opportunities to rely on the power of infinite love in the universe. Some people choose to call it God, the divine, Source, the Infinite…but no matter what we call it, we can all agree it is a pure energy of light and love that surrounds us when we can’t stand and lifts us up. It is this divine presence we must call upon in our worst moments and darkest hours. And then, somehow, if we are able to ask for help, and let go of our expectations of how things should and shouldn’t be, let go of how things are “supposed” to be, this amazing power comes in and heals us, changes us and transforms us. That is my experience, and I am not alone. Any person who truly wants this life of happiness, joy and freedom can have it if they are willing to surrender.

As a result of this recovery, healing and gratitude, a shift has begun, deep down in my bones. My self-deprecating sense of unworthiness has fallen away, shard by painful shard, and the scales over my eyes which previously blinded me from my own lovability have fallen away. For the first time in my life, I can honestly look in the mirror and say that I love myself. It isn’t a bullshit affirmation. I am not faking it until I make it. It’s raw and vulnerable and real and almost feels as if I am outside myself looking in. It comes on the heels of over 2 solid years of the most intense spiritual and personal work I have ever done. It comes as I finish 19 months of a battle with breast cancer. It comes as I have said finally without reservation, “to thine own self be true,” and refused to stand one second longer in inauthenticity. The road to my change is littered with the bodies of those who could not choose to follow me, but here I stand, naked in my truth, gulping the fresh air, knowing I am loved beyond measure by the spirit of the universe and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I am connected to you, though love, through pain, though humanness and through our journey together on this beautiful planet.

same essenceHaving said all of this, and knowing in the depth of my heart it is the truth, I also know today that I can hold out for a hero to share this all with. I’m not searching to fill a void in my soul that no human can fill. I am not looking for a soulmate, or the perfect match on my vision board to complete me Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise style. You don’t have to either. Let’s join, and hold out for a hero together.

We don’t need a disney hero, or a knight in shining armor to rescue us or to save us. We crave a true hero. A hero dedicated to something bigger than just themselves. Someone who is real and raw and vulnerable and allows their partner inside and underneath all the beautiful to the ravaged and damaged. This person isn’t afraid to be real because they don’t base their self worth on any approval or disapproval. They don’t need romantic connection or human love to be whole. They know who they are and where they are going, and they know it in the darkest depths of their imperfect human soul. When they struggle they ask for help and search deep inside for the answer, without blaming their environment, their loved ones or their circumstances. When things become disjunct, this hero can look you directly in the eye and has the courage to tell you exactly what you need to hear for growth and change, then quietly listens as your voice speaks in turn. The two of you link arms, lock down and hold on to this roller coaster called life not because you don’t want to die alone, but because it’s much more exciting to share life’s ups and downs together.

You-are-beautifulFor the first time in your life, choose to know that you are worth all that. Knowing this places you in a state of grace and acceptance. There is no loud click of the biological clock, no white picket fence you need to install and no Caribbean cruise awaiting your decision. It’s the peace and comfort of infinite love and the space to be authentic which we revel in. And whether or not some beautiful person shows up to join with us on this path today, tomorrow or never, we are joyously content holding out for a hero. The paradox is this: You needn’t even hold out; the the true hero is YOU.

Feeling Loved during Pain

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We all need love. Perhaps the times we are in pain, we need it the most. The nature of the human condition is such that we have a divine desire to give share and accept love. But sometimes, the circumstances of our life overshadow that. I have experienced a way out…

Before you complain about Meditation, let’s talk nitty gritty. Or TMZ. Seriously though, meditation has been embraced by enough celebrities! So, what more reason do you need? I mean, how weird could it be if Katy Perry, Sting, Hugh Jackman and Ellen DeGeneres all do it? 😉  Most 12 step recovery programs include meditation in their steps and daily practice of a spiritual program. I knew last year I needed to meditate. I tried to learn to meditate. I tried to quiet the endless spinning locomotive of tangled thoughts in my mind, to clear some space and listen. But I was still in resistance. I still didn’t really want to yet. What was blocking me? It’s not like I was trying to achieve nirvana or everlasting peace. I was just trying to sit quietly for a few minutes.

Perhaps NOTHING was blocking me. Maybe it wasn’t yet the right timing. Have you ever tried to force something before it was time? Honestly, that is the story of my young adult life. It’s exhausting trying to over manage and make things fit when you aren’t in the FLOW of the universe. But thank the beautiful heavens, the universe is patient. If something isn’t fitting, we can relax, breathe in and let our heart expand. We can get quiet and let the presence of the divine lead. It is truly amazing how patient the universe is to wait for the timing that would best enable our comfort and joy. It takes a lot of practice to trust that timing, but if we LET GO and ALLOW our lives to happen, they become so much richer and fuller.

My timing came at an “I Can Do It” conference, completely by surprise. I thought I was there to hear world-class speakers tell their story. The universe had decided my tree was ripe and the fruit of meditation needed to be plucked, and bitten into, until the juices ran down. I finally meditated successfully for the first time. Coached by Wayne Dyer, Panache Desai and Davidji, the stars aligned for my sun from within to finally begin to shine again.

Perhaps the most shocking gift of meditation is the paradox that follows. When I get quiet and take time to listen to ME, I become more deeply connected to YOU. We are of the same light, the brilliant light that connects us, that beautiful energy that holds you so that you know you are not alone.

For me, if I’m honest, God is not a bearded Jesus or a noble man sitting in the heavens on his white throne. Although many Christians take refuge and gain great spiritual help from the traditional teachings of the Bible, my path has proved different. The cross and the commands do not comfort me, but rather have been a source of deep shame I have had the courage to work through.

But this process of meditation is different. It connects me with a higher power that isn’t an idea, it’s an EXPERIENCE. It connects me at the soul level, at the heart level and through my entire body. It gives me a simultaneous peace and joy that I have never felt until now.

My struggles with relationships, work, fighting cancer, self identity, spirituality and the constant hope and search for a life path have all had the darkest of days. But from the other side of the tunnel, I am here to report that these excruciating moments in my life have paved the way for the road to beauty.

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Panache Desai calls it, “stripping the emotional density.” It’s painful to let go and to change. But this change and acceptance allows us to truly BE who we are called to be.

The only way I know to LIVE through these intense moments is to go within. To sob, to hold the space, to be in the moment, to be all that I am and know that I am not what I am feeling, creates a tiny crevice of light. Into this crevice seeps in the beautiful energy of the divine when I relax and surrender. I meditate; I heal; I breathe I surrender. I close my eyes and breathe deeply into a vibrational shift. I experience the vast nature that connects us all, and even in my pain I feel loved. May you find this sacred space in your own way and time, and experience the love that connects us all. Namaste.

Authenticity: Healing Remedy

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Authenticity is the most healing remedy I know. But it doesn’t start out roses and daffodils, with a sultry voice singing you lullabies as you sip the sweet nectar of the gods. Nope. It starts flailing, uncoordinated, verbose in silence and yet silently morose. It starts in the trenches as a fight. But it’s a fight that’s worth every drop of sweat and every blackened bruise.

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For me, it started with swallowing a hard pill I couldn’t choke down without help. Honesty. I needed solid mentors in my life that could be transparent with others, honest with themselves and true to every fiber of their being to lead the way. But all this shining light of the people I admire, like Jeff Brown, Panache Desai, Chely Wright, Oprah and Deepak… was just a catalyst.

I had to take action.

I had to change my life.

Hiding who I was was killing me, and living as a fugitive from my own heart was eating my insides to the point of emotional and spiritual death. I couldn’t even fathom at the time that I had painstakingly started on a journey of epic proportions. All I knew, in the depth of my aching soul, is that I would die of inauthenticity if I didn’t escape the harrowing torture. Shame and fear were killing me, well before my medical diagnosis put the exclamation point on the need for a clean slate. Doubt and obsession were close bedfellows, and my life was unmanageably messy as I sulked and shivered under the cold clamp of powerlessness.

I couldn’t be more grateful for that today.

…Today I am free.

Because I broke the chains of people pleasing and self hatred, I know you can too. Have your ever felt like your entire life was someone else’s? Like you were watching some half-slated TV Drama, and you were the fresh face star no one has heard of yet? I have. I’ve heard the canned music and narration, and I’ve said my lines brashly in the full force of my ego. How? I had to drown my heart. The only way to ignore the depth of your soul is to drown it. You can suffocate your own voice for so long you forget what it sounds like. But thank all of divinity, it never goes away.

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My name is Paula Verdicchio, and this is my first blogpost for AUTHENTIC PASSION. Why write? Because when I thought I would die of inauthenticity, the words I heard through others, verbally and on paper when I was too broken to leave the house saved me. I believe in love and life and Karma and passing on what is freely given. I am compelled to share this journey with you.

I hope it paves the path for you to share yours with me. Let’s heal together.

Namaste!
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