One day I woke up.

On this day, I realized that I had been asleep for a very long time – years, actually. Somewhere in my late teens, I decided that life was too scary and difficult to handle, and so I flipped my life switch to auto pilot and crawled back into bed.

Every once in awhile, I would groggily awaken, but often it was just for brief moments. Every once in awhile, my spirit would get into the driver’s seat and shake me until I woke up.

And these were beautiful moments. But then life would become painful again, and I would realize that it was hard to stay awake when there was so much pain and suffering and heartache and daily traumas. I felt that it was just easier to numb out – to hide – to go back into my shell of a life and live it from that place of pseudo comfort. Was I happy? Not particularly, but I felt safe.

No one ever told me that I should hide. No one ever told me that numbing out to life was preferable to living it fully. No one ever said that I wasn’t worthy – that my thoughts weren’t worth sharing with the world. No one ever tried to squash my dreams. No one ever put me down or made me feel less than. This decision to hide from life was not a conscious one. This decision was based purely on my being a sensitive soul and feeling overwhelmed with life and not knowing what else to do but shut down.

I made an unconscious choice early on in my life. When things got scary, I cowered away from them. When an opportunity came my way and I was too afraid to go for it, too afraid to look silly, too afraid to stand on my own and express who I truly was, too afraid of what others would think of me, too afraid… I covered up my light with a dark veil. And eventually, there were so many veils that all I could see was darkness. My inner spark shut off. I felt like I was dying inside, but I wasn’t sure how to stop myself from continuing to spiral downwards.

I needed help. I needed to wake up. And thankfully, on a magical day just over a year ago, that’s exactly what happened. I experienced a beautiful awakening. In one amazing moment, I saw everything so clearly:

I realized that I didn’t have to live this way.
I remembered that I had a choice.
I remembered that I wasn’t my thoughts or my body.
I remembered that I was a soul who happened to be in this particular human body at this particular moment.
I remembered that I was made of love and was connected to every single person in the world.
I remembered that we were all part of this beautiful divine energy that flows through us freely and effortlessly.
I remembered that I could access this energy at any given time. But in order to do so, I had to be awake.

Wow. This truly was life changing for me. I didn’t have to hide anymore. I knew in that moment that I could share my love with others and inspire others without shying away from it. I knew that I could offer my gifts to the world without fearing that they wouldn’t be received in the same spirit that they were offered. I knew that if I was myself in everything that I did, my light would shine through. I knew that if I continued to say yes to life, that the universe would continue to support me. I knew that I had to give it a try.

Because I made this conscious choice to no longer hide from life, my entire world has opened up. I am living on purpose instead of crawling my way from one experience to another. I am soaring and flying and light and free instead of sleeping and numbing myself and hiding and cowering. And that doesn’t mean that every moment is perfect and that I never experience sadness or pain. What it means is that I’m living again. I’m experiencing these emotions rather than hiding from them. It means that I’m showing up for myself and for the world. It means that I’m in it rather than sleeping through it.

We all have a light that burns so brightly inside of us.
We all have this inner flame that feeds us.

And yet, so many of us forget that we are so powerful – it’s so easy to do when our lives can become hard and overwhelming. We forget that our light alone has the power to light up our entire world. We allow our light to dim.

Life can be so beautiful and wonderful, but it can also be sad and scary. And sometimes, we let the sad, scary parts take over the beautiful, wonderful parts. And each time we do this, we dim our light and find ourselves removed from our soul – our inner wisdom – our constant flame that connects us to all of life. Whether it’s saying yes when we really wanted to say no, saying no when we really wanted to say yes, or not saying anything at all when inside we were screaming at ourselves to take action, in that moment we are choosing to hide from life. We are choosing to stay asleep. But in that moment, we can also choose to wake up and say yes to life.

We have the choice. I know which one I am choosing, and I hope you will, too.

We’re so worth it!

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her amazing husband, Dan Teck.