It is Saturday afternoon. My fingers are poised on my keyboard, and I am present to the Divine Love that flows through me and to the words flowing from that love. I am grateful for the peace that envelopes me, warms me, keeps me clear and present to this precious moment of now. There is wonder for the miracle that brought me to this moment. I would love to say that one day I just woke up. But that is not the truth.
Fifteen years ago, I found myself a single mom with three boys, no job and no idea how I was going to survive and support and raise three children. Fear and grief overwhelmed me. I became the suffering. The sense of abandonment and loneliness filled and froze me. One day, as pain washed over me, I heard a voice, louder and more persistent than the ache. It said, “I love you Cheryl. You are not alone.”
That voice, gave me the courage to pick myself up and carry on. I began to survive. I found a job, made new friends, dated men. I made a life for myself and for my boys. I thought positive thoughts; I took positive action and the ache melted into the background. Sometimes the pain would show up at the most inopportune times and then quietly slither back below the surface. When the pain lay low, I could believe that I was free, that I did not suffer. Still, I longed to hear again: “I love you Cheryl. You are not alone.”
I often wonder at the divine guidance that leads me to be at the right place at the right time. There are times when I can see it coming. That was the case when I connected and loved my partner Lucas. The day I committed to participate in an eight-day Intensive Self Inquiry Training, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, I had no idea the profound effect that day would have on the rest of my life. On the third day, during morning meditation, I experienced the most profound sense of bliss. My body reverberated with the pleasure of it. My thoughts drifted quietly, and I basked in the love. I was home. I found the source of the voice that guided me through my pain. There are many names for this place. It is called Self, Source, God, Presence. I call it love.
At the time, I believed that the journey was over. The seeking could stop. In fact the journey and the real work, had just begun. The real work is in the peeling back the layers of Cheryl. It is unfurling the coils of pain that get buried in the process of living life, it is looking in the mirror that shows up often as others and seeing in them what is in me. Some days the work is painful and difficult. Some days the love envelops me and is me. Every day requires me to access courage that I did not know I had. Blissful days are more frequent now, and my commitment to transformation unwavering. And so the work continues, and the love lives here, in me, as me.
I would like to say that one day I just woke up. The truth is I am waking up, I am the awakening, and I am forever grateful.
Cheryl Levine and her partner own and operate a wellness retreat centre. Cheryl is an aspiring writer and offers life coaching. She is committed to awakening as the one – for all.