Guest Post by Sathya Kovac
Joseph Campbell once said, “We save the world by being alive ourselves.” As someone who used to regularly question what the point of my life was, this little quote had me somewhat perplexed. I didn’t have an easy life; in fact sometimes it felt like the world was totally shitting on me. I wondered how I would even stay alive never mind save the world as well. On my 34th birthday, the universe dropped some knowledge on me…you save your life by being yourself and that’s how we each save the world. All I can offer is my experience, to help anyone else with theirs.
My lowest point came in my twenties. I was living alone, completely broke, a very depressed unhealthy person from a family consisting of an abusive alcoholic father, a wonderful mother who died far too young, and a confused younger brother who seemed to think his main choices in life were either to become like his mother or like his father. I was hitting rock bottom while floating in my bathtub and I might not have even noticed if I had not been writing in my journal at the same time. I got real with myself, and looking back, I’d say this is the first necessary step to empowering yourself to change. It’s not always pretty but I know no other way. I admitted to myself, and my damp paged journal how I truly felt. I “hated my life”. I looked around and saw nothing good… past, present, future…nothing good. I wanted out…not out of my tub, my life. I was THAT depressed.
Since I no longer cared to continue on with life and saw nothing good from where I sat, I decided to do one last thing- sort of a “why not” kind of thing. I would remove myself from the present setting and give myself a change of scenery. I can now say that if you should ever feel like I did, give yourself two gifts- a change of view and a change of view- literally/ physically move from one space to another and emotionally/ mentally you will naturally find another space to be in as well. I took my last $30.00, a few essentials (this included a few books & my journal) and I went off to the wilderness. I had unintentionally set myself up for an empowering experience. I thought I was just running away but what I did was run right into my powerful self.
You know what’s empowering? Taking care of yourself, even if you don’t fully realize you are. I was a single city girl, convinced I was weak, defeated and unable to shift a damn thing needing shifting, and I was setting up a tent by myself for the first time, dragging a heavy picnic table to a desirable location, making a fire and basically taking care of my needs. I sat down in the sun, ate a granola bar and sipped some water (again taking care of my needs).
I was thinking how alone I was in the world, when suddenly the biggest most fearless squirrel I had ever seen was threatening to jump on me and bite me (or so I thought). This massive mutant like creature knew no boundaries, he was all up in my space, closer than any wild animal had ever been to me! I climbed up on the picnic table in fear and something odd happened…survival instincts kicked in. Without even realizing it, I was protecting myself.
My weird day soon turned into night and those survival instincts I didn’t know I had showed themselves again and again. Inside my little tent, under my -30 weather capable sleeping bag, something was happening to me, and the first stage of it was fear. I have learned that fear can be useful, it keeps us sharp, it is not something to ignore, it deserves our attention and we can choose our response. We can work with fear or we can let it work us. In my opinion, just noticing it is a useful thing to do. My little change of scenery led me to the worst storm I’ve ever been in. Flashes of lightening, heart rattling thunder, buckets of rain pounding on my thin tent surround, creeping wetness into my space and the worst, disgusting jumping frogs climbing the sides of my shelter, showing their slippery shadows and freaking me right out. I heard rustling all around, I heard things blowing and falling, I pictured a bear wandering near by, my tent was shaking and falling down on one side…I was frozen with fear and then it happened…my own call of nature…I had to pee. What would happen to me if I tried to go out there right now?! All sorts of imaginings. You know what else? I was worried about myself and fearful for my life. Pretty funny when you think of how I felt about myself and my life back in the bathtub no?
My bladder and my need for relief led me right out into the storm from hell. Soaked from top to bottom and shaking from cold and nervous energy I acted first and thought later. I was going for a primitive pee as fast as possible and then getting my ass back in that stupid dilapidated tent. I no longer cared what anyone else would think if they saw, hell I was even ok with the possibility of getting some pee on my feet if need be, as long as those fucking frogs didn’t touch me! If I made it back in the tent safely, I would be grateful. I squatted and I peed in MY campsite that I paid for, a pee on MY terms. The pee of liberation. What a relief! Back in the tent I was a new woman having a little brush with empowerment. I survived the storm. *insert life soundtrack with the song ‘Sistas are Doin it for Themselves’*
Before heading back to civilization I watched the sunrise, and I swear it was like seeing the world in a completely different light. I think that’s a crucial ingredient for empowerment. A willingness to view the world differently and viewing your place in it differently is required. ‘The Desiderata’ says it perfectly, “you are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or stars; you have a right to be here.” Is that not empowering? Let that be your newly adopted mantra absorbed at a cellular level and see how you feel!
My mother used to say “you are your own worst enemy” and she was right! We are our worst critics, we’re the ones that hurt ourselves the most and we can also be an ally to ourselves. How we treat ourselves, accept or reject ourselves, view ourselves, that is what affects how we interact with the world and how we harm or heal our lives. Our beliefs directly affect our lives, if we are willing to pay attention to them and notice which are uplifting and which don’t serve us well, we can open that much more to the possibility of empowerment.
For me, empowerment came in the most unexpected way and following the worst time of my life. I might have missed it if I wasn’t paying attention to be honest. All I did was allow myself to admit how I really felt, left where I felt most unhappy, witnessed my fears, and listened to my inner voice which was attempting to protect me. From there, I accepted who I was in the moment, gave permission to do what I needed to do, embraced the feeling of empowerment whenever it came, and slept through a storm to wake up to a new day. Frankly, it takes some courage to go from point A to point B and you deserve to take credit for every little act of courage you ever make; when you let yourself do that, you are aligning yourself with the essence of empowerment and you are literally saving your own life by being yourself.
I am a graduate of the University of Winnipeg and a curious student of life, an aspiring writer with an interest in life coaching,wisdom seeking/ wisdom broadcasting.
I can be described as a highly sensitive introvert, with extrovert tendencies with respect to communication.
I am a volunteer crisis counselor, a feminist and local peace activist , a Reiki master who enjoys book nerdery, photography, sunshine and natural living/ natural healing.
I like to think of myself as a creative thinker with an inner voice that speaks Bohemian and a heart that loves self development.
My name translates as ‘Truth Flowing' and that about sums me up (like it or not).
Womyns Wisdom group @https://www.facebook.com/