Metaphysical teachers have told us through the ages that thoughts are things–not airy, wispy, inconsequential passersby inside our minds. Many of us on a conscious path understand this principle but few of us really ‘get it’ until the results manifest. How our negative thought patterns manifest over time is as individual as each of us. Failure might manifest for one person and painful relationships for another.
Twenty and thirty years ago, I let other people’s thoughts and words become my own, and I unknowingly fell down a rabbit hole of self-destruction, even though I did not see it happening at the time. Self-sabotage by thought is very insidious; outside influences find their way into our brains and become demons that patiently chisel away at our wellbeing, confidence, and self-image until very little is left. One day we wake up in a wasteland and wonder how we got there, unaware that we have invested years, sometimes decades, into abusing ourselves on the mental and emotional plane.
In my case, outwardly, logically, I should never have become ill. After all, I was raised in an organic, holistic home–and despite a very complicated, compromising premature birth under daunting circumstances–was relatively healthy compared to what could have resulted from my precarious beginning. I never ate junk, never drank, never took drugs, meditated, and lived what others would consider a very clean life, so collapsing into a sick bed with chronic illness at age 24 was not something I could have foreseen. Days became weeks. Weeks became years. And years became decades. I could not hold a nine to five job, maintain friendships or have an active social life, and on most days, getting up to shower or brush my teeth would require an inner dialogue that went something like this, “God, give me the strength to get up or let me die.” Through sheer will and an insatiable thirst for beauty and life, I grabbed onto my talents like life preservers with the hope of having a way to make a living the only way I could. When that failed, my inner dialogue shifted to a whole new level of ugly. And the sicker I became, the uglier my thoughts became on an almost unconscious level.
In my youth, I went through my mother’s near-terminal breast cancer, unresolved severe bullying in high school, and endured a 7-year-long-war with an addicted father, and despite my coming close to checking out of life, I had stuck it out, sometimes by the skin of my teeth. Despite all, and even despite my illness, I was a person who chose joy and still believed that life could turn around. But on the unseen level, deep inside my cellular consciousness, demons worked 24/7 to destroy me, and I was more than willing to help them. Nope, I didn’t get drunk, become a drug addict, or become a bitter human being–instead, I took the softer road to self-destruction. I hated myself into exactly what I thought about myself, exactly who others told me I was. It was a silent mantra in the backdrop of my thoughts, even in sleep, a self-inflicted brainwashing. In my dedication to not let my abusers down, I became exactly how they felt themselves and projected onto me: worthless.
I was a positive person, plucking beauty from my days, no matter how bad they were. I laughed easily and enjoyed life’s small and invaluable jewels. I nourished my spiritual life daily. But none of that could make up for the inner negativity; it had taken years, but my constant thought patterns of self-hatred finally manifested for all to see…. I was chronically ill, broke, friendless, and bladder incontinent as an old woman.
Two years ago, my life and consciousness changed, and with an unprecedented spiritual awakening came tools to heal myself. The core was finding the energetic root of my illness, roots that went back to early childhood, long and deep. Some of the roots were generational, others cultivated by society, and others still, were from my own planting. When I dug down past the sometimes-unbearable pain, I found a poisoned garden of thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk. Ripping them up took courage to see the dark and thorned underbrush beneath a shimmering garden that offered so much beauty to the casual onlooker. Ripping them up took gentle patience and enough self-love to withstand the bad days of fully feeling everything I had buried and avoided in the name of emotional survival. Sometimes I would lie on my studio floor and sob for an hour or more, unable to move. And a lot of that pain was regret, remorse for becoming my own abuser all those years and decades. I vowed to love my body, no matter what, no matter how sick. I took all the cosmic love I could grab onto and planted it in place of all those dark roots I had pulled up.
And then a beautiful, unexpected, miraculous thing happened: my pain-wracked muscles and joints stopped aching and tearing from the slightest move. My unmerciful fatigue lifted, a little more each day. My sometimes-bleeding, severe eczema healed up almost overnight. My anxiety and nocturnal panic attacks with accompanying tremors and nausea stopped. Fifteen pounds of excess water weight disappeared. Over the course of months, I no longer felt winded just from getting off a chair and started an exercise program. Like a kid, I joyfully ran a short distance for the first time in 20 years. And I looked into the mirror in awe when I noticed the transformation happening before my eyes.
Two years later, I am in a different body and a different psyche. I have been reborn, and it has been an energetic healing, cell by cell. The only way to heal, at least for me, has been knowing the cause, and I am now my own security guard, standing at the gate of my thoughts, sometimes minute to minute, if need be. Thoughts surely are things, invisible clay that we mold hour to hour.
This past week, due to a lot of stress on the work front, I fell back into some very old patterns, and I allowed the demons to get past the gate. I acknowledged all the emotions, even allowed myself a 3-hour nap that felt like settling into the quicksand of futility. Then I took the tools I’ve acquired the past 2 years and tended to my thought patterns. I was quickly back on track, but something incredible and disturbing happened during a session of energy work a few days later: with my second sight, I tapped into my immediate environment in my art studio that doubles as my everyday workspace and saw a plethora of energetic patterns. Some were flowing arcs of lovely colors and others were spiky, disjointed, dark shapes. One in particular grabbed my attention and it was above my computer desk. It was about 2 and a half feet across, a color so dark that it appeared black, yet it pulsed with low-level light. It was also sharp-edged, as if it had needles pointing outward and inward. “This is the accumulated energy of your week,” my other self said, “Always remember that we are all architects of energy and it all begins with the right blueprints.”
Architects of energy. Creators. Sculptors of consciousness. Manifesters. Yes, I remember. And I will continue to remember as I continue on this journey of life. May we all remember that our thoughts today, every hour, become the blueprints of tomorrow. What do you want to build? What type of consciousness, state of health, and inner dwelling do you think you deserve? Be an architect for royalty. May your thoughts demand that tomorrow’s dwelling be made of the finest materials with jewel-encrusted floors. Build this palace every day with your self-talk and be aware of where you put your foundation; put it in a neighborhood where you will thrive; surround yourself with people who will help you build. Create a kingdom, beautiful reader. No one else can do it for you. You have the tools.
Marlaina Donato is a freelance staff writer for Natural Awakenings magazine and the author of several books including Goddess Consciousness, Spiritual Famine in the Age of Plenty, and Multidimensional Aromatherapy. She is also a visionary painter and composer. Visit her website at: www.autumnembersmusic.com