My way of being in the world used to be living from behind a façade. I knew I was a passionate person and that I had a lively personality, but I wasn’t able to live out these qualities in the way I longed to.
I was afraid of rejection. I believed that if people knew who I really was, they wouldn’t like me. In order to feel safe, I decided in my early twenties to be nice to everyone at all times. Surely then, I thought, someone would like me. Yet, all the while, I longed to be myself.
For many years, I practiced self-reflection in the hope of finding the real me. I tried meditation, and writing affirmations. I even wrote notes to God asking Him to help me, but nothing seemed to help. I couldn’t find the door I was looking for.
When my marriage broke down in 1999, the door finally opened. In ‘Return to My Soul: My Journey from Darkness into the Light’, I describe what happened in detail, but very briefly, a series of amazing events caused the psychological foundation I stood on to crack open. The cracks were so wide that I fell inside my body in the same way that someone might fall down a hole in the ground. The inside of me was not a nice place to be: it was dark, and intensly painful. I believed I was lost forever.
Then, in 2002, something extraordinary happened. I was in Australia, visiting my sick father. A couple of days before I returned to Norway, where I live, I went into the centre of Melbourne to do some last minute shopping. While there, I stopped to have lunch at my favourite café: a small French café that makes delicious toast and coffee.
While eating lunch, my body was suddenly filled from head to toe with a beautiful, warm sensation. I felt light and free. I had never eperienced anything like it before: I didn’t know what it was, or where it came from. I turned my head and looked towards the interior of the café. There, in the middle of the room, halfway between the floor and the ceiling, I saw a black shadow hanging in thin air. The shadow was curved; it was shaped like the upper part of a car tyre. Intuitively, I knew that the black shadow represented the bad person I believed myself to be.
I left the café and walked along the main street. The beautiful sensation remained. I felt airy, as though I had no substance at all. All thoughts and emotions were gone. My body had ceased to exist. I was pure awareness.
I took the tram home to my brother’s place, where I was staying at the time. He and his wife were having a party that night. I went upstairs to shower and change into something nice, but prior to getting into the shower, I knelt down by my bed and said a prayer of thanks for the beautiful experience of pure awareness.
By the time I had finished the prayer, pure awareness had gone. When I stepped into the shower and stood under the water, it came back. As soon as I began to think, pure awareness disappeared again. When I stopped thinking, it returned.
In the shower that evening, I moved back and forth between a state of pure awareness and thinking as if I were turning a light switch off and on. From this, I understood that pure awareness and thinking are two separate things. I was either in the one, or the other.
Back in Norway, I continued to move back and forth between pure awareness and thinking in the same way I had in Australia. It was then I realised that something fundmental had happened, and that what had happened was permanent. I understood too that I would continue to move back and forth between the world of spirit and the world of the mind.
Shortly after returning to Norway, something new came into my life. It was light. I experienced light in different ways. The most profound of these experiences occurred early one evening. Suddenly, I became aware that I was at the botton of myself in a warm, golden light that radiated out around me. My mind and body had vanished. I had no idea where thoughts were to be found, or in which direction I should go in order to think. I was soul. I was pure soul. It was so beautiful that I wished I could stay there forever.
Later that evening, thoughts came towards me from outside where I was as soul. The thoughts were in the form of arrows, laden with fear. I felt an enormous pull towards the fear-laden thoughts. I knew that if I followed them I would move away from the beauty and peace of my soul, and that it would not be good. I knew too that I had a choice between remaining where I was, as soul, or moving into fear. I tried to resist the pull, but it was too strong. Sorrow overtook me as I moved away from my soul.
That day, I learnt that thoughts, and fear, exist outside the soul, and as such, they can not affect the soul. I also learnt that nothing in the physical world can affect the soul. I knew that, as soul, I would always be safe.
I was left with a choice between continuing to live from my mind, which is fear-based, and living from my soul where fear does not exist. I chose my soul, and have spent the last fourteen years learning how to live from my soul in everyday life. In this book, I want to show you how you can live from your soul in everyday life, too.
From the upcoming book, ‘The Art of Enlightenment’. Follow the blog for more excerpts from the book.
All rights reserved © 2017 Gabrielle Bergan