A letter to my 21 year old self from the person that I am today


Life has not been easy on you so far. Well I am not going to lie to you. I know that you wouldn’t respect me or trust me if I was to lie. And I know that you can handle it because you are strong and brave at heart. You have already proven that so far. So here is the truth…

Your journey is going to be one of heartbreak and struggle. You will want to give up more times than you can count. You will beg for death. Beg for transformation. For another chance. Everything you hold dear to you will be lost and you will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes. You will rebuild your life upon a foundation that you believe to be solid and secure. Only to be torn down once more. To lose once more. Even more than you did before. You will rage at the injustice of the world. Of the injustice of life. You will wonder why you chose it. Why you chose this life. Why you chose to be here. You will tell yourself that life is futile. You will wonder what is the purpose of it all. You will ask yourself what is the point of going on if there is nothing left to hold on to.



You will glimpse the precipice of this world of darkness. You will stand at the brink and fear that you are going to fall in. To be swept away on this undertow of hate. You will fear that what lies in your heart is something less than love. But you will not be swept under. Love will win out. It will not be a glorious or triumphant win but it will be remarkable. If only to you. You will be betrayed by those you love most. By those that claim to love you.

In understanding this you will comprehend the meaning of unconditional love. They will attempt to change you. Modify you. Bend you to their will. When they see that they cannot change you then they will hurt you. Wishing you were gone. Eventually abandoning you, when they see that you displease them and you will not or cannot change. Cutting you with their words and their frustrations. Imposing their needs and wishes upon you so strongly that it drives you to the very edge of madness and death. You will be left with the alternative of changing yourself to suit them or being alone. You will ponder over this decision for years. Often times you will want to end your life rather than facing the certainty that you must make this choice. But make it you must and so common sense will win out and you shall make it.



You will choose to be alone. Completely alone. Alone rather than suppress your own needs and wants for those who do not hold your best interests in their hearts. It will be a painful choice. But the alternative is unthinkable. The alternative is not a life. Because to choose to live according to someone else’s rules is to not be free and to not love yourself. To live according to someone else’s rules is to be a puppet in their control. A puppet to manipulate and dominate. In their heart of hearts they may believe to hold your best interests in their minds but that is simply another form of control from a more righteous standpoint. In not understanding this you will seek to do the same. You will attempt to fight this battle for years. In doing so you will embody that which you stand and argue against. You will match that vibration. You will hurt those that have hurt you in the same way that they have hurt you. You will see the irony and frustration of these situations that are a mirror to you. In seeing this you will understand that it is not your fight.

Your fight is to stand for Love and everything that it represents. You will see that to change or modify others to suit your own will is not love. And so you will surrender to that. Surrender to the process. To the grief and the despair. You will sink into it so deeply that it will become your dearest friend. As it is all that you have ever known to be true. And to be a friend means to be true, honest and real. Therefore, it will seem that the pain is your friend as it is the only thing in your life that does not lie to you.



You will surrender to the pain and transform it into something beautiful. You will surrender to life and have moments of ecstasy and joy. You will surrender to Love and see that it is the only thing that is worth living for. Slowly you will begin to open up the door of your Heart again. You are here for a purpose. Even if you do not always comprehend what that purpose is. Your struggles are not in vain. You will begin to see that you are capable of achieving great things because you have stood against the darkness and won. Through this you will understand the power of Love. Because it was Love that won. It was Love that won out against seemingly impossible odds.

In comprehending this you will begin to see the necessity of Unity. Because how much more can we achieve if we stand United in Love. It is not futile. It is not in vain. It is something worth fighting for. It is a purpose that is greater than you and you cannot hope to achieve it alone. But all is not lost. There are others like you. There are those that wish to stand for Love. They too will come to understand in time that fighting the darkness is not the way. Because in doing so we only push ourselves further away from that which is Love.



To truly stand for Love means that you must not oppose the darkness. We must stay soft. Gentle. Centered in our hearts. As fierce defenders of Love. Although to stand for Love does not mean that you must fight to push away another because there is more power available to you in remaining open.

There is so much to live for!

Do not give in my Love.

Dearest one.

Precious to my Heart.

You are more Loved than you know.

More whole and complete than you are able to see.

And much more special than you believe.

There is Greatness within you.

Do not give up Hope.

Do not stop believing in the Hope of a more beautiful world and a glorious Future.

It is waiting for you.

But it will not be easy.

Love from,

Your future self xx

Mental Health and Suicide: How I committed to healing and a life based on self love

Recently I reached a point in my life where I experienced real feelings of depression and wanting to end my life in a way that I had never experienced before. For that reason I wanted to share my experience of mental health and suicide, what made me feel that way, how I managed to heal myself and start to feel good again. I wanted to do this in the hope that it might be beneficial to others who might feel the same way or be experiencing similar things.

The thing that makes you the most uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth

Last summer I was experiencing family problems that were triggering such deep trauma within me that I decided the most self-loving thing that I could do for myself was to part ways with my family in order to focus on my healing journey. One of the ancestral wounds in my family is the trauma of not being heard and for me this is something that I have carried. It is also a trauma that my mother carries from her own childhood that I have inherited from her and I believe it is also related to self-esteem and worthiness. The feeling of not being heard, not being seen, not having my emotions or thoughts valued hurt me to such a degree that I knew that I had to separate myself from my family in order to heal it. I knew this because I was constantly attracting experiences from them that were re-traumatising these wounds for me, making me feel bad about myself and more than anything emotionally invalidating. These wounds for me were like weeds that had grown and needed to be uprooted in order to make way for new growth. I needed to plant new seeds and in order to do that I had to find a fresh piece of soil.

Also, I had grown so much on my spiritual and personal journey that when ever I was around my family I felt this growing sense of my own inauthenticy like a pressure cooker about to explode. I felt like I was standing on one side of a great precipice, with them on the other. Every step I took towards understanding myself better as a person, developing my spiritual gifts and living within my own personal truth was making the divide even greater and taking me farther away from them. Being around them had started to feel like living within a cage with no more room to grow. I was afraid to be authentic, to open up my heart and share the person that I had become in case they laughed at me or rejected me for it. I had changed so much as a person that they didn’t know me anymore and being forced to play the role within my family that I had always played felt so stifling I couldn’t breathe. So when things came to a head during the summer and I was forced to part ways with my family I wasn’t surprised as I was almost expecting it. I had already sensed in the energy within and around me that something drastic had to happen in order for me to move forward on my healing journey.

If you love someone set them free

A few months after making this decision I started to experience problems in my romantic relationship as well. My partner began to unconsciously trigger me in ways that were again making me re-experience the same trauma that I had experienced with my family and again I felt extremely emotionally invalidated. As a result of this I began to act out and behave irrationally. In a similar sense I was acting in a way that was triggering for him to the same degree but I was likewise oblivious that what I was doing was causing harm. For the most part it was subconscious programming playing itself out only the programming was triggering childhood trauma for both of us. The whole experience at the time was so confusing because I didn’t know what was happening. All I knew was that I was again thrown into the same deeply painful place of abandonment, loneliness and isolation. Not long after this we broke up. The grief over loosing my relationship triggered the grief over loosing my family that I had suppressed.

A place with no hope

It was difficult not to place blame and so I spent some time allowing myself to feel angry at everyone. However, after a while I realized that I was the only person that I was hurting with my anger. I saw that anger and blame had become a defense mechanism for me, a way of avoiding the intense pain that I felt when triggered by someone else’s behavior. Anger was an emotion that I had used to cover my feelings of trauma and hurt from being emotionally invalidated as a child. As a child I was born empathic and extremely sensitive to the feelings and energy of others around me. Not understanding this I took responsibility for the feelings of others, believing that their emotions were my own, as I would feel the energy of them in my physical body. I would also blame myself if someone around me was upset, believing that it must be my fault because why else would I feel so bad. Only what I didn’t realize was that I was sensing their hurt feelings not mine.

The grief that I felt during this time was so intense that I had a strong feeling of wanting to end my life in a way that I had never felt before. I began to research ways to kill myself in order to come up with a plan that would be as easy, quick and painless as possible. The main reason that I felt this way was because I felt extremely emotionally invalidated by so many of the people in my life that I loved. I wanted those people to love me back, so desperately, but I wanted them to love me for who I was, even if that was bad. By being told to behave in a certain way or to not have negative emotions that were a part of who I was, it felt like their love was conditional. It felt like they were saying to me “We will love you for who you are but only if it fits in with the parameters that we define as being love”. What’s more I felt like I was the only person that could see this truth and everyone else was lying to my face. Telling me that what I could clearly see and feel must be something other than what it was. All because they themselves did not have the courage to see the truth.

If you want to be loved play pretend

I felt that I would never be able to create unconditional love in my life, in the sense of any kind of real and lasting romantic relationship or friendship, and that I could never be my authentic self and have love and connection. I saw the rest of my life stretched out before me under the false facade of pretending to be the kind of person that other people would love in order to create the connection that I needed. “If you can’t beat them, join them Jacqueline!” Only being born sensitive and empathic I was never really able to do this, at least not well. I would watch other people behaving this way and wonder why, as being able to read energy I would tap in to the feeling of the person they were underneath. I would sense the fear, sensitivity or anger that they were trying to hide as easily as I could see them. I would know it wasn’t real as I would sense their authentic feelings. I could never be fooled or tricked in that sense.

I felt that the only way to get unconditional love in my life was to play pretend and to behave in the baffling and confusing way that everyone else did. To pretend to act and be what ever people wanted me to be in the same sense that I had tried and failed to do with my family most of my life. Never really being loved for who I am, putting on the face that others wanted to see, hiding the “ugly” aspects of my personality. I saw all of this and I couldn’t bear to live in it any longer. However, I also couldn’t see how I could act differently as my experience from my family and relationship had taught me that to display certain negative personality traits meant rejection and abandonment.

The enemy within your own skin

I felt so powerless over the defective behavioral patterns in my family. I felt powerless to heal them or fix them. What’s more I saw that I was the product of these aspects and as such carried them within me. The idea of admitting this and taking responsibility made me feel worse and it made me feel like there was no escape. As the enemy was not just outside of myself, it was within. I was carrying these aspects that I hated so much inside of myself, within my very skin. No matter how far I ran I could never escape myself and the universe would keep confronting me with situations and people that reflected these aspects to me over and over again. It seemed that my only option was to take full responsibility for my own emotions and to commit to healing myself 100%. I had to let go of any kind of blaming or victim mentality and start setting boundaries with myself. By seeing that the aspects of other people that I didn’t like were reflections of me, I was able to do this.

Once I recognized and fully accepted that the enemy was within me, not outside, I actually began to feel a lot safer around people I didn’t like. As by learning to take whom ever I was confronted with as myself I was able to learn to love it. I wasn’t powerless over their behavior as I had the ability to heal myself and by doing so, heal the aspect of me that was reflected in them. By dropping blame I was able to take responsibility for loving and parenting these “negative” aspects within me that I had previously rejected. In doing so I was able to have a lot more compassion for people.

I began to see how much these internalized shadow aspects impacted my life and actions and how much control that they had over me. I was able to identify that there was an aspect of my subconscious that was extremely judgmental and frightened of my own emotional nature, of both “positive” and “negative” aspects. This aspect of my subconscious mind was reflected to me in others who would shame me for having “negative” emotions such as anger or jealousy. This internalized aspect was like a parent within my own head, censoring me for having any kind of extreme emotion. Therefore, I was in fact shaming myself first for the feeling and then, by the law of attraction, it was being reflected in my reality. In the case of positive emotions such as love it was reflected back to me through another persons fear of intimacy or connection, which was of course my own fear of intimacy or connection. Through becoming more aware of this I learned that it was my responsibility to parent these defective aspects and to show them love and attention because if I didn’t then they would take control over my life.

Giving myself permission to die

Another powerful action that helped me during this time was to validate my suicidal thoughts and to give myself permission to die. Once I realized I had an internalized aspect of me that was judging all of my reactions and emotions as being bad and wrong, I saw that this aspect was also judging me for feeling suicidal. This internalized censorship aspect saw my emotions as being a weakness, something to make me a target for bullies, and was trying to protect me by telling me not to feel. Being born an empath, my sensitivity had lead to me getting hurt by others and therefore my feelings, spiritual gifts and authentic self were all judged to be unsafe by this aspect. Equally, it also saw me as being weak for feeling suicidal. Therefore, I understood through this that my only option was to do the opposite and completely validate and support my feelings of wanting to die.

Once I gave myself permission to die and completely validated my feelings I did not feel instantly better but I felt a lot safer within myself. One of the main reasons why I felt safer was that I felt that I had regained a sense of control over my life. Even if the only control that I had was to choose whether to live or die, I still had a choice. I was not completely powerless. By realizing that I had this small choice, this opened up a door in my mind that made me realize that I had another choice and another choice and another choice. It may still have seemed impossible to me to create the life that I wanted, but impossible did not mean that I couldn’t try. After all, what did I have to lose? I could always decide to kill myself again if I failed at trying to achieve the impossible.

Another thing that I realized through giving myself permission to die was what was really important to me in life. If you have never experienced suicidal thoughts before then you can understand this by asking yourself the question, “If I was diagnosed with a terminal illness tomorrow, what would my life look like? What would I choose to do with the time I had left on the planet?” I could identify all the people and situations in my life that were a waste of my time and energy and I could also identify the people and situations in my life that made me light up and brought me joy. I saw that if I followed the things that made me happy and let go of the things that caused me undue stress then I could begin to create a life worth living.

The birth of a new identity

I even changed my name legally to symbolize my commitment to loving myself and being authentic. I changed my last name to Swan which to me is the symbol of both of these things. As an animal totem it is the symbol of unconditional love and through the story of “The Ugly Duckling” by “Hans Christian Andersen” it is the symbol of real authenticity in the face of adversity. The ugly duckling did not become the swan, he was always a swan, he just had to recognize and accept himself for who he truly was and stop trying to conform to what other people wanted him to be. The swan is also the symbol of serenity as it appears to swim beautifully and gracefully across the surface but what you cannot see is that underneath the water its legs are working hard to keep it moving forward. The swan is also one of the symbols of my soul family, the soul stream that I choose to incarnate with, who share a common life purpose of love and unity.

I hope that by writing and sharing my experiences I have helped someone and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you. Alternatively you can also email me at the address provided below. Thank you!

Serenity Swan


How to Heal Emotionally: Going on an “Emotion Hunt”

 Emotions…We can’t go over them. We can’t go under them. Oh no! We’ve got to go through them


Ever heard of the children’s story “we’re going on a bear hunt?” Well I think someone should re-write this book for both children and adults but make it about emotions because this is exactly how to process them: “uh-oh! Anger. Deep dark anger. We can’t go over it! We can’t go under it! Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” Emotions are exactly like that. In order to figure out how to heal emotionally, you have to move through them. If you don’t then you will just end up feeling more lost as suppressing any emotion that makes us feel bad will cause it to grow.

Say for example, you need a filling and you avoid going to the dentist because you are afraid of the pain that will be involved in fixing it. What will happen? The hole will get larger, it will become more painful and it may turn into an abscess. The same thing happens if you cut your leg and need stitches but don’t go the hospital; the wound is likely to get infected, you will develop gangrene and the suffering will continue to get worse. Sooner or later you are going to have to deal with that pain. Otherwise, you will lose your leg! Or your tooth! It is exactly the same with emotional wounds.

Be brave and commit to healing your emotional wounds

The emotional wounds that we encounter in childhood, if not properly healed, will continue to crop up in our lives in one form or another. The universe, which works on the basis of the law of attraction, will continue to match us up with situations that will trigger our trauma in order to remind us that the wounds are still there and require healing.

If we continue to ignore these situations by placing the blame on others and deflecting the attention away from ourselves and our healing then eventually we will become so crippled under the weight of our emotional wounds that we will be at a standstill and unable to move forward.

In this type of healing crisis there is no other choice but to face our own pain and allow the light of love to heal our wounds, as avoidance of our emotions has made it physically impossible to ignore the cries of our heart any longer. We must commit to love like our life depends on it. Our life does depend on it!

Emotional pain must be acknowledged by yourself and others in order to be healed

So now that we have committed to loving ourselves one hundred percent, how do we begin to heal these wounds? How to heal emotionally? Well the first step begins with giving them our attention and presence. We must allow the emotional pain to be felt, seen, heard and acknowledged first and foremost by ourselves secondly by others that we trust. By acknowledging our pain and the pain of others we will begin our healing journey.

How you feel is how you feel. It might be right. It might be wrong. It might be rainbow colored with pink stripes and polka dots! Who really cares what it looks like? It is your truth! It looks like you! You may be red in the face with smoke coming out of your ears, green with envy or tear streaked and mucus stained but regardless of what you look like, the moment that you stand within your own authenticity regardless of the cost there will be no one else on earth who is that beautiful. I guarantee it.

Acknowledge it. Own it. If you are sad be sad. If you are angry be angry. You are privileged to have feelings even if they are negative. That is okay. It means that you are a human being. It means that you are alive. You have the right to feel whatever you want to feel. You do not have to apologize for how you feel. Ever. We are responsible for our actions of course but these are different from our feelings. Our feelings are an indication of what we need to pay attention to. What we need to show love and compassion towards in ourselves or others.

Love your anger. Love your sadness. Love your rage. Love your jealousy. Love your hatred. Love the negative as well as the positive and validate these aspects of yourself. Why? Because if you do not learn to love the darkness in yourself then how will you ever know how to love the darkness in anyone else? What is more, you are the one who has walked your path and you are the one who knows your own heart and soul the most. Therefore, if you, who know your own heart and soul better than anyone else alive cannot love the darkness that is inside of you then how can you expect anyone else to even begin to try?

Be Wary of Pseudo spirituality “Oh what a beautiful day! We’re not scared!”

Except, maybe you are scared…and that is totally okay. The road to freedom and happiness is not always going to be a teddy bears picnic. Personally speaking I have always been wary of spiritual practices that teach this. I mean don’t get me wrong I also love practicing positive focus and affirmations and I will often incorporate these into my daily spiritual practice. These types of exercises can be great tools but not if you are using them to bypass your emotions or to avoid healing trauma and hurt. Your feelings are your emotional compass and you can’t just “get over” them by being grateful. For example, you wouldn’t tell someone whose child had just died “Do you know what might cheer you up? Some positive thinking! I’ve got a great book I could loan you on the law of attraction!” Maybe that may sound like an extreme example, but I use it to illustrate my point. Every hurt feeling deserves to be acknowledged no matter how small and there is a grieving process to this. In truth, it is only by feeling the sadness as well as the joy that we can truly be free.

You can’t fake happiness. You can’t fake forgiveness. Burying or bypassing your pain only makes it stronger. Your true Feelings will catch up with you sooner or later. It is more spiritual to allow yourself to be angry with someone than to fake forgiveness or positive feelings. It is certainly more authentic. What is more, by releasing your anger or pain instead of suppressing it like a pressure cooker about to explode then you will learn more about yourself. Even if your actions are not perfect, by doing so you will be more aware of your shadows and as a result you can shine the light of love on them. There will always be people in your life that will love you for who you are “warts and all”. The more authentic you are then the more you will be in alignment with your higher self and the more you will attract other people who are also authentic and willing to show you compassion, as authenticity comes hand in hand with self-love. If you have any questions about emotional spiritual healing or how to heal emotionally then leave your comments below or contact me by email and I will be happy to help

Sending you so much love,

Serenity Swan

Angel Card Readings Online

I am now giving intuitive empathic angel card readings. These readings are approximately 300 to 500 words in length and will be sent to you by email. They take about an hour for me to complete at a cost of 10 pounds. Payment should be transferred to my PayPal account before the reading.

If you are not completely satisfied with your reading then a full refund will be given. The example reading given below was a general collective energy reading which I posted on Facebook about a month ago and your reading will be in a similar format but it will be personal to you.

Please contact me at jmswan123@outlook.com if you are interested or, alternatively you can leave a comment/question below and I will get back to you

The cards that I use for my readings are
Living Reiki Healing Cards by Penelope Quest
Keepers of the Light Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray
and Angel Prayers Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray
All of these are fantastic cards with great energy and the art work is beautiful. I love using them and they are not too expensive. If you wish to purchase them yourself please see the above links.

Example Reading

Card 1- The Myriam- Sacred Vision- “Choose to forgive in order to heal. See the light in all. Remember that love has no boundaries”

The myriam were angels who appeared to Mary Magdalene in the tomb of Jesus after his death. Therefore, when this card comes up it symbolizes death and grief. However, this can be in a number of contexts. We can of course feel grief over the death of a loved in a very literal sense. However, we can also feel grief over the loss of a friendship or relationship and this can feel like a kind of death as it is the end of an important chapter in our lives and we are left confused and wondering why it has happened. Especially if we spent a lot of time with the person, or they were close to us emotionally. For example, personally speaking, a number of months ago I broke up with someone and was experiencing estrangement from family members at the same time. This was by choice; however, the pain of this was so intense that it was like a kind of grief, to the extent that I felt like taking my own life. We can also experience grief during any period of immense change in our lives as there is a death in a non- literal sense of behavioral patterns or ways of thinking. This may feel new and frightening to us as we do not know what action to take. We may have had an argument with someone we love and are experiencing all sorts of intense emotions.

Card 2- Transform negative emotions- “you can find healthier and safer ways of expressing the frustration that usually lies behind anger by turning the emotion into creativity, going for a brisk walk or doing that very old-fashioned thing: counting to ten before you speak”

Pain needs to be experienced. There is simply no other way to transform it and unfortunately there is no easy alternative. At least not if we want a permanent solution for healing. In terms of grief, this is profoundly so. Grief demands all of our attention and time relentlessly. It is a constant presence and it will not be ignored or bypassed. Often it feels like it is never going to end. However, it will end; everything in this world is impermanent. Like the lotus flower that makes its way through the mud to blossom, so shall we, but only if we give our pain the presence that it deserves. In my recent experience, it was only after I was able to feel my own grief in its entirety that I was able to transform it into something beautiful and by doing so open my heart to new levels of love.

Card 3- Synchronicity- “Thank you Angels. I trust your well-timed guidance and signs”

Synchronicity means when things in your life are in flow. For example, when you are driving and all the traffic lights are green or you meet a friend who comes up with a solution to a problem that you were struggling with, without you even mentioning it. When we are experiencing negative emotions often times we are not in flow with our higher selves, things do not go our way, we feel stuck, and powerless to our situation. Naturally, when we feel this way there is a tendency to resist and pull against it. However, the law of attraction tells us that “whatever we resist persists” and so even if we have well-meaning intentions to practice things such as positive focus, being in a state of resistance and not accepting what is will not help. Even when we are stuck and we feel that we are not in flow, we must remember that there is a much bigger plan that is unfolding. Therefore, we must not try to resist our situation or our feelings as it is through healthy acceptance for what is that we will come back into alignment and experience synchronicity in our lives. This card also speaks to me about duality as there is a picture of the “ying and yang”. Duality is another law of the universe that states that for everything there is an opposite; light and dark, good and bad. When we choose to incarnate on this planet, we have a life purpose or intention for doing so. We often choose to be born into families and early experiences that will teach us the opposite of our life purpose and intention. For example if our life purpose is love and unity then we may choose early childhood experiences of feeling unloved and disconnected, as it is our job to transform this into the opposite. Both must exist and be experienced, it is the alpha and the omega. Therefore, people who disturb us are indeed our greatest teachers and what’s more they are reflections of us. When someone upsets you, look for the fragment of them that is within you and try to heal it.

I was doing a reading recently for someone and I choose this card for her. The words that immediately came to mind were “there is a season for everything”. I decided to google it and I immediately found a verse from the bible which had also been turned into a song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” most popularly released by the Byrds in 1965. This is definitely the song for the energy of this card!

a friendly welcome to my website

My intention for setting up this website

I wanted to create a website in order to share with others all about spirituality,  and teachings that have helped and inspired me over the years. All things that I find exciting and fun basically! However, I believe first and foremost that when it comes to spirituality it is about authenticity. Therefore, as well as sharing with you my joy and what I am passionate about, I hope that I can also share with you my sadness, struggles, angers and frustrations.

It is through integrating the negative emotions that I have learned the greatest lessons and gained wisdom and strength. I like to “keep it real” and I don’t ever pretend to be anything that I am not.  I’d much rather just be myself. So perhaps I can start now by telling you my story and how I got interested in spirituality.

My spiritual journey began in 2011

Previous to this, I spent the best part of six years battling with an addiction that had become the center of my life. On the outside I had a job, a roof over my head, a family that still loved me and a long term partner who meant the world to me. Externally I had a lot of things that other people didn’t and a lot to be grateful for, but I was dead inside. The joy and happiness had been sucked out of anything worthwhile in my life. In the summer of that year I ended up curled in the fetal position in my bathroom crying. I knew that I could not continue living my life the way that I was living it. It was lying on that bathroom floor that I experienced my first spiritual awakening. Not knowing who I was talking to, I cried out to the universe for help. A feeling of peace and serenity washed over me and I felt calm. I stopped crying. I left the bathroom and I walked out of the door that day in the direction of my freedom.

12 steps to freedom

I knew that everything was going to be okay from now on and that there was nothing to fear. I did not understand how or why I knew this but I trusted it. I felt inside of me what I needed to do and the steps that should be taken. I did not understand this on a conscious level or comprehend it but I knew instinctually, on a gut level. I ended up getting help from a 12 step fellowship, which I was involved in for a long time. During which, I got six years clean time and expanded my spiritual awareness and my understanding of myself as a person, of my triggers. In the fellowship I was able to experience unconditional love and unity for the first time, in a way that I had never felt in my family.

The beginning of a new life

Growing up for most of my life I had felt alone, different, separate and like there was something really wrong with me. I felt like I was adopted into my family because they did not seem to perceive or understand the world the way that I did. I had the feeling of being unseen and unheard in my family from a very young age. So for me finding the fellowship was really important in my journey because I was able to be accepted for who I was, without judgment or shame and being there felt like coming home to my real family. I had found people who shared my experiences, had been in my shoes, felt how I had felt. Therefore, as a result, I felt seen by them, I felt heard by them and I did not feel so alone anymore.

Finding my soul family and a new purpose to life

More recently, in the summer of 2016, I attended a spiritual retreat in Czech Republic where I met many like-minded people and had life changing experiences. I met people who were practicing collective emotional healing through being present with their emotions and the emotions of others. They were practicing healing the fractured aspects of themselves and loving themselves with a purpose. They too had felt alone in the way that I had felt alone my entire life.

They were as idealistic as me and believed in the same principles that I did, in building a better world on a foundation of love and belonging and acceptance, where adults and children could live together in intentional communities, not separate from each other in fear, judgment and shame. The feeling of belonging that I felt when I was with them was even stronger than I had ever felt before. I felt an emotional connection to them that was deeper than I had ever experienced with any other human being before in my life. Even though they were strangers, I knew that I had known and loved them in the past. Although I did not understand it on a conscious level, I felt it in my heart.

Another awakening

I went back at new year of that year when I had a massive spiritual awakening again. I experienced myself as being more connected to the universe in a new way. I was able to understand and accept that everything around me really was an extension of me and all of it had consciousness, other people, the animals, the plants, the rocks, the trees. In the fellowship I had been taught to believe in a higher power, but the spiritual experience taught me that there is no hierarchy when it comes to consciousness. Even though I am a part of the Divine spark, I am no more important than an animal or a tree. Therefore, my will cannot be superior to something else, but it also cannot be inferior to a “higher power”. Also, according to the law of attraction, everything that I have become a match to in my reality (good or bad) is a reflection of me, and none of it is separate, the entire universe is inside of me so to speak. It is inside each one of us.

In the fellowship, I had been taught to believe in God’s will versus my will. That my will was bad or wrong and that God’s will was good or right. However, having my new spiritual experience, I learned that nothing is separate from me, not even Source. I learned that everything is God (or Source Consciousness). There is nothing that is outside of Source, not even free will. Therefore, if everything is Source Consciousness, including free will, and you understand and accept this fully, then the concept of God’s will versus your will becomes redundant. God becomes redundant because there is only you and your own desires which are the will of Source Consciousness wanting to experience itself through you. It was in this moment of understanding that I knew that I could no longer return to the 12-step fellowship that I had been a part of for the last six years. As my cornerstone and foundation (which was God) had been removed, and as a result, everything that I had built in terms of understanding fell apart in my mind.

It is your mistakes that are the most important in shaping your destiny (not your achievements)

Although I am not proud of my past, I am the result of my life experience. It is because of my failures and struggles that I have had to overcome in life that I have become the strong, brave, and beautiful person that I am today.

What did I learn in my recovery? It taught me to be resilient. I learned the importance of putting in action to get results and I also learned how to face my fears. It taught me determination and to never give up. I was able to have deep compassion and forgiveness for others.

If I had never experienced what I did, then I wouldn’t have obtained all of these positive skills. So I am a positive result of my negative experiences. If I could teach other people one thing about life, it would be this: No matter how bad things look, never give up, because the mistakes and failures that you make in life can be just as much a blessing as the achievements. There is always an opportunity to turn them around into something positive, if only you change your perspective.

Trust the voice within

Personal experience is far more precious a quality than anything else that can be achieved and this is what we should be teaching our children. To trust their own intuition and internal guidance system first, their own personal experience, even if we as adults disagree with it. This is the first thing that we should be teaching children: to trust their feelings, their own personal experience and stop teaching them that there are “good” and “bad” feelings, “right” and “wrong” feelings. There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” feelings, only “good” or “bad” actions and even then it is a matter of personal perspective and intention.

I have learned through experience that if you are honest and authentic then other people can relate and this makes them feel less alone. When I look at the world, one of the many things that I see in society is people who hide their true selves behind a mask of what they would like to portray to others. However, since one of my spiritual gifts is that I am empathic, I can often see through this and it frustrates me. It is my belief that this is what separates us from each other, causing us to feel so alone. One of my favorite quotes is one from John Lennon: “When I was five years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Follow your joy

There is too much pressure on young people today to be the best that they can be and to achieve standards of excellence. While these are very positive things, when teaching them to be the best that they can be we often forget to teach them to be themselves. To be yourself is to be happy and to follow your joy, your passion. When people are happy they are more productive workers, they make more money doing a job that they love and they achieve greater ambitions. So it is in the best interest of society to teach people to be more authentic, true to themselves and therefore happier and productive people with more fulfilling lives.

To do this, we need to teach people to follow their own internal guidance system and personal experience. We also need to stop teaching our children that as adults we know better and have all the answers, because we don’t! We need to stop teaching children that the answers are written down in a book somewhere or that there are rules set in black and white to be followed in every situation. As every situation is different and every person is different. Even though they are just children and in a sense we do understand some things better, we have not walked in their shoes, we have not seen the world as they have seen it or experienced it. Therefore, we do not know what is best for them above and beyond their own internal guidance and experience. To teach them that as adults we always know what is best is to teach them to distrust themselves and to lack confidence in their own vision.

A helping hand on your journey

The goal of this website is to help people on their spiritual journey and to write about what I love. If you ever need a hand or have any questions about any of my content, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Jacqueline Swan