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I currently find myself with perpetually excessive amounts of energy. At times, I really do feel as if I could spread my arms out wide and just fly. I love laughing and dancing and singing. I want to explore and discover and learn. I am no longer satisfied with mediocrity. All of those brain-numbing activities I used to participate in to waste away the hours because I had no energy for anything else only irritate me now. I want to create and build. I want to constantly do things that accomplish something of worth. I am breaking free of my mental and emotional shackles, and it is beyond invigorating.

I used to want to be done. I was never actually suicidal, but the idea of life ending was not unattractive to me. I used to trudge along, day after day, doing my best to find joy and happiness, and even then I was frequently successful. I had and have much to be grateful for, and I could see those things, but only through great effort. Much of the time, however, I just felt trapped.

Now, I can’t imagine leaving this world, not with so much still left to experience and enjoy. Happiness surrounds me. I see it in the regular places: in the eyes of my loved ones and the faces of my children and my students, in the beauty of the outdoors and the glories of nature. But now, I even see the happiness in the mundane, in the hardships. When my children are fighting or when the dishes pile up or when the TV talk show hosts (do news anchors even really exist anymore?) discuss the current political chaos, or when my ex begins, once again, to threaten and irritate me, I throw my head back and laugh anyway, because I have discovered my key to happy.

I’ve been analyzing my new perspective and discovered something glorious. I’m not foolish enough to blame my ex for all of my trials. Yes, he influenced my life, but all of my choices were my own. So I’ve wondered, where did this new-found vitality really come from? I believe it is partially a result of releasing myself from a toxic relationship, but I’ve come to realize it’s much more than that. Not only have I freed myself from the burden of his influence, but, more importantly and more powerfully, I am freeing myself from fear.

I am not afraid of him, so I am no longer ruled by what he might do and say. He can do his worst; I’ve already survived it.
I am no longer ruled by anxieties for the welfare of my children. We are all in God’s ┬áhands, and He has shown me over and over again that He is in charge of all of it.
My thoughts about my future are only as anxiety-provoking as waiting to open a new gift: I don’t yet know what to expect, but I’m sure it will be magnificent.

I do not fear him, others, life, anything, and I want to ride this fearless wave as far as I can. I’m sure it will ebb; I will eventually leave the crest and perhaps even wipe out. But I know I will get back on the board and catch the next one. I have to. I will never be satisfied with less than this compelling desire for all that life has to offer me.

Another beautiful thing that comes along with that freedom from fear is a renewed trust and relationship with my Heavenly Father. I lost that, for a while. I never lost my faith completely, but it became difficult to believe that He was really there for me. I struggled to understand His credo that “men are that they might have joy” when I felt the path He placed me on was so full of the opposite. I’m reinventing my relationship with Him, now, and realizing that it’s more of a partnership than I previously understood. Yes, we are to always ask, “God, what wilt though have me do?” but, for me, it’s becoming more like, “God, this is what I want. What do you think?” and He gives me feedback and helps me along, or turns my head and points me in a new direction. I like this new, empowering kind of relationship, rather than feeling like I have no control and no say in what my life does with me.

And when I need it, He simply guides me along and pours down the blessings in such quantities that I do not have room enough to receive them. I crave stimulating conversation and the company of people who enlighten me, and He places them in my life. I yearn for a place to be safe and independent, and He arranges it for me. I want to keep my children safe and happy, and He sends angels to watch over and protect them from both sides of the veil. There are multitudes of blessings and miracles that I am recognizing as I see His hand in my life now, and over the last decade. I am overwhelmingly, eternally grateful.

So, what comes next for me? What do I do with all this new energy and vitality? How do I begin my conquest to conquer my world? I’m not sure yet, but it will be a lot fun to find out.

I’ve encountered many appropriate metaphors for my current experiences and situation. I am undergoing a rebirth, awakening from hibernation, riding a spectacular wave, but I think the most appropriate for me, for multiple reasons, is the one with wings.

So here I am, breaking free of my chrysalis, drying my wings, and preparing to take flight. There is an entire universe full of possibilities. The next exciting question to answer is, which direction will I soar?

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