The final assignment of my YTT program was to write an essay about what we would do if we knew we only had 24 hours left to live. Here is my essay:
"If I learned I had 24 hours left to live I would spend it just as I am now, writing. I would write about my experiences and how I survived when all the odds seemed to be against me. I would write about how I once felt so worthless and damaged I wanted to take my own life, yet I was kept alive. Furthermore, I would go on to explain how as time passed, I began believing I had been kept alive for the purpose of fulfilling a role in a story much bigger than myself. The years of darkness, the moments of sorrow, the tears of despair, the nights of brokenness – I would write about all of this.
Then I would write about the ever-evolving journey of healing, the tears of joy, the wonder of self-discovery, and the moment of amazement I had not even a week ago when I looked in the mirror and smiled. For the first time in my memory I smiled at who I have become through the struggle of overcoming. I would write about how perhaps healing takes so much time because if there was a quick remedy, we would not be able to see how enormous our strength is to allow the healing to take place. I would write about how everything in life comes down to a choice, and we are the dictators of our own destiny.
I would write about how grateful I am for both those who did and those who did not believe in me, as both were equally important in my evolution and growth. I would write to each person I shared intimate moments with, thanking them for holding me and caring for me, even if just for a moment. I would speak to my family and to my friends about the impact they have made on my life. I would write to every person who has experienced trauma, abuse, addiction, or depression and show them my own scars so they might see they are not alone and there is hope.
Most importantly, I would write a message of gratitude to everyone I have ever encountered. It would be my hope that even those whose experience with me had been a negative one would read my words and be filled with hope, light, and love. A message that tells every beating heart, 'I believe in you. I’m grateful for you. I love you.' This is the message I would leave behind, a message I believe everyone deserves to hear.
As I have written this essay, I have realized the book I would write if I had 24 hours to live is a book I have already written. A book that has been sitting one-click away from being published for over 6 months. Perhaps it is time for me to take the plunge and click that button so I might live whatever time I do have left without the weight of unsaid words on my shoulders. Maybe this message is the purpose my life was spared for.
Oh, and after I wrote all of this, I would definitely go skydiving."
The reason I have not written a post on this site in awhile is because after writing this essay I began re-reading, editing, and adding to this book I had written along with several other projects. I am sharing this with you all now to let you know that this summer my book, Sacred Phoenix, will be published and available to purchase. It is a book that is not necessarily for everyone, but I believe there is a group of people who will find something hopeful, maybe even healing, within its pages. I am excited to share it with you all and will let everyone know when it is available!
Also, I'm going skydiving in July so I will try to get it out before then. You know, just in case...