The healing power of unconditional love

By the end of May 2016 I was physically ill, mentally debilitated and emotionally devastated. Today my physical pain is gone, my anxiety and depression are under control and I can say for the first time in my life that I am happy with who I am.

Without sounding like a cheesy infomercial, attending the Zen Course with Suzanne Powell one year ago changed my life. I am not talking about a magical formula. I am well aware that all these changes have required determination on my part, but Suzanne's technique is so simple, so easy to follow and so rewarding, that the minimum I can do is to give credit to the Zen Course credit for what I have accomplished.

I have blurry memories of those six evenings taking the course. At that point in my life I was so immersed in my pain and worries that it is difficult to believe there were more than 500 hundred other people in the same venue with me. All my energy that week was allocated to three things: stay awake, listen to Suzanne Powell and contain my tears. Despite my pathetic condition I remember feeling better by the day, but my focus was still on the problem, on the pain, and on the "why me"?

On the last day of the second level of the course, Suzanne took a time to thank the team of volunteers who had worked to get the resources, promote the event and take care of the logistics before during and after the course, so more than 500 hundred people could benefit of all this… FOR FREE! even though they didn't know me nor most of the other 500 in the room, these people worked for months without any economic compensation so I could sit there and receive the help I so desperately needed.  Then I realized that this woman "Suzanne Powell" and her team of volunteers had travelled more than 4,000 miles across the ocean and between continents without compensation to be there for us. And I felt loved.

But how all these people could possibly love me if they didn´t even know me? This question was the start point to unveil a whole new meaning for the term 'unconditional love'. These people were doing for me something I struggled to do for myself: accepting me the way I was. All messy, depressed, and anxious I felt so supported that for the first time in months I finally could see a thin light of joy in my life and I felt determined to expand that light. I started to work immediately and I haven´t stopped since.

I understood that unconditional love is inextricably tied to acceptance, so that was my start point. I accepted my health and personal life issues without judgment. I continued to consult with my doctors and followed their advice in a more relaxed mood, however I lowered my expectations on what they were able to do for me and focused on all the little things I could do for myself on a daily basis. I slowly started incorporating Suzanne Powell´s recommendations into my routine.  I informed myself about the origin of my anxiety and depression, I tried basically every logical recommendation I read or heard about and I adopted those which worked for me.  Throughout this process, I have received help from wonderful people with similar struggles, goals and interests; as a result, on my path towards unconditional love, I also have found friendship and company.

I know my journey to a healthy lifestyle and unconditional love is not over yet, but I least I know now that I can´t have one without the other. Beautiful opportunities to grow appear once you start the trip to knowing, understanding, and loving yourself. A couple of months ago, my beautiful friend Clara called me, she said Suzanne Powell had freed a week in August and we had the possibility to bring her back to Ottawa this year. She said she would organize the event again this year if I jumped on board with her. After all these months receiving so much help and love from Clara, I said yes.