The Joy, Pain, Laughter, and Tears

Posted by Meg McElroy on

A coming of being.

A growth that has granted me the ability to create a business around my lifestyle, the result being an expression of my soul.

Today, November 13th, marks the 3rd year anniversary of Bambuddha. It seemed to be a good enough day as any to finally release my first blog post… which has been ‘Coming Soon’ on the website for far too long. Soon is NOW. And this is just another lesson in doing things.

May it be known, this is a lengthier post. I wanted to make sure that I set the proper foundation for the business, providing the direction in which to move forward.

What I am about to share are things so personal they've been difficult to express, even to my closest friends and family. I know that by exposing myself in such a way makes me vulnerable. I also know that it is through this state of vulnerability where I grow stronger. My hope is that by putting my thoughts into words, I can provide a better insight as to who I am and the vision that I have for Bambuddha and for our world. This is an in depth expression of my life, one in which I have a hard time understanding myself.

I’ve collected many things throughout my life, the most valuable of those being the experiences that I have had. Experiences that differentiate my life from the next. They are the reason why I am unique, why we all identify ourselves as such. Despite the differences and diversity between each of us, we are all connected. We all experience joy and pain, laughter and tears, and it is these feelings that we have, these emotions we share, that make us human, that make us one.

It is in the perception of our thoughts that create our stories. And now, the time has come to share mine with you.

These are my thoughts. My story.

'Some people say I'm crazy but I'm not the only one.' John Lennon

And that they do. Crazy. Loca. That's me. I am whatever you perceive me to be. I understand it as ‘crazy, in the coolest way possible’, at least that is my perception. The thing is, I am proud of who I am and I am trying to own it the best way that I know how. I am figuring it out just like everyone else. Everyday I am learning more and more about my purpose and place in this world. I am learning of ways to better myself, of ways in which I can change that are not only for my own benefit but for that of our planet. I realize that there is only so much I could do as an individual, and that is why I took it upon myself to start a business, with the hope of making a difference on a larger scale. Maybe I am crazy, but… I’m not the only one. I also like a good challenge.

In order to see change, we must be the change. It all begins within.

I digress.

It has not been easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be as rewarding, right? I would also probably not be here writing this if it wasn’t for everything that has happened. For that, I am grateful, because it has made me into the person who I am today.

Throughout my life I have experienced a lot of joy, joy that has not gone unaccompanied by immeasurable amounts of pain. Overall, I have had a great time, you could say I’ve even been ‘living it up!’ It sure has been quite the adventure. I have laughed, loved, and been loved in return. I have enjoyed school, sports, traveling, and being creative - always dabbling in a myriad of things. I’ve kept busy, and have always been happy doing so, or at least so it seemed. That is to say, I have masked a lot of the pain and suffering that I have experienced. I have learnt that by suppressing my emotions, I have created even more pain and suffering for myself in the way of illness.

Let me explain.

Being an only child of divorce was rough. Not only did I have to learn how to navigate through my confusion between love and hate, but I had to do it alone. I didn’t want to live my life in pain, crying myself to sleep at night. I wanted to be happy. So, I told myself that I was and pushed everything else away. Instead, I developed nervous habits like biting my nails and over-eating, both of which I still struggle with on a daily basis. These became my coping mechanisms.

Around the time of the divorce, my Oma (Grandma) passed away. Another traumatic experience that I did not know how to process. I was left even more confused. After so many years of living in fear because of a presence that, at the time, I did not understand, I know now that it was her there comforting me, giving me the strength to fight for my happiness.

And that is what I have done. I’ve fought. It is only now that I am realizing just how hard.

Even through my bouts of depression, I always saw the light. Actually, I never even recognized that I was depressed until now. It is only now that I am experiencing my deepest, darkest one yet, that I am able to reflect and begin to connect all of the dots.

I kept telling myself, ‘I am not sad, I am happy damnit.’ And you know what, it worked. The mind is truly that powerful. I always dug myself out, no drugs, no external help. I never wanted to admit it to myself, let alone talk to someone else about it. That made it real. And I especially was not going to get medicated for it. I knew that wasn’t the answer.

Although, my medical cannabis is sure helping nowadays.

To keep this somewhat concise… I crashed. I pushed and pushed, until I hit the wall. I pushed myself physically while pushing away my emotions, wreaking havoc on my body and on my mind. I thought that I had it all put together. I had a strong mind and body, but something was missing. My soul. So while I went to go find that in some wild ways, I created even more problems for my body, and eventually my mind.

And you know what? I do not regret a thing, it has all been worth it. My life has been a blast! I’ve been filled with joy, pain, laughter, and tears, all of which have made me feel alive.

While enjoying my life to the fullest, I decided to start a business. This was probably the time in which I’ve felt most alive. After traveling for many years, I was energized by my new found perspective of myself and of the world, so I worked hard to achieve all the things I had only dreamt about. I pushed my limits until my body pushed me back. It must have been a combination of the traumas, diet, medications, alcohol, and drugs that ultimately weakened my immune system and left me susceptible to collect a slew of illnesses. I have had the pleasure of hosting many interesting things in my body. When I say pleasure, I mean it sarcastically of course; however, I do value the experience of having candida, parasites, worms, lymes and other chronic issues such as a malfunctioning digestive system, lung infection, kidney and gallbladder stones, amongst many others… all at the same time. They have forced me to slow down and gain an even different perspective of myself and of the world. It has been a blessing in disguise. Bitter sweet, so to say.

Learning how to stay alive.

While running a business is usually challenging in and of itself, I was now caught trying to balance a business while barely managing to take care of myself. I had to refocus my energy and invest all that I had into my health, it became my top priority. It’s silly really, why it wasn’t before… We need our health to function in this demanding world, god forbid pursue our dreams. It’s only now that my dreams have been compromised that I acknowledge the importance of the mind, body, spirit connection.

Being in a dark place has shed quite a lot of light onto my demons. As I continue to delve into the depths of my being, I am releasing things I didn’t even know were there hiding. The thing is, when you can hardly move, there is a lot of time for reflection… that is until the memory fades and thinking becomes non-existent. After my body degraded, my mind diminished and I said goodbye to everything that I thought defined me.

It is as if I became completely numb, no thoughts, no feelings or emotions. All I could do was trust that I knew what was best for me while I searched for that glimmer of hope. I was doing what I believed to be the right thing to do in order to survive, following my intuition. And even though I am still struggling to keep my head above water, I continue to trust in my journey and what the darkness has to teach me. 

A journey. That it is.

I always thought there was some point, some final destination, a place to reach where I would become my best self. I now realize that we are ever-changing beings, always learning, growing, and understanding ourselves differently on a daily basis. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, that all my experiences, whether joyful or painful, have provided me with insight as to how to move forward in this world.

I have been extremely blessed since embarking on the adventure of starting a business. I’ve shared many stories and many laughs with beautiful people around the world, all while following my passion of sharing love, building community, and caring for our planet. These are the things that drive me, the reasons that keep me going. There is more to do, more to see, more to learn and there is definitely more to share. We all have a purpose in life and it is mine that gives me the strength to continue on. 

These last few years have been physically, mentally, and financially draining. Although I feel as if I am just barely making it through, I keep on keeping on. I persevere, just trying to find a glimpse of the sun's glimmer through the clouds. I’ve done what I’ve had to do, even though it meant living in a tent on my patio this past summer because of my crippling debt- which of course was not ideal for my health. And then I was served, forcing me to take action and work myself out of the hole I was still digging.

It took a lot of strength to face my problems.

It was time to get things done. Now, I am basically bankrupt and so much happier. I’ve finally been able to relieve one of the burdens that was causing me so much grief. Now, my health is taking a turn for the better and I am feeling a renewed sense of self.

‘Just when you think you can’t keep going, you can.’ I wrote this to myself as a reminder to believe. To believe that there is light that shines through the darkness, that even when you think things will never get better, they will.

We feel pain, so that we can appreciate joy. We cry, so that we can laugh whole-heartedly. It is through these feelings and emotions that we become pure, giving us the ability to share our light with the world.

Pura Vida- as my Costa Rican family would say.

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