The last several months have held some of the best, worst and most enlightening moments of my life. 

I’ve allowed myself to show up…more than I ever have…for myself, for my children, my friends and even, bit by bit, for my family of origin. 

When I first chose to embark on this journey of finding myself, I was often told that I’m different, that I’ve changed,  and many people in my life did not care for the changes I was making.  Some even told me, “I want the old Jeri back.” 

Well…the old Jeri…wasn’t the real Jeri. 

The old Jeri was disconnected, inside and out, encased within a protective wall of bricks, and weighed down and burdened by multiple masks. 
The old Jeri worried constantly, about what other people thought, about being judged, and about being wrong.  She was an excellent shape shifter; she easily blended in with the furniture, or slipped into the persona of whomever she felt would be most safe, loved, accepted and acknowledged in any given moment. The old Jeri never felt good enough.

THIS Jeri is moving through a huge shift and massive transition and just when I think I’m finally squeezing through that tiny opening of the chrysalis to spread my wings and fly, I’m hit by another challenge and I find myself back in the dark, mushy chrysalis, feeling somewhat lost and confused. 

Indeed sometimes this stage seems endless. Yet, when I look back to only a few short years ago, the change, the expansion, and the expression of who I am, has totally transformed.

I’ve felt my heart opening. 

In fact…I’ve insisted upon it. And the more pain I feel, the more focused I become on staying open and allowing every emotion to come up and flood my humanness with anger, tears, sorrow…whatever needs to be expressed. 

I am tired of resisting. 
I am tired of suppressing it. 
Aren’t we all? 
Isn’t it time we embraced everything, even our shadows? 

I am focused on letting it come up, even bringing it up, and on giving myself that outlet for authentic emotional expression and release. As I’ve done so, I am blown away by the quality of REAL people that have found their way into my life. I am ever so blessed with an abundance of loving, true and authentic friendships that years ago…even months ago…I was not convinced even existed.  Start showing up for yourself, and then others will begin showing up for you.

I love the idea that nothing happens TO us but everything happens FOR us.

I’ve never felt immense gratitude like I do now; for the support, the love and the real friendships I’ve forged in the last few months. I never felt pain, heartache, sadness and loneliness like this either. That’s what happens as we get re-connected with our true self, which automatically connects us more deeply with others.

As I allow the tears to flow and the emotions to emerge from the depths of my heart and soul, I am love. The little girl in me longs to be held. I feel myself calling out for love and at times, I revert back into my old patterns and feel that longing and need for a romantic relationship, for a man to hold me, to tell me he loves me and to undress, admire and caress my body, making love to my body, heart and soul. And then…when I stop, feel, and ask if that’s really what I need, the answer always comes back the same; that I already have all that I need. 

I AM all that I need. 

I am working on giving to myself all the love, compassion, acknowledgment and even the intimacy that I long for in another. That longing that I feel is a longing to connect deeply and intimately with myself… for the first time in my life, to get to know Jeri.

I know that many of us on the planet right now are in the midst of this transitional stage. There is much darkness to be moved through in order to emerge into the light.  It’s not an easy time and yet…it is so beautifully real. 

Our truths are being revealed to us. We have the most incredible gifts, abilities and love that has been lying dormant in the core of our BEing. And something in this present moment is tapping into the ‘more’ that we are, the greater, higher, truer self… and awakening our sleeping DNA cells of pure love and potential. It’s frightening at times. As more and more of these cells awaken, I no longer feel the sense of urgency I used to feel to move forward in my life and confront my fears, but I hear more of a call that guides me in the moment and shows me my next step.  The ideas flow in an abundant stream. 

At times it feels like too much, like more than I can handle and greater than I am capable. Somehow though…I am able to recognize when the sabotaging tendencies creep in and KNOW that that is not me and not the truth. It is the lie I believed for so many years of not having earned the right to even be here, and the deep rooted sense of unworthiness:  An epidemic on this planet.

At times, the fear and overwhelm envelop me and I lose my balance. Not that I ever had balance…does anyone? 

For me it’s been a real give and take reality; as I give more to my spiritual practices, business and personal growth, I find myself taking time and attention from my physical health and my family. I get bored easily and I crave passion. I have been guilty of jumping from one love to another in terms of relationships and in terms of career or business. Thankfully, this is changing as I connect more with the truth, with myself as the whole, perfect and complete divine being that I am, and with the passion within (no longer having to look without). 

I remember my Mom telling me that if there was one word to describe me, it would be obsessed. I was insulted…I wanted my word to be Love…and I have to admit…that hasn’t changed. 

Yes! I admit that I want to be the world’s best lover!

Not in the romantic relationship sense…well, that too…but it refers more to the desire to BE and Express Unconditional love in the world; to be that role model that shows people what unconditional love really looks like, sounds like and feels like so that they may embody it, express it, and inevitably, pass it along to the next generation.

I have often dreamed the dream of a loving planet, without separation or divisions, one in which right and wrong no longer exist, but we recognize the divine perfection in everything and allow it to express itself through us in every given moment. We would each have complete freedom to be all that we are, to love without condition, with no fear of judgement, everyone expressing their gifts and living their purpose and passion. 

And then I wonder, what would happen if we ever actually got there?  Would the need for this planet, this reality, cease to exist?  Would we collapse or rather, expand into a new realm–leap forward into the next dimension? 

Perhaps it’s worth a try.  

As co-creator of reality, I’m going for Heaven on Earth!

© Jeri Tourand, Living from Heart Center – November 14, 2012
as published in “the Elephant Journal”