As I sat down to write this on May 1st, I felt called to share with you this very day when I was just sixteen years old.

This very day would divide my life into distinct chapters—before and after.

A shrill ring of the telephone pierced through my dreams.

My friend’s urgent voice called me to the phone, immediately I knew something was wrong.

It wasn’t until I arrived home that the full weight of the news hit me.

As I rushed inside, my heart pounded, and I posed the dreaded question to my mother standing in the kitchen: “Who had died?”

The answer she gave was one I never expected—it shattered my world into thousands of pieces: it was my boyfriend who had died by suicide.

I was left behind asking “Why?”

In the aftermath, I experienced a “dark night of the Soul”—a collapse of perceived meaning in life, an eruption of deep meaninglessness.

It was a long period of darkness.

Nothing made sense anymore; there was no purpose to anything.

For years, I was a prisoner of my past, torturing myself with what-ifs and wishing that I could change the past.

Yet, thanks to God’s grace, I found the strength to stay even though it was not easy and there were so many moments when I wanted to give up.

But amidst the darkness, I discovered a glimmer of hope—a realization that my suffering held within it the seeds of profound growth and holistic healing.

It was this understanding that propelled me forward, guiding me toward a path of self-discovery and renewal.

I found solace in the wisdom of spiritual teachings, I started to discover the answers to the haunting question.

With each step forward, I began to reclaim pieces of myself that I had long thought lost.

I came to understand the profound truth encapsulated in Rumi’s words: “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?”

As I stand here today, I offer you the same guidance that helped me find my way out of self-imprisonment toward internal freedom.

We all encounter our unique versions of the dark night of the Soul—moments of profound despair, loss, or uncertainty.

Yet, within each of these moments lies the potential for transformation and growth.

My journey through darkness has taught me that no matter how challenging the circumstances, we will find greater peace when we see things from our Soul’s perspective and understand our spiritual curriculum.

To help you navigate your own path, I offer these practical steps that have been instrumental in my journey:

Look Within: Observe your thoughts, emotions, and actions. The answers you seek are not outside yourself but within. Take time to reflect on your experiences and emotions, and allow yourself to be guided by your inner wisdom.

Embrace Creative Expression: Whether it’s writing, painting, or music, find a creative outlet that allows you to express yourself authentically. Expression has a unique ability to facilitate growth and transformation.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the journey. Recognize that progress is not linear and allow yourself the grace to stumble along the way.

Seek Support: 
You don’t have to walk this path alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a trusted professional for assistance and guidance.

Trust the Process: Healing doesn’t have a timeline, it takes the time it takes. Everyone has their own unique experience. So be patient with yourself. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be and that every step forward, no matter how small, is progress.

Remember, that your past does not need to equal your future.

You can break free from the chains that bind you to the past and step into a future filled with hope, healing, and possibility.

The door to liberation stands open before you. Will you take the first step toward purposeful success?