About fifteen years ago, my self-esteem was almost non-existent, and it made me unfulfilled: I didn’t like my job, and my relationship with my partner was a disaster. Ever since I was a teenager, I had problems with my backbone; I was in pain until bedtime every day. At that point, I did not understand that my back pain was not only due to scoliosis and to compressed vertebrae. It was mostly due to emotions, behavior and hostile thoughts I somatized, especially on my lower back.
During my teenage years, I had a hard time taking life lightly. I used to have daily fights with my father, and I did not realize that the only way he knew how to face worries and stress, was indeed to hide behind a mask of aggressiveness, even though he was a nice person. I too subconsciously did the same thing. I buried my fragility behind a veil of rage and pride, which alternated with moments of peace. As my insecurities grew stronger, the relationship with my father imploded, my emotional discomfort kept revealing itself through a chronic backache. I thought I was going to find some peace as I grew up, but that did not happen. Instead, I kept experiencing moments of conflict within my family and at work, until my adult age. For a long time, I was imprisoned by sadness, a feeling of inadequacy, which I kept somatizing on my spine. Sometimes I let my dark side out, that is to say, emotions like rage and fear; other times I was the portrait of love and a zest for life.
During that period of my life, I did not make exercise a priority. I will, however, always be grateful to my sister for her insistence in telling me that, if I stayed deskbound all day, my body would pay the consequences. Though I began going to the gym regularly, my backache still did not go away, and neither did my frustration. However, engaging myself in sports helped me release all the tension that I had accumulated at the office. During that time, I was working as a secretary in a big metalworking company, but the ever-growing dissatisfaction with my job fueled my sadness and my poor self-confidence. For years, I kept going from one job to another, hoping to get better. I was wrong. I still had to understand that, the reason for my dissatisfaction was not only that my colleagues or my employers were not lovely. The truth was, I had trouble peacefully relating with others and, worst of all, I was scared to leave a “safe” job and follow my dreams.
During the spring of 2004, the fragile balance I had built within the office began to fall apart, as my workload was getting exponentially higher. During my spare moments, which I used to ease off stress, I usually feel a weight on my stomach, which made it difficult for me to breathe. I, however, thought it was a normal reaction, and I didn’t give it much attention. I kept focusing on my body, rather than on my mind. I started attending Tai Chi lessons, and that made me feel better. After every session, I felt like I was floating and not walking. I was so relaxed that I forgot every problem. It was a pleasant sensation.
Then, one morning in April 2004, something unexpected occurred: right after waking up, I started feeling a general itch. It took me a few seconds to realize what I was looking at in the mirror. I was covered head to toe in big red spots, my face and lips also doubled in size, I looked rather unpleasant, and I was getting more and more worried by the minute. Immediately, I went to the hospital. After a few hours at the hospital, the red spots and itch were gone. For the first time, I was able to convince myself that the origin of my health problems was hidden inside my mind and was mainly due to my frustrations. I resolved to pay more attention to my feelings and to what I would eat.
Sometimes, when working, I did ask myself these questions:
- What am I doing here?
- Why don’t I quit this office and follow my passions?
- How long will I keep on doing this awful job?
Since Natural Healing and Personal Growth had always interested me, coupled with the fact that I have read many books and attended many courses about these subjects, I didn’t find any motivation when I did a work I did not like at all. I was sure that sooner or later I would have found the big idea, the idea that would allow me to quit my job. Fortunately, I was able to find some relief when I was with my partner, Marco – the most well-mannered man any woman could ever dream of.
While many business ideas were taking place in my mind, I began to get involved in the study of digital marketing. I made some researches on the internet, and then I intensely studied the data during the weekends. I thought that knowing marketing was essential, especially if I would have to open my own company someday. At that time, I still didn’t know what I would create in the future. The only certainty I had was that I would not finish my career being an employee.
THE TURNING POINT
After carrying out in-depth research in the world of marketing, I was overwhelmed by the fantastic working opportunities the internet could offer. Being aware that on the web I had at least a chance to develop my creativity, I began to be less frustrated when I went to work. I felt like I was near a significant change. However, unfortunately, I didn’t know that the change that I had to face that year was related to my personal life, and not to my job.
Then one day, I received a call that I will never forget.
I can still vividly remember that wet February afternoon in 2006, when Marco’s brother called, and told me that Marco, was being taken to the hospital. The next day, the doctors said Marco had cerebral ischemia, and they still didn’t know the cause. From that night on, I felt like I was living a nightmare. Every day, I impatiently waited to see him at the Hospital during the visiting hours. Unfortunately, the cause of the ischemia was rather severe, and Marco had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor that compromised the frontal lobe of his brain.
About two months later, I got a call from the hospital, “the call” I would never have wanted to hear. A few hours after, the inevitable happened. His light went out forever, and a part of my heart left with Marco. My greatest love, whom I will never forget, was lost. Our house was empty and the nights were so cold without Marco. The pain, rage, and tears of desperation were there waiting for me every single day, especially at night when I had a date with solitude, the questions I continually asked myself, Why Marco? Why not me?
If there were any possibility of exchanging my life with Marco’s, I would undoubtedly have done it. I would have preferred to sacrifice myself instead of Marco because he was an extraordinary man, full of love for humanity.
My pain was so intense that I had difficulty sleeping. Sometimes, I strove to concentrate on the simple every day’s tasks because my mind was temporarily distracted in a sort of limbo. However, I needed someone to share my sorrows with, but I did not want to be a burden to anyone. Then one day I called a friend, Luca, who unfortunately had lived the same kind of experience when he lost his wife. Luca told me that when you lose a loved one, there are no rules to follow to ease the pain. He also said to me that soon after he lost his wife, the only way he was able to distract himself, was going out with his friends as much as possible. He also suggested I should consider the possibility of moving from my home because changing from the present location would undoubtedly help me in dealing with my predicament. I thanked Luca very much for his advice, and then I started going out with my friends every Friday and Saturday evening.
In the following months, I lost all awareness of my body and mind. I realized I had a body only on Sunday when my back it hurt because I spent all night dancing. If I hadn’t danced the night away at a club, I wouldn’t have been able to escape my torments. Also, If it wasn’t for the support of my dear friend Morena, who saved me from the abyss of desperation, I don’t know if I would have survived that icy flow of rage, and pain that was about to send me over the edge.
I have met people who, at the end of a relationship, chose to be alone for years or even the rest of their life. I also do admire their internal balance and their spirit of adjustment. I could never do that because it is just not my nature.
Even though Marco will always hold a special place in my heart, I never lost hope of falling in love again. A few years later, I met Andrea. I had hoped I could build the same sort of special relationship with him, like that I had with Marco. I was wrong. My need for love clouded my judgment, and, after a few months of living together, I was a prisoner of my relationship that, even though a strong love nourished it, it was a disaster. The pain over the death of Marco was so intense that I could not relax. Anyone close to me at that time must have been extremely patient, dealing with my unhappy moments, when I urged to completely isolate myself from the world so I could be alone.
Unfortunately Andrea and me we had different goals. After Marco’s loss, I was searching for a lovely man, who could support me, while Andrea was searching for a submissive woman, like his mother, so our needs were not compatible. The suffering forced me to take stock of what I had experienced up until then. I, however, realized that to defeat it, I would have to eliminate all of the negative behaviors, thoughts, and debilitating emotions that I had been carrying around for ages.
I also knew that to be entirely happy; I would have to get over one last obstacle, the one that was the most difficult to eliminate: the fear of solitude. I contacted a highly competent naturopath I had known for years, who helped me get in touch with my deepest self. The most important lesson I learned from Deborah, the naturopath, was about the importance of loving myself primarily. That also meant having decent and healthy self-esteem. Meanwhile, she also asked me some fundamental questions, the typical million-dollar questions:
- If you are in a relationship or a job that doesn’t make you happy, why don’t you leave?
- Why do you let Andrea treat you with such disrespect?
- Why do you still go to an office where you can’t express your creativity?
She was right. No one had ever presented the problem to me so clearly. I wanted to stop the sufferings and quit the job I didn’t like. More importantly: I did not want a partner that constantly criticized me. My meetings with Deborah helped me gain faith in myself, increase my self-esteem, and further developed my awareness. Almost for fun, I began advising people with relationship problems, especially friends who asked me for help. However, I could not resolve my issues with Andrea because I was too involved.
Few months after the meetings with Deborah, by chance (though I am sure, there are no coincidences), I received an email from a cultural association promoting a course entitled: “Let’s Talk about Emotions,” held by a life coach. I called the coach right away to get more information and also made an appointment for a consultation. Even though Deborah’s teachings were helpful, I still wanted to discover the other secrets of the human psyche, especially mine. I felt like I was on the right track towards getting better. I decided to put myself in the expert hands of the coach. The twelve appointments I had with him were pivotal, and his technique was utterly different from Deborah’s method. Through visualization and meditation exercises, I was able to penetrate the depth of my soul and imagined everything I wanted.
Furthermore, during each time-interval between one appointment and the next, it was as if an invisible force listened to my thoughts and then made them materialize. Everything I thought happened. They were not miracles or even magic. I concentrated on an objective and a desire, and after a few days, something would happen to lead me towards that goal. I felt like I was living a dream, increasingly better, and my relationships with my colleagues began to improve notably.
Finally, I found the courage to leave Andrea, even if I still had strong feelings for him. Making that hard but critical decision was the turning point for my transformation. After a long time, I began to find peace, like when I was with Marco. I was able to free my spirit and myself from the weight of years of limiting emotions and beliefs. I was finally happy, and my backache was gone.
I became the most popular woman on the planet (so to speak) and met many fantastic people who brought joy to my life, but the magic did not end here. Interestingly, during one of my walks, I tried to run for a few minutes but didn’t experience any pain in my spine.
Do you remember the beginning of this story, when I told you about my dark side, which are the behaviors dictated by anger, sadness, and fear?
It was my battle against my dark side that made me understand the importance of feelings, and if I hadn’t come to that conclusion, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to change my life. The deeper I ventured into discovering even the least pleasant sides of me, the more I felt like the brave Luke Skywalker, in Star Wars’ movie: “The Empire Strikes Back.” During a scene from the movie, Luke Skywalker faces his worst enemy (Darth Vader) in a laser sword fight. After an exhausting battle, Darth Vader succumbs. As soon as he walks closer to the enemy’s body, Luke is shocked to discover his face behind Vader’s mask.
Just like Luke mainly had to fight against his insecurities, against his dark side, so I had to fight against mine. It was a long and challenging battle, given that the enemy was hiding within me, precisely in my subconscious. After winning the fight against myself, I couldn’t resist the temptation to share what I discovered about the power of emotions. But I had to move one last step in the direction of my complete freedom.
THE QUANTUM LEAP
After becoming single again, a new world full of possibilities opened to me. I jumped into a new life, created a more positive lifestyle because I was able to change my pattern of thinking, let go all the negative behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and improve my vision of the world and people around me. Eventually, I was able to reach the right level of self-esteem, accept myself 100%, and give priority to my needs first (that is taking care of myself and not being selfish). I also increased my self-awareness, and for the first time, I was able to ease my pain after Marco’s death, and create this peace by myself without any help from anyone.
I went to work less stressed; however, I still had the idea that one day I would start my own business. For this reason, I decided to follow my passions by attending some courses such as coaching, personal growth, public speaking, internet marketing, massage, postural training, radionics, Bach Flowers, and more. I became a life coach and a holistic professional too, I also opened a small studio to give support to people with relationship and stress issues. As soon as I helped someone, I became more and more aware of my power.
Few months after my incredible transformation, one Halloween night, I met a man named Renzo, with beautiful blue eyes who found his way into my heart, and is still right by my side. Perhaps you may think it was luck; I prefer to believe that everything that has happened to me is the result of my commitment to change.
Then, the big day, came on May 13, 2013, when I took the courage to deliver to my Boss, my dismissal letter. I was stunned to see my Boss and my colleagues were sad to hear that I was going to quit the job. Also, I was pleased to see they were showing their moral support.
These experiences taught me a valuable lesson: everything you are, feel, and think, manifests outside of you. The people around you sense your emotions, thoughts, and energy because every living being on this planet is similar to an antenna that repeatedly transmits and receives data. This exchange of information, which takes place quickly and subconsciously, is based on a few rules that you are continually experiencing even if you do not realize them. That’s one of the reasons why most of the time you cannot foresee when your goals materialize in the real world; sometimes it takes a few months, other time it takes years.
A DREAM COMES TRUE
After quitting my job, I took a long period of rest. Having spent about 25 years doing a job I didn’t like, my body and my soul were exhausted. Since I had struggled with back pain and negative emotions for many years and finally discovered how emotions could somatize on one’s body, especially on the back, I thought necessary to tell the world my experience.
And then in 2016, I wrote and also self-published a book called: “Stop killing your Back with the Secret Power of Emotions.” This book is now available on Amazon. Furthermore, I decided to dedicate my time even to self-esteem and personal growth since I had always been interested in these topics. And later, I created this website, lifenowacademy.com and wrote another book: “Be the Hero of your life,” an Instruction Manual for Self-esteem, available on Amazon too. I thought necessary to write a practical manual because I wanted to give people a logical scheme to follow to improve their self-esteem and be free from being stuck in detrimental emotions and thoughts.
The fantastic life adventure I’m now living is just the beginning. Who knows how many more books and courses I will write in the future. As you can see, when you follow your passions, many opportunities open up to you. Commitment and perseverance are the two essential ingredients needed to realize your ideas. Nothing can stop you from achieving any goal, even the hardest life events and the most troubled relationship you may have experienced cannot stop you. Any situation has a lesson within. You can grab fundamental teachings, especially when you stay concentrated on yourself, when you open your heart and listen to your emotions, and when you reach a right level of awareness. When you learn to stop complaining and self-pity, and when you do your best to calm down your mind, new positive energy will move in on you. This is not luck, nor of any limitations due to your origins, or your situation, the magic happens only when you commit to getting rid of negative beliefs and emotions, then at that time you will see that every change is possible.
When I was 30 years old, if someone had told me that in about ten years, I would quit my job, write books, and become a life coach, I would undoubtedly have said that person “that’s a lie.” You never know how spectacular the effects of your mind’s change will be.
There is another fundamental lesson I learned from my experiences: never listen to other people’s advice, even if they are part of your family or they are your friends. Don’t let other people influence you or tell you what you can or cannot do. Many people do not go behind the physical appearances, they do not care about who you are, and so, they have no idea of your potential. If I had not learned to forget about other people’s opinions, today, I wouldn’t have been here to manage my own business.
My story is only a little drop in the ocean of many other stories about people who had to overcome hard situations, even worse than mine, and also found the strength to get up again like a new man/woman. Therefore, you can do the same, no matter what the challenge is.
What are you waiting for before wearing Superman’s cape and becoming the Hero of your life?