How a Broken, Desperate Alcoholic Can Change the World

When I was a little girl I wanted to change the world.  I wanted to make the world a better place.  I dreamed of getting a job for Make a Wish Foundation or something life-changing like that, helping sick children while also making a fair amount of money.  I thought that in order to do that, I had to be really smart, work hard, and achieve things – I figured I’d have to be the smartest girl in my class so I could get good grades, get into a good college, graduate with honors, get the perfect internship, then land the ideal job, and work my way up the ladder to the high-level executive position I craved.  Then, life would be perfect.  I would be helping people, making a difference in the world, and making lots of money!

That was my plan.

My plan didn’t work out that way.

It turns out that my pursuit of perfection and my drive to achieve success were faulty.    I thought I had to do big, important, grand things in order to fulfill my purpose in life.  I thought I was special, and that I not only should but had to do things better than other people.  I turned into a pretty competitive person, always wanting to do better than my peers so I could pull ahead of the crowd.  To my surprise, instead of making me happy and fulfilled, the success only made me more isolated, while the competitiveness all but killed my inner spirit.  As it turned out, I wasn’t always the smartest person in the room.  I was also, undoubtedly, not the most popular person in the room.  Who wants to be around a person who is constantly trying to one-up you?  The sad part is that I did all of this under the guise of “making the world a better place.”

It turned out the Universe had an interesting plan to bring me down to size.  The Universe made me an alcoholic.  For a perfectionist like me, nothing could be worse than the idea of failure, and being an alcoholic was pretty far down the failure continuum.  The shame and stigma of alcoholism has never been something I’ve aspired to.  I never thought something like that could happen to someone like me.

The ironic thing is that my alcoholism has been the thing that has helped me finally do what I always said I wanted to do – make the world a better place.  It’s certainly not the way I always pictured changing the world, nor is it on as big of a scale as I assumed it had to be.  It doesn’t even make me any money.  Yet, my alcoholism has forced me to confront certain truths about my life, my decisions and my core self.  I have had to look at the way I interact with my friends and family, my attitudes about virtually every aspect of life, and the greater meaning of this little life we have here on this planet.  In doing so, I’ve realized something pretty important.

The best way to change the world is to change myself.

The only way to change the world is to change myself.

For me, the disease of alcoholism gave me a chance to do just that.  What I thought was a curse turned out to be the very thing I was looking for my entire life.  I’ve been able to make an impact on the world, starting with me.  By releasing some of my resentments and regrets, and repairing relationships, I’ve been able to attain a level of peace and contentment that I didn’t know was possible.  That peace has given me the ability to truly be there for other people.  Now I’m spreading that message of hope and peace one person at a time.  I’ve had people in my own little life tell me that I have inspired them to become the best versions of themselves.  That’s amazing!  It’s not flashy, but it’s important and meaningful, and that is everything I’ve every wanted.

Gabby Bernstein teaches that we can raise the energy around us and make the world a more positive place simply by operating from a place of positive energy ourselves.  We can become the light and goodness that the world needs, and in doing so, we will help the world evolve to a higher level of consciousness and make the world a better place.

I believe that to be true, because I’ve seen it happen in my own life.  I don’t have to be the CEO of Make a Wish Foundation or even volunteer at a soup kitchen to make the world a better place.  I simply have to be the best version of myself, and radiate love and joy from inside of me to the big, wide world.

Imagine what kind of world we would live in if everybody focused on making themselves the best, most loving, most compassionate versions of themselves, and then passed that example on to others.  Picture how peaceful and exhilarating a world filled with healthy, whole people can be.

You don’t have to be an alcoholic, like me, to reach inside of yourself and find a better way to live.  There doesn’t have to be anything wrong with you at all!  You don’t have to have cancer, or lose a loved one, or go through any sort of life crisis to wake you up to the beauty that’s inside you.  You can decide right now to life your best life.

You don’t have to live an unfulfilled, anxiety-ridden, disconnected life.  You don’t have to settle.  You can live the life of your dreams, and be the person you’ve always wanted to be.  I know this to be true, because it has happened for me.  And once you become the person you’ve always wanted to be, you can do all the things you’ve always wanted.  You can even make the world a better place.

We can change the world by changing ourselves.  And it is worth it.  It is so, so worth it.

in order to awaken the world to the light we must never be afraid to shine – gabyy Bernstein, spirit junkie


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