I just got off the phone with one of my clients, who gave me permission to write about her experience. I’m astounded at how she’s turned around her energy a complete 180 degrees in the last two weeks. We spent most of this fall trying again and again to get her out of a toxic spiral, and when she finally felt she reached a pit of despair, she said “I just don’t want to feel so awful anymore.” “Good!” I told her. “Don’t! Let this be your rock bottom. Let this be the moment you’ve had enough. You can turn this around.”

Today on the phone it was like speaking to an entirely different person. Her energy was upbeat, hopeful if nervous, and more self-aware of her patterns up front than she’d ever seemed before. She told me she’s trying multiple things to get happy – new friendships, classes, workouts – trying whatever looks helpful and then mindfully examining the results. She’s using online dating to practice her ability to see red flags, not necessarily looking for her next relationship right away but rather meeting a high volume of dates so she can practice her skills of discernment as to who cares about her feelings (and she already compassionately showed one fuckboy the door). She was asking me how she could know to trust in a better future. I told her it might take time, but that she was doing everything right, and that if she can continue to trust in the process she’ll see results. “But I’m so happy you’re asking that question,” I said. “That’s exactly the question I was asking a year ago. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how it worked, but I know it did, and I see it happening for you too. And for some reason, the more you relax and focus on attuning to what makes you happy, and the more you leave space for it to show up, the more quickly and easily it goes.”

I’m thrilled because I know what has worked for me these past 2 years as I set the intention to drop all my bullshit, my favorite teddy bear beliefs, my workarounds and excuses, and to finally surrender to a deep inner healing that I couldn’t possibly even understand at the time – but would I be able to explain and coach someone through their own journey? Would my personal path be universal enough to be helpful to others on their own paths? Would I, now, be able to explain to the me of 2 years ago that hope is possible, and guide her through the process toward happiness? If I didn’t understand what was happening to me back then, would someone in that space now be able to understand what I’m trying to tell them – or would they even have to understand it at all, could they just trust in it and let it unfold?

I don’t know exactly what caused her to decide that she’d finally had enough pain, and I definitely can’t take credit for it. All kinds of material instruction (dump him, block his number) were useless until she made the decision that she wanted to feel better. What I do know is that at some point she made that decision, and the shift between rock bottom and hey-I-feel-pretty-good-lately happened within the span of two weeks. I can help her along the way in practicing discernment, reflecting the emotions I hear her express, analyzing the situations she describes to me, suggesting next steps, identifying the things that appear to be working in her favor and encouraging her to let go of the things causing her stress. But I’m just a guide, giving suggestions based on what has worked for me and what I’m hearing from her. She had to make the choice to do the work herself.

I’m just so happy because I now see her in exactly the place I was a year ago, and I get to tell her “YES. This is absolutely possible. You can feel this much better and more. You can make space for your wildest dreams to show up for you. Yes, this is real; yes, healing is possible.”

And – because now that I see that my own case is not just a fluke – because I also get to tell it to myself.