At the age of 23 I was living the American Dream. I had the house, the wife, the 2.5 kids the 401K and by society’s standards I was pretty successful. The only thing missing was the white picket fence. Within approximately a 6 year time frame my dream turned into a nightmare as I experienced divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, a deep state of depression and I was homeless for 2 years living out of a car.
At the time, I was completely confused and frustrated with life. I had done everything I thought a person was supposed to do to be happy and I was absolutely miserable. I had reached the end of my rope and I began to have fleeting thoughts of suicide.
During that extremely dark period in my life, when I was considering ending it, I received a miracle. I was sitting up late one night because I was too depressed to sleep and I began staring at my bookshelf. As I looked at the books I recognized that every book on my shelf had something to do with getting rich or making money. As I sat there staring at the books, all of a sudden I heard this voiceless voice ask me a question that would change my life forever. “Michael, what if you took all the energy and effort you’ve used in trying to get rich, and simply figure out how to be happy?”
As simplistic as that question may sound it literally changed my life in an instant. All of a sudden my depression lifted and I had this amazing clarity that I was going to be able to turn my life around. The question set in motion a series of synchronistic events that would ultimately guide me to rebuilding my life and helping me find my purpose and passion in life.
My transformational journey began with my willingness to go to therapy. During therapy I learned how my traumatic childhood was still impacting my life as an adult and it was the unhealed parts of myself that were the source of most of the pain and suffering in my life. By addressing my childhood wounds I began to experience emotional and psychological healing which led to me creating deep intimate relationships with others. As a result, I concluded through science and reasoning I could rebuild my life and there was no need for me to believe in God or anything else outside of myself.
For approximately 5 years I was committed to my healing and transformation. I attended workshops, listened to audio programs, read literally hundreds of books and began a meditation practice that became invaluable. In addition to my inner healing I had also begun healing my financial life and my life had actually become stable and enjoyable.
During my journey there were multiple transcendent experiences that challenged my atheistic worldview. Although I had come to the conclusion that God did not exist, there was something in me that decided to go on my own journey to make a connection to a power greater than myself.
My spiritual journey began with my willingness to really question everything I was taught about God as a child. I came to the conclusion that maybe the problem wasn’t God, the problem was what I was taught about God in the Christian church. I then decided that I would study the world religions and come to my own conclusions about God.
After dissecting the bible and reading other holy books like the Quran, The Bhagavad Gita and the I Ching, I decided that I would take it a step further by visiting Buddhist Temples, Muslim Mosques, Hindu Temples and Jewish Synagogues. I spent a lot of time speaking with rabbis, priests and monks and it gave me some new perspectives about God. I concluded that every religion actually teaches the same thing. They each teach that every human being has access to a divine intelligence that permeates the Universe. This intelligence goes by many different names but ultimately the name does not matter. What truly matters is developing an intimacy and connection to this intelligence and when we do, nothing is impossible.
After embracing these new ideas about God I was introduced to the New Age Movement, which combined science with spirituality and confirmed what I’ve always believed: there is no conflict between the two. By embracing this philosophy I have come to believe that everything does happen for a reason and there are no accidents in a perfect Universe.
As I reflect back over my 25-year journey of transformation I can now see how all of the adversities in my life were perfectly orchestrated for me to end up exactly where I am right now. Every event, no matter how painful or difficult was put into my life with a specific purpose and every adversity was simply a stepping-stone to live the life of my dreams.
So if you are currently dealing with any adversity in your life, rest assured there is a divine plan at work and it’s up to you to figure out how to turn those adversities into stepping stones to live the life of your dreams.
Coach Michael Taylor is an entrepreneur, author (7 books), motivational speaker and radio show host who has dedicated his life to empowering men and women to reach their full potential. He knows first hand how to overcome adversity and build a rewarding and fulfilling life and he is sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others to support them in creating the life of their dreams. coachmichaeltaylor.com.