- On May 21, 2016
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My First 60 Years of Life – What I Have Learned
This is the first birthday that caused me to really sit down and reflect on my life and the time that has gone by so far.
First, I am so thankful to see another day and live another year. I thank God for the grace and mercy I have received to date.
Birthdays have never been a big deal to me. I always looked at them as just a number.
When I turned 50, I decided that I would age – but not become old. (I think there is a big difference in aging and becoming old.)
When I turned 59, something different starting happening to me. It wasn’t physical. I started reflecting on the nature and usage of time.
In the last 30 days as I approached turning 60 years old, I started getting very quiet. I now have a desire to dig deep and examine whether I have I done everything I could with my time to date.
I started questioning myself because of the effect of suffering through panic attacks, anxiety, self-doubt, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from my childhood trauma of childhood sexual abuse.
In 2013, I decided to start speaking up to help others heal and help myself heal at a deeper level in my life. Since then, my senses have been heightened to a level I didn’t know existed in the last few years.
I see, hear, touch, and smell in ways I didn’t know existed for me. I appreciate and hear birds and other wildlife around me all the time. I smell plants and other aromas of nature I never smelled before in my life.
When I greet friends or loved ones now, I look deep into their eyes, feel their energy, and enjoy the time together. When I hug someone to greet them or say goodbye, it is a hug of positive energy and joy.
When I look through my camera lens now, I see things so clearly and brightly in a way I didn’t know existed. I can now hike and sit for hours to wait on the picture I need to take at that moment. I no longer plan what picture I will take; I let it happen. I want my pictures to tell a story without ever adding a word.
Before I decided in 2013 to go deeper into healing, I had healed enough to enjoy life – but not enough to truly feel the energy of life.
Fortunately, I am naturally a happy person and my smile has always been real. But I was like most survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I wanted to hide from it. I wanted to believe it never happened.
I was always nervous and fearful and waiting on the other shoe to drop. My self-esteem was low, so I had to work extra hard to push myself to go for my dreams.
I am blessed with a loving and happy spirit, but I often felt I didn’t deserve to be happy for long because I was tarnished and unworthy. I believed, “Who wants to be with the kid that couldn’t stop someone from stealing their innocence as child and allowing themselves to sexually abused?”
This is why I question whether I used my time wisely to date. I feel I missed so much time letting my past consume me and keep me wrapped in imaginary fear. I believe I could have done so much more.
Then I remind myself God is in control. I pray every day that sharing my journey helps someone to heal – but that their journey not take decades.
Sometimes I wonder whether I should have just gone quietly into the sunset with my childhood trauma. Then I get the thank-you note, the phone call or the whispered admission: “Thanks for talking about it, Mr. Moody. It happened to me.”
That is all I need to hear to know I am doing what God wants me to do at this time and I have used my time wisely to date. I pray that with whatever time I have left, I will use it to make the world a better place.
Read my journey of healing while raising a family, building a business, growing in my faith and finding peace in my new book, “Fighting Through the Fear – My Journey of Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse.” My good friend Charles W. Cherry II and I wrote it together. Click here to purchase your copy of “Fight Through the Fear.” A portion of the profits will go to help others heal and find joy. Go to Moodyspeaks.myshopify.com for the book.
Thanks for reading moodyspeaks.com and helping others heal.