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My First Awakening

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Instead of my life story, tonight I will tell the story of how my life changed forever.

2016, a cloudless summer night.

My best friend, Matteo, and I, were up on a hill,

our heads tilted back, fixed on the roofless dome of stars.

Matteo was explaining how the bright stars might not be bigger than the dim stars, they might just be closer. He pointed up and said “Those really dim stars might be larger than the sun, but just many light years further from us.”

It seems obvious, but up until that point, I had only ever seen the night sky as a vista of darkness and stars. The sky was, in a sense, a 2 dimensional landscape for me, because I had nothing around me by which I could measure with depth as a comparison.

As a result of tapping into this thought that stretched my imagination, my perspective of scale violently swelled. I was no longer treating my body as the center point of reference to judge the outside world. In fact, my body became part of the outside world, because my imagination no longer sat in the perspective behind my head.

I didn’t just think about the distance between me and that colossal giant in space.

I felt it.

My first person perspective shot into space toward that dim star and looked back at my microscopic body. For the first time, I saw myself standing on the surface of spinning rock, surrounded by empty space.

All at once, I felt the presence of a new curiosity for the world, a deeper presence of beauty and drama and the presence of a hole in my chest. I looked at the world with new eyes. I felt the shortness of time we have. I felt empty because I looked back at that speck of dust called the earth and saw every human story, that expansive history, encapsulated in that small, sapphire sphere, coming to a cessation in a celestial second.

Have you ever lost a fundamental truth you held about yourself or the world? Maybe it was your religion, your trust in someone you love or a part of yourself you thought you would always have?

In an instant, I lost my fundamental beliefs, my values, my truths.

I had lost my life purpose and a large part of my identity.