Mark Bowness was on the cusp of suicide. Then he made a New Year’s Resolution that saved his life and turned it around.
Crash. Bang. Reality. As I woke up, a dark misty haze swirled around my mind. The moment I realized I was in a hospital bed, memories of the past 24 hours came flooding back. I’d tried to take my own life. At the age of 26, my marriage had ended, and at the same time, the non-profit organization I had worked so passionately to grow, had been pulled out from under me. Living ceased to be an option.
After a seven-year relationship, my wife had walked out of the door—and as I sat in our apartment surrounded by everything we had built together, the future looked dark and overwhelming It was a future I was certain I could not endure. I turned to Google and keyed in the words “most painless and quickest way to kill myself.”
I will always maintain that my attempt at wiping my existence off the face of the planet was the best thing to happen to me; it totally changed my life. Whether it’s the end of a relationship, the struggle to get a job, or an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and lack of direction, we all experience “dark moments” in life. It is these most difficult times that can turn out to be the most profound.
Let me share with you four ways that your darkest moments could be the making of your life, should you choose to see this as a new doorway.
1. Forced self-intimacy
When life takes you to the darkest places, absolutely no one around you can understand how you feel or what you are going through. Others may have had a similar experience, but only you can react to your situations the way that you do. During our tough times, we are forced to stare at ourselves eye-ball to eye-ball, as though we are standing in the mirror and gazing deep into our very soul. As we engage in these moments of forced self-intimacy, we make crucial decisions that redefine who we are, what we want and what we are willing to accept or not accept for our lives. It is the choices that we are forced to make, during this dark period, that lay the foundation of our powerful life change.
2. Blank canvas opportunity
We absolutely take life way too much for granted. Trying to end my life was my awakening moment to this truth. I truly recognized with my head and my heart that we live life only once and so I made a decision to view my life as a blank canvas, to start again and paint whatever picture I so desired for my future. The result was that I created an eco-island business in Fiji that gained worldwide media attention, was filmed for 18 months and became a TV show that aired in the UK, Australia and America on BBC. My darkest moment became my catalyst to pursuing life in all its fullness, and as a result I embarked upon a crazy adventure.
3. Benchmarked experience
When we experience a powerful life situation and nothing feels as though it could get any worse, we have then built a foundation of experience on which to construct the rest of our lives. Nothing could be any worse than trying to take your own life, and so I launched a bold and daring business idea – if I went bankrupt it could never be as bad as non-existence. The tough times that we endure give us a place of reference and offer the motivation to continue. When we realize that we have endured ‘X’, and ‘X’ was horrific and terrible, yet we are still standing–then we are filled with the hope that we can get through the smaller battles each day.
4. A moment of awakening
There are times in our lives when everything piles on top of us, and as a result, we make decisions for our lives that are not healthy, nor wise – wrong relationships, poor choices in behaviour patterns, addictions and more. Friends and loved ones may tell us we are on a destructive path, but we don’t listen, as it is a path that brings us comfort in the moment. I truly believe that there are times in our lives that we are given a place to breakdown. It is through this “breaking down experience,” we undergo a powerful transformation, letting go of all that no longer serves us, arriving at a moment of awakening. Now we rebuild ourselves, truly discovering who we are, what we are about and everything that we stand for–from the ground up. These are the powerful moments of true awakening.
During my darkest moment in my life, the only person who may actually have experienced much of what I was going through, was the poor guy who wrote that post on Google. If you are on the precipice as we approach the dawn of this new year, I encourage you to not simply endure your life, but to embrace it.
In fact, so you won’t need to go through this alone, I’ve created a free online community called New Year’s Revolution where you can find the support you need from experts and other people just like yourself who are working to get over the hump! You’ll find a community of people, a life-changing ebook, webinars and plenty of encouragement to start your new life. It was a New Year’s resolution which changed my life!
So don’t wallow…grab life by the horns, wrestle it to the ground and overcome your demons. I truly know that you will look back and be able to say that this moment, right now, was the best thing that ever happened to you. I believe in you.