In 2011, I was honorably discharged from the Navy after serving almost eight years. I was only 18 years old when I officially began my service. As is the case for many veterans, I hit a wall of despair when I left. I was uncertain about my purpose in life, and I felt aimless and completely empty.
And the more the reality of not having job security set in, the more I started to feel insecure about who I really was.
During my time in the military, from West Coast to East Coast, Diego Garcia and deployments to Kuwait and Afghanistan, I became more apathetic. As my apathy worsened over the years, I realized it was most evident in my personal relationships — I felt nothing.
Repressing my true self throughout my naval career eventually became a constant internal nagging that manifested into many different emotional and physical alignments.
When I left the military, I felt my whole life hit rock bottom. I had no desire to be a part of anything. My life felt like as if I was on autopilot so at one point, I attempted to end it. Thankfully my beloved rescue dog, Tank, saved my life. He was able to sense that there was something very wrong the night he found me in the bathtub.
Given a second chance, I was determined to revive what little life I had left in me and find a way to heal myself. I was always drawn to spirituality, but I wasn't sure which path I wanted to take. I began reading about meditation and the power of being mindful, even though I felt like I would never in my lifetime accomplish that level of serenity. I was frightened by what my subconscious might to reveal, and so afraid to close my eyes. I was afraid to relive my previous aggressive behaviors and past sexual traumas from my failed relationships.
Meditation felt impossible. I tried therapy many times and even read self-help books, but there was still something missing. I was afraid to take medications for my depression or mood swings, but was still determined to find a way to heal myself. I knew I needed to find a way to meditate if only for five minutes at a time, and I craved peace more than anything.
I am not certain what triggered it, but something in me told me to go and purchase crystals. I am certain that during my time researching meditation, crystals and chakras were in some of the articles that I had read on practicing mindfulness. So I did a Google search for "chakra crystals" and immediately went to the nearest crystal store.
For the first time in my life, I was not concerned about research, scientific evidence or absolute answers. I just felt this strong, inexplicable urge that I needed these crystals in my life. The minute I first walked into that crystal shop, I immediately felt at home. I cannot explain how they worked or why, all I know for certain is that they helped me heal.
I purchased a red carnelian for my root chakra, orange calcite for my sacral chakra, citrine for my solar plexus, rose quartz for my heart, aquamarine for my throat, yellow tigers' eye for my third eye, amethyst for my crown chakra and hematite for grounding.
After cleansing my crystals, I aligned them on my body along the chakra points and felt instantaneous relief. I felt safe and at peace. Though the chatter in my mind didn't instantly subside, nor did my traumatizing thoughts, I was able to lay there and release. I cried, but without the terrifying feeling that I was going to implode. I was instantly hooked on crystals.
Each day I meditated with my crystals and my life started to untangle and unfold into this beautiful new reality. Now I'm able to meditate 30 minutes every morning and I rarely need to use my crystals anymore. Though I practically live in a cave adorned with all the crystals I have collected over time, I do not depend on them like I once did, but I do believe in their power that helped me.
With crystals, herbal remedies, change of eating habits and meditation, I was able to connect back to my true self. My intuitions became stronger and my will to live intensified so much that I became a holistic health practitioner in hopes of inspiring and empowering others to connect with their true selves.
I encourage everyone to give crystals a try. Whether it's finding someone who does crystal therapy, or going to a crystal store and trusting that your intuition will lead to what you need. Maybe it's not crystals for you, but maybe it's herbs, yoga, rock climbing, or breath work. We all need to find the tools that help us evolve and connect us to our dreams and our true life path.