Self-Love and Self-Directed Kindness

The Day I Stopped Believing in Magic; the Day I Started Again

I remember the day I stopped believing in magic, and I remember that day I started again.

Magic Everywhere

I definitely believed in magic growing up.

My life wasn’t always easy when I was young. However, I had this sense that there was a loving and powerful presence larger than me in the world.

And I knew that even though the world had bad things in it, the world was also full of people who were loving and creative. They could teach me really cool things about the world I didn’t know.

I knew there were beautiful forests to explore that were full of quiet wisdom and wonderful wildlife.

And I realized that I had the ability to draw and create and write and learn new things and that this gave me the power to change my world.

I realized that every day I could meet people who were full of ideas and playfulness, and we could invent new games and explore the world together.

All of this seemed like magic to me. I remember once in about fourth or fifth grade thinking to myself, “Every day is like an adventure. I just never know what exciting things are going to happen.”

And I held on to this spirit of adventure for quite some time. But eventually, like it does for many people, life came crashing down on me.

The Crash

The details of this crash are not especially important. The generalities are probably realities you are familiar with, too.

I had several extremely hard years in which tragedy struck.

And I experienced profound loss.

I had some pretty big failures.

And I felt betrayed by people I thought loved me.

For a while, life became a matter of just getting by every day.

And I reached a point where I said to myself, “I will never be happy again.”

That was the day I stopped believing in magic.

Magic Nowhere

Maybe you have had a day like that, too—a day when you stopped believing in magic.

I thought that was the end of the magical life I had known, but it wasn’t.

A few months after the day that I stopped believing in magic, I had a sudden realization, “I love myself. Life is really hard, and I have survived a lot. I am proud of myself.”

I felt profound feelings of love and compassion for myself because of my suffering. It struck me that I had never thought of myself in that way before. The moment I did, I felt peace.

And I still felt sad for a really long time after that, but I started to realize several things.

New Magic

I realized that not only did I have a new love and compassion for myself in my suffering, I had a new love and compassion for others in their suffering.

And I realized I had developed a lot of bravery and perseverance from going through the things I had suffered.

Also, I realized that even though I had felt shaken by the events in my life, those events revealed my beliefs and values that were unshakeable. I could see them clearly, and I suddenly felt strong.

And I started meeting other people who had suffered or were suffering some of the same things I had. Together, we figured out how we could share love with each other and others in the world who were suffering, too.

My suffering, by closing several doors in my life, made me realize it was time to pursue dreams I had put on the back shelf for far too long. As I did, and I discovered a whole new world.

In that world, I could sense, once again, that there was something larger than me and loving. It was  working on my behalf to help things grow in my inner soil that had felt really dormant and dead for a long time.

One day, shortly after this, I remember saying to myself, “I feel so free and alive.” That was the day I started believing in magic again.

Magic Comes in Different Forms

Suddenly, I realized that magic comes in several different forms. There is the magic of childlike faith and hope and optimism and playfulness. And there is the magic of grief and failure and sadness and compassion. There is the magic of endings and beginnings. And there is the magic of innocence and wisdom.

All of these moments contain magic, and compassion and love and willingness help us find it.


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One of the ways I bring more magic into my life is by adopting a playful attitude towards life. If that sounds interesting to you, you might like this post.

I love this post about unlocking the magic of life. You might like it, too.

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