I used to believe that you were born, lived according to the cards you are dealt and then you die.

I now know this to be untrue, fake news if you like! I have learnt over the last 20 years that you can be reborn without the necessity of dying first. You can take stock of your life, decide it is not going in the direction that you want and change the direction.

Now how did I come to this conclusion? Well it’s quite simple really, I changed my life. I decided that although the experiences I had growing up had defined my life to that point, whether consciously or unconsciously, they don’t have to define my future.

My life has consisted of three distinct phases. A childhood being sexually abused, a first marriage littered with infidelity by my spouse and my awakening.

My awakening was ignited by amazing ‘coincidences’ engineered by my paternal grandfather and the maternal grandmother of a woman I had never met. Both of whom were in spirit!

I have no wish nor need to dwell on the bad stuff except to say when my subconsciousness released my childhood when I was in my mid-thirties I had a total mental collapse; I had very few memories from before I was 10 or 11 years old!

I went into steep decline and felt as if I was a stranger in my own mind, not recognising the emotions that were pouring out of me, terrified by the dreams that would on occasion follow me out of my slumber. Were the very building blocks of my values, my morality the inner most self of me built on lies?

I left the Armed Forces a couple of years later still suffering with depression and anxiety and although I didn’t know it at the time I was also suffering from complex PTSD that went undiagnosed for 17 years!

The week before I was discharged I got divorced, lost my home and then my job. I was 40 years old and had no plan, no direction and to be honest no hope.

The same day that I got divorced I met a woman in a bar in the Canary Islands. I wasn’t supposed to be there, and neither was she, but our grandparents had other plans! When I sat down beside her our shoulders touched and I felt a spark run down my right arm.

Two weeks later we met up in London and I went to her spiritualist church with her. This was to change our lives forever. After the service there was a demonstration of mediumship and we got a joint message from my grandfather and her grandmother. The medium recited a conversation almost word for word that we’d had that very afternoon, and described items in her front room. That was 17 years ago, I have never seen that medium since and the amazing woman who took me there, who is now my wife, has been attending that church for over 30 years and had never seen him there prior to that reading.

Through all the mental trauma and heartache when I was convinced that I had no future and that I was completely alone in the world and unloved the Universe or God or Devine Spirit was surrounding me with love and guidance and moving everything needed into alignment, just for me, wow, that’s needs another wow.

Since that day in the church my life has changed beyond recognition, there have been many struggles and challenges. I have embraced books on wellness, happiness, spirituality and the Universe.

These all brought a sense of purpose and direction to my life. I realised that I didn’t want to wait at the bus stop anymore, I wanted to get on the bus of life and ride it to my dreamed of destination. I had no idea of the route, how many stops there would be on the way, but I was ready for the journey.

At one point I thought that I was the architect of my life, now I believe that I am a client of the architect. I give him or her the details of my dream house (life), they are the experts on how to navigate the regulations, who the best builders and craftsmen are and the ideal materials to use.

I just need to keep the picture in my head of how the house will look at the end and set course to move into it.

I thought of myself as unworthy. I searched for the answers to make my life a success.  What I now realise is that I had all the answers within. I reclaimed my power, the power I had been giving away all my life and used it to shape my destiny.

I now have the life that I dreamt of, I’m blissfully happy, married to a beautiful woman who is so far beyond any dream partner I could have dreamt of, doing a job every day that gives me great joy.

Some would say that I had a tragic early half of my life. I would argue against that point. I can look back and know that if any part of my life had been different I wouldn’t be who I am now. Now that would be a tragedy.

David Whatman is an ex-serviceman and former business owner who is just about to have his first thriller published. He is currently working on a second thriller and a love story. In between times he is writing an autobiographical book on the far-reaching consequences of childhood abuse combined with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and is exploring opportunities to speak publicly about the subject and raise the profile and understanding of it. Now living in Southern Spain.

Image courtesy of Mohammad Ali Mohtashami.