Updated: Jun 30, 2020
| This is the 301st story of Our Life Logs |
Many people search far and wide for a way to the truth. They turn their heads in every direction for fear of missing the right path, and yet, they miss the opportunities presented in the moment. I believe that all experiences in life are the stepping stones that eventually lead to one’s truth. And so, I would like to share my truth with you. Here is my story.
I was born in England in 1969 as a breech baby with a hole in my heart and narrowing valves. In fact, I actually died after my birth, but thanks to the expertise of the nurses and the doctors at the maternity hospital, I survived despite the odds. If it were not for them I would not be here today.
As a young boy, I had an inquisitive mind. I always wanted to know everything, as I sensed that I was given a gift of wisdom in that my mind was naturally open and innocent. My parents were very tolerant and kindly put up with my endless questions. Though, I suppose their patience was sharpened by the time I came along, being the youngest of four boys.
I always felt a bit “different” from my friends and family. Due to my poor state of health—a general state of physical weakness, I did not participate in school sports. I was often on my own. I gradually became somewhat shy and introverted.
When I entered senior school, I found myself mixed up with the “naughty boys,” and we got into all kinds of trouble along with experimenting with drugs. I suppose I was first drawn to their air of camaraderie and latched onto the attention they offered me.
For a while, the trouble we caused was exhilarating, but the kids turned out to be big bullies. They would taunt and play mind games with me while we were high on drugs. For approximately three years, they played cruel pranks on me while pretending to be my friends. Being a sensitive soul and at an impressionable age, I became their victim and I was unable to break away from them.
The effects on my psyche from the drugs along with the bullying left me emotionally bankrupt. At 16, I developed a personality disorder in the form of paranoia fueled by continuous drug abuse and eventually suffered from a nervous breakdown.
My breakdown sent me even further into my shell and I suffered from chronic anxiety. Loneliness overwhelmed me. It felt as if life had taken advantage and was allowing others to do so also. I felt I was completely at the mercy of these negative emotions and out of control. My mind was suspicious of the world and I was nervous and fearful in the company of other people.
For the remainder of my schooling, the harrowing drug and bullying incidences haunted me. I was vulnerable inside.
It was in 1989, at the age of 20, when I decided to go on holiday by myself to our favorite family vacation spot at Ilfracombe Seafront, North Devon Coast. I had some wonderful memories from when I was a young boy, and I needed time to think.
One night during a full moon, I looked up at the sky and experienced a strange feeling, as if something amazing was about to happen to me. With my old Polaroid camera and I took the moon’s portrait. As the picture emerged, I was astonished to see the moon’s shape, it was not completely round—yes—it was in the shape of a heart and its position was dead center on the photo (I measured it from all 4 corners.)
The following day is one I will never forget. I happened to meet someone who would change my life, a girl named Sarah who had the most beautiful hair I’d ever seen. Its color was a deep sunset red and I was literally spellbound. The universe shined on me to renew my spirit.
We didn’t say anything, but our eyes said it all. It was really uncanny as if we already “knew” each other. One could call it love at first sight.
Sarah renewed my trust in people and accepted me unconditionally. I was thankful to God for sending me this lovely woman. I’d been broken and spat out, and yet, here she was.
Sarah and her family welcomed me where others pushed me away. With Sarah, there was hope. I moved to the North of England where she lived and our happiness knew no bounds. But a part hidden in me was still wounded. I had still had skeletons in my closet and I had not exorcised the ugly demons from my past.
Over the next 10 years, I spiraled down, indulging in alcohol and drugs. It was more pleasurable to spend an evening intoxicated than it was to let the loneliness from my youth crept into my self-talk. Even with Sarah alongside me, the battle was already lost. Still, no trauma can be avoided forever. Every binge eventually led to a moment of clarity, a moment alone with my thoughts.
Thankfully, I did not lose my inquiring mindset because at heart I was actually still the same little boy that I used to be. My questioning mind was still seeking answers. “Why am I here and what’s my purpose on earth?” I often pondered on these mysteries.
So, from 1993 to 1994, I turned to philosophy and different forms of esoteric thought. I explored the possibility of alien life. I delved into the Mayan and Ancient Egyptian religions, I sought the answers in crystals, and I indulged in hallucinogenic drugs.
One time during this spree, in which I sought the way to truth through intoxication, I had another vision that again involved the moon and one which would once more change the course of my life.
I used to go out into the country in Manchester sometimes, take drugs and dance around a fire to induce visions. On this full-moon night as I looked up at the sky in my intoxicated state, a massive alien head appeared in the sky and the moon became its third eye.
I got the fright of my life but continued to look despite my fear. The spectacle faded and a benevolent face that looked like a wise man from the East appeared in the sky.
I calmed down immediately and my “aware side” told me to take it as a sign. Then I knew that this passage of my life of seeking answers through drugs had come to an end.
My journey to hell and destruction stopped then and there. I turned to the universe and humbly asked for a living spiritual teacher.
I looked into Eastern spiritual practices and I started doing yoga. Slowly I started walking on a path to light and true healing. I really enjoyed yoga’s physical benefits. After reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda, I learned about the teachings of Eastern spiritual masters.
One day in 2001, my brother asked me if I had heard of Qigong (energy cultivation). I hadn’t, but I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I asked Sarah to find out if there was a book on Qigong. She told me she found one called Zhuan Falun by Li Hongzhi in a local bookstore.
She left the room for a few minutes and reappeared with the book in her arms. She opened it on a chapter called “Spirit Possession.” That’s when the penny dropped.
I had heard that people who indulged in drugs and alcohol could incur a type of spirit possession. Was I perhaps possessed by bad spirits? It seemed very “coincidental” that Sarah would find the book just when I asked her and that she would open it on that page.
I read the book from cover to cover, and within it, I found the answers to my questions and prayers.
I realized that this particular Qigong, called Falun Gong, is a genuine teaching and a sure path. By exercising its universal principles and meditating, I changed myself at the core, and amazingly, my wounded heart and my twisted mind began to heal. The bad spirits left me and everything around and within me became clear and clean.
I took my long-time sweetheart Sarah to be my wife in 2005, and we bought the house in which (again, coincidentally) was the very same house where I had seen the smiley face so many moons ago.
Today, I am a happy man. I have forgiven my “friends” and am free of hurt and resentment. Whether or not I am a success isn’t up to me to say. But people talk about salvation. After being freed from the hell of self-pity and self-destruction I have been released from that danger and I will continue to (or at least try) to appreciate this gift that the universe has granted me. I would like to pass the light of hope on to anyone willing to listen.
With seeking truth, we are always beginning. And yet, we are always free.
This is the story of Tony Langston
Tony was a shy, introverted child who fell in with a group of bullies who introduced him to drugs and alcohol. Their bullying led to a nervous breakdown and feelings of anxiety and addiction that would later haunt Tony. After years of demons, Tony found hope and healing in the Chinese yoga teachings called Falun Gong. Tony and Sarah Langston live a quiet and peaceful married life in their cozy home in Manchester, England, with their rescue Persian. They enjoy their natural surroundings, love gardening and have a close circle of friends while supporting each other in their respective projects. Tony owns and manages an interior decorating business that he established in 2001. He attributes his professional and personal growth to his newfound faith and hopes to continue seeking truth.
This story first touched our hearts on March 13, 2019.
| Writer: Simone Jonker | Editor: Colleen Walker |