All Things Must Come To An End

It has been a little while since I have written something here, and the reason is not that I haven’t thought about writing, or that I’ve been too busy, or that writing is no longer a priority for me.

The reason is that there are so many things that I could currently write about, and things that I want to share, but to be completely transparent and honest, it is so damn hard to write openly about your life and thoughts and be vulnerable sometimes.

It is easy enough to find inspiration when things and life are going well. Easy to open up, to talk about yourself, to speak your mind. Social media is the perfect example of this, and mine is no exception. It’s a snippet of one persons reality and generally is carefully edited to include the best of everything which is something that can have both a positive and negative impact in turn.

Isn’t it true that when lifes energy shifts and the tides turn, when the only option is to hang on for dear life, it becomes so much more difficult to commit to sharing your story and letting other people see what is going on inside your world.

However, in the spirit of what I have always believed to be true about life, at the end of the day we are all human. We all have highs and lows and we are all on this crazy journey together and whatever hardships I experience, are undoubtedly shared by others also.

Knowing we are not alone in these moments is really what inspires us to carry on the most. To keep trying, to put one foot in front of the other and walk through one phase and into the next.

Most of us have heard the expression “All good things must come to an end.” Simple yet true; the expression originally formed part of a poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1300’s.

There is conjecture around whether the word ‘good’ did in fact form part of the original, or whether it referenced everything in life as coming to an end point.

I heard it countless times throughout my childhood, more than a saying it was a way of life. As habit would have it, upon returning from what was probably the most amazing holiday of my life a few days ago, it echoed through my mind as I faced reality and realised with sadness that it was all over.

The reason it was so emotional for me to return, was not just because I was back to everyday life and not just because a holiday was finished – that would be somewhat trivial. It was because of what that holiday symbolised for me in terms of my personal life and my growth and development in the 12 months leading up to it. It coincided with the ending of one pivotal stage of my life, and the beginning of a new one.

To be on such a joy-filled and wild adventure, exploring new places with new friends was a full circle moment for me, because it actually would not have occurred without first having to pass through the ending of multiple significant relationships, a complete change of environment, and a traumatising and torturous time emotionally.

To be in a place where I was feeling such happiness, freedom and fulfilment was in stark contrast to what I had previously experienced, I could not help but reflect the entire time on how much my life had changed for the better in such a short period.

However, in that reflection I had to acknowledge that during the darkest days, hours and minutes I could never have imagined that I would find so much light, and love of life again.

I certainly would never have expected that the difficulty that I had been through would actually bring me to a place within myself that I had never imagined I would find, and that I never knew I needed, but very much did.

The one thing I have learned is that growth can be incredibly difficult, painful, frustrating and confronting. It can be anxiety inducing, stressful and can test a persons will more than we would ever actively want it to.

Unfortunately without all of the above, we are unable to experience what I now consider to be a most important expansion within ourselves. Whether the growth of the individual is related to physical wellbeing, emotional, mental or spiritual, in my opinion is actually irrelevant.

What matters is that we are moving forward, learning and understanding ourselves and the world that we occupy better and more fully – no small feat.

When we begin to truly understand ourselves (something that takes much practice and effort), we are better able to understand those around us. How can we leave our mark on the world and make it a better place if we don’t even know who we are?

Is knowing who we are even important to us as human beings? It certainly is to me.

I might not get it right all the time, I have made many mistakes in my life and I will continue to until the day I die, but it does matter to me that my time here has a positive impact in some way. Small, large, to many or to few is not the point. In order to do that however, I’ve realised is that it all starts with the relationship I have with myself.

I previously wrote that in order to heal the world we need to start by healing ourselves. In addition to that, I also believe that in order to heal ourselves, we actually need to understand who we are and what has brought us to the place that we are in right now.

We are a sum of our experiences, our environments, our upbringing and our exposure to life and those around us. Our externally perceived presence in the world as well as our internal thoughts. In order to dig down to the essence of who we are, we first need to do a lot of unpacking, and examining of all of these things and years of social conditioning.

It can be uncomfortable, confronting and painful. It is also easily avoidable for those that choose not to travel down that path. It all depends on how badly you want the reward on the other side. Some of the best understanding I have found within myself, the greatest compassion and love, actually began when things got really, really tough for me.

So the bad times, the darkness and the difficulty, as hard as they were, I now see as blessings. Every person that has crossed my path, friend or foe, has been there to teach me a lesson about myself. To help me grow to be a better version of myself than I was before.

The path to healing is hard. It’s arduous and it is actually never ending. We don’t just wake up one day and find that we have learned all the lessons and we are now the perfect version of ourselves.

Learning to accept the flaws and imperfections in ourselves is key. Learning to love ourselves anyway is of paramount importance. That is the only way we can give that love and acceptance back into the world.

There is certainly no peace without pain.

For every time we fall down, f&^% up or get it wrong, we have 100 opportunities to stand up, try again and succeed. To make ourselves proud, to put a smile on our face, to feel a sense of satisfaction and to give ourselves a well deserved moment of happiness.

So rather than look at life with the attitude that “All good things must come to an end” what I realised is that life is just a big game of connect the dots, and the dots are a combination of beautiful, terrifying, good bad and everything in between moments. The good doesn’t last forever but fortunately neither does the bad. And we can be assured that whichever dot we are riding the wave of, will come and go as it was meant to and in the timing that was intended.

So I choose to thank the good moments for what they were, for who and what they brought, and to celebrate the positive impact they had and continue to have in my life. In the same vein I give thanks for the trials and what they are teaching me, and the person they are helping me to become, as I watch with interest whilst they move into my life and then leave accordingly when their work is done.

I am grateful for all of it, for whilst not perfect, its still life and it is one amazing journey to be a part of.

The Art of Letting Go

Isn’t it interesting that sometimes when a lesson is delivered it arrives in multiple forms and usually saturates every element of our existence until we pay attention?

That was my experience this week. For the last seven days it has really hit home to me that there is a finite line that exists between the importance of hanging on and letting go, in all aspects of our lives.

For example, sometimes in order to succeed, in order to grow and move forward or to express our authentic selves, a certain amount of grit, determination and digging in of the heels is required. It is in those times, when we know we really want or believe in something and the Universe is telling us contrary, we tend to hold on with all of our might and prove that we will make it happen.

From an early age it was impressed upon me to be tenacious and relentless in pursuit of what it is that I wanted to achieve in my life. That advice has been beneficial for me in a number of ways and is certainly something I am grateful for.

However, as I have grown older and hopefully just a little bit wiser, I have found that there is also a beautiful grace and peacefulness in learning to let go of things that were never truly ours to have, and things that were also not ours to control.

Letting go willingly, genuinely and without anxiety or fear.

The ability to release things that do not serve us, or were never meant for us, is particularly difficult to master when most of us perceive letting go of things as some sort of failure.

I know for myself, I had always thought it best to fight tooth and nail for the people, things, ideals and dreams that I held close to my heart. I still believe that there is nothing wrong with having the courage of your convictions.

What I refer to here is something different…

A recent period of immense growth has enabled me to see that there is a happy medium between letting go of absolutely everything and forging forward with everything, and that reaching the middle point is often where true contentment is found.

Some battles are not worth fighting, just like some people and situations are not worth fighting for. Our ability to choose between the two is paramount in determining our enjoyment and quality of life.

In order to successfully let go, we need to exercise a certain amount of faith. Faith in ourselves to determine when to push forward, backwards or sidewards and when to release, let go and walk away.

Faith in the Universe that it has our back and will deliver us what we need when we need it.

Faith that things are always working out for us even though we may not understand it at the time.

It is no secret that the best managers and leaders in business, particularly in the modern world, have an ability to let go of the reins and delegate to those around them without fear of what will happen if they are not entirely responsible for the subsequent outcome.

In personal relationships oftentimes the more control you exert over the people and situations around you, the more you hang onto them and your expectations of what they should and shouldn’t be and do, the less successful they generally are and the less happy individual parties often become.

The biggest realisation I have had however, is that if we don’t allow the proverbial doors in our life to close when they are organically meant to, we are actually preventing the right ones from opening in the same fashion.

This takes courage. However, what a tragedy it is for us to stand in the way of our own happiness, success and progress because we are hanging on so tightly to all the things that weren’t even meant to be ours in the first place.

I have always operated under the impression that we should control what it is that we are able to, and let go of the things that we aren’t. The last year has taught me that even those things that we can, we often shouldn’t anyway. Some things are genuinely better when we leave them alone and let them unfold in ways we may have never expected they would.

Therein lies the magic of life.

If you can relate to the above, you have likely been in situations that are similar to my own past experiences. Making decisions out of fear of the future, fear of failure or getting it wrong and exercising little faith that everything would work out as it was meant to.

It is such an empowering feeling, to relinquish control over certain aspects of our lives and just enjoy the ride that follows. I am not sure if there is any freedom experienced like that of the person who throws themselves into the universal flow of life without fear of the unknown and what it will bring.

Rather than seeing situations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, perhaps we can look at them objectively as just another part of the journey, as things that come and go freely and moments that don’t last forever. In this way, they hold less power over us and are less able to affect us or influence the ongoing state of our being.

Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. I truly believe that to let go is a skill to be learned in itself, in that it is mastered by few, takes practice, focus and dedication.

I for one, would certainly rather my life to be a work of art, created by myself in conjunction with destiny, and full of beautiful and unexpected moments that I could never have manufactured single handedly. Especially not whilst hanging on to all of those that were not right or meant for me.

As Eckhart Tolle put it – “Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or holding on.”

The Year of Healing

Last year I wrote an article about self body image and my inability to feel comfortable in my own skin and love and accept myself freely both publicly and privately.

What concerned me most at the time, was how this inability to do and feel loving acts and thoughts toward myself would render me incapacitated to be able to pass onto my future daughter/s (should I have any) the very thing that I held most important in my mind and my heart – self love and acceptance.

It was hard to face, the realisation that for almost thirty years I had secretly resented my body and my soul for everything that it was and had hidden them, punished them, chastised them, and on almost a daily basis internally criticised them.

This is not to say that I didn’t have fleeting moments of self love and acceptance, because there were good and bad moments, days and times.

However, it horrified me to come to terms with how cruel  I had been to the very person I owed the most amount of love, acceptance, encouragement and pride to – myself.

My 5 year old self, my 15 year old self, my 25 year old self and now there I was at 28 repeating these same hurtful and hateful cycles of behaviour that had plagued me my whole life and no doubt the women in generations before me.

So when my life as I knew it was turned completely upside down by devastating and unexpected circumstances (a story for another time), I took it as an opportunity to do what I had internally and probably subconsciously longed for myself in this life and possibly many before it. I decided to embark on the glorious and magical journey of self-healing.

A concept that in its initial stages was so foreign to me that it was something to be learned from the ground up.

The interesting thing is, that the person I am now, and the person I was 12 months ago are vastly different. The body is a vessel for the soul, and needless to say not only is my physical body changing and growing and shifting on a daily basis, but so is the spiritual one inside of me.

There is nothing more freeing, more beautiful and more satisfying, than coming to a point of love and acceptance of both, and being present to make decisions for myself that honour these two parts of me and in turn, enable them to shine their light in the way they were divinely designed to.

Today is an unforgettable day in my life, and no doubt in history itself. As I watch my social media feeds light up with photo after photo, message after message, of men and women alike campaigning not only for womens rights both in the USA and world wide, but for HUMAN rights, the rights of people of every age, sex, religion and race. My heart warms and I think to myself – ‘what a time to be alive.’ 

I am proud to be a global citizen today and I am proud of the people who shine the light on the truth and do it in the most powerful and profound way possible – through the power of love.

Because the one thing I have found in the last twelve months is that love is where healing starts and ends. Love for ourselves, mother earth, for God or the Universe or source – whatever way you see the greater power that both created and watches over us, and love for each other, for human kind, is the only thing that can eliminate evil and hatred from all of the above.

Therefore in addition to the posts I usually write where I share my perspective on various things I see and am a part of, I want to share my journey of self healing also.

Because in order for me to embark on it myself, I had help from countless people. Teachers, friends, authors of articles and books alike.

Brave souls who write about topics that they are passionate about. I had no idea where to start, but even more so, I had no idea where it would end up.

From the darkest of places to walking each and every day in the light.

Along the way, I have learnt so much, many mistakes have been and continue to be made. It is I would suggest, a never-ending journey, the path to healing oneself but what I have found is that the best way for us to heal the world, to heal the generations before us and those that will or have come after us, is to start with healing ourselves.

My hope is that even if the following articles reached one person who was in need, or who benefited from what I have learnt also, then I have helped the world in some small way, and shared the joy that I have been so fortunate and grateful to find in my heart.

Thank you for reading x