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.