Waking to Epiphanies

It is always easy to blame others … for everything that goes wrong or becomes askew in our lives. I think it is our first reaction. Blaming others affords us freedom from looking within. It can also provide time for us to process the emotion caused by what has happened. And the events … our outrage forces us to talk about what has happened, to get it out of our system. It can be healthy.

I think though, sometimes we can get stuck in blaming others, in that outrage. And this is not healthy for us.

This morning, I had a moment. I am really good with people when I am listening to them, being their friend, supporting them, hanging out with them. As much as in recent days there are some people who have questioned my integrity with regards to genuine care, I do genuinely care about the welfare of others. If I lend an ear, offer advice, send supportive messages, it all comes from an authentic and genuine desire to support.

I am really good at supporting myself, and here comes the caveat, the moment, because I perceive that I have always had to be the one to support myself. So, I continue to support myself.

What I am not good at, is talking about myself unless I feel completely safe. Remembering this is a new epiphany, so I am still processing the depth of its impact in my life, I am likely to still ‘blame’ others before I reach acceptance.

I struggle with the belief that any individual could genuinely want to listen to me, just me, without sharing their own pains. Not their fault. My perception is that I am not enough. Not enough unless I am providing some type of service for the other. Intellectually I know that this thought system is ridiculous and not true. However, the emotional imprinting of experience forces me to run to this belief first. And then I become stuck … more often than not. Now that I am aware, I will push through this in future.

I think too, that similarly to intimate relationships, I don’t always place my energies in friendship into the friendships that could offer me what I truly desire and need from friendship. And I only ever feel betrayed by friendship when I am at a low point. In the good times I have great friends. No complaints. Which I think verifies the validity of my assertion that I do not choose friends holistically.

I also then blame those friends who I perceive aren’t there for me. They should be there, I say, because I am always there for them, and then I say that they are selfish, but really, the friendship hasn’t been constructed to offer mutual support, it wasn’t built for that. And that, well, that, I think is my doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going kamikaze on myself. There is no resentment here this morning, and no undeserved blame or responsibility being shouldered. In fact, I feel more at peace than I have in years this morning with the role of friendship in my life.

I do possess friends who do support me. I know this. I trust it. I believe in it. I also receive support from people who are in my life, like here on my blog. I think that people offer what they can when they can. Some people understand a situation better than others can, and some people know how to be a friend to me better than others do, and some people I have worked with for years and we train each other to be what we need.

What needs to come from me is less resentment (no resentment) and an acceptance that the people who are there are the ones that have something to offer at that time. That doesn’t mean I have to cull friends, it just means that I need to not expect from others what they can’t or are unwilling to give at times. And that is okay. But, I also need to learn to nurture the friendships that do offer me the more holistic relationship that I crave. And not rebel against them.

What a purge. Lol. Yesterday’s ongoing, constant, nagging introspection appears to have yielded some results.

I am also feeling better prepared for the long fight against bureaucracy that is coming. I am almost ready to start my chain of letters of complaint.

One Week Down

My friend Sara, and I went to see Wild on Thursday afternoon; an attempt at work/life balance as well as intellectual and spiritual reflection. What an incredible film! As an English teacher I am never immune to the quality of craftsmanship as well as the quality of story: both superb.

I had intended to write this on Thursday night when I arrived home but the fur kids were feeling very neglected. They took priority. Even now, two and a half days later, the words are still milling inside my brain and aren’t very coherent; I will probably not do the film justice.

I cried for most of it. I love when a film resonates that deeply. I hate when a film resonates that deeply. Sara and I were the only ones that laughed at the opening scene when she throws her boot. As we laughed though, I knew that when that scene was put into context I would be crying. And I did. Buckets. And that was whilst I forced most of them back so that I didn’t become ‘that woman kicking, screaming and sobbing in the foetal position’ in the cinema. Lol. Gotta love the magic of story.

Sara and I were the only ones that laughed at quite a few scenes. As Cheryl struggled with her backpack I was drawn back to backpacking in Europe in winter during 2010, struggling to get backpacks on as trains arrived at destinations. Quality memories.

And then her journey to reclaim herself. A worthwhile journey not dissimilar to Elizabeth Gilbert’s in Eat, Pray, Love. Physical challenge that supports inner growth. Is it really inner growth though or journey back to whom we truly are. Reclaiming the pure essence of childhood before life imprinted.

It is so easy to want to give up. To not live wholly, to make excuses, to become bogged down. It is so valuable to keep pushing forward though, to vanquish our enemies and demons, and to live authentically in a world that really only wants automatons. To know that you are breathing the mountain air freely …

Having said that, prior to the movie I saw a man walking up the stairs. I blinked. He wasn’t really there, well not in this realm. I say this only to provide context for what followed.

The cinema only had six other people in it. A group of three women, a lone woman, an elderly couple and us. I didn’t hear the mother with baby walk in and sit directly behind me. In 44 years of life and many many movie viewings, I have never been in a cinema with a mum and bub unless it was a mum and bubs session. And that only once before the epic journey of trying to conceive.

Part way through the movie I heard a baby gurgling behind me. I froze. After seeing the man I didn’t know if this was my imagination, a sign or what. My first response was to run. My second response was significantly more rational – if this was a sign from the Gods, what was it a sign of?

I tried to turn discretely to see if there was a baby but couldn’t turn enough to see; in my mind I didn’t want to make a real mum self-conscious about her baby’s noises when obviously, this was her ‘me’ time. And she is entitled to that free from judgement.

What are the odds?

And the noises continued throughout the movie. Eventually I realised, when rational mind took over, that the baby was real, and eventually I stopped trying to ascertain what it could possibly mean.

It will all be what it is meant to be.

She tries to say with conviction lol. Unsuccessfully. Her mind and heart know she is still struggling to find an answer that feels right. That journey is clearly not yet at its end.

Journeys are incredible things. Ironically, teaching that concept to Year 11 this term 😳.

The path is not always (rarely) straightforward. They can be (often are) unpredictable and frustrating. Obstacles abound, trying to force you back or make you stop, every time you think you are making progress. And they are exhausting.

But beautiful. And liberating. And rewarding.

Almost always taking you to your self, your true potential. We are far stronger than we believe. And infinitely more capable than we imagine.

I once trekked through the Annapurna’s in Nepal.

This year is a new journey for me. Trying to be who I am and live more wholly. With more balance and more external inspiration.

The sunrise was beautiful yesterday morning. The ocean was ferocious. Unswimmable. The ocean cleansing itself of its own impurities? But ravagingly beautiful all the same; a reminder that she doesn’t exist for others but for herself , and often she will allow us in to share her beauty but she will give herself time when she needs it. To heal her own wounds and forge her own path; separately from all who depend on her.

Timely reminder.

And so I have bought tickets to Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk at the Opera House in March, and have booked myself in for a ukulele workshop over two Saturdays in March.

Balance is important. As is the need to forge one’s own path, separately from those that depend on us for theirs.

There will be more coming in this vein … Still processing 😉.