Friday, 19 May 2017

Burning the Scripts

I haven’t written anything for almost two months, because I’ve been basking in a completely new and entirely radical enjoyment of being NOTHING and NOBODY. And that being ENOUGH.

I say radical because up until recently and for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen an ordinary life as a wasted life - and in fact my greatest fear was not living an extraordinary one. But so many veils have been falling from my eyes lately and all the false stories I’ve been telling myself for far too long are dissolving away. Even as I write this I am unsure whether I will finish this post because in many ways the motivation to do so is gone. I am not experiencing the usual high of being a bright, sparkly, witty spiritual blogger and therefore meeting my own approval. I already HAVE my own approval, whether I do spectacular things with this life or stay in bed all day every day. It’s really a remarkable transformation of beliefs. I’ve been burning the scripts of my old life in order to make way for something new and so much better, and it feels so GOOD! It is so incredibly liberating to let go of the burden of being someone I’m not.

You see, the OLD me would look at the present me and in many ways see a failure. And although this transition is starting to feel really good NOW, up until recently it has been essentially heartbreaking. I have grieved so hard for the loss of my old life, my old persona, my old dreams. And I have hated myself sometimes for not being able to be the person I always dreamed of being. From a young age I believed I was an extrovert trapped in an introvert’s brain. I was so painfully shy and quiet at school, and fuck me did I admire and envy the popular, beautiful, confident, outgoing girls in my class. To be like them was everything I ever dreamed of. So as I grew up I kept moving around; in each new city shedding my old shy introverted self a little more. I broke ties with almost everyone from my past as the desire to reinvent myself was so strong (and exciting). I became the person I wanted to be, and I had so many amazing experiences as that person. But the side effect of playing a role every single day was chronic anxiety. I was constantly churned up with it inside while putting on a bright and brave face. I was repressing the shit out of my inner introvert, who needed my love and acceptance more than anything - and who got instead my total rejection and disownment.

It’s taken so many years for that old dream to crumble. All through the first few years of my awakening and healing process I was STILL so easily visualizing the end result - me being happy, glowing, beautiful, sociable and confident in every situation. The funny thing is that I don’t believe this picture is too far off the mark. The more that I own who I am, and integrate that old shy rejected me, the more confident I become. In social settings, from the outside, I probably appear to be exactly as I dreamed of being. And it’s not acting anymore. It’s a natural confidence stemming from the fact that I no longer crave approval and acceptance from others. It also comes from knowing that I will leave that social situation as soon as I am done with it, and I will allow myself HEAPS of alone time to recuperate afterwards. I don’t burn myself out anymore by ignoring the parts of me that are screaming to GET AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE! I still have major freak outs every now and then - especially when thrust into a new situation or meeting new people - but instead of telling myself to snap the fuck out of it and be normal, I honor that fear and be gentle with myself. And if I really can’t do something or go somewhere, I don’t. I have abandoned the process of abandoning myself.

Owning my introversion has been a total revelation. As I said it’s been a heartbreaking transition, but yet the HAPPINESS that is beginning to come through as a result of this is something I’ve never ever felt before. I always believed that my years of being a Sydney party girl were the best of my life, because I was BEING THAT PERSON - going out every weekend, having enough drinks (etc) to dissolve my anxiety and awkwardness, dancing the night away and always meeting new people and having so much fun. Those have been the times that I’ve yearned for. My old self seems to conveniently leave out the parts where I drove myself mental with anxiety and overthinking before a social occasion; where I would wake up on Friday morning and view the weekend ahead with a sense of overwhelming dread… Every night out when I would chuck back the first few drinks just to drown my fear with alcohol and then inevitably keep up that rapid pace and get way too drunk... The many times where I would pick my skin to shreds right before going out clubbing and then have to spend the whole night touching up the makeup covering the angry red marks all over my face... The Sunday mornings where the dread would return tenfold when I would remember snatches of the night before and want to die with embarrassment. As that old quote goes; It was the best of times, and the worst of times.

But it was only the BEST because I was fulfilling a childhood dream, and when I was being that extraordinary self out on the town I was meeting my own approval. It was a superficial hedonistic kind of happiness. It was a fucking roller coaster of soaring so high and then free falling into utter depression and dread, and holding out til the next weekend so I could feel that high again, while at the same time absolutely dreading what I would have to do to get there. There were hundreds of moments where I was so deliriously happy that I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the entire Universe than RIGHT THERE. And there were dozens of moments that totally sucked. I just did a great job of ignoring those emotions and pushing them down every day.

The happiness that is coming through now is totally different. It’s the feeling of everything being utterly RIGHT in my world; it’s the most peaceful, warm, blissful joy and it comes bubbling and shimmering right out of my heart. It comes from the INSIDE (rather than being created by outside circumstances). Which at first was totally fucking weird. The first time I felt it was a couple of years ago when in the space of five seconds I went from not wanting to have children to knowing that having children was going to be the greatest happiness of my life. And it FREAKED ME THE FUCK OUT. I did NOT want to have a baby, in fact I told Nate when we first met that I was glad he already had a daughter because we would never have children together. And then suddenly I was getting this overwhelming golden glow in my heart at the thought of having a baby of my own. I actually called Nate at work and said, “I don’t know what’s happening to me but all of a sudden I really want a baby” - he just cracked up laughing because he was feeling it too, at the exact same time (that’s what connected hearts do people). It was quite confusing because the feeling of having a baby in my belly and then my arms was SO STRONG and REAL that it felt like it was going to happen TOMORROW. But really that was just the first golden paving stone on the road of my new life. And there have been many more moments like that since, interspersed with a lot of fear and anxiety about having children and not knowing if I would be able to handle it. There is clearly a lot of clearing and processing going on in my whole being before the event actually happens and for that I am so grateful! Because today I feel a million times more ready than I did that first night, and I know it will happen at the perfect time.

The second time I felt that joy bubble out of my heart was when I started getting the (again very sudden and random but undeniable) desire to move to Whangamata. I had only visited the place once as a child and couldn’t remember it at all, but suddenly I could picture a whole blissful life there with Nate and our future children and it felt SO. DAMN. GOOD. If I could bottle that feeling and turn it into a drink or a drug I would be a trillionaire. It is the best feeling I’ve ever had. It almost overwhelms my heart with joy. After being on such an intensive healing path for so many years and really befriending my darkness and lower emotions, this bright joy feels SO foreign. I have to breath through it sometimes so I don’t get too overwhelmed. It’s just so good. Nate and I moved to Whangamata a few months after that feeling first emerged and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. We magically landed what is the best house I’ve ever lived in EVER - which just happens to be decorated and furnished in all my favourite colours, and is only minutes walk to the most beautiful beach and estuary I’ve ever seen in my life. I LOVE this town like I’ve never loved any place. I loved Sydney because it was so vibrant and exciting and I felt so proud to live there, but this is different. This is the feeling of coming HOME.

The third trigger for this beautiful heartfelt joy was a recent crumbling of our financial stability. Nate was working in the goldmines for the first several months of us moving here - which never sat very well with me because of the environmental implications and my close relationship with Mother Earth, but he really wanted to try it and he promised me that he would ask permission from the Earth before every drilling session. He was earning a decent wage and for the first time in ages we were financially secure - living abundantly, saving lots of money, paying off old debts and going on lots of mini road trips and holidays. Then he got made redundant, and at first we both freaked out and tried as hard as we could to find him another high paying job. It felt like we NEEDED it. Both of us were in a zone of slowly but surely taking the money for granted, and slipping into an unfortunate position of not being satisfied with what we had and always wanting more. Nate was dreaming big dreams of overseas travel and I was becoming sick of cooking the same meals every week and wanting to go out to dinner all the time, as well as always wanting something new for my wardrobe or the home. When that money was taken from us, both of us became terrified that we would lose this beautiful rental home we’ve turned into our sanctuary. And suddenly everything was put into perspective. We managed to get help from WINZ to tide us over until Nate found a new job, and the prospect of living off about a third of his previous salary didn’t seem ridiculous - it suddenly seemed like the greatest gift! Because although we would have to REALLY budget with food and expenses, we wouldn’t lose our home. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with the feeling of joyful gratitude about everything we HAVE. Everything that I’d been taking for granted suddenly felt like the greatest abundance and I felt so happily blessed.

What emerged then was this strange EXCITEMENT about living a really SIMPLE life. Once again it burned through a wall in my heart and shone like a startling ray of sunshine onto my life. I was getting such incredible images of other lives where I’ve lived in a small cottage in a tiny village and made do with what I had, but been so grateful for all of it and so abundant in love, family and community. I suddenly became overwhelmingly EXCITED at the thought of feeding the two of us on a tight budget, of getting creative with cheap meal ideas, and just feeling so grateful even when repeating dinners a lot. Suddenly everything I cooked tasted AMAZING. Because I just felt so BLESSED to be eating such a yummy healthy meal, in a beautiful home, in a stunning town, sitting next to my incredible husband. I’ve never felt gratitude like it. And the feeling of abundance was so strong. I felt a hundred times more abundant living on staples than when we could have eaten at a restaurant every night. Nate will soon be beginning a job of Support Worker which will pay significantly less than the mines (at least to start with) but suits him and his strengths SO MUCH, and it is the beginning of a really happy new cycle in his life too!

And now this joyful feeling is emerging in my heart in a new way once again. Because this feeling is telling me loud and clear, that THE ONLY THING I NEED TO DO IN THIS LIFE IS BE MYSELF. It doesn’t matter if I don’t interact with another human being for the rest of my life, it doesn’t matter if I never leave my house, it doesn’t matter if I never leave my BED! This life will still be a roaring success as long as I am being true to myself every day. PHEWWWWW. It feels like the weight of the world has lifted off my shoulders.

It’s a gradual process with sudden moments of piercing clarity, but as time goes on the irony of this whole thing is that the ORDINARY is becoming EXTRAORDINARY. I used to think you needed to travel the world and do TED talks and write books and have 1M followers on Instagram and save the children of Africa or start your own company in order to live an extraordinary life. I was terrified by society’s messages of “Living your life to the fullest” and “You only live once, make it count” - they made my current life seem like the greatest failure. But the only failure you can make in this life is NOT following your dreams. And here’s the fine print they don’t get you to read very often - YOUR DREAMS CAN BE SMALL AND HUMBLE. They could even be invisible to the naked eye. You could be a person like me who looks on the outside like she does barely anything at all, when in fact she spends all day every day healing and shifting herself and therefore healing and shifting the entire planet! Your heart could call out for a log cabin and your own garden and THAT IS YOUR DREAM. You could spend your whole life in sweatpants watching Netflix and that life would be a success IF THAT IS WHAT TRULY MADE YOU HAPPY.

The greatest gift you can give yourself in this life is acceptance and honoring of what your heart desires. I overlooked my true heart’s desires for so long thinking they weren’t enough. I thought I wasn’t enough. My craving for a simple peaceful life with that old cliche of a loving husband, beautiful home and happy healthy children seemed like a punch in the face to the feminist movement (which I wholeheartedly support). But it would only be so if I was doing it because I was expected to, or because I felt I SHOULD. I am doing it and creating that life because the thought of it makes my heart SING with joy - and that, right there, is the feeling of utter success.

There is a card in the Tarot deck called The Tower and it has been coming up for me a lot in the past several months. It’s about old structures crumbling and collapsing in ways that feel like a disaster but actually turn out to be the greatest blessing. That is what is happening in every area of my life. And yes it’s scary at first. Letting go of my relationships with the majority of my family was devastating and terrifying, but has been the most relieving and liberating thing I’ve ever done. Feeling my old identity and dreams collapsing has been heartbreaking and disorientating but as the dust settles I am finding a happiness and inner peace I have never felt before. We can only achieve true joy and peace by letting go of all that is not in alignment with who we truly are - and that means burning the scripts of who we used to be. Main characters in your life story will disappear, and you may scramble around for a while feeling lost without a plot and carefully constructed lines to follow. But the new story of your life will blow your mind with its brilliance. Trust in this process, trust in yourself, trust in the callings of your heart - because there is so much magic that awaits you.