Sailing solo…stark naked…
Have you ever felt like you cracked open? Like every event, every emotion, there ever was fell out of your chest and onto the world for full view? Today I felt like that and before my jet-lag dissipates and the fog leaves the hills once more and daylight enters, I will share it with you. Come tomorrow, having a clear head, I will once again want to sweep this story under the carpet. For now though, the hills are covered in fog and I feel safe and secure, sitting half asleep in my bed, writing.
Journeys end in lovers meeting, or so Shakespeare said. Traveling for me has always been a way of life. I have been blessed to see many places, I have had wonderful adventures and I have met some astounding people. Traveling has also always given me perspective – you cannot look at your life from the same point of view when you are looking at it from a different place, under different circumstances. What’s more, my passion for traveling has given me an excuse to always leave people and places before they leave me. I never worry what others think of me, because I don’t live there anyway. I don’t really care, so I feel free, independent and happy, but today I got sick of traveling. I don’t want to need to be constantly running to feel happy. After having my sister calling me yesterday complaining about not having seen me for eight months and a friend crying as I left London town, I just realized it’s about time I face up to it, if I want to end my journey in a loving meeting, rather than as soon as I want to become part of a town, a social circle, or a man, feel like I’m being judged and lose my self-confidence and start running all over again to feel safe, secure and confident.
Today I saw the movie The Time Traveler’s Wife on the plane. It wasn’t a good movie, it was poorly executed, but to me it meant the world to watch it, because suddenly I saw my life in a completely new light. I saw how it would have looked like from a time traveler’s perspective and what it would have been like having myself come back from the future to tell me not to be scared when things were rough.
If you could watch your life, your story, as a movie, what would you think of the protagonist? Would you not see your life in a different light? If you could go back in time and hold your own hand when you were a kid… If you could hug that kid and tell him or her what s/he really needed to know…what would you say?
Man do I wish there had been someone there to hold me when my mom was dying, telling me life is not all that scary. I wish there was someone who would have told me there was nothing wrong with me when the bullies were calling me names, or my step-mom was yelling at me. Lord do I wish there’d been someone to tell me that just because the boys didn’t like me, I wasn’t unlovable. When people asked me if I was anorexic because I was skinny, I wish there’d been someone there to tell me that skinny is pretty too. I wish someone would have just made me understand how gorgeous a person I was. What a beautiful human being I was. How lovable I was.
I really feel for the girl I once was. Watching it from the outside, all the panic, the fear, the sadness, the loneliness she felt and how she blamed herself over and over again for it. It seems absurd now, but she thought she was worthless because it was all her fault. She hated herself for others leaving her, or being mean to her. She kept trying to identify what was wrong with her. Why she was unlovable and how to solve it. There had to be something strange, because she was not mean to people, so why were they mean to her? What was wrong with her?
At the age of seventeen I went to Vancouver. One night, due to a row of events, I had a panic attack, only I didn’t know what it was. As it happened my host mom was angry with me, so she thought I was faking it and left me lying in a heap on the floor – only opening the door to the garden for fresh air. I had to crawl up on my own. I couldn’t call my dad as he was away in travels. It was too late to call someone in Vancouver. So I sat there thinking I might just die. I then swore that if I survived I would open a nursery for street children as no one should have to feel like I did then and there, or for that matter, other times in my childhood too. No one. Yet, I felt no sympathy for the girl who sat there herself. She was just a girl who on a daily basis fought her own insecurities, thinking the world would never love her unless she made herself more outgoing and cool. Unless she succeeded in becoming rich and famous. Her only true friend was her dreams – they didn’t hurt her. They just fueled her. So she set out to achieve them and her whole life changed. So did she, but the thoughts on the inside never completely changed. Not until today. Not until I saw that movie.
Do you know what your eyes look like when you feel loved? Do you know how they sparkle? Do you know how beautiful you are? Look at your hands – do they ever make something for you? Look at your feet – do they ever take you places? Look at your mouth – does it ever make you taste things? Look at you – aren’t you gorgeous? Aren’t you worth all the love in the world? Isn’t that just a beautiful person?
We had coffee, which led to…
Yes, I know what you are all thinking, but it’s better than that. A friend of mine came to London a little while ago and we went for coffee. We hadn’t seen each other for years and had only recently reconnected on Facebook, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It turned out to be a life changing day.
You know those moments when you get talking to someone and you just can’t stop? It was like that. It’s like you’ve found someone different from you, but you have some core beliefs (the positive ones) in common, so what you tell each other confirms your beliefs and make you smile. What’s more is that you are open to what they have to share about areas in life that you may or may not have experienced, as you accept them as someone who you can trust, at least in that sense.
We got talking about drug addicts.
Last year I dated a former drug addict and alcoholic. He was absolutely clean, but the events of his life that he shared with me and what I learnt about addiction from him and a friend of his, will stay with me forever. This man changed my life. Not in a pleasant way, more like thunder and lightning – it shook me up so much so I had to pay attention.
This man was very, very successful, but recently his career had gotten a bit rocky. Events just didn’t seem to be going his way and this was all he could think about. Literally. He had some very nice people in his life, very nice, and he craved their attention 24/7 – he needed confirmation of their love for him every second of every day. Every time they turned their back though, he was certain they didn’t really like him. No one really liked him, not really. Of course, he could logically tell that they did, but in his heart he always had doubt and there’d be justifications such as “but they don’t really know me, not all of me” or “they didn’t call me.” To try to prove people didn’t like him he would provoke them till they flipped. Also, because he thought no one really liked him, he’d criticize everyone behind their back, but as soon as they were in the room he would shower them with all the love he felt for them. It was a vicious circle as he would despise himself for the nasty things he had said and done and of course then not feel worthy of their love, which would trigger him to want their rejection more. (He may disagree, but he’s not here to argue his case, so…this is my interpretation, just so you know.)
All he had really felt proud of was his career – it was the one thing he knew he could do and do well. It was the triumph card he always played – at least he could help people with their work, or with money (and then they only loved him because of that, of course…not) and he could get entry to any place, do anything he liked pretty much. If people hung out with him, at least they’d be treated like rock stars. Now that was on the rocks too. So all he wanted to do was to get away from all these judgmental people in his career and personal life, lock himself up in a room and be alone with the drugs that would make him feel well, at least for a short time. He didn’t do it, at least not when I was in his life, but he wanted to.
When he told me this wish to be all alone, away from all people, away from himself and with his only true friends: drugs, it sparked memories in me and made me realize that a part of me still felt that people and life were too difficult to deal with, only I just hid away…stuck my nose in a book and dreamed…I didn’t do drugs.
In this man I had seen myself – the worst side of myself and it had been tossed in my face in such a way that I could not miss it. As I was trying to help him, I couldn’t help but realizing that what I told him I needed to understand myself. In our past we had both been escaping our own lives; he had drugs, I had books. Why? Because we were both so extremely scared of other people’s opinions of us, we were certain no one truly loved us and (in my case) that everyone was going to abandon me. We thought our triumph card was our smarts and that by helping people, at least we could give them something and they would love that, if not us, and we had invested our all in our careers, the only place, at least I, felt that I could live freely – where I had confidence, where I was a leader and where everything, if hard, was still joyful and fun. I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t get to do what I love 24/7. We thrived on challenge, we thrived on proving people our worth through work. If anyone loved us, we didn’t believe it because we knew our flaws, if anyone hated us we kicked back, we fought and we won. And now we were both facing career problems, so our egos were hurting. We knew we had people lined up to date us, we knew we would always have decent jobs, we knew we had a lot of friends, but we felt unloved and we felt like we had nothing if we weren’t going to make it and make it big at that. Plus we were both petrified that we would never meet our soul mates and have families.
The man was blind as a fucking bat. His problem was that he had no problems, but he believed he did as he didn’t love himself, therefore got very upset as soon as his ego got hit as that was the only thing that would make him feel good, apart from work, drugs and sex.
Nor did I have any problems, but I’d had very many imaginary problems throughout my life. I used to stand staring myself in the mirror wondering why the girl that had it all felt like she had nothing. Why I felt like I wasn’t living. The answer was really simple.
So as I talked to my friend she shared a story about her brother. He had been a drug addict. She said that some years ago she suddenly had an impulse to contact him, but she couldn’t get hold of him and he was living in a different country. A few months later she heard him, or felt him, telling her that nothing matters but love. It isn’t about work. It isn’t about whether you do drugs or not. It’s about love. Shortly thereafter she found out from her mother that he had died from an overdose.
Another friend of hers was involved with a man and they loved each other. Then he became very successful. He couldn’t handle it. He got into sex, drugs and parties. He became an addict. During his last months he was often nasty, but she stood by as much as she could. When he died she said that the one things she regretted wasn’t what she didn’t do, what could she have done? She had tried it all. No, what she regretted was that she didn’t just love unconditionally.
Yet another friend of hers had a relative that was an addict. This person came to her and said she had done it all, but she couldn’t get him out of the gutter, pretty much, My friend shared her brother’s message. The woman walked away peaceful, knowing that she couldn’t do anything but love and she loved as much as she could. A week later her relative was off drugs.
There is only one problem. That’s when we don’t love ourselves and others. Love is free. You can send it and receive it freely.
Ego costs. It costs a lot. Yet, most of us are addicted to it as it made us feel good at some point or another. It was a rescue when everything else around us was sinking, we still knew we were damn good at this or that. Then something else happened and we couldn’t do this or that. So we hurt.
Love makes you feel much better than ego. It’s free of charge. You can use it endlessly. Do it. Just Do It.