A little personal message inspired by the poem below:
The River Cannot Go Back
It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Five years ago I took the rather bold step of leaving my marriage and choosing to live independently in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language. I had one or two friends for emotional support, but I had to do all the big things absolutely alone with only the help of miming and Google Translate: rent a flat (and later buy a house), buy a car, set up bank accounts, register myself as a freelancer, prove my foreign educational credentials and apply for a PhD course, find enough work to cover my bills etc.
Now I am in a place of peace and security. But it was a long “river” to navigate in order to get to where I am now. The first two years were, frankly, terrifying. Not the culture shock stuff and the language barrier, but rather not knowing if I could trust anyone. I had a bitter ex who tried his best to make sure I’d fail and come crawling back. But I didn’t.
During those first few years after I left my marriage, I had a long term relationship that, despite some magical moments, slowly eroded my self-esteem and left me feeling that no-one would really want to be with me in the long term – as a divorcee and single mother. My ex told me again and again, like he was invoking some kind of spell, “I hope you will stay alone forever; or that you will find your soulmate and then he will get you pregnant and leave you.” I wondered if there was any power in his words. If he had cursed me somehow.
18 months after I left, I bought my own home here. It was a positive experience, yet I felt no bond to the place where I lived and struggled to feel a part of the community. I would wake up in the middle of the night frightened and disoriented – sometimes not knowing where I was.
Six months later, the pandemic and the lockdowns started. It put a great strain on the already faltering relationship I was in and by the first Christmas of the pandemic, I was alone. The New Year of 2021 brought a fresh start for me and things started to change. I began to put down real roots here and begin to connect more deeply with the natural environment of the area where I live and with local people.
It’s taken two years for that process to get me to a place where I feel absolutely secure. Where I have developed and nurtured relationships with places and people who make me feel grounded and safe.
The last few months have been tough and have really tested how strong that foundation is – the one I’ve been trying to build over the past few years. Some of my old fears – of being “alone forever”, of being lost, of not truly having a home etc. – have reared their heads and demanded to be confronted one last time. And I’ve addressed them. I’ve explored my shadow and brought it all out into the open. And, in the process, something really unexpected, but also wonderful has happened.
I’ve reached the sea.
The old fears have fallen away and suddenly I can see the horizon. The whole horizon. And the fog that has surrounded my ambitions in life has suddenly cleared and I know exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life. And it’s *this* – the stuff I’m writing about on this page. I want to help, heal and support others in their journeys through using those skills and abilities that come naturally to me.
I’ve never known exactly what I want to do. Everything I’ve done before has been a ‘Plan B’; a practical solution. Now I know. And I am full of enthusiasm and excitement for what I’m going to build. Suddenly I feel passionate about study and work, because it’s in a field I care about (holistic health & mental health in the form of Somatic Experiencing and Attachment Therapy, Reiki and energy work, Psychological Astrology). I’m doing a course (with The Embody Lab) that is delivered by people whose work I’ve revered for a long time. I am starting to use my talents as an Astrologer and Reiki practitioner to help others and getting mind-blowingly positive feedback.
I feel an inner peace, security and certainty. I *know* I’m on the right path now. Everything that has happened has led me to this point where the river – and it’s twists and turns, trials and tribulations – meets the sea and the sky is endless and blue and I can BREATHE, deeply and freely and without any fear of where the next breath is going to come from.
This year I will turn 40. It’s such a cliche, the whole “life begins at 40” thing. But I think there must be something in it. It’s taken me until now to process everything, to do the course-corrections and the adjustments and the deep inner work to get to the place where I know – truly – what I’m here to do. And it is a wonderful feeling.
Any uncertainty is gone. Fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear that people will judge me or laugh at me for the work I’ve chosen to do. All gone. I’ve found my soul’s purpose, and it’s time to get on with it now. And I am really, really excited about the next chapter of my life and career.
A huge thank you to all of you who have supported – and are supporting – me in this endeavour. I only need a few important people to believe in me (and you know who you are) and support me, and then I can do ANYTHING.
Love and light to you all.