Realisations and Epiphanies was the card I drew for myself as theme for 2017. And I can’t believe the last month of 2017 has already begun.
Participating in a colouring course to get more insights into the lessons of this past intense year, I realised it was very much a year of that. Realisations and epiphanies. A year of letting go, on every level.
At the beginning of the year, I felt a bit lost, hollow, empty. Goal-less. I had lost my sense of self, of what I came here to do, of purpose. I was torn between all kinds of stuff, and looking back, I don’t think I have been very happy for quite some time. Not all the time, but still. Overall not really happy.
Not that I didn’t enjoy the simple things in life, but I had signs of burnout and depression running through my life.
You see, ever since I was little, I wanted to do something that had meaning, an impact. I never strived for fame and fortune, I didn’t like making a career, and I disliked people pushing me towards things I didn’t want. Somewhere during this past year, I said to someone, just because your good at something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
With that, if it doesn’t bring me joy, or that idea of having an impact, why bother doing it. With my many talents and responsible attitude, if I set my mind and focus to it, I can be good at many things. But do I want to do it? I realised what success meant to me. Not in numbers, material wealth, in fame, but by impact. How happy did I feel when someone told me how I inspired them through a blog or a post. How I had forgotten about all the testimonials on my work with pets. What did that say about me?
This year was also the year where I started to write my book. My first real book. Not a blog, an actual book. And along the year it changed form and shape, but the basic layout remained my life story so far, infused with animal messages.
With writing this book, I also went through my old journals and diaries and dove into my memories. And my biggest realisation on this, besides that memories are strange things, was that I lost myself along the way. I have spent most of my life taking care of other peoples (and animals) needs and had been using spirituality to escape my deepest feelings and emotions. Who was I? What do I really want out of life? What is success to me?
I talked to people, (life) coaches, friends, family, colleagues. I journaled. I took a deep dive into my own waters. Deeper than ever before. Where was the joy? Where was the self-love and respect? I did self-love letter challenges and started integrating a gratitude practice into my life. I started meditating again, in a different way, and do yoga on my terms.
I cried rivers of unshed tears. I felt anger. I felt frustration. I felt deep sadness. I felt joy and love again. Love for myself. And lots of disappointment, feelings of failure. And above all, I knew I was the only one that could turn this around. Make the changes.
My passion has always been with the animals and nature. Ever since I was very young. My deep bond with them. With the planet. How from a very young age on I had been concerned about our impact on the planet. How I over the years had tried to do the best I could. At that time. To my abilities. And always feeling it wasn’t enough.
This year was the year where I realised the unimportance of material possessions. The illusion of the bigger, better, more principle. How doing business the way it is done, even when it’s so-called heart-centred, is still money and ego-driven. And that is not the way I want to. How at one point looked at all business people as predators, not giving about me or my needs, but only about themselves, their resume and their money.
This year has been a year of letting go big time. Literally. Of material stuff. Of my beliefs. Of the illusions I had about life and business. Of the how it should bees. And how we are stuck in this system we created for ourselves. This reconnected me with my little rebel self. The teenager who didn’t like the system as it is, the rules, the false freedom.
This year I also realised that love is the only truth, and that also made me sad, looking at the current state of humanity and the world, the climate, the planet, the animals.
I had a hard time looking at the declining physical and mental health of my mother. I felt compassion for her, as a human. And it made me sad that things between us had never been very loving. Writing my book made me realise that ever since my brothers first suicide attempt, she stopped being a mom, and me and my siblings had to take care of ourselves. And eventually of her. So many decisions made with the responsibility for her in the back of my mind. So many dreams lost.
I had periods of deep faith and trust, feeling guided and protected. I had periods where my boundaries and safety were put to the test.
It made me look at my relationships, with people. How I never really dared to connect on a deeper level, afraid of getting hurt. How I really didn’t trust people that much. How I always, for the sake of peace and harmony, never spoke up. How I above all was acting nice instead of being kind. Including to myself.
In the fall, my most important relationship finally came crashing down. The sale of the house caused my husband and I to come the conclusion that we no longer were walking the same path. We hadn’t been for a while, but it’s hard letting something go that has been bringing some form of safety and comfort for so long.
And it felt like a relief to have said it out loud. I cried. So many tears. Knowing my life was about to change big time because of this. Also tears of joy for finally choosing for myself. And deep grief, because I did lose the love of my life, even if it went gradually. And fear that I would end up the same way as the last time I ended a relationship.
The realisation that sometimes loving someone isn’t enough. Especially when values and ideas are miles apart. And that true love also means setting them free.
And it felt like a failure. I was so mad at myself that I couldn’t make it work. That I just couldn’t be happy with this overall great guy. How I could not overcome the differences.
And the next steps weren’t easy, aren’t easy. My mother who was angry with me, because I was causing this all. Looking at my possibilities in this country for living on my own didn’t make me very happy either.
I felt even more like a failure. I had become what I always dreaded. Dependant on my partner. Especially financially. I failed at building a thriving business. I sucked at being a businesswoman. And my husband confirmed this. And I do. If I look at the conventional way of doing business.
However, it also is giving me new ideas and inspiration. And opening to other possibilities. Maybe I could travel, live a more nomadic life. Part of losing my dreams had been to see more of the world. To travel. Maybe in time, I could move to the UK, my beloved land. Maybe I could live in an ecovillage or a tiny home. Do what I always wanted. Live minimalistic, and more in harmony with nature and Mother Earth.
I am not clear on that at this point. I still need to let go of even more on this. Living a detached life. Not a life where I don’t care, that is something else. Because I care deeply. Maybe I still care too much.
And I am grieving. Over all the letting go. And there is lightness. Every now and then I catch myself laughing again, randomly. Or singing. Even doing a little dance, out of nowhere. Being silly with the pets.
I am grieving over the things I am prepared to let go if necessary, friends, family, beloved pets. My business. Still, if that needs to happen to finally fully claim my lane, then I will do that. If it takes steps I need to take that are scary, I will take them.
Kaypacha Lescher from New Paradigm Astrology called 2017 the year of the endings of illusions. And that happened for me. Big time. Nothing is certain. That is the only certainty we have.
I also know that my path lies with being the advocate for nature and the animals, in a peaceful and inspiring way. Not as an activist or fighter. More as a cosmic warrior.
My book will be finished in 2018. It is time to close those chapters of my life and move on like a wiser person. To fully give in to my natural given talents and gifts, my inner wisdom and not just the learned wisdom from the mind.
I have had so many wonderful connections and conversations over the past year, that helped me move on. I have realised that the answers truly lie within. That someone might guide me for a while, but they cannot solve anything for me. Not in any area. In the end, I can only do that myself. It helps to share, it helps to talk to people of the same kind of quest, or like-minded people. For me, the guidance from mother nature and the animals helps me get clarity. Nature is pure, it has no hidden agenda. It doesn’t want to sell me a mastermind or program I can’t afford. It doesn’t brainwash me into thinking something is wrong with me. Nature fully accepts me as I am. It is ME that needs to learn to BE again.
On my wish, or desires list, I wrote at one point: thank you, thank you, thank you for a simplified and decluttered life. And I am getting what I asked for. And I am totally okay with that.
Somewhere in 2016, I wrote that I felt naked, totally stripped down. I now realise that it was just the beginning, and I am still not totally stripped down. More layers are to come. And I am ready for that.
I love this journey, I truly do. It’s not always easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t need to do anything fearless, like jumping off a bridge or walking over hot coals or broken glass. I don’t need to do ayahuasca ceremonies to feel alive. This is enough for me.
I am working towards the point where I can say when someone asks me who I am and what I do: I am me. And that is enough. That is all I need to be.