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Learning When the Water Settles

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There is a huge difference between dwelling on the past, (which essentially means to dwell, to live, in the past,) and reflecting on the past - to take some time to pause and reflect on the lessons our past can provide us.

I’ve recently been doing this in a manner I’ve not done since 1998 when my first marriage ended. But that makes sense since the pain and sadness I’ve felt of late has the familiarity of then. And just as back then, through calmly looking at my own behaviour outside of the egotistic dramas of the moment, I have learnt an incredible amount about myself.

I know, just as then, this as a milestone in my own self-awareness and growth.

In reflecting and examining what part I have played in my recent history, several realisations have come, seeing things I had not seen before, at the time clouded by stubbornness, pain, anger and fear.
In the space of now, looking back I’m seeing very clearly examples of how my own behaviour has brought me right here where I am today. I'm not a victim in any way. I have created exactly what has brought me to this point. And since it is a point where I had neither intended or wanted to be, it’s also very clear the choices I made along the way, at each fork in the road, were not ones to take me in the direction I wanted to go, despite looking so at the time.

So the obvious question has been ‘what could I have done differently?’ This was the exact inquiry I offered myself at the end of that marriage, and without dwelling in the past, and asking this in quiet reflection, several ‘holy friggin moly’ moments have come to bear as I see so clearly how I have allowed my fears to bring me to this place I feared being most of all.

This reflection has been a painful experience, the sadness at not seeing these aspects of myself until now is compelling, and the pain of loss caused by my not understanding before now has been almost unbearable.

Yet it is out of this sadness that I have learnt these lessons. It is this new experience of a new depth of sadness that has brought me these new lessons. New experiences, new lessons.
In spite of all that I talk about and teach, I see that much of my suffering, and indeed the suffering of others around me, has been due to my stubborn refusal to surrender to love.

Yes, me that teaches and breathes this mantra with everyone, has failed miserably to live it myself.

Surrendering to love. This might look like a very general statement, and in a sense it is, but it fully describes the many personal examples I see in this time of reflection. Maybe I’ll write more about some specific examples, the specific behaviours upon which I reflect that allow me to fully embody what I am now seeing so clearly.

It has been like watching a movie or reading a book, after which we are never the same again.

I have also discovered some deeper spiritual truths that previously all looked way to ‘woo’ for me to consider as true. Yet now, in the calm after so many storms, things add up and make sense like I could have never imagined from that stubbornly human place. I know my life will also never be the same with this new spiritual awareness.

For now, I'll allow the sadness, knowing it will eventually pass or at least subside, and hope that that time comes sooner rather than later. And I’ll also walk and breathe with these discoveries about myself, get out of bed each day, taking one day at a time, surrendering, and just keep going, irrespective of the sadness of the timings of all this, refusing to drown in the sorrow of what looks like now.

I’ve not loved as I intended and wanted to love, spending so much time in my head instead.
It is this teacher who must embody being a student of all that I teach. It is this student who will now embody the lessons of this time of reflection.

In fully allowing these realisations to become part of me, they will alter my being in ways that will have me be the loving person I have always intended to be.