Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking my career, nor any of the life lessons I so utterly believed in at the time - I still truly believe that I've been blessed to have experienced the many life changes that people have chosen to make where I have played a role in those "ah- ha" experiences. Some bigger, others smaller. Whether as instigator, partner or witness, those moments continue to be a huge inspiration to me, and likely always will be.
Now, though, it's just that I'm beginning to ponder on the deeper meaning, the true nature of the human soul - well, my own human soul in any case!
There's a saying that goes "we teach what we need to learn" and that has played on my mind for many years. I have shared the question with many of my teachers, co-facilitators and friends and received varying responses. The most interesting, perhaps, from my estranged husband who used to pooh-pooh any such ideas as being "hippy-shit" that he simply wasn't willing to explore (bearing in mind that we met and fell in love on a firewalking instructors course, those words were pretty hollow... or defensive perhaps?). In hindsight, it probably explains a lot about our relationship and accounts for the battles that used to appear in front of us every step of the way.
At the time, I figured that he and I were "all that there was" - we were strong, we were eternal, we were true twin flames. So the problems and issues that we continued to fight together were, from my perspective, merely there to test our relationship - to prove to ourselves that we were unbeatable. So I didn't question any further. And through all of this, we continued to teach, we continued to inspire, and we continued to have a positive impact on peoples' lives. And together, truth be told, we did a damned fine job.
Now that I'm alone I have space to breathe again. Time to think, room to feel, the opportunity to question deeply - and finally to hear the answers.
It isn't easy. It's painful, exhausting, soul-searing and frightening. Anyone who would now stand up in front of me and say "Oh, change? That's an easy game!" clearly hasn't plumbed the depths of their soul. Hasn't asked themselves the really difficult questions - the ones that we'd often prefer to gloss over or ignore with a trite "what was that you said? What ever are you on? Get out of here!" Or, as was frequently said to me by you-know-who "well, that's just hippy-shit - get over yourself!"
Yes, I was one of those people who taught - and believed - that change could indeed be easy. And I believed that I had the right to state that fact and ask the accompanying questions based on my life experiences. You know from my previous blogs that I was orphaned, emotionally abused, ostracised from my family, and left to fend for myself from an early age. And yet I'd made it through. I'd won against the odds. And by all accounts I was living a successful and fulfilling life. And I was teaching others how to do the same.
Therein lies the tale - or the lesson, perhaps.
I'd made it to a certain time and space in my life, and felt so damned good that I'd got "here" I wanted to share with other people. Yes, as I've said, I had massive successes - and the positive changes that people were able to make are a credit to them. Not, as it turns out, to me.
Unbeknown to me, I was still the student - but I'd forgotten how to learn. I had thought that I had found some great knowledge or secrets to share with others - and each time another delegate stepped up to the mark, it reinforced my belief that I was absolutely on the right track. That I was doing something good in life - I was helping others to avoid the pitfalls that had hijacked me in younger years. All good stuff, very powerful and also commendable beyond question. It was also achieving fantastic results. What it was not doing, however, was encouraging me to learn and grow as a human being. I had been so focused on passing on all the good stuff I'd learned, that I'd stopped growing in myself.
No wonder, then, that for so many years I've felt "stifled" - since the split from my husband, Cam, I have conveniently put that mantle on him. At the beginning, I'd say to myself and anyone else who chose to listen "well, I'm free now! He's kept me down for so long - I loved him with my entire heart body and soul, and that clearly wasn't enough because still he pushed me down!" Shock reaction and instant reflex, yes of course. And I did love him with every nerve cell and fibre of my body and soul - that's fact. But the truth? The soul-searing, heart-rending, identity-shattering truth? No... I don't think so.
Yes, it's true that he put me down. He also put Dylan down. Yes, he is controlling and utterly focused on self-gratification. Yes, it's also true that I had so much faith and belief in our relationship and in what I believed was right and good, that I thought I could pull us all through. And that was what I spent my focus and energy on doing. And it kept me in the space of being "ok" - it kept reinforcing my belief that all was well and that I could encourage anyone and anything around from an unfortunate set of circumstances. After all, look at what I'd overcome myself and by myself?!
And yet... Now as I'm facing unexpected and tumultuous battles of my own, battles that are the result of my blind trust and faith in my marriage, I'm finding different answers. Some of them are unpalatable, it's true... and yet, in my soul, I know they're enriching. They are, indeed, the truths and nurture that my very nature has craved for years.
I have come to learn that I did have a choice. I chose to believe that I was meant to be the strong one. That I could carry anyone and any situation. I still can. But what I'd missed in the meantime, was to look out for me - for Melanie. For that human being, that small child who had been so badly hurt and betrayed so many times in her life that I, as an adult, had allowed it to happen yet again, so that finally we could meet - and heal together.
And so, for that, I thank Cam. I thank my husband for the chaos that our relationship has caused. I thank him for the true and honest experience I enjoyed of love and adoration beyond my wildest dreams. For the feeling of safety and that exquisite meeting of souls - of living and being with a true soul-mate, a dream that I had always imagined.
Because if I hadn't let myself go as an adult, only to be betrayed and hurt beyond the realms that any person could be expected to endure, I would not have been able to really and honestly reunite with that little girl I lost so long ago. That small innocent and loving child, who went by the name of Boo, who lost her father, her hero, so suddenly all those years ago.
Now my life is something completely different. Now I don't know where I'm going, I don't know what my career will be - how I will earn a living, or how I will continue to reach people. This, by the way, remains my absolute driving force. This time, though, whatever form it may take, I'm doing it for me and from me - so all I can think is that, judging from the results I've had before... well, it's going to be fantastic! For me, and for those who choose to learn with me along the way.
So I finish, for now, with a heartfelt thanks to Cam. No matter how badly he's behaved, I'll hold with me the love I felt for him and I know that next time, when I meet someone who feels the same way back, well, then I'll truly experience heaven on earth.