I've just had one of those whooshing light-bulb sort of moments... one of those "doh!" ones
(accompanied by the slap on the forehead) and I felt compelled to write it out. Exactly as my dear friend Anna advised me to do when I started this blog and was doing my best to come to terms with the craziness of my life. This time though I'm not writing about craziness - nope, this time I'm writing about normality which, for me as I've just realised, feels like a different kind of crazy! I'll explain...
Life has continued to be on the 'up and out' as the magic continues to happen and things continue to blossom and grow - often in ways I could never possibly have imagined just a short time ago. Because not so long ago things were completely different.... and this is where this latest epiphany has happened. Not so long ago I was fighting for my very survival - for me and also for my son. Further back in time I also found myself fighting - for me and for my sister. And right back in the early days I was fighting just to keep myself from tumbling in to an abyss of grief. For more than four decades I've been in fight mode, ready to respond, ready to take control, ready for anything. It's true, each battle has been different - but the war's always been the same. To survive and to keep my family safe, no matter what life throws my way.
So is it really any wonder then, that now - today, right here, right now - when it's finally dawned on me that there are no more battles to fight (as has been the case for a while now) it's come as a bit of a "woooooooaaaaah!" kind of a feeling? Because all of a sudden other stuff is falling in to place... nope... crashing and tumbling in actual fact!
I was chatting with my sister yesterday - she in her house in London, me at home in France - and it turns out both she and I were feeling a little bit flat and low. For the life of us, neither one of us could really provide any good reason! I am loving the work I am doing - I am fulfilled in so many ways and on so many different levels, and loving how it continues to grow in more ways than I'd dreamed of; Dylan has just started his second year at university - after the most joyful, magical and fun-filled weekend of celebrations for his 18th birthday; I live in a beautiful home that I love, and am surrounded by friends who enrich my life with colour, energy, vibrancy.... and so much more. My sister, Abby, had a similar story to tell, yet the truth was there - that feeling of flatness and emptiness.
As we talked, we pondered the idea that since we weren't allowed to show emotion or be real as we were growing up, perhaps it makes it harder to for us to accept and enjoy the good stuff now? Perhaps for fear that it will be taken away....? I know for certain that's been a personal challenge for me - and one that I've enjoyed 'working on' as I learned to accept kindness and help, and a whole heap of other good things. Now the good stuff continues to shift up a gear or two, so I guess that kinda makes sense...
I carried on pondering long after we finished the conversation, which had finished on the conclusion that everyone has ups and downs, it's just part of life! As is now my way, rather than working it out, I allowed myself to 'work it in'... and it hit me this afternoon as I was mowing the lawn. Here it is...
If (as is indeed the case) I've been so used to slaying dragons all of my life - fight or flight mode permanently at the ready and poised for action - well then I guess that would have kinda given me a reason to stay alert. It would have kept me on the edge most of the time. It would have become, as I now recognise, a feeling of safety - better the devil you know and all that jazz - because it was something I knew and was used to. It doesn't mean it was a good feeling or way of life, but it was familiar to me. More than familiar. It was part of me.
So... over recent times (accelerated beyond measure since the publication of my book) well, the battles are over. The fighting has finished and the war has been won. I know, because I feel it in my soul, that the bad-stuff has finally been vanquished. I am free. I am safe. I have been for a good while now... so what was that feeling of emptiness all about then? That's something I'm not used to...!
Bhoff... there it was. The emptiness is there because fight or flight mode is no longer there - simple as that. Because as you know, I've finally accepted the good. The peace. The security... of just being me. It's been this way for a while, and I guess it probably took a while to finally believe it to be true - on every level. And now that's happened... well... there's space. And quiet. And yep, what could easily have been described as 'emptiness'.
This is all part of a new adventure. This is all part of learning to live a normal life.... hmmm.... normal? Well, probably not (thank you Edward Monkton) - then again, who is?
So now I know what it is, there's room for me to fill this space with even more good things. More love. More joy. More expression.... More life.
I'm ready - in a gentle, quietly spoken, understated sort of a way.... NOT!
Oh cummon, I've only just come alive over recent years - surely you didn't expect me to quieten down now did you?
Nope - now's the time to live life out loud and fill my life with bucket-loads of fun and adventure. This time it's without the need for my fighting equipment. All the old skills will always be with me of course - it's just that now I'm using what I've learned to bring more love and acceptance in to the world. Fighting is exhausting. Let's make love the normality now eh?
Bring it on :-)