A Sense of Spirit · freedom · friends · gratitude · new beginnings

Lessons to Learn.

Winter wattle in bloom at Leura, on the Blue Mountains, July 3rd.
Winter wattle in bloom at Leura, on the Blue Mountains, July 3rd.

“Sometimes change in our lives is slow and steady, sometimes it happens really fast. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good. Having to adjust to new circumstances, people, or places is never easy and we have to be kind to ourselves and trust that, with time, we will settle in – if we’re in the place we’re meant to be…

I just felt these words were meant for someone – no idea who! But whoever it is, hope it helps…” Sue.

When I read the comment above this morning, written by Sue, a Blipfoto friend, her words spoke volumes to me. I really enjoy adding a photo each day to the blip website, well, most days. I’ve been lacking in motivation of late, for blip, blogging, gardening, everything that I usually love really. My mine has been all a-muddle.

I’ve heard it said so many times before that “life is a journey”; it has become a cliché really. My life’s journey began to steer itself into a different direction, with me controlling the steering of course, about six years ago. That’s when I began to write again, which led me to blogging. That’s how long I’ve been searching for “me”, for the last six years. Many of the posts I have added to my various blogs have started out with me trying to work something out in my mind, to get some clarity on what is happening at that time, to try to learn something new. By the time I have finished writing and have re-read what I have written, I also realise that what I have just said may actually strike a chord with another person too, and that maybe, just maybe, my battle through my confusion might actually help someone else’s muddled brain also. It would be a massive bonus if that did happen.

Once upon a time I wrote a monthly post on another website and my section was called “Freedom Space”.  Whilst I enjoyed the website and the community feel of it, I also felt like a fraud and lost the will to write about freedom, when freedom was exactly the thing I was in search of myself. How could I pose as an authority on gaining freedom, when I hadn’t a clue how to get it for myself?

It’s my own doing though, this lack of freedom that I feel. If I had been a more dominant person, if I practised standing up to people who tell me what to do more often than I have done, if I didn’t dislike confrontation so much…..if, if, if….. But I can’t change the past. I shouldn’t have to spend my entire life moulding myself into the person that I’m “expected” to be either, none of us should.

My mother dominated, I rebelled, I felt bad, I apologised, we’d argue, I felt bad again, I apologised again, she’d tell me that she knew what was best for me, she knew what I should have in life. Being such an authoritative figure in my life, I moulded myself to suit her ways, yet it never did quite gel for me, when I realised that I wasn’t my mother, I was me, a whole different person to her.

When I finally left home, (against my mother’s better judgement of course), it was with another dominant person, this time a male. My beliefs being as they are, I would often tell him that he must have been my father in a previous lifetime, as he sure did seem to enjoy telling me what to do. It was like I had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. He dominated, I rebelled, I felt bad, I apologised, we’d argue, I felt bad again, I apologised again, he’d tell me that he knew what was best for me, he knew what I should have in life – him. Yet he constantly hurt me. I would feel crushed to the core. When he realised that he had gone too far he would comfort me, try to make amends, say the words I wanted to hear. I’d believe him. He’d say things would change. They never did. And so it would all happen again, the arguments, the hurt, the comforting…….

So many times during my adult life I have found myself telling him, “I’m not a female version of you”. Isn’t that silly? Why would anyone want a person to be that much like themselves? Yet it (still) seems to me that that is exactly what he wants from me.

I went away recently for eleven days, eleven glorious days, just my youngest son (he was on school holidays) and me. We drove about one thousand kilometres south of our home, down to Penrith and the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the area where I grew up, the area I still call “home”. My parents took me away from this area when I was thirteen. I didn’t want to leave. I moved back there when I left home, still a teenager. Twenty-one years ago I moved north again, feeling I had to as my mother was seriously ill. When she was gone, I wanted to go back, he didn’t want to, so we stayed up north, while my heart longed to be down south.

Now that I’m home though, back up north, the muddled mind has set in. Driving north again, as the coolness of the winter air we had enjoyed left us, and the heat of the north set in, I resented the sun and I resented the heat. This is winter, it should be cold now!

I just didn’t want to come back here, but I had to. My son is still at school, he needs his mother still, he hasn’t reached that almost-an-adult stage of his life yet, when he will have his independence and can make choices for his own life.

Please, oh please, my boy, make your own choices! Choose your own life! Don’t spend half a lifetime trying to make another person happy whilst compromising your own happiness; ultimately you will grow to resent them! Don’t make my mistakes! Learn from me, my beautiful son, learn! Feel the freedom! Enjoy your choices!

It has occurred to me recently, no, I’m down-playing this, it actually dropped on me like a bolt of lightning from the sky recently that we are all put on this earth with lessons we must learn. If the lessons are not learned, the problem will carry with you into the next lifetime, again with the same people. You will be given the same lessons, again and again, until you finally get it right. My lesson is that I must learn to walk away from the control-freaks, those who want to run my life. No matter how hard it is for me, I have to learn to walk away, to not fall into the same trap, time and time again, of being dominated, of being told by another that they know better than I do what is best for me.

So, as my blip friend Sue pointed out this morning, the changes may be slow, it may be scary adjusting to new people and new places, but I have to follow my heart over the next eighteen months and find the place where I am meant to be.

Right now, my heart is so torn. As much as I love being at my beloved Blue Mountains, my children would all be one thousand kilometres away. I don’t know how I would deal with not seeing them all regularly. We all have to live our own lives, but it is very comforting, knowing my dearest souls are not too far away.

I have so many photos which I want to share with you all! Yet since I have been home, when I look at the photos, my heart aches for the place I want to be. Is it the place I am meant to be? Time will tell. And I will give myself a talking to and add my holiday photos here for you all to see. How odd that sounds, “holiday photos”, yet they are the photos of the place that I regard as my home. Here, where I live now, I am ten minutes drive away from a world-famous holiday destination, the Gold Coast.  It’s all rather back-to-front, really.

This is such a “down” post! Please, don’t let my words drag your spirits down. I’ve written this today to get it off my chest, to “come clean”. My posts are so erratic, I can go for weeks without writing anything, and I don’t ever want any of my blogging friends to think I don’t appreciate them; I appreciate each one of you. Reading your stories helps lift my day more than any of you could ever imagine. But some days I just don’t have the time to write, and if I go to the computer at night, I have been told that I’m spending too much time at the computer. So please, I hope you will bear with me. I’m still here, I appreciate your friendships. You all inspire me so much and for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. 🙂