Tag Archives: detachment

Little Camino

The past month has been weighed down with money worries, career anxiety, fear for the future and feelings of insecurity. This in turn has had an effect on my self-esteem; how I see myself and how I feel when I’m with others.

The main outcome of a much-needed business coaching session this week was that I need to love myself. And yesterday, I had another revelation.

I’ve been depending on external factors to make me feel okay. I’ll be good enough if and when… I’ll relax when I’m earning more money. I’ll be worthy when I have a flourishing business. I’ll feel secure when my boyfriend does and says all the right things.

However, the reverse should be true. I need to feel good first, anyway, irrespective of anything or anyone.

I have to love myself just because. I must stop placing conditions on my self-acceptance.

And I definitely need to stop waiting for someone else to make me feel good. Because that strategy is destined to fail. Catastrophically.

It’s guaranteed to foster pressure, disappointment and resentment. Feelings become extremely precarious. One action, one word, one thought has the power to tear everything asunder.

What I want to do now is come back to me. That creative, happy individual who knows herself, and who has a full and balanced life with work and friends and hobbies. Who now also has a boyfriend who’s gorgeous and good and full of love and enthusiasm.

But just because I’m now in a relationship doesn’t mean I should lose myself in it. An intimate relationship is actually an opportunity to find myself more deeply than ever before.

I need to live my life. Do the things that give me energy and inspiration. Be there for myself.

I have to stop abandoning myself whenever things go “wrong”. I must remember my worth, see my light, and know that I’m deserving of love and all the good things in life. I need to focus on all the positives that are right there in front of me.

Today is Thursday and I have the day off. Part of me feels ashamed that I’m not busier, that I’m not a part of “normal” working society. Then I remember that I have to stop rejecting myself.

“What’s the most loving thing I could do for myself today,” I ask.

An image of walking in nature flashes before me.

“The sea,” I think excitedly.

“Healthy, delicious food and coffee. And a good book,” I add.

I’ve come up with the perfect recipe: I’ll hike along the coastline from Bray to Greystones, have lunch in one of my favourite restaurants The Happy Pear, then wander back to Bray.

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Most “normal” people work on a Thursday so I go alone. And that’s kind of perfect. My very own mini-Camino.

I don’t listen to music and I put my phone on silent. The weather goes from windy to sunny to rainy.

As I walk, I start thinking. Then I realise that I’m feeling bad. I observe this with interest.

Nothing has actually happened in the here and now and I’ve still managed to make myself feel bad. When instead I could be enjoying the beautiful views of aquamarine waters leaning into the horizon, mountain and birds and yellow furze. I could be breathing in the fresh air. Appreciating this time, this peace, this space…

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So today I choose to come back to me, to stay with me, to love myself and to make myself happy. Because when I’m present to myself in this moment all is right in my world.

Today I take this big lesson from my little Camino back to my working life and to my romantic relationship but most importantly to my relationship with myself.

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Images: Author’s Own

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I Wanna Live in a Dream

Yesterday, I observed a group of teenagers getting into the sea. One-by-one. Slowly. Reluctantly. When just one remained, dry and shivering by the water’s edge, his friends shouted words of encouragement: “Come on!” “Just do it!” “Don’t let my mam get in before you!”

One of the boys in the water looked up and said: “Just jump in! Pretend you’re dreaming.” I’d never heard anyone say something like that before. It got me thinking: What other things could we make possible for ourselves if we made like this was just a dream?

Pretending this is a dream would enable us to detach from fear. Fear is what keeps us stuck. If we were to extricate ourselves from the debilitating clutches of fear, we would finally start really living.

This way of thinking would also require us to stop taking everything so seriously. GK Chesterton wrote: “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.” This quote was the welcome message on my phone for a number of years. It’s amazing how much easier life becomes when you don’t take it or yourself so seriously.

And, finally, pretending that this is all just a dream means having faith that everything will be okay. I came across this quote recently: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Having faith means that even though things may seem painful, sad or difficult right now, you always have a knowing that everything is working out exactly as it should. Everything is in perfect order. Florence Scovel-Shinn wrote: “Replace fear with faith.” This is my new go-to quote any time I feel that familiar flutter of panic, dread or doubt. It enables me to let go.

If we could banish fear, take ourselves lightly, have faith and let go, can you imagine what we could achieve? And, more importantly, how we would feel? We would be free to really enjoy life. Isn’t it funny how acting like life is just a dream can result in really living?

And if you’re wondering what got that guy in to the sea in the end, I could lie and say that what his friend said about the dream had a profound effect on him and he jumped in, fearless and triumphant. But in truth, as his friend’s mother edged towards the ocean, he shouted: “You’re not getting in before me!” while dive-bombing into the water.

Different strokes…

What would you do if this was just a dream?

Image: http://favim.com/image/19140/