Life is work - or Work is Life? Part I
I have had many jobs in my life. Starting at the age of 15 with a Saturday job at a chemist in town. I was so shy that when a young man asked for a remedy for his grandmothers piles (haemorroids for want of a better word) I burst into a fit of giggles and found myself doubled up with laughter behind the counter… how embarrassing. I think you could safely say that my relationship with customers, people, family members… was not an easy one. I didn’t find relating to people comfortable. I kept them at arms length wherever I could and then complained to myself that I didn’t have many friends. I guess you could say I was guarded, protecting from what I didn’t want to feel. I was so shy I would walk to school looking at the ground in case I someone made eye contact with me. I felt people didn’t listen to me but that was because I didn’t speak up, preferring to let others to do the talking.
This habit, or should we say choice to hide away from life, carried through into my early twenties when I married the first man that came into my life. He was fun, gregarious and outgoing. He was the proverbial tall, dark and handsome, had a good job, a car and gave me the attention I wanted. The first few years of our marriage were great, we were like brother and sister, never argued and enjoyed doing things together. But I still allowed him to talk for me. I would tell myself I was just a good listener, or that I didn’t like gossip, or that I was just shy, or that I didn’t know what to talk about. I guess I allowed him to control me, and I felt comfortable with that…. for almost 30 years. This is not a judgement on him because this is how I had chosen to live, I just didn’t want to take responsibility and choose instead to hide my true self away… although at the time, I didn’t know who or what my true self was.
We had two beautiful daughters and moved house several times. We distracted ourselves with a motorhome, walking holidays and motorbikes. Motorcycling was a fun distraction, riding across Europe and exploring the countryside most week-ends was exciting, but even that was not enough to hold our relationship together.
At the age of 35 with two young children we moved house again, and it was like flicking a switch inside, a light bulb moment – this was the flick that said ‘hello Sandra, time to wake up now…’. Wake up to what I hear you say, my true self, another reality, what was truly going in the world, who was I?
Most of my life I had wondered what life was all about. Was there a God, who or what WAS God? Who was I and why was I here? Big questions you may ask, but there was something that stirred deep inside that wanted answers and nothing or no one was going to get in my way to find the truth.
It was not long after we settled into our new house that my interest in spiritual pursuits began. Anything and everything I could lay my hands on (literally!) I did. Healing, books, courses of various kinds, weekends away on healing retreats, meditation, past life regression – my search for knowledge was insatiable. I felt joyful that I thought I had found what I was looking for but in time, 17 years to be precise, I realised that none of these tantalizing experiences had got me where I wanted to be, or answered the questions that had been whirling around in my head for years. What exactly was I looking for…
Then I found a path that gave me the answers. BOOM I got it. The love that had been looking for was inside of me. A wise man once said to me ‘it sounds too simple, and indeed it is…’ true love resides within – so my journey had begun, and this time I felt true joy, my body felt the truth and there was no turning back. It was time to claim myself, time to appreciate ME, time to grow up and be the woman that I know myself to be.
Sadly our relationship ended, it was time for me to move on. We did so amicably, no hard feelings and without any drama or fuss. This for me is love, to allow another the space to be themselves, to move on in life or not as the case may be, to not judge them for not sharing your viewpoint or not criticizing them for not giving you what you want, and to let go of expectations. We are all living on this planet together and going through our own unique journey, and whatever your beliefs are, the plain fact is that we all have free will, free will to return to the love that we are, or to delay our evolution further.
I am the forever student, deepening the relationship with myself, being as honest and transparent as I can, allowing life to unfold without trying or controlling outcomes, putting a stop to being hard on myself for not being perfect.
My prayers were answered, not so much in a whisper but with a BIG BANG – I call it Sandra’s Big Bang – my Soul woke me up to the truth and I thank God for that.
All along I was looking for love, true love, and I found it within my own body and so my journey back to me, or more appropriately, back to God, had begun.
As for work, I am now in my 60’s, co-own and run a successful business and loving every minute. Looking back on my career I realise that everything job I had was preparing me for what I am doing now. Why did I ever doubt that someone, somewhere was looking after me, that that was a bigger picture. Going to work is never a chore. Working long hours is never a chore. My days are forever being refined to support my body to keep doing what I love – this to me feels like purpose and my life feels purposeful. I support my body with healthy food, clean water, going to bed early, I clock it if I find myself going into too much drive or getting caught in momentums that take me out of my natural rhythm, I give myself a stop moments, but above all, I am kind and gentle with myself and allow myself the understanding of why I am feeling a certain way. I am gaining a deeper understanding of what nurturing myself means, I am not perfect but I feel more vital, beautiful and claimed as a woman than ever before, so I guess I must be doing something right!