TRAVEL: Life in pieces
Updated: Jan 5
With all that has happened in the past year (heck, why not go as far to say the last decade?) I was beginning to think there was something up.
When the camper went wrong and ruined my Christmas plans, I was basically forced to sit and think about the life that I'm leading. While all the family and friends about me were enjoying the festivities, drinking, dancing, eating, I was sat alone in my room - miles away from all of them. And what have I done with that alone-time?
I have contemplated.
Over the past few days, I've thought about nothing but life, the universe and all the darned things that just keep going wrong. I felt I was the 'Rain God' in Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy! It has become clear that something is putting things in my path for me to stumble over. And why is that? To get my attention? To get me to ask a couple of questions:
"What's going on here?", "Am I on the right path?" and if I'm not, then "Is the universe trying to tell me something?"
When things go wrong in life, it's more often than not because the soul wants, needs, (heavens!), desires to be satisfied. And, I've had to stop and think about the path that I'm walking as it has continually presented me with some very unpleasant challenges that are certainly not satisfying my soul. For instance, when I was in a garden centre having a lunch with my boss, she said "Blow me down! I've never known such an unlucky person as you! - There're no flies around, anywhere, on any table, except ours - and it lands on your baked potato!" Of course, she laughed. How come?
It really is bloody difficult. Particularly when I've constantly been taught to think logically, physically and emotionally.
Throughout my life I've been taught to think that this is the way things are. My gran was a good advocate for all the things that have stuck in my mind. "Life is hard!" "Life is a challenge!" "You just gotta get over it!" "You've got to work hard at it!" "Deal with it!" "Life isn't a bed of roses!" "No one ever said life was meant to be easy!"
Hell, I get all that from seeing my camper in bits?!?
Come to think of it, even roses have thorns.
It wasn't that the drive shaft was replaced with a cracked piece of metal. It wasn't that my camper melted while in the garage (a supposedly 'safe' place). And, even though it certainly felt like it, it wasn't that my plans for Christmas/New Year were scuppered. It was that everything that could go wrong, did.
When all those things happened, there was only one way to deal with it.
At THE time of year, that is specifically designed for togetherness, I was forced to be alone. During that alone-time, I was basically obliged to focus on reckoning with the situation presented to me.
In the silence, I began to question - and to understand.
Throughout my life, I've had people around me that have leaned towards the 'it's not possible' scenario. Heck, the only piece of public acting I ever did was when I was Marie in in 'Uncle Vanya' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1989. I had one line to say "It's not proper!" I was good. Trust me on that one.
Of course, those people who convinced me that 'it's not possible' were genuinely trying to help. When I wanted a pony, I never knew dad had no money to pay for one (after dad's divorce, life was genuinely tough). When I wanted to be an architect, I didn't realise you had to be a maths genious (even though my dad was a builder he still couldn't get me into the trade!). When I wanted to go to University, I didn't reallise you needed to get the grades (it was hard concentrating on lessons when your mum had up and left - not her fault entirely, but that's another story).
Now, that certainly wasn't proper!
I began to get the feeling I was being rejected. Big time. Not only by the very people who were supposed to love me but, by the idiotic choices I made
Leaving my first and bestest boyfriend
Choosing to work in the print instead of the art department
Selling my flat in London just before the prices went sky high
Having a mortgage when the bank's interest rates were at their meanest and only able to afford jacket potatoes to live on etc. etc.
All these events, and more besides, led me in the complete opposite direction to the way I wanted to go (being an author).
The thing is, I've learned I couldn't blame those people who said 'it's not possible'. Of course, I tried to. Many times. I certainly felt the power they had over me and I saw the barriers they held-up against the life I wanted for myself.
But in the end, the decision was mine.
If I decided to give up and turn my back on some opportunity that was being presented to me, that was down to me. Even though there were plenty of examples (in books, on the telly, in the cinema and in that Earl Nightingale organisation I subscribed to for a long while), of how to commit to what I wanted, I never gave it a second thought to apply it to my own life.
It was 'other people' who had options. I was too busy surviving to ask myself, how badly did I want to achieve, succeed and secure a life that was going to bring me happiness?
Those people who said 'it's not possible' were giving me the messages I needed.
As I look back on the 56 years I've played on this planet, I've come to realise those messages were there to make me stronger. I know that no one is to blame and no one is at 'fault' for my life. In fact, all of the decisions or choices I've made have been mine and mine alone.
I've begun to learn that when I say or, begin to believe, that 'it's not possible', I am rejecting it before it has a chance to come to fruition.
Oh, I've had clues given to me. Many times. Even today, that photograph (above) of my camper in pieces is giving me one huge clue!
The thing is, not to give anything too much thought (possibly what I'm doing in this piece!). I am a bit of a bugger for doing that. According to some people, I think too much and way too deeply about things. But that's my nature and I'm fine with that. Besides, I have to live with it...
I know it's odd, in this day and age, to confess to this but, I do say my prayers. Every night (and throughout the day). And, in those prayers, I ask for stuff and things I believe are impossible. And when the ALIMIGHTY GOD doesn't (won't - cos there's no way he can't!) deliver, I throw myself on the floor and cry like a baby.
For a long time, I couldn't understand it. I had read so many darned times...
"Ask and it shall be given!"
I had been asking, but he certainly wasn't bloody well giving it to me!
I begged God, "Listen to me!"
I sobbed, "Am I a bad person?"
I whined, "Have a done a bad deed somewhere in a previous life?"
I demanded "I try so hard to please you, God, so WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME?!!!"
Stupid me. How could I demand things of an All-mighty, All-knowing, All-seeing Being that has thought simply everything into existence?
Who am I to question what God has done, is doing and will do forever more, even after this body my soul resides within is dust in the ground? I am as an 'ant' in God's eyes. It's true. The Bible says it's so! I'm not worth devoting one second of thought to. For goodness sake, God has people like Mother Teresa, Ghandi and all those millions of Saints to make tea for, what on earth would he want to answer my little prayers for a slightly better life?
But all I really needed was a bit of faith.
When I began to read the passages in all the religious texts the world has to offer (and I've read many of them), they didn't say "Ask, do something good, then you'll get your prize!" Afterall, though we'd like to think it, God certainly isn't Father Christmas!
It actually says in all of them: "Ask, and you will recieve"
But like all human beings, I skipped over the notion that something was actually missing. A magical ingredient that makes all the difference. What needs to be inserted in that sentence is one little word: believe.
"Ask, BELIEVE, and you will recieve"
When you get down on your knees, look up to the Heavens and ask for something, you don't need to figure out how that thing will come about. No. What I've realised is that you just have to ask and then 'let go'. It's that letting go that is the difficult part. It gives God the notion that you trust him. That you're sure in the knowledge that your request will be granted. You're not asking and then doubting. Questioning.
And another thing, when I ask something of God, I know that he's not going to get up off his butt and do it for me. He's done way too many other things already and, by the way, he created me for that. Little old, fat, frumpy me. Ha!
The secret I've sumbled over is in the BELIEVING. Or, better still, KNOWING.
It's in the KNOWING that your prayer will get answered.
Any master craftsman, sportsman or successful businessman will tell you how it's done (I'm making no apologies for the perceived gender-ism there). These people will do three things:
Focus on one thing
Concentrate so they are oblivious to all else around them
Persist in the pursuit of perfection
They spend so much time on one thing that time becomes immaterial. It just up and disappears.
They do NOT allow:
negativity to dissuade them.
mistakes to put them off from getting to the end product
the thought that it cannot be done
A true Master Craftsman won't rely on past experience. They will create new experiences.
Through learning my own craft as a counsellor, I learned that all emotion is a vibration. That's a fact that's been proven many times. You only have to put it to the test and try it for yourself.
Whenever I've wanted something and not paid attention to it, just thought about it, it hasn't come about. Not when it's just a 'whim'. But, when I've wanted something really badly and put all my emotional energy into making it happen, surprise, surprise: it happens. Of course not in a jealous, needy kind of way, as that approach is like using a magnet the other way around! But when it's done in a loving, relaxed, focused, and intentional way, that magnet surely turns the right way and pulls the things you want, need, desire, towards you.
Doubt will always be there. Heck, I had doubts about that mechanic being able to get my camper back on track. I was fuming! I was stomping my feet. I was wailing like a mad woman. But he's been sending me photographs (which he doesn't have to do), to give me confidence.
Challenges will always come. Being forced to sit here over Christmas with only my thoughts and emotions for company has been a task in itself. I had to overcome the frustration, irritation and stupid anger by accepting the situation as it was. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Crying like a spoiled brat wasn't altering the situation after all.
Mistakes will always be made. We are human after all. What that mechanic did wasn't deliberate. He didn't set out to set light to my camper. Where would be the point in that? All over Christmas, while I've been sat on my arse thinking, contemplating, he's been working like a dog (without pay) to get it fixed. Some said to me, "So he should!" But, mistakes are there to make us realise that we need to do it another way. We need to change things. I'm pretty sure he has changed things and learned to do something a different way. And this time alone has forced me to think about that too.
Some people (maybe even you), don't believe in God and that's ok. It might be a choice made from the logical sense made of the world that exists, the one that can be seen, touched, smelt.
But, having a belief in God allows me to have the faith that is needed, and allows me to 'let go' in the knowledge that whatever happens, thy will be done!
In a strange kind of way, I think that a 'no-belief' in God, is why people believe that this world we live upon is so fucked up. We're so focused on being somewhere else, having something else, wanting something other than what we have got. We only have to look at what Science is exploring in Quantum Physics world to understand that we're all made of the same stuff. That stuff is energy. And I say it again, energy = vibration.
Emotion is a vibration.
I know that when I am upset, hurt, angry, anxious, on the inside, I can only begin to 'put that out' to the outside world too. When I think negatively there's something inside that 'hurts'. It's kind of like a swirling niggle of a sensation in my gut, that tells me I don't believe it will happen. That's when I notice I'm rejecting it before it's even had a chance to contemplate the request I made.
The mind, how we think, matters. You may have heard it many times in your life before, and if you haven't, you'll hear it again here:
What you think about, you bring about.
What if, in this whole new decade that is before me, I begin to 'give it a go'. And, instead of saying I want to do good things in order to 'get into heaven', I do good things here and now because I'll be able to change the world (ever so slightly) into a better place?
I've just had the priviledge of publishing Bill Geringswald's book, and from that I've come to understand that there are an infinite number of possibilities available to us in this realm. I only have to expand my mind, throw off the blinkers and explore.
I don't need to be afraid any more. I only have to take the first step towards thinking about what it is I really want, letting go and giving it a chance to become a reality.
So, I'm going to give it a go...
Ask: Be clear about what I want (for BewleyBooks.com to succeed)
Believe: Organise my mind (commit to the work like a Master Craftsman)
Receive: Have faith (allow it to happen in its own way, in its own time)
My camper will be back in my fold soon. The mechanic has sent another photograph to show me that it's already almost there! It's a beautiful blue, don't you think?
And, if my camper had to suffer a little while in order for me to return to a life philosophy I had forgotten, and help me to begin to understand it better, then that can only be a good thing.
It was a Merry Christmas after all.
All the best,
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Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
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