Ever since starting this blog nearly six years ago it has always been my aim to encourage people to just consider something different, to think, to not be afraid.
I have been inspired by many books and philosophies over the years, and although now someone who tries to remind myself of the teaching of the Tao, and follow it where I can, if you asked me what book, to date, has inspired me the most then it would always be ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck. It was the book that set me on the path to read the other books, and I would not be the person that I am today if I had not picked that book up at one of the darkest times of my life, a time when I HAD to find myself all over again. (You would need to read my other blog at https://makingthisbetter.com to understand where I was, and why RD is now called RD)
I learned that I could not ‘go back’ and find myself, you can never go back, you can only go forward; and even now when I hear people say ‘let’s get back to normal.’ I hear myself say ‘you can’t go back, you can only go forward, and the ‘normal’ that you knew has gone.’
When I read this book I took on board so many of what the author had to say: how our life is mapped out for us by what we are taught in the early stages of our lives, but that as we grow older and life teaches us, or shows us happiness and sorrow, to truly live our life we need to have the courage to step off the road that was mapped out, and to face uncertainties and our fears, to truly live.
Ever the empath I learned how people project their problems onto you, the proverbial ‘monkey on your back’, or transference as it is known. Once I read that I could see so clearly when people were doing it, but, ever the empath, it was a big learning for me to stop when necessary.
It was because of that book that I was encouraged to look into philosophy, and try to ascertain a deeper understanding of life. I suppose that it taught me to face my fears, and not be afraid, thereby leading me to these adventures, and to quote M .Scott Peck, to understand that ‘someone else was doing the driving.’ I understood that no matter how much we think we are in control of our lives we are not, fate, or ‘life’ as RD and I call it, is.
I understand now that everything has to be a balance: bad things have to happen to enable us to understand the good things when they happen, and to not be afraid of this, or dwell on it, To just take the rough with the smooth. So many people focus on the negative things that happen to them, ask ‘why me?’ ‘Why us?’ and then they don’t see the really small good things that happen and so the negative things just keep happening because they have lost their ‘balance.’
So where is this leading? Well it was all of this that gave me the courage to go on these adventures, to know that everything changes, and to go with that change, to ‘let go of the rice’ (The Book of Awakenings. Mark Nepo).
When we went to France we thought that ‘was it’. We thought that was where we were going to live forever, we felt we had to believe that, because we had sold up all our worldly goods and taken that chance on France, so therefore it HAD to work. Didn’t it? Of course it didn’t! I learned that ‘life’ is about learning and then moving on with the knowledge you have learned.
So we took our learnings from that adventure and we used them to go on to a new adventure. Lots of things were sent our way to help us make that decision, good and bad things, but one that sticks with me was when in 2019, someone who was moving back to the UK after living in France for ten years said that she thought that life went in ten year cycles and that then it was time to move on to pastures new. This was a time when both RD and I were considering whether staying in France was right for us, and her words resonated with me.
Since moving to Ireland I have joined some Facebook groups for the area, and about Ireland. One of them is actually called ‘I’d rather be in Ireland’.
I have shared some of our photos and how we have now chosen where to settle in Ireland and so many people from all over the world have commented on how ‘lucky’ we are. Of how envious they are.
It really got me thinking. Are we lucky? Or have we faced our fears?
Or are we perhaps lucky that we are able to face our fears, or open our minds?
Remember it as one of the most painful things of my life that brought me to this stage, and I can confidently say that the same can be said for RD. some people would look at what happened to us then and pity us. But look at where it got us: to a place where we know that in life there is nothing to fear, only fear itself. Enabling us to take these chances.
RD had never ever been to Ireland, but he had faith in me, enough to trust me, who would have thought that, given that years ago he thought I was waiting to take my revenge!
I suppose what I am trying to say is if you look at someone and think ‘I wish I could do that’, then your brain starts to put all different obstacles in the way, I am saying understand they are obstacles but you can do it.
It won’t be easy. Look at our recent experiences: Christmas was cancelled, sad to leave our home and our wonderful French friends, difficult journeys, saying goodbye to our beloved pets we had to leave behind because they had departed, working so hard we felt like we would drop, and still so much more to do…. but it can be done.
Lots to tell you, more to come