Are you sleeping
As long as I can remember I was a very nervous kid. Afraid of everything. The amount of panic attacks I had was infinite. It showed itself as clinging and not letting go of my parents. I was so afraid of losing them or get lost and never ever find them again. Maybe that is a common fear kids have, I’m not sure. Although, this made me not do a lot of fun stuff every other kid did - as in eat snow, climb trees, jump in puddles and make my clothes dirty. I was an unusual kid, timid, introvert and hardly ever spoke to strangers.
As I grew older I had to hide my fear, as I did under a tough and cocky attitude. I was fearless. Or so it seemed. But inside I was still that little kid that was afraid of everything. Although now, I had an extra layer of fear that I inherited from my parents. This fear was survival. As they are immigrants in the country I was born in, they fled their home country for the hope of us (me and my siblings) being able to grow up with freedom. Freedom and integrity was their most important values - that and their fear of not being able to survive or provide got passed on to us kids.
So now, I had my own fear of being lost and my parents fears on top and was hiding it all under a beautifully sassy exterior. I spoke loudly, I was not afraid to be seen. Almost as if I didn’t manifest myself in the world if I wasn’t seen. I needed that to not get lost. To stay here. To ground myself. All my choices as a young adult was based on those fears. I needed to survive. To provide. Although I lived in a country where I had all the possibilities to do so I was still moving forward out of an illusionary threat of not making it. I still to this day don’t even know what that ‘not making it’ would look like. But basically living on the streets with nothing to eat which was very far from the reality I was living.
So I set up goals and had to reach them at any cost. My first goal was to have my own place. Buy it. Own it. At the age of 22 I worked 10-12 hour shifts as an Operational Manager at a PR company. I needed to manifest myself. I needed to be needed to not disappear. To not get lost. My thoughts at that time was that I wished to live closer to work - I was 15 min away. But if I lived closer or even slept at the office I could save the time it took to get to and from my workplace. I basically lived there anyway. My body gave me signs to slow down, to not be so stressed. But my detached ways to my own health made me look past them. I overlooked everything.
The way I treated the ones closest to me was the same horrible way I treated myself. I was becoming a monster. Looking back I can see that only fear can make people behave in such ways. Only fear can make them single minded, driven to a point to detach from living things. I was not awake. This was my nightmare. I chose all of this myself, one can say. But did I really have a choice. Yes of course I had and yet I did not choose differently. If I stopped I would die. Cease to exist. I did not have a choice. I needed to survive.
The years went by and I changed my job, advanced, and grew stronger roots. Although, trying to pull them up was more tempting for some. I could feel it. This made me suspicious of all and a guardian of me and my existence. This play went on for years. The threat was constantly present and I was always ready to fight off the opponent. The world was not a friendly place. It was as if I was living out the life my parents would’ve had if they stayed in the country they were born in.
One day I went through all my goals I’ve had and realized I had reached them all. Of course I could always go for bigger and better. But this was a fact - that I now had what I was dreaming of to be able to survive in this world. What next. This question made me very confused. I was always in such a hurry. Tunnel vision. Something to pursue. That I never stopped to look around or even to ask myself what I wanted to do. ‘Want’ was a very far concept I did not understand cause I never had time for it. So now what. I stood still for a while to let that sink in. The world was moving but I was just breathing. For the first time I opened my eyes and looked around. Still confused by what I’ve been doing until now I started to pick up the pieces I had neglected. My body, my health, my dear ones.
Reflecting was hard. One of the hardest things I have ever done. It was painful and full of blame and shame. My ego was standing tall, so proud and so full of all the accomplishments. All the people around me were treating me exactly as wonderful as my ego felt. My ego was full but I was empty. Slowly waking up I understood that I had nothing to be proud of. The person I was had non of the values I grew up with. I had grown cold, detached and power hungry. Knowing this I could not proceed on the path I’d chosen. I had to jump off the train in a very fast moving pace. It was scary but so necessary. I had grown custom to the nightmare, I could control it. On the other side was the unknown. The unexplored. When I couldn’t stand the qualities of my ego anymore and knew I had to leave it behind to find myself again. I closed my eyes and jumped.
On my mission to reflect my life choices and what this life we’re given was all about I had to lose myself to find myself again. Now comes the dark nights of the soul. Diving in to the unknown facing all my fears. These dark nights was more like a few years. I dedicated my life to understand my conditioning and behaviour. I wanted to know life as it can be, without fear. I even started to fantasise how a life would look and feel like with unconditional love towards myself. I knew that was lacking - no question about that. I just didn’t have the tools to bring that back.
One thing I quickly understood was the game I was playing. I was alone in my nightmare. The only ones that were there with me was the shadow of my parents. I inherited their fears. This was not mine and yet my life was circling around trying to fight it. I was trying to save myself from a non existing threat. It was all an illusion and all in my head. I was creating my own scene and was fighting my own made up things. Oh my oh my. And so the dark nights begins.
To break up those years for you in detail I need a few more pages. It’s a story on its own. But for now I want to leave you with this. When do you have enough. When are you safe. Are you always on your way or do you ever arrive. How do you treat yourself. How do you treat your loved ones. What fuels you. How do you move in the world.
These questions has been my go to place to understand that there is nowhere except here.
There is no time except now. I have everything I need in this very moment.
Everything as is - is more than enough.