And immediately after that ‘Make gold of your life’ by Geert Kimpen. Two books in less than a day; there must have been great ‘hunger’. Hunger for insight, hunger for wisdom, strength and for inspiration. But above all: the need for fuel. Fuel to keep moving that which has set in motion.
Energy guzzlers and energy givers
Two weeks ago I called in sick at work and I’ve been home ever since. Diagnosis of the GP: overstrained. I have worked for more than eleven years for an employer that will probably no longer be my employer soon. There have been many beautiful things in those eleven years that kept me going again and again; especially the pleasant cooperation with colleagues and the special meetings with customers were decisive. But there were other things too.
Kimpen writes: “We have two kinds of people in our environment: people who give us energy and people who drain our energy. When we have contact with the pistons, we feel empty, frustrated, small, exhausted, tired, angry sometimes. It is people who limit us in our growth. […] When this happens systematically and over a long period of time, we must protect ourselves from them on our own initiative.
We curtail our self-development when we let them play an important role in our lives. In order to fully live and survive, we must have the courage to say goodbye to these people. … Forgive them and let them go emotionally. There’s no point in trying to change them or hoping that their view of you will change. That change can only come from within themselves, there is no way you can bring it about.”
Kimpen said exactly what became clear to me during that period, and the assignment was clear: say goodbye. But, Kimpen also says, saying goodbye is often difficult, and it takes a specific kind of strength. The ‘Lilith power’, to be precise, the power of Lilith, the first wife of Adam, the ‘dark side’ of the female god. Power stands for drive, ambition, assertiveness, and fighting for your dreams. Lilith won’t let herself be beaten and when it really comes down to it, she is invincible and overwhelming…
The courage to say goodbye
So say goodbye. And that’s where ‘F*ck it’ by John Parkin came into the picture. Because, Parkin argues, when you say f*ck it, you let go of something, usually something that hurts. When you say f*ck it, you go with the flow of life, you stop listening to others and doing what you don’t want to do and you finally start doing what you do want to do. If you say f*ck it, you are actually performing a spiritual act: you surrender and you let go.
And so this morning I was walking in the woods and I said f*ck it to what other people thought of me and f*ck it to the thought it’s bad to be selfish, f*ck it to the idea that giving up is something for losers and f*ck it against my fear of ending up in the gutter if I didn’t stay where I was. f*ck it!!! It was a beautiful morning in the forest, one of those mornings that had it all: white clouds, blue sky, now and then that autumnal filtered sunlight and sometimes also a few drops of rain…
Beautifully symbolic of everything I had in me at that moment: the sadness, the anger, the defeat, the vulnerability, but also the strength, desire, ideals, passion and determination. It reminded me of words I encountered years ago. I thought they belonged to Osho, but couldn’t find them under his name anymore. Something similar, from one Vereesh, who is affiliated with the Osho Humaniversity. It revolved around the word also – Vereesh also mentions “ a middle point in your life you have to appreciate ”.
So if you think of yourself as ugly, that’s what there is, but if someone says you’re beautiful, that’s what there is. You’ve done a great job, but you’ve also totally screwed things up. And, Vereesh says, if you can’t accept that something is there, then that is what is.
Let go to avoid poisoning
Parkin writes: “So I said f*ck it to my attempts to be different than I am right now. I stopped judging myself. And really, what a relief that was. What a relief that is.” There I walked in the woods, to the rhythm of my mantra. I was angry, sad, combative, hopeful, scared, and excited, it was all me.
The autumn scents, the beautiful colors of the season, the special light. I felt how good it felt for me to be in nature, to feel and smell the earth, to feel one with the trees and the season. I felt relaxed, soothed; I can let go of what no longer nourished me – how wonderful to feel that I am allowed to. Letting go and surrendering to the flow of life, with all that that entails.
Kimpen writes in ‘The Secret Newton: “Only when a person had the guts to allow himself to be challenged by life, could he fully develop himself, develop new talents. Life was a change, and those who resisted it slowly but surely poisoned themselves with the vitriol of envy, bitterness, or worse, imagined contentment.” Yes, life is change, and that’s great – and that’s good. Life is change, and that’s scary – and that’s good too… PS It’s now three months later, and I’ve said goodbye.