I feel light today. It feels as if we have come out the other side.
You ask me: ‘How can you say that? How can you still believe everything is going to be all right? How can you have so much faith? Look around you! Look what is happening in the world. It is terrible!’
You sound agitated, almost angry. But I know it is not really anger you are carrying. It is despair.
I know everything is going to be all right, because I know myself. I know who I am. I know that when someone else is happy, I am happy. I know human nature. I have observed myself for so many years, for as long as I live. I was born as a human being, hence I was in the position to investigate what it means to be human. So, I did. I’ve done the work and I now know what it means to be human. It is good to be human! It is a blessing to be human. Humans are very kind creatures. How do I know that? Because I know myself.
I know for a fact, from my own experience, that what I am naturally drawn to is harmony, beauty and happiness. I know that my innate nature is to help others. I know that I am forgiving, and I know that I am brave and curious enough not to buy into the lies I have been told. I am smart enough to know when I am lied to. I am smart enough to discern between what is real and what is not real.
I know that everything is going to be all right, because I have done the work. I have been to hell and back many times, and so have you. The fact that I have come back from hell so many times, is my proof. I don’t need more proof. Everything is going to be all right, because I am all right. If I can do it, you can do it.
This is something completely different than what you call white privilege. I have given up my white privilege long ago. It is through giving up my so called white privilege, that I became free, as free as the kids playing on the sand roads in Africa. As free as the woman working in the fields with her baby on her back. As free as the gypsies, the aboriginals and the natives in South America. As free as anyone who lives in harmony with nature and knows how to live in the moment.
It took me a long time. And still I’m loosing it at times, but I know how to find the way back faster every time. Man, I’ve had to leave so many times. I’ve had to remove myself from so many stories, so many situations where I somehow couldn’t feel myself properly, because there was too much noise, too much distraction, too much drama, too much obligation, too much to do! All those distractions made it almost impossible for me to feel myself, to observe myself, to know myself.
So, what I’ve done is, I left. I’ve spent years in nature. I’ve spent years in solitude. I lived in many countries and connected to many cultures, so I could find out for myself how relative it all is.
Underneath every culture, every tradition, every story people tell each other, is always the human being. And human beings are all the same! Really, we are all the same. We all need safety and love. We all want to enjoy our lives. We all become calm in nature and get stressed in the city. We all get confused if we are removed from our natural habitat. We all get traumatized if we are born into a situation that is not in sync with nature. We all suffer when we are locked up. We all go crazy when we are forced to adapt to rules, when deep down we know they are not right.
I dare say this with confidence and certainty, because I have lived it. I have investigated it. I have thrown myself into the deep and faced the confusion of removing myself from everything familiar. I entered the unknown, feeling lost and scared, but I had to do it. I quit my job, broke up with my partner, left my home and country, again and again. I knew I had to put myself in situations where there was no distraction, no obligation, no expectation, no security, not knowing what would be the next step, not knowing who I was, so I could enter the void.
Yes, of course it was frikkin scary. But only until who I was, slowly and shyly came forward.
When the noise has stopped, when the distractions have been removed, when there is just nature, space and silence around you, then the self, or that which you really are, will inevitably come forward. It will be very subtle in the beginning, but over time, it will become stronger. It is as if you finally start to hear the music of your own soul. You will observe yourself smiling to an animal, or to a flower, or to the sound of the bees in the almond blossom, or to the sunset over the river. You will hear yourself humming a song, which you haven’t heard before. You will be surprised by sudden jolts of joy that will present themselves to you, if you are present with what is.
Yes, it is a process. And yes, it takes time. And yes, it is scary. And yes, it is hard, because once you enter the void, once you allow yourself longer periods of silence and nothingness, your hidden pain will come up. There will be sadness coming up. Maybe, you will cry a lot. There will be anger coming up. There will be resentment coming up. At times, it will consume you and from the outside you will look like a lunatic, walking across the river, while raging and swearing to invisible demons. There they are, the shadows from the past, only visible to you. But it’s okay. It’s part of the process. You are doing the work. You use the tools that you have gathered in your life. You do yoga, you meditate, you use herbal medicine, you do ceremonies with plant medicine, you drum, dance, read, write or run. You climb a tree or a mountain, hide in a cave, fast, purge, spend a week in bed, shower 6 times a day while crying like a baby. You go to a therapist, talk with friends, go silent, burn your furniture and diaries, you study… It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you will get through.
Don’t believe anyone telling you that you are too damaged or too fucked up to make it through. It’s not true! You are never too damaged to heal. Never!
How do I know that? Because I healed. How do I know everything is going to be fine? Because I am fine. Because I know myself, I know human nature. That’s why I feel light today, because I am looking forward to more and more people discovering their human nature. Our capacity to heal from anything, our incredible resilience, is a characteristic of human nature. It’s a virtue! We truly are an amazing species.
If one human being can heal, many human beings can heal. If many human beings can heal, society can heal, because society is made up of human beings. And when society can heal, the earth can heal. It is that simple.
Is it necessary to do it in such a dramatic fashion, like I did? Is it necessary to leave everything behind, to jump across the world like a cricket, to take crazy risks, to be so radical, to give yourself and others such a hard time? Of course not. I know that now, but I didn’t know it then. I regret the pain I inflicted on others, especially on my kids, by leaving so many times. I regret being so angry with people whom I suspected of wanting to take away my freedom. You know who you are. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Yes, there are much easier ways to get to know yourself. It can be done much faster and much easier. I did it the hard way, because I knew no other way. The only way I knew was storming off like a wild, crazy horse, breaking through the fence, imaginary or real. I broke many fences on the way, because I forgot to check whether the gate was open. However, I arrived where I needed to be and that’s what counts. And it was a great adventure.
Of course, there are ways to do it where you will arrive with less scars on your body and without leaving a trail of broken hearts and fences behind you, but also with less stories to tell. In fact, there is no particular recommendation as to how to do it. Just find your own way. Every path is different.
And yes, maybe it was white privilege, to be able to step away from survival mode and allowing myself the space and the time to go within. And if it was, I am eternally grateful for my white privilege, as now I can be of service for those who are not that lucky.
Bring it on.
I am ready.