STORMS AND CHANGES

stormy seaSo we chose an interesting day to move: February 14th It was one of the windiest, wettest days of the year, Valentines day and a full moon.

We were up early collecting the Luton Van and I was so grateful that Robby has 9 years of trucking around Europe under his belt and despite the force gales winds that blew us across the road at times I felt safe. As it turned out the biggest challenge was off loading everything. The loading went well, we were organised and methodical and everything fitted nicely into the van. We drove down the motorway carefully, on soaked roads, strong winds and views that just kept showing us field and fields of water: a changing landscape that felt unfamiliar and surreal. Britain has become not just a land surrounded by water, but one half drowning in it.

Not having a permanent home yet, everything was going into storage. When we arrived our storage container was small and it was raining heavily with howling winds. Trying to arrange all the boxes and bits of furniture in such a small space required putting some outside for a while. The rain slowed down a bit at first, but then suddenly a huge downpour being blown right into the container meant we had to speed up and just pile everything in. But despite our best efforts many things got very wet and we had to leave it all squeezed in and damp. I could see some of the wood already stained with rain. On the next dry day we will return to check the damage, but it didn’t look good.

It was frustrating and at one point I screamed out into the rain. All these years of making do, not feeling I deserved better, putting my son’s needs first welled up as I felt what I had done to myself, how little I allowed myself. In these momenst there also follows a surrender: that furniture is just stuff and on the face of it, much of what I have represents settling for cheap or “make-do” bits and pieces. The wardrobe I had, fell apart in the rain and then I realised I didn’t even really like it, but it had been second hand, cheap and convenient at the time. It was, like much of what I have not something I loved or represented me.

Also, this was Robby and I’s first real move together. He had moved into my rented house in Somerset when we first got together. This move means we choose a home together and in the future we plan to replace some of things we have lost, with things that we really love. Things that represent a higher view of ourselves, an growing level of self care and love. This is not about selfishness, it is about self-value: about  knowing we deserve a warm, comfortable home that expresses us and our personalities and creativity. It is not about the money spent but the value we put on ourselves whether we spend £1 or £100. So in this we feel the gifts in all that occurs with our move.

The full moon is about letting go of the old so it is totally right we may have lost much of the old here: the physical losses being symbolic of letting go of old false beliefs about ourselves. We are moving out of a comfort zones we created to feel safe, but that were also imprisoning. We are choosing to start afresh, to set down roots, to face fears in the process. The last few weeks have been very challenging, money has been tight, but then sudden unexpected help has popped up and we have enough, which right now feels abundant. We have felt vulnerable, but I also notice we are feeling our desires, and we want to play. Our new place offers the sea, wild moors, forests to explore and all the activities offered there from kayaking to rock climbing, to sailing. Who knows what we do in our playtime, but it feels it is about time. Too many years of not noticing ourselves knocked on the head.

It happening in the middle of a storm actually feels quite right as strong winds literally blow the cobwebs away and heavy rain washes away the old, creating the new. In fact driving down to Devon, on my first small truck ride, battling the winds together with a man I love more and more seemed the most romantic Valentines day ever.

So here we are two minutes from the ocean, scared, unsure, but excited, feeling blessed and guided all in one breath. Sometimes change is good, no matter how stormy it feels at times. Our feeling is this change is really good, really good. At long last we choose differently, believe differently and trust differently and together loving differently.

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MOVING OUT, MOVING ON….

ImageMoving house is always interesting. Moving house on a tiny budget with a minimum income is another experience. We have three more days in our current house, which is being sold by the landlady because she has to financially. It is not a tragedy to leave this house, we were ready to go and the need for her to sell was the gentle kick we needed. This house has served its time, as have many houses for me. Before we even knew each other, Robby and I had both moved many, many times.

Mine started as a child: we moved frequently. I was used to forming friendships and then saying goodbye and never seeing them again. It happened many times. Part of my childhood was spent in an area of the country full of Royal Airforce bases. My class at school was full of kids who had also moved frequently. The difference was I was the only one without a dad who was a pilot or an aircraft engineer. Getting used to it was one thing, liking it another.We didn’t get asked how we felt, we just moved.

This nomadic, unsettled life seemed to infuse my being as I have continued to move around as an adult: restless, seeking, making choices – sometimes good, sometimes bad. It is as though I have never given myself permission to put down roots. Putting down roots is what happens to other people. However, this time, I have been tuning in to myself more: feeling the variety of emotions, moving again has brought me. Having so little money to move with has made both of us feel very vulnerable and triggered fears about feeling safe in the world. We haven’t even found a home yet so we are faced with the unknown and the likelihood of another temporary place. Anxiety about money, accommodation, being judged for not having money, not being able to provide the basics of life for ourselves. It has helped us reflect on the level of self- love, or rather the level of lack of self love we have indicated by not creating enough to have a secure roof over our heads.

This lack of self love and self worth, the past feelings of “being undeserving” to have a home, to have a place we love, that expresses us as individuals has been a huge reflection, a sad and fearful place. I have looked around at my things as I have been packing and clearing. Much of it is furniture I bought because it was cheap, not because I found it beautiful. There are only a few splashes of “me” and fewer of Robby. I have most things I need, but it is a story of “making do.” Ironically, last year I fought a battle in court for my son, who has special needs, to get him into a great college. I didn’t want him to go to the local college whose standards for young people with special needs was adequate. Like many parents, I knew my son deserved better than adequate, he deserved the best for himself, the greatest opportunity to learn and grow into an independent adult. But for myself, I have accepted “adequate” without question. Why? Somewhere down the line, of course, that is what I was told as a child. But I am not a child anymore, and regardless of any false beliefs or messages given to me back then, I can make a choice. It is much the same for Robby.

So this time, we choose differently. In allowing ourselves to feel all the fears and truths in this move, it has created a deep desire to change what we have: to create an abundant life and take steps to create a home we will love. It is time to put down roots: to put together a home, brick by brick ( or straw bale by straw bale is our dream). We have chosen a beautiful part of the UK and that is a good start. Devon has things I love: stunning coastline, wild moors, wild, natural rivers, pretty rolling hills and woodland.

We do not how yet, we do not even know where exactly, but we do know it is time to use our will in a loving way for ourselves. Being truthful about all the fears and pain of being in this situation has empowered us to change our perspective on what we can do and given us more focus and determination than ever. We are still pretty scared, but feeling the fear is not the same as letting the fear dictate your every move. Fear it just there existing anyway, but acting despite of it, is what helps it go. Feeling any grief over how we got here too has been important and something new for us to really acknowledge. Feelings just need to be felt, but it doesn’t mean they have to stop you from making changes and choosing to be responsible for yourself. In fact, in my experience the denial is what has held me back. It can feel terrible for while, but the truth really does set you free.

But the best thing is, the truth we have realised is: we deserve this.