Aesop’s Fable: Wind and Sun

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A long, long time ago a teacher once read out a short story in our school assembly. It was a fable written by Aesop in the 6th century (B.C.) and it went something like this:

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on and took it off.

Differing morals of the story include:

“More by gentleness than strength”

“Persuasion is better than force”

“True strength is not bluster”

“In every passion moderation choose”

“Gentleness and friendliness are always stronger than fury and force”

The fable came to mind whilst I was thinking about light and dark energy, of how we can engage with either energy to make something we want happen and what the difference is between the two.  One of my father’s favourite words ‘Machiavellian’ also came to mind, ‘the ends justify the means’.  As I have already pondered in my blog ‘the dance between light and dark‘ we all have different perspectives on what is dark and light, something else to take into account in our interactions with others.  Sometimes we may feel that we are totally doing something for the right reasons so therefore, of course, we think we are engaged with light energy, but are we actually engaged with dark energy? We may believe it doesn’t matter if we engage with dark energy as long as we get our desired outcome which is a ‘good’ one?

Life can often present lessons to us like this, be it animal welfare, human rights, safeguarding – we are all passionate about something, which is great, but this can also be our Achilles heal. How far are we willing to go to get what we want? To get others to believe what we believe? Are we willing to engage with the dark to achieve it? Do the ends justify the means?

When we engage with dark energy it causes a reaction around us which is negative – similar to the cold wind blowing in the fable. This consequently works against the very thing that we were trying to achieve – the ‘good’ thing, the thing we are passionate about. We may find our dark energy triggers a dark response in others – so people hold their cloaks around themselves even tighter than before.  As dark energy manifests it is powerful, and it attracts other negativity our way – a dark cold day.

In contrast, if we are engaged with light energy the reactions around us are more positive – the sun shone out in all its glory. People are more likely to engage with us, if things need to change people are open to listening and want to help; they are more likely to engage with their light energy – they remove their cloaks.  Try not to be disheartened if we engage with light and are met with dark, continue to shine.  As light energy manifests it is also very powerful, and it attracts other positivity our way – a bright warm day.

If we are someone who prefers ‘a bright warm day’ sometimes it can be hard to recognise or admit when we are engaged with dark energy. Dark energy can easily sneak in through a door of insecurity inside us we didn’t realise was open. See it as an opportunity to know ourselves better, and to start closing some doors as we re-write childhood scripts based on conditional love.  It can help to spend a moment to see if we are drawing in energy externally and manifesting something negative, or if we are drawing on energy from an internal source and healing or inspiring others to shine bright.

So to me, the moral of the story seems to be about the power struggle of light and dark energy within ourselves and how our struggle impacts on our outside world.

“Being made of stardust, you are very much like a star. You shine with light, give warmth, and burn with your inner fire. You don’t need outside energy, you are energy” – Unknown

 

Walking Down the Line

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The last day of the year tends to always find me reflective and perhaps a bit melancholy – this year is certainly no different.  To me this picture captures it all without words. It was taken by a friend who I met a couple of years ago at work, she returned home to New Zealand after life changed unexpectedly and dramatically.  Luckily for me she came back to England this year, on New Years Day, and ended up staying most of this year in one way or another with me. As a result she was there to witness my life change dramatically and gave me the support network I realised I never had. Consequently that knowledge created more change, that was perhaps inevitable but painful nonetheless.

The last time my life changed as dramatically was when I found out my marriage was over. Immediately I lost my husband, my best friend, and instead he became someone I never knew. Within a month our house had sold, my notice was in at work and I left the area for the south west in my little old car with what could fit in it and the rest didn’t matter anymore. Although I was supported by random acts of kinds all around, I felt alone. I listened to and over identified with Greenday’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.  I promised myself nothing would ever floor me like that in life again. I was going to study a degree and see what happened, a beautiful beginning from a sad sad ending.  This year I was presented with the end of my fostering placement. Similarly to my marriage ending, it was not my choice so it was hard to accept as giving up on someone I love was not something I did. I was 37 when I fostered my sister’s daughter and am now nearly 42, I know it cost me my last chance of having a child of my own. But even now, knowing how it played out, I would do it all again. I have been deeply hurt by events this year and felt the sting of betrayal by people who supported them, some of whom I let into my life properly without any caution. All part of life I guess.

That moment caught unaware of me walking Jac back to his field was the last day I had with my friend before New Zealand called her home. It was also one of the last days before I moved Jac to a new home out of the area, away from our past as it now was. Like me, he was mostly on his own when he went home and was no doubt hurting. Unlike me, he was able to shake off our past as soon as he entered his new home by rolling and shaking his body a couple of times. It is taking me a bit longer to shake it off and as daft as the rolling around on the floor sounds, its actually one way of moving blocked emotions in the body. Wherever my body is feeling tension or pain, that’s where I put movement and it seems to release the blocked energy. I did keep my promise to myself that nothing would ever floor me like my marriage ending. People come and people go, even family. And I guess once you have let possessions go, its easier to do it again as the attachment just isn’t there. So here I am with some belongings on borrowed time in someone else’s living space, attempting to finish my counselling training and earn enough to live on around that. It is not as secure as I found university, with friendly student accommodation, a student loan and a three year plan. But I feel a lot stronger in myself this time around, even though I am perhaps more vulnerable security wise. I am once again surrounded by random acts of kindness which always give me faith and hope. Again, all part of life.

I have appreciated all the beginnings gifted to me alongside the endings. Opportunities that fill me with excitement. And those harder lessons in life made me stronger, less afraid and gave me the motivation to chase my dreams.  I am grateful for those people that have reached out to me this year with kindness, love and light freely given. All those that sent Christmas cards or gifts and invited me to come stay with them or pop in for a mince pie – I thank you once again but hope you understand I really just wanted to keep this Christmas low key, and spent it with Jac and his new herd.

“Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone” – Green Day

Thanks also to Jac who did find me and now walks beside me making the road less lonely.

Evolution

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When the phoenix shows up it indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, the ability to create a future different from the past. The phoenix showed up at the start of the year for me and with it came the message that a part of me has to die in order for it to be reborn. I didn’t have to wait long before I discovered what part that was. I was going through a bit of an intense time emotionally, something felt wrong with my lungs and eventually I woke in the dead of night with pain every time I breathed. I recognised the symptoms as a panic attack and managed to calm myself down by counting my breaths. If the body never lies and we listen to what that part has to say, we can help ourselves. It is amazing how and why we override this information with our busy minds and our busy lives at the detriment of our bodies.

My lungs indicated sadness, disappointment, hurt, rejection and despair. Having worked hard to release my suppressed anger this year, underneath that protection layer was sadness and disappointment. I felt a crushing feeling on my lungs, like I was under rocks. More and more rocks were being placed on me and it got heavier and heavier. What did the rocks represent? Other peoples responsibility. Why did I take it on? A script learnt from childhood perhaps? With a strong link of not being left alone? If I looked after ‘this’, that would stop ‘that’ happening and I would still have a family. In trying to keep a ‘family’ around me I have taken on a lot of responsibility. What would happen if I gave the responsibility back to its rightful owner?  I imagined a rope which pulled me up and out of the responsibility rock pile until I was above it looking around at the panoramic view breathing freely. I then knew what I had to do, and consequently what I would have to face. You see under my sadness was fear, fear of being alone.

There was a shift in me as I stopped taking other people’s responsibility. My mantra ‘I am responsible for myself, not responsible for others’. They were responsible for themselves. It did leave me with conflict with my niece I was looking after as my foster child, I was responsible for her. On a soul level however, she is responsible for herself, I am only there to guide her for as long as needed. Anyone who has brought up teenagers probably knows, there is a shift in them at some stage that pushes away the parental guidance as they know their rights, and you just have to hope you have guided enough that they can take responsibility for themselves.

Fundamentally, as hard as it may be to accept, it is their journey, not yours. Just as your journey is your own and not anyone else’s. Journeys are how we can evolve spiritually and hopefully by the end of our lifetimes we achieve all the growth we set out to achieve when signing up for the deal down here. As part of that deal, we ticked boxes for experiences, some that test our resilience and adaptability to change greatly. We are all evolving at different rates, sometimes our paths line up with others and run together for a time, and other times we walk alone. I was trying to keep a ‘family’ around me for fear of walking alone. I think its more the fear of something, rather than the reality of it that makes us clutch to the chains that bind us (see Mary I do listen to you quoting the bible at me). To those worrying about me right now, try not to. Empathise with me instead, then you get to see the world from my perspective. Its empowering for someone to get that understanding from another. If you sympathise or pity, it is more likely you are dealing with your own fear projections about what you would do or how you would feel in my shoes. Dealing with that can be quite exhausting for a person who takes other peoples responsibilities on. Thankfully I don’t do that anymore. Being ‘alone’ allows more energy to go on self development and figuring out where and what next. I can see in time there will be other peoples paths lining up with mine as we all continue to evolve on this journey called life. Right now I am happy walking alone.

“True initiation is a response to an inner calling; it requires that you face personal challenges heroically and experience a genuine rebirth into a new way of being” – Alberto Villoldo