The single piece of knowledge that I have learnt for myself in this journey of self discovery, that has made the most difference, is this.
Open your senses to what is around you and 'life' will fill your soul.
You see, for most of my life I have been so self centred that I couldn't see past what was inside of me.
I used to be a great listener, advice giver and 'so-called' friend, BUT, I realised a while ago that I only really did those things to make MYSELF feel good, worthy and righteous. Of course I didn't know it at the time.
I don't really blame myself for the way I was then. I grew up in a world of fear as a child and had to concentrate on staying safe and looking after myself, and so it would naturally follow that as I grew up, I continued to do everything I could to stop myself being hurt, rejected, manipulated, taken advantage of and destroyed. Of course many people get hurt, rejected, manipulated, taken advantage of and feel destroyed at some point in their lives, but I couldn't afford it to happen to me again, not after losing my birth mother when I was born.
When a person is vaccinated, their body produces an immune response in the same way their body would after exposure to a disease,
but without the person suffering symptoms of the disease. When a person comes in contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will respond fast enough to prevent the disease taking hold.
I immunised myself against the world. I took all of the awful things that happened to me and put them inside my soul in the hope that I would know and recognise them quickly and be immune to being hurt again.
Trouble was, I had so much inside of me that sometimes the loathing overflowed and I cut myself to ease the pressure.
For so long I concentrated on this manner of protecting myself that I stopped seeing what else was going on around me.
So, what changed?
I was forced to see the world - I travelled abroad and came across a poverty stricken country where I had no option but to see and feel new experiences. My senses overflowed with life and energy.
Suddenly, instead of hatred and self loathing I felt compassion, tenderness, concern and I laughed.....something I hadn't done for a long time!
As these new experiences became internalised, some of the horrible stuff had to be thrown out to make room for them, then once that door opened and I talked to people about my new experiences, I started to share with my community, my friends and family, and little by little they seeped into my soul too....no longer was I full of self loathing and fear....I had experienced a little bit of the world and loved it! It excited me, it made me feel LOVED, and sharing these thoughts showed me the people in my life who were real, who enjoyed seeing me happy and excited...a roller coaster that couldn't be stopped....a life!
Now I was seeing and sensing everything...after 40+ years the world was in front of me......and my souls door open for the light to stream in and fill it with hope for the future. I still have my 'protection' standing there at the door to my soul, but it no longer makes me claustrophobic and fearful. It is there ready to just step in when needed, leaving my soul free to be open and warmed all day long.