I’m a natural learner, not in an academic sense, more of a ‘lessons from life’ kind of learner.
I love to take the experiences of my life and interpret the teachings they offer me. I dive deeply into my emotions to understand myself and others more fully; I enjoy capturing the dreams I have at night and discovering the hidden meanings they hold. I am fascinated by how much we cannot see and do not understand; it intrigues me how intricately interconnected life is, and how little we truly know.
It’s my life’s work to learn in this way. It’s how I heal myself, enable others to heal, and how I teach other practitioners to create transformation with those they serve.
But here’s the deal. As the western calendar acknowledges St Valentines Day, I am done with lessons in love.
Love: A confident start
When I was younger, I thought I was competent with matters of the heart. It started when a boy at school left flowers on my doorstep (and quickly ran away!) Flowers became a first kiss by the front gate (is that it? I wondered…) and progressed to my Grandmother’s infamous contraceptive advice, ‘keep both legs in one stocking’ she proclaimed. It hadn’t worked for her!
As my teens turned into my twenties I rolled easily from one long term relationship to another. It seemed natural for me to be with someone for a few years at a time, and I repeated the pattern multiple times.
That was when the first love lessons crept in
- I discovered that some people hit the sexual spot whilst others fizzled out and faded away
- I began to see I attracted people with difficult histories
- I learned that resentment and sex were not compatible bed follows
- I found that drugs led to sexual liberation, but the comedown was hard
- The biggest lesson I learned was that it is easy to lose yourself in love
As my twenties turned into my thirties and with a heavily broken heart, I broke free and spent several years on the sexual warpath. I hurt and was hurt. I was desperately lonely. My heart ached and I escaped into freedom and adventure. On my thirtieth birthday, I skydived in New Zealand. It was my F*** you to the world. An attempt to show how brave and courageous I was, and how I could do whatever I wanted. If there were hashtags then, mine would have been #NoManRequired. As a result of my adventures I became fiercely independent, a modern woman of the times. Still, my heart yearned for love.
The biggest lessons in love I learned from that time were
- Wherever you go there you are, your pain and hurt will follow any attempt to escape
- To be in a relationship requires you to know who you are first
- Loneliness is a fierce teacher
- Sleeping around is destructive to a fragile esteem
- Don’t chase love
Love: A protected heart
So from being a youngster who believed I was confident in matters of the heart, I came to understand that love is a learning game, and my duty was to protect my heart. Mostly I did this by withdrawing and closing down intimacy. My occasional relationships, real or imagined reflected this barren desert to me.
More love lessons emerged
- Your parents reflect who you attract in love
- Be the best parent you can be (see above!)
- Abstaining from sex for long periods is as hard on the heart as promiscuity is on the esteem
- It’s possible to be in a relationship and still feel lonely
- If you meet someone when you are vulnerable make sure they can grow with you when you are strong
A new insight revealed itself
Love: A constant teacher
Now into my fourth decade, I am ready for love. The scars have healed and I am more beautiful for it. Heart open, knowing that love is limitless but to be loving requires limits.
Ready to be met in a way my soul knows is possible; safe in the knowledge that the biggest strength we can bring to a relationship is to know who we are so that we can be met by another and grow from that place together.
So whilst I want to stop the lessons, that’s not the path. I understand deep down that all of this has just been the preparation work, and the real lessons are yet to come.
After all isn’t ‘what is love?’ one of the biggest questions we can ask in life?