My old “Standard” Life
Up until a couple of years ago, I had what I’d now call a “standard” life. It was the life you’re “supposed” to have, or at least that’s what I thought based on everything I was told and taught in earlier life. I tried my hardest at school, and got three university degrees (the highest one being a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Geophysics), got a job and worked as hard as I possibly could. I was really pushing myself because I’d been taught that life is hard and you can’t make a living without a good education and a lot of hard work. Then, during this life, I listened to the advertising that was all around, ate and did the things that normal people were “supposed” to do and I became quite overweight, highly stressed, my cholesterol was elevated and I was heading rapidly towards “standard” heart and arterial problems.
Compounding these problems was a general dislike for myself that I’d picked up from somewhere. I thought I wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t working hard enough. Wasn’t fit enough. You name it.
There were some bright lights during this time though. I was married and had two daughters, and the family times were great, and I truly enjoyed the job I was doing most of the time.
There were enough good times to fool me into thinking that just working a bit harder, striving a bit harder, and I could be happy all the time.
Beginning to look at my health
Shortly after age 40 I began considering what I needed to do to get healthier. My father had a coronary heart attack in his 40’s and developed type-2 diabetes shortly after. I was worried I’d might be heading for the same problems. One of the significant books I read at this time was “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever” by Ray Kurzweil & Terry Grossman. This book made me rethink my diet. By avoiding bread, sugar, pasta, potatoes and rice I began to lose a lot of weight and started feeling a lot better.
It seemed like diet could be the future to a happy life but, of course, it’s not that simple.
Circumstances changed and my job moved me to France. My stress levels went way up with new responsibilities and the difficulties adapting to a new country and a new culture. I started to get the taste for French bread, cheese and wine and before long, I’d put back on nearly all the weight I’d lost.
My life was just drifting along, and not really going in a good direction.
Then “BANG!” – a wake-up call that couldn’t be ignored
Divorce snuck up on me hit me out of the blue. It seemed like the universe was telling me “well you’ve been ignoring all the hints I’ve been giving you up to now, let’s see if you can ignore this one”. Of course I couldn’t ignore it. My life had to change now.
After feeling down about my situation for a few weeks, I decided that I just had to get on with things. I was still drifting along aimlessly, but I was forced to decide how I wanted to live after divorce.
A training course began the process of opening my eyes
You can read about my experience of a training course on emotional intelligence by following this link. This is probably the first time I realised that it’s ok to love myself.
It’s ok to love myself! Wow. That was new. Today I know that it’s much more important than that. It’s not just ok to love yourself, it’s mandatory. If you don’t love yourself, nothing else in your life can work properly.
I began to take better care of myself. Which included being careful with my diet again.
The beginning of a new life
I began looking for new experiences. I took up yoga and meditation. I learnt to ski when I was 48 and I love it now – it’s the favourite sport I enjoy. Started karting as well for the first time and I love that too. And, even better than all that, I remarried and couldn’t be happier. What a change!
Seems like the enforced changes brought upon me by divorce was just the universes way of opening new doors for me and making sure that I went through them.
Through this process I felt like I was awakening from a sort of permanent doze. I was beginning to see what life could be like. How could I have been missing all of this for so long? Beginning to have some self-love and taking care of myself physically, allowed me to explore the powers of my mind and even my spirit. It truly amazes me how this path has led me toward spirituality.
I believe that loving oneself is a mandatory and huge step towards life in the right direction. It’s a must.
I now believe that universal unconditional love (for self, others, everyone, every being, every thing) is the recipe for a wonderful world. Without unconditional love we have hatred, bigotry, abuse, exploitation and war. With unconditional love we have peace, contentment, tolerance, warmth, happiness and tranquility.
Awakening with like-minded people
True unconditional love is still a big challenge for me. I still find it hard to love myself properly. Unconditional love for everyone is even more difficult than that, but it feels great to be trying to head in that direction.
I started this blog because putting down my thoughts helped me unravel them. Now I hope that it can help me connect and share with other like-minded people. I certainly need help and maybe there’s other people out there who are struggling along a similar path. I hope we can help each other.
I know this is true because some people have already made contact with me. I hope more join in and we can create a really powerful support network.
I wish you all the best and hope you find how to live your life in the right direction.