Shedding skin

I caught up with my ex this week as I am back in London.

After the break up our nearly 7 year relationship a year and a half ago, I read Women who Run with the Wolves  by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It is a deeply spiritual book which has stuck with me.

When I realised I didn’t want to be in that relationship, which I had been in throughout my twenties, I felt a great sadness and a lot of confusion and self loathing. Clarissa’s book helped me forgive myself and embrace the changes and uncertainty in my life.

I’ve always loved travelling and meeting different types of people, but I pushed myself towards what I thought I should do and what my parents wanted for me, whether they said it directly or not. I settled in London, became very career driven and spent my money on clothes, dinner and nights out, and eventually bought a flat in Camberwell with my boyfriend. Suddenly it was all looking great on paper and we were edging towards marriage but inner doubts were starting to poke and then hammer away at me. I knew I wasn’t happy and eventually, after a very dark period, built up enough courage to break up.

Initially I hated myself and felt that I had wasted both our time but I don’t feel like that now.

I cherish our connection and we supported one another throughout our twenties and shared some amazing experiences together. That relationship led me to have the strength I do today and move abroad and travel on my own. Something I have always wanted to do and perhaps wasn’t ready to in my early twenties.

He was and is an amazing person and deserves someone who isn’t doubting the relationship or him.

I don’t think all relationships are meant to last forever. We grow and change. If you grow and change together that is fantastic but if you don’t, you can still value what you shared and know that that relationship has led you to being who you are now and the new direction you are going in.

I think I will always love him in some way and never be completely sure of my decision, but I have learnt to be at peace with that uncertainty and increasingly feel that nothing is certain and everything is always changing in life and we need to be open and embrace those changes.

In Clarissa’s book it talks about shedding skin and I feel like that is what I have done and will continue to strive to do in my life. I am letting go of layers of societal shoulds and listening to me and what inherently feels authentic, right now.  I think our gut/our self/instincts/// knows what we want to do. Despite frequent self doubting, I am learning to trust in me more and feeling happier and more confident for it.

Clarissa writes “within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to ‘civilize’ us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become overdomesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped.

 

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A shot I took whilst travelling alone in Australia. This is Byron Bay as the sun is rising. Locals meet up before work to walk to the top end of the beach, they swim back together to the centre with the current, shower and start their day. Pretty ideal…

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