Lately I've been feeling a little isolated... and lonely. This is not a new feeling.
I first became properly acquainted with isolation when I moved to the Mid North Coast. I knew no-one, worked from home and was suffering from depression. I was isolated - geographically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
When I moved back to Byron I had anticipated to be back 'where I belong'. I'd be surrounded by friends and family and it would be an end to my isolation. Social occasions would be a plenty... there would be no time for loneliness.
Only, that wasn't the case.
I felt just as lonely and isolated as before. In fact, more so. I missed my wayward bunch of friends I'd slowly collected over the three years I spent in Nambucca. I'd worked so hard on myself and pushing my boundaries. I became a new and improved version of me. Hanging with people who inspired me.... and I, in return, inspired them. It was easy to be the best version of me. No one had any pre-concieved ideas of who I was. I was the 'right here, right now' me. But then, I moved back. In some ways it was like stepping back in time... to the person I used to be. The person I'd worked so hard to leave behind.
I struggled a little. Felt somewhat like I was starting... again! Learning to meld the two me's into one.
I realised that isolation (unless extremely geographical - like living in the middle of the antarctic) is an outward expression of inner reflection. The world is my mirror. What was this reflecting to me? I had isolated myself... from myself. I had buried the old me. I didn't like her very much anymore. She was everything I had worked so hard to move on from. She was judgemental. She had very little compassion. She was a bit of a gossip... and a lot of a bitch. She just wasn't me anymore. But I could feel her bubbling up to the surface once back in her natural habitat. I was trying as hard as I could to swallow her down.
Then, a friend of mine came to visit. An old Byron friend who moved away - coincidentally, she came to the Bali Retreat. My worlds collided once more. She knew both of me. She'd been a part of my life prior to my work on self... and she knew, and loved, the new me. However, she also knew and loved the old me.
** Insert lightbulb moment ** I am the old me... and the new me. In fact, the entire time I've been nothing but me. I've been shaped by my circumstances and experiences... and without the old me, the new me wouldn't exist.
We are one and the same. While the new me always tries to come from compassion and without judgement she wasn't extending the same courtesy to herself. The new me needed to give the old me a break. After all, she had been hurt... and was hurting.. and it was her (or me) who started the healing process.
She and I... we've done the work. We'd let go of the past and forgiven those that who had hurt me, only now I finally included myself on the list. Thankfully, my journey has given me the tools to recognise and overcome those parts, the beliefs, that no longer serve me. Coming back to the start, doesn't mean you are back at the start. I'm not the acorn... I'm a healthy tree starting to sprout leaves... there is no going back now.
I got out of the house on the hill. I braved Byron on a Friday night. I went back for more on the Sunday night. I saw old friends I had long forgotten. I saw the recognition on their faces... a genuine warm welcome home smile. I remembered all that I had loved about this place. All it takes here is to be a friend of a friend and you are treated like family. A 'you look really familiar' and it's like you are a long lost sister.
I had found 'home' once again.
Because I had come home... to me.