There was a time, many years ago, when I felt unfree. There was a world out there I was curious about, but it had strange codes that everyone else seemed to effortlessly create and live by, that weren’t mine. I couldn’t find my own anywhere, as I spent my days absorbed in – and also numbed by – the fascinating drama of the world. My infinite curiosity led me astray, to spaces and tragedies that belonged to others. I did my best to learn, to understand with compassion and patience the depths of others’ souls, and also to navigate my unfolding life with candid enthusiasm and dedication.
I played the game, but I was never really present. One man, whom I secretly yearned to love, once told me I was scared of living. I didn’t tell him he was right, and he also couldn’t hear my desperation to belong. The unease in my soul grew stronger and stronger, and the more I heard this abyss inside, the faster I ran, the busier I got, the more I smiled, the lonelier I felt. I craved life. I craved to be enveloped by life in all its dimensions, to be confirmed in my humanness.
And one day there was loss. And I was brought to the edge of my humanity, where I would have to face the stillness of life and death, the light and the darkness, endings and beginnings, all contained in the very same moment. I fell deep into life. I kept on falling, yet I knew I was being held. And then I understood the beauty in pain. I was in it, I was surrounded by it, I was it. I knew it was what I had been waiting for, to become free. A force so powerful took over that I indulged completely and with all my senses in the rawness of feeling.
I had to burn to be transformed. And we have all heard it before: what really saves us is to touch, even for one second, our self-compassion. It took me years of dogged dedication and endless curiosity to swim to the surface once again, up from the depths of emotion. I investigated, I listened inside, I finally touched my soul. Then I felt ready and in one piece, and I made contact again. And I am now present, in a world that is alive to me. I only ever knew one thing from the beginning, and that has remained my compass: I will never feel whole until I claim all the parts of me, gather them around me and take stock.
So to the above quote, I have always asked myself this question: Can there be lasting social change without ‘individual processes of commitment to our internal reality’? I don’t think so. Of course, I will always honour the power of transformation at the group level. But we still walk in our bodies, we carry our hearts wherever we go, we all have an individual past, a unique story, a dream that is entirely personal. For me, whatever the context, the fundamental liberty lies within. And that is where the true revolution takes place: in our way of thinking, of feeling… ultimately of being.
It is a work in progress – there is so much conditioning we all need to unravel. But most importantly, this is the ultimate political act: to decide to reclaim our rightful ownership of our body, our mind, our soul. This is who I am and my power lies in my conscious connection to all of me. From this place, what can’t we achieve?!
We all know that the only voice we ever need to listen to is our own.