What surprises me about my journey is how it ends up giving me different lessons than I expect. I choose a place and have some small expectation of why and what I will gain there and end up learning that why I’m there is so much deeper and different a reason than I thought.
Costa Rica took me by surprise. I had no idea how much I needed a connection to nature and animals in the wild. (And still feel I need to go back for more.) Europe, as I mentioned in another post, felt a bit like a cop out somehow, after Central America, but then I discovered a forgotten part of myself – deep, intellectual conversation. But it turns out even that was perhaps only the surface, because in coming to Europe, I also ended up getting deeper into myself.
Most of my journey, so far, has been on my own, meeting people as I go, sometimes spending a day or a few days with them. In Portugal, I ended up staying so long in one place that I made some deeper connections. Those friends both inspired me and will travel with me. Through various repeated interactions with the same people I’ve bumped up against many deeper experiences from the past – many that are deeply painful, others that make me recede into myself to question and understand, all with the encouragement of my new friends.
Through deeper connection, I got to be reminded of all the fears and confusion that can happen for me at the start of relationships, and yet, from this point in my life, I have the capacity to see that each issue that comes up is actually about me, even if something another person did triggered me into a bad memory or a bad feeling. And, in some instances, I’ve been able to gain a new tool that has surprised and fascinated me. I was hurt by something one of my friends said and got very upset (on my own.) I gave myself some space to contemplate, and realized they didn’t intentionally try to hurt me. And then, I moved past this and reminded myself that they are a wonderful person who is compassionate and kind. And once I reconnected to the core of who I feel they are, all the pain was released because I realized they have that compassion for me as well. I was absolutely shocked to find my way through that connection so that I could be with them in a lighter place.
So, once again, I’m surprised by the unexpected lessons I’m learning. Europe is allowing me to learn about myself in relation to other people, rediscover forgotten boundaries, personal behavior patterns and fears and remember who I was, plug in to who I have been, reconnect with who I feel I really am, and then decide who I will become, even if that’s a blend of all that I was and am. ?