When things go a bit wonky and you end up getting hurt, do not beat yourself up about it. Your journey just took a turn in another direction and it is time to say goodbye to what you thought it was and which no longer serves you.
A new article by my good friend, model & interior designer Beatrix Du Toit. Thank you for this strong, beautiful, open article Bee, you’re a true inspiration! <3
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or weeks my tears flowed freely and even amidst the overwhelming turmoil I was dealing with, I had the urge to write about this process and share the raw beauty that resides within our own hurt. My personal experience of loss and grief, the pain it caused leaving me feeling helpless and lost at times, has become my biggest mentor yet. So let me take you on my journey of turning tears into healing waters.
Hardship as a part of your polishing process
In 2010 I traveled through Europe and ended up somewhere in rural Germany for a day or two en route to Munich. The lady whom I stayed with shared her daughter’s heartbreak and loss of a recent long distance relationship with me. I remember telling her that coming from Africa and having been a traveling model, I know hardship and I know that sometimes conditions can be tough to find a gem, my upbringing and surrounds have taught me that from an early start. Just like diamonds in the rough, we are also in the process of being polished and each life experience has a way of chafing us. At the time it hurts tremendously but at the end all that is revealed will be our own brilliance, true sparkle and light.
Applying this wisdom to my own life
I think back many times about that conversation and am surprised that I myself struggle to apply this wisdom to my own life. How does one hold onto your own sparkle when a relationship has ended leaving you feeling gutted and worthless? How do you get up and try again when business has gone bad? Is it possible to see every hardship just as a part of your polishing process?
Ended relationships & professional setbacks
I have witnessed so many of my friends losing their belief in self and taking a definite knock to their confidence when a relationship ended or when they experienced a brief setback professionally. With my fingers burned, trust broken and a slightly bruised ego, I find myself able to sympathize with so many heartbroken souls out there as this is a tough lesson to work through.
Changing tears into healing waters
My first shift in changing my tears into healing waters came when I realized that I too have part in this turmoil and needed to own that. There are no victims in a failed business deal or relationship having gone bad. Life is all about choices and we chose to be with a certain soul just as we chose to sign a certain modeling contract and stick to a career that can be challenging. Those life choices were made by none other than us. So when things go a bit wonky and you end up getting hurt, do not beat yourself up about it. Your journey just took a turn in another direction and it is time to say goodbye to what you thought it was and which no longer serves you. Getting stuck here can be dangerous and life waits for no one it moves on.
Your journey just took a turn in another direction and it is time to say goodbye to what you thought it was and which no longer serves you.
‘Poor me’ necklace
Playing the one string banjo can only serve a purpose for so long and the ‘poor me’ necklace we so often wear, is not very attractive. Thus revisiting and harping on about what is in the past needs a cut-off date to help you move forward.
I unfortunately took away four years of my life in going back and forth in a situation that from the word go was not conducive to my happiness. This I only realized when the one string on my banjo finally broke and no longer had a tune to play. There was nothing to mourn about anymore, as the unanswered questions no longer had a grasp on my will to move forward.
Power of writing letters
This I achieved by writing letters, hundreds of letters and never posting them. I allowed myself to read them whenever the pang or anger of what I lost, visited me and when it became too much and the tears rolled down my cheeks like rivers, I re-wrote them until the only truth that remained was the loss of myself none other than that.
No answer from self help books
The choices I made recently bestowed a hurricane of hiccups upon me in my personal and in my professional life. I found myself at a complete loss of not knowing what to do or whom to turn to. I searched all my memory banks of life lessons learned, all my self-help books and notes taken at personal development courses and none of them had any answers. The most astonishing thing happened however and that was through an ordinary moment in front of my mirror one morning.
As I stood there brushing my teeth I looked myself in the eyes, hoping to hear me say “you are a unicorn baby” but instead was about to start crying again when something in me just asked why. From deep inside me a very certain voice wanted to know why I cry about this one person, why do I cry about one project having gone sour, why? And in that exact moment I realized that all these heartbreaking experiences were mirrors for me regarding facets of my character that still needed polishing.
So from that morning my tears changed to healing waters as I saw every rude comment, every moment of neglect and abuse, every bully I experienced or betrayal I was exposed to as gifts in strengthening my character and preparing me for the moment when all the chafing is done and I sparkle like a true diamond.
Life changes us daily and love even more so. The only reason we fight and grieve so much when things change and certain journeys come to an end is because we are not in sync with our true self, which is to continue and respect the natural flow of life. Instead we go against it and crave permanence. Look to nature and see how the moon always follows the sun, winter always follows summer and the ocean constantly changes the shoreline.
So for now in this moment of me getting to know myself again and restructuring myself after the loss of B as I knew her, I look to the butterfly for inspiration. From caterpillar to butterfly there is a certain part of the transformation called imago. As soon as it enters the stage, the butterfly has to unfold the wings, contracted in the pupa stage. So, it spends sometime in inflating them with blood. Thereafter, it has to let them get dry, a process that can take anywhere between one and three hours. During this time, it is extremely vulnerable to predators but necessary to complete slowly to ensure its ability to fly.
Lessons from my experiences
Thus no longer a caterpillar or gooey mess transforming in a cocoon, I take cognizance of my experiences and lessons learned from each challenge and in a very gentle, slow and kind way will unfold my wings to experience the new Beatrix I have become, shaped by life and by loss. I hope that you too can look forward to meeting the new version of yourself after embracing the beauty and transformation that change and heartache can bring.
See you in the garden of life, sparkling in the sunlight my lovely souls. May it be a blessed journey of loss and change.