Climbing the mountain

or how to (not) be (so) lost in migration!

I am happy! It doesn’t happen easily to me… but at the moment, I am happy. It could last only a few hours but I am hoping it will stay with me longer. I am hoping that the learned lessons are really integrated and that Happiness is the way. But I also know that wobbliness alongside doubtful thoughts are just behind the corner… It’s called life;) So how do I stay solid and grounded, ready for the next storm? I am not sure..

But I have some ideas…

I have a home again. A house that feels home, with all my things around. With some love and colors on the walls. When I look around, I feel content. I have arrived. As we have recently re-settled in Darwin, these feelings could be simply relating to the end of our relocation from Queensland to the Northern Territory. Having a home is for me definitely one of the key that leads to happiness. Or contentment. It is a bit like coming back to the self. My heart sing and dance and laughs all at once!

I sense there is more to that.. The yearning of a home has been present for a long time. Migrating in another country is a lengthy process of adaptation, with many ups and downs. And while I’m writing this post, I realize that I am now on the other side. It’s been almost four years now that I’ve left New Zealand. It was such a difficult process for me, where I didn’t want to leave the life I had created there. My dear friends. A sense of direction and meaning. And the nurturing beauty of that land that had welcomed me and saw my rebirth.

What I mean by being on the other side is that I think I’ve made it. I climbed the hardest part and am now on the other side. Migrating in another country is like climbing a mountain. Even well equipped and trained, despite a strong desire and a heart full of hope, it will be a difficult climb. And the only thing that helps is time. It is somehow a grieving process…

There is no easy recipe here. To help a grieving process, you simply grieve. In other words and similarly, to help an adaptation process when you migrate in another country, you adapt. You learn about that extra bit of patience that is required from you and that you cannot find anymore. You wait patiently for months and months, while this strange feeling of being an alien, an outsider from everywhere you look, in everyone’s eyes who look at you, keeps creeping at your legs, at your heart, in your mind. You sit there patiently, with your doubts and your misunderstandings, with your broken hopes. And you wonder if you had made the right decision back then. These feelings can accompany you for some time. You will learn about your very own limits. All of them probably. These stages of adaptation can be extremely challenging. It is like loosing your identity, your sense of self. You’ve lost your ground. Everywhere you look is foreign, feels cold. Loneliness is your coat.

It is quite a debilitating experience. And the only advice I would give is make sure you get some help. Don’t wait too long (as I did). Feeling heard, understood and guided is needed during such a lonely experience. Hearing that the way I was feeling was somehow normal reassured me immensely. It offered me a new ground to build on.

Thank you Jacqui!

Part of my pile of books near my bed, is this little book called Just One Thing by Rick Hanson. Little book of wisdom (and practices) to tap into any time. In the intro, it says:

There are three fundamental phases to psychological and spiritual growth: Being with difficult material (e.g. old wounds, anger); Releasing it; and Replacing it with something more beneficial.

To be with it. To let go and to let in. Good advice;)

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