Katharina and I met in Santa Marta while I was travelling the north Caribbean coast of Colombia and connected instantly. You know the situation – when you meet someone and it feels like you have always known each other. By the time we said our ‘good byes’, a brief romance had already developed.
Now we were Skyping that we could choose to spend some more time together before continuing in separate directions if we wanted. It was I who originally suggested it, and it came from a real desire to spend some quality time with Katharina while we still had the opportunity, but at the same time it opened up an internal can of worms, and suddenly I was not a happy bunny at all!
I felt intensely conflicted by my own suggestion. I was thinking to myself that this is what I always do. I choose to be with a girl instead of being on my own – always with devastating results!
Katharina tried to console me by explaining that we will get to know each other much better, and in the end walk away as friends, or as much more, but nothing really bad can happen.
I knew from past experience that she was wrong. It can go very badly indeed. We could fight and blame and shout and cause pain, and I’m not going to go through that again!
I messaged Katharina that it was not worth the risk.
We all have issues. Some people feel that they are not worth much of anything, or feel that the world is not on their side. Other people worry about their physical appearance, or what others think about them. There are people who always have to be right even when they know they are wrong, and then there are others who can’t help feeling envious of those who have what they do not.
These are just some of the many issues that influence our lives, and they are very complex, but, nevertheless, our deepest issues always seem to stem from one life experience that has had a particularly traumatic emotional impact, and more often than not, that traumatic life experience usually seems to come from our childhood. I would even go so far as to say, based on the conversations I have had in my life, that our biggest issues can most often even be linked back to our parents.
My biggest issue, for example, is a fear of being alone, and I have self-diagnosed this as coming from the fact that my dad left my mom before I was born, and chose to have nothing to do with me. In other words, he abandoned me, which left me with a deep need to be wanted.
During my teenage years and early twenties, I got that attention from being the center of my social scene and chasing the ladies, but at some point I of course realised that ultimately you are still left feeling alone.
I hadn’t worked out yet that real happiness comes from within, so I next found solace from a series of serious relationships. My mom named me a ‘serial monogamist’ after the ‘serial killer’ who repeatedly moves from one highly destructive experience to another.
I was always faithful and highly committed in these relationships, but the formula was all wrong. I was getting involved because she was attractive and interested in me and that made me feel good about myself. Furthermore, she was also lacking on some deep level in her own confidence, which meant that she would want me to be there for her, and turn to me to feel more secure.
Ultimately in such a relationship when both of you are so unconfident with who you really are or what you really want, you start to defend what you do know. You first start to force your opinions on the other person, and then, before long, you are both trying to change each other. This causes a lot of pain and heart ache.
Eventually I repeated this pattern one time too many, and after another nasty painful break up, I made a conscious decision that I will never repeat this destructive experience again – ever!
I had already been reading up on spirituality for a long time by this point, and understood completely that my pain was coming from looking for something external to make me happy.
Spirituality teaches us that we must first take time to be alone in order to discover our Self (who we are) before we can be of any use to anyone else, so when I decided to actually take the plunge and live by the teachings of spirituality to see what actually happens, it was with a very profound purpose to first and foremost be completely on my own for a while.
But as I calmed down, and my internal panic subsided, I was able to listen more closely to my intuition, rather than to my mind going through past experience overload.
Whereas in the past, my intuition would tell me that getting further involved with this girl is not a good idea, my head would be saying that nothing bad can really happen so just go for it. My head was always wrong!
Now my head was telling me that it is madness to hang out with this girl more, whilst it was my intuitive spirit telling me that nothing will go wrong. This time it was the other way round, and what was changing my mind was my Self!
We went together to Guachalito, one of the paradise beaches that are only accessible by boat across the ocean from Nuqui. Here, my positive bubble was fully inflated, and I was fully in my element surrounded by wonderful nature! – waterfalls, huge rocks, jungle, sand, sea, and camping, and amazing company. The perfect situation to be romantic together!
We had a really unforgettable time, and we are keeping in touch and look forward to seeing each other again, but right now I am back to travelling alone and heading south to Ecuador while Katharina makes a brief trip to Nicaragua before heading home to Germany.
Choosing to be alone is a really tough thing to do. It takes real inner strength! For when you are completely alone without anything external to distract your attention, all you are left with is your Self and all of your fears.
But it is such an important and healthy exercise to get to know who we are and what makes us tick. Unfortunately most of us rush from one external distraction to the next without taking some quality time to get to know our Self first.
Nevertheless, one day while I was sitting with Katharina on the beach in Guachalito, I finished the book 1984 by George Orwell; he concludes that we human beings are doomed because everyone has a fear that is so great that they would rather give up love than face that fear.
I proved George Orwell wrong.
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