Recently I realised in my home place, how much we had let our courtyard down – honestly said, it was in a mess. The floor was full of moss, grass and leaves, the outside furniture reflected themselves from scruffy to rotten, and bushes as well as weeds looked like taking over control.
I was looking at this reflection in my life and realised how much my husband and I had withdrawn from here… We did let down the service AND the joy of using the courtyard.
I remembered myself having thoughts like “Outside there are too many insects that disturb me” and “I need someone to clear this mess, but who?” or “I am too busy and have no time for this.” I could see how these thoughts did support a choice I have made: the choice to withdraw from life.
How did that come about?
A few years ago my husband and I were challenged by a group experience where we were left feeling hurt. We recovered and were back on track (we thought) and did go on. It all looked like we had settled back and overcome this experience… yes, it looked like we learned out of it. And in a way we did – and in another way we did not heal the situation completely and so did hold onto a hurt.
This little hurt did hide quite well between our everyday living challenges and caused a maintenance of protection which was in fact called to deal with. But hidden as it was, we did not deal with it. So, hidden it stayed and we went on…
Two years later my partner and I found ourselves in situations where we were not loving with each other, not supporting ourselves in a way that was necessary, and finally after a few drama contributions, we asked a relationship-counselling couple for help. They offered us the reading of that there is still something going on from this group experience, a hurt left over so to speak, and with that the trying to protect ourselves that is now what continues to stand between us both.
We were surprised, but by engaging in this opportunity and then dealing with it we were able to see the shields we did hold for ourselves in protection.
These shields made us unable to connect deeper and build on an intimate level. We did hold each other at a distance, so to not get hurt again, but because we as humans are made to develop, we felt the missing growth and so here we are.
Well, that journey is worth an extra article but here I’d like to talk about how this choice, to hold onto a hurt (and hide it), had a large influence on our relationship, on our way of living and therefore on our surroundings. And our surroundings did reflect our way of being.
Now, by dealing with these hurts and therefore letting down the shields again, I saw things more clearly and the thoughts about my courtyard did change. I wanted to sit outside again; I wanted it to be a beautiful place and decided that I am the one who will make it. I claimed back my courtyard and what it stands for.
So firstly I made the decision that we need new furniture. I wanted something that I can easily handle, light and beautiful furniture. So my partner and I made an appointment with each other, looked for some new furniture and ordered that together.
Then I felt to clear the ground for this lovely new stuff and cleaned the floor, step by step. I thought, it will be easy and quick with cleaning up here but the mud that came up was more than expected (he he – good analogy again) and I needed more than triple of the time I expected.
What I learned is, it needs some commitment and dedication to claim back what I’ve given up on for a while…
Parallel to my ‘claiming back’, I shared the journey about the courtyard on social media and let everyone know about it. I posted pictures of me while working on it, from the mud that came up as well as the ‘ready to sit in a beautiful place’ pictures. And so a lot of people did participate on our journey and also contribute with comments and appreciation.
The old place was given some love again and so it shows. We both, my husband and I, are enjoying very much our ‘new’ surrounding, which reflects our choice to open up again – to each other and the world – and we are looking forward to receive guests in real life and not only via Internet.
But anyway, it is an openness and love that we claimed back into our life and it is beautiful to share this. I realise how much we are made to connect and celebrate our connection. The moment I withdrew from someone and/or life – I am in fact withdrawn from my natural way of being.
By Sandra Schneider, Germany