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I was looking at this reflection in my life and realised how much my husband and I had withdrawn from here… We did let down the service AND the joy of using the courtyard.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
Healing relationship issues: beginnings of intimacy
Letting go of the past is true medicine
Letting Go of an Old Way of Protecting Myself
There are so many pockets in life which need reviewing and claiming, sometimes it is things that we neglect like our tax or life admin, or even those parts of our house that are cluttered and overflowing with things we don’t use regularly.
I just so loved all the photos Sandra, after seeing it again I still feel the joy you are both sharing and experiencing, so delightful to read. I must say I am needing to claim more of my back yard again, which relates to me opening up to let more of me out and let more people in.
When we experienced a hurt and we do not deal with it and heal it, it can stay with us and cause more harm than we realise. When I accumulate new hurts they are often related to old hurts that I have not healed. I find when we choose to heal our hurts and start living a life free of hurts, we open up space for love to flow because holding onto our hurts hurt us deeply as it blocks our flow of love.
Thank you Sandra, I enjoyed reading the wisdom you learned from seeing the intersection between situations that hurt you and how you lived. That is a beautiful understanding to come to about the whole of humanity. And even though your outer life profoundly changed by claiming back the courtyard, it was symbolic of the inner healing, that “it is an openness and love that we claimed back into our life and it is beautiful to share this.” Thank you.
Sandra, this is very gorgeous; ‘I realise how much we are made to connect and celebrate our connection’. Reading this I can feel that it is common for us to have hurts in our relationships and to not celebrate our connection and to evolve. So often it seems we take each other for granted. You are wonderful role models to couples on how to live more lovingly and with transparency and openness.
Bringing light and love to our surroundings, both around us and within us, and we are open to meeting everyone with all that we are.
What a great read about the parts of our home that we hold back from expressing everything they can offer us whether we live on our own, with partners, family or friends. Either way there is great movement for change if we are willing to be open to the potential of deepening our relationships with one another.
I can feel that I have held back something inside of me and in doing so I have then withdrawn in other areas of my life and this is currently being reflected in the home, where I have held back my expression. I am now more committed to bringing this out and allowing myself to know from deeper within what my next steps are.
We think the world is against us, but truly it is us who shape the environment by the energy we let through. If we truly want to care for the world around us, first it’s vital to care for the energy in ourselves. From this disregard or harmony comes – thank you Sandra.
Beautiful words of wisdom Joseph. When I reflect on the condition of my house/living space it is a direct reflection on the relationship I have with myself and others. The more I love, care and nurture my body, the more this is reflected in the space I live. Our planet is the same, the condition it is in, is a reflection of where we are at as a race.
It’s amazing how one undealt with part of our lives effects all the other parts of our lives, sometimes without us even realising. Although it makes sense – if our human body was made of a 1000 light bulbs and 20 go out, if we don’t change them then our body is going to be darker and feel different and life will take on a slightly different hue.
A lovely analogy, thank you Meg.
Bring love to any loveless momentum and watch the space transform and sparkle with the light of Heaven, for all those open to it embracing it.
Hear, Hear Carola, powerfully delivered and I love what you’ve shared. I am going to print this out and share this pearl of wisdom with my family.
We can think we have healed a situation and a hurt, but have we partly healed it and buried the rest, it is important to fully heal our hurts, ‘and in another way we did not heal the situation completely and so did hold onto a hurt.’
I just love how Sandra was able to see the correlation of their messy courtyard and how that represented her tendency to withdraw in protection. This shows me just how much our inner life and state of being are constantly being reflected into our outside surroundings, and how we can read these symbols in a way that support us to come back to our true selves.
In that withdrawal Michael we are not in the full expression of ourselves, of the joy, openness and love, and our outer lives are very reflective of this.
There is NOTHING that doesn’t matter, everything has an effect on everything whether seen or unseen and whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
I read this many moons ago but have loved reading it again and feel it is offering another layer to let go of in my own relationship with my commitment to life. When there are areas of the outside space that are neglected – and I mean outside our bodies not necessarily outside our homes, then it affects our relationships.
I agree Sandra, ‘it needs some commitment and dedication to claim back what I’ve given up on for a while…’ commitment is essential in everything, whether it be to ourselves… or our house and cleaning our courtyard.
It is so true that when we hold onto a hurt, it is there then in all of our interactions with others. This is coming up for me quite strongly at the moment, feeling how much protection I live in and how easily triggered my reactions are.
Sandra, this is really lovely to read; ‘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.’ Reading this makes me realise that if I withdraw from life then everyone and everything is affected, for me it is really helpful to connect that how I am with myself and others is then reflected in how my home and garden is, this really makes sense to me as I notice that if I feel connected with me then I naturally order and tidy my surroundings and enjoy the lightness and flow with this, if I m feeling overworked, overwhelmed and disconnected then my house becomes messy and there is little care in how I am with myself and my home, thank you for writing about this.
The simplicity you are offering us here is truly beautiful. It is indeed so simple-everything is communicating our inside in the outside. It feels very joyful to see you blossoming again and inviting life and people in. Not only by the visual fact of rebuilding your courtyard but by the quality that can be felt how lovingly you did it. I would love to be your guest 🙂
You are absolutly welcome Stefanie Henn! Just in the moment it is a bit cold….but inside our home it is unfolding well as well :). So – see you soon!
This is so awesome Sandra and shows us that everything in our lives including our homes, offers us a deeper insight into how we live and what may be hiding or holding us back from living from our full connection to who we are. The transformation of your courtyard is gorgeous and shows the commitment and love you both hold for each other and life as one. Thank you.
Our homes are such a reflection of how we live, how awesome you claimed back your back yard – there is nothing better then living in full and having this reflected back to support us in our homes.
Sandra I love coming back to this blog and seeing what an amazing difference it makes when we not only take care of part of our home or life but when we are open to taking care of the whole.
This is like a whole new step up on backyard renovations. The fact is it is possible to read a situation and to feel into why we are holding back or holding onto something. This transformation is huge in the sense that it not only changed your courtyard, but at the same time you were able to look deeply into your relationship and allow more honesty in.
I loved the blog Sandra, and the smiling joyful faces having fun in the new courtyard. I have a backyard that I have been neglecting not wanting to go outside and face it, I recently had some help in it and that made all the difference, I am now claiming it back with love and also a part of me that was being neglected.
It is time for me to clean up our garage. I had fantasised about having a butler to do a few jobs like this and cleaning my shoes but I don’t think we will be getting a butler!
Last week I did the laundry cupboard with a friend and it felt wonderful and looks so beautiful now I feel like showing everyone who visits.
Stunning Sandra – I had an experience like this the other day. At home I found I had cut off from others in my house. Then I noticed how this was true on a very literal way – all my possessions were boxed away on their own. After an evening of rearranging all these things and placing them with other people’s bits, I found there was a new openness and warmth between us all. It’s like on a deeper level I had chosen to let other people in. Your words here emphasise that our physical surroundings reflect so much but in the end it always comes back to energy and us being open and true deep within.
Giving the place where we live and work some loving attention always pays dividends.
Thank you Sandra, I always find this very healing and supportive to read. It’s also a great way to see how we interact with our home and environment and if that points to a hurt and protection, including withdrawal. A powerful line here “The moment I withdrew from someone and/or life – I am in fact withdrawn from my natural way of being.”
I can relate to this article as recently I had the driveway pressure cleaned as it was very dirty and a lot of moss began growing there, the way it looked and felt after it was cleaned bought a smile to my face and I felt the lightness and spaciousness it bought to the property.
It is so true that standing in protection can just make things worse, and sometimes it is the most open and honest way forward that supptrs the best in coming back to love.
When we heal and let go of our hurts we clear the space for more of who we are in essence, our love, to emerge. We and our bodies are then moved by a greater quality of love which is, as you have shared Sandra, our natural way of being.
Our lives are like our homes, any clutter and excess in either affects the function of the whole.
There is a gorgeous part in here about claiming back the courtyard and what it stands for. This is gorgeous because it shows that you understand how nothing is in isolation, all things are connected, and by this we can always see the truth of our relationships being reflected back to ourselves through every part of life, even from a courtyard.
Thank you Shami, I appreciated how you shared that nothing is in isolation and everything can reflect something back to us, and in the case of the courtyard an opportunity for healing.
There is so much we can read in the space we live, and there is so much transformation we can find by deepening in that reading. Your experience is a beautiful example of that. Thank you for sharing it
At first glance it, may not be obvious that the ‘state’ of your courtyard was linked to your withdrawal from life, but it makes sense that everything is linked to everything else. Letting untidiness build in my house is definitely a reflection that I am not ‘on it’ at home and that disorder for me, is a reflection of being under pressure and in overwhelm.
It is an amazing process claiming back that which we haven’t used for a while, no matter what it may be, and I love how claiming back your courtyard just wasn’t about the physical work but what unfolded for you on an inner level. I am sure we all have things in our lives that we have allowed the ‘weeds’ to grow in and the ‘mud’ to cover but once we have made the commitment to clear out all that does not belong there the process of rediscovering what is there waiting for us can be quite magical.
All space is sacred and its up to us to claim that space, Every part of a home deserves to be filled with love.
What a brilliant observation/realization Samantha! YES – all space is sacred and so it is on me how I honor this space/sacredness….or not. What a reflection for me, if I do not so. And what a potential for all of us, if I do.
Beautifully put Samantha, “All space is sacred..” it’s there for us to claim and as you say allow it to be filled with love, a love that is already there.
‘The moment I withdrew from someone and/or life – I am in fact withdrawn from my natural way of being.’ I had been feeling this acutely recently and then I chose to clear out the laundry/boiler/shoe/freezer room. This is how everyone enters my house and for some time it had been bothering me that lots of things were crammed into small spaces, hidden, or mostly hidden, from view but there nonetheless. I took everything out and thoroughly cleaned everywhere and then sorted all the bits and pieces, discarding some and organising others, interestingly the man who services the boiler came during this period and we managed to make a little space for him to overhaul the ancient machine that creates the spark that fires up the heating for the whole house. Now it is a joy to walk through the door and, just as the weather turned cold we could appreciate even more the boiler and the man who keeps it’s workings clear and free from blockages. I feel the freedom of my expression returning too and a motivation to communicate.
Thank you. I feel totally inspired by this and love the parallels that you are sharing, emphasising to me that everything matters and all areas of our life have an impact on the others and to not let ourselves fade into insignificance through any of them and how wonderful it is to breathe life into something we have been ignoring.
Love the term ‘breath life into’. Yes, we are surrounded by potential and if we honor it and activate the potential of love in every part, we all will blossom up.
Since moving into this house three years ago, it was not until this year that I have actually paid any real attention to the garden, and seen it as part our house that deserves to be loved and cared for. I was inspired by a neighbour who was selling his organic produce to trim things back a bit, and the plants that I have tended to look so much more healthier, shiny and spacious.