Hey Everyone! It’s great to be back home and blogging again. Lance, Annabel and I had a wonderful trip to the UK visiting family members whom we hadn’t seen in years. Familial bridges damaged by old disputes were mended by unspoken mutual agreements to let the past go and enjoy the mature adults we had all become. Living in the house of Lance’s eldest brother infused me with a joy and peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. Along with his wife and three grown up boys, they’d all created a home filled with a quiet unstated love, laughter and peaceful co-existence. It reminded me of what Lance, Annabel, Zak and I had once felt as a family, and have all yet to reclaim on this long and sometimes incredibly difficult journey. I was also pleased to make a spiritual connection with my youngest brother-in-law who was a young teenager when we left the UK in 1985. Now in his early forties, the two of us were newly-discovered kindred spirits, talking till the early hours, sensing each other through many lifetimes, sharing some deep feelings and experiences for the first time. My mother-in-law, a person who despite our 22 year rift has always been on my list of People I Would Like To Meet In Heaven (remember Mitch Albom’s book?), finally allowed me to close the circle of our relationship with an act of love. I hadn’t wanted to go to the UK with Lance and Annabel. But Life, using Lance as a means, insisted that I accompany both him and Annabel. It showed me how Life has its own agenda, how it insists that we all interact within certain roles, meet ourselves in our conflicts with each other, become estranged, take our own individual journeys of self-discovery and then witness our lives flowing like different rivers to a common meeting point, merging at the end of a cycle in the inevitable sea of mutual understanding.
For me, the UK visit was one in which I re-visited old haunts and an old self. We walked a lot, visiting places where Lance and I had been happy. I also took a trip to my old family home where darkness had reigned for a long time. Its new owners had transformed the place. It was refurbished and bright. I smiled as I recognized the mirror of the aspect of myself that had long since moved on. The area that I’d lived brought back many memories with the familiar smells of fresh wet earth and damp grass from the rains, the songs of birds in the trees, the rise of the green hills nearby, the noise of public transport tearing up and down the roads, and the familiar neat houses that lined the pretty streets. The local pubs had me watching ghostly images of myself with two once very special friends drinking, laughing and fighting over inconsequential things. Being in my old hometown was an opportunity to examine the road I’d travelled and take cognisance of the measure of my spiritual growth. Something inexpressible had brought me back to take one last look. In doing so, I was able to reflect upon an old self that had blamed others for my life, a self that had been a victim in a cruel world. By retracing my steps, following old pathways, the part of me that had taken responsibility for my experiences finally integrated at the deepest level. I knew without doubt, that something had finished forever. A part of my journey was completed. It took no effort. I didn’t do anything. It happened all by itself.
As for Lance and Annabel, reports from the two Boss addicts state that the Hard Rock Calling concert in Hyde Park was just AWESOME, with Bruce Springsteen putting on a show unrivalled (as usual) by any other rocker on earth. As always, he demonstrated the meaning of commitment, the power of true passion, and dedicated duty to both his fans and the spiritual message for which he is a conscious guardian. For myself, Lance and Annabel, Bruce Springsteen is no ordinary musician; instead he is a prophet of hope, singing the story of human dysfunctional life and allowing us all a shared experience of a pain that once felt alienating. Bruce is a guru of sound, his music reaching into the soul of the listener, transforming inaccessible parts of the personality that have learned to trust his message. His albums and his concerts are satsangs in which his fans open to receive the Darshan he channels from a higher source. Leaving a Springsteen concert, one is transformed, touched by something indescribable. Bruce himself states that he is still in therapy, dealing with the fall-out of his life with his father. In his concerts, he himself is transformed by the energy he channels, losing himself in the magnificence of something far greater than the body performing on stage. At sixty-something, Bruce Springsteen is a man of incredible physical strength, saying that just before he bursts onto the stage, he becomes still, and waits for his body and soul to fill up with a pulsing energy. Lance and Annabel took many days integrating the latest infusion of Bruce Darshan, and still stare with awe at the photos they took. Annabel said that she saw an ordinary man on stage, but felt an extraordinary message fill her soul. For Lance and Annabel, the show was the highlight of the holiday, and we all look forward to a time that The Boss will bless the Gulf countries with a visit.
Barcelona was an amazing city with much to do. With something for everyone’s tastes, we visited religious cathedrals, museums flaunting paintings by famous painters, ancient streets and gothic quarters, fabulous restaurants, interesting shops and over-populated tourist beaches. Between the three of us, we had a fantastic time.
For Lance, there was a mental retracing of childhood footsteps, as he reminisced on old family holidays to Spain with his three brothers, two sisters and parents. Not having very much money, his mother, obsessed with the sun, and its promise of physical beauty, had insisted on camping holidays which were beach-focussed, cheap, but not necessarily cheerful for the children who couldn’t afford the usual niceties of foreign holidays. They slept roughly in borrowed tents that let in rain, had breakfasts of bread and pieces of chocolate, could not afford luxuries like ice-cream and cold drinks, and spent long days on the beach feeling alienated from people milling around the bars, enjoying typical holiday treats. In present time, Lance felt real gratitude as the three of us basked luxuriously in lovely restaurants, sipped sangria and ordered practically anything we wanted on the menu. Underlying the gratitude was a nagging bitterness towards his mother’s insensitivity to her children’s needs that he tried to bat away with grateful affirmations for what he was enjoying now. It was Annabel and I that drew his attention to his tendency towards telling comical stories of holiday hardships, that gave us all plenty of laughs, but which ended in criticism of his mother. It was no coincidence that the UK leg of the journey had Lance and his two brothers telling similar stories and all of them quietly expressing bitterness in their own ways.
After much talking, we got Lance to confront the fact that the issue of his childhood lack of money was rearing its head for good reason. What we feel is real, and must not be ignored out of misplaced guilt because we have it good now. We have to face the reality that something deep within is rising to the surface to be confronted. While in spiritual terms the first step to healing is acknowledgment of the pain we felt with our experiences, the most important element is ownership. While other people are role-players in creating our pain, we must be courageous enough to remember that it is us who have requested the mirror of their presence. In Barcelona Lance was challenged to take ownership of his childhood hardships surrounding money. He clearly saw that this form of lack related to his relationship with his inner life; in those days, he had no sense of spirituality at all. His parents had presented a situation where he’d had to meet with the outer reflection of the inner lack. They had no sense of the inner life whatsoever, both of them completely governed by external influences. His mother was a control-freak who ruled the family with her iron will. Lance needed to see his own reflection in her. He was born too self-reliant; before incarnating he’d had no spiritual inclinations whatsoever; to Lance’s mind, there was no-one but himself to take care of his financial security. Though he has accompanied me on a long spiritual journey, and though he has confronted a lot of his childhood issues with money, he had never fully integrated the issue of trust in the Divine. I reminded Lance that despite everything he did to save our company, it had failed. No stone had been left unturned when it came to building a money-making venture, yet despite all our best efforts, it had all fallen to dust. We were not in control of our financial destiny, and our higher selves (God) showed us this. Lance was challenged once again to let go, and let God take care of his life. He was being told that it wasn’t up to him to feed the family, put a roof over our heads and save for the future. This was God’s business, and God had shown Lance in no uncertain terms that when Life strikes, there is no amount of human endeavour that can defend against it. Lance has met this challenge many times, but something in him listened this time. In Barcelona, he began the process of letting go.
So, all in all, The Rooney Vacation of 2012 was wonderfully enjoyable, deeply productive and set us all in a new, more positive direction. And I’m happy to be back, to make more friends, and to challenge others with my very different views on life!