Let go of what no longer serves you

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For the longest time, I’ve been having the sense that it is time to let go of that which no longer serves me. That this is the next leg of my journey toward love and firstly self-love: Letting go, and making space.

So I let go… Of friends. Or rather “friends”. People that aren’t really friends at all but voyeurs on your road, or misery people. You don’t need them, their presence makes you no less lonely and they only drain good from your road.

I let go of a lot of stuff. Man I had a lot of crap taking up space.

I let go of my notions of staying here, I looked into immigration, selling my house… letting go of everything I know…

My most dear dog died and I thought, maybe I also have to let go of the thing I love most.

I let go of a lot of things and people and notions and even after all that, one day I looked around, and felt: “Let go of that which no longer serves you.”

Oh the frustration. What on earth should I, could I possibly still let go of… I’ve given up, moved on and closed doors. What on earth else?

Then I stumbled on the phrase: “… your idea of what love is.” I stopped in myself and thought for a second. Apart from this feeling… what is love? What do I understand about love? I was listening to an audio by Rikka Zimmerman and she asked, “How have you been shown love? Did someone say to you, ‘I’ll give my life to you – I love you.’ …” sacrifice? Do I understand love as sacrifice? “I’ve given up everything for you.” And that is love. In that moment the little puzzle pieces fell right into place and all the messages I have ever received about love bubbled up to the surface…

…suddenly there was a whole lot more to let go of, because none of this actually ever served me.

So here I am cleaning out a closet in my mind. Full of even more crap. Crap I forgot I had. Crap I never even realised I kept… and believed in. Sadly. As I pack out each of these ideas, I’m a little embarrassed that it’s there in the first place. I feel ashamed. It’s weird, I don’t understand why I feel such shame. But I do. And I start understanding why love is always such an in-and-out emotion. Feeling. Visitor. Why I meet love always – believe me when I say always – ALWAYS with such passion and equal measure of rejection. It makes sense.

I attract love in abundance, because I have a deep hunger to be adored and showered with love and affection. The downside of my understanding of love however is that: Love means sacrifice – You die for love – you burn to cinders in love – you give up everything that is you for love… Really? I believe that? I am ashamed to say, I do. I don’t want to, but in that place where I can’t lie to myself I believe it. It’s a strange thing because I come alive with even the thought of burning with love. And in my heart where everything is true, I know it’s an eternal flame – the kind that means warmth and all that goes with that. But in my mind that is scared… and scarred, I think: smoke and ashes.

Another thing I believe is that love leaves. It’s what I’ve known. And because I know it in my heart and mind, I live it and time and again it happens. Love leaves. If I had R5 for every time my mother said to me: “I never want to see you again.” If I had R5 for every time my mother – primary caregiver – has thrown me out, away, rejected me, wished I was never born… I could forget about my financial woes to start with. So then I went through this strange cupboard full of beliefs about love, and I looked for anything that even resembled a belief that love would stick around. I couldn’t find even a trace. Not even with my CSI kit.

The time has come to clear out this closet and let go. Love knocked on the door, came in and it’s having coffee… Let go of all these stupid beliefs, Natasje. There’s no space for them here.

Love – Logistics – Logistics of Love – Love and Logistics?

Natasje van Niekerk:

A revisit…

Originally posted on a storm in a C-cup:

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Nothing feels quite as good as when your Heart loves in full force. It’s a very physical sensation, like a drug induced high. It shares many other traits with a drug induced high: Like you always want to go back for more, the comedown, the let-down, the euphoria. The sick-to-your-stomach-feeling… sometimes good and sometimes bad. But there’s also the moments of quiet. When in the presence of your beloved your Heart just feels like it expands beyond the laws of physics. Those moments when it feels so open you think you can fit everything in there. Your senses are heightened, things smell better, they taste better, colours are brighter and textures make you excited. You absorb space. Because you can. Because love fuels you and Eros himself blew life into your body.

In all this invincibility, you can get quite lost. Love ultimately has logistics too. It has behaviours. It…

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Loyalty has a name…

Natasje van Niekerk:

Thank you, darling Lisa xx

Originally posted on GritinmyOyster:

This blog is dedicated to a friend who recently lost her best friend, confident and loyal waiter. Yes a waiter..cause the job of the waiter is to watch out for the slightest gesture to summon their service. But this waiter not only met her needs but would lavishly pour out his essence into all of her being.

I grew up with a similar waiter…my mom took me to the SPCA when I was 9…and we walked past all the eager applicants with their perfect coiffed hair do’s and sparkly smiles….but it was the tawny one crouching in the corner that stole my heart…all though now chosen I had to head home, arms empty until he was made ready for his new post. On our return we were mistakenly presented with the incorrect “waiter”…when the devastation was noted on my face…I was quickly ushered to my sentinel who had faithfully stood…

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I love my boy, D’Artagnan

Natasje van Niekerk:

This morning I buried my bot D’Artagnan. May he rest in peace, the little love of my life. It’s been a heartwrenching day and tomorrow I’ll write a fresh blog about it.

Originally posted on a storm in a C-cup:

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Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my boy, D’Artagnan. He was of course named after the Musketeer by the same name and anyone who knows him will tell you, he did a stellar job. Make no mistake, he can be a grumpy little git but next to eating and chasing birds, his favourite thing to do is loving his mommy.

D'Art 2This morning he was very clingy, more than usual and insisted on my attention. I thought he was just losing his mind. Everyone in this house does that from time to time. But when he didn’t want breakfast and he started crying and walking funny, I knew… this wasn’t an ordinary hurt. I knew he hadn’t eaten something obscure or was constipated or any of the ordinary things. I also know he’s ten… He’s “listening” to me less and less and even when it’s time for cookies. …

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April in Paris

Paris in the Spring

I have that April in Paris feeling…

Sweet melancholy.

It’s autumn in Johannesburg. A beautiful time of year. The air is crisp and all of nature prepares for winter. The yellow leaves on the trees are like traffic light warnings. The summer flowers push out their last effort in colour, None of the blooms boast the spectacular perfection of spring and early summer, but you have to give them an A for effort.

I have a calm inside me, probably because I now have a job I love. I work a zillion hours, but it doesn’t feel like work for the first time in my life. It feels like I’m drawing a picture and I have to finish it… So I do. It also come with a bit of financial security, something I haven’t known in like ever. It’s an interesting thing: Three years ago my therapist told me I crave stability – with my upbringing and history – but I tend to make choices that necessitate the exact opposite. People always say, “You’re so brave.” Because I do boldly go where no sane person would opt to go, with quite a cart of financial responsibility (and no means to support it). But hey, I seem to survive every time.

I’ll tell you this as well, I kicked and protested when I started this job too: The regularity of having to go to the office every day, with people… I know disgusting! I whined because I didn’t have a chair, fresh air… For a while there I was like a baby unhappy with every single toy you gave me to appease me. Had I not on day 1 of my new job with a regular salary sign up for a retirement annuity and a variety of other grown up things that set me back an extra R6000 per month, I would’ve quit after month one. I am like that – sometimes justified and sometimes not – in that I would not stay where I am unhappy. I will move. It’s an inspirational quality… but to be honest, in my case I often “run” when I am afraid even before I know what I am afraid of. Just in case. I don’t like sticking around to find out how exactly I could get hurt.

Two of my best friends held my hand as I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, one listened as I whined and protested and cried, and built up my self-esteem. The other, like a sage, told me to hang in there. Human beings are apparently adaptable… who knew. I was adaptable too.

So here I am, with stability. Who ever imagined that stability and me would be in the same room, let alone holding hands. It’s very comforting I tell you this. I never understand why people are so attached to their comfort zones even when they get no joy from it. Their comfort zones become cages and they stick it out – never got it. It’s the comfort of stability. I guess I’m lucky because this comfort also came with an abundance of joy. I guess the Universe knew the only way it could coax this wild horse into any form of stability is by offering joy in return.

I have that April in Paris-feeling. The most beautiful song….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCsNg6XB3dg

The lyrics:

April in Paris
Chestnuts in blossom
Holiday tables under the trees
April in Paris
This is the feeling
No one can ever reprise
I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never knew my heart could sing
Never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris,
Whom can I run to
What have you done to my heart

… so happy, in-lovey… but the melody, so sad.

Why am I so happy. And so inconsolably sad. Why do I have spring in my life, and autumn in my heart.

What have you done to my heart.

autumn in paris

Hitting a nerve

Natasje 3

It’s true, I stopped writing. For many reasons. Some true. Some bullshit. You tell yourself an awful lot of bullshit to justify your actions and distract you from the real demons. Fact is, I have very sensitive emotional skin. I would not like to quote Dr Phil of all people but he once said that if you’ve been through a tough “journey” it’s like your emotional skin is sunburnt. And you know how sensitive skin is to touch when you are sunburnt? Well my emotional skin is like that. In time it will heal… If it doesn’t keep getting sunburnt, and people don’t keep poking at it.

A while ago, three “friends” took me on over what I am writing:

Soulmates? Really?! You can’t possibly believe in such utter…”

Me and my sensitive emotional skin, we were hurt. I felt humiliated, ridiculed and exposed… Like I was standing naked in front of everyone – which is exactly what you do when you write – and people laughed at me. To be fair that is exactly what happened. My thoughts were mocked and ridiculed, so yes… I was 4 again and being teased for having baby fat. In there lies the clue. At 4 you are supposed to have baby fat, because you are a baby. And at 36 you are supposed to believe in love. To be honest, as a human you are supposed to believe in love.

Friday at dinner we talked about writing and I said to a friend,

“Well, I’ve quit writing the blog because I’ve realised…”

Watch me adding perfect logic and good reasoning right here:

“… that my feelings are private and they should not be shared on something so public as a blog. And so too are my actions and thoughts. They are my own.”

My friend looked at me, from the potato-peelings and said,

“Can’t you see? You’ve hit a nerve.”

Still, I was unwavering in my belief. I am not exposing myself so people can project their shit on me. Yes, it’s their shit… I get that. But I’m not their toilet. You feel me?

“They had a bad reaction to you speaking a truth and that is exactly what you should be doing. You’re doing the right thing, girl.”

At this point, I wavered… A long time ago, I just started writing. Post my degree, pre- knowing my arse from my elbow, Antjie Krog was giving a talk. Antjie Krog, for the people not in South Africa, is a famous South African writer / poet and she’s quite a heroine of mine. Anyway she was telling a story about when she just started out as a journalist. She wrote a piece and it was “soft”. You know the kind of writing you write when you don’t want to offend anyone – note I’ve used the word shit a few times on purpose – when you tread lightly near the truth and leave your heart in the next room. Soft. So her editor said to her:

“Do you want to write? Or do you want to make friends?”

She said, she made a decision that day and when she looks back, there’s a sea of the slain behind her. Only her husband has walked with her through the valleys.

I thought of this. I’ve been thinking about this since Friday night. I miss writing. It’s so much a part of me. I still write in my journal. And I write for a living… but my blog, I love my blog. It’s become like my confessional. Like the magnifying glass through which I look at the parts I want to write about and I write until I get there. My blog is personal. That’s what makes it beautiful and real.

***

Natasje 2

At Friday night dinner, my friend said one other thing about me that struck me… Yawl know I’ve been saying the journey on “A Storm in a C-cup” will come to an end soon. Because in truth I did feel this cycle was done. I journeyed from love-lorn to beloved and adored, and for that I thank my soulmate who will always have my heart, and now a new journey starts.

My friend, Alex, with whom I had dinner on Saturday night has known me intimately since I was about 16 or 17. We were dance partners back in the dance days, we both studied English Literature, we both moved to Joburg and he’s seen me in both my wild days and during my mad existence. Not trying to be profound and in passing really he said to me,

“You are quite the idealist and Romantic for such an extremely realistic girl.”

This is the contradiction that is me, in a nutshell. My life has been too real for me to wear rose-coloured glasses, yet I do believe in the “magic”. Why else would I have survived? Why else would I keep going?

I’ve been toying with a blog that peels away the layers… What are you underneath the make up? What parts are you? What parts are more you than the parts you came with?

A week ago I stood at my grandfather’s grave. A lot happened for me over the two days that made up my grandfather’s funeral… I lost and gained a lot. Not just in that moment but over time, but the realisation only met with me and looked me in the eye in those two days. I stood at my grandmother’s house, she passed more than 20 years ago and her beautiful old house, unrecognisable, showed the decay. Why? Why am I holding onto her… let her go. Because for some reason I believe she is the last and only person who loved me, that is the truth of it. That is the belief I have built my reality on.

In my new “series” of posts, I will peel away these layers. Please join me on this journey…. If you are not afraid, I may hit a nerve. You’re welcome.

 

Photo by Germaine de Larch – http://www.germainedelarch.co.za

 

After the storm

Natasje van Niekerk:

At this point in time, rains have taken over my city, Johannesburg. I told a friend recently, Nature knows. She’s weeping with me. But I’m ready to stop now. I’m hoping she is too.

Enjoy the words and music:

Originally posted on a storm in a C-cup:

I’m getting into a new habit to not write while I’m in a storm. I should stop. That’s exactly when I should write. So that explains the hiatus.

In the middle of a storm, you can stop to pick a flower. Or just smell it… What I’m really trying to say is that, there are flowers to be found in storms. You can see them, or can choose not to. Sometimes I think it’s a gift to be able to see them, many people just don’t.

In the middle of this last storm, I found a flower.

flower-storm

Mumford and Sons. A song called After the storm.

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

There’s always something that keeps you up. Keeps you running. Even when it rains. Sometimes…

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