I arrived in Boghill late one evening in early February, blown through the door like a leaf whooshed in on the howling gale, looking for somewhere to settle. There were hugs all round, physical barriers preventing me from being blown further forward, forcing me to stop, sit down and accept that this would be my destination for the foreseeable.
I’ve been here now for 2 months and it’s not been easy. There has been much fun and laughter, but there has also been turmoil, sadness, listlessness, tears, heartache and pain, lots of pain. My moods have been as changeable as the weather: the bright, sunny days analogous to the days when I felt vibrant, full of life and laughter; the wet and windy days unsettling me like the proverbial leaf ripped from the tree of my ‘old’ life and blown around on an emotional roller-coaster, vomiting tears and pain left, right and centre.
Everyone here is acting inadvertently as a teacher, holding up mirrors reflecting back at me things that I possibly already knew about myself but had not yet accepted. Lessons that I still need to learn. Tough lessons. Lies that I’d been telling myself that I needed to undo in order to get to the truth.
The biggest lesson by far that I still have to learn is to discover what makes me happy and how to develop this from within. Happiness does not come from external sources, I’ve always known this. What I didn’t know was how bad I was at doing this. I thought I knew what makes me happy, I thought I was already doing what makes me happy. Instead, in many ways I was just avoiding things that made me unhappy. I thought I had done the ultimate thing that very few people have the guts to do, made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up everything that made me feel comfortable and secure (job, house) and everything that made me feel loved (family, friends, cats) in order to live the life I wanted to live. I felt so fucking chuffed with myself that I had done this by so-called choice, in other words I hadn’t waited for a crisis to happen before making such a choice (e.g. redundancy, homelessness, relationship break-up…) I had done this because I had the guts to do it. Unlike the masses of ‘dead’ people living lives that they were kidding themselves were happy lives, I had seen the light – yeah man! – and had had the guts to do something about it. Jesus, my arrogance was as tangible as it was pitiful.
What I quickly realised shortly after arriving at Boghill is that places, things and, in particular, people cannot make you happy. You have to find happiness from within, and the way to do this is to look deep into your inner being and start questioning the limiting beliefs you have about yourself, as these are what create your reality, your truth. This is an ongoing process and for me (and I suspect for everyone) it’s a work in progress that lasts a lifetime, but it is only in stepping away from the ‘dead’ life, the ‘kidding yourself that you’re happy’ life that you have any lasting chance of achieving progress in this area.
All forms of lying: lying to yourself, lying down, lead to a tendency to fall and remain asleep. What I’ve learned is that only by staying awake can you hope to attain some kind of truth and sometimes you need an electric shock to wake you up. By upping sticks and moving to Ireland I gave myself a massive electric shock and now I’m feeling the after effects, and yes the truth hurts at times, but necessarily so.