The Sound of the Gong

I’ve lived in Byron Bay for over 7 years, and one of the highlights of this region is its beautiful beaches. My favourite beach walk has always been the stretch from Main Beach to Clarks Beach, where I have a spectacular view of the Byron Bay lighthouse as I walk East, and the beautiful mountains as I walk West.

What an amazing way to ground and connect with the Earth!

I’ve loved planting my feet in the sand, breathing in the fresh ocean air, watching the antics of the amazing seabirds, and at times grinning from ear to ear if I spot a dolphin or whale, or any other unusual creature.

Connecting with nature in this way is the perfect way to start or finish any day.

But today, something changed.

For the past 18 months, the ocean has reclaimed part of herself, and the erosion in that stretch from Main Beach to Clarks Beach has been nothing short of devastating.

Where expansive stretches of sand once lay, we now have exposed rock beds and pebbles….and the sorrow of watching giant waves claw at the dunes like a ferocious pack of hounds. More and more of the coastal trees have ended up in a precarious position with roots exposed….until one day they topple to the sand below.

This walk has now become an obstacle course amidst dying trees.

So today, I chose not to walk this beach, and my usual track. It was simply too risky at high tide, and wouldn’t hold the joy for me that it has in the past.

Instead, I chose a new journey – this one from Clarks Beach up to the tip of the point and back.

A New Journey

As I began my walk, I reflected on this change in direction for me, away from the familiar and into unchartered new territory.

This so perfectly reflects what is happening in one of my relationships at present. This relationship has brought many joys and many gifts and plenty of challenges into my life. Yet in the past week, it has turned in a toxic direction, and I’ve chosen to walk away.

You know the saying, that people are in our life for a Season, a Reason or a Purpose. That applies to friendships as well as romantic connections, and there are times that a relationship reaches its natural end point, and we’re faced with a fork in the road.

There is no “right” or “wrong” around when we call something quits and walk away. Ultimately, it’s a lesson in itself for us to be able to listen deeply inside to our inner voice, so that we can know then the gong has sounded.

Our life’s lessons play out through our relationships, so it’s natural that we will have confrontations, misunderstandings, and opportunities to see our own beliefs about our Self mirrored in the actions of others.

If we walk away too soon, we miss the opportunities for growth that these lessons present us with.

But if we hold onto a situation that has become clearly toxic and no longer serves us, we then risk our attention becoming constantly absorbed in trying to rescue another….and that prevents us from turning our face towards the sun, and moving forwards with our own journey and path.

When to walk away?

I’ve had this lesson raise its head for me a couple of times in the past 5 years, and always the answer is the same. We’re here to grow and learn. Receive the gifts that are brought to us on the wings of relationships. However, if a relationship becomes embedded in a vicious circle, and if we reach out for spiritual help and despite all those tools the relationship continues to cycle and not move forwards, then someone needs to cut those ties and move on.
We are all light bearers. We hold a candle in a world that sometimes seems dark, so that others know that they are not alone. We meet people who can give us gifts so that we can move forwards in our journey, and the more present and alert we are, the more consciously we can work with those gifts and grow and blossom in our own self-awareness.
Yet there is a vast difference between holding a candle so another can see the light and move towards it, versus carrying another person on our back as we walk our journey. That is not a recipe for success. For a short period, perhaps. There are times we each need to be bundled up in cotton wool for a moment or two, if we’ve dived down a particularly dark tunnel into our deepest wounds. Yet we cannot reach the light on someone else’s shoulders. Ultimately, this is our journey, and ours alone.
If you enjoyed my blog about The Lost Teachings of Atlantis, you will know that the book by this name by Jon Peniel contains ancient texts. Jon published some of the profound words of wisdom in his book, and here are three that call out to me as I write today’s blog:

1. You must let go of your past to move into your future.
2. Judge the path of another only to judge and determine your own path.
3. The way out is the way back….Created we ALL obstacles. All must be met as we follow the road home.

As for how we let go of someone who has been precious to us, and with whom we’ve shared a strong and loving bond…that is a process in its own right, and the topic for another blog. For now, suffice to say that it’s a day by day process of letting go, and allowing our mind to turn forward to the future, rather than back to the past, like a wonderful moving meditation.

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