Friday, 11 October 2013

Inner Journeys

Turning 40 has turned out to be a positive experience for me, so far. I made a conscious effort, fed by an unconscious yearning, to do more for myself. Being a father of 3 with a demanding job would no longer be an excuse for not making time out to feed my soul. I've never quite understood the concept of 'finding oneself', but if it meant finding more out about myself then that would be a worthwhile experience, I think, but perhaps this is not so.
Only yesterday I was listening to Terry Waite. He was the keynote speaker at the Headteachers conference. It was a sober and thought- provoking precursor to , the more frivolous, beach volleyball and indulgent eating, drinking that would follow.

Terry had spoken in solemn tones if his 5 year captivity in Lebanon, during the 1980's. Most of this time was spent shut away in a small cell, on his own, in silence, sometimes in darkness with nothing to read.

He spoke about an 'inner journey' that he took in a desperate attempt to preserve his sanity. He described it like any other journey one would make by travel : exploring , opening doors, looking inside, questioning and trying to understand things better.
He described the 'good' that he found inside himself on this journey, but also the dark parts and 'evil' he found there.  He said that this discovery had disturbed him immensely and rather than securing his sanity, nearly tipped him over the edge.

It was surprising to believe that a man who had filled his life with numerous self-less acts of courage to save the lives of complete strangers could ever have such an evil within. Yet it was there and he had seen it. That time spent on his own was the vehicle of this discovery.  This resonated with me, as most of the activities I had planned to do now turning 40 were solitary. I was choosing to on my own. I will have plenty of time to make ' inner journeys' of my own and I can only hope that I'm not alarmed of what I find there.

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