Almost two months ago I left Gabon for good. Nevertheless, my desire to return is so great that I decided to go back for visit at the beginning of October
As I am planning my two-week stay in Libreville, Gabon, in October to teach Reiki (Reiki I: October 7th-8th and Reiki II: October 13th-14th) and to have in person sessions (along with the online ones) with the people I accompany, I came to realize why I feel so attached to this country and its people (locals and foreigners alike). Gabon is my “birthplace”! My true, authentic, wonderful self (with all its flaws, of course) was “born” there! Let me explain why:
It all started almost seven years ago when my husband and I moved from Athens, Greece to Libreville, Gabon.
We decided to leave everything behind – our home, friends and family – and seek our future elsewhere. Little did I know that “my future” would be finding my authentic self, that I would experience the “birth” of my true self.
The birth of my true self did not coincide with my physical birth some 47 years ago. It had to stay hidden deep inside of me. So deep that even I ignored its existence. “Why?” you will ask me but I think that you already know the answer… “For survival!” I will reply. “In order to be part of a group, a family, a tribe”. We cannot survive alone. This is something that we know from birth. It is hardwired in us. What we do not know at that tender age is that our “tribe” is not necessarily the one we are born in…
In order to be part of the “tribe” I was born in, I had to comply. I had to meet expectations other than my own. I had to deny who I truly was and be someone I was not. I had to play a role. And I did. I did everything “right”. I was a good, obedient girl who, even as a baby, never did any mischief. I was a straight A student that never caused any trouble. I became a teacher because I was told to and then went back to school and became a lawyer for social status. I practiced law, wore the suits, played the part.
I did everything “right”, right? Wrong! Despite all my efforts to fit in, to play by the rules, to fit the mold, I never felt safe; I never felt part of the tribe. I felt alone… I was a logical, driven, down to earth person who knew how to achieve goals. I was a respected professional, a good daughter, a good wife, a good friend. Or was I? And the charade went on…
When I arrived in Gabon, I left everything behind. But then I saw myself playing a new role, the one of the trailing expat wife. The shoe did not fit though. I did not enjoy the idleness, the luncheons, the gossip. Do not get me wrong! Not all expat wives are like that but that is what I bumped into at first I tried to fit in. Once again, I tried to be something that I was not. . I lost myself.I suffered. Oh how much I suffered. Loneliness and self-doubt brought about the same question again and again “Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?”
And then, almost after three years of floundering, it hit me! “I am away from my “tribe”! No one expects anything from me here! I can be whoever I want to be! I can be myself! I can choose my tribe!”
Well, it did not happen overnight. The labor pains lasted some time. It was not easy. It was not smooth but it did happen. I was (re)born!
At long last, I feel fulfilled and I am doing what I came on this Earth to do. I am a healer, a Reiki master, a life coach, a hypnotherapist, a bridge between the seen and the unseen. I am me!
Marc Twain once said, there are two important dates in one’s life, the day he was born and the day he finds out why. Well, I cannot pinpoint when exactly the answer to the why came about but I sure can pinpoint the place!
Don’t wait for a big move or a huge change to ask yourselves who you truly are and to find your chosen tribe. Maybe it will happen naturally or maybe it will take a little “push”. Trust in the universe! It will happen at the right time!