Belfast Telegraph

Lost in the fog, I suddenly realised ...there's actually nothing to fear

Nuala McKeever

Remember that heart-wrenching scene near the end of The Railway Children? Jenny Agutter is on the station platform. As the fog of steam from the engines clears, a figure emerges in the distance. It takes a second for her to realise who it is, standing there. Then she cries out, "Daddy! My Daddy!" and runs to him. Awwwwwww ... not a dry eye in the house.

Or what about that spooky film, imaginatively entitled, The Fog? The 'witching hour' female radio DJ broadcasts her midnight show from an old lighthouse and sees the fog swirling in, giving cover, eventually, to all the scary undead critters that want to break down everyone's doors and attack them, for some obscure reason that becomes clear at the very end.

Or almost every single Sherlock Holmes film. There's always fog hanging around in those.

Fog. It's hard to grasp. But I get the distinct impression that fog is not considered to be our friend.

Well, I'm not so sure about that. This week, I write in praise of the fog.

Oh, I know we're always being cajoled into getting things out in the open. We have to shine a light on everything that's obscure or difficult. We must clear and clean and illuminate every corner of our beings if we want to prosper. I know, I know.

Sure last week I was extolling the virtues, nay, the necessity of clearing out, creating space where no vestige of irrelevant past could linger. I know, I know. I sang in praise of clarity.

And what happened? Well, I don't know what happened in YOUR week, but in mine, it all went pear-shaped (no offence to pears, nice fruit, but not our favourite shape, seemingly).

Got sick. Tried to fight it. "I'm not giving in!" Armed with Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life in one hand and a box of paracetamol in the other, I vowed to clear out my mental and emotional blocks and looked forward to my body being at ease.

I got worse. Hmmm ...

More reading required. There must be something I'm not doing or saying or letting go of or not forgiving or, or, or ...

Got even worse.

What's going on?!?! I'm doin' everything I'm supposed to. I'm being a good girl. I'm treating my body like a temple (well, apart from the crisps and the beer and the sitting up late, reading), I'm letting go of old patterns of thought (I release the need to be overweight), I'm loving myself in the mirror and embracing each new day with gratitude. I SHOULD be cured by now!!!!!

Aha! There it is. There's always at least one pesky "should" lurking in the mental closet.

Old habits sure do die hard. For every affirmation, "I trust that everything is working for my greater good," there's that old voice in the head whispering to its mate, "Yeah, but this shouldn't be taking so long, what's wrong, why's it not working, she must be doing it wrong, typical, huh, whaddayaexpect? Her? Lose weight and eat fruit every morning? Wise up!"

Real trust means giving up having to know when the fog will clear. So, this is me, signing off for now. Happily sitting in the fog. No, over here, yes, that's me, yes, just to your right, no, you can't see me, I'm in the fog! Duh...

Belfast Telegraph


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