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Finding great adventures

Updated: Mar 24

Husband Ross and I are about to celebrate 28 years of marriage.  We were living in opposite countries to our birth (NZ and UK), having switched within six months of each other, meeting in a Swiss church nearly 10 years later. 


Marriage is the toughest personal development course anyone can ever take, mostly because the only person we can change in this world is our self. 


Have you ever noticed, though, how opposites tend to find one another?  Larks and owls?  Hoarders and neat freaks?  Adventurers and nesters?  You get the idea.  All that’s needed is a good squirt of hormones to magnetise the “yin and yang” and “hey presto”.  We get the rest of our lives to knock off the sharp edges and to learn to bond through the earned chemistry (this time) of shared relationship, trust, forgiveness, and cooperation. 


It doesn’t work for everyone and there’s nothing more important that a recognition that a relationship has ceased to be healthy.  Nor does it appeal to everyone and frankly, life is a deal easier in many ways without the high wire act of a legal monogamous relationship.  (In New Zealand, you don’t even need the legal bit.  Two years does it for you.)




Whatever your marital or non-marital status, whether gay, straight or following another path of your own, it’s love that sustains us.  Belonging is the deepest human need and all that this implies in terms of identity and safety and mental health. 


People ask me what spiritual direction is and the answer is as varied as the preceding paragraph.  A person’s spiritual direction is their own and this is what someone like me helps reflect upon and invest in.  I guess the only people that aren’t interested are atheists, although everyone must believe in something right?  I once had a really interesting session with an atheist who “didn’t believe in anything”.  Drilling down gently and carefully, it emerged that “fate” was the ultimate for this person.  So maybe everyone can be interested…unless they have no sense of the spiritual at all.   This would mean that they weren’t rocked by a fabulous sunset or overwhelmed by a “dark sky” full of uninterrupted stars; that nothing touched a part of them that could be called “soul”.  Are there any of these?  I wonder. 


It’s been a month of glorious sights for Ross and I as we’ve travelled the length and breadth of the south island of New Zealand, which is one of the world’s great untouched worlds.  The country may be small, but wow it’s HUGE once you get inside.  Spirituality is a bit like that.  We have a door that we might go in through – or not.  It is small and hardly defines us, but it’s the best label we can find to describe ourselves.  Finding spiritual direction means opening the door (regardless of the label; that’s outside) and looking for the love that lies within.  Because whatever we look like, as much as we are designed to have a head, two arms, two legs and a stomach, we aren’t those things. 


Whatever our label, the immensity within is a country worth exploring.  Our current obsessions with and through technology have lulled us into a fascination with the external.   I truly believe that our greatest adventure is within our self and that the world needs each and every one of us to be what we were born to be. 

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