Been to Paradise -Tony Somers
October 1st 2011
I'm quoting songs a lot, recently, so, here comes another one:
been to paradise - but I've never been to me.”
a fantastic line. How many of us have travelled to various far away
lands, and exotic places, but have never looked inside ourselves –
or, as the song says, have never been to me?
guess would be, most of us? How many of us are far too busy looking
outwards to ever even take a second, and look within. After
all a very famous person did say that “The kingdom of heaven is
many of us think, or have even said, “once I get the new car, the big
house, the new man, or woman; I will be complete - I will be happy
All these things are nice, and there is nothing wrong in striving to
achieve them, but I have some bad news for you; they will never make
you complete. Many
years ago I even thought that a martial arts black belt would make me feel
complete, more confident and respected; and, to my complete and utter
surprise, wearing that shiny black belt didn’t make the slightest
bit of difference to my low self esteem. We
are too busy looking out, when all of the answers are
buried deep within.
So, why is it so hard to look within ourselves?
Why are inspirational speakers courses full, and other courses, that
get you to look at yourself, empty?
used to think it was fear that stopped us from looking at the deeper
parts of our personalities, and fear
does have a big part to play; however, after
years of study, and personal growth, I now believe that we don’t look
in because we don’t believe that we are capable of ever having the means, or
being good enough, to answer critical life questions, such as who am
I? And why am I here?
in our lack of self-belief, we turn to the self-help guru, in the
belief that he is more intelligent than us. He is wiser than us, and
so he must have all the answers. I
hate to appear to be a messenger of negativity, but, most of the self-help
gurus that I've met are well and truly messed up themselves, and
don’t live by what they preach. But, by
setting themselves up as the expert, they get a sense of grandeur, and
I look around I see a real lack of self-belief in people. We have been conditioned, from an early age, to
believe that we are not good enough as we are. Think about this: if
you believe that you are not good enough, or that you are weak, or a
failure; then why on earth would you ever believe that someone else like
you had the answers to life’s most critical questions? Who do you think would
want to listen to you currently? And
yet, at some level, you know that you are much more than the actor you
portray yourself as being, in this illusionary world.
fears about not being good enough, or, in my case, being weak, or a
failure, cause us to create a different reality. In our efforts to
cover up the part of us that we don’t like, we build walls, and
armour, to protect us from potential ridicule and rejection. My
own fear of being weak, and a failure, led me into the most brutal
martial arts and punch ups; and my body is covered in tattoos. Everyone
tells me how physically strong I am, but I still have this part of me,
this little boy, who feels as though he is weak, and a failure. The
part that wants to hide away and let the world go by.
time I go to do something in my life, the part of me that I show to
the world, the strong, confident part of me, drives forward. The scared
part that feels weak and just like a failure holds back. Someone once said to me “Tony, you are so talented; but it’s as if you
have one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.” I
don’t think he realised how accurate that statement was.
how do we change?
(this is the hard bit, and the reason why people
don’t go on the courses, and don’t want to do the work).
We have to go within, and find our blocks, if we want to remove our
foot from the brake.
go within means going back, and looking at where these old beliefs
come from; after all, you were born perfect - so what changed? We
have all been hurt at various points along life’s
journey; sometimes so painfully that we bury the hurt. The sad news is
that it doesn’t go away, even when we bury it beneath layer after layer of
bullshit and inauthentacity. The
bigger the hurt, the bigger we make our defences, so know one ever gets
to see the real you, the perfect you.
have all met the know-it-alls, the people who strive so desperately
to be liked by putting on a show. The sad thing is that they usually
achieve the opposite, people turn away when they see them coming. They
crave significance, recognition, love; and yet all they have to do to
get this, is be their authentic selves, but people
would rather take drugs or get drunk - do anything rather than go
through this pain barrier and get back to the real them.
have learned that the part of me I considered weak, and a failure, is
actually the strongest part of me. It’s
ok to be weak, it's OK to cry, its OK to show emotion - it’s what
makes me human, and I am far from weak. I
believed that a man should be strong, tough; mustn’t show any
feelings. Now I believe that a strong man does show feelings, he does
care - he does feel weak at times. He does feel as though he has failed,
sometimes, and that’s OK too.
am OK, and so are you - but show me your authentic self. I have lived a
life of hiding behind a strong-man image, so don’t try and dazzle
me with bullshit muscles, or academic
drivel, I have done that to myself. Dare to be real. Dare to be the
real you. But to find out who that is you will have to go within, and
to do that you will have to face some strong emotions, and go through
some old emotional barriers. It takes courage to do this, but, if you
keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you
have always got.
only ever saw a tear in my Dad’s eyes once, and that was a few days
before he died. In my house the men didn’t cry. We didn’t show
feelings; it was considered weak. As
a child, I remember my mum breaking the news to my Dad that his Mum
had passed away. My brothers and I were ushered out of the room to
let him grieve alone. I wanted to be with him, to help him, but this
wasn’t allowed. I never saw him cry. I
only cried once myself, and that was when he was ill. I sobbed like a baby
after seeing my once proud Dad lying ill in a hospital bed, all his
strength gone. My wife consoled me, she told me that it was ok to cry,
but I still felt weak.
going on that inward journey I know that its OK to cry. Its not weak.
I am not a failure, just a normal human being who is all the stronger
for facing his demons, and for giving himself permission to cry.
you are not happy with where you are in your life, then take action. And a big part of that action will include
going on that inward journey, to remove the blocks that are holding
in a so-called paradise, you can not escape
from your authentic self for long, and it will keep reminding you of whom, and
what, you can be, by going to yourself.
So, why not listen?
are people who will help you on your journey, and they are not the
inauthentic life-coaches, but people like Geoff Thompson
and Paul Regan
. They have taken this journey, so they know the
hardships - but they also demonstrate the rewards.
Copyright © 2011 Tony Somers - all rights reserved.