If you read my blog since the beginning (Jan 17) you probably notice that I write about Yoga and also about my personal life.
I have been through some big changes in my life, personally, internally and externally.
I like writing personal posts that describe some of the therapeutic tools I used, and using, as I feel it is beneficial and interesting. After all, the world of Yoga is not superficial, it is a deep, rich, internal world with an ancient theory and practice.
In this post I would like to tell you something very personal, that is related to my home country Israel, my new home country in The Netherlands and how they both influenced my personality.
The movie Persepolis is from 2007 but I watched it first only lately.
A beautiful animation movie (for adults), that describes the emigration of a young girl from her home in Iran to Europe (Austria, France). Her emigration happens under the brutality depressing regime in Teheran, she is merely escaping her home country with the help of her parents who wishes her a better life.
Upon watching this movie I realized how a lot of it resonate with me, not because I am coming from a depressing regime, but because a lot of other similarities in her story.
Coming to The Netherlands from Israel was a cultural shock for me. In Israel every situation is tensed. The atmosphere is tensed, there is a lot of anger, righteousness, stress, fear and intolerance, because of different reasons. I will not go into politics in this post I am trying to depict a way of life that is very different.
In the Netherlands everything I experienced was the utterly opposite, relaxed, organized, respectful and calm.
I actually asked myself at some point, what do I do with all this anger that resides in me? Where do I navigate it too? I am used to get upset over everything, and frustrated but here, no! It is all easy and relaxed.
The time living in the Netherlands have brought me a lot of pondering, contemplating, planning and action, because I was not occupied with anything politic! With anything that deserve fighting for.
I was able to live my life and to have the freedom to choose and live it my own way.
In some countries it is hard to do so. The politics of the regime does not let the citizen live his life without any disturbance. The economy, work, education, social support in these regimes work against the citizen and not toward.
I even remember at some point thinking about Dutch people (or any western European person) that until they have not suffered war, terror, hatred, and corruption they will never be “strong” punks! What do they have to rebel against the system if the system is great?
However, it is not only rebel qualities that my country have granted me…. It is also the wisdom, plurality, pacifism, liberalism, feminism and knowledge in archaeology, history, religion, anthropology etc, which I learned during my life there. It is what contributed to my spirit.
There is a huge diversity in the population in Israel and where there is heterogenic society – there are a lot of different people to be considerate of.
It made me a little bit “too considerate”. I was anxious not to step on anyone toes, I was always afraid of what people think. And I brought it with me to Amsterdam.
On my first year in Amsterdam I walked around with a feeling of a stranger from “the middle east” with all labels that attached to it.
I walked around like air, trying not to be outstanding, trying to learn the new “rules” of this culture and trying to act politer than ever.
The thing is, you never know what the other person thinks (on the queue or sitting in front of you in the bus). You never know and you don’t need to guess, assume or act upon what it is you THINK he is thinking.
After a year of being a shadow of myself, I realized I only need to be myself. Not to operate like I think “maybe” other people think of me. It is anyway only interpretations I have in my head.
Non-of this is real.
Only when you are truth to yourself, improving your personality for yourself! You are really free.
Only when you are doing things that you really believe are good! For you or /and for your surroundings, this is real liberation.
Don’t ever diminish yourself to fit into a square that you put in your head. Don’t ever think you should or shouldn’t do something because this is what “society” expect of you.
I am full of appreciation both to what Israel have taught me and to what Holland have taught me.
Like the girl from the movie, my home country will always be my first HOME. My family and friends are there and I have big affiliation toward this country and everything that is going on there.
I am grateful for the person I have become thanks to this country. I appreciate all the people living there, growing, every day, in their personality and character. Our environment influence our character tremendously and I believe the Israelis are smart, complex and intelligent people thanks to that.
But like every episode in life that is finished, I am grateful and leaving the past behind. It has sculptured me, and now it’s time to re-sculpture myself. To live in the now. To become a better person every moment.
It will always leave me ambivalent I guess, being away from family and friends that were part of my life for 33 years. I accept it, I do not wish to resist, reject or regret. I wish to live life as it is with a lot of appreciation and gratefulness.