I sort of started my life in some very egotistic businesses, like fashion, PR, music etc. I call them “egotistic” because it always involved showing something or presenting something that was about me. I was very much into material things. I was into pursuing a hedonistic type of lifestyle, or a so-called “good life”. It was very much self-centred. It was all about my personal achievement. I did some personal growth workshops of some sort, but that was it. The word “spirituality” didn’t exist, because I didn’t know what that meant.
Most of these businesses came and went. I was very good at building things up. But for some reason, they always ended up falling apart. So clearly, the universe was trying to tell me something, but I didn’t know what it was.
It was not until my second marriage, after 28 long years, which I thought was going well, collapsed. We had just moved to London from Italy. My kids had grown up, and my wife left. I was in absolute shock. That really brought me to a very, very low period in my life. I was reaching out for something. I didn’t know what. Someone here in London told me that a friend had just taken some Kabbalah classes which changed her life. I didn’t know what it was, but out of curiosity, I went to an introduction class. I’m not saying that my doom and gloom went away after the first few classes, but I had a new set of perspectives on things. I started to realise that I was not the victim. It didn’t heal me immediately, but it showed me a path and made me realise that I could no longer be dependent on somebody else for my own happiness.
When you are in a situation where you think that you are the one controlling your whole life, and your whole life is dependent on you, and your whole success is dependent on you, then when something goes wrong, you are the victim, because there’s only you. You didn’t know that your life is much bigger than that. You are being guided all the time. Whatever success you’ve had is not yours; whatever failure you’ve had is also not yours. You are not the owner, but the manager. Rather than falling into the victimhood, you’d be looking for something deeper: what lessons can I learn from this?
Take my marriage separation for example. It was painful, but I needed that in order to realise that I had to improve. In other words, I needed that darkness to occur, for the sake of my spiritual growth. It doesn’t mean that the pain is any less. But when you are on a spiritual path, you can see that there is a much bigger picture than your sufferance. It offers you the opportunity to become a better person, if you are willing to look inside and to work on yourself.
I was a very co-dependent husband, and my fulfilment was based on what I could gather outwardly. I was very dependent on having that trip overseas; I was very dependent on having those clothes; I was very dependent on having that kind of lifestyle, and at the same time, I was very dependent on having that wife. So, when these things disappeared, all of a sudden, I felt a huge void. As I went down the path of spirituality, when I finally gave up the idea that I could only be happy with those things or that person, did I realise that true happiness does not come from outside, but from within.
I’ve come a long way. I can’t say that I’m 100% healed at the moment, but it is easier for me to recognise that I can just be happy with me. I no longer need to hang out with a lot of people or be at a party or be with a particular person; I no longer need to look for compliments, external approval or validation in order to be happy. I can just be with me, going for a walk, in my own company.
Being spiritual doesn’t mean that we need to forgo our personality. I’m not saying that you have to sit cross legged on a mountain and not talk to anyone anymore. We are still allowed to have fun, to have a laugh, or make some silly jokes. Sometimes that personality can carry me away with a bit of ego, but never like before. In Kabbalah, we call that force “the opponent”. It will always be there. We need it. We need to recognise it. We need to be challenged by it all the time, so that we can evolve from it, grow from it. And I am being challenged every day.
I’ve now learned to open up to be more as One with everything. Instead of just the two of us, there’s me, and there’s everything else, which is that whole spiritual realm of being connected to each other, being part of the universe. I don’t need to look for another person, another thing to make me feel happy and whole. I am whole myself.
If there’s anything I can pass on from my experience, I would say:
Start being happy for no reason. If you can be happy without completing that deal, without getting that relationship, without buying that house, you’re in a very good place.
Start being authentic. When you are authentic and truthful, you are radiating differently, and healing both yourself and people around you.
Start caring more about others. You can greet someone with “good morning”, “how are you”, putting a smile, or giving a huge “thank you” after they served you a coffee. You can share yourself on a minute by minute basis. So, when you walk away, you’ve added a little bit of something to other people’s life.
And for me, that is spirituality. It is in those small actions of sharing that you start to realise yourself, and become whole.
Learn more about Leon Kammer @ Leon Kammer Coaching