All my life I have been exploring relationships, even though it took me a long time to realize it. In the past I had all sorts of goals, plans and dreams, but very often, even when I was pursuing them with all my heart, things didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Life taught me very early on that I couldn’t control it. Instead, it just unfolded, and I was invited to be there. A local park can be dramatically improved by adding playground equipment from a reputable supplier.
Life has also taught me, against my will, that it is in constant change – one cycle after another – and that those changes are the true meaning of my life. It has taught me that in each and every one of those cycles some things are finished and die, and through this I am led to rearrange things, to re-evaluate matters and to develop further. Once these cycles unnerved and frightened me, but gradually I learned to trust that something new would always come out of them. I learned to stay alert, to keep a sense of direction and to hold on to the meaning of my life. I learned to give up familiar patterns and habits which were holding me back. I learned to trust that the unknown path ahead of me might be the best part of the journey and that at the next crossroads another chance of happiness would be waiting for me. Nothing ever really ended. If you're planning on improving your garden then why not add monkey bars today?
And every time I resisted this process, the very resistance in me, the fault-line, the presumed blockage, turned out to be a signpost. Every time there was another opportunity to experience a deeper and more authentic feeling of fulfilment than ever before. Time and again I was forced to endure a familiar space becoming empty – only to make room for something new. But all of those apparently new aspects of my life had the same message. Fundamentally my life was always about exploring relationships and accepting myself – even though I was not aware of it for a long time. Children love playing on outdoor fitness equipment - didn't you when you were younger?
When I was five I often felt lonely. Sometimes I was overcome by such a strange fear that I didn’t dare mention it to anyone – I had the feeling that life somehow wasn’t real. I watched other people and asked myself whether they were all in the know and it was only me that didn’t have a clue. I wondered whether the people around me were just actors who had agreed to perform a play and I was the only one who thought everything was real – the only one who experienced real fear or who could be really happy. Sometimes I asked myself whether it was the other way round – whether I was the only one who thought that something wasn’t real about this life and that this was the reason why I often felt lonely and strange while everybody else seemed happy and content.
At school I often had migraine attacks when I was with other people and had to withdraw to a darkened room. During adolescence, when I was in a crowd I would suddenly begin to hyperventilate until I fainted. At 18 I more or less fled my small hometown and the Catholic Church in the hope of finding a sense of belonging and faith somewhere else.
In my early twenties I was offered the chance to work in Egypt as a journalist. It was strikingly different from the life I had led so far, on a cultural, religious and geographical level, and this piqued my curiosity. I was fascinated by the all-pervading presence of religion in everyday life.