The buck stops here

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010. For some reason I always feel a bit bluesy when a year is over. I have that on my birthday and I have it now. I don’t know about you but involuntary you look back at the passed year and make up the balance. I ask myself “how did I do?”. Do I live after my vows, did I make a contribution?

I heard my American friend Luke say on Twitter that when we die people don’t remember what we said or what we did but how they felt in our presence. Tonight I told Mike the story of how I finally was able to forgive my father. I might write about that some other day. But what the conversation made me remember was a very early insight that marked the beginning of my path. I think I was somewhere halfway my twenties and in my first serious relationship. Naturally I was having a tough time. I believe that I became aware of the fact that I had the same age as when my parents got divorced and that I saw that being a kid from divorced parents is not exactly the ideal foundation for becoming a future partner. Seeing my parents as young struggling people my own age who had parents that must have been challenged in some way as well made me realize that we pass on these destructive patterns from generation to generation. What became superclear was that I would not allow myself to remain a victim of passed events. I would not become a jerk to the women in my life because my grandfather was beaten heavily by his father and my grandmother was sexually abused by clergymen. No way. The buck stops here.

I have had only a couple of conversations with my father before he died (he had been absent since I was 4). Unfortunately they were all very unpleasant. Or when using Luke’s framework for saying it: I remember feeling very unpleasant in the presence of my father. When I tie this experience together with the promise I made to myself back then in my twenties: did I make the buck stop? Did I break through the patterns that have been going on for generations in my family? It all translates to: do I succeed in making people feel acknowledged, heard and appreciated ? I hope so and think so. Although I certainly fuck up on a regular basis and I haven’t been able to create a real home yet there are some patterns that I’m not reliving anymore. Pheww..

2010 was a year were it become more and more visible who I am and what I do. Not only to myself but also to the outside world. I designed and started giving the Basic Goodness Mindfulness (& more) meditation courses, PEACE CAMP – the weekly spiritual work-out and became the coach of executives in big corporations. And of course there was the process of realizing this website and reinventing myself as a blogger. Does that make me happy or even a bit proud? Yes.

But there was a marriage I could not save, a depression I could not prevent and plenty of miscommunication in and between people I wasn’t able to clarify. Does that make sad and unsatisfied? Yes.

Am I happy with this entry? Not really. Not enough wisdom in it, not balanced with the impersonal enough. But maybe enough for you to reflect back on your year. I hope so.


  1. Cindy says

    Ok, here i go just write what comes up.
    Thank you for sharing in such an open ,honest and vulnerable way.
    Some of it made me smile, some of it made me cry but most of what you wrote resonated, stayed with me which made my 2010 reflection more intense. As i reflect on 2010 i see that it has been an eyeopening year,painful but eyeopening i saw my selfimage, that i perceived to be me, come tumbling down. I could see behind the selfimage, that its just an image, an image i believed to be me for the better part of my life. I realized that the image that was supposed to keep me safe from pain, rejection and failure caused guess what…..much pain, rejection and failure and made me withdraw ended up locking myself and almost everbody out of my life. With this realization came pain, anger depression, regret, sadness and shame. I missed out on a lot: love,relationships,sex friendships,a social life 🙁
    The tumbling down of my self image still feels like a free fall,a naked and scary free fall but also an refreshing, honest and liberating one!

    So 2010 in a nutshell; Eyeopening, painful, scary,naked,honest, refreshing and liberating!
    Not bad at all, its okay:)

    Writing, sharing all this has been an experience for me. Opening up is ok, feels ok, not scary at all. 🙂

    Thanks once more and have wonderful Old & New “Bali style”


  2. says

    Happy New Year dear buddy,
    It just turned 24h for you, here it’s still 18h…
    2010 was a year you gave me a lot of wisdom and good homework to make 2011 an even better one; open, fearfree, curious where life will take me and where I’ll take life.
    Hope to enjoy many more years of traveling together!

  3. Andja says

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    -Maya Angelou

    (Her work is legendary, in my humble opinion because her words feel so real, that readers pass them on in many variations yet never losing touch of their profound essence. Zo van “Ik ga op reis en ik neem mee….” )

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