The Bitter & Sweet taste of December

Growing Pains

The most sentimental month of the year is upon us…. December….

December sneaks up quickly every single year. Most people tend to shake their heads in disbelief that the year is nearly over. As you consider the other eleven months of the year it is December that succeeds at building anticipation into the lives of people. The anticipation begins in the shopping malls. Christmas decorations create an atmosphere of joyful celebration. Individuals visiting shopping malls may be battling all sorts of issues in their lives or their families yet the Christmas spirit provides a tiny distraction from the reality facing them.

Boxes marked ‘Christmas deco’s’ are pulled out of storage cupboards. These boxes are filled with Christmas treasures collected over the year’s. Some of the decorations may hold special meaning especially the ones handed down by someone in the family or the ones handmade at school by young children…

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It wont always make sense.

Countless times I have found myself questioning a person’s actions or various life situations when it has made NO SENSE to me.

As humans in some way or another we like to make sense of it all.

Do we ever get there?

When we struggle to understand the decisions, we or others make its normal to consider why it makes NO SENSE especially when the outcome is so different to what was expected.

We often hear people say, “why would they do that?” … “what were they thinking?” …. “what was I thinking when I took that path in life?”

Do any one of us really know what we are doing?

Perhaps at times we say YES to something we should have said NO too or vice versa.

In a short fleeting moment, we make decisions.

We jump at the chance!

The chance to be happy, in love, living a career filled life, fulfilling goals, get married, have children, buy that car, go on a date, jump on a plane and travel, sign up for study at a university, move countries, take up a business, visit that person, attend a concert or settle down for a peaceful existence.

These options and many more are a part of life and make sense.

The NO SENSE happens when things don’t work out the way we thought they would.
Sometimes we work hard to try and make IT work and yet despite all the effort IT fails.

When I think about the areas in my life that have changed direction or have not turned out the way I thought they would I recognise plenty of areas which make NO SENSE.
At the same time as I think about these areas, I realise that even though they don’t make sense as a person I have grown more than I can imagine.

This growth has helped me to stand on my own two feet.

No longer do I put all my reliance onto one person. I don’t need too. As I’ve learnt that people change, and people make decisions which are not always going to have your best interest in mind. These people might be very significant in your life at the time, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. There can be so many factors involved when life doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to.

Its not all simple and straight forward.

When we are dealing with people we are dealing with their past experiences, personalities, culture, moods, values and their priorities. All these factors carry influence.

People are very complex.

When we look at a person, we don’t see what has made that person the person they are today. The truth of the matter is that sometimes people are going to make a choice which doesn’t make sense. It may make no sense to you or even to themselves.

When I think back to all the NO SENSE areas of my life, I can see certain connections.
For example; when I was in the very unhealthy marriage, I decided to start studying psychology. I was nearly half way through the studies when life changed completely. This meant that the study has not moved forward very far from where I left due to all the changes that came about. Such as needing to find employment to support myself financially. Despite the frustration of the study not moving forward the way I would have liked, my job has me sitting with people all day long who are going through very difficult times in their life. Some of these people are single mothers who have come out of very difficult relationships. All the NO SENSE areas of my life are very useful in these situations as I can connect with these mothers and support them in a way which I would not have been able to had I not gone through a similar experience. Out of all the pain and failure I have experienced I am empathetic and understanding with the people I see each day at work. These people appreciate being listened too and I can build a connection in a genuine way. I often get told that they love talking to me and that they feel comfortable.

While in this role I am not employed to be a counsellor I have been presented with opportunities to make a positive difference in people’s lives. At the same time, it continues to fuel my passion of completing my studies and to be employed in an area which I can make even more of a difference.

The reality is not everything is going to make sense in life. We can’t stop making decisions out of fear that its not going to work out. Some of the best thought out business plans fail. You may think you have it all covered and yet it doesn’t go to plan.

All the NO SENSE experiences we have are a part of the journey.

Its not always going to make sense.

Our brains are not going to understand everything all the time.

And that’s OK.

It doesn’t mean things wont work out in the long run. How long that takes we never know, we just got to keep on moving, keep on making decisions and taking steps. Should a significant person in your life make a decision which alters your world, don’t fret your life will still move forward with or without them.

All the failures and successes we have in life make us who we are so don’t get caught up on everything that doesn’t seem to be working well right now. It is a bit like a dot to dot puzzle. Once the dots are matched up the overall picture makes more sense.

B R A V E your way through it.

Its been forever since I last blogged. When I originally started blogging I was on a mission to make sure I got a blog in each week, which then turned into monthly and now it seems that I have missed a month or two ….

My kids, boyfriend, family, work and commitments have filled in every spare moment I seem to have these days so blogging has slipped to the bottom of the list.

The calendar on my kitchen wall gets marked off each day and it literally seems as though I am turning over each new month very quickly. At work I feel as though I am saying Oh its Wednesday today then suddenly BAMM its Friday!!! No complaint there as I love FRIDAYS!!!!

The month of September has included 4 family birthdays and 2 of them were my own children. In the month of September I had one of those OFF weeks!!!

AND for some unknown reason the OFF week consisted of not one but several events which happened at the same time. As the old saying goes “it doesn’t rain it pours”…

We may find ourselves dealing with the pressure of   w o r k , our  e m o t i o n s , other  p e o p l e and it ALL meshes together creating a ball we just wish we could pick up and throw out the window as far away as possible. 

I cant pick and choose what my day, week or month will look like.

Unlike online shopping in which we can pick and choose with the option of returning the goods when they don’t meet the standard we thought we were going to get.

Last month I had ONE DAY which happened to have three situations happening at the same time. There were no options to return the goods. It was quite the emotional roller coaster demanding bravery. All I could think of was “more bravery”, really again, haven’t I had to be brave enough already.  Despite the sadness and nerves on that day I got through it all surprisingly well….. Between me and you I think I was toughing it out on the actual day, as the next day my emotions got the better of me. All I wanted to do was go hide in a big deep and dark hole.

AND YET….

Life demanded that I get up and go to work!!!

I truly believe that as we venture through life’s ups and downs we are strengthened and equipped with tools for the next journey that comes around.

There is no possible way I could have imagined what life had in store for me… OR for my children. When I think back to some of the crazy situations I have been through I know that despite those situations being painful and wrong they created within me endurance, persistence and strength to get through the last two years.

I’ve learnt to stand on my own two feet and not put all my dependence on another person. Its as though I am more balanced. I can be happy being single or happy being in a relationship. I’ve learnt to shake things off!!! The industry I work in puts me into situations in which I have to deal with people who can be very agitated, angry or sad. I’ve learnt to remain calm, listen well and provide assistance in a very highly stressed environment.

B R A V E …

To be brave means you may still shake with nerves. You may also secretly plan an exit rather than face a situation head on. You may lose sleep. You may doubt yourself. You may have negative thoughts. You may believe life will never work out. You may experience anxiety. You may feel far from being brave.

BRAVE doesn’t remove all the maybe’s we feel. BRAVE doesn’t take away our vulnerabilities. BRAVE tells you: Hey you have been through hard stuff before you can get through this too! BRAVE has a proven track record which withstands the tests of time.

As we get through each of life’s situations we realise that B R A V E was there all along and remains with us forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to love yourself? ♡

Is it wrong to love yourself?

What does it even mean?

We know what it means to love others and yet somehow loving ourselves can be portrayed as sinful & selfish.

Is it sinful or selfish?

Perhaps its how you define the word “LOVE”.

How can it be acceptable to love others and be frowned upon to love yourself. It doesn’t make sense?

To love others is to be there for them no matter what. To take good care of them and to do your best to protect. It means you take extra care to be thoughtful and kind. All you want for the one you love is the very best. You have there back. When the one you love hurts, you hurt. When the one you love is in trouble you are there. When you love someone you care about how they are feeling. When they tell you that something you may have done or said hurt them the most natural response is to feel awful and apologise. You make it right for the one you love. No hesitation. Its top priority!

Which brings me back to the question, what does it mean to love yourself?

As a young person i didn’t love myself i infact went the complete opposite and hated myself. This meant that i had no value in myself. This led me into making some very poor decisions. It was only natural to gravitate to people that treated me the way i thought i should be treated.

27 years worth of heartache and pain.

I married the person that matched their actions with my belief that i was not worth being treated properly.

Mistreatment followed.

Not many understood my journey except to see that on the outside i didn’t look happy.

Despite our church attendance and my occassional questions to other church going wives i was always left with the idea that i had to change and be the wife my husband needed me to be. That all i needed to do was PRAY and God would change my husband.

I prayed,  i cried, i felt hurt and angry, i was lonely, confused,  anxious,  i prayed, i cried, i hurt so much. I tried and i tried. I read books, i went to womans conferences, i asked for prayer. I was desperate. I was depressed.  I lived with so much confusion.

NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK.

UNTIL. …

I REALISED. …

That this man was never going to change and i did not need to stay in this unhealthy relationship any longer.

Over the last 10 years of our marriage i started to realise i was valuable.

I didn’t deserve to be abused and mistreated!

Abuse does not need to be physical. Its the silent treatment,  mistreatment, neglect, manipulation,  the hahaha moments when they make a joke at your expense in front of others. Rather than supporting you they leave you to take care of yourself. You aren’t their priority you are their toy. They hurt you by hurting those you love. They dont care about your feelings as its all in your head. Your too sensitive. There is no remorse to the hurt they inflict emotionally. While you are hurting they are laughing. Its hilarious to see peoples reactions they say! I love pushing peoples buttons to let the real person out that people hide, they tell you, you know their true colours.

Is that love?

Is it wrong to love yourself enough to recognise that someones mistreatment of you is wrong?

Loving yourself is knowing who you are and not letting another human being inflict harm on you. Its harmful to be manipulated, its harmful to be controlled,  its harmful to be ignored by the one that says they love you.  Its harmful to be laughed at or laughed about in front of others.

The damage digs deep.

It closes your heart.

You lose your own voice as you settle believing your feelings and thoughts mean nothing.

For me loving myself meant that i removed myself from harm. I realised my value and worth as a human being. I cant even imagine the outcome had i stayed any longer.

LOVING YOURSELF IS NOT SELFISH OR SINFUL, it is necessary in order to keep the balance and to know when enough is enough!!!

 

 

 

 

I’ve reached 100 blog’s #Celebrating!!!

Thanks WordPress for keeping tabs on how many blog posts I have published!

Each and every blog has been written to inspire, encourage, comfort and shed some light on what it is to take a step UP and out of a very unhealthy relationship….

It all started with VALUING myself. This allowed me to put a stop to what was a constant roller coaster ride of uncertainty.

HEALTHY LOVE builds you UP and doesn’t tear you down.

HEALTHY LOVE builds trust and respect.

HEALTHY LOVE creates a secure and safe place to communicate.

HEALTHY LOVE allows you to be yourself at all times with no fear of judgement.

HEALTHY LOVE listens to you.

HEALTHY LOVE never gives up on you.

HEALTHY LOVE is EQUAL.

 

Self-doubt …… I don’t like you ……

Self doubt has a habit of performing routine checks unannounced. Self doubt likes to interrupt the process of moving forward. Self doubt sends niggling thoughts your way with no particular schedule. It just turns up!!!

It seems as though you get through some super hard stuff in life and just as you think  your on your way to an amazing future filled with sunshine and lollipops, self doubt starts to rain on your party. It can start with a single negative episode. Whether it be at work and you feel as though you are not performing  your best on a given day and the world suddenly IS flat. Self doubt attempts to hijack any confidence you had in yourself.

Perhaps the bills $$$ are pouring in like large rain drops and you have no way of earning any more than you already do…this is super frustrating especially when you are the only income earner in the household. As a single parent on one income all you need is for the X to not do their part OR worse, have left you with debt you have no way of repaying and suddenly life which appeared to be doing well OK financially is going into slow motion again.

It is not easy to push past self doubt when circumstances are lining up with those niggling negative thoughts!

In July this year I will have been travelling the journey of single parent for two years. I started with nothing financially and have been climbing slowly since. I have obstacles to get through which are not my doing and are a bit of a hindrance to my moving forward. In these moments when it is ever so tempting to throw in the towel and wonder what the point is, I cant help but wonder what options do I have?

HOW do you just throw in the towel when you have come so far?

As a single parent there are moments of feeling completely alone despite the people you have in your world. Its all up to you to keep motivated and push through the barriers and obstacles.

This can be exhausting.

While there are areas of my life that are moving forward at a steady pace I am still faced with self doubt when circumstances are not as favourable as one would like them to be.

Perhaps there are areas in your life right now which are causing self doubt.

At the very least after reading my blog you are now aware of at least one other person who is also fighting self doubt.

My guess is that the two of us are not alone.

I don’t like interruptions at the best of times and I certainly am not a fan of self doubt.

I prefer progress over pain and yet it seems there will always be pain in order to progress.

As I have been whispering to myself lately to just keep going, I whisper to you today to do the same.

Keep going, one step in front of the other my friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are Enough!

No one person can keep you happy or satisfied, the moment you realise that you can be happy with OR without a special someone is the moment your free to L♡VE completely with no FEAR.

You need to be Happy with yourself first otherwise you will hold on too tightly to people. The people that stay in your life do it because they want to and nothing can change that as much as nothing can keep them if they dont want to stay.

~ anumariblog.com

Ladies take your time….don’t hurry….

We all know ourselves better than anyone… all of our deepest desires, dreams and failures are apart of our uniqueness and individuality. These desires, dreams or failures may be often left unsaid, kept neatly tucked away from the people in our lives.

It can be scary opening up to others about what makes you tick, for fear of being judged, laughed at or pushed aside. Not everyone gets applauded for what they do or who they are. Life can be silent at times for the ordinary people of this world.

Routines are followed day in and day out with the best intentions to have a fulfilling and satisfying life.  Deep down we all share the same knowledge that there is no guarantee of  ultimate success in all area of our lives.

When we experience unavoidable failure the lessons are priceless.

The lessons are there to keep us  on the right path, to stay focused. The lessons learned provides us with an anchor to grab onto especially when we run the risk of not thinking straight about a given situation. While feelings are wonderful, feelings can have us rushing into things all too quickly….

Long before I learnt any gut wrenching lessons I made very quick irrational decisions as a young person. Young people need time to mature.

Take your time young person….

While it may feel like life is going too slow and you desperately want things to speed up, take your time before you put that foot on the accelerator and consider all of your options. You have plenty of time ahead of you.

Young lady please hear me. Don’t settle for any boy. The temporary comfort that helps you feel less lonely will only grow into deep loneliness later down the track if the person you are considering spending the rest of your life with is not good for you. A real man may have areas they are yet to mature in however if their character and how they treat you currently is creating anxiety and turmoil beyond the normal then they may not be for you.

If your instincts are telling you that something is not right then it probably isn’t. I had learned to shut down my instincts. To the point in which I didn’t even trust myself. When another persons values don’t match up with yours you will find yourself battling a feeling of contradiction. Life will be a regular let down. You have a desire to do something a certain way and the person you have attached yourself too goes about it completely differently. As an example; you may be someone that loves to budget and keep your finances in order. The person you have attached yourself too may have no desire to budget and worse yet they may accrue debts and choose to never repay them. You may even have conversations around this and explain how important it is for your values to be aligned which includes being cautious and mindful of your bank balance. You may further state your values in repaying people what you owe them. Despite your best efforts the person you have attached yourself too may hear what you are saying and yet continue living life they way they see fit.

You maybe a person that likes to treat others with respect. When you attach yourself to a person who sees no purpose for being respectful you will find yourself struggling. It is impossible to continue being with someone who treats others as though they have no value. The same way they treat others they will treat you.

Dear young lady; never put yourself into a relationship in which you are treated with no respect. A true man would not put you down in front of others. A true man would take your concerns seriously and make a true effort to be the man you deserve to have. A true man would take responsibility for their decisions with the purpose of keeping their loved ones safe and secure. A true man would not put you in situations that have the potential to break you in pieces. A true man listens to you. A true man doesn’t ignore you and give you the silent treatment. A true man doesn’t thrive on arguing. A true man creates an environment of trust and safety.

While it may feel like an eternity to be patient,  take your time,  you will save yourself so much heart ache and pain. You will have a lot more happier days then bad ones when you choose well.

NEVER SETTLE….

NEVER RUSH…

TAKE YOUR TIME….

 

 

 

 

Warning: Life is not ‘Set in Stone’.

In June 2018 I will have lived in the capital city of Australia called Canberra for two years. I had grown up in Canberra since a five month old baby. Had completed school in Canberra, gotten married and had four of my five children. Back in 1997 we moved to Sydney followed with more relocations  which eventually had me living in Brisbane for 8 years. Canberra was a city I visited to spend time with my family.

Due to my visits to Canberra being fairly brief I never got a chance to see all the various suburbs to take much notice of all the changes that had happened in over 20 years.

20 Years is a long time!

The changes that I have noticed living back here in Canberra continue to amaze me.

The area I grew up in Canberra is called Belconnen. In Belconnen there is a shopping mall which I frequently walked through as I was heading to work as a young person brave enough to wear high heels every day!

I caught the bus from the suburb I grew up heading to the Belconnen Bus Interchange. The interchange looked like a big tunnel that was built high above the roads. I would walk that tunnel back and forth each day particularly when I worked in data entry as the office was at the other end of where the shopping mall was situated.

The tunnel was looking very old and worn over the years until it was eventually removed and the bus interchange had a major make over. It doesn’t look anything like it used too.

Then there are the suburbs that have grown dramatically filled with houses left, right and centre. Developers building and expanding the suburbs over the years  catering for the population growth.

Growth equals change.

Updates happen every day. Old buildings are pulled down and erected new. Roads are widened, highways are built. Even the playgrounds my kids enjoyed have been modernised. Speaking about modernised it was fairly recently that I was having an afternoon at Lake Burley Griffin. What surprised me was the public toilet!!! I felt as though I was walking into a space ship. It was so modern that you waved your hand over buttons to get things to turn on. As you walked in music started playing! I don’t know if there are other toilets like this around Canberra however a great example of how far things have come.

These changes we see around us are only a reflection of how much our lives change over time, nothing is ever ‘set in stone’.

Our children grow up and begin exploring the world creating their own families. We are constantly facing change and having to adapt to them.

The minute you settle thinking life couldn’t possibly change the smooth sailing lasts only a moment until something turns up to rock the boat!

Amidst these changes we must adapt to our new situations. Much the same way as the areas we live in are updated to adapt to the population growth or to being modernised, we will find ourselves having to change the way we have previously done things.

The person I was twenty years ago is not the same person I am today. A lot has changed. My circumstances have changed COMPLETELY.

When I was younger I didn’t give much thought to my decision making. I went with the flow, whatever felt right at the time. 20 years on I take my time and give a lot more thought to my decisions as experience has taught me that I’m best not to make decisions based solely on feelings. A good feeling doesn’t guarantee a good decision!

As a young person I ignored the facts and lived by my feelings. I have learnt to put my feelings aside and take a good hard look at the facts before I jump into anything too seriously. Feelings change however ‘facts’ don’t change.

My decision making process has evolved due to life lessons which have been my teacher. This is just one example of a personal change or rather a growth area of mine.

As life changes from moment to moment we need to change the way we do things. After all the various changes I have had over the years if I were to continue making decisions based on feelings as I did when I was younger I would find myself repeating the same mistakes.

As you get older you no longer have the energy to make the same mistakes. Mistakes are costly and we all make them. It is apart of the learning process of growing up.

We become smarter and wiser!

Much like old structures which over time start falling apart requiring a make over we too need a make over. If we think we can keep doing things the same way and never change or grow we will find ourselves stuck. You cant move forward when you are stuck.

There comes a time when you have to accept the facts!

If I were to continue living in the past remembering what it was like being a mum to five children wishing I was still there I would never move forward. The facts are that my children are no longer young. Four of them are adults. They don’t need me the same way they used to my level of care has changed. I’m here as a support whenever they need me!

BE encouraged, life will always be changing and you will find yourself needing to adapt and grow. Growth is good! Its healthy! Don’t stay stuck in the past as there is always something new and wonderful to look forward in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

At what point do you let go?

It can be admirable grasping tightly to a troubled marriage. In a world in which relationships don’t often make it to the end we may hold on even if it were to kill us believing its our duty to stick it through!

I cant stress enough that some marriages or relationships are harmful. Harmful to you and everything you value.

You are not doing  yourself any favours  holding onto a relationship that hurts you. Inevitably you will have to ignore your needs and pretend your values aren’t that important, all the while knowing deep down that its not agreeing with you. You know exactly what the problem is yet you choose to avoid confronting the true issue. To confront what you already know is scary. If your anything like me who is generally a compassionate and caring person you will find it damn hard to be confronting or to face the truth. It is as though you care more for the person your in a relationship with than you do for yourself regardless of the negative impact it is having on your very soul, your heart and mind.

You are no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself, and while people may judge that idea as being selfish it doesn’t really matter what they think as it is all about your SAFETY and QUALITY OF LIFE.

The truth is while we like to believe significant people in our lives would do anything NOT to hurt us, personal experience has proven that there are people who will not change. Your desperate attempts to communicate the hurt you feel falls SILENTLY on deaf ears and a closed heart. It has no impact on them.

The heart and head have regular conversations. The heart hurts constantly hoping that its concerns will one day be realised, as it grasps to comprehend why or how a person your in a relationship with can inflict such pain. The head speaks and begs you to leave the situation. The heart interrupts with desperate pleas; “they will change”, “give them another chance”, “all relationships go through difficulties don’t give up”, “you need to change and then they will change”, “they really do love me, its because they don’t know how to show it”. No amount of convincing or reasoning changes the other person or the depth of how unhealthy the relationship is.

How long are you willing to keep trying? How long are you willing to keep hurting?

In the process of giving endless chances damage takes place. Your heart begins to shut down. You no longer know the power of your own voice. In order to continue in the relationship you master the ability to turn deaf to your own cries for help. You know  you didn’t sign up for this sort of a relationship intentionally, you had convinced yourself that it was going to work out despite all of the red flags in the beginning.

Its as though you become a martyr.

You were not designed to be walked on, used, abused or treated as though your needs don’t matter. You may have held a long standing belief that you deserve bad treatment. Perhaps the bad treatment connects with a lie you’ve believed about yourself for years which has sold you a story headlining the words;  “your not valuable” OR ” your unworthy”, “you don’t deserve anything great”.

The longer you hold on the more broken you become. When your feelings are ignored or mistreated on a regular basis numbness  takes over. Its not safe to be yourself anymore. Slowly but surely you are in lockdown. Anxiety feels closer  than your partner as you live on high alert. The moment you think its ok to relax and you believe the relationship is improving  the cycle starts again. Its only temporary relief. Good moments are short lived and outnumbered from the hurtful treatment that continues with no end in sight.

Denial empowers you to cope.

Letting go of  hopeful dreams that one miraculous day the relationship will be everything you strived for is heartbreaking. When we stand before our partner on our wedding day declaring our unending love to the end of time we really mean it. On the flipside you hear the declarations of your partner and are filled with hopeful excitement of the future only to realise (when its too late) that their actions very rarely support the words they uttered from their lips.

As the realisation sinks in you begin to start fighting for a marriage all by yourself.

They may tell you over and over that it is all your fault. You then fight harder.

From my own personal experience I can tell you that if you are with a partner who has no intention of taking responsibility you will fight forever. You will find yourself empty, broken and desperate.

I also know how extremely difficult it is to let go.

There were many a time in which I considered letting go however I was not strong enough. Ironically when I thought I was the least strong is the night that I let go. I couldn’t hold on anymore it was killing me.

Don’t keep fighting a lonely battle!

Excuses only go so far. When the actions don’t match the words consistently and the damage is deep and harmful it is TIME TO LET GO…..