When life puts you [on hold]…

Most people agree that life is satisfying when it flows in sync with everything considered to be   important such as; family, relationships, career, health, spirituality and finances. When all these important areas of a person’s life are syncing together it produces momentum. It provides a sense of satisfaction as you experience life moving forward in the direction of your dreams, purpose and values in life.

Every person on planet earth has been granted a set of gifts to use. These gifts are unique and suited perfectly to each individual. Often we can go years not recognising what our purpose in life looks like let alone how it will unfold over time.  We may even get stuck on finding one thing we are good at.  At times we may see a tiny peak into our future yet we can never truly grasp the complete picture.

It usually takes courage to step out into an area we believe is our calling or natural gift. It’s also valuable to remember that gifts need to time to grow. They don’t grow unless we start using them. We may sit waiting and hoping that the gift inside of us will miraculously start sprouting by itself. Everything living needs to be nurtured and looked after. Plants would never grow to their full potential if left unattended. Weeds on the other hand don’t need any attention; weeds have their own ability to grab our attention once they have taken over a garden bed.

Do we want to be a plant or a weed? Plants have more purpose and length of life compared to weeds. Weeds might spread like crazy however they can choke the life out of healthy plants.

Once you finally take the first step into your purpose courage arrives begging you to take more steps. Every step heads you into your purpose allowing for you to grow and learn what it is that makes you who you are.

Along the journey of walking out your purpose there are times in which ‘life puts you on hold’….

Despite our best efforts in living out our purpose occasionally life happens and we are put on hold. It’s as though someone has come along and shot us with an ice gun so we stand frozen while everyone else is moving around you or past you. In this frozen state you are aware of intense restriction. Your mind and heart are filled with purpose and a desire to move on with life however life has happened and has put you on hold.

Life just happens….

Life just happens moments can be anything from financial failure, marriage failure, job loss, sickness, grief, emotional struggles and family problems.

These life just happens moments vary in effect, they can be fairly manageable at times meaning that we don’t experience too much disruption in our daily lives. Then on other occasions they are more severe causing all sorts of disturbance. The trouble with the more severe type of ‘life just happens moments’ we are usually taken by surprise. They are quite unexpected and can hit hard. When you get hit hard getting back up can take some time. For each of us the time it takes varies.

No one likes to be put on hold……… I don’t like being put on hold.

Given the past four months of my journey I have felt frozen and unable to achieve much in terms of my purpose. When I consider that I am almost half way through my psychology studies frustration sets in as I have had to make the choice to put it on hold. It would be too much for me given the current circumstance to continue studying. This does not mean it will be on hold permanently only temporarily.

When life puts you on hold you have several choices as to how you will manage yourself at that time. You need to activate patience. You need to remind yourself that no matter what has happened life will get back into sync. This is not the end of you. In fact it can be a new beginning.

When life puts you on hold you may be itching to get back into what you were previously doing however depending on what has put you on hold determines when you are ready to continue on. While I may feel as though I have gone backwards there are areas in my life that are moving forwards. I am no longer attached to an unhealthy marriage causing me to question every minute of the day. I can live in peace. I am able to walk into my little two bedroom unit feeling safe and comfortable. I may not have everything that I need however I have my family and friends who lift me up when I am down. I have the time to work on my own hurts and heartache ensuring a better future.

Ultimately our careers or dreams so to speak are not as valuable as what happens on the inside of us. Our quality of life, our families and friends rank right up there in importance.

So really what I am saying is that when life puts you on hold it is not necessarily a bad thing!!! It may feel frustrating for a time. It is only temporary. It won’t last forever. When you are released back into the world you will be a stronger and focused person once again.  You will know what it is to experience hardship and you will be of much value in your community. You never know who needs to hear your story!

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real….

You might want to sit down for this…

Have you ever watched a movie and a scene plays out in which the phrase “you might want to sit down for this one” grabs your attention? It’s one of those typical scenes I have been fortunate enough to avoid so far in my life up until this week. This week highlights for me the first experience of sitting down hesitantly in my lounge room with two of my most favourite people as they struggle to come to terms with how they are going to tell me some news which would put me in shock for the next few days. With shock has been incredible anger that I can’t put into words. So much anger that I felt bad at the amount of swear words that have actually left my mouth and occupied my mind. The news hurt severely and still hurts.

On the previous night call it what you will I had an inkling that something was going to be told to me the next day. So on the way to taking my son to school and on my way back home I prepared myself with my most favourite Hillsong music blasting flat out in my car. My stomach was churning slightly with my heart doing random beats out of whack. While I was somewhat prepared the news landed heavy on my heart. In some ways the news should not have been such a surprise as I suspected something of this nature to be going on. In fact I suspected it long before I had to leave Brisbane and come to Canberra.

How often do we put aside suspicions and inklings only to talk our way out of them as we don’t really want to believe the truth?

Tuesday this week I heard the truth. The truth hurt more than I can imagine. If it hasn’t been enough to deal with the grief of a 27 year marriage breakdown this news took me into a place of anger and betrayal. They say anger is normal in these types of situations and I believe that. No matter how normal it may be to feel such anger it is not pleasant.  It is consuming for a little while. In my case it has been two full days and nights. I can feel it slowing moving away which is a welcome feeling. It more likely will return here and there such as the feelings of sadness over all the lost hopes and dreams two young people once held.

This could have been one of those moments in which I might have made my way into the bedroom, drawn the curtains and stayed in bed under my blankets for a week. I didn’t do that!!! As tempting as it was I decided to get up the next morning for the sake of my son to get him to school.

When I stop for a moment and look back to the past four months I’m amazed how this person (me) has even gotten this far? Had these events taken place as close as two years ago I’m not all that sure I would have handled it. Through the years I have grown and developed my own sense of value. As a young person I didn’t own it. As I have mentioned in many of my earlier blogs I struggled with low self-esteem and self-hatred. There was nothing that I liked about myself.

Having had such issues drove me into the arms of another broken person. Despite the fact that the marriage is well and truly over I can take courage of the changes that have happened deep inside of me. The shy young girl who hated herself grew up and let go of the hurts that kept her stuck in a prison. These issues got me into hurtful situations. I had no confidence to speak my own mind. It was as though someone had sealed my mouth shut. To speak my mind created anxiety and fear. Fear of rejection.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to marry please make sure that you are not so badly broken that you settle for someone who may cause you emotional harm. It is crucial that you know your own true value and worth. As not every relationship issue is a normal one. Some relationship issues are psychologically or emotionally damaging.  If you are in a relationship and question yourself on a regular basis I would seek some help and advice for that. It is not normal to constantly question yourself or your relationship. If you find yourself being blamed all too often again I would say check that. If you feel as though you are sitting on a roller coaster in your relationship take that as another warning sign. Let me describe the roller coaster a little better. This relationship roller coaster has moments of incredible highs. It’s as though you are led to believe the most incredible things are going to take place, incredible such as amazing financial success. That once this financial success takes place life will be amazing, your marriage will be amazing!!! However the reality is that the highs of the roller coaster shifts downward and you are faced with financial failure. Finances are just one example it could be something else or multiple areas which are keeping you believing that this relationship is worth staying in. In other words you hold onto a false sense of hope.

You may begin seeing contradictions yet you’ve been led to believe for such a long time that something amazing is going to happen which convinces you to continue sitting on the roller coaster. Just a little while longer and things will change you repeat to yourself. Just a little while longer and everything will be more stable. Just a little while longer and I may be happy like others seem to be. Just a little while longer and I may be valued and cared for. Just a little while longer I might be good enough to be heard.

If you find yourself constantly having to comply to keep the peace something isn’t right. A relationship which is healthy works from a foundation of respect, trust and honesty to say the least. It is not supposed to be one of control. That one partner has the power to hold you captive so much that your own voice is stopped. Your voice or your thoughts should be important. You should be able to approach your significant other with confidence not anxiety. If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety in a relationship seek good advice.

No one deserves to be in a relationship to be broken down and damaged. Sometimes it can take years to recognise particularly if you struggle to know your own worth and value. When we de-value ourselves we can enable people close to us to continue behaving in hurtful ways. Once we recognise our worth and value we have the ability to keep healthy boundaries with others ensuring healthy interactions.

The longer you sweep things under the carpet so to speak the more damage is done. Find a trusted person to talk to if you struggle with something beyond a normal relationship issue. Trust your instincts. Be aware of what your body and emotions are telling you. It’s easy to ignore the obvious as denial is often a comfortable option rather than facing something painful.

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real…..

We grow, learn and become stronger…

History is filled with individual stories of struggle, pain, tragedy and triumph.  We may have some idea of the future we desire for ourselves and our families yet ultimately we have no real clue as to how the future will unfold or what experiences we may be facing some time down the track. Some days I wish I had been forewarned or been handed a book that was filled with every experience I was to be walking through. Thank goodness such insight is not possible as I know it would bring more apprehension and distraction than I could possibly cope with.

Some life experiences are written in books giving us information to be somewhat prepared. Even with preparation we get overwhelmed with new situations. An example that comes to mind is child birth. While there is endless information on pregnancy and labour no amount of reading helped me with the idea of giving birth for the first time. I was excited yet extremely nervous at the thought. In fact I recall when I was younger a conversation my mum and her friend were having about this topic. I remember saying “if that is how painful it is to have babies I am never going to have one”. Little did I know that I would in fact give birth to five babies down the track?

My first pregnancy was going well.  After attending a birthday party until late it seemed when we got home that I was experiencing back pain. It was getting very intense. My due date was 5 1/2 weeks away so how could it possibly be labour? Something didn’t feel right and so I was taken to hospital. After being examined the doctor stated that there was nothing they could do to stop me from going into labour. That in fact I was in labour and this first born baby was going to arrive early. All sorts of fears and worries flooded my mind. To begin with I had no idea what child birth was like and suddenly I was faced with a premature childbirth. After 11 or so hours of intense labour my Joshua was born. He was tiny and weighed a little over 2 kg. There was no possibility of cuddles as he was rushed into a special crib and given oxygen. The first cuddle I got with him was after 3 days. It was a brief cuddle. Everything turned out well after lots of ups and downs both physically on my end and Joshua’s. Three weeks went by and Joshua was given permission to come home.

Having had such an experience with my first baby taught me so much. I was stretched beyond my comfort zone. Each step with Joshua was one of learning. After a few months I became more confident  looking after him. Eventually routine came into place and my life became more manageable. I was able to enjoy my new baby.

The experiences I went through with Joshua prepared me for all four of the other babies that were yet to be born. This meant that I was no longer as apprehensive about pregnancy and labour. I had experience. I was stronger and more capable of taking care of a family with lots of little onesIn the midst of new experiences we are faced with many unknowns. We often don’t realise everything we go through in life somewhat prepares us for the future. While there is no book detailing the future to come, it amazes me how all of the experiences I have endured have equipped me unawares. It seems that each difficulty that I have ever faced has increased in intensity. Which continues to stretch and challenge always to newer heights providing  me perseverance and persistence. The different levels of challenge have given me an ability to outlast the pain barrier. In fact as I am navigating my new season right now on many occasions I think back only a few years and know without a doubt that had I gone through what I am going through now I would not have managed.

In recent days I have felt like quite the novice. For 27 years I only knew marriage. Now I am learning what it is to be walking through a marriage breakdown. I may feel like a novice yet I am still here and breathing, I am moving forward each day, learning and growing stronger. I’m developing new skills and am being stretched once again.

Over 20 years ago we moved away from family here in Canberra. It was the hardest moment of my life knowing that family was not going to be around the corner. I missed my parents and sisters so much until eventually I accepted the fact that we lived far away. Somehow i have done full circle and landed right back where I started only this time without my adult children. I love all of my children so much that words dont come close in expressing my heart for each of them. As I make my new life here in Canberra I am being stretched yet again missing my own children incredibly. I recognise that I have been in this position decades ago with my own parents and sisters.

No experience we go through in life is ever wasted. Each experience the good or the bad trains us to be strong and enduring. There may not be a personalised book detailing our exact future yet we can take courage from the idea that we will get through life’s incredible challenges. We may feel like a novice perhaps lacking confidence. Take heart in the fact that what you have been through has equipped you for today.

You will get through it and keep growing, learning and becoming stronger!