Posts by Anu mari ~ Writing with a Purpose

Currently studying psychology part-time as a mature student. Was married for 27 years with five children of which four of them are adults and the youngest 10 years old. Life presents us with so many different situations. Some take us unexpectedly, some situations we may bury under the carpet as it can be too difficult to face. I decided to talk about some of my experiences hoping to inspire individuals and give them hope that they too can overcome life's challenges. We are not alone in this world no matter how it may feel ... Others go through the same things ... I simply care ...

Forgive, forget not.

For those of you who have read my blogs over the past year you would be familiar with all the various challenges and stages I have walked through or rather at times moved at snail’s pace to get to the next day. You yourself may connect with my blogs as perhaps you have or are experiencing truly tough life circumstances, which is one of the reasons I decided to start writing in the first place. To not only help myself to process life with all its challenges but to use my pain and growth for good purposes. If it helps someone it is all worth the effort. In no way do I profess to have all the right answers and we each go through different situations.
What works for me may not work for you!
It’s not so much that I write to give the answers, I write to share my journey with life so others don’t feel alone. I write to breathe hope. To shed light. To let individuals, know that if I can get through it, they can too!
Today I am writing about forgiveness. ♥
This past week has been another one of those very trying and difficult times. Not only have I been battling some sort of virus in my body which has put me out of work now for four days, last weekend I had to meet with my ex-husband for the first time in over one year.
The shear thought initially had me very vulnerable and sensitive. The week prior to seeing him I was experiencing all sorts of emotions. It didn’t seem to make sense. Why was I experiencing so much emotion when I had thought it was already dealt with?
Perhaps it was the unknown.

How was I going to react seeing him especially after everything that has happened?
Was I going to react angry? Sad?
The reality is I was with this person for 27 years and had five children.
It was a special family occasion that put me in the situation of having to see him again.
No amount of psyching myself up was going to help me.
Prior to seeing him as I mentioned I was very sensitive. I went through a series of thoughts, emotions, worries and even regrets.
The moment arrived in which I was in the same room as him. It was perhaps one of the most surreal and awkward times of my life. It was as though a dead person came back to life and they were now in the same room as me.
As I was in what you can call my own ‘safety bubble’ at the time I was unable to notice my young son’s reaction to seeing his own dad after having had no contact with him for the whole time. Prior to the day I had encouraged my young son in coming along as he too was apprehensive. It was not my young sons fault that he hadn’t had contact with his dad nor was it mine. I explained to him that another year on and it will be virtually impossible for him to meet up with his dad. Not the ideal situation by any means.
Amongst family in the same room I stood there with my ex-husband breathing the same air as me. At first, I found it difficult to look his way. Slowly I got braver and could take short glimpses of the man I was married too. Each glimpse was confronting. Each glimpse brought back pain and hurt. Each glimpse touched on sad places in my heart. Each glimpse reminded me that our marriage was over.
WOW!
Then the time came for our first conversation face to face.
It was during our conversation that the reality of our marriage being over was hitting me. We were such separate people now. Any connection we may have had was completely broken. We were like old friends from times past who were having a conversation and catching up on each other’s past year.
There was no topic off limits. We talked about everything.
While in the back of my mind I remembered everything that he had put me through I was able to come to a place in which I told him that ‘I can forgive him’. I choose to forgive him. In the next sentence, I had to let him know that while I forgive him I won’t be able to forget. That as a person I have grown so much and recognised what I want and what I don’t want and what is healthy and what is not.
This sequence of events has helped me heal some more.
Despite the harsh reality of a broken family something has shifted in that I can talk to him without animosity or resentment. I can talk confidentially.  For the sake of all our children and especially the youngest there is now room for Dad to be in their life if he chooses to be.
This past week I have learnt to FORGIVE.
To GRIEVE again.
To ACCEPT what is.

 

Simple Truth’s …

The signs I chose to ignore:

• Silent Treatment: Silent treatment is just as the definition describes. When someone you are in a relationship with becomes silent rather than discuss important issues turning cold and withdrawing leaving you feeling as though you are invisible and unimportant. At times walking past you as you sit there on the lounge at home ignoring your presence (that’s when you know things are quite bad). It is often talked about that men go into their man caves or there nothing box inside their head however when a man ignores you and gives you the silent treatment when you are hurting is hurting you! There is no excuse for a real man to ignore you when you’re hurting. Any real man that truly cares about you will care when you are hurting. Even when they don’t have all the answers they will support you emotionally.

• Not taking responsibility: When your partner makes decisions usually big ones (particularly financial) and it goes sour! They suddenly disappear leaving you with the after effects. Debt collectors knocking on the door and calling you on the phone. A real man takes responsibility and doesn’t leave their partner to deal with the after effects and vanish. Real men face their wrong doings and admit fault. Real men make amends. Life doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes things go wrong however when a partner ditches you with all the consequences and stress something isn’t right? When you confront them with their actions they get defensive and angry. You walk away feeling like a failure, feeling as though you are not strong enough to deal with life’s problems…. You begin to make excuses on their behalf. You begin to lie to the debt collectors and then you get used to doing so…. You start lying to yourself….

• Boasting: The topic of conversation is usually about how good they are at pulling off that deal. They can get so caught up in conversation about themselves that they don’t even realise what they are saying. It starts getting uncomfortable when your around other people and your partner begins to boast. It’s about them. About how great they are. Every sentence begins with them and ends with them. They talk themselves UP to such a point everyone listening on begins to feel uncomfortable. You hear what is said and recognise all the exaggerated facts. All the untruths. You stand there smiling while on the inside you feel embarrassed and mumble underneath your breath ‘that wasn’t what happened, his lying’. Why the lies?

• Embarrassing you: Around others they will say revealing things about you. Without warning conversations have you feeling embarrassed. Nothing is safe in their knowledge of you. They reveal personal information to others you thought was only between the two of you. You start to wonder what your friends are thinking…eventually you stop making friends, close ones. You may know a lot of people however it’s not safe to get too close as eventually it will only end up in embarrassment. Or worse they may say something to your friends and they don’t want much to do with you anymore. You begin to get isolated from friends and family. As you confront them about their behaviours they convince you that everyone else has the issues and not them. They can be so convincing that you may even start believing that your friends and family are unsafe to talk to. The idea of going anywhere with this person can be extremely stressful as you never know what they are going to do or say!!!! You have no assurance that they will look out for your best interest or the best interests of others. They just say whatever comes to mind. No prior thought, no consideration of other’s feelings. In life, there is always room for humour yet there is a big difference between genuine humour and hurtful remarks.

• Never apologising: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we say things in ways that come out wrong. We may be having a bad day and it doesn’t come out right. Most people know when they need to apologise. Especially in a relationship it’s not difficult to know when we have hurt the other person in our lives. What happens when it is always you that apologises? I would rather be someone that can apologise. A person who leaves you to do all the apologising is someone who struggles to see their part in the story. If a partner always leaves you feeling as though every problem that arises within the relationship is all your fault I would question how long that relationship will last? You can only go so long apologising before you begin to grow resentful. It is about having a partnership. A partnership involving only one side apologising is not balanced.

When in a relationship or partnership with someone and these issues are involved you begin to lose RESPECT and TRUST … You begin to lose yourself in the process and eventually the cracks will cause a complete break, it’s inevitable. … If it isn’t the relationship that breaks in the beginning its your personality and your own worth and value.

Life summed up in one word: Handbags.

Writing blogs is something I love to do. It isn’t easy finding the time these days working five days a week and attempting to get back into University Study. With my busy days while I do have the inspiration sometimes the ideas just don’t show up or I am unable to still my mind long enough to take an idea and turn it into a blog.
Not today!
I love mornings when I wake with a fresh mind.
Particularly when it is the weekend and one doesn’t need to rush out the door for work.
Often on a weekend morning I lay there and ponder over the past week. I lay there recalling random moments at work, home and just my general life that I have currently. I think about how I am feeling. I encourage myself as I recognise how much I have grown in so many areas of my life. Occasionally those negative thoughts hobble around in my head. I say hobble as it describes something a little louder. Negative thoughts can be loud.
This morning inspiration and a fresh mind provided me with another blog to share.
As I lay there I was thinking about lots of stuff. Thinking about my life and some of the random scenarios of late. I was thinking about how life feels a little all over the place. That’s when I thought about my hand bag….
Most people who know me, know that my handbag is quite heavy.
Handbags are useful for keeping lots of things. A woman can’t live without it.
Over time the hand bag gets cluttered with all sorts of interesting pieces.
The other night my sister and I went out dancing. Occasionally we go out for some de-stressing. During the night we had at some point bought chips and gravy. We obviously hadn’t finished them as the leftovers went into my handbag. In the morning I found chips and gravy mixed in with all contents of my hand bag.
Quite amusing really. 😊
Last night I grabbed my handbag and turning it upside down emptying everything out of it as it needs a good clean. I’m planning on going through everything that dropped out of my hand bag so as to decide what should remain in there and would should get thrown out once and for all.
Life for me feels a little like that handbag right now.
Essentially you could say that my empty handbag represents a few concrete realities in my life. I have my own place to live and a job. I have family and friends. These are certainties. I have two of my children living with me. My daughter and her fiancé now live in Canberra too!
One year ago my life turned upside down like my hand bag and everything fell out.
It is all those other bits and pieces of my life that are still all over the place such as emotions. Some days I think I have it together emotionally and then without warning my emotions get the better of me.
When life has turned upside down it is difficult when pieces of your life are in limbo land. While you may have a few concrete realities in place it is all the other areas of life that seem to take quite the journey in making sense. You think you know what you want and then suddenly you don’t know what you want.
When I go through all those bits and pieces that dropped out of my hand bag I need to decide what remains and what goes. I am quite the hoarder. I don’t like wasting anything. While I bought myself a new concealer several weeks ago my old one is still there. I can’t throw it out as its not completely empty. A woman knows how to get the last bit of makeup from most applicators.
Often in life we grab onto things we don’t need holding on tight in case we need it.
Like the contents of my handbag we need to do a stocktake of our lives from time to time.
Are we holding onto something or someone? Should we be letting it go?
It’s often good to sit back and consider our motives. Equally as good to think about whether we should be letting go as it may not be good for us to hold on. Sometimes fear has us holding on.
We may believe that the opportunity won’t come around again so we hold on.
It’s tough letting go.
As we shift through all the bits and pieces in our lives eventually that which is meant to stay will stay. If I never emptied my hand bag there would come a day I would not be able to carry it any longer. I can justify holding onto items. That is easy to do when hard to let go.
Sometimes we talk ourselves into things.
When life has turned upside down and all of the finer details in life have not yet found there place it can be a vulnerable time. In that situation you need to keep your head on and not allow the vulnerabilities to have you making wrong decisions or holding onto something you should just let go.
These days I’m regularly reminding myself that I don’t yet know who this new me is. As my life changed I have changed. That I cannot afford to be too hard on myself when I feel as though I have stuffed up.
Second guessing oneself in this new situation is so easily done. I knew who I needed to be previously. I had worked out what I needed to do to get through each day regardless of the underlying marriage issues. Whether it was healthy or not didn’t matter as I was used to being in that situation.
Since my life turned upside down I am still waiting for certain areas of my life to turn right side up.
For the time being when life is uncertain it helps to focus on the areas that are concrete.
When your feeling vulnerable and second guessing decisions or situations its ok.
I am reminding myself as I am reminding you the reader that life will eventually fall back in place.

♥What’s meant to be will be and that which doesn’t belong will exit.

Yes, it hurts ….

There is a calendar on my kitchen wall, “compliments of my very supportive sister”. The calendar is getting crossed off each day and is etching closer to the day that marks one year of a broken marriage.  In exactly one week will be one year of living life single and downsized, downsized in terms of a family which is now broken down and scattered here and there.

Nearly one year ago my life changed as did my children’s lives.

Life also changed for my ex-husband.

The truth is that while most people recognise when things are not going well the reality of a family unit collapsing is a shock to everyone concerned.

Regardless of the pain and hurt within a marriage relationship when a family falls apart it affects everybody. The pain and emotion is tremendous and difficult to describe in words.

No matter the reasons for the marriage breakdown there are no miraculous formulas to help one forget about those family moments each shared. To remember them is to hurt and ache for what is now lost.

As a mum of five children my life revolved around my family. I loved being a mum and still do. There is nothing I can ever do to get those moments back ever again. They are over, done and dusted.

It is possibly one of the reasons why it took me so long to finally get the courage to leave my marriage as who in their right mind wants a broken family. I continued in the unhealthy relationship for decades. My children kept me focused on something wholesome and good. I had purpose. I was busy, too busy to think most days. And had my thoughts taken me to places in which I felt lonely in my marriage there was nothing I believed I could do about it. It was simply too difficult.

Most parents would relate to the idea of staying together for the sake of the kids.

The fact of the matter is that not all relationships are doomed. There are relationships that have the potential of being restored. When a relationship can be restored and operate in a healthy way then why not? Everyone wins in that case…..

When I was married my values and beliefs kept me in the marriage. I firmly believed that marriage was something you didn’t give up on easily. That no matter what went wrong, no matter how hard it was that it was each partner’s willingness and dedication that would have them forgive each other and sort out their issues.

Believe me, I tried so hard.

In the midst of trying so hard I got lost. So much of who I was went missing too. To keep the peace I had to refrain from communicating my needs. Whenever I did communicate my needs I got the silent treatment. I was made to feel like it was wrong to have needs. I recall the moments that I tried to communicate. It usually began with me feeling extremely anxious as I knew that it was not going to be an easy task, that I would be met with all sorts of resistance. Despite my intentions and desires of wanting to have a close healthy relationship, my ex-husband did not share that value.

He would make me feel de-valued, unwanted, rejected and confused. In my mind I thought it was normal to approach your significant other when hurting and needing to talk to sort things out. I believed in sorting things out. He on the other hand was always on the defensive. The minute that I attempted to have a conversation with him I knew it was not going to be easy. He would use his many words or even the lack thereof to let me know that whatever I was feeling was my problem. That he was not at fault. That somehow everything I was feeling was my character flaw.

Often he would quote the bible to me, telling me that I needed to forgive him.

When things got really serious he would then write me a letter. In the letter it would read and list out all of the areas he would ask for forgiveness from me. The difficulty I had with that was his actions continued being hurtful.

Often times he would inflict so much emotional hurt on me that eventually I would cave into depression for weeks on end. On several occasions when feeling completely depressed and overwhelmed he would suddenly turn into the ‘superhero dad’ and tell the kids he was going to take them out for the day. He never spent time with them unless I was depressed. He would then use his methods to convey to the kids that mum had issues, that she was the problem. When I had those moments of depression he would ignore me by giving me the silent treatment.

He made me feel as though there was something wrong with me even when I was depressed. He was not supportive or compassionate.  To him I was invisible.

This type of interaction created such anxiety. It happened so often that I knew what was going to happen every time I approached him with a problem. I knew that no matter how I spoke to him it was not going to be favourable. On occasions I experimented with different types of communication. I tried the meek and mild version, the strong and assertive. I tried the Christian wife version of being humble and loving. Decades later it was obvious that it didn’t matter what I said or how I said it, it was always going to be wrong. It was always going to be an issue that I had created which meant that he didn’t need to take any responsibility for his actions.

There were many occasions in which his attempt at doing something loving for me was equally as hurtful.

On one occasion I recall he and my eldest son had gone on a road trip to Sydney. When they returned I excitedly went outside to greet them. My ex-husband was pulling bags out of the boot of the car. He went on to say that he had bought me some expensive perfume. Then immediately after stating that fact he finished the sentence with “your son said you stink so I thought I would get you some perfume”. I’m almost embarrassed to type this as it sounds so awful, but that is exactly what happened.  Suddenly the idea of receiving perfume as a gift got turned into something so de-valuing.

On another occasion when we were at a shopping mall without prior warning my ex began walking into a jewellery store, all spur of the moment. Naturally I followed him wondering what was going on.  The store assistants were doing their job by asking my ex “how can we help you today”. My ex went on to say with a very loud and sarcastic tone “my wife is here to spend all of my money so can you help her find some jewellery”.  Hmm I’m not sure about most people however that moment was gone for me. I had no desire for any jewellery what so ever. Despite my sudden lack or desire of choosing jewellery he forced me to pick something by making such a spectacle of me in front of everyone in the store.  I felt so embarrassed in front of all the sales assistants.

These examples are only a tiny drop in the ocean of so much more that happened in my marriage. It is possibly the first time that I have shed a little more light into how I was treated.

One can imagine after being in a relationship that was quite unhealthy it is no easy task to recover from years’ worth of damage.

The first step to recovery was leaving. ….

 

Quiet Strength.

The word strength brings to mind the idea that something or someone is tough and strong. Strength comes in so many different forms. Strength is absolutely necessary for without it life and people would fall apart.

Seriously think about that idea for a moment……

Our bodies are made up of strength.

Without muscles we would be limp!

Our heart♥ muscle beats consistently from the moment we are 4 weeks old to our final breath.

We have strength in our bones which provide us with a spectacular framework carrying us so as we can move around.

Teeth can chew through just about anything when the stomach is screaming for food.

How handy are our nails for those small jobs that need a little assistance from something sharp and strong. When we don’t want to break our teeth we can use those nails instead.

Strength is everywhere!

It takes strength to walk, sit or run.

Even our face muscles need strength to pull off a smile 🙂

Does strength itself receive much attention?

I would answer that with a “no not really”. …. We know that strength exists for without it we wouldn’t.

Strength is quiet….

Strength exists in the background while our surroundings tend to take up most of our attention. We get caught up in that which is tangible such as what we can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.

Then we have emotional strength.

Emotional strength has similarities with physical strength however emotional strength has a voice when required. Emotions capture our attention. Emotions are hard to hide. If one were to write a story book about emotions every character representing emotion would be unique and different. Each emotion vocalised according to its name.

Sadness is vocalised as tears and pain, the face often letting others know that something is upsetting.

Happy is displayed with smiles and sounds of laughter and giggles. Happy can be loud and quiet.

Angry turns up with a sense of right and wrong displayed in so many various ways according to the situation. It can take the form of a look or a tone of voice letting the receiver know that something is not right. Anger is often represented with words. Anger can also be quiet. The angry person feels the burden while the other can often be oblivious to the facts.

Amidst our emotions there is strength.

Quiet strength.

It takes strength to move on from sadness. If we stayed sad life would be miserable to say the least. Strength turns up unexpectedly and quietly whispering words of hope and courage. Sadness helps us to deal with the pain of loss. It helps us to acknowledge our hurts and fears. Sadness reminds us that we are not invincible. Sadness can help us to make better decisions guiding us through a difficult time often waking us up to the fact that something may need to change. We may be sweeping issues under the carpet ignoring and pretending that everything is fine. Yet sadness consumes us and won’t let go until we finally give in and confront that which is hurting us.

Happy is everyone’s favourite emotion its light and fun. Suddenly our world feels carefree and exciting. Yesterday’s sadness is in the past. The happy moment is lifting and contagious. Even in the midst of trying circumstances ‘happy’ provides joy and peace. Happy lights up our face and comforts our aching hearts. Happy is healing and soothing.

Angry is often unstoppable. When a situation warrants change often angry turns up providing the necessary determination to put a stop to something hurtful or wrong. When we put up with something for far too long angry can come in like a freight train busting through those excuses that have kept us in situations which are damaging or wrong. This type of angry is a good angry yet then there is the bad angry, the one that can cause damage to others.

Often it is strength that keeps us going. Strength gets us out of bed in the morning. Strength fills in the gaps when we are feeling vulnerable and unable. Strength always turns up. While we may believe we have no strength, strength quietly waits for the right moment to step in. Strength picks us up off the ground when we fall. Strength gives us courage to walk away. Strength gives us the courage to not give up.

The quiet strength we each possess goes about unnoticed. It doesn’t need an audience. Strength doesn’t take long service leave and go on holidays. Strength doesn’t decide one day it has had enough leaving never to return. Strength is consistent.

Despite what life may throw our way strength quietly allows us to make it through any situation. The next time you feel at your weakest almost as though life is not worth the fight any longer remember that strength is in you. It is in your bones, your muscles, your organs, your breathing, your heart and in your emotions.

There are times in which we need to connect our strength to that of another person. As occasionally we go through situations that can be incredibly overwhelming that we need as much strength as we can.

It can take strength to admit or recognise what is going on in our lives. We often like to ignore situations as they can be too painful. We don’t want to feel the pain so we try and hide it. It takes strength to face what we are feeling. It is easy to avoid and ignore. However avoiding and ignoring always comes at a cost eventually.

Be brave, be strong!

If you see someone weak hold out your hand and help them up. Don’t ignore those that are hurting around you.

We all hurt sometimes!

Setbacks<<<

Setbacks can be circumstantial, or a part of a recovery process. When we experience setbacks in our circumstances we can become frustrated. As an example we may be traveling well in our finances satisfied that our savings are on the increase as opposed to decreasing. Then unexpectedly a situation occurs in which those savings must be accessed due to an unforeseen expenditure. Suddenly we feel as though we are going backward as there are no savings left. With every good intention of saving some dollars for the future we are faced with having to start saving again.

Good intentions don’t prevent setbacks.

We may be recovering from something physical such as a broken bone or a debilitating illness. The future is looking bright however another setback occurs!

Setbacks can leave us feeling disappointed or confused. Especially when hopeful that life was looking up, finally…..

Life often resembles one step forward and ten steps back.

Most of humanity would agree that moving forward is always so much better and natural, who likes to take steps backward?

Why would anyone in their right mind want to revisit the past especially when the intention was to move forward, to a better place.

The reality is that we all recover at different speeds.

For broken bones to heal often times surgery is required as the fracture is quite bad and needs extra assistance for recovery.

Then we have our emotions and feelings.

Dependent upon what we have gone through in our life experience, the recovery time can vary.

There are a myriad of situations that can happen to an individual however I’m going to talk about my experience for a moment as I’m speaking from a current, passionate and open heart.

If you have been following my blogs over the past 9 months or so you would have read about some of my own personal struggles in terms of marriage break up and the unhealthy relationship that I struggled through which finally ended.

Unless you have been in an unhealthy emotionally/psychologically damaging relationship it can be quite hard to grasp the impact it has on a person. The impact goes deep and challenges a person on so many levels.

The wrestling that goes on in your mind at times can be overwhelming. The longer you have lived with someone in a relationship in which you were programmed to mistrust others including yourself the harder it is to overcome.

Trusting one’s own judgement or the lack thereof is what keeps a person in an unhealthy emotionally damaging relationship. It took me years to find out that in fact it was NOT NORMAL to be in such a struggle. Having had my eyes opened to the reality that the relationship was in fact unhealthy and was never going to change has moved me on to a brighter future with every good intention of not going through the same experience again.

There is much unraveling to do on my part emotionally speaking. Everything that I learned in order to cope I need to unlearn.

I have to learn that it is OK to speak about my feelings, fears and thoughts. That even though I was in a marriage in which speaking about my feelings usually resulted in world war III that it was not my fault. Every human has a right to talk about their feelings.

My feelings were mostly irrelevant and portrayed as something which was a fault that I carried. I was made to believe my feelings I experienced at various times were something I needed to put a stop too. The trouble was that the other party was always doing or saying things that hurt my feelings.

Unless you are someone with absolutely no feelings at all you cannot expect to stop hurting when someone hurts you. It’s as ridiculous as believing if someone hits you that you are not allowed to hurt!

It is the hurting that lets us know something is in fact wrong!!!

Our bodies are wired that way. Our bodies tell us when we feel pain that something is wrong and that we need to tend to it.

Emotional pain is no different.

On this journey that I have been on I’ve experienced myself overcoming and moving away from the ways in which I previously had to cope. In saying that though there have been times of setback!

I’ve been revisiting various emotions at different stages. Certain situations can trigger me back to those places. Suddenly I may find myself back in that place of mistrust, unsure if my own judgement is correct or whether other people can be trusted. I may find myself scrutinizing situations far more than another person would.

Why? Simply because I’m determined not to go through the same experience I have come away from.

Everything within me wishes that I didn’t need to be so fragile or sensitive.

The trouble is that when you have been hurt to such a depth and treated very poorly for a long time the journey to recovery can be long and require a lot from you.

Situations that look anything similar to what you have come away from can have you shaking in your boots for fear of going through it again. It may be just one word, phrase or body language.

The only way through, is THROUGH!

As scary as it is with all the setbacks and fears the only option to recovery is moving forward despite every battle you face in your mind. The recovery may take longer than anticipated however it will come.

I’m not out of the woods yet.

I’m aware that there will possibly be many moments in the future I will need to face my fears and overcome those mind games that start replaying and repeating previous scenarios I have been through.

Trust the process.

Look for the small wins!

Be kind to yourself and others while you are in the process of healing.

Don’t despair if you find yourself setback for a moment you will eventually move forward regaining more ground and eventually becoming the person you always knew you were.

♥♥

 

The Wholesome Reality

Quality is everything. How much are we willing to overlook it when impatience has us making quick and hasty decisions?  Life is often about what we can get with no time to wait. Companies have capitalised on this human flaw multiplying $$$ dollars. They market us with cheap products so that we can own it faster. It’s all in the numbers rather than the quality of the product itself.

It’s about fast & quick!

It’s about saving time and making more.

It’s about beating the competition.

It’s about getting in and out as quick as you can.

We are living in a world of numbers and duplication with very little patience. Companies and individuals strive to get $$$ dollars into their bank accounts often overlooking quality and long term consequences.

We do this in relationships.

We rush in without a second thought.

The dream of having that perfect marriage/family/house can have us rushing the process.

As a young person I rushed into marriage without thinking about the consequences. Marriage in itself is not bad by any means, it can be wonderful. It is more about the person you are marrying, who are they? Are they someone of quality? Are they right for you?

My dream was to have a family that owned their home and had built financial security ensuring their children had a good start to life. To be married to a man who was respected in the community/family/friendship groups, a man who was successful on every level in particular a man of good character. I’ve dreamed of having a man that is respected and admired, who loves/protects his family/wife and cares deeply for his children.

This picture I’ve painted sounds achievable and normal to some. Perhaps you are one of the fortunate who can say they have all of that and more.

I’m certain I speak for many who have visualised the same as I have yet reality proves to be the opposite.

IF you can imagine for a moment a house made of bricks. Every brick layered on top of another brick perfectly in line, the brick work giving the house an overall appearance of how a house should look. Windows and doors all measured into place. The house has been built to plan to ensure time frames and budgets are followed.   Tradesmen follow the plan and do their best to put everything where it needs to be. The final product is eventually complete and there you have a house.

For some of us our lives don’t quite work to plan all accurately measured and tidy.

Mine didn’t.

Despite the dreams I held in my heart over the past few decades my life has not been that of a house with perfectly lined bricks with windows and doors in place. My life resembles that of an olden day style house perhaps built with stones. Different sized stones. One stone placed upon another stone. It doesn’t have an appearance of perfection it has an appearance of character and hard work. There are very few smooth edges and a lot of bumps and rough corners. The average house can take up to 6 months to build my life resembles a house which has taken many years and is still incomplete. My life is like that building you drive past which is looking incomplete after many years of construction.

Every stone that has been placed upon another stone in my life has come from all sorts of difficult circumstances. These stones are held in place by tears mixed with loneliness, confusion, pain, hurt, anxiety and even depression at times. Every stone and layer represents wholesome lessons learned and healing from pain. Unlike the straw house depicted in the children’s rhyme with the pig huffing and puffing and blowing that house down, my life having been built by heavy stones has progressively been growing stronger by the day.

Anything of quality takes time and effort with a lot of patience.

How often do we buy into products advertised and sold in large numbers only to be disillusioned once the product breaks down in a short time or once we realise the product doesn’t really do what they claimed it would do!!!

The truth is we often go through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff!

Having been in an unhealthy marriage and a roller coaster ride over the past few decades I appreciate life very differently now.

I love the fact that I can walk into my little unit knowing that I can relax without the fear I used to live with of what was going to happen next week or next month? My life was up and down and insecure, filled with contradictions and instability. I lost trust in the people I should have trusted the most. I even lost trust in myself.

Everything was a big fat question mark?????

I was always reliant on my ex-husband. I believed most things he told me even though the facts in front of me showed otherwise. In order to survive living in the relationship I had to push down my own values and what I held dear. To leave the relationship was unthinkable although I had thought about it on several occasions. The trouble was that I had the fear that God was going to smite me if I left.

That’s another topic right there!

Spiritual control was equally as strong in the relationship as was the emotional control.

As quick as we can be at buying those products which are lacking quality we can be equally as quick at settling for a partner that lacks wholesome character. A person can say all of the right things yet who they really are is shown in what they do.

I was sold on what I was hearing and led to believe.

The battle always began when actions were opposite to what I was told. Any questions I had were diffused with convincing sets of answers. Often my questions were turned back onto me. In psychology they call this ‘gas lighting’ in which the victim is always questioning their own reality.

Essentially what I am saying is don’t settle for anything less than good quality.

Be patient!

Don’t rush it!

As every decision we make will have consequences for the rest of our lives. Of course we can’t live in a bubble and think we will avoid every problem in life however we certainly can minimise the difficulties if we just consider our decisions that little bit longer.

T~w~i~s~t~e~d words

When the abuser is pulling out all stops to show that he is right and you/others are wrong, his language sometimes becomes a little weird. I have observed this kind of poor English in the language of many men who abuse their wives. (However, some abusive men are so well educated and verbally skilled that they can […]

via The abuser’s word salad & weird language when he’s working hard at resisting taking responsibility — A Cry For Justice

Know-How develops with experience

There is so much of Australia I’ve not had the privilege of experiencing.  I grew up in Canberra, had four of my children here and then lived interstate for over 20 years. Having done full circle in two decades I’m living in Canberra once again enjoying my first autumn after many years.

Autumn in Canberra is spectacular.

Different shades of reds, orange and yellow colours make for quite a display in the suburbs. It’s as though someone has come along and opened the big wide doors to nature’s own art gallery.

The temperature is quietly getting colder week by week.

Every now and then the smell of wood burning catches my attention immediately taking me back to childhood and simplicity. So many memories and moments have filled up time and space creating my story and unique experiences crafting me into the person I am today.

Some decades ago as a toddler I took my first steps (although I have no memory of that) those first steps would have been taken with caution and new found excitement!!! A whole new world opens up to a toddler once they start walking. Everything out of reach becomes a possibility. Every step taken accomplishes new ground and builds strength and balance. A walking toddler begins a season of learning and discovery.

As children we begin life inexperienced, relying on significant people in our lives to teach us the basics. School educates us to read and write while socialising and being a part of families and society teaches us basic life skills.

Everyone begins with a clean slate, no experience, until we step through each stage in life. Whether we get through those stages successfully or not there will always be lessons learned. These crucial lessons are ones in which you would never be able to grasp simply by reading a textbook!

Do we always get it right?

NO!!! heck no….

Life is somewhat trial and error.

Most of us begin each stage of life with a positive outlook. At times we experience apprehension and nerves while occasionally bursting with wild excitement at the anticipation of what we have to look forward to.

The fear of the unknown is something I have grappled with all of my life. When something is foreign or unknown to me I can get nervous. I much prefer to be prepared. I am not one for too many surprises and unexpected situations.

TRUE FACT ABOUT ME:  If caught up in the scene of a critical emergency such as witnessing a bad car accident I instantly FREEZE. My brain might scream at me to DO something, anything YET my body won’t cooperate. I’m completely useless as I stand there unable to flinch a muscle horrified and shocked to the core.

In much the same way if a person approaches me with an expected harsh tone of voice & words I will more likely freeze on the inside. When unprepared for a conflict or simply someone’s rudeness my response is one of surprise and shock. I’m certainly not quick with come backs in those types of situations.

I’m more likely analysing the situation picking it to pieces attempting to find out what just happened?

What did I miss?

What is this person’s problem?

As a young person unexpected tones and words had potential to trigger me into myself. I would behave as a turtle and attempt to hide out of harm’s way.

I was inexperienced.

I had no confidence or healthy self-esteem.

A person’s reaction or behaviour was always about me!

It had to be me I would reason.

My self-worth and value was always measured by other people. If they seemed to dislike me then I believed the problem was me, most times!

It didn’t occur to me that it may have had NOTHING to do with me. Perhaps the other person was having a bad day, a bad week or a bad life.

OR

Perhaps this other person had issues of their own that were triggered whenever I was around. Quite possibly the person didn’t like me, my worst nightmare. I always wanted people to like me.

It has taken decades to detach or separate my self-worth or value from another person’s treatment of me. I’ve been learning that despite how a person chooses to treat me it isn’t my fault. If I had nothing to do with it then I had nothing to do with it.

Simple…..

Having lived life for over four decades experiencing a countless number of scenarios in circumstances and relationships I have developed and matured as a person. In many of those scenarios I was inexperienced lacking confidence and direction. I was easily led by others, sometimes led into the wrong direction contrary to the values I held.

The inexperience made me vulnerable; at times I trusted too much ignoring the contradictions which were set off like a warning bell. I fought against those contradictions over and over again. I talked myself into believing my own thoughts and values didn’t matter. Decades of burying and ignoring what was important to me started taking its toll.

I lost myself….

No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that my thoughts, feelings, values and ideas were not that important, I gradually became aware of how much I was missing out on being the person I was designed to be. Once the awareness started I could no longer ignore what was important to me.

Awareness took place over denial…..

Life is a journey of discovery! Every new stage presents unknowns as we step through inexperienced. We have the potential to make mistakes and “NEWS FLASH “we do make mistakes….

One more fact about me: I can be known for being a bit of a perfectionist! Making mistakes is something I do my best to avoid. My best intentions can’t stop mistakes. The more experiences I have walked through the less I have held onto the idea of perfection!

I’m far less concerned about what people think of me now than when I was younger.

Last July 2016 as my marriage of 27 years literally toppled over in one night I had moments in which I was angry with myself for being married soooo long in an unhealthy relationship.

HOWEVER,

After some nine months or more I’m no longer angry with myself. I see the failed marriage as experience that I could have never gained from a text book. The experience will continue on with me for the rest of my life of which I can share my learning with others who may be in a similar situation.

As tempting as it might be don’t beat yourself up for mistakes made remember we are all inexperienced as we begin life.

NO ONE is an expert!

Don’t allow your past mistakes to prevent you from moving forward in life. The truth is if you sit still in order to remain safe you risk missing out on something wonderful.

Don’t stay frozen!!!!

Don’t discount the little things.

Let’s face it, in today’s climate it is all too easy to get swept up into believing only large headlines are important and impacting. We can easily be drawn into attention grabbing successful highlights seen on t.v, social media and magazines or in the lives of people we rub shoulders with. Sometimes attention is placed on that which shines brighter and sounds louder coupled with a belief which provides the illusion that amazing happiness will follow once we reach this unreachable dream we are all seemingly searching for?

That until you have the most important job, biggest house or richest bank account and large influential group of friends you have in some ways not made it yet…  How is it that so much of life that shines brighter and sounds louder has been exalted to such a point in which all of the little things can be discounted and unnoticed?

Personally I have nothing against success or highlights, wins or gains!

How many of us have experienced amazing success?

In life we all experience different wins and gains which come wrapped up quite uniquely.

A big win for me came about only a few months ago when I finally got accepted for employment. While it is only a three month contract at this stage I have learnt so much from the job itself. In my job I get to talk to people who are at their worst and often feel very distressed. I talk with people who were like me only a few months ago and are searching for employment. These people are struggling financially and some are facing all sorts of personal challenges. As I sit at my desk each day I witness individuals pouring out their hurts and fears. These people tell me how hard their life is. I hear of tragedies’ and personal deep challenges some are fighting! I hear about their rejections in life and the hopelessness they feel as they keep searching for someone to give them a job. Many of the people I see are highly qualified in their field. I get to sit with the average mum who is looking for a job to the once very successful career high flyer.

Each person that sits at my desk I take notice of.  Each life is valuable. I don’t discount my position in that moment. While my job is not one of bright lights and glamour it is one of the most important roles I have ever had the privilege of working in. Each day as I walk out of the doors to head home I smile as I think about the ways in which I’ve sprinkled a little hope purely by listening, encouraging and supporting.

When was the last time you sat with someone and truly listened to what their heart was saying?

Listening, caring, encouraging, understanding, supporting and empathy are powerful tools we all have in our tool belt. These tools or qualities are not loud or noticeable to the world.  They are all too often forgotten and discounted. Yet when you consider the power these tools have to help someone why are they less utilised?

Think about it for a minute!

What are your fondest memories?

For myself I can remember several occasions throughout my childhood and teenage years in which there were significant people that took the time out to ask me how I was. At the time it meant the world to me. I have never forgotten those people or those memories.

In today’s climate it’s often easy to get shocked when someone genuinely cares about how you are doing?

These ‘little things’ are not little at all.

There are days when I sit at my desk and get frustrated that I can’t do more for people yet the little things that I can do are welcomed more than I could have imagined. In fact I’m regularly taken by surprise after the person I have just spent a little time with genuinely thanks me for believing in them. It is as though they are empty and haven’t heard anything positive for a long time.

A sprinkle of encouragement goes a long way.

Encouragement has the power to make a person’s life brighter and their smile bigger.

People are people despite their status in society. Some I sit with work packing shelves while others are highly educated and have held positions one can only dream about. No matter the status they all appreciate being heard, encouraged, believed in and supported. What is more amazing is that no one has questioned my credentials or experience. It is an industry I have never worked in before and while no credentials are needed to perform my role in this job I take the position seriously and regard each person I have appointments with as someone I have the opportunity to speak hope too!

Most times it is those quiet little things that are more powerful long term then anything that shines bright or sounds loud.

Jobs, relationships, finances, possessions, qualifications, status, friends, health can all change in a moment without warning.

While encouragement, support and genuine care and concern are always available if we choose to use them and are never forgotten by the people we give them too!

Let’s not focus on the shining lights and loud attention grabbing illusions but rather put our energy and efforts into the little things that make life bigger and better for each of us.