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.

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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!

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.

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.

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….

Inching >>>F>O>R>W>A>R>D>>>

In the past three months you could say that my life has been a learner driver’s obstacle course. A lot has happened! There have been unexpected pot holes, choices to consider whilst under pressure and decisions to make with hopeful precision. Both practically and emotionally there has not been a quiet moment. Having never been in this position before I feel very much like a learner driver behind a steering wheel for the first time!

An experienced driver would navigate an obstacle course a lot quicker with better control. Experience is not something I possess in this particular obstacle course I am travelling on. In other words this road is foreign to me. I guess this is what happens when you hit a new season in your life. It is all about the unknowns.

When life is making sense moving forward comes without effort. It’s as though everything is aligned. Your emotions are content, circumstances are as they should be and it is much easier to step into each day motivated and driven. You are familiar with the scenery which makes it easier to keep driving comfortably through life.

Life is like that though; you never know what you may need to walk through or in my case ‘moon boot’ through. None of this was planned. It has been a little like taking a step forward and then a step back. It may not look like much progress yet the reality is I am moving forward each and every day.

All of this moving forward has been with a sore foot and sore emotions.

When circumstances are not the ideal it is all too easy to get stuck in the problem. Believe me, I know!

It is also tempting  to get stuck on social media such as face book and get wrapped up in envy as you see how great everyone else’s lives are looking compared to yours. Don’t we all just want a life that is smooth sailing and happy? I know that is all I have ever wanted. Life has proven to me that it is not smooth sailing and happy all the time. Most of my recent blogs are all about my current storm.

Storms come and storms go!

In the storm it is hard to see too far ahead. In the same way as ships use the navigation system to keep heading in the right direction, I mostly have to use my head knowledge to get through this storm. It is about using common sense. It is about keeping to my values and convictions. The values I own help me keep focused in the midst of this storm. If I keep my eyes on what I believe to be true then I have assurance that I will get to the right destination. One that is safe and secure.

It has taken me many years to learn and understand that if something or someone goes against my values and beliefs then I need to consider what is going on. When you compromise your values you get into trouble and eventually you won’t be happy with where you are headed. Your life becomes conflicted. You know what is right on the inside yet for whatever reason or for a person you have chosen to let things slide for too long just to keep peace.

When you are content with your convictions and values they can become your navigation through the storm. For too long my values and convictions were almost turned off. One day I realised that I was not being true to myself. It resulted in a lot of confusion and questions.

As a young person I was all too easily swayed with keeping everyone happy at the expense of my own happiness. By that I mean I compromised what my heart was telling me and allowed others to hurt me. The truth is people will hurt you which is where forgiveness is necessary. However if the hurting continues it becomes damaging. That is when you need to remind yourself of your convictions and values. These convictions and values may require you to take a stand. It is only when you are living to your convictions that you will be truly content.

When we are physically or emotionally hurt it takes time to heal. It may seem that the progress is going too slow. Just like my foot it has taken four weeks with several more weeks to go. The fracture is not visible to me so naturally I can’t see the healing taking place. Some days my foot doesn’t ache and other days it does. As I continue doing what the doctor told me  I can rest assured knowing that eventually my foot will mend and I can kick the ‘moon boot’ off and enjoy wearing my own shoes.

In the same way my emotions are fractured, they are better some days and not well on others days. This doesn’t mean that progress has stopped. We can be healing on days when our heart is aching. While I do believe in miracles, I’m aware that usually progress takes time. Moving forward can be slow yet steady.

Whatever it is that you may be ‘inching’ forward in at the moment remember to stick to your values and convictions.

Don’t throw away common sense, keep your head on.

Holding hands with the future

Our lives are marked by significant events that eventually begin blending in with the ticking of time. Significant events tend to go from one extreme to another. There is the gift of new life and the death of a life lived. There is the excitement of the first kiss to the reality of becoming a responsible adult. A mum experiences the joy of nurturing her newborn baby only to grieve when it comes time for them to leave the nest while a dad painfully walks their daughter down the aisle handing them over to another man.  There is the Joy and celebration of the “big wedding day” to the unfortunate event of a broken wife and husband who must pick up pieces of themselves after their marriage falls apart. Naturally we all much prefer the “happily ever after” versions of significant events.

We often live for significant events!

The “buzzing excitement” of events glues us to our calendars as we do the big countdown. Those types of events couldn’t come around fast enough. They are distinguished with milestones in age, education or career promotion.  You will often see people counting down their much anticipated holiday of a lifetime on social media. All around the world a countdown begins before midnight on New Year’s Eve which signifies the beginning of a New Year finalising the previous one. Most people hold close to their heart dreams and hopes that the New Year will be much better than the last.

On the other end of the spectrum we may find ourselves counting down the days that have marked a very painful significant moment in time.

We may be thinking to ourselves “this time last Thursday” such and such happened, desperately trying to grasp at accepting the reality of how life has changed. It continues into the next week in which we vocalise the fact that now two weeks has passed. The pain keeps us focused on the ticking of the clock from one hour to the next day and the next week!

The realisation that the painful event is heading to the three month mark leaves us surprised. How could it possibly be that long ago already? You may feel a mixture of sweet and sour. On one hand you are grateful that the event is nearly three months behind you. Then on the other hand you may feel afraid. The fear sends you revisiting the past in an attempt to stay with the painful event so that you have something to hold onto as to completely let it go is unthinkable and frightening.

To completely let it go means to move on.

The more time that passes the more the days begin blending into each other. You stop counting the days, weeks and months. That painful day settles in your memory as something that happened in 2016.

Personally I have yet to experience the death of a loved one and I have heard it said that as time passes the person left behind is scared to be happy again. They don’t want to forget their special person but rather do anything to keep the memories alive. To allow oneself to live again means letting go of that special person and moving on with life.

I’ve experienced moments as a mum in which memories of my children being small had me wishing I could go back to those days. The trouble is that the ticking clock kept going. Before I knew it one birthday blended into the next and suddenly four out of my five children are grown up adults. They no longer need their mum in the same way as when they were younger. It takes time to move on from being a fulltime mum and that in itself is a grieving process.

Unlike remote controls that are capable of rewinding, pausing and fast forwarding, as humans we can’t turn back time. Time doesn’t stand still nor can we escape the current moment and just bypass into the future. As each ticking of the clock passes we live through each minute and hour.

Remote controls give you a menu button so that you can choose which movie or t.v. show to watch. Life doesn’t provide us with menus to choose. While we have some control over our decisions we have no control over other peoples. We have no control over life’s tragedies.

While we have no menu to work from there are definite certainties about life. Everyone on planet earth will at some point experience the joy of a happy significant moment in time which is forever etched in the depths of one’s memory and heart.

Unfortunately each of us will at some point experience painful and tragic events.

However,

each person is provided with a brand new day. When one day is finished the next day arrives. Each new day can be a fresh start! As one day blends into the next the painful moments disappear into the past. We may forever remember them yet the pain attached slowly disappears. The sadness fades. The grief fades.  Each new day arrives fresh and new, we have the opportunity of having a better day, month or year. Smiles return to our faces as strong as the sun shines in the morning.

Life hurts there’s no doubt about that!

A new day always arrives there’s no doubt about that!

We each get a fresh start and an opportunity to smile again.

 

In the thick of pain it is very hard to let go yet eventually as each new day comes and goes with the ticking of the clock you will be able to hold hands with the future and let go of the past.