You are Enough!

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

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

~ anumariblog.com

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Warning: Life is not ‘Set in Stone’.

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

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

20 Years is a long time!

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

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

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

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

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

Growth equals change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We become smarter and wiser!

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing my Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day …

Today on this special day I thought I would make it official to the whole wide world that I have been blessed with the most gorgeous man inside and out. He is continually surprising me on every level.

A true man with the most genuine and caring heart.

I never thought it could be possible to find someone who suits me perfectly.

Never Give Up!!!

Never settle for less than you deserve. Be patient and hold onto your true value and the right person will come into your life at the right time.

Sending my love out to the world on this Valentines Day!!!

 

Happy Weekend :)

Dear Blog Readers and Writers,

Another weekend is upon us,

a time to sit back and reflect on this past week.

Where ever you are in this big beautiful world,

I just want to say “Thank you” for taking the time to read the blogs I write.

Life is a journey we all take with its twists and turns.

Writing about ‘real life’ not only gives me an avenue to express my ‘real feelings, challenges, thoughts & breakthroughs’,

it allows me to reach out to the person on the other side of the world to let them know

life will get better !!! 🙂

Anu Mari 

What do you do when your stuck in bed? you write :)

SO this past four days I have been fighting hard against a virus. I was determined to beat it and got myself to work. However, this morning the virus WON! I have now surrendered, left work early and dropped into my comfy bed. I have entertained myself with Netflix long enough today and decided that since I have been incredibly busy this past year with work and my blogging has taken a bit of a backseat that I would WRITE A BLOG!
I started blogging about two years ago during a christmas break. I had time to think and put down my thoughts. The blogs began with inspirational stories of how I struggled with low self esteem as a teenager. I poured out my heart hoping that by being real others would stumble across my story igniting them with hope that they too could be free from feeling ugly and unwanted. I wrote about how the feeling of being ugly and unwanted was how I felt about myself not necessarily what others thought of me.
As I continued writing blogs each month I touched on various topics which resinated with my own personal struggles. Little did I know that in July 2016 my blogs would take on a whole new journey as I was on a whole new journey.
LIFE CHANGED BIG TIME!
For 27 years I was fighting hard to have a healthy marriage/relationship with my now ex-husband. Most people get married believing it will be forever…. By nature, I can be quite stubborn and determined. I was determined to make the marriage work. In no way do I declare myself to be a perfect person I have my flaws like everyone else. What I didn’t understand all those 27 years was that while I was fighting to have a great marriage I was fighting a losing battle. It didn’t matter what I did the core of our relationship was unhealthy.
We were both two broken young adults who got together, had five amazing children and lived in a toxic relationship for most of the time. I say most of the time as there were days which seemed happy and hopeful. Those happy and hopeful days quickly turned into dark and lonely days. It wasn’t enough that I wanted a great healthy marriage I had no control over how my ex husband was going to respond. Unfortunately, his responses were for the most part unhealthy causing a lot of grief and hurt (which you can read more about in previous blogs).
SO I gave in and stopped fighting for a healthy marriage. It was time to fight for myself. No person is strong enough to cope with unhealthy toxic relationships forever. There will come a day that if the relationship continues being destructive you must make a choice. There are only two choices. STAY OR LEAVE.
I FINALLY LEFT…
That decision had me starting life all over again with ZERO.
While dealing with grief and loss I picked myself back up and was accepted into employment. Employment = Finances. While the finances are not a lot they are enough to pay the bills, and keep a little aside for emergencies.
Since I hadn’t worked for quite some years due to being a house mum it was another battle to get through all the self-doubts that come your way when you start a new job. I stuck in there and continued going to work on days  I didn’t feel capable.

Nearly a year on I got a promotion!

All the hard work and growing that took place put me in a position in which I was ready to accept a more challenging role (while inwardly freaking out of course). This year I will be growing into that new role and no doubt there will be some more fights taking place against SELF DOUBT.
This year will be another NEW YEAR of growth and opportunities that I look forward too.
WHO KNOWS?
Perhaps I will be writing a blog about a special man that walked into my life and planted a smile on my face 😊😊😊😊
Only time will tell, life is about taking each day, embracing the day and not giving up!!!
Our fights are temporary.

This virus I am fighting has temporarily put me out of action but not enough that I can’t BLOG 😊.

Happy Wednesday !!!

 

Be easy on yourself #relax

Hello readers!
Some 15 months on into this new journey of mine I thought I would take some time out to write a short blog. While my life is on the up and up the new responsibilities I have keep me extra busy with work, study and life! There hasn’t been much time to write down my thoughts or experiences of late.
I’m not sure about you but I’ve often thought that perhaps by now my life would be all settled and sorted yet the truth is it isn’t. Yes, personally I am in a better place yet there are days in which I still find myself searching for answers. The search can take place in my mind. As I sit and go through the past 15 months with all the various experiences I question each stage and moment thinking about, what just happened? Is this real? Do I know where I am headed? Will my life fall into place that eventually I settle into this new space as comfortably as you do when you drop onto the lounge after a hard day at work and just relax?
My emotions go on the search at times seeking out comfort.
If you can imagine what sand looks like beneath the waves as it hits the shores my life resemblances that scene. Movement is happening regularly. Things are shifting and changing, still looking to settle into its rightful place. I’m no longer in the deep ocean feeling as though I am drowning it’s just a new location. It is a safer place but a changing space.
Work has been a constant change which has required a lot of growth on my part. From more hours to changes within the structure of how the company is doing things. I’m sort of surfing work now riding the waves and often dropping off the surf board trying to get back on.
You could say that I have also surfed a little in terms of new friendships figuring out which wave to catch and which one to continue surfing on.
AT the current moment it is all a ride which is constantly changing.
There have been times when I have given myself talks like a coach to a football team and told myself to sort it out already. That surely after 15 months I would be more knowledgeable of what is going on. That surely by now I would feel completely and truly settled into my new space.
The daily routine of life is settled and organised it is all the other stuff one deals with that is still shifting and changing.
Questions such as these can keep me occupied; so now that I am single what do I really want with my life? Will I settle into a new relationship with someone one day? How will I be able to do that with all the various concerns that can keep me at a distance?
After coming through a long-term marriage break up the last thing you want to do is be in a situation in which you are going to get hurt again.
You know why?
Hurt, hurts!!!!
As kids we are told to stay away from touching the stove yet at some point we touch that hot stove and never do it again. After a long term relationship it feels a little bit the same you don’t want to really do it again.
When these questions overtake my mind, I must keep reminding myself that there is no need to rush into anything with anybody. I am still healing, and things are all over the place in terms of emotions and just a general sense of trust in another human being. Trust is being developed on a gradual process within new friendships.
There are times in which I can’t even fathom how a person can commit to someone after they have been so broken and hurt from a previous relationship. Perhaps it takes years to break free of that fear?
OR perhaps it depends on who that new person is? Are they someone who understands your fears and mistrust and are willing to work with you at rebuilding it all over again. Do they care for you enough to have the patience to deal with all the insecurities you have so that a healthy relationship can develop over time?
I do believe it is all possible it is just a matter of time and healing … We can be our own worst critic expecting more results than can be possible within our time frames. When I get too hard on myself I consciously stop and say out loud that everything is going to be alright. That things will fall into place in all areas. That one day I will have a healthy meaningful relationship with someone special who will treat me the way I have always wanted to be treated. A man I can adore and respect with all my heart and a man who loves me in such a way that all my broken pieces suddenly fit together.
When life has knocked you around and you are still finding your feet don’t be too hard on yourself it will take time and patience for all of the pieces in your life to fall into their rightful place.

🙂

 

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.

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!!!!