What does it mean to love yourself? ♡

Is it wrong to love yourself?

What does it even mean?

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

Is it sinful or selfish?

Perhaps its how you define the word “LOVE”.

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

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

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

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

27 years worth of heartache and pain.

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

Mistreatment followed.

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

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

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

NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK.

UNTIL. …

I REALISED. …

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

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

I didn’t deserve to be abused and mistreated!

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

Is that love?

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

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

The damage digs deep.

It closes your heart.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Self-doubt …… I don’t like you ……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This can be exhausting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are Enough!

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

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

~ anumariblog.com

Ladies take your time….don’t hurry….

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

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

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

When we experience unavoidable failure the lessons are priceless.

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

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

Take your time young person….

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEVER SETTLE….

NEVER RUSH…

TAKE YOUR TIME….

 

 

 

 

Warning: Life is not ‘Set in Stone’.

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

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

20 Years is a long time!

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

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

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

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

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

Growth equals change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We become smarter and wiser!

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

At what point do you let go?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its as though you become a martyr.

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

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

Denial empowers you to cope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t keep fighting a lonely battle!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each Page opens a new Chapter.

I love writing blogs however reading a book is another story.

My commitment level to reading a book to the end is a personal struggle unless it has to do with my studies. The general routine has me pick up a book with every intent to read it. It begins with enthusiasm as I get through the first few chapters only to find that I lose momentum.  Occasionally a  book can capture my attention that I cant put it down and manage to complete it, OF which I can proudly say that I have read a book from start to finish.

There are endless books to read!

Every book has in common its structure yet the content varies depending on the author and the type of story.

Life can reflect the structure of a book. Our lives have various chapters in different seasons. Within each chapter of our life we experience a variety of life changing moments. Our lives are forever changing. No season remains the same.

The difference between life and books is we cant jump ahead to the ending. We must continue with our story with all the unknowns ahead.

There were times I felt as though I was stuck in the worst chapter of my life. Hurt filled my world repeating itself in cycles. It was UP or it was DOWN.

I recall moments of feeling extremely overwhelmed in hurt and confusion that all I was capable of doing was to huddle myself into a corner or under blankets in a bed crying. I couldn’t imagine a way out. It felt as though it was going to be forever!!!

Battling through a 27 year marriage which consisted of emotional, spiritual and mental abuse/trauma had me living in a dark fog.

I refer to the broken marriage often in my blogs as I am passionate about telling my story hoping that it may help someone one day. It took me years to figure it out. People in my world could see things were not right yet I continued to sweep it under the carpet. It was all too much for me to deal with let alone to confront head on.

To come out of an unhealthy relationship can take years when it involves abuse of any kind. There are stages you go through before you are able to be in a place of strength in order to leave. Self doubt, fear, anxiety, self blame, confusion, insecurity hold you prisoner to the person who is hurting you. They have you believing your the broken one! You spend so much time trying to fix yourself hoping that it will fix the relationship only to be disappointed over and over as you realise no amount of self help changes the situation.

Sorting myself out had its benefits. While I was constantly working on myself it gave me the strength and the understanding of my own value and worth. I grew up! I began standing up for myself!

No one has the right to treat you badly. There are no excuses. When someone is regularly hurting you, you have a god given right to say NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!

In this WAKE UP moment you are faced with a dilemma. You are now at a cross roads. You have voiced your boundaries and said to the one hurting you that you will no longer accept this treatment. When you get to this place things can go from ugly to worse. In my experience things got worse after that point. The stronger I became the worse it got. Once you are aware and have woken up to the fact that the relationship is toxic there is no turning back. You must keep moving forward no matter the cost.

You will pay the price regardless of your decisions. If you stay and continue being abused it will cost you personally in the areas of your emotions, health and overall well being. If you leave it may mean that you will have to start with nothing as I did. There will be times in which you have to confront all of your own self doubts, fears and anxieties.

There will be moments that you will second guess yourself. All your confidence as been eroded over time so now you have to start building your confidence step by step. You will need to start making your own decisions. You will question whether the decisions are the right ones.

As time passes and you begin to see that you are capable of making good decisions your confidence will grow. All the fears, doubts and anxieties which ruled your everyday previously will lose their hold on you. A person who controls your life has you wrapped up in a world that seems impossible to escape from. They have a way of convincing you that you cant do life without them. They are your only source of success. Everyone else is an imposter not to be trusted.

The story of my life began with low self esteem  leading me into a very unhealthy marriage. As each chapter has unfolded I have seen the growth in myself and experienced true freedom.

It may have taken me decades to get this far and experience a new life however I look forward to all the chapters waiting to unfold. Each new day has bought about a new breath of fresh air. Having a new set of beliefs about my own value and worth I am able make an informed decision and choose only that which is healthy. I have learnt to let go of any situation which puts me in a position similar to my previous life.

 

 

 

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!!!

 

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.