It’s tough but…

never give up

When I saw this, I just HAD to share it. I hope you’re singing along with me 😛

If you’re a regular reader, then you know that this is something I truly believe in – no, not the hokey pokey 😛 I truly believe that we should NEVER give up. No matter what.
But as I have said before, my advantage seems to be that I am a ‘prisoner of hope’. There’s just something in me that refuses to lose hope altogether. And I am, always have been, and always will be, extremely grateful for that! I have been through some terrible times and terrible things, and if it wasn’t for this part of me, I wouldn’t be here to share things with you today.

Interestingly enough, although we should exercise it every day, today has been chosen as ‘Never Give Up Day’.

The honest truth about this is that it’s easier said than done, I know. Because sometimes the circumstances are not within our control, and sometimes we are just too overwhelmed.
But I ask you to try anyway. To just NOT give up.

A friend of mine is really battling depression at the moment. We were talking and she was explaining to me how bad it is for her right now. She commented that she nearly didn’t bother to answer my call – that it took a lot for her to ‘summon up the will to speak to me’. And my words to her were : ‘But you did. And that’s part of the battle won. And I am proud of you for fighting that feeling, for not giving in, and for taking my call.’
There was a slight change in her mood when she realised that she did have a small win under her belt. She hadn’t seen it until it had been pointed out… because sometimes it’s so dark where we are that we struggle to see.
(Which is why it is so important for us to recognise and encourage others with the things WE see in them – even if it’s just something small.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, sometimes we need to just take time – put everything on hold and be still, and rest, and allow ourselves to replenish body, mind and soul. It can help us to gain a new perspective, and find a better way forward, making a wise choice that we possibly hadn’t seen before.

It’s also important to remember that, in the words of Zig Ziglar, ‘motivation doesn’t last… neither does bathing…. that’s why we recommend it daily’.
In order to stay motivated, we need to work on it daily. And we all have different ways and things that motivate us. What is yours? Now carve out at least ten minutes a day, and get to it! 😉

It has been said that one of the main reasons that people ‘give up’ is because they haven’t been honest… with themselves! They’ve never questioned the belief systems they have and why they have them, and so they haven’t been able to identify the ones that are actually limiting them. There are also other people’s expectations that drive us to not be honest with ourselves : is that how I really feel? is this what I really want? is this who I really am?
For many years, I struggled with my own limiting (and negatively incorrect) belief systems, and looking back now, I don’t really think I had ‘my own identity’. I completely exhausted myself just trying to do, feel and be what was expected of me – to live up to someone else’s expectations.
It’s been a long road with many uncomfortable curves and bumps along the way, and it’s been a lot of hard work. I STILL have to do the work, daily. There is no ‘quick fix’ on this journey. It takes time…. it’s still taking time…
And yet the small rewards and celebrations along the way make it bearable. And I just know that the bigger picture will be a stunning masterpiece!
And I think it is partly THAT that keeps me going!
Even if you start small, be honest WITH YOU today. 

And remember Albert Einstein… a pure genius!
His father said he was a failure. He only started talking at age 4. At 16, he failed his entrance exams to a school in Zurich.
I truly believe that Albert Einstein’s secret recipe for success was that HE NEVER GAVE UP!

May you, dear readers and friends, make the choice today to do the same and NEVER GIVE UP! 

 

Simple isn’t always simple

At least once a week I either cut my finger, or burn myself while cooking – I never burn badly, but definitely enough to get a blister. I’ve decided it goes with my ‘unprofessional chef’ territory, so there is a box of Band Aids that lives in the kitchen and there’s always ice in the freezer. On Sunday I had myself questioning why I even cook! 😛

I burnt my right index finger and cut a slice into my left thumb. I dished up dinner with a Band Aid on one finger, and ice held against the other.

On Monday morning, the Band Aid came off in the shower, as they sometimes do. I chose not to replace it because it seemed okay. I didn’t inspect it closely enough though and it wasn’t actually ‘healed over’. I caught it on something at around lunchtime, and it opened up again to being as bad as it was, and bled profusely. I grabbed another Band Aid, and I’ve been wearing one ever since – which is ridiculous because this morning I could see it had closed over…. I’m just not taking any chances. 😛

If I had given it enough time to heal though, it wouldn’t have been a problem.

The thing is, the healing process is dependent on other things – how deep the cut actually is, and how well your body does with healing itself. So I don’t always know how much time to give it.

And I think we’re kind of the same way emotionally. Our healing is sometimes dependent on how deep the hurt has gone and what the circumstances that followed were; and how well we do with dealing with things.

I know a girl who had an eerily similar childhood to mine – eerily so because she even made some of the same mistakes/choices that I did in my teens, and for the very same reasons I had. Her circumstances changed when she was 18 though –  she met the most amazing man who was the complete opposite to the limiting beliefs she had had imposed on her. And she embraced him. He encouraged her, inspired her, and loved her unconditionally. And it had a very positive result. The greatest achievement was inside her – she was confident, and loved herself, and no longer let the lies from her past define any part of her.
By the time she reached 40, she was the boss of her own company and was raising three beautiful children, still happily married, still confident and loving herself. She’s gained weight, and her face has aged quite a lot – and she honestly isn’t even worried.

Things weren’t the same way for me. I met, and stuck with, what I knew. And years of abuse followed. It’s no surprise that that led to even lower self esteem and I lacked self love to a terrifyingly staggering degree. (Which of course, in itself, paved the way for bad decisions and more mistakes.)

It’s only in the last few weeks that I can honestly say to you… Guess what? I love me! I AM worthy! I don’t just have the words to encourage others to believe it for themselves because I can believe it for me! I have the words FOR ME! 

About a year ago, someone who knows both the girl I mentioned above, and me, was overheard saying,
”Well, her childhood was pretty similar, but compared to Meg she’s a walking version of success. Guess Meg can’t be bothered to conquer her demons.”
I was devastated. It stopped me dead in my emotional tracks. I pretty much stopped trying. I let myself be defeated. 

So the point of me painting the picture above is this :

First of all – please don’t believe any comparisons. You can’t compare people because we’re all different – and we come out of different circumstances and come from different places. And try not to compare yourself either. Just because Peter or Mary got over it quickly doesn’t mean you’re supposed to. They are not you. They don’t feel like you do. They don’t experience things like you do. They can’t compare to you because they are not you!

Secondly, please stop putting pressure on yourself to achieve someone else’s timeline.
Yes, we need to have goals and dreams and aspirations. We have to have something to work towards. But again, we are all different. We work at different paces. Just because you stuck with the plan that someone else laid out, and they succeeded and you didn’t, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Maybe you just need a little more time than what they did?
It works the same with our emotions. Some of us ‘get over’ things more quickly – and there are those of us who have to deal with the root before we can successfully pull the weed… and that takes time. ‘Simple’ problems are not always simple.
Please try and love yourself enough to give yourself grace – you’re not a failure, you just need some more time.

And remember that it takes time to recover and rebuild… so if it doesn’t happen in a specific time frame that you have in mind or have as an example from someone else, please don’t give up. Keep at it!

Slow progress is still progress.

And you’re still way ahead of people who aren’t even trying 😉

You’re worthless

I had another post planned for today. I’ll still work on it, but…
this particular blog post is something very close to my heart.
I am constantly reminded of a book title that was on a shelf in my house growing up. It was the book by Barbara Johnson, and the title was, ”I’m so glad you told me what I didn’t wanna hear”.

Having been caught up in cycles of abuse in more ways than one, the post I am sharing today is such an encouragement, and reminder of the hope that we ALL have in breaking that cycle,
It IS possible.
It’s not easy though, and from personal experience I know that the negative beliefs have a way of creeping back in – but you have to start somewhere, and although the journey may be somewhat painful and discouraging at times, the small victories that you are able to celebrate make every step worth it!
It’s never too late to try! Take courage, my friends, and remember that you ARE loved!

Letters To Pogue

Dear Pogue,

I’m guessing that, like me, you follow some of the blogs on Word Press? I tend to dip into some to get the flavour. I’m convinced that if we had the time and the energy we’d probably find that anything and everything that we can imagine will find a voice with someone writing furiously to create content. How diverse people are.

One thing I’ve noticed, and once you’ve seen something you’re going to keep seeing it, is that there are a lot of hurting people out there. I’m guessing that writing is a form of therapy. We recently exchanged letters on the healing power of confession and I’m thinking that this is what I’m seeing. Amongst the hurting there appears to be a significant number who are suffering from trauma that occurred in their past life. Things done to them by others. Occasionally I read between the lines…

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inside the box

As I have been making my way through the book a second time, noting down things that are important for my journey, I was reminded of something that I would like to share.

I thought of the ‘me’ I was twenty years ago, and how she would have reacted had she read this book back then. That ‘me’ was inclined to still be quite naive, and opinionated in a sense that what I believed was the only way and if you didn’t agree, you were wrong.
Oh my! How I missed out on so many valuable things along the way!

It had a lot to do with the belief systems that were taught to me from a young age – passed down to me. (I wrote a post about belief systems here last year – pardon the language.) The thing is that I was never encouraged to form and build on my own belief system. There was no freedom to think out of the box – it was a scenario relatively close to ‘’it’s my way, or the highway’’. And if I didn’t live inside that box, then I was a failure, and unworthy. And I BELIEVED I was!

But you see….

That particular belief system probably originated from the generation prior. Because we build and live according to what we know. And some of us are not fortunate enough to ever ‘broaden our horizons’. I’ve had a lot of life experience in a lot of areas – sometimes I feel like I’ve already done life three times over. 😛

There are studies that have shown that as a child, the more we get exposed to, the more our immune system builds. It gets strengthened by the yucky stuff. I often joke that part of the reason my immune system is so strong can be accredited to gravel (a selection of small stones all together).  When I was 5, our school had gravel beneath the swings. In hindsight, it wasn’t such a wonderful thing because if you jumped off the swing and lost your balance, it hurt! I would sit in that swing and gently rock myself back and forth, sucking stones that I had picked out from the gravel. Ewwww! I know! I also played in the dirt a lot, even in my white dress with red polka dots, much to my mother’s horror. (I ruined that dress on my 6th birthday at my party when I fell out of a tree 😛 )
But I also wasn’t very sick as a child, so perhaps that’s why?

Here’s how I think this relates to my own belief system (which is continuously growing, just by the way) :

I was brought up inside the box. To the extreme. And from a little girl, I fought with that lid.
I have had more than my fair share of bad experiences – some where I carry the responsibility, and some that were circumstantial and out of my control. I have also had some good experiences, and although they have left me with positive emotions and a lot to laugh about, none of them have ‘changed’ me.
The bad experiences have allowed me to grow, and become stronger. The lid has flown right off that box, and I am no longer bound by the way I was taught that things ‘should be’.

I don’t fully agree with everything written in the book I am now ‘studying’. Does that make the author a bad person, a failure in some areas, not worth listening to? NO! Because there is a LOT that I do agree with, and needed to hear. And the things I don’t agree with? I have ‘listened to’ anyway, because it has given me another view of something in me that was ‘concrete’ (no, I didn’t swallow any of the gravel 😛 ). And quite honestly, I need to think about what she has said.

It comes down to a firm belief that everyone is different, and that just because I believe or think the way I do, you don’t have to! And it doesn’t mean that you are worth less as a person, or that you cannot impact my life, or that we can’t be friends.

My perspectives and my beliefs and values? They’re mine. I can share them with you, I can hope that my experiences will help you or just impact you positively. But I can’t fight with you and be angry with you just because you aren’t in complete agreement with me.
Besides, you may have much to teach me if we don’t think alike, and I might miss out of the beauties of friendship and life in general if I build myself back into a box.
(I do have to add this though: I can’t put myself in harm’s way, and so sadly there are some interactions that I am forced to avoid. But these are definitely few and far between.)

We need to embrace what makes us different – celebrate your quirks, and even the things that you can’t do. And then pause for a moment and accept that someone else is probably in the same boat as you : different… trying to embrace themselves.

I’ll end with this : Someone told me the other day (in agreement with me saying that I am a very open person who doesn’t leave much to the imagination) that ‘mystery is not my superpower’.
I loved that! And had a good laugh! Of course I’d like to NOT always be so open, because I love a good mystery and so do many other people out there, but it’s the way I am and it makes me ‘me’. And I have learned to embrace it and celebrate it.

Besides, I have other superpowers 😉 *stands and swoops her cape dramatically and clicks ‘publish’*