fear journey

Here’s a ‘raw truth secret about me’…

And I am sharing it because I know I am not alone.

There is something big I have been wanting to do. And it is so heavy in my spirit – that desire to do it – that it is almost a physical weight too.
And I know it would be something great! Even the opinions of the few I have shared it with have confirmed this!

Yet… I still have not done it. There are days where I spend hours working on it. But cannot bring myself to the ‘big reveal’.

Why? I suppose that it’s ME that is holding ME back! Well…. it is, but it also isn’t.

I have finally reached the place in my life where I KNOW my truth! And I speak it – to my friends, to myself, to my dogs 😛 😉
I am able to see the error and lie that has been spoken over me and to me far too often in my life, and I am able to contradict it.

The negative emotions – self doubt, lack of self worth, low self esteem – I still have those, but they are fleeting and I am better at handling them when they rear their ugly heads. I believe that for me personally they still come because I always need to learn more, and grow more.

I look at how far I have come in the last few years… and in particular the amazing growth I have experienced this past year. And I’ll admit that when I truly reflect, I cry. (Yes, I am too soft!) But I cry because it’s been a hell of a journey…. and so many years (probably about twenty, if I am honest) of chipping away at a giant boulder, sometimes not even managing to acknowledge or see the very small shoots of growth because they have been just below the surface.
This past year? It’s like I started with a sapling, and all of a sudden there’s a sturdy trunk with branches… and there may even be some green 😉 (And no… I am not referring to lockdown, pandemic physical weight 😛 😛 )

But in all of this wonderful, and definitely worthy of celebration growth, something is still broken in my sub-conscious.

If I look at what I want to do… and address the thing within me that is preventing me from doing it? The questions that come to mind – the ones that make me ‘put down my pen’? They are all related to a sub-conscious fear – limiting beliefs and memories from the past – things I KNOW are not true… and yet they are STILL holding a part of me back!

Earlier, I said that I know I am not alone. Because somewhere out there, there are more than one of you who is in exactly the same place as I am at the moment – it’s just that the thing you are wanting to do may be a different thing to mine.

And I wish I had a clear answer of exactly what we should do, so that we can change the road we are on… conquer that fear… and ‘release ourselves to the world’. If I find that perfect answer, I will be sure to share it. But I have a feeling that ‘the answer’ will be unique to us as an individual – what will eventually work for me may not work for you.

So what is the point of this post? If I can’t help you, and you can’t help me, to get past the fear?

Well….

The point is to know that you are not alone. Neither am I. The point is to help you realise that we ALL have battles that we fight, no matter how great other things in our lives may be. The point is to encourage you – please don’t give up now! It’s hard work, and it’s frustrating…. but I truly believe it will be worth it! I have enough hope for all of us 😉

We will all eventually experience the moments in our lives where we will see a light at the end of the particular tunnel we are trying to ‘conquer’, and it won’t be another train coming 😛 😉

When you are tired, rest. When you are frustrated and angry, pick up that pillow and scream into it. When you feel sad and ‘seemingly hopeless’, have a good cry.
But do NOT give up. Your day is coming! Take courage, my friends! It’s not too late to build a better you!
(What a wonderful thought that even when we think we are at our best, there is always potential for us to be even better! That life can actually BE better!!! I just LOVE that! ❤ )

I promise not to give up on my journey of conquering this major fear. And of course, when I finally DO my thing, my big reveal will be here first 😉

So please don’t give up on your journey either! We’ve got this! ❤

Keeping on.. again and again..

This pandemic has sparked huge changes in the world – and they haven’t generally been very positive ones either.

There has been a lot of ‘stuff’ happening… things that have extended beyond the scope of even MY imagination. Bad things. Horrible things. Disheartening things. Things that stir up anger in the hearts of even the mildest of people.
Stuff has happened that is directly affecting me and my little household. Despondency is setting in for even the strongest people I know, who have never uttered a negative word in the past, despite their circumstances.

My heart is feeling heavy. There is only so much I can do. But I know this : I need to keep doing it. People who know me, and even here in the blogging world, know that I often make the statement, ”Just keep on keeping on”.

That little statement is something I live by, not just something I say. Yes, I may pause to cry, or feel angry. Yes, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows every minute of every day.

Because we HAVE to allow ourselves to FEEL… even the bad stuff. We just need not stay there… which reminds me of the little story that goes something like this :

Life is a journey, and sometimes you’re faced with a steep mountain and rocky terrain, which makes the journey difficult to continue with. Sometimes you will need to stop and rest, sit on a rock, cry or be angry. But then you need to stand up, and keep going… for the journey is not over yet. Stop for a moment and rest, but don’t pitch your tent and stay. There is so much more ahead.

Life in the pandemic is feeling like continuous rocky terrain and endless mountains. It’s brought more tears and anger in the time it has been around than what some have faced in their entire lives.
There are no guarantees… and I have no promise that things will get better.

But, dear hearts who are reading this…
Please keep on keeping on.

You are loved. You are needed. Your contribution to this world counts – even if it’s just sharing the warmth of your smile.
YOU make a difference!

Sand bags

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Photo credit : portfoliocollection.com

 

I read a short story this morning, which was being applied to a particular aspect of life. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised how applicable it is to so many other pieces that make up our lives. It has a lot to do with ‘unpacking’ – determining false limitations and letting them go; tackling and dealing with negative words spoken over us; revisiting and pretty much performing a ‘redo’ regarding the past and the negative emotions it may have developed within us; stopping long enough to find release from all of that – including finding a way to move forward (and sometimes letting go of others who are destructive for us) within ourselves.

The story I read spoke of a particular journey – but as I mentioned above, it can apply to many aspects.

It likened the road we ‘need to travel’ to a hot air balloon – or more particularly, taking a ride in one. This is not something I have ever even considered attempting, and I can hear you shouting, ‘Oh my goodness, Meg, come on! You can’t be serious?! Where is your sense of adventure?’
Well, apparently my sense of adventure is also aging 😛 There are some situations where I have discovered that I am developing a ‘fear of heights’. I can still manage an aeroplane really well though 😉 My guess is that it has something to do with ‘how secure I feel’. I did NOT do very well walking a narrow path down a very steep cliff, a couple of years ago. And so skydiving and hot air balloons are not on my bucket list, I’m sort of sorry to say 😉

But let’s get back to that hot air balloon ride….

If you know anything about them, you’ll know that before they get to take off and celebrate the sky, they are first weighted down with sand bags. The hot air is released into the balloon, and then one by one the sandbags are removed – thrown aside – in order for the balloon to ascend.

And so the story goes (and I think it was a story by Jean Keys, but I stand to be corrected) that each sand bag is representative of an obstacle we are facing. And as we start to identify, work through/deal with, and ultimately are able to throw that obstacle aside, we are one step closer to being able to soar in that particular area of our lives.

I loved that analogy, and so I thought I would share it. Here’s to ‘hot air balloon travel’ where we only need to soar in our hearts and minds 😉 (because I don’t think I could do it with my body 😛 )!

I’m hoping your week brings you opportunities to throw off some of those limitations 😉

More than this

We’re all on a journey – and sometimes it feels like the ‘road to nowhere’. But all roads lead somewhere.

It’s not about the destination itself though, it’s about the journey.

And sometimes the best memories, the most growth, and the most beautiful things can result from dirt roads.

When I go somewhere for the first time, and realise that I have made a wrong turn, I either do a U-turn and go back the way I came, or I seek an alternative route. But I DO stop. I pretty much apply the same to life. But on some of those roads, I seem to have got a flat tyre, and am stuck in one place a bit too long.
(Because although my dad was very responsible and arranged a visit to a mechanic for me when I got my first car, to teach me how to change the tyre, I’ve never done it since, and I don’t know now if I would be able to! 😛 )

There is a blog I visit regularly, which is extremely thought provoking and more often than not, there is something that inspires me. Some days it even serves as a ‘kick in the butt’ for me. (And that kick is not always enjoyable, but it’s what I need.)

There is one person in this world who truly knows everything about me – she could probably even tell you exactly how I will react to most things. I think the fact that we are in two different countries and only had communication to aid our growing friendship has made us that much closer. Especially since we are both really good at communicating 😉 And I guess the fact that we are both totally honest about what we perceive as failures and negatives is of even greater service to our ‘sistership’.
She is my ‘sister’, L. I mentioned her in a blog post here.

She knows my fears… and my fantasies. One day when we meet in person there will be huge, lasting hugs and many tears… and then she’ll probably give me an ass whooping!

Human nature is funny sometimes. Here’s this woman who I KNOW knows me better than anyone…. and yet when she tells me to do something, I hesitate.
Last year, she read a book. And she instantly let me know that the book was me! (Most of it was.) She told me I HAD to get it. I said I’d check it out… but I didn’t ever buy it.

I spend a lot of time on self-motivation and self-improvement and trying to grow in good ways. Accountability is key though – someone to not only check if you’re maintaining, but give you a push in the right direction and encourage you along the way. And there are days where I actually need someone to TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
It makes me a little bit sad that since I am usually the person mentioned above, I don’t actually have a physical person here who does that for me.
But I have L, and two other people overseas, who fulfill that role, I’ve discovered. (As strange as that sounds!)

Admittedly, the pressure on me is a little more, because there’s no one to see if I am actually listening!

Like, did I actually buy that book?

Then on Saturday I read this letter.

There are many areas in my life where I have managed to conquer the pain and fear of the past that would otherwise be holding me back, and no one is more thankful for that than me, because if I hadn’t I’d be a truly horrible person right now. But there are also still parts, and moments, where the lies (which elicited the pain and fear) somehow seem to shadow my heart and my brain – and hold me back, robbing me of confidence.

One of the things I have discovered about myself along the journey of the past few years is that I am a walking contradiction at times, ha ha ha ha!

I read the letter above. Then I read it again, commented, and read it a third time.
And that afternoon I went to buy the book ‘L’ said I should.

I read it, and kicked my own butt the whole way through. I am now going to read it again. In fact, I need to read it as many times as it takes to absorb it in my heart. For the heart of the problem IS the problem of the heart, in this case.
It’s all stuff I already know – it’s in my head. My brain says it repeatedly, and imparts it on others, ultimately helping them to break free from their chains.
My heart really needs to know it though. Once and for all. I don’t know how it will, but I am going to give it my best shot.
It’s going to be a real struggle – the lies I have believed so long? They began when I was 10. And they came from my mother. Year after year they have been reinforced by her. And added to. It was no shock when I was 12 and she started telling me that ‘she never wanted me’. Somehow she has always kept me in her life – probably because I was the only one she could control…and I let her, for fear of not allowing it and the repercussions thereof.
It’s taken many years to reach the place I am at with her – where I can be dedicated to her well-being and do things for her, despite the way she feels about me – and the constant reminders of who she says I am.

There are many books out there to help me on the way… and to help you. I think the fact that I truly identify with this one though has made it all that more special to me. It’s directed mostly to women – but I could still see some men appreciating some of what is said.

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Girl, wash your face

So if you have ever been told that you are not good enough? This book is for you.
Been told that you’re not thin enough, that you’re unlovable, that you’re a bad mom, that you deserve to be treated badly, that you will always be a failure at whatever you do, that you’ll never amount to anything, that your life is meaningless because it doesn’t look like your siblings/cousins/friends?
This book is for you.

Feel free to recommend other books to me. I’ll check them out, and when I can, I will do my best to buy them and read them 😉

Off to start reading my new book again, because…

there must be more than this!

 

I Need A Man

So now that I have your attention *ahem* it’s not what you think 😛

  1. There is a plug that needs changing in my house
  2. I am not a useless woman

While I am great at dangling precariously from ladders to change light bulbs in my ridiculously high ceilings (it doesn’t help that I am quite short), and while I have managed to fix my drainpipe with some ‘super tape’ and loads of instructions from the guy at the hardware store; I have never learnt to change a plug.

Google is great, and I know I could learn. But I don’t want to.

You see, I don’t mind being a woman. Or actually even being considered ”useless”, to a point. While I agree that feminists have it right in some aspects, I’m not a great advocate for feminism as such. I actually like the fact that there are some things that men ‘are supposed to’ do.

Society is very different these days. As are the general opinions. And we’re all raised different ways. I was raised that the man is the head of the home, so long as he submits himself to God. (Yip, Christian upbringing – which came with its own trials and tribulations) I was raised in such a way that the man was the provider, and the protector. That it was his responsibility to carry the burdens of the household. And in a lot of ways, I view that as correct, and possibly incorrect. But…

My own experience may have warped that thinking all together.

When my son was eight and a half, and my daughter was just twenty months, I became a single mom in every sense of the word. I initiated it because there were no longer any other options available to me – unless I was ready to welcome death. Full on parenthood of both sexes was NOT on my agenda, however. Long story short, after failing at every other option he thought was available to him, he settled on, ”If you divorce me, I will never see the children again and you will suffer for it.” And no amount of counselling or help changed his mind. So at those young ages, that was the last time my children heard from and saw their father.

And suddenly everything was my responsibility. There were no weekends off, and co-parenting was non-existent. At that stage in my life, I was pretty clueless about a lot of things because I had always been a girly-girl. I had to learn about home maintenance in a hurry, and how to be a good mom, and dad. Discipline became that much more difficult, as did dealing with all the emotions of both genders of children. I was now the sole breadwinner, provider and protector in every sense of the word (I never got maintenance out of him – long story, big battle). He passed away last year and there was nothing for either of the children. In fact, I heard of his passing purely by accident. Such is life.

It took four years to get back in the dating game. It was a disaster. I don’t blame the men entirely – I had done divorce recovery courses, but I wasn’t healed…not that I knew that at the time. I made a lot of mistakes in those dating years, and I paid dearly with the last one, because I had never fully healed. 

I had to pay a huge price for it, but finally full healing began. That intense pain and traumatic experience was the catalyst for mind blowing change, and a form of rebirth. Proof that even the most negative experiences can have very positive outcomes!

Anyway… when my daughter was 10, I was asked on a date by an attractive man I had got to know through friends. And for the first time in a long time, I found myself actually considering it. My son was non-committal when it came to his opinion on this – he didn’t mind either way, apparently. My daughter was rather vocal.

“But you don’t need to date anyone, we’re perfect like we are. We don’t need anyone else.”

The full impact of her words never hit me till later, even though for years my children had been giving me Mothers AND Fathers Day cards filled with appreciation.
I actually wasn’t failing them the way I thought I was – I wasn’t a struggling single mom. They were happy and secure despite the fact that they only had me.

I rejoined the dating world anyway, and BOY, HAD IT CHANGED! I made it through first dates just fine, and always got a second one. But there was never a third. Completely my own fault. And yes, here it comes….
some brutal honesty regarding a taboo subject : S E X. 
There seems to be this trend that when you’re a mature adult, you’re considered a consenting adult, and none of the normal rules of dating apply. Thus the expectation of an exchange of bodily fluids by date number three. UGH! What?!?!?!

(While I have no issue with the exchange itself and have always found it rather enjoyable, I am very much a relationship kind of girl and stuff like that needs to wait. Sorry fellas!)

(side note : not all men are like this – I just haven’t found the ones I have come into physical contact with to be different.)

When discussing this with a close girl friend, who has been in a committed relationship for over four years now after going through her own divorce and jumping back on the bandwagon a little faster than me, she suggested to me that possibly I was meeting the wrong type of men. It was a subtle hint from her to focus only on good Christian men.

Now, let me very clear. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUT THERE! Do not, for one moment, in your never ending frustrations at not being able to find a mate, doubt that THERE ARE STILL GREAT MEN in this world!

Imagine how disheartened my friend was (as was I at the time) when I shared with her that one of those ‘no third date’ guys was the attractive man that I had spent ages getting to know and called a friend – excited for the possibilities – who happened to be a man who was studying to be a pastor. Sigh.

So I came up with a new motto at that time, about three years ago :

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And what a journey that was! The sudden acceptance of the fact that I was single taught me more things than any romantic relationship ever could. Acceptance brought about a change in my attitude. And it provided me with the time to explore my emotions, my mind, my heart. That exploration was not always pretty – there were some very ugly truths that I needed to accept about myself, and dealing with them – learning about them and changing them – was HARD! My childhood and past left me with this ‘lonely’ feeling much of the time – but I discovered that being alone didn’t mean I had to be lonely. 

And I discovered that in order to be able to give of myself to anyone, I needed to actually KNOW myself, and love me for what I knew.

(I still fall short with typical female rants of, ”I’m too fat”; “I’m not pretty enough” etc. But not to the degree where I dislike myself like I used to – it’s more of a laughable, ”I’m such a woman” thing 😛 )

AND THEN…

The other day I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, and came across a friend of mine who had played one of those OMG games. Apparently Santa is bringing her ‘the perfect man’ for Christmas. Her caption was, of course, ”Yes please”!

LIGHT BULB MOMENT! (must be the one I changed in the bathroom last week 😛 )

Now we all know that NO ONE is perfect. But I think when people speak of a perfect situation, or the perfect partner for them etc. it’s basically their own personal perception of perfect. And so I don’t criticise my friends when they tell me they have found ‘the perfect man’, because in their perception that may very well be exactly what they have found, for them.

And that got me thinking about MY ‘perfect’ man. And something popped (broken light bulb that needs fixing) in to my head :

My perception of perfection may be what I WANT, but it may not be what I NEED!

In getting to know myself I have learnt that there are a lot of things that I want for life, and from life, but they’re not always the things/tools/equipment that I actually NEED for life. I am continuously given moments where I learn that annoying fact. It’s annoying because I don’t like to be wrong. I like things to be clear and concise.

And this suddenly became an epiphany for me on romance.

I can have my list of all the things that I want in a man. I can seek him out, or check items off the list when he somehow finds me. But at the end of the day, those are things I want and because I am continuously growing and learning, they may not actually be things I need. (And here’s where my Christianity comes into play) God knows what I NEED and in His time, he’ll provide it. And He’ll provide me with discernment with regards to that – I just need to keep asking!

When I shared this with a friend yesterday, she was discouraged by my views. I thought I was being quite positive. I shared the above with her, and ended with, “So if it means I spend the rest of my life single, I’m actually really okay with that.” And I really am. I can’t explain it. I just am.

I am not closing myself off to the potential of a future romantic relationship. I am not in  state of lonely depression. I am not shutting myself off and withdrawing to an unlit room – I know how to change a lightbulb 😛

But I am also not going to chase after what I want, because even in my successes with regards to getting to know myself, what I want may not actually be what I need. So I’m leaving it up to Him.

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For now it might have to just be my dog – but if you knew my dog, you’d understand that he’s worth it 😛

It might always just be the air – but for the chance to wake up each morning to a new day, and have the love of my life only being the breath that I take – well, that’s pretty much worth it too 🙂

Goodness, this really was a post of ‘relationship randomness’. Here’s hoping someone got something out of it…even if only just a good giggle somewhere along the way 😉

What’s Really Important?

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We all have a heart condition – it’s just not always physical. And the condition of your emotional/spiritual/soul heart is very often based on what you put in. These things will form your thoughts and in the end they will shape you. When you allow the wrong things to room in your heart with free board and lodging, all they’ll do is continue to steal from you.

Confucius said : “When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.”

Examining our inner selves and continuously revisiting our personal core values, being receptive to learning lessons even when they hurt, taking responsibility and turning our pain into something powerful – all these things bring change… growth. All these things affect our hearts.

And my heart is my responsibility. The same way that yours is, well, yours.

We grow everyday. We make mistakes and learn lessons. We give each day our best, and the next day we give our best in an even better way – because in growing we learn new things, and the new things raise us to new heights of achievement. 

I love this part in The Lion King :

Simba: Going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been hiding from it for so long…
(Rafiki whacks Simba on the head with his stick)
Simba: OW! Geez, what was that for?!
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past! (chuckles)
Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
(Rafiki swings his stick, but Simba ducks)
Rafiki: Aha! You see? So what are you going to do?
Simba: Well first, I’m gonna take your stick. (grabs Rafiki’s stick)

 

When we are prepared to learn the lesson, we will grow, and our hearts will change.

In most cases, this takes time. It’s a process. And it can be painful.

We all have our own journey. Our own hearts. Our own painful lessons to learn.

Be kind to others, because you never know which part of their past is busy growing them.

And always try to remember that even if you knew a person before, they may just have changed in a good way (we all know that this is very likely because as we grow on our own journeys we see the positive changes within ourselves) –

don’t use their past to invalidate who they are now. 

Let’s yank our hands back and try to remember what is important!

Meandering Along in the Journey of Mediocrity

In an effort to find content for a speech I am preparing, I decided to look back at blog posts of the past. I vaguely recalled that somewhere in my collection, there were things that I had said that are applicable to the topic. And I stumbled on this.

Society has worsened since its first writing. And I suppose my life is still mediocre by all accounts. However, my journey to excellence is continuing. Where are you in yours?

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I’m not very good. But I’m not very bad either. If you compare me to many others, I will come across as average, bordering on inferior. According to most, I’m mediocre. I guess that’s the problem with comparisons – particularly when we’re comparing people. If you compare me with someone like Mother Teresa, for example, then every act of kindness I have ever done will suddenly seem so insignificant – and yet, in that moment of time, it was greatly significant to its benefactor, and it made me more than just mediocre.

Did you know that when we trace back the history of words, we can sometimes gain a whole new perspective on the particular word we are tracing?

In a society where everyone seems to be competing and comparing, and realising my inadequacy when I tend to do this to myself, I had a look at the word mediocre.

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Meandering Along in the Journey of Mediocrity

I’m not very good. But I’m not very bad either. If you compare me to many others, I will come across as average, bordering on inferior. According to most, I’m mediocre. I guess that’s the problem with comparisons – particularly when we’re comparing people. If you compare me with someone like Mother Teresa, for example, then every act of kindness I have ever done will suddenly seem so insignificant – and yet, in that moment of time, it was greatly significant to its benefactor, and it made me more than just mediocre.

Did you know that when we trace back the history of words, we can sometimes gain a whole new perspective on the particular word we are tracing?

In a society where everyone seems to be competing and comparing, and realising my inadequacy when I tend to do this to myself, I had a look at the word mediocre.

I found the word history at yourdictionary.com rather interesting : it stated a conclusion something like this :

“Something that is mediocre is only midway up a mountain or rises up to only half a mountain’s height, as it were—the thing goes just halfway to the highest point of excellence.”

I’ve seen, and met, people who seem to be at the highest point of excellence – but true to the old adage, things are not always as they seem. If we were to take their lives apart, bit by bit, we’d find little moments when they were not excellent, and where they still struggle to strive for excellence.

Could I have done more with MY life? Of course. Could I have behaved differently, acted differently, made different decisions and choices? Heck, yes! Do I dream of perhaps still doing more / being more? Absolutely!

But let’s take a look at that ‘word history’ again.

Highest point of excellence? Would this not mean we have achieved perfection? To those who compare and feel they are superior : nobody in this less than perfect world is perfect; therefore, although you may be superior to me in certain instances when comparing our lives, you’re not perfect. In fact, you’re kind of mediocre.

This is not necessarily a bad thing – it all depends on what you do with it. If you stay in the attitude of mediocrity, satisfied to always be just average, then you need to try and change that mindset. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, or listen when you’re being compared – or you may never be anything BUT mediocre. Strive for excellence to the best of your ability – but never forget where you came from, lest you become one who compares.

Let’s look at that ‘word history’ once more.

Midway up a mountain / rising up to only half the mountain’s height? But did you SEE what was in that first half of the mountain? Do you have any idea what I had to go through to get to this halfway mark?

I climbed over boulders of bad situations and circumstances; I swam through rivers of anger and pain; I battled creatures in dark forests who carried weapons of despair, depression and hate. Looking back on that first half of the mountain, there have also been those moments where I feasted on berries of love and laughter; was comforted by the foliage of friends; and able to follow the pathways of hope and courage.

I may only be midway up the mountain – and who knows what else is in store? I may be mediocre for now, still stuck at that halfway mark. But my life is not yet over, and I hope for more days to fill. So I will pack up the tent I have pitched, and kill the embers of the fire of mediocrity in my life. Here’s to stretching my legs, and continuing the climb.

I may always be mediocre to some – but to those who don’t compare, my life will always be a ‘journey to excellence’.