Friday Feeling

I woke up this morning full of feeling.

One of those mornings where, as I am scrolling through Facebook, I find myself nodding my head and muttering, ‘I can relate’….. to pretty much everything….. the good, and the bad (unfortunately).

An acquaintance posted the Serenity Prayer :

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

A few times every day, I find myself muttering, ”accept the things you cannot change”!
And, I kid you not, at least ten times a day, I whisper, ”Wisdom… please… wisdom!” (especially when it comes to having to use my words ๐Ÿ˜› )

As I was about to scroll past, I noticed that someone had posted a picture in the comments, as a response. It made me giggle, and so I decided to share it with all of you too, and hopefully help you smile as you go into the weekend!
(I won’t tell you which part is the most relatable for me ๐Ÿ˜› )

Hope you all have a super weekend โค

Ladders and Leaning

Many of us have heard of ‘Wednesday Wisdom’- it’s a popular hashtag.

And it always makes me smile, because one of the things that I find myself desiring the most is wisdom. Someone once commented to me in my early thirties, ”Well, my girl, wisdom comes with age”. I found myself denying the ‘laws of womanhood’, and becoming excited about getting older! ๐Ÿ˜›
Do I like my laugh lines (wrinkles ๐Ÿ˜› )? Not particularly, no.
Do I like that some days I get up and everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t seem to want to work properly? ๐Ÿ˜› Gosh, no!
Do I like that my childhood punishment of having to take a nap is something I now find myself thinking of and desperately desiring to do? NOPE!
But if all those things mean that I am growing a little wiser with each passing day? Well then, YES PLEASE!

I KNOW I can’t go wrong with seeking wisdom in all things. Living a life where every minute of every day is spent being sensible and focusing on wise thinking, and being experienced and knowledgeable enough to always practice good judgement? Well then every day would be utterly incredible in the most wonderful ways! And if we could all be like that, not only would we be the very definition of perfection, but this world would be too.
At the same time, I am also fully aware that being this way every minute of every day is probably unachievable.
But if I focus on at least TRYING to be, then surely I’ll get it right more often than not?
Well, that is what I hope anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

Positive encouragement and inspiration are, for me, wisdom nuggets to be added to my memory bank. There are little things along the way that I manage to store, and so when faced with a particular situation, I am able to recall them, and put them into practice in order to make a ‘wise choice’.
I am also a big believer in sharing positive encouragement and inspiration – nugget worthy reminders – because maybe something plants itself in your mind, and perhaps is able to ‘come to your rescue’ when you find yourself having to make a difficult choice, or help somebody else.

So here is a nugget I picked up on this morning. It will probably mean something different to you than what it means to me, because we’re all different, and our circumstances and choices that we are perhaps faced with are unique. But I thought I would share it anyway, because it left me with a lot to think about.
I saw the following quote :
โ€œPeople may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.โ€ – Thomas Merton

As we all know, the definition of success is a rather personal one, because it comes down to what you think it is. Hence the impact of this quote will have a different meaning to all of us.
But this quote stirred something within me, and so I spent a little time ‘investigating’ it.
And in my ‘investigation’ I found an article that I suppose could be classified as a ‘business point of view’ but there were things in there that spoke to me in a personal way too.
SO… in the spirit of Wednesday Wisdom and imparting nuggets for others to store ๐Ÿ˜‰ …..
I will end with a quote from the article – and if you click on it, it will take you to the full article if you wish to read it.
Here’s to being wise ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes, we get where we always wanted to go & then realize that what we needed was there at the bottom of the ladder the whole time – and we didn’t bring them along. That may be family, that may be friends, faith, health, whatever speaks to you.”

useless failure

I was reminded again, in the last couple of days, what a ‘useless failure’ I am. For far too many years, hearing this being spewed at me regularly, I not only believed it to be true, but I also found it extremely devastating every time it was said.

I know better now.

We all know about ‘unrealistic expectations’ that we not only set for ourselves, but sometimes hold others to. And we know how negative an impact they can have. Sometimes they are disguised as ‘my dream/wish/hope for you’… because sometimes those are just ‘pretty’ substitutes for ‘this is what I actually expect’.

Please don’t get me wrong : it is wonderful to have hopes and dreams for our children, our siblings, our friends. It can be quite empowering to share these with them – it can encourage and inspire things within them that they may have never even considered.

The danger comes in when we share that dream/hope/wish… and then turn it into an expectation in our minds.

I was supposed to get an Honours Degree.
I was supposed to marry a ‘professional’ (doctor, lawyer, accountant).
I was supposed to have two ‘perfect’ children.
I was supposed to be ‘successful’ by now. (Ah yes, but we may not measure success the same, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

All of the above started out as ‘hopes and wishes’ for me – for my future. But somewhere in the passing years, there has been a noticeable shift to : this was what was expected of you and you have failed dismally.

BUT I HAVEN’T! ๐Ÿ™‚


For far too many years I have allowed my worth to be based on my inability to achieve the things that I was always told were what would make me successful.
It had me carrying around a burden of unworthiness that was not mine to carry.
It had other implications too.

Thank goodness for personal growth, and the willingness to learn and grow ๐Ÿ˜‰

I may not have married well, I may not have obtained the ever important degree, and I definitely don’t have perfect children ๐Ÿ˜›

But it doesn’t make me less. And it doesn’t make YOU less if you’re in the same position. So here is my message to you all :

It doesn’t matter if you have not achieved all that others wanted for you. YOU STILL HAVE WORTH!
It also doesn’t matter if you have not achieved all that YOU wanted for you. YOU STILL HAVE WORTH!
There is still time. Circumstances may mean you need to ‘alter’ your dream… but you CAN still have a dream ๐Ÿ˜‰
Every day is a new day, to keep growing, and keep going…

Because you ARE worth it! โค

Testify to Love

When I was growing up, the series Touched By An Angel made it’s way to our screens. This was another one of those things I had to sneak watch, because it was apparently a mockery. But I am SO glad that I DID sneak watch it. There was something in each episode that just sort of spoke to me. But there was one episode that I clearly remembered every detail of, and I fell in love with the song that the episode was centered around. It’s been something that I have held true in my heart for many years.

And for the past few months, it has become the daily utterance of my heart. It’s always been the driving force for the many good things I have tried to do in the past. But now more than ever, I find myself singing it a few times a day and even more determined to let it be the reflection of my life.

I think it might be because in the past few months there has been more of an awareness in my heart and mind regarding how much in this world is the complete opposite of everything that love represents. And how desperately people NEED love, and all the GOOD IT represents!

If you want to listen to the song, you can hear it here. The lyrics are as follows :
All the colours of the rainbow
All the voices of the wind
Every dream that reaches out
Reaches out to find where love begins
Every word of every story
Every star in every sky
Every corner of creation
Lives to testify
For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I’ll be a witness in the silences
When words are not enough
With every breath I take
We’ll give thanks to God above
For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
From the mountains to the valleys
From the rivers to the sea
Every hand that reaches out
Every hand that reaches out to offer peace
Every simple act of mercy
Every step to kingdom come
All the hope in every heart
Will see what love has done
For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I’ll be a witness in the silences
When the words are not enough
With every breath I take
I will give thanks to God above
For as long as I shall live
I will testify love

If you want to watch the full episode, it is available here. BUT PLEASE BE WARNED it is an extremely emotional episode, and if you have lost a child, you may want to avoid it.

I’ll tell you this :
No matter what is going on with me, or what is happening in my life. Despite my circumstances.
I want to keep growing in my ability to love others.
I want to make a difference.

I want to be beautiful – beautifully kind, beautifully compassionate, beautifully affectionate, beautifully understanding etc. etc. etc.

And one day, when I am gone, I want people to smile fondly and talk about me and remember me….
NOT because I was famous,
NOT because I invented something amazing,
NOT because I was powerful,
NOT because I was wealthy….
BUT BECAUSE I SHOWED LOVE.
Because I was kind, and caring, and giving, and compassionate.

May I grow and gain wisdom and reflect these qualities more and more with each passing day. โค And may you never pass up the opportunity to be kind โค

(Thank you to those of you who have offered love and support as I am battling along. โค )

You need to quit

Not quite in keeping with the theme of my last few posts, right?
But please allow me to explain….

I still believe that we should not quit, or give up…. but am only adamant about this when it’s application is ‘for living’.ย 

As bad, or as good; as difficult or as easy; as sad or as happy – you have ONE life to live, and I encourage you to NEVER quit on it… or the people who care for you, love you, and who you (sometimes unknowingly) inspire and have a positive effect on.

But sometimes we need to ‘take stock’, and sometimes we need help from others, to help us discern which things IN our lives may need quitting.ย 

I was in a very abusive relationship – abusive inย every way.
By the end of the first year, I am told that the ‘light was gone’ from my eyes, and I know that although I was still in there, I was lost. Young, vulnerable, and lost.
And very much alone. Seemingly no way out. Everyone had turned their backs on me – most of my family had written me off and the general consensus was : ‘that’s who she chose, she made her bed, now she must lie in it’.
IT HURT!
But yes, I HAD chosen him – I just didn’t realise all that was involved when I made that choice.
And life sucked – I was miserable.
Someone showed me that I could make a new choice, and they offered me their help – and it opened the door for me to be able to leave. It took TEN YEARS!

BUT, if I hadn’t ‘quit that marriage’? I may not have had life now. And that’s the reality.
I HAD to give up, and quit, in order to live.

That example is a bit extreme, I know. But the important lesson from it is this :

Sometimes we need to shift our focus, and instead of growing our knowledge in the areas of ‘winning and having a happy and successful life’, we need to perhaps also concentrate on ways to grow in wisdom, and discernment.
To be honest with ourselves and ask the hard questions. To be honest enough to accept the difficult answers, and make the changes that we need to.

Sometimes we need others to help guide us. I am not saying that other people will always know what is best FOR YOU. But having another opinion, someone who has been there, perhaps someone a little wiser? That always helps us as far as perspective goes, and sometimes we need ‘a different opinion’ to get us on the right path – or perhaps their perspective will just confirm for us that the path we are on IS in fact the correct one.

I suppose you could say that another important skill in this life is this :

We need to know WHEN to quit, when to change direction, when to walk away from a toxic friendship or relationship (is it hurting you, are you hurting them, has it become unhealthy? etc), when to give up on something that isn’t working and move on.

When we ‘take stock’, it’s helpful to identify these things and quit/give up…

But just so we’re clear ๐Ÿ˜‰ :

NEVER GIVE UP… ON LIFE ITSELF!ย 

Guilt and Wisdom

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I have many ๐Ÿ˜› I do think that the advantage to the pandemic and lock down rules and regulations in various countries is that it has actually made us more appreciative of so many of the things that we have unintentionally been taking for granted.

Life-is-short-eat-the-cake-800x550

Photo credit : lifestylemaven.co.uk

It is ALWAYS a good idea for us to work on developing healthier eating habits and lifestyles. At the end of the day, we actually all have a reason to want to extend our lifespans, even if sometimes we feel blurry about it.

As with everything else in life, your food habitsย are choices that you make, and for the large part is something you can control. Financially, I can’t afford to eat the way I feel I should be…. but here’s the thing : it’s actually really that I can’t afford to eat the options I would prefer – I am not a big fan of vegetables, unless I can add in the extras to make them taste better ๐Ÿ˜› But I digress….

You probably all know by now, especially if you have read my gravatar profile, that one of my guilty pleasures is cheesecake. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have been very conscious of my eating habits in the past six months, and find that (much to my amazement) I am making the better choices more easily. (I even ate spinachย without cheese sauce yesterday ๐Ÿ˜› )
Shortly before lock down, my food diary caused me distress each and every time I strayed. I was so disappointed in myself for eating that small bag of chips, or eating that bar of chocolate.

The pandemic has changed my way of thinking when it comes to that. It reminded me that life IS short, and I need to eat the cake. Not excessively, of course. But that I need to be a little kinder to myself in that regard. I am not a huge food failure just because I ate a cupcake on my daughters birthday. I’ve realised that those small treats every now and then need not make me feel so darn guilty. Although the term for them is still ‘guilty pleasures’, I need to start seeing them more as theย pleasures that they are – yet another small sweet reward in the journey of life.

It’s a silly example, the one above…

But isn’t it strange the things we allow ourselves to carry excessive guilt for?ย 

My post today was actually sparked by this : I found myself feeling guilty about something this morning, and as I sat here dissecting it in my brain, sipping on my second cup of coffee, I realised that it is also a ‘silly’ guilt to carry.

Yesterday, I sent a lengthy email to a friend of mine, in response to some questions they had asked. (I always seem to reply at length, and often wonder if my friend ever regrets asking me anything ๐Ÿ˜› Being brief with people I care about has never been a strong suit of mine ๐Ÿ˜› They have to have the full outpouring of me! Ha ha ha!)
And yes, while I always feel guilty about the length of my emailed responses, it wasn’t the source of this mornings guilt.

This morning I was thinking about some ideas I had shared with my friend, and the strengths I felt I had in relation to those ideas. I spoke of being confident in certain areas that would make me ‘someone of substance’ to fulfill the ideas I had. I spoke of ‘knowing’ that there are many who I come into contact with who are positively affected by me, and actually seek me out.
And I found myself feeling guilty about that :O
I actually went back to my sent items, and reread that part of what I wrote.
Probably because my old self, and my old belief system – all the taught things that needed changing – were screaming at me thatย any form of saying anything positive about myself to someone else is being boastful and proud.
Exposure to the many people who had influence in my life for so long, who were filled with self-importance, had the effect on me that I became too afraid to even voice anything good about me out loud.

There was even a time where I would not dare to acknowledge that I even had strengths!ย 

Guilt can be a good thing. When it is in response to something ‘valid’. We typically experience it after doing something wrong, intentionally or accidentally, and in most cases your guilt is measured in relation to your own personal moral code. Guilt can help us to grow and mature. It’s actually rather productive in some cases, because if we see it for what it is, and are prepared to work towards righting the wrong, or seeing the wrong in us, then we are able to make the decisions to learn from the errors and apologise, or make the changes necessary to elicit a different response in future situations that are similar.

I found 5 really great tips to help with dealing with ‘guilt’. And I am going to share number 5 with you here, because I truly feel it is the most important one of all – to me, anyway.

5. Recognize that no one is perfect.

Not even our friends or family members who appear to lead perfect, guilt-free lives. Striving for perfection in any part of our lives is a recipe for failure, since it can never be attained.

We all make mistakes and many of us go down a path in our lives that can make us feel guilty later on, when we finally realize our mistake. The key, however, is to realize the mistake and accept that youโ€™re only human. Donโ€™t engage in days, weeks or months of self-blame โ€” battering your self-esteem because you shouldโ€™ve known, shouldโ€™ve acted differently, or shouldโ€™ve been an ideal person. Youโ€™re not, and neither am I. Thatโ€™s just life.

Guilt is one of those emotions that we feel is telling us something important. Be aware that not every emotion, and certainly not every guilty feeling, is a rational one that has a purpose. Focus on the guilt that causes loved ones or friends harm. And remember to be skeptical the next time you feel guilty โ€“ is it trying to teach you something rational and helpful about your behavior, or is it just an emotional, irrational response to a situation? The answer to that question will be your first step to helping you better cope with guilt in the future.

To read the full article, please go here.

And in closing, I want to share the conclusion I came to regarding the guilt I was feeling and processing on coffee number two ๐Ÿ˜‰

While I need to never lose the awareness, and continue working, at not being boastful or proud….
While I need to have the courage to acknowledge my weaknesses and work on them in order to experience growth in those areas too….
I also need to stop feeling so guilty and ashamed when I voice the strengths within me.
A healthy balance is always good : with food…. and with the things that we carry guilt for.

It’s a difficult one… one we probably all struggle with.

So above all, for me personally? My key word in all of this?
Wisdom.
In all things.

But for today? Mostly in this! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Who Do You Need?

 

mistakes

Photo credit : sayingimages.com

 

“Nobody’s perfect, but some of us are closer than others.”

The above statement about perfection was written on a wooden board sign hanging in my brothers room while I was growing up. Every time he caught me looking at it – which was usually about the same time he caught me in his bedroom (his room was no man’s land, and definitely not a place that I was allowed to be) he would say to me, “Sorry for you, but you’re notย some. Now get out of my room.”

I never fully understood until my other brother, the oldest of the two, explained that he was telling me that I was nowhere near perfect. I can remember that for many years, this hurt me. Looking back now, I laugh about it – and regret the time I wasted in my growing up years allowing it to upset me.

Because here’s the thing : while I sound like I know what I am doing, the only reason I can be this way (and sort of know what I am doing) is because of the mistakes I have made – sometimes the same one a number of times. It used to be ”classic Meg syndrome”. Make a bad choice/mistake – say sorry. Get another chance. But everyone knew I would do it again a few more times.

I never struggled with learning at school, unless I was being lazy ๐Ÿ˜› And although I don’t think I have a brilliant IQ, I do think that I am intelligent enough to be able to hold my own. A comment I often heard growing up, and in adult life too, was, “You’re a beautiful girl and you’re not stupid. So WHY? It just baffles my brain.”

Unfortunately, a lot of bad choices were circumstantial. And a lot of those frustrated people who made that comment about me were the greatest ‘influencers’ of the circumstances.
Quotes-About-Judging-Peoples-Choices

Photo credit : therandomvibez.com

They say that life is all about making mistakes – there was a time where I was succeeding beyond my wildest dreams! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

Perhaps I was striving for genius status – since we learn from our mistakes? ๐Ÿ˜›

Here’s the thing though : while I have always been a responsible and caring person, with a kind and loving heart, I have not always been very wise – and I have had my moments of my own form of rebellion, and have done and said things that I cannot take back.

In the past few years I have aged greatly. Apparently I still look young – even though I don’t feel it. My son is very complimentary with regards to this, and was not surprised when a 27 year old asked me on a date. I was horrified – as was my daughter, because I am old ๐Ÿ˜› And yet, when I say I am probably best suited for a man in his fifties, she tells me I am too young for that. Kid can’t make up her mind ๐Ÿ˜› (My son agrees with me though – but always tells me I look younger than what I am. He’s not just flattering me, which makes me feel good. But not good enough to date a 27 year old ๐Ÿ˜› )

But I have aged greatly – and not in years (or looks apparently). In the past few years, I have gained a lot of wisdom and insight, and I have grown a lot.ย 
Much more than many people my age. I’ve always had a bit of an old soul, so that has already sort of set me apart. An elderly lady I encountered a few days ago told me, “You are not like the youth of today. You have a lot of wisdom. You’ve obviously had a challenging past.”

Yes. I have had a challenging past. Yes, I have done things, and said things, that I am not proud of. I have had things happen to me that have caused pain beyond just their occurrence. The things kept coming, and the circumstances wouldn’t change, and I kept making bad decisions. And it made things challenging. And I was too busy playing the blame game and making excuses and wallowing in my misery to face those challenges.ย 

I’ll admit – when it comes to my physical appearance, I still don’t see anything worth writing home about. I still struggle with poor self image when it comes to my outer being – partly, a woman thing; partly for other reasons. I do work on that, and am trying to change it. I will say that I have grown to love my eyes – I do see, when I look in the mirror, that although they are a boring brown, they are far from boring. I know how expressive they are, and acknowledge that physically they are my best feature. People who see me speak – my friend in the US only on video calls – have always told me the above. I have only accepted in the past few years. And that’s as far as I have got with physical image.

I am too busy with matters of the heart – my main focus is on what is going on inside of me. Who I am. Because on my blog pages, and in emails to distant new friends who I may never meet, who I am inside is what shines through.

I have worked hard the past few years, at facing my mistakes and taking responsibility where I needed to. And learning. It’s been difficult, and I have suffered. The pain has been insurmountable at times – particularly when having to forgive and move on with people who will never say they are sorry.

Because of my mistakes, I am able to counsel and advise others in many areas.
Funny enough, a lot of the time, I learn something new while doing so.

But please don’t ever be under the impression that I have always been the way I am depicted here. While my core has always been good, there have been many moments of bad. When I write here, I write from personal experiences and my ‘wisdom and goodness’ come from having made some awful mistakes. This alone should terrify you a little ๐Ÿ˜›

And the thing is, I still make mistakes. Thank goodness. Or there would be nothing left for me to learn! Some of those mistakes come from choices I willingly make : being too trusting, and too honest; my willingness to accept, acknowledge and embrace the fact that everyone is different, and that everyone deserves kindness and consideration, and as many chances as it takes for them to heal and ‘get it right’.

Yes, I leave myself exposed and vulnerable. And get hurt. But I’d rather be making these types of choices and mistakes, than be selfish and bitter and wallowing and blaming, like I tended to be in my younger years.

One of the things that had the greatest influence on me (there have been many), and brought about HUGE changes was a picture I saw on Facebook a few years ago – I googled and found it :

be-who-you-needed

 

‘Nuff said!