Walking with others

It has actually been forever since I last posted anything at all. I have probably had the most hectic summer and since starting a full time working lifestyle, being even more so bombarded with things to do constantly, meaning that any time I get to breathe I prefer to spend reading or relaxing instead. Having said that, I have been urging myself not to be lazy with this blog and force myself to keep going with it whenever I get the chance, so I can confirm that I do have many, many drafts written out – which hopefully I can keep expanding upon and adding to, completing them in the hopefully not too distant future.

Here goes the first one which, as a matter of fact I did not have drafted up, and has come out of the blue- typed up now, this is what inspiration does to you I guess, so apologies in advance if it’s a bit mis-matched and all over the place…
I have recently gone through a phase in life whereby some of my day-to-day surroundings have changed, the people I used to see on an almost daily basis, I no longer see, I have been introduced to new people, having also made some new friends, and with that I guess you can say that I share life with some new people and less of the people who I am used to sharing life with. In a non-long winded way of explaining this I have also been back in contact with and seen/met up more often with some old friends who I haven’t seen for quite some time. This brought to me many mixed emotions, along with an inevitable part of me that was quite sad there were parts of this change that brought excitement, happiness, and for some reason (in regards to the last sentence) nostalgia. I can’t say it all felt non-confusing, at times I couldn’t quite piece together how I felt and why I felt certain things, as it was all a bit blurry, but I can say that after almost 2 months I have finally settled my thoughts and emotions on all of it.

So, onto the important part- what I’d really like to share with you all is that having had these changes occur I found myself drawing to share these changes with particular people in my life, that being people in different categories, including: family, friends, and even customers I see. This only occurred to me over these past few days, but I have realised that this handful of people who I have shared with I have grown to form a relationship/friendship with that I know they would be nothing but proud of me to hear such news. To hear that I was getting on well, to hear that I was doing well after hard work and to know in their mind that I was happy with the choices I have made. These people were there when there was struggle and it was only right that they heard the reward to come after it. There was nothing specific or fundamental in me going to share with these people and it’s not as if I sat picking and choosing, it just automatically happened. This got me realising that truly, those who stick with you through pain and hardship, are the only ones who can deeply understand and share with you the joy in the aftermath. I know now that these  specific people in this random list all mashed up together will remain in my life for some time to come, if not forever and I couldn’t be more blessed. It takes a lot to find people who can truly inspire, encourage and push you to be the best you can be – vice versa. Knowing and letting that sink in, I know that I should take the time to thank and to cherish these life-long relationships/friendships made.

Adding on to that note, starting new chapters in life can be pretty difficult, daunting and scary – I know many of my friends who have started new chapters in their life, so I guess this bit’s for you guys and of course anyone else in a similar position or who might be able to relate. Stating new chapters can bring many goodbyes and leaving behind old faces/places. Although it’s not always the three describing words I used to describe it just now. Often times, a challenge comes with it and the mixed emotions and feelings I spoke about above can come to life. I know that it’s not easy to face, yet I think that the people we choose to share life experiences with, those that are to stay, can make a huge difference- Or in even more extreme terms, make all the difference. I don’t ever want to take this for granted and wanted to especially start off with a blog post about this because I know some of you will have long awaited an update from me, even though I will have updated you via message or in person if you are one of these people. Back to my point of this paragraph, look for the excitement in new starts and new chapters… You know sometimes when you turn over a new page in a book whilst writing, marks of your previous writing may have gone though the page, either ink or marks from writing too hard. Think of it in this way, like you’re turning over a new page and bringing with you some memories and people who have influenced you and encouraged you. I urge you to be positive thinking, looking ahead – always – and I wish you the best!!

In these past 2 months and over summer I’ve gained perspective on a lot of things, in many varying topics, because of this I hope to write up as many new blog posts as I can to share with you all some new things I’m learning about and am constantly beginning to piece together. Keep your eyes peeled but also please expect to be disappointed, just in case I get too overwhelmed with a busy schedule. Thanks for reading for now.

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More about pain

I once did a blog post about pain. (I will link that at the end of this blog post if you have not yet read that). I have since come to realise how little I actually know. I am not the oldest or most mature person, but then who is? I may not have the most knowledge or life experiences, once again, who does? But here goes anyway…I have come to learn that there is always going to be pain on this earth. And sometimes, pain is what pain is. It is a crushing boulder that knocks you right off centre and completely catches you off guard. There is no warning to say “I will just come swing by next week on Monday at 13:04pm so be ready.” There is no signal to tell you to prepare yourself. All you feel is that hit, a blow to the face by the strongest fist you think you have ever felt and it stings, it hurts, it bleeds. You feel that stab, right there in the heart where it hurts the most and it lingers until all you can feel and think about is that pain, it numbs your whole being and leaves you breathless. I don’t want to sound cliché and give you false information. But, all I can say to that is that it is okay, no not “everything is okay”. But more, it is completely okay to hurt and to bleed a little before figuring yourself out. It is okay to not be okay, for some reason we all seem to think everything in life must be immaculate and perfect. We all fall down sometimes, and honestly? That’s perfectly fine, if anyone tells you different they’re wrong, for sure because the last thing you need is to beat yourself up about not being okay. Admitting it and coming to terms with the fact that you are not okay is not something to be ashamed of, ever. It’s just one of those many things that life comes with. My thoughts and feelings on pain have not changed since my last post about this topic. I still think we can misinterpret it and think of pain in a way that it is not, however I just think and know for a fact that pain just hurts sometimes. This next statement is like a tiny summary of my last blog post on this, pain is often seen as the enemy, which is honestly fair enough, but don’t forget that pain is not the be all and end all. It’s inevitable and it’s something we must live with, each and every one of us, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. I can’t promise that things will get better I can’t say everything will be okay, because I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Some people may like to give this “reassurance” but I really don’t feel there is anything helpful in giving someone firstly, false hope in a time of desperation and secondly just another “roll off the tongue phrases” that offers no actual guidance or comfort at all.

Pain stings,
Pain hurts,
Pain breaks,
Pain destructs,
Pain is confusing,
Pain is nasty, harsh and mean,
Pain brings periods of hardship,
…At times and I am here to say, that is okay.

Last blog post in the topic of pain, titled: Misunderstanding Pain-https://walkinginyourfreedom.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/misunderstanding-pain/

Free

This is quite a personal experience, yet whilst being personal I figure it could possibly help someone out there, and if there’s a possibility of that- what is stopping me sharing this? As well as a book adding to my thoughts on this, the conference that I have attended just a week ago has forced my thoughts on this to become much more wider and broader, this might not make sense right now but I’ll get to explaining now….

As well as it linking to my faith, me being a Christian- I think fundamentally it can reach those who may not share the same faith too. Ever since we are born we are exposed to hundreds and thousands of things- these things of course are all new- say the first word we hear, the first thing we ever smell, the first thing we see- all these things are slowly associated with things that build up our knowledge. So, if we are told “hello” is how you greet someone then this is what our minds will store as a greeting and therefore this is what we will use to greet people. This all sounds really obvious- but thinking about it more deeply, if someone were to tell you something that was wrong, then this information would stay with you, and you would not know to change this until you were told it were wrong. For instance let’s say that you were told that to eat with a fork you hold it at the end with the prongs, you then start eating with a fork this way and unless you were told otherwise or you slowly noticed you were wrong by watching other people you would have no clue that you were wrong- and even more so, if it were someone in whom you trusted that told you this false information then you may think that the person trying to correct you was the wrong one. That they were the one who needed to be corrected.

So linking this to something that actually might make more sense in terms of the title of this blog post, if we were told lies about ourselves since we were born and whilst growing up, how would this make us view ourselves?  It is an inevitable situation that occurs in each and everyones lives. Even though the degree that this may affect each individual might be different, it is still bound to happen regardless. Whether this be in terms of friends, family, social media, strangers, enemies etc etc.. Like I mentioned before, if this were told to us more importantly by someone that we were really close to and we trusted them, this would stick with us even more- and again, someone telling us anything different and trying to correct would not matter as we wouldn’t believe them anyway. These inaccurate self-portraits that we make of ourselves are filled with things that are not always the truth, we may think that just because all these people have said this or that we must be these things they say, yet what we don’t know is just how inaccurate they are- just how little they may know about us or maybe even that they said some things out of jealousy, anger, hatred or pure maliciousness. These things can overtake our lives and lead us to believe such false things about ourselves, when really we are quite the opposite of these lies. And sometimes, the even more difficult thing is when people tell us you are not “useless” you are in fact “really very helpful” we do not believe them for a second. Even if they tell us with their most sincere voice, with full eye contact and pleading for you to believe them, we cannot and will not. When a full new skin is formed that we walk in, when new bones are etched with fake lies, when our body is not one that is of us- we can imagine just how hard this is to get rid of. How to break free of these lies and built up comments and adjectives describing someone who is not ourselves at all.

Now that you are three paragraphs into this blog post and reading the fourth, I want to apologise, because if you relate to any of this at all- this might not be what it seems, in that I probably won’t be able to help you. If anything, I know that a blog post like this would have never helped me. But just in case, I’m going to finish by saying- You are not what you believe you are. There are possibly many times you have failed to see this, and many times you have tried to think the opposite of all these lies are true. I want to say to you that they are true, the opposite of these lies really is the truth!! That you are able, you are beautiful, you are more than enough, you are great, you are amazing, you are incredible, you are courageous, you are powerful, you are awesome and right now I believe that these words are not sinking in. So please, go back to that start of that sentence and read it out loud, read it in you head if you can’t read it out loud yet, but read it and try your hardest to believe it and try to read it again and again- because I do and I know that these things are true and I also know that if I can begin believing these things- so can you. I know that this is such a hard thing to even think about doing yet alone attempt to do, but in breaking all these “agreements” you’ve made with yourself that you are this, or that- You will find a freedom like no other. Honestly, it is the best feeling and I hope that you can also feel this soon too. I wish you all the best. You are an overcomer.

Gaining perspective

Here’s a post on something that has been an on-going “lesson” to me if you will…
The main roots to my thoughts on this topic have been from speaking to one specific friend, in which whatever subject or topic was brought up, she would always look at it from more than just one perspective, that being her own. She would never stop at just what her opinion was, she would question what the involved parties’ might have been through, or might have had to deal with, or what may have led them to carry out certain actions. This then triggered me to think about how I approach situations, especially problems and issues, both my own and others’. I questioned whether or not I just thought from my own point of view or whether I would also try to think about what others were thinking/feeling. I had always thought that I can very easily look at things from another individuals’ perspective, however whether or not I actually allowed myself to think about this fully and really analyse it to go further and actually allow myself to understand why an individual in a situation may have carried out the actions they did, was the real question. Of course we can never fully comprehend what someone else is going through, even if they sat down and told us it all, relating to it and fully understanding is on a whole other level, however just the sheer small act of beginning to come to even think what someone else may be going through/what they have been through is something which I think in everyones’ day-to-day life, mine included, is sadly, foreign.

Another thing in which has added to these thoughts, is a YouTube video that I watched, it spoke about someone going through a hard time and just how much hurt, sadness, hardship, vulnerability and other painful emotions were felt on one end and how this person feeling all these emotions somehow managed to gain perspective and flip the situation on its head, regardless of how awful it all was, they could see it from the what you could call the “guilty” persons’ point of view. This to me was a huge wake up call, because even in such a difficult and tough situation they were able to see the other side to the pain and get past it, it really made me think about the hundreds of thousands of things that I can get caught up in, but really if I thought about it properly there are reasons, and even if there aren’t any, there must be pain present on both sides and not just my own. The example shared in the video was an extreme one, and to which I thought if they can do this, why can’t we all? What is stopping us from doing this in little, small and what may seem like insignificant little disagreements, or misunderstandings that prop up in our lives…

More than this, I believe that amongst all of us, not nearly enough of us try to see things in other peoples’ perspective, whether it be in good or bad, happy or sad situations- or even just in day to day life. I for one do not do this enough, and I think that if all of us could just take a small step in trying to gain that perspective, maybe we wouldn’t see things the way we do, and it would look different, the picture would change and there would be a lot less pain, it would be a lot less ugly. Even if forgiveness takes more effort and is harder to come by, it doesn’t mean that we can’t take action and begin to try and understand. By no means am I saying to condone any type of unfriendly and uncivil behaviour, yours and mine included- which really highlights my point being, we all make mistakes, we all fall sometimes, we all hurt one another, either intentionally or unintentionally. But honestly? Are we not just all going through life trying out best? Is that not what we all just strive to do, and ultimately whether failing and succeeding sometimes along the way we are still giving it our all in our given circumstances, even if one may think certain peoples’ “bests” do not seem like their “best” it doesn’t mean that we can go to point a finger at them, because for all we know, our “best” may not be what it should be, who are we to go judge without actually being in that situation. Therefore, with this point highlighted, I’d like to invite you to join me, join me in perhaps trying to gain some insight in other peoples’ lives, even if sometimes it’s the last thing you wish to do, and sometimes all you want to do is blame someone else- maybe this way we can all see past the darkness and pain a little, and maybe this way we can try to make friendships and/or relationships we have with others a little more bearable, a little more easier, and maybe we can shine some light into dark spaces and really come to be more understanding to one another.

Misunderstanding pain

I decided it was the right time to sit and allow myself to write this blog post; this has been on my mind for a good while now and whilst I have wanted to try and capture all my thoughts, I have felt that it has not been the right time until now. So firstly I would like to talk about the word “pain”. We as humans associate the word pain with rather negative connotations, such that perhaps horrid imagery may come into our minds, filled with maybe suffering and times in our lives where we have been through emotional or physical pain of some sort. We see pain as this bad thing, why? Well the answer is simple, because there: we are at our lowest, we feel lost, we feel like we have hit rock bottom and cannot get up. And well, who would want to feel those things and much worse, right?

It has been this big question to me personally when those times appear in my life of “Is there more to this?” “Surely there is?” “Does anyone else feel the way I do too?” “Does it get better?” “Does it get worse?” The answer to all of those is yes. In fact YES there is more to the anguish, others do feel the same at times, there is better and yes there is worse too. I think it took me a while to be able to think rationally about pain. It’s something no one wants to go through and something in which I look at and think “How much easier would life be if no one dealt with pain?” In recent times I’ve come to notice that pain has a lot more to offer than what is supposed by this “negative aspect in life” that we seem to have deemed it to be… With the contributions to this realisation being a book I have been reading about pain, many blog posts I have read over the past months and just reflecting on my own personal experiences here is what I think on the whole topic:

We constantly deal with pain; whether physical or emotional. Starting with the physical element: We may quickly come to numb the pain with painkillers and tablets, we may visit a doctor to ease our mind or tell us what the problem is. Either way we have a very advanced and scientifically complex pain system which alerts us to anything that isn’t quite right, we sense things that would cause us harm or danger which in turn allows us to rectify it. Imagine if we were to not have this in our lives. Imagine if we could not physically feel pain, we would never look at any solutions or find out where the problem is within us, it would cause detrimental problems for us which some people do in fact face this, there are indeed illnesses and diseases which cause people to not feel pain. So pain therefore, could perhaps be the gift that nobody wants? Emotionally: there is a lot more to it. For emotional people who feel everything to a great extent, where it can affect how they act and affect them wholly, pain can be a big problem. It can cause times of deep sadness and depression for some. However, without going into too much depth and detail about that: how can the emotional affects of pain be of any good at all? Of course at first glance the negative consequences scream out at us much louder, on the contrary as I mentioned up near the top somewhere we constantly link the word pain with negative connotations, hence not really thinking about the positives at all in fact. You might be at this point be sat thinking: Okay how are there are any positives in feeling such pain? The answer to me is still one that is pondered and questioned upon further, however I’d like to propose that pain is the one thing that has taught me more than anything in life. If I could, I would actually like to thank “pain” for being what it is, for me personally it’s where I can draw from it lessons, new mind sets, attitudes and different thoughts on a whole array of things. It is where I come out a better and different person to the one I was previous to it. I am not saying in any way that suffering and pain is fun and is easy to endure or anything along those lines, however the more I think and ponder upon the positives of pain, the more good things I find. The endurance is tough and difficult it does nothing but allows me to question fundamentally “why?”, it makes me reach my limits of frustration and seems to serve no good. But in my life, I really have pain to thank. Without pain I would never be the person I am today- I would never have grown and developed the way I have at the pace I have.

It seems  an odd thing to do saying that pain is good and so amazing that it has served such a big role in my life. But the thought of never feeling the things I have, and asking the questions I have makes me wonder where I would in fact be. If you take some time to think of some moments in your life where you perhaps did not feel your best. The time when pain seemed to have “got the better of you”, where carrying on the fight was too hard in your mind. Now think to the time when you overcame that time in your life, where you reached the other side, where you were able to see the light and free yourself and your thoughts. Where pain served you well, it made you realise that there is more to this, there really is, there are times ahead that are better and perhaps worse is yet to come. But for now you’ve done it and you are far stronger and equipped than you were previous to it, you have learnt so much that you forgot why you ever thought half the things you did. You instead can embrace the fact that we face such trials and tribulations in life. I am in no way advertising pain to be the best thing, but my thoughts conclude that it isn’t the worst and whilst we can pin the blame on “pain” and how it is bad and it gives no purpose, it also somewhat useful to us, if we would just view it in a different way, under a different light. So, please, come join me- embrace the next time you face such feeling and difficulty in life because there is more to this and you can get through it and reap the goodness that comes if you just preserve and be patient with it, allowing the pain to do it’s work, and feel what you must feel before coming back up indefinitely stronger.

Creating stars

I’m in no way shape of form where I would like to be, where I think I should be and where I see myself in my head. Almost everyday I will question my position at that given time. Sometimes the answer that I conjure up in my brain is long-winded and unnecessary, other times I disregard it and continue on as anyone would. In these times I am reminded that I as a mere human being living alongside the other billions of people on this planet have one life, one life to live. And one life to make the most of… It’s all good and well for one to say that their goal is to “be happy” or their goals are to “fulfil this or that dream”. But really, who knows the steps to those “dreams”, who knows what it takes to fully, truly be happy. Whilst one child sits in a mud bath making mud pies and refuses to go on that sunny beach holiday; knows nothing past that happiness at that given time. The child in fact refuses such luxury. So I ask, who knows? As much as I would like to say I have it all figured, I really don’t want to either. Learning to embrace what is to me the [beauty in life], in not knowing exactly how this whole puzzle fits together is something that has and will always be a difficult thing. There are moments where I have been pushed to anger, frustration and desperation but something tells me that there’s a reason why we haven’t figured it all, that not everything makes sense. And that at the end of the day. It’s okay. Although I do not have the words or vocabulary to express my complete and whole thoughts on it, I know that the path that lies ahead is easily said to be a mystery to each individual at least, I can’t say it will be easy, and I can’t say it will be hard. I’ve known that there is rain after sun, there is hardship after joy and there is failure after success. I’ve also known though, that there is such hope as rainbows, such thing as perseverance and such strength in overcoming setbacks in life. It pains me to say that there will never be another promised good day as much as it relieves me. There is beauty in all the imperfections if one would just look for them. There is beauty in all those flaws that we all perceive to be ugly and faults in life. There are those times where we stop and think about such imperfections and see nothing but an ugly picture, yet how else would the picture be whole without them. I wonder if ever, could I count all the stars in the sky, at a given time? Well the answer is obvious, it is impossible. How amazing that would be, yet how silly that would be to think. I believe this is the same in our lives. How we try to see and count every day we have yet to live. How silly that would be. I tell myself that this is how it’s meant to be and how we all live. Yet I’m sure if we could all have that impossible chance to see and count all them stars we would. Striving to something that is unknown to us sounds silly also, we dream of those “happy days”, however would we know one even if we were living one?

I say, take the life and ignore the stars. Why look at the already made stars, when you can create your own? Take the day and make it bright. Make it shine with a brightness that overwhelms and satisfies. Yes it’s difficult, of course it is. And surely one day will inevitably be harder to make bright than another, yet surely striving to this is much more achievable than anything else we strive towards. So why not begin trying that now? Even if you fail, you’ll have created and pieced your own puzzle together, with your own splashes of imperfect and beautiful colours.