Me, Myself and I

Today’s blog post is going to be about a goal I should have set AGES ago. I’m also going to address a topic that I drafted up ages ago in a blog post titled something else… As you can imagine from my lack of posting and activity on this blog; I have been super busy as to not have the chance to post. Having said that, the ideas, thoughts and inspirations have all been there and as much as I would like to say I want to try and post more often, I know with the many times before where I have said it, tried and failed I will probably do no good, so instead… I’ll say that I want to post more and hopefully this desire will force me to prioritise my blogging life more and this can be a goal in itself anyway.

So, to the main point of this blog post. My goal for the ‘future’ let’s say, is to concentrate on myself more; I mean this in two ways. The first way, is to be able to spend more time making myself happy, in a non-selfish way. I think I have spent too many minutes of my life thinking about how I can make others happy or wanting to make others happy (not in a people-pleasing way), but in a way that I am fulfilling everyone else’s needs and none of my own. I have grown to learn that I managed to put my own happiness and love for myself to the lowest of my ‘priority list’, I don’t exactly know when or how this happened but I have come to realise that in the past year it has become more prominent than ever before. Due to this, it has become more of a problem that ever before, so much that it is time to address it. Now that I have moved onto a ‘new stage’ in life, I have been able to cut myself off from people who no longer serve in my life in a positive way, and been able to concentrate on a smaller quantity of people and really develop a much tighter, close-knitted and meaningful relationship than I have done before. It has actually been more testing too; as myself and others have become more and more busy, yet being able to maintain a friendship through this has shown me who I should be investing my time on and also those I maybe shouldn’t. As I have less people and distractions to divert my focus and attention, I am constantly trying to intentionally focus more love and attention on myself. It has actually been quite a difficult task, to spend time doing things I like more often, things that make me happy and to focus on myself has surely not been a natural instinct and has proven quite difficult since I started. However, putting this into practice more and more has been just the small stepping stone of a long long journey, something in which I am hoping will eventually become a second nature task; to know what makes me happy, to do those things and in turn be able to bless the friendships/relationships I have with others in a more true and real way… It might now sound like I am being self-indulgent, but honestly I have come to believe that if you are not truly happy within yourself, it will show in the relationships you have with others. Whether you are conscious/subconscious to it, there is bound to be a strain on the relationships and the way in which you can overcome this (unless there is another reason) is to solve these problems starting with yourself first. Love yourself, and everything else will stem from it.

The second way in which I meant by this goal is also concentrating and placing my efforts on working on myself more. By this, I mean that I believe, many of us are far too quick to point out the bad in someone else, rather than ourselves. I, too am guilty of this, most possibly everyday and far more often than I would like to admit. First off, I would like to share a few verses from the bible, which, whether you are a believer or not, you might be able to relate/agree with: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother: ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank our of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5. This verse to me says so clearly and obviously, that we are all often such great hypocrites, we are never able to point the finger at ourselves, instead, we are quick and eager to point out someone else’s faults. In fact, more often than not, if someone were to point out our bad attributes, we instantly jump up to defend ourselves, making excuses and/or denying what is said about us rather than listening, thinking, pondering and deciding whether or not the things in which have been said are true; whether we do need to edify something in our behaviour/actions etc. In which case, of course, there is always something to improve on as we humans are never perfect. Sometimes however, these things need reviewing and reflection because what someone may have pointed out might not be the truth or we may in fact not need to change it at all. Having said that fundamentally, I think that if people are constantly reflecting on their actions and how they are instead of thinking about other people, we would all be able to improve on ourselves as people and therefore, everyone would in turn improve as people and relationships between people would therefore be easier, better and not filled with as many problems. I have decided, that by making improvements and sorting out the plank of wood in my own eye, whether I am able to ‘solve them’ or not, I would hopefully work to be a better person and no longer look to the speck in other peoples eyes and ignoring my own so blatantly obvious plank. I know it might take time and it will take a whole of a lot of effort on my part to remind myself to continually do these things, but I hope by writing this out in a blog post I will hold myself to this ‘goal’ and work on these things for the better.

In these two ways (it adds up to a lot more than ‘two’ really) I hope to thoroughly work on different aspects within my life, starting from myself and slowly working outwardly. I hope to look in a metaphorical mirror more often and this will in turn hopefully allow me to spread these ‘better’ aspects that I work on to other parts of my life and also to the different relationships in which I have with the people surrounding me. So, here’s to new goals and looking to continual self-improvement…

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.

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/

Make your mark on the world

I kinda teased about new blog posts that may be upcoming shortly, on some form of social media and whilst I have been dying to throw ideas about I literally have not had the time and or inspiration to fully sit and ponder and allow myself to write something worthy or reading (in my opinion) until today. So…I guess today may mark the day that I finally write something up. Here goes….

This is really just about something that has occurred to me in these past weeks/days and also in talking to someone today it really made me tie up many thoughts together. I’d like to introduce this by saying the title may sound a bit misleading, but it’s the best I could do in terms of relating to this post. “But, what do you mean by that?” you may be asking. Well I will get onto that after I share this: I think that sometimes we become so fixated upon making something happen, and it might be in the long term in our minds, however it’s still the short term if you think about it. For instance we might prepare ourselves for an interview in order to get say a job. And this may lead to many “big” and “long term future goals” or whatever else, but at the same time in becoming so focused on these things we may miss the much bigger picture still there. The bigger picture being that life isn’t just about this job, or that holiday, or few exams…there’s much more to it and if we miss the point, then I must beg the question really at the end of the day: What is the point? Of course I’m not saying that we mustn’t put our time and energy into these kinds of things, but by reducing some of that pressure it just makes it ten times easier for ourselves. I think ultimately we have a much bigger role to play in our lives and that there are things in which we could (possibly should even), be doing. This realisation which came to me I will explain in my next paragraph-

(Back to what I was saying earlier): What I mean by the title is that there are many things we can contribute to society and other people, we can invest time, thoughts, emotions, money, etc as things that we contribute. And these things can ultimately be for the bad or for the good. What I am here to say is these “things” that we contribute can lead to us making our mark on the world. And that just there, the title sounds so big and extravagant (like I say it fits but is a bit misleading) because I believe it really doesn’t have to be this way. They can literally even be the tinniest of things, with that I shall give you some examples: sharing a smile with a stranger; offering an ear to a friend that needs you; giving a present to someone; writing someone a letter; being obedient to those who have authority over you; paying a compliment; being patient with someone who’s serving you; trying to understand even if you don’t…. I would like to share something that made me realise we need to do more of these things. Today, I spoke to someone who I have not spoken to for perhaps a whole year. We caught up on where we’re at and what we might be doing in the future (i.e. in a few months time as we move onto new things) and she recalled the exact time we last spoke and told me about how I really helped her through a confusing period of her life and how I offered some amazing advice which really aided her to be where she is now. I have to admit I firstly, didn’t actually remember the conversation we had until she spoke more in depth about it. Secondly, I had no idea that I had offered up the advice she told me I did. And lastly, the biggest one of all I had no clue at the time or even until today that I could have had even the smallest amount of influence in someones’ life never mind such a big one that she described to me. Although this person said to me she really wanted to thank me, I actually wish to turn this “on it’s head” if you will and really thank this person for giving me this insight. It was really something special to hear that I could have any kind of positive influence on anyones life at all. And it just completely inspired me to share that whether it be big actions or small, by interacting with the world and people around you, you are having an influence on it- whether you know it or not. I want to add that, even if you think people won’t listen to you anyway, so what’s the point or you really aren’t that great yourself, you never know what people might take from your actions or words. I know with this it might sound like we have a responsibility as well as a role (as I  mentioned earlier) and if that’s the case, then so be it because I feel that if we feel we kind of do have some sort of responsibility and if you see it this way too then perhaps we may actually end up being more cautious and thoughtful in the actions that we choose to carry out. So, with that I’d just like to leave it here, hopefully you will see like I have too that we do make a difference and what we do does actually have an impact. And we should also try to remember this whilst perhaps chasing after a specific thing or going through a particular time period in our lives that may keep us preoccupied so that we can lose sight of such temporary things and perhaps focus on bigger things too.

Blind faith

Here is a post relating to Christianity. It’s something in which I have been slowly learning and finding out more about as I develop and trust in the Lord. I would just like to share my thoughts on the Christian faith being a blind faith- what I mean by this is that we don’t know what is to come next year, the next day, even the next minute. This honestly, can scare me a little- at the same time I know it is exactly what I, we have been called to live like. Even in the bible it says “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”-

However, my main point of this post is just how hard it actually is to do this- It is all good and well to say to God “I trust that my future and the next step of my life is in your hands, I trust that you will provide either way, I believe that your way is the best way; so please come and have your way in me and do what you will even if that means I give up what I thought was going to be and what I thought was going to happen.” It is easy to say this and even mean it at the time, especially when convicted or pushed to a place of desperation or need. The hard part comes when sometimes a plan doesn’t fall into place, or you aren’t where you wanted to be, or you find yourself stuck somewhere you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. I mean, sure, when things were not like this and when you felt more secure it was simple, it was easy to believe that God has His will for you and that you are meant to follow it. Yet, as hard as we try sometimes it is just that we do still have that ongoing battle between our new selves and our human nature. We still fight thinking we know best and we have this or that planned out in the future and oh how we can be so stubborn sometimes, completely ignoring what God is quite blatantly telling us. It can really hurt trying to be patient on the Lord and then when you receive an answer, the answer is not the answer you were looking for…It can easily knock your confidence or what you thought you had planned for yourself just feels destroyed and you may even feel lost, like your plans for your future are shattered.

This is exactly what I mean by blind faith, it is not easy, it was never meant to be. But trusting that God has His own timing is something so so hard to do yet so beautiful- surrendering all to God and trusting that He knows far better than you and that He has promised you everything and more- there is something just rather spectacular in that. It means we don’t have our preconceptions of what we think is gong to happen or what we hope or dream to do or be in the future, it isn’t having none of these ideas- instead it is really giving it all to God and letting Him take the reigns because what is better than allowing the one who knows BEST to do this. This is just something in which has been on my mind and something that I am slowly learning and hopefully one day I will get there, to a place where I will truly let go of all the things I thought would be and what I thought would happen- instead going on a crazy adventure with God to see what might happen instead, because I know for a fact that it will be far better than what I had ever imagined in my head.

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.