A Deep Conversation with Myself. 

Why do I feel alone on my own?
Because I gain a great deal of energy from connecting with other people and I fell that I don’t get that on my own.

Why don’t I receive that connection on my own?
Because I feel inadequate with my own thoughts. There seems to be nothing to reinforce me, positively.

Why don’t I feel comfortable with myself in the quiet?
Historic uneasiness and Fear. Feeling trapped in the past even though I am moving forwards. There is an inner dark place that I am constantly running from and I am trying now to understand it now.

What is this inner dark place I am avoiding?
Self-hatred. Self-loathing. It is doubt of myself and feeling that I am inadequate.

Why do I feel inadequate?
Because I remember all the times I couldn’t do things, Couldn’t function, Couldn’t perform, Couldn’t work, Couldn’t please others, Couldn’t be liked.

And do you see that a lot of those “couldn’t”s are just assumptions about situations and prejudgements of the opinions of others?
Yes I see that. I want to walk away from that – pain – and yet it all feels so comfortable that I don’t want to leave.

What is the worst thing that could happen?
That I cannot function, that I am stuck in depression or frozen in fear. That nobody likes me, or loves me, or gives me attention. That I will be alone, all on my own with no-one to care for me.

Why do you need someone else to care for you?
Because Ive spent so long fighting to be noticed, that I’m exhausted and hurting and I don’t know what to do anymore to be happy.

What if I said that you don’t need others to be happy? And that you can love yourself and feel everything you need provided from within your heart?
I don’t believe that. Everyone is looking for someone to love and be loved by and they are unhappy when they don’t get that. I don’t want to be like them.

OK. This is big stuff. This is strong stuff. Powerful and unsettling and I understand that. But I want you to know that you are loved. By others and by me. These fears are real to you, but they are based on errors of judgement. There is a much more positive energy environment around you, if you can tap into that, you will see the more positive truth. I want you to focus on that, the more positive energy around you. Consider it, feel it, leave space for it to seep deep into your being and carry you to a more comfortable place of existence. This is already happening as you take in these words, let it continue. Let it be the only preoccupation for your mind. Let it shelter you from the dark places. Let it be your guiding light. A light of hope. A way of living that you will be proud of and comfortable with. For this is you. You are already this. Just let the cloudiness clear from your vision and see the truth of the awesomeness that your life is.

Remembering Magic.

I remember good times a lifetime ago. (Painful memories are there too, but I now see the importance of connecting positives within me.

I remember first loves, first touch, first kiss. Car sliding off-the-road down-the-embankment adventures with friends and knee-high-mud hikes through remote wilderness. The quizzical feel of unrequited love. The laughing easy fun of real friends around me, even though the new experience was confusing. The joyous sound & feeling of singing familiar songs. A-Capella blues improvisation on the rocks near the seashore. Feeling the chant of ancient community harmonies. Up all night talking, sitting on the side of a hill, then watching sunrise dawn on a new year. So many connecting in deep conversation moments. Special friends who may have loved you.

I know you. We shared life together. Then we never saw each other again. 

I know you. The first time we met was a meeting of old soulmates. I know you. Our time grew over years. Now we share warmth, inspiration, crazy fun and laughter. I know you. A few years of friendship remains a glow within my heart, whether or not we see each other again. I know you. We have never shared the same physical space, but our connection is as real as the hugs we will give when we finally do. I know you. We have walked together, talked together. Cried, lied, and sat together. 

And now, I have known you your whole life. Every day is a new journey and one day, this too, I will remember. 

[ Inspired by the magical words of @urbansirenllc ]

How does it Feel?

It feels like the start of a new journey while tangled in the old one
It feels like mountain climbing and gliding down the other side in a bicycle
It feels like finding new friends and suddenly losing them again
It feels like every mistake I’ve ever made arriving at once
It feels like emotional exhaustion and fresh energy
It feels like new music and sad songs
It feels like missing meals and discovering a picnic in the garden
It feels like a new book and worn pages with turned corners
It feels like stormy winds and sunshine on my face
It feels like crying and receiving comfort from your best friend
It feels like anticipation and collapsing on the floor
It feels like fresh sheets and staying too long in bed
It feels like soft pillows and a comfy sofa
It feels like nerves before a great performance
It feels like a skin pamper and removing a splinter
It feels like brick walls and open doorways
It feels like colourful paintings and dusty old masters
It feels like lavishing attention on the cat and not being clawed
It feels like light at the end of the tunnel and minding your steps over the rocks and tracks
It feels like a triumphant fanfare over a steady drumbeat
It feels like your suggestion from last week suddenly sitting perfectly within my plans
It feels like decorating the Christmas tree and not minding the worn faded tinsel
It feels like looking at your own reflection and wanting to see where today might go
It feels like the texture of touching this sculpture and knowing it can never be moved
It feels like finally caring for yourself, no matter what happens.

Positive Progress. 

I know that I seek perfection in life. I understand that is unrealistic, and sometimes I feel scared that I am destined to forever seek the unattainable.

But I know that as I remain grounded, my vision is clear, and I see the truth in life that is more important than a facade of perfection. I know that I seek the truth in people I become close to. I know that I seek truth within myself and that will always guide me to the important and realness that is life.

In this way I can trust myself. I feel brave and know that I will find, in each day, that which I need to enjoy life. Thus I remind myself, that I am enough, that I am all I need, that I am loved – within and without. My life is certainty and solidity because that is what I desire. My life is also adventure and unexpected because that is what I desire.

This feeds me strength and positivity, because this path forwards is already beneath my feet.

My Story of Change.

In my early 20s, for continuing self-improvement, I would identify facets of myself that I felt needed shifting. Perhaps an attitude to something that I realised I would be better off thinking differently about. I found that through the desire to change I would swing from one extreme to the other side and after experiencing that, eventually settle somewhere in the middle – a good place to settle.

When my depression got worse requiring medication and professional therapy, I struggled a lot with acceptance of myself, seeing this person as faulty and broken. Some of these feelings persist still, although I am currently breaking through that wall of self loathing.

Later on in life, with more experiences, differing therapies, differing attitudes to myself and my mental health, I really started progressing on my journey of self-realisation. Therapy required daily homework, sometimes difficult, but I wanted to move myself out of the depressive experiences that had defined most of my life to date.

I believed changing thought patterns and mental habits that were 20-30 years old would be difficult and would take a long time. But I was ready for the journey and determined. What I discovered surprised me. I believe the first major mental shift only took about 4 months, when I expected a year or more. And the more that changed the easier each change became, because they all built on the positives of the previous. Within the past year I have seen shifts that only took a few weeks to overcome a lifetime of negative patterns!

By setting my mind to it, by being determined to change for the better no matter what, and by learning to trust myself and rely on my abilities and the support of experienced others, I have surprised myself with what can change for the better.

Be hopeful for your own journey.

Breaking UnRules Before Midnight.

It’s that time of the the night when the world has gone quiet around me, my brain has cleared of daytime clutter and I want to just sit into the night and write. 

A sleepy brain is actually a benefit to creativity as all the normal barriers and rules have melted away. 

I can access deep, intuitive words and thoughts. 

But the downside is that I push past my need to sleep which becomes problematic tiredness the next day. 

So instead tonight I will lay down my writing devices and attend to my body’s need for rest. 

And tomorrow, perhaps the inspiration will have built up and there will be greater creativity at play.

Reconciliation and Hope.

Today was Father’s Day in Australia.

I spent early parts of the day, with my limited resources, trying to find a picture of him that I could post for today on my FB page, in memory.

I didn’t find anything suitable. I found a selection of photos illustrating him wasting away in his last year and that brought back painful memories. I wanted to remember him in the best way possible.

I went out for a bike ride to a weekly markets in the city. It’s a good place to sit myself down with some live music in the background, think, write, and people watch. I had forgotten how much I enjoy observing what happens around me.

After a couple poetic sketches, I was inspired to write a poem in memory of my father today. And I found a picture suitable enough to use illustrating my creativity.

And I thought that would be that.

Friends on FB were posting pictures of their fathers. Old family photos of smiling people having fun together, mid-hug, joyous memories. Along with this, descriptions of their positive experiences, their support, their love.

And I thought about how I experienced very little of that. Since age 10, when my Dad was knocked off his motorbike by a drunk driver, family life was never the same again. He suffered many problems as a result, which resulted in a family of 5 active children living with a physically incapacitated person sensitive to everyday noise. He suffered brain damage which forever changed the way he would interact with us. We lived with a person who became increasingly angry, irrational and explosive.

After five years Mum left. Eventually I followed.

I don’t have photos of hugs with my father. I remember some very early days of young boys rolling on the floor playing with him and that is all. I remember years of hating him, of wishing he was dead because that was the only way I could see life improving for the rest of us. Many years of having space and time gave me the opportunity to let go of the hurt and eventually reconnect. With assistance I eventually came into my own acceptance of what happened, of understanding, of letting go of blame and letting go of my own guilt.

I have come to acknowledge the aspects of my parents that I encompass, focussing on the positives. But I have always struggled with feeling loved, with needing to be loved. And I guess I am envious of those people I know who had such support during their formative years, who have some solid grounding in their lives.

When I see their stories, it leaves me sad.

A lesson I have learnt clearly, personally, this past week, is that the pain of emotions is a response within our mind. It is a chosen reaction. And we can choose to deal with it, to look at it with a different perspective, so that the pain is simply not there. The pain is only ever within our mind and as such, we have the individual power to not feel it. And that does not mean to bury it away somewhere. No, I mean to simply understand that by seeing around the emotions with a self awareness, there simply is no pain.

Pain only exists when we choose to create it within our mind.

This gives me hope. It lets me know that I can train myself to not create the pain. To live with a greater awareness of my self and a greater awareness around my thoughts. To live in a space where I am at peace, while still acknowledging all that I feel, all that I am.

And hope, is perhaps the most powerful emotion of them all.

This Is Not A Manifest.

Time to sit and process. Take stock of the present me, and recent thought encounters.

I need to look after myself. I need to make decisions in my life that are the best for me, irrespective of how much that may* hurt others. There is no point in letting myself suffer for the sake of the perceived* comfort of others.

I believe my ongoing health issues are largely a result of the stress of my profound unhappiness. Said unhappiness being largely the result of a relationship that has not been fulfilling me for some time (10 years or thereabouts).

I have made my best efforts at the time to resolve the relationship issues. I have worked on myself. I have attempted to guide my wife. We have been to counselling together. I have made many attempts to open discussions about our relationship. And all through I have seen her narrow view. I don’t know whether her refusal to engage with me (verbally and emotionally) at the level I need is out of fear or a lack of understanding.

I have stepped back and left space for growth. I have engaged fully to encourage growth. At times I have also pushed heavily for growth. Ultimately for me though, this has all been relatively futile. Which has resulted in negativity calling me out as a failure. I know this is not true. I have been battling to believe that I have done the best I can and that the negativity is a lie.

I do not believe in static relationships. I believe we grow daily with every experience, every challenge to our thoughts, every discovery within and outside of our mind. I believe significant growth comes through shared experiences with others. I believe that resisting change is ultimately hurtful to oneself, and that resistance is usually based on fears. I believe love is the basis for all good things.

I know that no matter what happens, what occurs, or what choices I make, that I have good friends who will support me. I trust them, as I have appreciated their response to my opening up about depression. And they have explicitly stated their support of me.

I have nothing to fear but fear itself.

I am pleased with my personal growth. I identify aspects of my personality that have changed significantly, especially in recent years and I am proud of the person I am. I have surrounded myself with amazingly supportive, genuine and fun people, whose company I thoroughly enjoy. I am proud of my growth as a writer and artist.

I have come to realise that all I ever wanted in life, is in fact right there surrounding me already and I only have to reach out for it.

[ processing time about 1 hour ]

3am Reality Manifest.

Awake at 3am. Brain running, processing. Recent events, current events, in my life.

Feeling unhappy is the very first thought. I remember that because it surprised me, disturbed me.

It is sadness at the way A treated me last night, going to bed. Not much communication or care from her. I perceived it as harsh and negative. Ok, she was really tired and struggling with energy and I know that makes her grumpy. But really? I mean, every fooking time I get to deal with this. Which is usually multiple times per week. Most weeks. Her in a good mood, in the evening, is a rare thing. My perception.

She shut off the tv while I was still watching it, but in the process of organising myself towards bed. Yes she had prepared my hot water bottle as well as hers, that’s a rare concession to my needs. And it was her attitude, as it usually is, that bothers me. Maybe it’s a frustration at her own immediate situation/tiredness. But it feels like she takes it out on me. Whereas if “the tables were turned” I internalise those sorts of feelings and make a point not to inflict them on anyone else.

Why the difference between us and why should it bother me?

Big questions that I cannot answer right now. But enough to keep me awake in the middle of the night.

Maybe I feel like she is fed up with me being sick. Maybe I am fed up with her being a dick. I guess that I struggle to look past these “little things” she does, to see the bigger positive picture. Because it seems our life is full of these constant frictions, while I struggle to find the positives, struggle to see the love in a way that has meaning for me.

And I acknowledge this all 100%. Hey, if I’m “doing something wrong” I will be the first to try and make it right, to try and act and be the best sort of person I can. And she won’t do that. Because that would mean admitting in some context that she has “a fault”. And those thoughts lead her to feeling criticised, feeling unloved, because “she’s not ok the way she is” or something like that. You see, we never really get to talk about it. Because any suggestion in that direction leads to her shutting down emotionally, or reacting and starting to attack me with criticism about random past events.

It’s so sad to me. She won’t let me help her in any way. For years I tried to make helpful suggestions, in as positive a way as possible, for her life. And she mostly paid no heed to my input. But when she first started talking to a counsellor I was seeing, and they made the exact same suggestions that I had, well then it was time for her to act. I take that a little bit personally, in that, does she not trust me? Does she not believe me, or in my intentions all along?

But I don’t think that I create a whole grudge against her from that. I mean, I think about these things, I create awareness of myself, and I always try to be the best person I can. I make mistakes in the relationship, things I say, or do, or don’t do sometimes. But I try to learn from them and be better next time. Isn’t that just the best anyone can ever do as a human?

I don’t see her doing that. I don’t see her listening to what I say about us and making little course corrections along the way. What I see, mostly, is her reacting to what I say. Perhaps she thinks something like “I must change this otherwise he won’t love me any more”. And so a behavioural change happens and lasts for one or two weeks on average. Then I-don’t-know-what happens, perhaps dealing with life preoccupies her again (work stresses, money worries (did I mention it’s always about security for her?)), and it’s back to the way it was before.

Oh, there have been some changes for the better. Along the lines of, I-ask-for-100%-of-this, she-initially-gives-80%, later on with reminders of what we agreed she gives 10% more steadily. So I can’t say that she doesn’t make an effort. It’s just something about the whole situation, the whole pattern that I see over 20 years together, that leaves me quite uncomfortable, and sad.

And maybe that’s what is keeping me awake tonight. I tried. I try. But my energy reserves and enthusiasm wane after so long. I thought I could keep it up forever, let love fuel that push forwards. But love not returned as much as is given (and all this above, to me, is about love. “If she loves me she will…”) eventually wears me down. It’s all I know. It’s all I have the current knowledge to apply. It’s my best effort. So why do I feel this sharp pain in my gut, like all this hurt is stabbing me? This pain that I can’t rationalise. That I can’t think away or placate.

The reality of my situation Manifests itself within my physical body. No wonder I’ve been sick.

[ processing time 1 hour 15 minutes ]

Ten Things of Thankful. (30 July 2016 edition)

It’s been a busy week with lack of sleep and some emotional realisations, and I am thankful for:

  1. Positive energy and self belief to propel myself through each day at a time.
  2. A senior pet rabbit (Mr.Poppy) who takes his arthritis medication every time even though it tastes unpleasant. I put the pieces of tablet inside a dried sultana and give him his fresh vegetables straight after. He is adapting so well to old age.
  3. A cheeky pet rabbit (Nigella) who despite being unable to spend close time with her housemate, will come to me for attention and settle down, eyes closed, enjoying the moment. It works both ways.
  4. Access to fresh, quality vegetables, eggs and fish. Most of it produced locally or interstate. Much of it organic. I don’t have to worry about the chemicals that are used in food production in nearby countries and then cheaply imported.
  5. Good friends within my social groups, who are always ready for a good chat and are receptive when I need to honestly express myself. Good friends who bring laughter and fun into my social life when I have difficulty finding that within.
  6. Emotional breathing space, that let me find again some lost inner truth, that let me see important messages clearly, that gives me hope whatever the outcome. 
  7. Online/overseas friends (Hi Abbie) with who I can share my deepest pain and confusion and receive understanding and love in return.
  8. Creatively brainstorming and collaborating with similar creative people (Hi again Abbie) that challenges my routine and comfort zone and ultimately leaves me feeling more fulfilled.
  9. A flexible work environment that lets me have slow, late mornings, and take time to sit and write as the need arises.
  10. Local friends who I trust and believe, who encourage me when I need to hear it, and who tell me I am loved and valued when I need to hear it.

I am thankful for the opportunity to realise gratitude in my life.

What are you thankful today?