Advice You Never Asked For.

I admit I don’t know your full story. 

But I encourage you to write because of my own experiences of that being a hugely beneficial path to take. 

When I was depressed for years, 

frequently suicidal, for years

when writing was my only emotional outlet, I pushed through it all and eventually pushed out through all the hurt into something that was truly a little bit beautiful amidst the terrible darkness. 

It was on the advice of a dear friend I started blogging. Fear made me keep it anonymous. But what I met was a writing community that embraced me and encouraged me in every way. I found friends who taught me about understanding and grief, about strength and persistence, about discovery and perseverance.

And I am forever grateful for that experience. 

I see now how I pushed myself through the fear. Partly out of fear of the darkness, but mostly because ALWAYS inside me, no matter what other shit was going on, there was the tiniest spark of light that guided me onwards. Perhaps it was a genetic gift from my mother, of hope or optimism. Perhaps it was the repeated words of a few close friends who reminded me during those darkest times that it wouldn’t last, that life will get better, that I deserved better, that just hanging on for another minute is all I needed to do in the moment. 

How can I not be grateful for experiencing that genuine expression of love from people I’ve only known for a few years?!

And now it’s my time to shine for myself, and for others. It’s my time to pass on the love. To “pay it forward” to someone else. Not out of any duty, or karma, just because its who I am. Simple, honest, caring for other humans. (And because, well, in that place, there are new lessons for me too.)

So I don’t know what you want in your life, what your personal goals are. But I see you already caring for and discovering yourself in many ways. We all want to “be better” or perhaps just “feel better”. While that path is a very personal choice, I see you finding your way forwards already.

And I just want to encourage you to do, and to keep doing, whatever it takes to maintain forward momentum in your life.

I encourage you past the fears in whatever way it takes, because that is just the way forwards. 

Don’t be afraid. Just be who you need to be.

=

[ feature/title image aerial photography of Mona Vale Beach, Australia, by Bo Le @safromabove ]

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.

Awareness Questions in 2 Parts and A Sad Conclusion.

Standing back, to get a clearer picture of what is going on
Not yet ready to step away from it completely
Wanting to understand this territory of pain
But why?
And does that matter, does any of this really matter?
Does any of this questioning and searching serve me any more?
I notice the struggle to let go of this moment
What am I hanging onto?
Is this just fear of change, or something much more?
The current advisory is to just be with it all
Paying no mind to what can or cannot be managed on any given day
Being at ease with just needing to rest, or to just feel
Which sits very uncomfortably with me
With my need to feel productive, to feel active
Ponderous times that I must journey through
Before being able to step into the productive day
Is this moment in time the journey’s end or a fresh start?

•••

If I stop fighting (this war inside my head)
Does that mean I give up, or give in?
If I stop pushing and resisting the lies
What does that reality look like?
If I stop the active struggle, the result
Curling up in bed, withdrawing in fear
Unable to face the world through exhaustion
And inability to concentrate or function
Replacing one undesirable situation
With another.
A friend keeps mentioning acceptance
This word keeps crossing my consciousness
Imagining it might just work, I hesitate
So tired to find the energy for any action.
As a tear trickles down my left cheek
I contemplate my present, for my future.

•••

I just want future me to be happier
With life
To not be engulfed by pain
Physical and mental
It’s too late for present me
All has led to this current experience
Lost in the shroud of darkness.

Right here, Right now.

Thinking about myself
Attempting to resolve the pain
That strikes my heart again and again
My reactions to certain circumstances
Are visible and understandable.
Why can’t I leave this behind me
Move out of the cloud of hurt
Move on to a higher level of being.
Stuck in a circular rut
I stumble at the same bumps every time
Keeps hurting the same wound
No chance to heal what I feel.
To stop fighting this
To stop feeling the pain
Is to deny the very heart of me.
To compromise would be
To forever live with regret
Merely shifting one pain to another.
And while I don’t fully understand
The reasons for these circumstances
I blame myself
Too much most likely
Bearing the sole weight of responsibility
For the unhappiness I see.
And I know that is unfair
But I know not any other way
To exist in its midst.
So when my energy runs low
And negative self assessment flourishes
I feel helpless to help myself
Having tried all I am equipped with
Having stayed ahead of the cloud of hopelessness
I stumble and am shrouded in its darkness
I feel it’s freezing fear seep into me
And all goes dark.

Journey. 1

Each day this week I have made two steps forward, despite some individual step backs. I have defined a new positive framework for my thinking. And yet today I am aware of a distinct lack of self support or believable positive encouragement. It stands out in the midst of my otherwise positive focus. Exactly how do I find these words that I feel I need? Words that I never learnt as a child. Words that have been missing so much from my life. This morning my heart feels so empty, as a lonely sadness fills me.

Today I don’t remember. Today I want to rely on myself but find mostly emptiness instead.

(20 July 2016)