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.

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.

The Response.

I am not broken
Nor faulty
I am alive
Surviving
Even thriving
Because I am here
Today
Been through so much
And I am here
in this moment
aware of myself
all that was
and all that is

I will step forwards
Through this
Because I know
it doesn’t end here
My life goes on
to bigger and better
That’s just how
it’s always been
This day is
just like others
that I made it through
that I grew through
I am life

(14 April 2015)

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[ written in response to yesterday’s post First Awareness. ]

Twenty Four Hours.

A step forward
into the unknown
a step away
from all that hurts.
I felt that space
strange,
quiet.
Spent an evening
and a morning,
there
for myself,
for my
nourishment

Afterwards
the feelings swarm
uncertainty
discomfort
and tonight,
pain.
As I look up
into her eyes
she can’t see
Me
I can’t speak
so my soul drifts
Away
alone,
Dragging me
while exhaustion
anchors my body
to the present.
Mind’s pain
absorbed
and stored
Headache gained
Emotional rollercoaster again

.

[ I wanted to leave the first part of this poem on it’s own. To leave it undarkened by the remainder. But my aim is for all these words to be as honest as possible. And the light existed with the dark in this 24 hour timeslot. So I have left them together. Much to the chagrin of my positive self. – Edited 10 Nov 2014 ]

Finding happiness.

Through all the difficulties
health nightmares
relationship struggles
I see a word

Happiness

Many times before
has it jumped up in front of me
glared at me
and dared me to be
So many ways to get there
have I read and heard

And now, just maybe
after all these years
It is creeping up on me
When I least expected to experience it
As my old life drops away
and a simpler me cries out

There is finally some space for it
Etched into my being
By the pain that I thought
was driving it away

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Growing Pains.

When feeling overwhelmed
I need to remind myself
That I am not a failure
nor falling apart,

That I am surviving
and growing
Even through the hurt.

I am learning about myself
and revealing
my hidden innerness

Discovering that which
was buried
under layers
of world misinterpretation

For this realisation
I thank my close friends
real friends
with their own pain and suffering
but always the most genuine love in their hearts.

.

[dedicated with thanks to my dear friend Lisa, for today’s deep discussion and encouragemt]