Once More, Unto Hope.

I will not acknowledge this darkness clawing at my soul
I will not name it depression, grief or anxiety, which gives it form and offers it power
I will not give in when the desire to hide away, from people, from loved ones, from life,
Calls me incessantly and offers an uncomfortable ease to this troubled heart
I will not doubt my own worth
I will not question every part of my being that others see as positive
I will not make life-changing decisions based on the fear of my present.

There are so many ways to dive into these depths
And in the past I’ve tried them all, tested their effectiveness
So I know that path isn’t right for me right now
Despite the comfort of familiarity all of that could be
There is only right now, hunched over,
Wanting to stand tall, but bearing the weight of my world on my shoulders
So for every step forwards, and every step backwards,
I know my focus on the future will eventually win through.

Hope calls me forwards
I don’t recognise it’s shape, but the warmth is enough to draw me away from this icy cold.
Hoping for a mind unrestrained by this clutter and weight.
Hope is a quiet voice, whispering encouragement through the darkness
Leading me onto a new path
Reminding me of the light that exists out there.

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My heart. My head.

There is so much more I need to say
To the world, to you, and to myself
I need to hear the encouragement that only comes from a changed state of being
From a fresh way of thinking
From love overpowering fear
And it’s greatest source is hidden inside me
I want to hear it loud and proud
And each day I cry for another vision
Another visit from the tenderness that had been lost
I. Keep. Pushing. Forwards.
Searching. For. More. Of. This.
And the fear claws me back, holds me back,
Stabs my back and leaves me bleeding in pain
When all I want is Peace. Love. Life. Connection.
How do I connect with strength ephemeral?
Wanting more. Looking for more. Searching
Tell me where to look
Help me see what I need to… Be.
When deep ruts steer me wayward
I ask for guidance, for a gift
To heal the rift inside my heart, my head.

Love Challenges.

You said I needed to make up my mind
When I make it up every day
But following through with those decisions is where I fall down.
I want some*thing*
But I also want to help others enjoy life
And some*times* I let that over-ride my own feelings.
Did you ever consider my feelings?
Did we ever talk about how I really felt underneath the surface?
We all want to be happy
So how do we blend our own happiness with those around us?
How do we all sit together in peace, and love,
feeling connected and supportive of each other?
Perhaps the challenge is overcoming our own pride
Perhaps when we start seeing others as equally important
and equally worthy of our consideration and energy
Perhaps then we will all feel it –
The collective human energy that we desire
An equal focus on ourselves and others
An equal tolerance for ourselves as for others
This works for me, and,
just maybe it is what we all needed to hear.

[ 15 August 2017 ]

Falling into a Moment.

Today, is just as times before. When I feel the pain of another’s story, long after my ears have heard. When I remember back to my own journeys through the pain of chronic ill-health. And the mental anguish of being unable to function for days, weeks, months. The self-imposed stresses. The very real stress of maintaining a relationship whilst unable to maintain yourself. Being unable to work, unable to generate income, unable to meet deadlines.
Unable. Disable. Needing more enable, but those days were rare.
I have known defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss. Somehow I have found my way out of those depths and stand here today.

.

Pain reaches forwards
Up from the past
Clutching and dragging me
Back
Fearing all that
Now, as then

And I tell myself right now
These are emotional ghosts
They have no power over me
Except that which I give them.
Though I feel unsteady, unsafe
My comfort lies in others
Asking for help
Accepting supportive hands
Belief in my own inner strength.
These are my tools
With these now I survive
And prepare to thrive once more
This is my hope, my truth.

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 ]

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.

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.

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.

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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?

Journey. 3

And then I’m reminded “you are love, you are all that you need”. And as I contemplate these words, gentle answers come:

Maybe you don’t have the words for yourself today. But you have trust. You have hope. You have love. All these are already inside you, they ARE you. Be content in the knowledge that what you need is already available to you.

And with these words, I see that I have the answers. They just weren’t the answers I was expecting.

(20 July 2016)