Tag Archives: choices

It’s OK To Be Sad – Isn’t it?

It's OK to be Sad Living Life From The Inside Out

The fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend that everything is OK when it’s anything but


It’s okay to be sad!!

Sadness just as much as any other emotion is and indeed should be equally as valid as any other; happiness, anger, jealousy and joy and as such it’s OK to be sad as and when we feel the need

Isn’t It?

Yet the fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend otherwise because we don’t want to worry them. We don’t want them to think we’re weak or can’t cope for instance or worse that we’re an attention seeking drama queen!

But life isn’t a performance!

However pretending to be OK when you feel like you’re falling apart is. It isn’t your job to smile or hide your authentic truth purely to serve to make other people feel more comfortable

So if things become awkward let them

It’s not okay for others to undermine or gloss over your feelings, to try to silence your pain by telling you to get over it or cheer up because you’re no longer fun to be around. They like you need to understand that you are perfectly imperfect and as such are entitled to have times when you no longer wish or need to perform for anyone’s benefit except yours

There’s no need to push away your sadness

You should always honour your feelings and understand that you don’t need permission, approval or validation to feel what you feel and more importantly is very, very real

Self care is important and we should never neglect it for the sake of others. Especially those who may only want you around when it’s easy & comfortable. Their discomfort isn’t about you, it’s about them, their limitations and their own issues

No matter what they think or say, you should always to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel.

You’re allowed to show your feelings honestly.

You’re allowed to talk about your pain and reach out for support if you feel you need it.

You’re allowed to scream and wail and cry.

After all there’s a saying ‘it’s better out than in’ meaning in terms of our mental health that the sooner we acknowledge, accept and validate our emotions then the sooner we can work through them and let them go having learned what we need to from the experience

On a personal level recently as a family we had (and in some instances continue) to deal with some pretty traumatic circumstances each one which in their own right were enough to cope with on any given day but when combined, served on several occasions to almost completely derail our day to day lives and yet from my perspective they didn’t (though to be honest it came close at times) because I’m human and I now understand that as such we have the power of choice

Let me explain what I mean …

Just a few short years ago the stress of the chaos unfolding around us, let alone my highly charged emotional state caused by recent situations would’ve been enough to see me heading for a bottle or 4 of wine per day just to keep on an even keel in terms of ‘keeping it all together’. Anyway despite the emotions, chaos and drama which has continued to plague us these last few months and without burdening you with the finer detail, I’m happy to report that I’m still well and truly sober. YAAAAY!

Yet there have been several times where I’ve been so sad, so overwhelmed and so bloody frustrated I thought I would implode!

Why am I telling you this?

That’s easy because as I’ve pointed out previously life isn’t a performance and I know that now, but the old me?

The old me would’ve carried on stoically, pretending to the world and his father that everything, including me was fine. That I was despite everything happy. That I could cope and that they didn’t need to worry about me. All true – in the story in my head – and which was one of the reasons my life previously took the turn it did

However

The new me (I’m still very much a work in progress mind) knows better, so very much better and these days…

If I’m sad or overly emotional? I let it out. I sob, I cry and most importantly I’m getting better at doing it

If I’m angry?  I let it out. Even (and I have) if I have to go outside and scream at the moon and trust me on this when we release our anger healthily we instantly begin to feel better!

If I feel overwhelmed, hurt or confused? I let it out. I work through those feelings as best, as soon and as thoroughly as I can. Writing everything down is a good venting strategy as well as the more obvious one of talking it through with someone who’s not only supportive but objective (for my part thank you, you know who you are) and whilst ALL of the above and more constitute the menu which is sadness, they by the same token are all of them much easier to overcome, move through and grow from when we deal with them head on and don’t bury them, along with our heads in the sand.

But Do You Know What?

When we allow ourselves to feel, truly feel our emotions and at the same time allow those around us who matter; partners, family, friends etc, to see it then we very importantly take the first all important step in allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable.

It’s not easy. It’s scary and it hurts like hell and is why allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something that many of us (mental health issues aside) find difficult because in doing so we’re also allowing others to see that not only is everything not well in our world but moreover the picture we’ve painted for them of our being ‘superwoman/man’ is a myth

Guess What? – They Already Knew That!

No one is perfect but often the pictures we paint, the facades we build to protect ourselves from too close a scrutiny by others can be. This does both us and those we care for a disservice. Simply because in our determination to be seen to be constantly happy or always able to cope, we take away their choice in the matter and in doing so deem them either not able to cope with our weaknesses (for fear of upsetting them) or have unfairly decided that they wouldn’t care, have time or be interested if we did

The thing is, that’s not our call to make, it’s theirs!

Five years or more ago I made that same decision. The one to shield those I love and they me, from my pain and sadness. It’s one of the few things I regret today because in trying to shield them I certainly took away their choice.

The choice as to whether or not they would simply watch as I imploded or step up and help me to recover and live if they wanted or were able to

But that choice would have been theirs to make not mine

So is it OK to be sad, angry, upset and emotional especially without worrying about what others will think, say or feel about you?

YES because …

As Dr Seuss so succinctly put it ‘Those who matter don’t mind whereas those who mind don’t matter’!!

So…It is okay to be sad!! – AGREED?

Sue Curr is a Speaker, Empowerment Coach & Writer who in combining her professional background with her own significant journey along lifes loneliest of roads that of Mental Ill Health & Addiction today serves to enable others to see and understand that whoever and whatever we are?

It’s Enough!

 

Sober. Proud. Grateful…3 Years On!

3RD Anniversary Post

”No matter how many times we stumble or fall, the greatest lesson is loving yourself through it all” – Barbra Streisand

TODAY is the 3rd Anniversary of the first day of the rest of my life. It is the day when I was faced with the prospect of not seeing the next 24 hours let alone my children carve out their adult lives for themselves. I lived. I learned. I grew.

Welcome to my life. My new sober life!

It’s a day that I am fortunate to be seeing and there is not one day since the 26th September 2012, that I have not offered up thanks for the miracle that is my life as I live it these days. Now I don’t mean that to sound evangelical, nor do I say it to solicit sympathy or even pity. I say it simply because it’s true, a simple, honest fact. Due to my extremely poor lifestyle choices as a result of Mental Ill Health and having tried and failed (although that’s a word I dislike intensely) to sort myself out with the usual cocktail of prescribed meds and varying forms of therapy, I had slid almost unconsciously (the irony of that word isn’t lost on me as for the larger part of a period totalling about 15 years..that’s largely what I was unconscious) into the dangerous, un-policed area of self medication. Except my drug of choice came in a bottle or 3 a day rather than a blister pack of little white pills.

My descent into a self-induced state of oblivion started off relatively slowly but as is the way with all addiction gathered pace quite spectacularly and as I’ve told you before I almost became a guest of the Grim Reaper when my liver and other vital organs started to shut down. Fortunately I lived to tell the tale and my life since that date  has gone from strength to strength. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally & very definitely physically. Quite simply on every level I am a different person.

Someone asked me recently if I was a better person because of it. Honestly? At the time I couldn’t answer her…largely because I didn’t feel that was my call to make. However having had chance to digest the question properly and if she asked me again today…particularly today, given that it’s 3 years hence my answer would have to be a great big, fat resounding...

Yes it is and not only that I am prouder than I ever imagined possible about the fact.

I’m happier, healthier and more whole than ever before and because of this I’m more confident, less paranoid, have an improving opinion of my self-image and I know I am more than enough just the way I am. All of the above have led me to be more relaxed, less anxious, most certainly less self-absorbed these days and as a result I am more emotionally and mentally available, as such I’m more in tune with and receptive to the needs of others in a way which quite honestly I was totally unable to be 3 years ago. So yes I think I can say with all honesty yes I’m a better person for the experience. As frightening and unpleasant as it was the lessons I learned because of it have made the person I am today…and do you know what? I actually for the first time like who I am. BONUS!

That said I very firmly still consider myself to be a work in progress..living, learning & growing every single day. My historic battle with Mental Ill Health & its resultant poor lifestyle choices saw me almost rob myself of seeing my family thrive & grow…the fact that I did leaves me full of a gratitude which is beyond measure.

If I’ve learned anything it’s that this isn’t a rehearsal..grab each day by the scruff of it’s neck…tell those you care for how much you love them and make every single second count leaving no room for regret. We’re all born, we all die..it’s what we do in between which becomes our legacy NOT what there is in the bank..the box we’re leaving in bar a few inches is gonna be the same size and we ain’t taking anything with us folks so make it count…while you still can.

I firmly believe the adage that in life there are no mistakes only lessons to be learned and trust me this particular one is very definitely one which will never have to be revisited let alone unlearned. I’m not naive enough to think that I will never be tempted to partake of the demon drink again..indeed in recent times of extreme stress the thought has in all honesty crossed my mind BUT I owe it to myself and those I cherish to love this life I live & live this life I love with every fibre of my heart and soul cleanly, openly & honestly thus absolving them of the need to worry about me.

Addiction makes a person very selfish and as that selfish incarnation of yourself you truly cannot think or process anything which threatens the false reality you’ve created for yourself as you hide from the cause of the pain which you have strived so hard to forget. In becoming so self-absorbed nothing else matters, not yourself or your health, not your loved ones or the pain they feel on your behalf and you certainly don’t even think about happiness, let alone actually being happy. In short you care about nothing only where your next drink, fix, high,,,whatever you’re chasing is coming from.

This more than anything else is something which even if I was tempted myself? I would never, ever put those I love through that pain again…and so going back to the previous question.

Has it made you a better person? Oh God I do hope so…YES! I’m done being selfish, I’m done being miserable, I’m done hiding. I fully intend to carry on doing exactly what I now implore you all to do which is to;

Do what makes YOU happy, be who or what YOU want to be and understand that we all of us have the power within to do just that…live life mindfully with gratitude and whatever you are KNOW that you are ENOUGH!

Trust me if I can do it….anyone can and I highly recommend it!!!

For those of you…and you know who you are…who have loved & supported me unconditionally along the way my eternal gratitude knows no bounds..I love you today, tomorrow & ALWAYS

LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE!

Sue – Clean. Sober & Happy for 1096 Days today!!

Don’t Follow The Crowd

Dont follow the crowd POST‘’I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions’’
Stephen Covey

I spent far too many years trying to ‘’fit in’’ be ‘’one of the crowd’’. Don’t get me wrong I was never involved with what my Dad would’ve called a ‘’bad lot’’

Quite the opposite I had, indeed still do an amazing bunch of close friends who have always been both a constant in my life and incredibly supportive of me no matter the circumstances. Although on occasion I made that incredibly difficult but I digress. The point being I never felt under any pressure from my peers to do anything I didn’t want. I quite literally became as Stephen Covey so succinctly puts it ‘’ a product of my own circumstances’’.

During my formative years I ‘’learned’’ very early on an innate need to please others….I became the self-deprecating class clown, the one who would always say yes when she wanted to say no. The one who was always first to volunteer to go that extra mile regardless if I had the time to do it. The one who agreed to go on holiday to Spain when she really, really wanted to go to India.

You get the picture?

In my case I began at a very early age to follow the paths that others had laid out for themselves with me in mind purely because I didn’t have the nerve or the ability at the time to even think about suggesting that I may want to do something different especially if it didn’t include them.

In short my problem was that I was petrified that others would think less of me, not like me or even worse not love me for who I really was. Which was invariably different to what they thought.

Everyone’s reasons for finding themselves in situations like this are both very personal and wildly different but the result as far as ourselves is concerned is that we lose sight of who we really are and what we really want.

If we’re fortunate we ‘’wake up and smell the coffee’’ before too much damage is done.

Me? It took me until I was turned 50…. To have ‘’a midlife crisis’’. For that read standing up for myself purely by becoming brave enough to decline the ‘’offers, plans and suggestions’’ of others IF I DIDN’T WANT to be involved.

These days I KNOW BETTER so…….your mission should you choose to accept it as you journey through this life of yours would be…..

Always be your own person

Our life is ours alone, our responsibility. Follow the path of your own choosing. Remember however that a sometimes unexpected turn can inspire us to achieve amazing things….we should all learn to ‘’expect the unexpected’’ and embrace it when it happens.

Whatever you do though don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all alone. Rather welcome others to join you along the way….ask them if want them to but whatever you do, do it on your own terms. Whilst having the support & company of those who are important to us can be a good thing they may on occasion try and dissuade you from your chosen goal…..usually with the best of intention but sometimes for their own ulterior motive.

Don’t be afraid (indeed be prepared) to make difficult decisions if that’s what it takes to get you where you need to be and/or to do the right thing but whilst it’s nice to take the credit where it’s due it can also be counterbalanced at times by having to take your fair share of the blame if things don’t go as planned. Which they invariably will but that’s ok because……None of us is perfect!

Use the power of choice to get you where you want to be. Whilst that may not always be what others want or even like – it’s important to always remember that it’s what you want out of life that counts.

As long as you are coming from a place of kindness, compassion and love and you’re not deliberately setting out to hurt or upset anyone then you can leave the responsibility for the reactions of others firmly where they need to be…….WITH THEM!

Stay strong and have the courage of your convictions. We all of us have more mental strength than we believe…even in the most trying of circumstances…or give ourselves credit for when things get tough. Then watch yourself blossom as you come ever closer to achieving what it is you want. Your confidence and self-esteem will start to soar as you truly become your authentic self.

Someone who is comfortable in their own skin and secure with the decisions they make….someone who is always true to themselves.

Remember as you go forward in life …..YOUR LIFE!

You’re responsible for YOU

You don’t exist to impress the world or anyone in it. You exist to live the life you want in ways that serve to MAKE YOU HAPPY!

Which is as it should

Be mindful about and wary of being pulled down a path that is of someone else’s making. If you’re not comfortable with it make your own detour.

Don’t ever feel the need to excuse, apologise or justify your choices because there is no shame….ONLY PRIDE in achieving what you want in life, in your own way and on your own terms. PERIOD! 

To sum it up….it took me far too long to realise that the only thing I am truly responsible for is ME.

These days I’m very much my own person, one secure enough to understand that the opinions of others are theirs to deal with and what they think of the choices I make in MY LIFE are none of my business.

I now KNOW that Dr Seuss was spot on when he famously said…..

‘’Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind’’

If I’d understood that as a youngster life would have certainly been very different. Do I regret anything? I honestly don’t believe I do because everything that’s gone before has made me the person that I am today which is stronger, wiser, and happier and for the first time ever I’m truly……

COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN!
RESULT!
Thanks for reading…whatever you do today…be true to yourself!

Let It Go and We’re Not Talking Disney Here

Let It Go POST
In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past but you will find yourself
Deepak Chopra

One of the most difficult skill sets we ever have cause to learn is the art of letting things go

Now, that can be letting go of; old habits, obsessive thought patterns, the need to understand something, toxic relationships, guilt, anger in fact pretty much anything which can hold us back or cause undue worry, stress or upset in life.

As we become older and hopefully wiser we gradually come to understand that EVERY situation and/or emotion we face throughout our lives is only EVER temporary. Yet the compelling need to hang onto that which no longer serves us in anyway, rather than diminishing with age often grows ever stronger as we face the uncertainty of what will happen to us or because of us if we dare to do the unthinkable and just LET THINGS GO!

The safety net of the familiar, albeit something which habitually causes us angst and upset perversely becomes somewhat of a comfort blanket as we rail against our own self doubt questioning whether or not IF it would be the right thing to do and this in addition to the negative input from those around us – even loved ones – who would have us stay ”stuck at a point” simply because it serves their own ends for us to do so. Other people will often attempt to manipulate us into ”leaving things be” sometimes not even fully aware themselves that this is what they’re doing and yet at other times they blatantly attempt to browbeat us into submission employing tactics such as name calling, veiled threats, emotional blackmail, put downs, outright insults and so the list goes on.

However when others do try and bring their influence to bear over our intent to ”let something go” and DESPITE their assurances that ”it’s for your own good” or ”for the best” etc they are almost without exception trying to do nothing more or less than to control that which is NOT theirs to control.

YOUR LIFE! YOUR FUTURE!

It’s important to realise through all this that our own self doubt is in itself enough to prevent us from moving forward if we choose to allow it to but at least that would be OUR CHOICE.

For me the biggest shift happened when it came to ultimately deciding to let go of something which had paralyzed me emotionally for years. It was a slow but sure awakening to the absolute FACT that in doing so not only would it be a freeing experience BUT it would in no way be a betrayal of someone or even a denial about a given situation. Rather the exact opposite because by acknowledging AND taking responsibility for it I came to understand the simple truth that what had been, had happened and on occasion was still happening just didn’t have a place in my life anymore. The toll on my health had been immeasurable and furthermore I suddenly knew without doubt that I was no longer willing to carry the burden of (in my case) the limitations of the learned behaviour patterns which had chained me so very firmly both in the past and within my own mind set.

By definition the act or indeed the art of ”letting things go” is synonymous with change and this I’m sure is the major obstacle for most of us as we struggle to detach ourselves from that which is holding us back in some way.

At times in many ways.

The thing is change can be good, it can be bad and it can most certainly be a painful experience as we transition from one phase to another. However when we weigh up the pros and cons we start to realise that any pain or anguish which transpires on the back of letting go pales drastically when compared to that felt by someone (as was I)  who is stuck in a scenario they are unwilling or unable to remove themselves from and as a result of which they are unable to learn, grow and move forward. In effect that someone becomes responsible for disabling their own future as our old friend procrastination happily throws up a myriad reasons why things are best left unsaid or undone so almost subconsciously things are left unchanged because after all….”better the devil you know eh”?

Once the decision has been made to ”Let It Go” and the gamut of manipulation and emotional blackmail has been run it becomes evermore obvious to us that where we had previously thought that by holding on we were being strong, in actual fact ”letting go” takes an act of even greater strength. So as we commence our journey along our chosen path to a healthier future then, we can begin to see that the act of cutting ourselves loose from our hurt, sorrows, negativity, toxic people or situations…….BY LETTING GO.……we can and will embrace the here, the now, this moment and very definitely our future with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and hope because  we can now say with certainty that there is a world of difference between the choices of ‘‘giving up” and ”letting go”.

I can only speak for myself when I say this but having taken a long, long time to understand that when someone or something no longer has a place in my life (regardless of the reason) then I can not only choose to  let it or them go BUT I can do so safe in the knowledge that I do not have to explain, apologise OR justify either myself or my decision to anyone else.

It takes an inordinate amount of courage to ”Let Go” of the old or familiar, especially when the resulting change  has the potential to cause  you even more distress in the short term at least than that which you have liberated your mind from but the benefits to us as individuals is immense. Again speaking personally, on the back of actively choosing to ”Let Go” (especially of situations over which I had absolutely no control) I saw in me a hitherto unknown personae evolve…..granted one which I very firmly consider to be still a work in progress……I became a stronger more assertive person, one who whilst still always attempting to be fair to others would nevertheless hold firmly onto my principles. I became someone who was (to quote the blessed song..) ”For The First Time In Forever” comfortable in her own skin, someone who came to understand that;

To let go of something means simply that we can move on.

Whereas to hold onto something means that we are always looking back. Accepting that the art of ”Letting Go” will produce change in our lives is a massive ask of anyone but when we couple this with the fact that ”Letting Go” does not mean forgetting rather it means that we have learned something, be it about ourselves or something else then the positives we can take from this are beneficial on levels we hadn’t previously considered because we ARE FINALLY SECURE in the knowledge that;

Regardless of what others may or may not think about our choices in life we are GOOD enough, we are ABLE enough, we are SMART enough, we are STRONG enough to make make those same choices for ourselves WITHOUT the need for validation from others. They will no doubt continue at times to attempt to derail the progress which we have chosen to make BUT if we keep steadfast in our decision and don’t acknowledge their behaviour then we can continue to keep moving forward with OUR LIVES because we suddenly know with absolute clarity that whatever another says or does in their efforts at sabotaging your future happiness it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a reflection on THEM not us!

Going forward then ALWAYS REMEMBER that;

YOU are the only person who you are responsible for and to, whatever you do or say along your journey in this life YOUR LIFE somebody somewhere along the way is going to be upset and/or disappointed in you BUT THAT’S OK as long as you are secure in your decisions, your actions and more importantly YOURSELF that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

I’ve come to know with absolute certainty that LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be constantly at war with yourself OR others. Pick your battles. Be kind to yourself and others by making the practices of ACCEPTANCE & FORGIVENESS part of your daily routine LETTING GO of the trials and tribulations of yesterday is the first step towards a brighter more positive future.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. A NEW BEGINNING. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. EMBRACE IT AND STEP FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE

YOUR FUTURE!

 

 

 

Choice, Life Is A Choice

Choice, Life Is POST

”It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”  J.K.Rowling

Life!

The singular thing we all have in common. However having said that there are only actually two things which for sure will happen to us all.

We will be born. We will die.

Stark but nevertheless completely true.

Equally true is the fact that many of us do actually treat the experience that is life as a final destination. We all too easily lose sight of the fact that it is actually a journey. Each day, for each of us is completely unique and thus our journey in turn becomes as individual as we are and in all honesty most of us never even consider that it is our choices along the way which make it so.

The amazing thing is that we all of us do have the power of choice.

It is after all the most basic of our rights as humans. We can all of us, if we so choose be compliant and ”allow” life to happen to us OR we can become proactive and choose to be the architect of our own journey and subsequently our destiny.

So my friends I would urge that you give some thought to the gift which is your life and the like of which you will not receive again. As you go through your day tomorrow pay attention…..be mindful if you will.… as to the number of choices you will actually get to make during it’s course. In addition to the those you would make automatically……what to eat, what to wear, where to go…….concentrate on each moment as it occurs and realise that everything in life is a choice;

Positivity. Negativity. Gratitude. Happiness…all of it

Those choices in turn have the power to alter your life for the better or worse. Any given point on your journey through life is in direct correlation to your words, actions & attitude and it is you alone who are responsible for it.

There are those amongst us who will say ”Oh no it’s not  my fault… ???… did this, said that and so on which would all be very true HOWEVER the key here is that the other person is the one who has to take responsibility for their actions whilst it is YOU alone who must take responsibility for your REACTION to the situation/ feeling they created. You have the power to allow or disallow how anything impacts upon you. You can CHOOSE and it is this choice alone which will dictate whether you are compliant in or an architect of your life, your FUTURE!

So having urged you to be mindful as you go about your day tomorrow you should consider the possibility that you have inadvertently become compliant in ”allowing” your life to just happen to you. If you should come to realise that you have in fact been ”happily” accepting your lot then it may come as somewhat of a surprise to find that you have always had the option of CHOICE.

It would be unrealistic to assume that choosing a positive option will either be simple or easy

Indeed at times it will be very far removed from these two particular emotions. The difficulty comes with the slow realisation that (in many instances) we have been accepting the unacceptable as being the only option open to us without ever having truly considered any alternative just because ..”that’s the way it’s always been”….! When you think about it would you buy meat from the same butcher every week regardless of the fact that it had ”gone off” just because your family had always shopped there? Of course you wouldn’t because you would be able to see, smell & taste the badness.

However when it comes to something as intangible as ”happiness” our recognition and/ or acceptance of it is based on the largely intangible, meaning that whilst we can witness someones happiness by seeing them smile, we cannot touch it, taste it or smell it. By default therefore we become more inclined to be accepting of something which cannot be physically evidenced as being otherwise and as such it enables us to trust that things are as they should be.

After all how often do we say things such as; ” it was just a gut feeling” about something?

So having decided (which in itself is a choice) then that everything in life is a choice, let’s take the a fore mentioned emotion of happiness. People have often said to me things like ”you’re either happy or unhappy, that’s all there is to it” I would for a long time have agreed with them UNTIL that is I had my own what I like to call ”light bulb moment” and realised that I like you can choose happiness.

It took me quite a while to get into the habit of choice and for me it became easier when I realised that the opinions and or actions of others for instance, could only hold sway over my emotions if I ALLOWED them to. The bottom line is that we all of us have responsibility for what we allow in our lives. For me I have actively chosen not to allow or embrace negativity from any source. If we try and remember that the negativity we encounter on a daily basis particularly from another person is THEIR negativity and as such has no place in or power over our lives we soon come to realise that it’s just a small step to choosing between a smile or a frown!

In CHOOSING HAPPINESS I now also understand that (to quote the song) –

”You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”  and it feels AWESOME!!!

Happiness you will come to understand is not only a choice but a way of life and it’s contagious so………..what are you waiting for???

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

Dont be so POST

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

Lucille Ball

I have long struggled to reconcile myself to the fact that practicing Self Care  as opposed to being Selfish is not only ACCEPTABLE, it’s NECESSARY! Whilst for me at least being selfish has never been an option on this journey through life, the alternative and far healthier choice of caring  positively and in a loving manner for oneself, I have for a very long time mistakenly believed to be the same thing. In fact NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Self Care;  Looking after ones self in a healthy manner be it physically, mentally or spiritually
Selfish;  lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

When you look at the definitions side by side the difference in meaning is CLEAR for all to see. Yet in my minds eye the fact that on occasion when I chose to utter the word NO in response to say a request to do something for another the guilt and anguish I experienced at my own PERCEIVED selfishness  simply because I had ”refused to help someone” in some way, knew absolutely no bounds. Unfounded guilt, coupled with  equally unfounded paranoia that they would deem my negative response to their request as me being SELFISH fueled a self perpetuating decline overtime into the unrealistic realm of me responding with a compliant YES to requests REGARDLESS of whether I needed to do something different at the time or not!

In real terms what that meant on the most basic of levels is that in the great scheme of things when asked to do……..(you fill in the blanks)….and regardless of circumstance, situation, time constraints, personal commitments I would more often than not be heard to proffer an enthusiastic YES (when actually feeling anything but!) and usually at great personal expense in terms of the impact on both my physical and mental well being. Simply put I had done an OUTSTANDING job of convincing myself that without doubt to proffer an equally firm but polite NO would mean that I was SELFISH personified!

In essence I had decided at an extremely young age that I would in no way become a SELFISH person,  A noble premise but one in which aiming to achieve, I had unwittingly applied a totally unrealistic set of principles for negotiating the minefield of life. Principles which would see me time and again put the needs of others over and above those of myself regardless of personal cost. In all honesty the cost incurred was probably an equal mix in terms physical, emotional and mental decline. The concept of SELF-CARE never having even been allowed the opportunity to be considered. In my ”quest” to become ”all things, to all people” a modern day mix of Mother Theresa & Nelson Mandela if you will, my default setting had turned me into a somewhat substandard version of Mary Poppins as I had very definitely become ”practically IMPERFECT in every way”.

The pressure I had put myself under by striving to reach the unattainable saw me buckle under my PERCEIVED FAILURE to be the person I THOUGHT others wanted me to be as opposed to the person that I ACTUALLY AM! Such was my physical and mental decline that I was the last  one to realise just exactly what my self imposed mindset had cost me.

Almost too late I realised that those who I loved and who loved me in return did so simply BECAUSE of who I AM and NOT because what I can do for them. All they wanted (had EVER wanted) was for me to be HAPPY, HEALTHY & WHOLE! Were I on occasion willing and ABLE to help them out in some way then that would be ENOUGH.

I WOULD BE ENOUGH!

So late in the day I came to understand the concept of SELF-CARE! Together with it’s implications and benefits. The outcome for me (and hopefully those of you who may also lack self awareness) is such that as a matter of priority I  now strive everyday to seek BALANCE in life: a healthy, balanced diet, quality sleep and enough of it, to spend quality time with loved ones and above all else to make time to relax and just ”be” – whether sitting, reading, meditating, essentially doing something where I show MYSELF the love I now know I DESERVE and which without forethought I make so readily available to others.

When you truly come to understand AND practice the art of SELF-CARE, see it in action for yourself AND THEN realise that life as you knew it has not only NOT ceased to exist BUT in fact IMPROVED BEYOND MEASURE then you will know without a shadow of a doubt that to;

”Love yourself first and everything else falls in line”

……..probably number amongst some of the truer words ever spoken! Never lose sight of the fact that when it comes to being loved then you are right up there at the top of the list so remember going forward

”Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!”