Monday Musing- 06/09/21.

Last night I saw a comment on Facebook that really made me think. It was from a woman who had posted a photograph of herself after she’d had fake eyelashes done and Botox. Now, that’s not my cup of tea, but one of the comments she made in reply to a friend complimenting her kinda made me smile.

I’m paraphrasing here, but her comment was something like she is beautiful inside and out and the “work” she gets done is to enhance her outer and inner beauty.

I used to be rather critical of people who wanted to get their lashes, or their lips done. Or get Botox, or breast enhancements. But do you know what, it’s not really anyone else’s business is it. If this kind of “work” helps a woman feel at her best then that’s the main thing.

Cheerleading other women is my jam now, and it’s hard some of the time, especially when that woman might rub me up the wrong way, or if she makes questionable choices. But we have enough on our plates trying to get on in this world with patriarchal rules trying to keep us small.

So what if we women make choices about OUR bodies! They’re our bodies, they belong to us and if we want to get any kind of enhancement then so be it. If we feel the need to terminate a pregnancy, then so be it. Men, and women who act like men have no right to dictate what we do with our bodies.

We should always be in full control of what happens to us – and this applies to men too. By focusing on ourselves rather than everyone else we get to take our power back and make choices for us rather than for what anyone else thinks, or wants us to do for their benefit.

Stand strong and be proud.

Monday Motivation – 12/07/2021.

I agree with this so much. Recently I was mulling over some work related choices and some of my reasoning left me feeling deflated. A voice inside my head kept telling me to do what makes me happy. It’s vital to follow your heart.

The problem we have, myself included, is that we think things through, again, and again, and again. It’s this over thinking that trips us up. It leads us down the path of self doubt, then onto feeling like we aren’t worthy, like we’re not good enough.

That’s when we give up. We have talked ourselves out of something that would be have been oh so good for us. And what for? The reason is we didn’t trust our inner knowing. We didn’t trust our gut.

Listen to your heart ❤️

This got me like…

I stumbled across this meme yesterday and it really resonated. I read it and re-read it several times and I kept thinking that this was a message I clearly needed to see.

Stress and how we react to stressful situations are obviously quite damaging to our health. The simplicity of the message, learn how to react without stressing out, is a lesson I needed to hear and learn at this time and it has shown up when I really needed to hear this.

Synchronicity.

Monday Musing – 10/05/21.

I was reading an article yesterday about how we should embrace our childhood passions in order to help us navigate our careers, present or future.

My childhood passion was to be a Jedi knight.

At first I laughed because how could I ever follow my childhood dream? But then I got thinking about what a Jedi knight encompasses. Upholding certain laws. Embracing the energy of the universe and using it for good. Fighting evil.

Whilst there are certain aspects of this particular passion that I cannot ever hope to emulate, there are at least one or two qualities I can embrace and even incorporate into my career.

Sometimes we over complicate our lives. We over think plans or ideas and then dismiss them as impossible. Just because something is easy, or is simple, doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.

If you aren’t living your childhood dream it’s maybe worth revisiting that passion. You never know, you could rework a once cherished idea and make it work for your future.

Monday Musing – 12/04/21. Slave to our screens?

There’s a huge push for digital detoxing right now. I get it, really, I do. People do become disconnected from their family and friends due to spending too much time on social media, checking emails, snapping selfies, and so on. The kind of detox that is popular right now might appeal to people who spend their days online, on their smart phones, engaging with everone except their family.

But what about those of us who rely on screens to engage with others because a disability prevents us from socialising outside of our homes? I am not referring to lockdown life, I am referring to people, such as mysef, who have to spend huge swathes of time at home because a disability prevents us from leaving home.

And what about those of us who rely on tablets, IPads, smartphones etc to read? Someone like me, for instance, who has severe issues with joint pain, swelling, and even dislocations, what then? I know I can’t always hold a book, that’s where my kindle is a life saver. And there are times when I am confined to my bed, my phone is vital in keeping me connected with the outside world.

I have a smart watch that I use for a variety of reasons, quite a lot of them health related. My screens are a lifeline for me, when I am bed-bound I rely on them. I haven’t found an alternative solution that would enable me to have as good a quality of life as I have when my disability bites hard.

I don’t think we should fall into the demonising screens trap. I think we have to use our common sense. We have to establish whether a screen detox is something that would be beneficial to us, or would we be doing it just to follow a trend. This demonising of screens seems to be the latest thing we should all do. We find ourselves portrayed as slaves to our screens, but the question we have to ask ourselves is, are we really a slave to them?

I have yet to see any articles or self help books welcoming the use of screens for those of us who have limited mobility and the like. We seem to be forgotten when it comes to being represented in these mediums. This can often leave us feeling confused by what we are reading, we are as keen as anyone else to improve our lives, but often get left feeling despondent by reading that our lifeline is really bad for us and we shouldn’t really use it as much as we do.

Is something that is a lifeline to us such a bad thing?

Tuesday Thought – 06/04/21.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time nursing regret at what I should’ve done in my life. It just seeps into you at times, you don’t realise you’re holding on so tightly.

Realising that life is a gift and that the journey is also a gift made me stop and think about why I’m lugging regret around with me.

What does it serve?

Regret.

I’m talking about the regrets we have when we don’t take action in our lives, not the regrets we have when we’ve hurt someone.

There’s no reason why we can’t just aim for what we want our lives to be like, little by little. Just because we didn’t do that last week, or last year, or even five or ten years ago, that doesn’t mean we can’t still aim for that desire now.

There’s a saying that goes something like you’re a long time dead. Sobering thought. We may as well make good on what we want to do whilst we journey through this thing called life.

Tuesday’s Thought – 30/03/21.

This week sees the last of my Psychology Level 1 lessons. I have learnt a lot and a vision for my future has transpired. I began this journey out of anger towards cuts to vital services for women who experience sexual violence, hoping to do one thing, but as I have gone through the first year of my Psychology Degree I have found out where my interest really lies.

It’s still early days for me on this journey and I am excited to see where the next steps of it take me.

I feel like I am so different on a personal level now. Studying has made me prioritise a hell of lot of things in my life, and there’s a lot I have let go. Mostly it has been trivial stuff, but one thing was a friendship that I considered to be of value, despite the warnings from family that the person was no good to me.

Earlier this year there was a situation in my personal life and it was during this time that this person blocked me on all social media – the situation was not related to her, it was something else. At the time I had too much going on to even give her actions more than a moment’s thought, but as life got back to a semblance of normality I got to thinking about how the loss of friendship was going to feel.

And I felt nothing.

I was quite surprised by this. I have known this person for many years and whenever one of us has stopped speaking to the other I have tended to feel the loss keenly. But I feel absolutely nothing this time and I think this has a lot to do with the inner work I have done on myself, plus how I prioritise who and what I allow into my life now.

Moving forward, thinking about where I want to be in terms of how I show up in the world, I now have a solid sense of who I allow into my inner circle. Working on myself on a therapeutical level and studying psychology has allowed me to tend to my inner garden, so to speak. I now only allow healthy relationships into my life. If something or someone is not good for my health, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, then it has no place in my life.

What started out as an angry call to action has possibly been one of the best decisions of my life. I have learnt how to weed out that which isn’t good for me, whereas in the past I would tend to ignore it, convincing myself that I knew myself well enough!

Sometimes endings are the best things for us. Sometimes letting go is the best thing we can do. Not all loss comes to hurt us, often it comes to teach us and we have to be willing to listen and learn, otherwise the lesson will just repeat itself until we learn what we need to.

Monday Musing – 29/03/21.

There’s a buzz in the air. We have sprung forward – aka moving into BST. Plus, we are now moving into the start of what our Prime Minister terms his roadmap out of lockdown.

It made me sit up and think yesterday. It is the time to be seen out in the world. We cast off our winter blues, our thoughts turn to sunny days and maybe, just maybe, being allowed to meet up with family and friends we haven’t seen in however long.

And all of this requires us to be seen, obviously.

Being seen is a normal part of life. We venture out into the world and are seen by those who we pass in the street. By those who we share public transport with. By those who we work with. It’s normal and we don’t pay it much heed.

Normally.

There are those of us who have suffered terribly because of things that have happened to us. There are those of us who have anxiety disorders. Fear of going outside. Fear of being seen.

For me it is all about being seen because of a traumatic experience. I have spent over thirty years believing people were judging me because of what happened to me. They weren’t, they didn’t even know, but my hyper-vigilant mind had me believing that there were threats everywhere around me, and that everyone I saw was forming an opinion of me based on what happened.

When I finally broke free of that never ending cycle of fear I was left with a gaping big hole in my thought process. The idea was to fill that hole with positive thoughts, reinforcing what I had learnt in therapy. Only that somehow didn’t happen. I found myself gazing at what my therapist termed the wounded child. She was kind of healed, but she – me – I had no idea of who the hell I was.

The work we did when my therapy was nearing completion was geared to help me understand that for thirty odd years I had been emotionally trapped. Sixteen year old me was the forty odd year old me. Emotionally I had remained that age because I hadn’t processed one of the major parts of my trauma – the threat of being killed.

When my therapist had me reliving the attack over and over again I remembered things I hadn’t even processed. They were stuck. Inside of my head. Keeping me perpetually in fear. Always scanning for the threat. Never wanting to be seen. Needing to be invisible.

I have done the work on this issue. I have continued to do the work on this issue. It is a work in progress.

When Covid hit the UK I was just finishing my therapy, just getting started on dong the inner work that was required for me to continue to heal. I had a setback. The restrictions felt like I was being forced into doing something I didn’t want to do (please understand here that I fully understood the lockdown rules and the restrictions, I am just describing how I felt from a recovering from trauma POV). The threat of a deadly virus felt like the spectre of a ghost from my past. Enter hyper-vigilance once more.

This caused a breakdown. I was given medication and offered therapy once more. The latter I didn’t take, this time. The lockdown meant I would have to wait a considerable amount of time to see the lovely lady who has helped me so much. By the time she could see me again I didn’t even want to consider what state my mental health would have been in. So I began to work on myself using the tools she taught me.

The conclusion has been who the hell am I?

Well, in a few short weeks I will be 50 years old. A lifetime has passed between me of now and me from then. After a lot of inner work, facing my demons, and truths, realising I am not who people perceive me to be, accepting I am becoming who I want to be, and realising that I will be seen when I venture out into the world, and being absolutely OK with that.

That monster from the past has been dealt with. Yeah, he’s going to pop into my head,, probably several times a week, if not daily. But I don’t have to let his sneering face into my beautiful mind view. He didn’t conquer me. I lived. I maybe thought I hadn’t, but I did. I found love. I had a family. I have created so many beautiful moments in my life. Created stories that one day the world will see. Created a vision for women who have suffered what I have.

Springing forward this year feels so much brighter than last year. The year the was hell actually helped to heal me. I am different person. I am not who most people perceive me to be. I am not who social media portrays me to be – sometimes at the hand of others.

I am me and proud to be me.