I don’t know about you but since MRx ended, and here in the UK (well, England) we are starting to see an end to our latest lockdown, there’s a lighting of the load feeling.
In England we have had three lockdowns, you’d think we’d be used to the restrictions by now. But most people I have spoken to feel down, depressed even, and I think that’s because the last two lockdowns have been in the winter.
The first lockdown was March 2020 until the summer. It was a great spring in terms of good weather, and I believe that helped people, most people, cope with the restrictions. I didn’t fare so well then. I had a breakdown and ended up back on anti-depressants.
The next lockdown started early November and ended early December. The promise of Christmas spent with loved ones helped some people cope, but the the goalposts were changed on that and a lot of people slumped into the doldrums once more.
And no sooner had we started a new year – a year we hoped would be vastly different and have a lighter feel than the previous one – we were put into lockdown number three.
It’s no wonder people have struggled. It’s the darkest time of the year, the weather isn’t that great, and even when there was snow, we weren’t allowed to meet family or friends to have some fun.
But now the end is in sight. Vaccinations are being given, cases are decreasing, deaths are decreasing, there’s a way forward now that is tangible for us all.
The ending of Mercury Retrograde and the news of the easing of restrictions have given hope to us. The light is increasing, the spring is just around the corner and maybe, just maybe we can see our loved ones at Easter.
That hope is filling the air with a beautiful vibe that is touching everything it comes into contact with. It feels like a new beginning is upon us. It’s exciting and much anticipated.
What a really positive card and a great start to the week!
The energy and your emotions are building, the sky is the limit, your dreams can come true. Keep moving forward as your goal is in sight.
I think this is a great card, coming right after Mercury has gone direct. The time is now to plan and do. There’s always a sense of hurriedness once Mercury has begun moving forward, but slow and steady wins the race, remember that when the current energies are urging you to move, move, move.
With Valentine’s just a couple of days away, today my message is one of love.
I am always talking about how love isn’t just about the romantic kind. It’s about our families. Our friends. Work or school colleagues.
People can go OTT at this time of the year. I don’t think that matters, why should it to us? We don’t always know what is going on in the personal lives of other people.
People without partners can feel down at this time of year. The displays of cards, flowers, gifts, a constant reminder of what they don’t have.
This is where self love is important.
Self love is a special kind of love. You always have yourself. I think it’s important at any time of the year to practice self love and care, soul love. Especially during these dark and uncertain times. But at this time of year it can be a wonderful way to help with any feelings of lack.
Be good to yourself. Be kind. Be loving. Remind yourself that you are not defined by having a man or a woman in your life. Your worth is all about you as a whole, not what someone else brings to your life.
Celebrate the love you have for yourself this coming weekend. Even if you are in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with loving you too.
And if you’re not in a relationship and haven’t learnt to love yourself yet, just be gentle with yourself right now. Use this weekend as a starting point to loving you. Keep things simple to start with, learning to love yourself is difficult enough, so don’t over complicate any gestures or actions you plan on doing.
Most of all celebrate love this weekend. Any kind of love. Not just romantic love.
What a year this has been. I started it off with the intention of loving myself. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have struggled with a lack of self love for a very long time. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions – which I always break by the middle of February at the very latest – I decided to dedicate the year to loving myself. I started off great, I was able to practice self love each day; that was until we hit lockdown in March.
That was when things went downhill.
I have CPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and had been in a hyper vigilant state for most of my adult life. I had gone through therapy that had helped me enormously, but I lost my ability to cope once the UK went into lockdown.
I became so paranoid and stressed, I was crying most days and really couldn’t cope with the threat of being stopped by the police or some other official anytime I left the house.
By my birthday I’d had a breakdown and was in a really dark place. I felt like I had failed at the self love project and started thinking very dark and scary thoughts. I eventually went to see a Dr. and got prescribed anti-depressants.
After a few weeks I began to feel better in myself. That nearly came to an end in late summer, I needed a smear and the first attempt failed – I was really calm and positive too. The second attempt was a disaster also. Flashbacks, panic attacks, massive triggers….they also couldn’t get a sample of cells. I cried all the way home. I felt like I was 16 again.
But out of that experience I felt empowered to help other women who have suffered any form of sexual violence, and domestic abuse too. I was so determined to put my own experiences to some use that I enrolled with the OU to study Psychology with Counselling.
And as we enter the final month of what can only be termed as a horrific year, I feel empowered, well, happy, determined, and I certainly practice self love.
You see, I now know that going to the GP to get the medication was an act of self love. I know that pushing through my trauma triggers and flashbacks has catapulted me forward to a place where I can try to make a difference to women who have suffered at the hands of rapists and abusers.
2020 broke me. But I rose from the ashes and I am rebuilding my life on my own terms.
This year the holiday season feels more poignant than ever before. This year has been dominated by loss. It has driven home the message for me that life is for living.
Something I get asked about quite often is “can I fix my reputation?” Those who ask are adult women who have had negative comments and lies spread about them, thus ruining their reputation.
It isn’t just school yard gossip, you would think once people had left school they would be adult enough not to resort to such actions. But the advent of social media has given people a platform on which to spew their gossip and lies.
It’s alarming to think that adults would resort to such tactics to harm the reputation of someone whom they dislike, or just act maliciously to remain popular.
Often people get told just to ignore the rumours and lies and gossip that has been spread about them, after all, this is what we are always told to do from an early age.
Quite frankly, I think this is part of the problem. That old adage sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me is used from the formative years of our lives. We are being told to accept the bad behaviour of other people and just carry on as normal.
That never really works.
Once we reach adulthood we have a distorted sense of what is right and wrong when it comes to how we should treat other people, and how we should react – or not act. When we decide to take matters into our own hands and retaliate with some home truths about the gossip, we become the bully.
So is it any wonder people are seeking to repair their reputation?
I’ve talked to quite a few people about this and the jury is still out. There are those people who want more than anything to repair the damage to their reputation, and there are those people who shrug it all off. Either way is fine and neither way is better than the other.
I’ve found that a sullied reputation can often be based on gossip, lies, and misinformation. It isn’t necessarily always lies that ruin a person’s reputation either, quite often it is a lack of the correct information about the person or their circumstances that lead to gossiping and the ruin of their reputation.
It’s not always worth the time and effort to go around fixing your reputation, especially for strangers. They are unlikely to know much, or even care what is being shared about you.
But what about people you don’t know, but are connected to you through work, your personal life, the school where your children attend? Maybe it is worth fixing your image. Shying away from the problem isn’t going to make it go away, so proceeding down this route is probably the best option for you.
If you want to proceed with fixing your reputation then you should start a damage control campaign. But how do you go about this?
First and foremost you really need to assess the situation. You need to take stock of what is being said about you and look at why. If you have acted in the wrong make sure you apologise for your behaviour. Admitting you are wrong and owning up to your mistakes is a great action step, proving you are sincere in your efforts to rectify the situation.
If you have been acting in a negative way towards someone, or if you are acting in a harmful way then this needs to stop immediately. You need to be acting from a place of truth and in order to do so you must put all negative behaviour behind you and focus on acting in a positive way.
The next step is to ask for feedback from your family and trusted friends. Ask them if you have acted in the wrong, do they believe this was intentional, or do they know you made a mistake? Tell them what is happening, as upsetting as it might be to repeat any lies or half-truths about yourself, sharing them with someone you trust really helps determine if it is a case of misinformation about you, or indeed lies and gossip.
Start a DAMAGE CONTROL CAMPAIGN/REPUTATION REPAIR PLAN as soon as possible. Write down an actionable plan that you can work on to show you in the best possible light.
Own up to any mistakes and misunderstandings you have made. Sometimes what we don’t know or understand can lead to us being gossiped about, which isn’t really fair, but it happens nevertheless. If you’re in the wrong, own it.
Make amends for any mistakes, misunderstandings, or negative behaviours you have engaged in. This is quite a tough one. Sometimes people aren’t willing to give us a second chance, or they don’t believe that we really did act unintentionally. All you can do is stay positive, act positive, and keep on showing that you are not your mistakes.
It’s always worthwhile in engaging in positive behaviour. This can shed doubt on any untrue claims and lies someone is making about you. Act kindly. Be positive. Do good deeds. Actions like this show that you are sincere. But don’t give up if you don’t succeed at first. Some people will think that what you are doing is all an act and they will be waiting for you to make a mistake.
Don’t gossip or bad mouth people. This can be really tempting to do, especially when someone is letting rip about you. If needs be, take a break from social media. Change your social circle if the gossip is happening within it. Remember, everyone will be watching you, waiting for you to set a foot wrong, so let your best self shine through.
And finally, it is worthwhile to remember that sometimes a bad reputation is more about the person doing the damage than it is about you. It doesn’t stop the hurt though.
If 2020 has taught us anything it is that life can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.
We are trying to rebuild our lives whilst the world is still falling apart all around us. I believe this is a must for us all, despite what this extremely weird year has brought for us.
Holding on to pain and suffering is not going to bring us our lives back as they once were. The way things were is dead and gone. We have to use the pain and suffering as stepping stones to out new way of life.
We owe ourselves that much. We owe ourselves the honour of getting to live beautiful lives. We owe it to the people who haven’t survived this crazy year.
Live life, passionately, fully, with gratitude and enjoyment. Create the life you want for yourself, use the crazy energy that this year has left to propel you forward on a new venture.