Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Know your worth!

Knowing your worth when the world is showing you the middle finger is something that you just have to do!

I know who I am, I am confident, and I know what an incredible benefit I am to so many people. In business, I am strong, people orientated and incredibly hard working. In relationships I give more than my fair share. I am an amazing friend and someone who my friends cherish and admire. But so many times on my journey I have been fed up with the world, over how much I have been done in, ignored and been swept aside.

Knowing my worth in the lowest and loneliest times has been tough but been an experience that cannot be measured. I have always been a popular person, I have always made friends easily and been liked by people. I made one grave mistake…I built my opinion on what everyone else thought of me and so I felt fabulous since everyone liked me but suddenly when someone attacked me and actively disliked me I doubted myself. This is a dangerous thing, stop basing your self-esteem and self-worth on what other people think of you. If they don’t like you, that is there problem and not yours! Get to know yourself, love yourself, respect yourself and know your worth. Work on improving the things that you don’t like about yourself and be the best version of you possible! When you know who you are, people’s negative opinions do not matter to you and won’t knock you down.

Having come from a place of abuse, it took time to realise my worth and find myself. Getting to know Lisa was a fulfilling journey. Suddenly I was standing in the mirror and appreciating the view. Seeing myself for who I am and seeing the value within me. Something I had never noticed or appreciated because I had never really taken the time to get to know me.

Life has a funny way of teaching you, and often you are left shut out in the cold and feeling very alone. Wondering where the people are who you have been there for through thick and thin. When you are at your lowest suddenly everyone seems to fade away. Life is busy, right, people are busy, people get caught up in their lives and so they seem to forget about you. I sit in a dark corner thinking about who loves me and who my friends are and what we have been through, but I am all alone. Where is everyone? Where are the people who are meant to be here for me? I can’t find them, and truth be told, I don’t want to have to. In a way I feel that they should just be there and almost excepting that they know that I need them.

They don’t know I need them and in a way I am too arrogant to reach out. I have always been there when they have needed me but where are they now that I need them? Come on, Lisa, Grow up! How can I expect people to just know that I need them? Silly girl!

Not only do I feel that the people who should be there aren’t, the world keeps on showing me a BIG ZAP SIGN. Everywhere I look, I get shown away.

Can the world see what I am? And if they can, can they see my tears, can they see my worth? Sometimes I feel like I am constantly being tested. I know my worth and I am steadfast in who I am. I know what I have achieved, and I am proud of who I am. Somehow, I feel like no one else sees it.

It is right then when I need to find the strength to carry myself, lift myself up and show the world who I am. If you can’t see me, then I am going to show you who I am and what I have to offer. Sometimes the key is within me, sometimes I have to unlock the door myself and not expect it to be opened for me. It is up to me to show the world who I am and start my new chapter. If I am not going to write my own book, then who will? This is my journey, this is my life and it is up to me to make my journey count.

The funny thing is when I reach out, everyone is there for me. All the people that I felt had left me in the dark, came to my aid when I just reached out. Life has a way of showing you which friends matter, which friends are actually friends and which friends have faded into the past. I am blessed in many ways, but I count my richest of blessings in the people I have who I am lucky enough to call my friends. My family is incredible and have literally carried me through the tough times. Friends and family, the people who no matter what, know my worth and support me no matter what I am going through. I always remember the quote “God doesn’t give you the people that you want, God gives you the people that you need”. And God knows me best. He has never forsaken me when it comes to putting people I need in my life.

Sometimes I have to take a step back, reach out, put my arrogance aside and low and behold, I have an army. An incredible army of amazing and completely different people standing behind me and supporting me. An army willing to fight for me and face the battle head on. But I know that I am the commander of my army and without me reaching put to my army, they could never know that I need them.

If doors are slamming in my face then those are the doors that are not meant to be. The bigger better things are behind the doors which will be opened for me.

If the world doesn’t see me, then I am going to make the world see me.

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Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Uncategorized

When past abuse bites hard

Abuse in any form takes hard work and dedication to overcome. I am stronger, I am a different person and I am the person I am because of what I have been through. Coming out of the abusive relationship, I had no idea who I was. I was broken, confused and just lost. I dedicated my time to writing and coming to terms with what I had been through. It is very difficult, but at the end of the day I would not go back and change what I have been through. It made me who I am today, it made me stronger, it taught me a lot and most of all it gave me the opportunity to help others who have been through it. If I can make a difference in one life then I am blessed.

I feel very strongly about abuse, it is everywhere. When I talk to people, I can’t believe how common it is. I wish I could just wipe all abuse off of the earth, but alas all I can do is help in my own small way.

Abuse tends to come back to bite when you least expect it. When you know that you have moved on and are stronger and healed. A very special friend of mine received a phone call recently from a family member of her ex’s new girlfriend, complaining about the way she is being treated. She was concerned for her family member and wanted to find out more about the man she is dating who is my friend’s ex. Without going into too much detail, my friend was left absolutely devastated. All of the pain and emotions came flooding back. I have been here on more than one occasion, one in particular my ex called me to tell me that he had beaten his girlfriend at the time and I cried on the phone and I said he should have learnt through losing me. I could not understand why the abuse was carrying on with his next girlfriend. The truth is it still is although the wonderful lady he called me about has moved on and has a beautiful life with a beautiful daughter. My point here is that like all bad experiences they sometimes haunt you with the smallest thing triggering a flood of emotions, pain and memories. So, no matter how far you have gotten at times you get stung by the memories of hell.

I spoke to my friend and I explained that her reaction was normal and that she has come so far, I am super proud of my gorgeous friend. She is a strong, beautiful, intelligent lady and she is going to go much further than she ever imagined.

Having once been a victim of abuse means that no matter how much I have healed every now and then something comes along to take me back to the pain. I can be brought suddenly down to my knees, with an agonizing thump, with the smallest reminder. A reminder that puts me back in the situation that caused all of the damage to begin with. Having said that, I am no longer a victim but a survivor, I am the victor of my circumstances and I am going make a difference.

The most valuable advice that I can give is if you are covering up for things in a relationship, lying and pretending everything is okay then there is a problem. I built up a wall of lies when I was in an abusive relationship. No one knew I was abused. I kept on making excuses and pretending. THIS IS THE BIGGEST WARNING SIGN, A RED LIGHT. Being abused is embarrassing, I didn’t want to tell people. I didn’t want them to know. And most of all I didn’t not want to talk about it, it made it even more real. When I started talking, I started healing and in healing I got to know me for me and I got to love the incredible woman that I am.

The road has not been smooth, at one point I had been in another abusive situation and when I was given help and guidance by professionals, they immediately picked up that I identified with abuse. I so easily accepted abuse almost as the norm. I am an intelligent woman but having been groomed in abuse at such a young age, I was exactly that, groomed in abuse.

I know the signs, I am a strong woman and through experience I have gained strength, character, wisdom, courage and even forgiveness. I am the master of my own destiny and I will not allow abuse into my life.

Hold your head up high, know your worth, stand your ground and most of all ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Bush Rejuvenation for the soul

There is something about being in the bush that grounds me, gives me a zest for life and reminds me of the beauty and awe of the world we live in.

Our trip started off with a swim and lying at the pool sipping on champagne. I was with two beautiful ladies who I am so lucky to call my friends. We were on a girl’s weekend and of course the best way to start a girl’s weekend is with some champagne by the pool.

The next day we took the golf carts around the golf course. Capturing the beautiful surroundings at every turn. This was a lot of fun, the lack of driving skills kept us in stitches most of the way and we laughed until our stomachs hurt. A handsome sable sat watching us and we stopped to take a picture. He sat there as if he was enjoying the attention and giving us a pose, making sure to show us the beautiful white markings on his face. The zebra on the golf course were not quite as accommodating, they thought us a threat and bolted as we can near, not surprising with the crazy driving going on.

We were given strict instructions to be at the golf course on the other side of the restaurant at 3:15pm sharp. All feeling the excitement of the surprise we were told we had coming our way, we were there extra early. When we got there, Sean, a manager at the resort told us that we would be going on a helicopter ride. With this news, we couldn’t contain ourselves and were jumping up and down and screaming like teenage girls. As the helicopter landed my skirt was blowing up but I was so excited and had to have a photo of the helicopter, I wasn’t bothered by my skirt at that point. We got onto the helicopter and the excitement was not in vain in any way. The helicopter ride was one for the bucket list, we were smiling for the rest of the day, we could not stop blabbering about it, it was the most incredible experience and we took in every second! We left there pumped with adrenaline and feeling absolutely blessed and spoilt. There are no words that do this experience justice at all, it was just WOW!

On Sunday evening, sitting on the Toyota game vehicle, right on the end, completely exposed to the big 5 which of course we had hoped to see, exposed but not at all scared and feeling safe. The excitement takes over, my face is lit up with a massive smile. The kind of smile that just takes over, it almost has a mind of its own.

The thing about game drives, as in life, is that you never really know what you are going to get. I find that taking in every animal and each and every scene, as if painted especially for me is what makes the experience. Of course, I have never seen a leopard in the wild and so I always hope to see one, when I eventually do, I know it will be every bit worth the wait.

As we got on our way we saw steenbok, these have not really featured much on my previous game drives. The excitement starts bubbling within with the very first sighting. Shortly after that the warthogs were spotted. My gorgeous friend, bless her, asks why Timon isn’t with Pumbaa, we giggle as we explain that they actually aren’t friends in the wild, like in ‘The Lion King’. We all grew up watching ‘The Lion King’, I remember the absolute excitement when it first came out, I must have watched it at least 15 times! In our hearts and minds as children obviously Timon and Pumbaa must be friends in the wild, but I know that they aren’t, having been blessed to go on a number of game drives before. This was her first drive and the innocence in her question was priceless.

We had barely stopped giggling over the Timon comment when we saw wildebeest (the clowns of the bush). I really like wildebeest, I have been lucky enough to catch them being silly and to capture first hand why they are called the clowns of the bush. They love to play and mess around. There were so many wildebeest, I have never seen so many at one place. They aren’t the most attractive of animals, they have a rather odd look to them but what they lack in looks, they make up in personality, that is for sure. This drive was the first time I had ever heard the noise the wildebeest makes, that was very special indeed.

Very close to the wildebeest, we spotted the zebra. Zebra and wildebeest are often together. The wildebeest doesn’t have the best eye sight so they rely on their buddies, the zebra to help them out there. In return, the wildebeest eat the top of the grass, leaving the part which the zebra want just for them. It is a great friendship and both parties benefit. The age-old argument always rears its head when zebra are spotted. Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes? I am going to go with the black with white stripes but feel free to decide for yourself. The stripes not only camouflage the animal but they keep them cooler, as the black attracts the heat and the white reflects it.

We saw a few game ranger vehicles together so of course we had to go and investigate what all the fuss was about. As we got there we saw a young lioness, her majesty sat in the long grass, completely unintimidated by us. She was absolutely beautiful, and a little lazy. Imagine how thrilled we were when we got to the other side and spotted a massive male lion and a mother lioness with 3 cubs. The naughty cubs were hassling the mother and walked straight over their dad, as if he was there as a jungle gym for their personal entertainment. They are reminiscent of toddlers, and full of beans. This sighting was very special, because although I have seen plenty of lions, I have never actually seen them in the wild. I was ecstatic!

As we drove we saw a mommy rhino with her calf. I have seen plenty rhino in the wild but what made this so special is that they were half a meter away from us. It made me really sad to watch them completely relaxed and almost trusting of us. To think that they get poached when they are so trusting, it really makes me angry and sad. These beautiful animals have as much right to the earth as we do, so poachers, get a life!

Driving slowing, we saw a lonely, lazy crocodile. She just lay there on the sand. We could see some feathers in her mouth so she had just had a snack. Her story, too made me sad. She is alone, she doesn’t have a mate or a friend. She lays her eggs and protects them, waiting for them to hatch but they never will. I expressed my dismay to the game ranger, stating that I thought she needed a mate and that it was an absolute tragedy that she was waiting for lifeless eggs to hatch. I hope she gets a mate soon, I am sure he will be the perfect prince since she has waited so long.

The hippos were next, though they chose to be shy and only stuck their heads out here and there. Hippos have very sensitive skin so in the heat of the day, they spend most of their time in the water where their skin is protected. They normally come out to eat grass and reeds at night. They were approaching the edge when we were on our way back, we could see 4 of them. Hippos look so sweet but don’t take them on, because these friendly looking fellows kill the most humans in Africa of all the animals.

Then we took a drive up a slope in search of elephant, which we had heard were up that way. A family of giraffe caught our eye first. There was even a baby giraffe. One baby and 3 adults. I think giraffe are so beautiful, they can reach all the way to the top of the trees with their long necks. Did you know that they collect the leaves and keep them in their mouth and eat while walking afterwards?

The sun was starting to set by now, and I might be bias but I think the South African sun sets are the most beautiful in the world. They are even better out in the bush. Blue, pink, purple and orange fill the sky and I am reminded of the absolute beauty of the world. I am also reminded how small I am in the scheme of things. But in my own way I too am beautiful.

As we were heading for our drink spot we saw kudu males, 4 of them. Kudu is one of my favourite buck, I love the males, they are so majestic. The females are a boring, poor girl. The only time I didn’t like a kudu was in jock of the bush felt, I cried and cried when the kudu kicked Jock and he permanently lost his hearing. And of course, the tragic ending followed. I have to say, despite crying my eyes out, I watched it a few times. It captured the South African bush which I loved and the story was very sweet.

Time to stop for a drink and we are thirsty. I gulped down the entire bottle of water. The we stood in the middle of the game farm chatting here and there and just admiring the beauty around us. The talking was actually kept to a minimum as we stood taking everything in. This is a very rare occurrence, us girls hardly keep talking to the minimum but this was absolutely breathtaking. I truly count myself lucky to have access to the bush as often as I do.

As our weekend came to an end, we were filled with joy, happiness and gratitude. We had gone there expecting an incredible weekend but it exceeded all of our expectations.

There is something about the South African bush that brings me to the perfect place within me, I am at peace, filled with happiness and a complete calmness. There is something about the South African bush that gives me a zest for life, that I thought I had lost. It gives me hope for the future, love for our country and an absolute appreciation and honor for God, our father and creator.

Rejuvenated and ready to live, love and learn. Let me not take one day for granted because each day that I wake up is a gift to me, not to waste but to enjoy and live to the fullest.