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

Don’t let your age define you – Remove “too old” from your vocabulary

Florence

I had eagerly awaited meeting Florence, she is an angelic, elegant, absolutely captivating mom, granny and great granny. She will be turning a phenomenal 102 years old this October. Florence has an extraordinary presence, who touches the hearts of those lucky enough to meet her. She was described to me by a close friend who passed away in April as a very sharp, intelligent, classy and particularly articulate woman with a pleasant nature who leaves everyone she meets feeling lucky to have met her and spent time in her presence.

After much anticipation, the time finally came when I would meet the woman who had only been a legend up until that moment. I walked through the kitchen door past the dining room into the living room where she sat on a one-seater couch.

The dining room table is a modern rectangular table with 8 chairs. A number of timeless retro silver pieces stood on the table, similar to the tea set, a family heirloom, passed down through two generations and stands in my mother’s living room on a light, varnished oak sideboard. The living room has a warm, quaint vintage feel to it. Behind where Florence sat, stood a classic display cabinet with a collection of porcelain dolls in it. The room was filled with a number of antique ornaments, taking me back to my grandmother’s house in Merrivale, which a tiny town near Howick Natal, where we often visited when I was a little girl.

As I enthusiastically approached where she was sitting my attention was quickly drawn to a loud shriek, followed by some chirping, coming from one of two African Grey parrots. In the corner of the room stood two large bird cages with two African Grey parrots. The birds immediately noticed me, and they caused a racket as if to impress the new comer.

I quickly turned around and introduced myself to Florence and her face lit up as she told me that it is wonderful to meet me. Her voice is soft-spoken and her English, perfectly eloquent. She sat upright in the chair with perfect posture, her walking cane stood next to her, leaning up against the couch. Her light grey hair was perfectly done, not a hair out-of-place. Her face completely content, her eye lids slightly drooped, forehead creased, cheeks wrinkled. Her skin is light in complexion and absolutely perfectly made up, pinkish blush on her cheeks, eye brows neat and light pink lipstick on her lips, framed by lip liner. She was a picture of pure elegance and classic beauty.

I gazed at her, completely in awe at her magnetic beauty and marvelous presence, to me she seemed larger than life. I certainly felt very blessed to meet this enchanted woman. If I had not known her age, I would have guessed her at around 78 at most. I was instantly captured by her elegance, I remember both of my Grandmothers having the same sort of timeless elegance. We chatted for some time about the walk that she had been on earlier that day and the porcelain dolls, among other things.

Her articulate use of the English language struck me and impressed me as soon as she began to speak. I appreciate and respect for the English language and I am often left annoyed when someone abuses the language. I accept that the language has evolved(not for the better in my opinion) but I gave up correcting people years ago when I realised that I was only aggravating myself by obsessing over it and pointing the mistakes people make out because it fell on deaf ears and I realised that it is generally accepted these days to misuse English. I learnt to ignore bad pronouncing, misspelling and misuse of words in the same way I learnt to ignore bad driving by the South African minibus taxi drivers. Shouting and screaming and getting upset at taxi drivers was only driving my blood pressure up and affecting my mood and was completely ignored by them. Eventually I decided that accepting the way in which taxis drive and not getting riled up was the best option for my mental state and health. I still cringe when people use the incorrect to, too or two but smile and scroll past.

Florence left me with a unique warm feeling inside and a wide magical smile on my face that remained for the rest of the afternoon.

I so often hear people saying, “I am getting old” or “I am really feeling the age” or “I am too old to do this”. I am talking about people in their 30’s who constantly bring up their age in a negative way. Come on people, here is a woman at 101, who walks every day and still enjoys the small things in life. She spent the Soccer World cup watching each match and supporting her favourite teams throughout the tournament. I had hoped that Croatia would win the world cup, I often favour the underdog. Florence however was supporting France and celebrated their win. I laughed when she was watching and said, “Oh dear, that gentleman’s pants have torn”. She also said that she had seen his behind. I smile every time I think about that.

She loves sharing stories of her childhood as well as of her children growing up and has also shared stories of naughty things that her grandchildren got up to as children. She assures me that she brought her children up to be well manned. I giggled when she told me about the only time her and her sister ever got a hiding as children. She said that her dad had bought them new rain coats and they put one of the rain coats over both of them and stretched it by trying to fit it around both of them. The girls had wanted to see if they could both fit into one raincoat for the fun of it. They got themselves into a lot of trouble over the rain coats and she told the story in great detail, using the sweetest facial expressions. I found the story cute and entertaining. If only I could say something as small as that was the only thing my children had got up to through the years to hit my nerves.

She walks every single day as well as reading the newspaper every day. She enjoys the small things and delights in the company of her family and caregivers who have become family. She has an incredible support structure and she is surrounded by people who love her. She keeps her mind active and feeds it daily. She has many a pearl of wisdom to share such as “love isn’t always fun, it takes hard work too” among many others. I look forward to spending hours with her and hearing many more of her wonderful stories.

A couple of weeks back the girls and I headed out for a ladies night. We had the pleasure of bumping into a 74-year-old man who was dancing up a storm and really loving life. We chatted to him and asked how old he was. When he answered, we were shocked because we had thought that he was probably around 65 at the most. 74 years old, dancing in a local spot in Fourways, filled with mostly youngsters and thriving on every moment. He was living life and enjoying every minute of it.

Forget that the word “old” exists and stop referring to yourself as old. I have certainly never heard Florence call herself old. Get exercise every day, eat right and most importantly, FEED YOUR MIND DAILY.

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

Taking back my life

Depression, the huge mistake I made which caused it and getting over it.

As a child, life was fairly easy. I was always good at making friends and was always able to stand up for myself so bullying wasn’t ever a problem for me. I had a really happy childhood and things were always bright and I have so many happy memories. In my early adult years, I began to become more popular and thrived on the positive attention. I was well known in my circles and would be greeted with adoration by people within my community. I had an incredible amount of friends and I was completely driven by their love for me. I spent so much time doing everything I could for my friends and I would run from one event to the next to please everyone. After all I was loved and needed to return the favour. How can positive attention be a bad thing? I mean everyone loves attention, right?

I was indeed filled with confidence as I walked through the streets of my city. I had a very positive energy about me and I eluded complete control of this incredibly amazing person who I thought I was. I had created my opinion of myself and my self worth based on how everyone saw me…which was great while everyone cherished me and made me the centre of attention.

I had literally handed over the remote control to my life to everyone else. I had no control of my life. Not only had I allowed myself to build Me on how everyone else saw me but I managed to hand my remote control over to people who would soon destroy my happiness. When a house is built, the most important first step is building a strong foundation. My house did not have a foundation and therefore could never withstand the harshest of storms.

As my life was hit by some harsh storms, I crumbled. The person that I had built on everyone else’s opinions could not stand alone. I became very depressed and felt completely hopeless. I had absolutely no want to live and more and more I felt that dying would be the best escape. I had no idea that I had in fact caused this problem. It was not the people who had broken me down because if I had built myself worth and self opinion on ME, I would not have been so easily broken.

Six months after being diagnosed with depression I found myself hitting rock bottom. The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up. When I had nothing left I was forced to learn my mistake and I started my journey of recovery.

Living my life for everyone else had left me completely exhausted and unable to even get out of bed in the morning.

I sat down all by myself and started to get to know me. At first I wrote down my positives and negatives and though the list of positives which I could think of was only one or two things, the negative list seemed endless. How could everyone around me have seen me as an incredibly strong and amazing woman when I myself was unable to think of more than two positive things about me. Luckily I was soon to realize that my mind was completely over powered by depression and I did in fact have lots of positives. So with time, my list grew and the negatives did not seem all that bad anymore. Now was the time to make it. Now was the time to stop giving my energy to everyone else and now was the time to build my self worth on me.

Getting to know me and the journey of self discovery is one that teaches me every day. I have so much to give but never again will I allow people to just take. Giving is on my time and by my rules. I love giving and I truly feel the need to give back as I have been so richly blessed along the way that it would be a complete sin to not pass on blessings.

I have learned exactly what I should not be doing and what I do not want to do. Things that drain me are being cut out of my life.

I cannot choose which cards life has to deal me but I can choose how I play the cards which I am dealt. I choose to paint a beautiful picture and leave the sadness and regret behind. I will take what I need to from construction criticism but I will not allow negativity to define me. I am worth so much more than what everyone thinks of me and I will continue to walk my journey as the whole me. I choose to love the things that are positive and accept the things about me that aren’t so great. I am a whole person and I am the only perfect me.

In the famous and wonderful words of Dr Suess “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Be yourself, build your own foundation and when the storm comes, your house will remain strong and steadfast.

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

I can’t get into the mind of another

I am not a judgmental person at all in general, I really don’t care what people do and don’t judge them for doing crazy or even stupid things. However, when it comes to people who abuse others, I can be very judgmental, though probably not my place to be. When I see bad parenting or a child or person suffering at the hands of another person, I get really angry.

Being foster mom to two abused children (now adults), who came to live with me over six years ago, it really hits a nerve when abuse rears its ugly head around me. It is very close to home and I am very quick to get up in arms. I have seen abuse on too many occasions. It happens everywhere. Last year I had an extra child placed with me as place of safety because of her terrible home situation. This year once again there is a child who is being abused at home that my children know. The truth is that it is absolutely everywhere, and many people are trapped in a situation of abuse because they are frightened to do anything about it, they are dependent on the perpetrator or for whatever their reason may be. Some people (particularly people who were abused from childhood) have been abused for so long that they only know abuse, there is no sense of it being wrong in their minds because it is all that they know.

Abuse is a vicious circle and some people are unable or unwilling to break that circle. When I was abused, I could not understand why the perpetrator wanted to do the same thing that he was subjected to his whole life. I really struggled to understand why he did not want to be different having seen the trauma that abuse causes. For me it was unthinkable that an adult could not see right from wrong and not choose to do what is right. I really struggled to understand why he abused me and what made him do it. I spent a long time really trying to figure it out and to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. The truth is I cannot truly understand how another person thinks. We are all different and we cannot get inside the mind of someone else. Nor do we actually know each other’s full journey or what people have been through.

Trying to understand someone can be infuriating as well as impossible. I cannot think the way he thinks, and I need to stop trying to, the truth is that my mind cannot comprehend the reasoning behind his behaviour. If I do something wrong, I can look at the situation, analyze it and find what lead to me doing it and I can apologise, grow and learn from my mistake. I cannot make the person behind my abuse learn from his mistakes and I cannot truly know what lead to his behaviour. As much as I always feel the need to analyze everything and come to a reasonable conclusion, I have had to learn that I cannot understand everyone, and I cannot always find a conclusion. Sometimes I just have to understand that I am not that person and cannot think like they do. I can draw my own conclusions and speculate, however is this really any help at all?

I believe that abuse was a normal condition for my abuser. But I thought that he would be able to see the damage and not want to continue the cycle. I became angry that he didn’t stop the cycle, that he abused me even though he “loved” me. He never wanted to protect me from abuse, that is what cut the deepest. Why would someone who loves me want to hurt me? You see I cannot understand because I am not aware of all of the facts of his childhood. It is not something that men talk about, especially in the family that he came from. Boys don’t cry, and men don’t need help. It is a dangerous situation because children suffering from any form of trauma are not treated or given any form of help.

I cannot fix anyone, and I should stop trying. I cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves. The only person I am in control of is me. I can be a positive influence and I can share my experience but thinking I can fix the person that caused the problem is really just silly.

In a more recent incident I was sitting with a lady who does a lot of welfare work and she was telling me about some of the cases where the mothers keep having children with different men and the men leave and the mothers abuse their children. I was so disgusted and said, “how dare they, they have no right, they are adults and should know better”. Her answer to me was extremely blunt and hit me like a bucket of cold water. She said, “how can they know that it is wrong if they have never known anything else?”

The Jungle book springs to mind. Mowgli, a little boy raised by wolves in the jungle, rejected humankind despite being human, the animals were all he knew. This I feel to be a great example. Mowgli did not know humans and therefore he rejected them. And honestly who am I to judge anyone in any way. Yes, abuse makes me angry and I want to judge but it is not my place. I do not know the background, I do not know why a mother abuses her children and if it is all that she has ever known, then how can she know different.

I feel that there is a desperate need for education, we need to educate children and make sure that they understand what abuse is. Education will ensure that should a child or adult find themselves in an abusive situation, they will be able to identify it as such. More emphasis needs to be put on emotional abuse, emotional abuse is what stops people sharing their stories as well as causing the victim to feel unwarranted guilt.

I have every right to be angry for the way I have been mistreated but I cannot expect to understand the reasons why people in the past chose to abuse me or what lead them to become abusive in the first place. The only thing I can do is choose to tell my story and choose to make a difference in the lives of others.

I want to be a pillar of strength for anyone facing abuse and I know that in my own way, I can help victims to become survivors.

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

Keeping my cool

We certainly are living in interesting times.  People everywhere just seem to be angry and aggressive.  You can’t pull out of your drive way in the morning without someone flying up a residential road and hooting like a crazy person even though they are not even near you yet.  This is a daily occurrence.  If someone dares to actually wait for the robot (traffic light) to turn green, they are hooted at and have all sorts and vulgar language and hand signs thrown at them.  People swearing at other drivers for no apparent reason other than the sheer delay caused by traffic.  Why is the world so angry?  I get it, we are living in stressful times, we are all under pressure and everywhere you look you are hit with bad news.  I personally do not watch the news.  I also limit the amount of time I spend on social media because social media is a great tool for those negative people to ensure that they spread the negativity.  I guess misery loves company and we all those Facebook friends who have to spread misery, the ones that you unfollow to avoid seeing another post bitching about something or other.  There is always something to bitch about, even if they have to dig or stalk the other negative trolls to find something, they will find something to share.  I went off Facebook for over a year for this very reason.  I have become much better at scrolling past the “feel bad” stuff.  Quite frankly I don’t need it or want it in my life.  But as life goes sometimes it comes flying right at you like bat out of hell.

I am pretty calm, even when the taxi cuts in front of me.  My thinking is that me shouting at him makes no difference in his life but it does make me unhappy and probably pushes my blood pressure up so what is the point really??

I am very good under pressure and very good at calming a situation down.  One of the reasons I absolutely thrived in the hospitality industry is just that, I am able to calm people down.  How do I do it?  If I think about it, I always start by apologising and then asking how I can help the situation or the other way around, depending on the situation.

Today was no different, I get a phone call, after I have done more than my fair share of preparation for the event and even gone so far as doing other people’s work.  The colourful words being shouted at me were fun to say the least.  I calmly said, “I am sorry that you are so stressed out but what can I do to help you?”  He was struggling to paste a schedule into a document and getting himself into a complete state.  Obviously a very stressful day!  Needless to say, I asked him to send me both the schedule and the document and I would see what I could do.  While I was working on the task, including fixing errors as I came across them, the phone rang again.  “Lisa, I am terribly sorry about how I spoke to you, it was unforgivable, I am just under so much pressure and I am very stressed.” I responded that it was no problem at all and that I would have his document to him within half an hour.

Following that he called me back to thank me profusely and everyone was all happy and what needed to be done was done and dusted.

A situation which could have spiraled into a nasty fight, leaving everyone upset and offended, was calmed and sorted out and put to bed.

I have to say, this is something that has taken me years to be in total control over, my reactions in situations similar to this.  I will also say that even now I sometimes lose it and blow a fuse.  I always joke about having an Irish temper.  I noticed very young that I had a temper when I hit a boy who pushed my cousin, or threw a boy off his bike who came to beat my little brother up.  But I have to say thought the trigger is definitely attacking someone I love in the most extreme of cases, I have mastered the art of controlling my temper most of the time and in most situations.  This did not come over night at all, it took years of practice and being conscious of my thoughts when a volatile situation presents itself.  Being mindful of my thoughts before they become actions.  Before I react on a thought I recognise it and then I am able to act the way that I choose to.  Of course, I am the first to admit that I have lost my cool from time to time, but I have to say, I truly have come a very long way and I look forward to changing in other areas.  Be mindful in all that you do and you will not only get the best out of life but you will feel great too.

Start small, start with the person who skips a red robot, or the person who pushes in front of you at the supermarket.  The only thing you are in control of is your reaction to a situation and you can either make it or break it.  So, I say MAKE IT! Make your mark and remember to have fun while doing it.

Be someone that people have nice things to say about. 🙂

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

I have been knocked down but I cannot let this break my spirit

I was offered a job last year in the hospitality industry, which was all new to me.  Absolutely everything other than the accounts side was all new.  I had never worked on a POS system, I had never been a responsible for a restaurant, bar or venue and now I was responsible for all 3.  The first day, I was put on a massive, high profile wedding and had to quickly work out the POS system for myself (it had been installed that same day and no one else knew how to work it.

There really is nothing like a big challenge to get me going, I love it! I had some staff under me, helping with drink orders.  I had to host the wedding as well as manage the staff and of course keep the clients happy.

I have to say; my biggest asset is my people skills.  I love people, I love interacting with people and I just have an amazing way with people.  My current boss says that I have a certain way with people, that is unmatched and that I could probably sell poo to a sewerage plant! This is a man I have worked with for a long time and knows me very well.  I have a certain ability to put out fires when customers are unhappy and it really comes in handy as you can imagine.

Here I was, completely new to all of this and I nailed it!  The guests at the wedding, one of them being the sister of the bride even followed me to another function on the premises to party with me there.  What an incredible experience it was.  First off, I was witness to an incredible traditional black wedding, guests were in traditional clothing and they looked incredible.  What I loved was the mix of traditions.  Some in Zulu attire with and some in Souto and Xhosa attire, vibrant in colour.  What a sight it was.  The traditional dancing began as they walked in and everyone joined in.  I have so much respect for this incredible country.  The culture and the traditions, all vastly different but all respected by one another.  This for me was a celebration of how incredible my country actually is.

What really was incredibly special for me on that first night was when these beautifully dressed young black ladies walked into a very Afrikaans party at the other side of the property.  At first the black beauties were not sure how to handle the situation, I am quite sure that they had never ever heard the Afrikaans music which was playing.  Something very special happened just then in the mist of the awkwardness.  The DJ put on a traditional black song and the ladies started dancing.  The Afrikaans ladies (in SA we call them “Tannies”) ran to meet me and the ladies on the dance floor and asked them to show them how to dance like them.  This was the most awesome experience, if I have to pick one occasion that made 2017 extra special, this was it!

I danced with them, smiling and laughing and bursting with pride as a South African.  We obviously couldn’t stay long as we had to return to the wedding but the short time at that party was more than enough to take in the incredible experience.  What a first day it was! Absolutely incredible, breath taking and just left me with warmth and fulfillment. Suddenly I found myself with a new-found energy, revitalized and rejuvenated.  Life has never been easy for me, since my 20’s but I have always been very blessed.  I had had a very difficult year and this was exactly what I needed to give me the drive to become more.  So, I was immediately hired on a permanent basis, not knowing the politics which was running wild in the place.  I was incredibly proud of myself for how quickly I learnt, and just did everything that had to be done.  I fitted in so well and I grew immensely in this time.  My self-confidence was at an all-time high and I was feeling great.  I was growing daily, and I was loving working with customers all day.

I was working sometimes 14 hour days but was completely satisfied with my work.  The reality is that I was doing a really good job and the customers took to me immediately.  I truly felt like I had found my place.  Unfortunately, it was to come to an abrupt end when I began to get treated very badly and basically pushed out.  My knowledge had apparently made the wrong person look bad.  Suddenly I was being made the target of a blaming game.  I was being blamed for all sorts and none of the facts were being taken into account.

I walked out and I had my head up high, I did my best, I mastered a completely new industry to me and I learned so much.  I did so well! I cannot allow the way I was treated to break my spirit.  I know how well I did and I know that I will be missed by many.  As I said goodbye, the staff were devastated and the customers that were there were visibly upset.  I made my mark, I made a difference and I left my mark!  I took an incredible amount of value out of the experience and I made myself proud.  I made friends and I made memories.  I feel great, I am confident and I will not allow nastiness to break my spirit.  On to bigger and better things!

The truth is I am sure of who I am, I am proud of what I accomplished and I am steadfast in my values and grounding.

I will not let this break my spirit because I know my achievements and I know myself, I am so grateful for the lessons and the knowledge that I gained and I am ready to tackle life’s next chapter.

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

Screwed over by a “friend”

I am a really good friend to all of my friends, I am always there and I don’t ask for much but I am sick of getting screwed over by people who are supposed to stand by me.

A new friend shocked by the behavior of a longtime friend sent me a message saying: “Have you ever been too nice and ended up in a situation that could’ve been avoided if you just would’ve been an asshole?”  YES! I have, time and time again.  I tried to become an asshole and I didn’t enjoy it much.  I like to be nice, I like to be liked and I was told by my psychologist once that I am a “people pleaser”.  Apparently being a people pleaser is not a good thing.  It wears you down and yes, you do finish last.  Being nice makes me feel great until I get used and abused which is actually inevitable for MRS Nice.  I do too much, I give too much and I allow it.  Right, this is what I have to do:  SET BOUNDARIES!

Believe it or not setting boundaries isn’t that hard, sticking to them is the real trick!  I can’t change my personality, I cannot change the fact that I am nice and enjoy treating people really well, but I can change the fact that I allow them to take advantage and then end up being screwed over! Someone once said to me that I should not try and understand why a person behaves in a certain manner because I am not them and therefor will not understand why they behave or think or what they do. The truth is that I will never understand why some people do some things and why some people act in certain ways but I have to say that people disappoint me!

I always tell my staff that when they mess up then they should come and tell me and I will help them to fix the mess.  Nothing drives me crazier than someone not owning up to making the mess in the first place.  I cannot help my staff if they hide the mess or don’t admit to it.  Then the mess gets bigger and the little mess becomes a big problem.  There is always a way to clean a mess but the quicker the mess is cleaned the smaller it will be and the least affect it will have on anything else.  I mess up…a lot!  And I apologize, a lot too.  But if I make a mistake I will ask for help or fix it and admit to it.

Now frankly my friend made a mistake and I pointed it out and explained the way the situation actually works.  Unfortunately, my mistake was explaining his mistake in front of the wrong person.  The person took it out on him and he took it out on me.  Something that was not in any way my fault at all.  I didn’t realize that things had to be kept secret or away from other parties although I had been caught in the middle of an ugly situation and I had only explained the facts.  I learnt a valuable lesson here, clearly there was a chain of command in place that I had failed to see.  Whilst I admit fault in this regard, I am unsure how I should have dealt with the situation since I was the only one who could explain the system and I was being asked to do so, which is exactly what I did.  This is definitely something I need to think about and decide how I could have better handled it.  However, this really is not my mess and I was merely giving the reasons but it became my mess when it was taken the wrong way and a man who I thought of as a friend had his ego hurt and decided to screw me over.

Firstly, I am hurt but almost not surprised but secondly, I have lost so much respect for this person as he took no responsibility for what he did and passed the buck onto someone else.  He made himself the hero to me and pretended that he had nothing to do with any of it when in reality it was all him.  My mind boggles at how someone can stand in front of someone else whom they are supposed to love and respect and lie to their face!  Clearly, I need to evaluate some friendships and decide if I need some so called “friends” in my life.  The answer on this particular friend is that I don’t need him in my life at all.

I am a firm believer in getting what you give and I for one give a lot and get a lot and have a smile on my face and in my heart, most of the time.  He is unhappy and can’t seem to find his place in the world or happiness in anything he does.  He thinks that happiness lies in the bottom of a bottle which makes him smile for a while but never for long and then comes the hangover, the beating himself up, the feeling ill and the absolute sadness.  It is actually a really sad situation, I obviously one upped him on the only thing he has – his little golden egg – and he had to take it back, even though I was an asset to him and his golden egg.  I had made the golden egg grow and shine!  He should appreciate the growth and admire it, instead he snatched it and hid it in the dark.

Now for me to set boundaries, keep them and still be the nice person I am without being taken advantage of.  I smile, not because I have less crap than everyone else, in fact, I probably have more than most, but I smile because I am happy.  I lead a stressful life but a life of the utmost fulfillment.  I am a great person, a person who has changed lives and given so much and I am truly blessed with what I get.  I will keep being the nice person and I will just have to make better decisions on the people I keep around.  Only people who deserve my love should be getting it!

Smile, because your smile can change someone’s day!

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

Taking back my life

Depression, the huge mistake I made which caused it and getting over it.

As a child, life was fairly easy. I was always good at making friends and was always able to stand up for myself so bullying wasn’t ever a problem for me. I had a really happy childhood and things were always bright and I have so many happy memories. In my early adult years, I began to become more popular and thrived on the positive attention. I was well known in my circles and would be greeted with adoration by people within my community. I had an incredible amount of friends and I was completely driven by their love for me. I spent so much time doing everything I could for my friends and I would run from one event to the next to please everyone. After all I was loved and needed to return the favour. How can positive attention be a bad thing? I mean everyone loves attention, right?

I was indeed filled with confidence as I walked through the streets of my city. I had a very positive energy about me and I eluded complete control of this incredibly amazing person who I thought I was. I had created my opinion of myself and my self worth based on how everyone saw me…which was great while everyone cherished me and made me the centre of attention.

I had literally handed over the remote control to my life to everyone else. I had no control of my life. Not only had I allowed myself to build Me on how everyone else saw me but I managed to hand my remote control over to people who would soon destroy my happiness. When a house is built, the most important first step is building a strong foundation. My house did not have a foundation and therefore could never withstand the harshest of storms.

As my life was hit by some harsh storms, I crumbled. The person that I had built on everyone else’s opinions could not stand alone. I became very depressed and felt completely hopeless. I had absolutely no want to live and more and more I felt that dying would be the best escape. I had no idea that I had in fact caused this problem. It was not the people who had broken me down because if I had built myself worth and self opinion on ME, I would not have been so easily broken.

Six months after being diagnosed with depression I found myself hitting rock bottom. The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up. When I had nothing left I was forced to learn my mistake and I started my journey of recovery.

Living my life for everyone else had left me completely exhausted and unable to even get out of bed in the morning.

I sat down all by myself and started to get to know me. At first I wrote down my positives and negatives and though the list of positives which I could think of was only one or two things, the negative list seemed endless. How could everyone around me have seen me as an incredibly strong and amazing woman when I myself was unable to think of more than two positive things about me. Luckily I was soon to realize that my mind was completely over powered by depression and I did in fact have lots of positives. So with time, my list grew and the negatives did not seem all that bad anymore. Now was the time to make it. Now was the time to stop giving my energy to everyone else and now was the time to build my self worth on me.

Getting to know me and the journey of self discovery is one that teaches me every day. I have so much to give but never again will I allow people to just take. Giving is on my time and by my rules. I love giving and I truly feel the need to give back as I have been so richly blessed along the way that it would be a complete sin to not pass on blessings.

I have learned exactly what I should not be doing and what I do not want to do. Things that drain me are being cut out of my life.

I cannot choose which cards life has to deal me but I can choose how I play the cards which I am dealt. I choose to paint a beautiful picture and leave the sadness and regret behind. I will take what I need to from construction criticism but I will not allow negativity to define me. I am worth so much more than what everyone thinks of me and I will continue to walk my journey as the whole me. I choose to love the things that are positive and accept the things about me that aren’t so great. I am a whole person and I am the only perfect me.

In the famous and wonderful words of Dr Suess “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Be yourself, build your own foundation and when the storm comes, your house will remain strong and steadfast.