The reason I started blogging, is that I wanted to learn to hear my own voice and I also felt ready to embark upon the journey of sharing that voice with others who felt a kinship with my words.
But I am still finding that I am struggling to write and I feel pulled in so many directions, that at times I feel completely blocked.
My initial instinct was to blame others…My family, my friends, my health and work but I wonder if that has been just an excuse.
The problem is, at some point along the way, I think I became afraid to be seen.
I promised myself when I began this blog, I would always try my utmost, to be as authentic and transpose my thoughts, as coherently as possible. To pluck my emotions out from my rambling mind and directly onto the page.
Which is great…however, the more people read my posts and comment back to me on it contents, the more I am becoming aware that, blogging in this way, is essentially allowing complete strangers into the inner sanctum of my mind and allowing others an opinion on it.
So I’ve started resisting.
I’ve found that i’m editing my posts more strictly or holding them back from publishing, as I’m worried my words wont be respected but then on the other side of the coin, I’m then left feeling disheartened and rejected by my own criticalness.
Afraid to be seen, judged, rejected and condemned.
But the more time I have spend sitting in that particular chair of discomfort, the greater the insight I am given, into my own psyche.
It would appear that I have an annoying, soundtrack, that tinkles along in the background, accompanying the majority of my decisions I choose to make within my life;
what of someone doesn’t agree;
what if I offend them or say something that makes me look stupid
or I become hated by the public, by some thoughtless comment I’ve made….
what if I…my words, end up hurting someone I love?
These are all truth statements of possibilities for me…all of this could happen and if I continue down this path…Probably will at some point or other.
But recently I have learnt enough about myself to recognise when the fear starts a creeping, especially at times like this, I need to grab my iPhone, shove on my headphones and I listen to one of Brene Brown audio books…”Braving the wilderness” (is a current favourite) and I stop, listen and allow her empowering words to wash over my doubts and resonate with my soul.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
She is soo awesome! I cannot emphasis how much this woman’s courage and choice to share her own journey of self discovery, has helped to bolster my own.
I have never had many good, strong woman role models to look up to, whilst I matured and sadly I believe this is still true for the majority of our current generation.
The Idols who seem to be help up by society and worshipped ,through the main media sources… all appear to be celebrated for their beauty, their style, their money and for a small part…what they are contributing to society but its mainly about their social value rather than their should worth.
Apparently its not seen as cool, to be inventing new types of concrete that promote the oceans health rather than killing it (Shimrit Perkol-Finkel’s) , to be dedicating your lifes work to setting up monkey sanctuaries and understanding the nature of our cousins (Jane Goodall) or to be struggling with chronic ill health and using the last of resources to set up an animal hospice, in the depths of Scotland, so that your fellow animal brother and sister, don’t end up alone and neglected in their dying hours (Maggie Flemming hospice)…why are these not the stories we are sharing.
Similarly influenced…I myself grew up wanting to become a celebrity…to be beautiful, famous and influential. I started off wanting to be a doctor as a child but soon chose to hang up that dowdy, lab coat for the ambition of a more glittery, star bangled alternative and now I watch, as my children are making similar choices…wanting to grow up to be You Tubers and play Minecraft all day for money or designing a show that pranks everyone and captures the tragic moment of embarrassment on camera, to share and be mocked by the world.
Currently we seem to living in a society that glorifies bullying, power and status , above humanity, self respect and kindness and min becoming aware that it’s our children and our planet that are suffering.
When I first dreamed of writing, I was 8 years old and I used to imagine the moment, I would receive some prestigious prize for my brilliance. That the world would hail me and I’d have enough money to shower my loved ones, my friends and all those in need, so eventually one day, I could die a hero…going down throughout the centuries as a true legend among legends (I may also, have been a tad narcissistic in those days). As I write this , I can’t help but laugh at my childish vanity but if I’m brutally honest with myself. There is still a very small part of me that secretly hopes, that someday, I will unlock the magic key that will open the door to success and riches, true hero status…Its mental and sadly it shows how deeply the train of thought runs within me, even now.
I don’t believe I’m alone either.
Yet I also know better.
My soul cries out for a greater perspective and is constantly grieving my lack of tenacity when it comes to contributing towards the greater picture.
I have all of these ideas, that I would love to put into place, ideas that could bring comfort for my fellow brother and sister.
Non of them result in personal glory and there are definitely no riches to be had at the end of the rainbow but they do all require resources, energy and time, which for me (with my autoimmune conditions and complicated family life) appear too far reaching.
I feel that I don’t have anything spare to give yet my heart desperately wants to .
My mind is afraid.
I’m afraid that I will let my family down, by using my limited resources and spending them elsewhere. That even if I did start these projects up, each one is the equivalent of a full time job and will need organising and managing and I’m sorry but give me some pens, paper and glue and I can create something of value but numbers, timings, people management, physical, hard graft…think apocalypse and we maybe close.
So I am feeling increasingly bound and tied at the moment.
I want to write and share my thoughts with the world (in the vain hope that maybe my journey will bring comfort to other on the same track) and I also want to inspire my children, away from the superficial…and towards kindness and respect, for themselves and others. I want to support my earth family and bring comfort to those who are genuinely struggling, either at the hands of others or by their own internal jailor but I don’t yet know how I to begin and I’m so afraid to fail and in doing so, let everyone down, that I’m paralysed…worst still…my lack of action then leads me towards feeling frustration at my lack of action and inability to model the behaviour I wish to inspire in others.
I found out this morning that 226 School children committed suicide last year…school children? I mean….what the hell is going on with our society????
We know better.
We are so scientifically and psychologically rich right now. We have technology and a wealth of information and contacts at our finger tips and yet we look away and do nothing.
My son asked me the other day, ‘Why is it Mummy, that no one does anything about all the pollution…why don’t they care that our planet is dying and all of the animals are scared and afraid?”
And I answer, ’There are sweetheart people out there, who are trying their very hardest to make our world a better place but there are sadly also even more people out there, who don’t care and are actually achieving the opposite, causing more destruction and without even trying. It’s a battle and we don’t know who’s gong to win yet.’
He’s right though…why don’t we do more?? We know better. All it would take would be for the leaders and moneybags of this world, to decide that things had to change. That enough was enough adnthey were going to ban plastic, stop torturing animals, provide proper welfare in the society and actually take responsibility for their part in our worlds struggle…and it could all change overnight but no one does?
Elizabeth , Harry, Hamish and I were out at the shops yesterday and we stopped off at the dreaded Golden Arches (I’m sure that will stir a lot of rumblings about pot kettle black…hey I care but I’m not perfect) and we came out of the doors, to find a homeless man sitting on the cold street.
He asked if we could spare some change but I didn’t have any, instead I asked if he would like anything from inside? His toothless face lit up, as he replied, that he would love a latte and a couple of donuts if that would be okay?…so Hamish pootled back inside with my debit card in hand (I was in my electric wheelchair, so it was quicker) and whilst we waited we ended up having a nice little chat with him.
It turned out he was sleeping on the streets because he had chosen to give up his job in London, under the promise of a better labouring job, in Plymouth. The work came with accommodation and regular, steady work. He had said goodbye to his friends and used the last of his pennies to buy the ticket down. All had been going well for the first couple of weeks, he even had a tv provided in his flat but one morning he went to work but was told that there was no longer any work or pay to be had for the work he had already done, the job was gone and the boss had disappeared, he went back home to find that the flats were being repossessed (with all of his belongings inside) and the manager of the company had not paid any bills before scarpering off, over sees. He had no where to go, no money to get home and he had no idea what to do next. The weather was bitter and he didn’t really want to spend too much time out on the streets as the rain was due to come down and he didn’t even have a proper coat. (now I am sure there is potentially, a lot more ins and outs of this story and I cannot validate for the truth of this tale but I do believe it must take a desperate mind to sit on a concrete floor, in the middle of winter and beg from strangers…and I don’t feel it is my place to cast judgement). So little Harry suggests to the man, “why don’t you come and stay with us??” (Bless him but I start panicking as we also have Elizabeth best friend with us and the idea of bringing a stranger home and off the streets, did set off alarm bells…I don’t know how I feel about that one if I’m honest….I’m still battling with whether or not I made the right decision by not agreeing or if I got this one wrong 😦 ). Thank fully the man told Harry that although the offer was he very kind, he would have to say no, he would be okay and to my shameful relief, Hamish reappeared with the coffee and snacks before it was discussed any further.
However did collectively decide to go and get him some pennies out of the cash machine and go in search of a blanket and some supplies to help him out over the next couple of days. Hamish took Harry and Elizabeths friend back to the car and Doodles (Elizabeth) and I went off on our mission.
First stop was the cash machine…I took out £40 so that I could give him £10 and then use the rest to buy supplies and whilst we were there, Elizabeth spotted another two men huddled up together against the cold. “What do we do about them mummy?” Elizabeth asks…
”let’s see what we can find for them too”, I replied.
So off we went in search of something suitable. The selection of shops (in the part of town we were) were limited, just Debenhams and TKMax, we opted for TKMax, as we though maybe our pennies would go further and proceeded to run around like lunatics, trying to source something of use.
Everything was way beyond our measly budget but we did find a load of fleece blankets reduced to £10 each, which we then bought, along with a ton of thick, winter socks ( I hate having cold feet). We made our purchases and quickly, scampered back outside to find our new friend and present him with our wares…but he had gone.
“Maybe it had got too cold for him and he didn’t trust that we were coming back” I looked down at my 9 year old sad face and explained. Shivering (she had left her own coat, back in the car). Elizabeth sighed but said that it was okay, as she wanted to take our blankets and offer them to the other men. I agreed but asked if she wanted to go back to the car first as it was super cold and she was her rosy cheeks and chattering teeth were starting to reflect that.
“No mummy, this is more important. They are also cold but I will get to go and get inside, to my warm car in a minute, they are stuck out here. I want to give them my blankets first.”
So we did.
We walked up to these two homeless individuals and asked if they needed any help.
They enquired if we had any spare change and I gave them the £10 I had taken out earlier, to share between them.
They were a little shocked at the quick and emphatic response but that was nothing compared to the look on their faces, when Elizabeth presented them both with a snug, fleecy blanket each and a couple of thick winter socks.
“Oh my little darling”, one of the men said, “you have no idea how much your kindness means to me…It may sound dramatic but this gift could literally save my life and I cannot thank you enough.”
Smiling proudly but shyly, Elizabeth responded with a simple, “you’re welcome” before taking shelter behind her mummy.
The other man held the new blanket in his hands, stroking its softness gently, between dirt encrusted fingers. He looked up at Elizabeth, with honest tears in his eyes and said,
”Little one, I wish more people in the world were as open and caring as you have been to me, just a few acts of kindness like this, can make a huge impact to our lives. What goes around, comes around and I wish so much joy for you and your very big heart.”
We made our fair wells and hurried back towards the car.
We did pass another woman who had replaced the other man and she also asked for change but by that time, all we had was a single, pair of winter socks, which we offered.
“That’s great love,” the woman replied smiling, “much better than a quid anyway” and she quickly,shoved them into her bag.
We went back to the car, feeling happy but wishing we had bought a little more to share.
On opening the car door, I was immediately presented with a scarf from Hamish,
“I thought maybe, he could have that if he’s cold…its not much but maybe it would help?”
It was one of her favourites and a really big gesture from her. I explained that the man had gone but we had passed the woman on the street who was also struggling.
Hamish said that she was still happy to give her scarf and support the woman in her struggle.
So back I dashed once more, desiring to spread our perceived joy and light.
I rushed to hand the woman the scarf and some change we had collected from the car, she looked up and quickly took the scarf but in that moment I also spotted that in her other hand, she had her mobile phone. She looked up at me and then briefly at the phone and looked up at me, with what I could only perceive asa
a sheepish expression on her face.
“Thanks “ was all she said, then quickly looked away and stuffed the scarf into her bag.
I sighed but made a quick judgement call. Smiling at her I said, “You’re very welcome and I wish you the all the very best of luck for the future”.
She nodded her head and I ran back to the car, it was bloody freezing.
My elation though was dampened and I had to explain to Hamish, that although I had ‘given the scarf’ as she had agreed, I now wasn’t as sure, that the woman was indeed homeless and that maybe I had encouraged her to giver favourite scarf away to a total stranger, who was potentially playing the system.
We all talked about it in the car, on the way back home and mutually all agreed that although this particular lady may or may not have been genuine, we didn’t know her situation and perhaps our little act of kindness, may have impacted upon her in a way that we would never realise.
A little way into the journey, once the days adventures had lulled us all into private, quiet thought, Elizabeth piped up, “I think I know what I want to do when I’m older mummy…I’m going to open up a homeless shelter”
My heart swelled…
I love my babies xxx
I do not for a moment believe that our deeds that day, had been driven out of anything, other than my own selfish desire to do something worthwhile and feel nice, as a reward for our altruistic act. On some level, knowing that in doing so, I in turn could feel a little better about myself and my own choices. Neither do I believe that every person, claiming to be homeless or in need, always actually is but I also acknowledge that I don’t know and will never know, the truth of another man/ woman’s story.
So I would rather act in good faith and leave the lessons to their own conscience.
I have very few rules in this life but one I stick religiously to, is…
Treat yourself and others with respect
Always treat others, they way in which you yourself, would hope to be treated.
Wrong or right…my heart is peaceful and as a mother…Oh my gosh…I feel so proud xxxx
I have so many expectations of myself within this life.
So many hopes and ideals that I hope to explore before my time is over and at times, I’m left to wonder, if maybe the bar I use to measure myself by, is set too high, which leads me undoubtedly towards thoughts of failure and the fear of its manifestation.
Fear…a gift and a burden, all in one.
I am understanding now that it is only by seeing ourselves through the shadows, that we can truly understand who we are and who we are not but even knowing this, doesn’t necessarily make it easier to be Brave and embrace the wilderness.
The world is black and white, light and dark, right and wrong and good and evil but the destination of each label, essentially comes down to your own unique perception, which side of the fence you are sitting on and how much hope and optimism you hold in your heart.
I don’t know, who, if anyone, will ever read my posts. I cannot know, guess or control how my readers will choose to interpret me and whether or not I can be deemed a successful or even good writer or not. There will be judgement…that’s human nature and I myself, am constantly guilty of the act of assumed judgment.
But I can control my own hope and optimism that someone out there will actually hear me and understand the truth and intent behind my words and maybe even join me in the spreading of little extra light and joy in this crazy ass world…I will never know but I can choose to be brave and choose to keep writing using the courage in my heart.