Choosing love; seeing pain and joy as equal

I had a couple of really interesting conversations today; both with remarkable and inspirational women. They both shared thoughts that have remained with me and floated in my subconscious mind.

Love is a feeling but it is also a choice.”

I have always thought it was just a feeling; something instinctual and overwhelming about someone or something that meant you couldn’t live without it, emanating from somewhere inside my body, my gut or chest usually.  My romantic, naivety strikes again!

But after this last 16 months, on digesting it and thinking about it more, I tend to agree with her.  Love can also be a choice.  You can choose to love someone or something by looking for what there is to love about it.  You can find love if you look for it hard enough.  Even when you think it is impossible. Even the smallest, tiniest fragment can be enough to hold on to.  By focusing and choosing to see that, rather than everything else surrounding it, you can magnify the feeling so that it then overwhelms all other feelings.  And it started with a choice.  It started with the brain, not the gut, not the heart.

Interesting.

Her view was that many people don’t fight when it gets tough anymore. They don’t fight when exercise is hard or making healthy food choices are hard. When business is failing… And the same goes for marriage too.

As I come out of this latest rollercoaster, an emotional one, a really tough one that tested my resilience to stay buckled in, I can now look back and say that the downs were terrifying, that the highs were exhilarating…but both necessary to appreciate the other.  And the slow climb out of the biggest dips taught me lessons to enable me to grow and the strength I needed to climb out and up to the top of the next high.

The other conversation, a completely separate, unrelated conversation following a quote I shared with her:

I loved my pain –

Not the feeling of it,

But the way it molded

Me to be stronger.”

Her questioning response was entitled, having encountered her own rollercoaster …

Embracing pain is different from suffering.

We need to learn that pain is just different from joy. Not more or less important…..  there’s joy in loss and grief.”

Her words echoing my thoughts on the roller coaster.  The need for balance, the downs needed to prepare for the up; light needing dark so that it can be seen. The joy and happiness I feel now, so much sweeter, more genuine because of the pain and suffering from loss and grief.

And perhaps that’s why life is a rollercoaster, because, as she says, pain is different from suffering.  Pain is momentary.  Suffering is choosing to focus on the pain for extended periods of time.

And there we have it, we are back to the beginning, because it is by choosing to see love during times of despair, that we end the cycle of suffering and can pull ourselves up and out.

Advertisements

good night

It’s been a long day.  Exciting on many levels, intense in others.

 

Right now, my belly is full, my heart lighter than yesterday and my head exhausted from being worked more than I have in a long while.  Progress is being made in all of my highlighted intentions – my new site is up and running and drafted, and a good, gritty, honest discussion to clear the air around the intention that caused a day of tension yesterday completed.

 

It is time to be grateful for a good day, and say good night.

 

good night

 

 

The best intentions

I am so over goal setting.  I think in this day and age of fast paced, constant evolution and uncontrollable outside influence, they are just another way to find yourself beating yourself up when you fall short of the goals you set yourself to complete in a year.

I am kind of unpackaging the theory of SMART goals…

I believe Time and Specific are too rigid, leaves no room for change or improvement.  And after the last year, I am more about ‘feelings’, than things, titles, pay cheques..   And I don’t believe you can measure feelings accurately.  In the pursuit of happiness throughout 2017 and a return to joy – there are moments, sometimes short and sometimes long.  But a measurement of happiness?  I am not sure it is appropriate to scale and I am not sure I could describe it..  When does ‘I am no longer unhappy, become happy?’ or ‘I am happy, become overcome with joy?’

That leaves achievable and realistic.  Well, realistic is easy to rule out.  Why be realisitic?   Where is the fun in that?  And it also caps your limits, your expectations.  Reach for the stars and at least you may make the moon.  I would rather go big and bold, daring and brave and know at least I tried.

And achievable.. well again, after the experience of last couple of years, I think anything is achievable, even when it seems impossible.
So for 2018, I am all about Intention setting and that is my new way forward.  Same headings, different motive, different questions.  What is my intention, what is my primary focus this year for my family and relationships, for my health, for my social wellbeing, for my career, purpose and finances?
I much prefer this way of looking at the year ahead; I can’t anticipate what will happen, what fate or other people’s actions and decisions will have on the course and bearing of my life. Being too prescriptive can end up being disappointing and totally disheartening.   I would rather answer the question – did I make progress in this area, rather than, did I achieve my goal?

Today, as I started my 43rd year, I should have applied the same logic – rather than being too prescriptive, I should have just left it with the first intention… To have a family day that rocked!  And let the day unfold.

Instead, I added in criteria for success – to have hot rocks and go to Brimham Rocks, things I know we all love to do as a family.  Have a lazy morning with papers and sharing our 2018 intentions.  Make birthday cake and watch family movies.

I suppose now comes the shitty first draft of a 42 years young Birthday Girl on a sofa feeling sorry for herself who just can’t get past the small annoyances, only making me more grumpy.

In reviewing our joint ‘intentions’ for the year ahead, we are aligned in all areas except one.  The social aspect.  Where I to continue to draw a line under the previous years, our first marriage, find new friends, new events and grow and add to a circle of close friends who inspire me and match my intentions with their positivity, openness, philanthropy, abundance, big ideas.. I felt that we were miles apart with the Big Man’s intentions to reconnect with friends lost in the drama, go back to ‘old’ events on the social calendar.  Apparently, I make him feel guilty for doing so, or wanting to do so.

Perhaps It touched a nerve.  My defensive attitude and dip into a negative frame of mind was obvious.

But in my defense, my explanation, to me is rational.  I can’t go back and nor do I want to.  I cannot, nor will not, go back to a social scene that makes me feel shame; where the judgement of others is obvious, not only of what he did, but also of how I have responded.  I cannot, not will not, go back to a time in my life that to me now was fake, all a lie; how in those times I was happy, positive, proud of our marriage, family and accomplishments only to find out it was all based on my naivety and part truth.  In certain circles, social events, feel like I am wearing the jester’s outfit and the world is laughing at the biggest joke in town.

My excitement in showing my faith in the future felt diminished by a return to dredge up the past. And so my bubble of excitement was kind of burst.  After that, the rest of my exciting plans lost their lustre.

And so did I.

And perhaps that is why the day unfolded as it did; disjointed and disappointing.  A run amongst the heather and peat with my eldest a highlight, but not the family frolic I had hoped for as my youngest decided to throw his bad mood and anger and spoilt nature in my face.

A mirror, being held up in my face.  A reflection of how I am feeling inside.  Blamed for the unhappiness and the guilt, makes me want to throw away my plans and intentions and shout and scream ‘I don’t care, I hate you all!’  and sit on a rock and not join in the fun.

But he is 8.  And I am 42.  Old enough to know better.

So I will put away my intentions.  And go with the flow.

And the flow is carrying me to the cake they have all been making in the kitchen.  Their smiles and love poured in to the cake will wash away my guilt and unhappiness and replace it with the very same.

direction not goals.jpg

Pre-birthday surprise

It’s 8.30pm and I have just woken up from a gorgeous snooze on the sofa. Sandwiched between two little men after a day being treated by the Big one cooking and drinking a laughing.

The pre-perfect birthday surprise!

And now I am going back to sleep… to wake up on my birthday! 42 years young and many more years to come…

A love note

Yesterday, I got a love note.

I wouldn’t have known what it was, if I hadn’t been listening to Jen Sincero.

Brilliant ideas are love notes from the Universe that say:  this is for you.  I think you’re hot.  And capable.  Go share your stunning youness with the world.”

If I hadn’t have just heard that, I wouldn’t have known, as I was singing at the top of my lungs to ‘Mr Brightside’ on my way to school, that that is what it was.  A little voice that just said, “Why don’t you… You could do it, you know!”  I would have dismissed the thought and the idea as something way too scary to do, a pointless exercise, leading to aa culmination of embarrassment and energy wasted.

So today, I let fear be my guide and focussed on the little steps.  I asked myself, ‘If I were to respond to this love note, what would I do now?  … and then what would I do next… if I were to do this?

I ended up thoroughly enjoying an afternoon of flurried activity; spider thought charts, idea lists, contact lists, proposal drafting.

Like a wheel stuck in the mud, when someone is held by the chains of fear, the hardest part is to get momentum to get moving; backwards or forwards…  and sometimes you need the backwards part to get a bigger swing to go further in the right and opposite direction. Any movement, that first movement expends the most energy, but energy breeds more energy….

And I am energised!  I don’t even care if this is a backward move… I know it will end up going forwards, eventually.

Sometimes, all you need is a little love note.  From the Universe… or just from anyone to say those words – “I think you’re hot….Go share your stunning youness with the world.”

Today.

Today.
Today, I stood looking at a throne and orb that are apparently mine, but I don’t believe I am worthy of. I learnt that the huge black pearl at the heart of the orb represents a huge flaw in my thinking. Is it time to take my rightful place?
Today, my shoulders ached and the muscles twitched restlessly. Are they my angel’s wings, poised and ready, strong and willing to take this flight away from the stress of the past?

Today, I toyed with the colourful elastic bands of my childhood, a reminder that I need to expand my imagination and explore colourful, bright new ways of thinking.

Today, I unrolled the maps of the future, the bald-headed eagle showing me a vision: travelling to tall buildings, cities on a global scale. New York at the centre, a fast paced, Big Apple kind of healthy lifestyle. My current goals and new intentions matching that dream.

Today, I booked a precarious flight in an old sea plane – will the landing be smooth or bumpy? I don’t know, but the view and the journey, I anticipate, will be beautiful, lush and green and free showing everyone I have taken life to a whole new level!

Today, I stared into the eyes of an old croc, a lover of sea and land.   I looked into my subconscious and conscious, my equally balanced creative and analytic brain, my emotional self and my rational self, the mother in me and the over achiever.  My new found freedom, inner power and hidden strength had her turn away and slither back in to her watery home.

Today, finally, I took a luxurious bath (clearly metaphorical – the baths in PH are far from luxurious) and rid myself of the old ideas, the old stories that have been holding me back.  I feel clean, fresh, full of forgiveness, hope and excitement for the future and ready to let go of the past.

Today. Today, was reiki day; a day when I tapped in to my subconscious; a day I feel empowered and centred.

SToday, I am confident, was the first day of the new chapter.

I am ready…

‘Twas the night before school…. And not a creature was stirring.

 

Well.  Not really.  It’s kind of noisy, a bit like bedlam. I am definitely ready for the return to school and the subsequent peace and quiet in the house, when I can abandon my ringmaster’s costume and referee’s whistle.  I wonder if it is just boys.  Or brothers.  Or whether it is just as constant with a boy and a girl; or two girls even?

 

Everything is a competition; turns to an argument and then a fight.  The first to get to the car, the table, the best seat.  “he chose last time!”  “he always sits there!” “he hit me!” “he punched me first!”

 

Yes.  I am ready.

 

And right now, I am going to calm down the situation with a polite request to get in to PJ’s and come and cuddle me on the sofa and watch a documentary.  We are quite enjoying the good back catalogue of David A.  Perhaps not ‘The Hunt’ tonight.  Survival of the fittest means one of them could die.

 

And I am not ready for that.

back-to-school-quote-1