This is about the struggles of life and how I overcame them.
A Place to Start
Where do you begin when you are looking to rebuild your life from the bottom up, where exactly do you start? This is the question that I asked myself as I began to rebuild my life from scratch. Just exactly where do you start when you are standing amongst the ruins of a previous life.
There are usually so many things that need looking at, finances, friendships, family, job, leisure time, a place to live, a place to call home. Getting things together can seem like an arduous task and when confronted with circumstances like this we can easily become overwhelmed, weary at the very thought of starting again.
First and foremost, the most important attribute that we need is hope. Hope for a brighter future, hope that gets our motivation going
Without hope we are lost. We need sometimes to dig deep, really deep to find that spark of hope and then we need to fan the flames of that hope by making plans. Plans that will enable us to pick ourselves up and start all over again. Plans that we can be enthusiastic, excited and passionate about. It is necessary sometimes to really look within our psyche and soul to look for the reasons why we have lost that hope in the first place. What was it that made us lose hope? What was it that made us cave in to hopelessness? What happened to bring us to this dark place? But maybe, just maybe, the biggest question of all that we need to ask ourselves is, what can I do to make things better, what plans do I need to make to begin to climb out of this dark place? Do I need professional help to get me started? Do I need counselling or some other therapy to begin to bring me out of that dark place enough to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? What friends can I rely on to give me an unbiased point of view? Where can I find the support I need?
I found that rekindling my sense of hope was the very beginning for me, finding that hope within me was the hardest task of all. I felt utterly defeated, with no enthusiasm for anything in life at all. It has taken a lot of very hard work to reach the point where I can truly say that I am very happy. I spent a lot of years where I didn’t know what true happiness was. At first I thought it was being in possession of money and status. It has taken me sixty years of my life to realise that it doesn’t matter what I do or do not have, to be truly happy one must know oneself inside out. It’s important to know for yourself the things that you are truly prepared to accept in terms of other people’s behaviour towards us, to determine what sort of activities bring us contentment and feelings of achievement, to learn when to rest, when to play and just how much work we are prepared to take on in the pursuit of money.
Someone once said to me that they “worked to live” they didn’t “live to work” and I have only recently discovered how true this is. Work was my salvation for the largest part of my young adult life, both in the workplace and at home. I didn’t ever give myself time to rest. I was also a habitual worrier constantly concerned with how other people saw me, what they thought of me and what my standing in the community was. Again, it has taken me all these years to become comfortable enough with myself to not be concerned so much with other people’s opinions and feelings. My ideas, beliefs, thoughts and opinions are my own and I have finally set myself free to live my own life.
Learning to be your authentic self is an important part of the process of becoming happy. What is the point of doing things to please others if you do not please yourself? We can help others, we can learn how to use our wisdom to enable others to make their own choices for themselves, that is not in question, it is good to be able to aid others on their journey. I’m not suggesting that we become totally selfish, just to remember that we have a right to live our lives in the way we see fit for ourselves, to please ourselves now and again. It’s not selfish to be authentic, it’s not selfish to care enough about ourselves to make our own decisions about how we live our lives. It’s not selfish to do things for ourselves as well as others and most of all it’s not selfish to be assertive when we feel that others are taking advantage of us.
We need to dig deep into our creativity, find projects that will utilise our skills, skills that have been learned over a lifetime. Skills that have been hard won and skills that we have learned through fun activities. We need to know what we like and what we don’t. We need to understand our motives for doing things and the reasons why. In short, we need to delve deep into our unconscious a little bit at a time until we recognise the wonderful beautiful person that we truly are and that the person that we are is acceptable and valuable to the human race.
Taking long contemplating walks in the countryside, being with ourselves and understanding ourselves is a good place to start. Taking up a practice of contemplation or meditation is also beneficial to our wellbeing. These activities give us stress releasing breaks from, what can seem at times, the constant barrage if the modern world.
I have been blessed with good friends who enable me through their conversation and advice, to look at my motives, question my beliefs and face myself enough to gain a better understanding of myself and the world around me. Look for friends who accept you truly as you are, warts and all, look for friends who support and uplift you, look for friends who are not offended if you don’t take their advice, and having listened to them, always, always make up your own mind, for after all only you are responsible for your life, not them.
I also had to learn that when we make plans, some work out and others fail. It’s a learning curve, it’s a process that takes time and effort to achieve. Plans and schemes for the future evolve over time, sometimes completely by accident and we often find ourselves on a completely different path to the one we started on. Those are those happy synchronicities that lead you on a path you never thought you would go down, but one that will lead you to a happier more fulfilled existence. The people you meet quite by chance, that leaflet you picked up, an unexpected trip to the high street where you met someone who had the skills you need to help you on your way. All the strands of your life weave together to make a finely woven tapestry of life, the Universe’s way of bringing you what you want and need.
Hope is where we start, dig deep to find that spark of hope, remember you are a well-loved child of god and that all that is happening to you is meant to teach you new skills that can be used over a lifetime. No learning is ever wasted, it will help you, and the knowledge that you’ve gained can help others too, it’s in the knowing of ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, that our true personal power begins to take shape.