Coincidence?

What does it mean when the book falls open

On exactly the page you needed to read?

The words that you needed to soothe your soul

Or lift you up when you’re on the floor?

What does it mean when the butterfly lands

Or the rainbow emerges

Or your numbers come up again and again?

Is it just chance?

A little coincidence, just down to luck?

I am not sure that it’s as simple as that.

Perhaps I am searching for order in chaos,

Hope in amongst the darkest of days.

But what if there’s more to all of these signs?

What if they’re pointing to the place I should go?

Maybe they’re gently nudging along

A girl who is lost and desperately searching

For a little more guidance, a little more love,

From the greatest I am, high up above.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I really think that when I’m going a little bit off course there is somebody or something that is watching over me and giving me a gentle push so that I get back on the right path.

For me, it’s a Christian God that does this, but I know that people believe in other beings, some of them not connected with any organised religion. I think my point is that, as humans, we all need something bigger than us to love us and guide us. Kind of like a parent, but not human. Because humans are always going to let you down no matter how hard they try. It’s comforting to lean on something that will love us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if we fail our exams or don’t do well in our sporting event, they love us anyway.

I hope that you can find something to have faith in because it helps comfort you in times of distress. And next time you feel a bit lost, ask for a bit of help. You never know when a sign might turn up.

Much Love

Rachel xx

to be like charlize theron

I’m thirsty for something.

I want to fill that gaping hole.

I want to find the thing that’s missing,

The piece that’s missing from my soul.

Perhaps I need to buy something?

That perfume they’ve been advertising,

That could be the thing I’m looking for.

Surely if I bought more stuff

My problems would all go away.

I’d be just like the models that I see,

The ones they use to show the stuff

To all of us who are upset

With where our lives have taken us.

If I was like Charlize Theron

And spritzed myself with damned Dior,

Then I could look like her, and be like her and have her perfect life!

I wouldn’t feel so thirsty

And I wouldn’t have that hole inside.

But I cannot afford that scent

So I’m not worthy of a place,

Among the blessed, the super models and the super rich.

Instead I’ll just go back to work

And spur the cycle on and on.

As humans we are thirsty for something and this world is so broken that we just chase all the things that give us instant gratification. I know that I’ve used alcohol to fill that hole in the past, but people can use all sorts and companies use that to their advantage. They know that we want to be happy and beautiful and by using a perfect looking model to advertise their products they are sending us a very clear message: buy this, and your life will be perfect. Buy this and all of your pain and your hurt will go away.

But I think that there is a way to fill that hole without chasing all this stuff. I think that we can fill it spiritually and it is far more effective. I know that not everyone agrees with organised religion but I think that a lot of people believe that there is something out there that is bigger than us and that offers people a lot of hope.

There is a reason that in 12 step recovery there is mention of a higher power, and that is because we can’t control ourselves without the help of something greater than ourselves. In times of stress and unhappiness, it is a great comfort to lean on something greater than any human.

I hope that you can find some way of connecting with your higher power because there is sometimes so much temptation in this world that it’s difficult to avoid doing yourself any serious damage. If you are struggling then maybe at least try picking up a Bible and having a read. I find that the Psalms are really encouraging. Even if the Bible is a bit scary, you might find that getting out in nature and connecting with a higher power is easier, or perhaps meditating. However you do it, I think that it’s worth at least exploring these ideas as we are bombarded with so many things that cause us stress.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

sorry seems to be the hardest word

In the dark, deserted loneliness

Of the place we once called home,

You whispered several thousand words,

That all expressed how sorry that you were.

But when the day crept into view,

Those empty words began to scatter,

Like spiders when they scuttle

For the safety of the nooks and crannies.

It seems that when the world awakes

And sunlight streams in through the cracks,

You don’t seem so sure you’re wrong.

Or if you are, you’re too ashamed

To admit that what you did, it hurt.

Better to pretend it’s me

That should be shouldering the blame.

Ever been blamed for something that wasn’t your fault? Or had someone change their story when they start to look bad? I can sympathise and I know that it hurts somewhere deep inside.

The problem is that as humans we all have our own story to tell and our own truth. A lot of the time we don’t even know what the truth is because we can make ourselves believe the story we have made up in our own minds.

What really hurts is when someone admits that they have hurt you and say that they are sorry, then when they get out into the public domain, they change their story and say that you have hurt them. It makes you feel like you want to go out into the street and shout so that everybody knows YOUR truth.

But as much as it hurts, it’s always best to remain quiet and graceful. Mouthing off in the street (or on Facebook) doesn’t do anybody any favours and it particularly reflects badly on you. It’s so much better to sit quietly, smile and make everyone think that nothing is hurting you. It’s the hardest thing to do EVER, but it’s so worth it.

Remember that if you are on the receiving end of this, you know your truth. The person on the other side of the fence has their own story and their own reasons for their behaviour. Just try to smile and send love their way. Keep your dignity in tact, you’ll be grateful of it further down the line.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

just run the race

I guess it’s just like running in a race.

There’s a track that stretches out.

And just like life, I haven’t got a clue

If it’s straight or if it loops.

I just hope there is a line

That marks the end, the finish point

Where I can rest, collect a medal and a flag.

There’s only one attempt at this

And only I can screw it up.

But then again, I’ve practised hard,

I know that hurdles can be cleared.

This is my moment, never to be feared.

I used to be a swimmer when I was a kid and whenever I raced I would get so nervous because I was terrified that I would screw up. I don’t know why I got quite so frightened, but I know that I have always needed love and I was scared that a poor performance might make people hate me.

As I’ve got older I’ve seen that life is a lot like one of those races. There is so much opportunity to screw up, but there is also the chance that everything could go well and I become a raging success. But that’s life. It’s all a bit of luck and some things will go well and others will be terrible. You just need to roll with it and at least have a go. If you lose, you’re to going to die. It will hurt, but you will still be alive to run another race. Just learn from where you went wrong and have another go.

If you’ve recently tripped over a hurdle, get back up and keep running. There’s always somebody there who will help you up and get you across the line. The worst thing that you can do is let the fear cripple you and not even turn up at the start line. I hope that you enter the race this year and have some fun no matter what the result.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the incoming storm

I watched intently, as the storm rolled in,

I wished that you were there to hold my hand.

The clouds had gathered rather slowly

But still I knew that it would decimate the land.

I wish that there was someone there to comfort me

When this beast comes charging for the kill.

I have a knife that’s often brandished

When I know the blood’s about to spill.

But any attempt to stop the storm

Is just as pointless as before,

There’s no one there to offer shelter

From this sad internal war.

The dreaded fear, it must roll in,

And fill my veins with searing pain.

I wish that I could hold your hand,

Until this weather starts to wane.

Feelings are a bitch. They can be so painful and there is nothing you can do to stop them (unless you turn to wine and that didn’t work out very well for me last time!). They are kind of like a storm. You can watch it brewing but there’s no point in trying to stop it.

I wrote this poem with anxiety in mind but I guess it applies to any of the negative emotions. It’s so nice to have someone to hold your hand through the hard bits. I am lucky in that I still have at least two members of my family who are there no matter what.

I hope that if you ever feel waves of panic or depression, that you have at least one person out there to lean on. And if you think that you don’t, try reaching out to someone you know. You would be surprised how happy people are to be there for you in a time of need.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

virus

The software’s birthed into the world,

Disc space empty, memory wiped.

Just waiting for those google docs,

The Netflix films and searches typed.

They seem so so bland, so insignificant,

But every picture, every document,

Remembered, burnt onto the motherboard,

Forming something of a monument.

Permanent and always can be traced.

Computers don’t forget the past.

Algorithms form the patterns

That push them forward to the last.

I have always seen the human brain as a computer. I think that we are born with a clean hard drive and everything that happens to us after that forms our behaviours and shapes the person we become. I believe that childhood trauma can really have a big impact on how we behave in the future, as adults. If we have suffered something horrific as a young child, I think that it can cause us to act out in a negative way as an adult. And we don’t have a clue why because it’s all subconscious. This is why I think that therapy is so helpful when you don’t understand why you are behaving in a certain way. There is an underlying reason underneath it all.

If you are struggling with a horrible pattern that is running your life, then I urge you to try therapy because once you know what might be causing it, it’s far easier to start working on stopping it. We can’t control our feelings but once you know where they come from it’s far easier too control how we act on those feelings.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

it's hard being the boss

It is a precious crown that’s made of glass

Placed on just the chosen heads

Of those who do not quake in fear

At that sentiment, that ludicrous idea

That they can keep it balanced there.

To keep it safe from careless slips.

It’s hard, it requires some tender care.

But wear that crown with love and grace

And for the reins there’ll be no race.

A monarch can be truly loved,

But duly note that once you’ve reached your pearly throne

You are up there entirely on your own.

I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility recently. I hate it. I have absolutely no desire to be a manager of any kind at work but it’s not always been like that. Not so long ago, I craved that success. But I didn’t seem to appreciate that with the success comes responsibility. It was a burden that I am not strong enough to carry and I would often buckle within a few weeks of getting any promotion.

It’s taken a lot of therapy to realise that it’s not what I want and that it’s OK to not want it. Society tells us that we should aspire to reach the top, but it takes a certain type of person and not all of us are that person. I love just pottering around at my work and leaving my stresses at the door when I leave. And that is OK!

Push yourself in areas that interest you because once that crown is placed on your head you sometimes have to fight to the death to keep it there. Make sure that it’s a battle you have the energy and the inclination to fight.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a big cheese grater

I think that it’s fair

To say I’ve been scraped

As I travelled along this year.

I’ve been through a grater

With flakes of myself

Snowing down far and near.

I feel a little lighter at the end of this year. And it’s been a painful process. My skin hurts, I’m feeling so sensitive. Perhaps I have been through a big human sized cheese grater? I imagine that I would be like Parmesan and the little bits of me that have been shaved off are being sprinkled all over a nice salad. It’s good to get rid of those flaky bits that were clinging on to me, but oh boy, did it hurt.

Did anyone else get cheese grated this year? I hope that if you have been grated then you at least have a nice salad to look forward to at the end of it all. I have a feeling that there is going to be celery on mine and I don’t like celery.

Happy New Year from a softer, less flaky version of me.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Why is trust so difficult?

Trust is a funny thing. It’s like a sliding door that you have a little bit of control of. You can hold that door closed for as long as you want. But as soon as you hit that button and the doors hiss open, you are powerless. Trust is painful and scary. Staring into somebody’s eyes you have to make that decision, and sometimes you have to make it in a split second. Am I going to trust you or not? Am I going to open up to you or not? Am I going to be vulnerable with you?

Or not?

There comes a time when you really have to let that door slide open and see what waits for you on the other side. It’s inevitable that every so often you will make a mistake and it will be a monster waiting out there. The door will pull back and the onslaught will take you by surprise. The force with which he throws himself at you will knock the air from your lungs. But you have been brave and you did it. You faced the tyrant out there and you are stronger for it. And next time you’re faced with something similar, you are a little more prepared.

A little more resilient.

But sometimes the doors will gracefully slide back and you will be faced with true love. You will be faced with compassion and kindness and the fear that you felt will be all but forgotten. The warm embrace will make it all better and the smell of sweet perfume will soothe your aching soul.

You have to open that door eventually. I know it’s scary, but life requires a forward motion. And love will heal all your wounds. And without trust there is no love.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the universe gave me a sign today

i often find myself

looking at the stars

and wishing i knew why or what or how or who.

there’s just so much that is unknown

but if you take the time to sit

and really turn your ear

towards the wind, you’ll hear that whisper

telling you to just let go

it’s sink or swim but trust your gut

don’t dig your heels into the mud.

float along, enjoy the ride.

it never was a race,

it never was a tug of war,

it was always meant to be

a gentle push and glide.

so next time you are fighting life,

remember that the universe is always on your side.

Do you ever feel like you’re swimming upstream? Fighting against the current only to end up washed up on the bank while everyone else has sailed through life effortlessly? I have nearly always felt like this.

But today I realised that I’ve just been fighting too hard. From now on, if the universe gives me one of those gentle little nudges, I’m going to let go and see where I end up.

Today I ended my counselling sessions and I have the option to carry on with another therapist but I feel like this is my time to step off the platform and see how I land. It may not end well but I’m going to trust that God or my Higher Power or whatever you want to call it, I’m going to trust that He has my back.

If you feel like you are digging your heels into the mud then maybe you should try letting go and see where you end up. Holding on for dear life uses up so much energy and a lot of that energy could be used really enjoying your life. So join me and let’s leap off into the unknown. There’s always someone to catch you if it goes really bad, but why not give it a go?

Much Love,

Rachel xx