In the words of George Michael we need a faith, a faith, a faith. This whole situation that we find ourselves in at the moment is just too difficult for our human minds to comprehend. So it only makes sense that we find something bigger than ourselves to lean on.
I know that there are a lot of people out there that are extremely resistant when it comes to religion. There are wars fought over it and blood shed. But in everyday churches around the world a lot of people find a lot of peace and solace. There is community there and love and compassion. These are all things that we need by the bucket load at this moment in time.
And even if organised religion is not something you are willing to participate in, it’s so helpful to have something bigger than ourselves to lean on. We are all still like toddlers and we need a parent figure and God is that!
In addiction recovery, finding our own higher power is such an important part of keeping sober. We have proven that human power cannot rescue us and many will attest that handing everything over is so important.
And in the world today, so much control has been taken away from us. We can fight it and get angry and stressed, or we can hand it over and just accept where we are. It’s hard but it’s a beautiful process. We constantly slip and start to fight life again, but take notice of it happening and then get back on the right path.
Or are they made in a factory and pumped out at random
And whoever is lucky (or brave as the case may be)
Can catch a dream and spread it around?
I guess that we’ll never be blessed to know,
But one thing I do know is that I will keep
Dreaming my dreams in the hope that I do
Make a difference in this world
Before I leave for the next.
I don’t want to be famous and recognisable; I don’t think that I could think of anything worse. But I do want my legacy to be that I at least tried to be nice and that my dream for the world is that it becomes a friendlier place to live for EVERYONE.
Mine is quite a vague dream, but I wonder where the more definite dreams come from and how someone gets chosen to have that dream? Is it totally random or are these people predestined to have this burden thrust upon them.
I know that I would be useless if the burden was placed on me because I find it really hard to stand up to people being nasty to me. So I really hope that no flashes of inspiration are wasted on me! Perhaps it would be alright if a poem went viral and I could just quietly retreat into a dark corner somewhere.
I do like to imagine that there are some elves tucked away in a factory somewhere and they are manufacturing loads of important dreams that are sent out into the world and are delivered by just the right person.
Or perhaps it’s totally random and the dreams float around in the atmosphere and if we wander into one we are in some way lumbered with it?
I think that maybe I’m thinking about this a little too much and I should just shut up and return to watching daytime TV.
I hope that you are all having a fabulous weekend and if you suddenly get a flash of inspiration and you think that it can bring some good into the world, then try acting on it. There may be a reason you were given that idea and you might change a whole bunch of lives. Don’t waste that opportunity!
When I was going through a really confusing time I took some time out and went running in the Scottish Highlands. If you have never been there, it is the most beautiful place you can imagine.
I spent about twelve hours a day running. I was away from internet connection and people and buildings and I was just left with nature. And there was a moment when it was dark that I just stopped. I looked up at the sky and there were stars in every direction that I looked.
I suddenly had clarity, which probably sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. I had the space to really take a look at myself and my place in the world. It was both scary and freeing.
If you are feeling a bit lost in the world, go out into nature and enjoy the freedom. Take the time to look at the stars and realise how fucking small we are. We have this massive world to love and care for and there are seven billion people out there who we could potentially meet and love and influence and have a positive impact on.
My moment in Scotland, when I stopped running will be something that I remember for the rest of my life. I’m lucky to have a really active lifestyle so I have several of these moments but I wanted to share this because I feel like it’s a place I want to go to in my mind at the moment. It was pure bliss and I wish that for everyone.
When I’m crossing the finish line of a running race,
That feeling is quite marvellous,
It’s one of utter relief.
It’s over, I can rest,
I can go back to pizza and the sofa
And an endless episodes of Friends and ER.
And when I finish the book that I’ve been reading
I have a feeling of enlightenment
That I wear proudly like a prom dress,
I can show it off in public,
The colourful things that I now know,
And the authors that I’ve read.
The closing of the book is the beginning of my fun.
But what can I say of what is certainly coming,
That fearful black entity that will swallow us all.
Yes, death is inevitable,
We can’t run away and we can’t close the book.
But is it an end like the end of a race or a classical work?
Or is it the beginning of something mistook?
The line is in sight and we’re heading that way,
But why all this talk about how to keep it at bay?
I’m thinking that maybe we should run at full speed,
Collecting our medal and the praise of our friends.
And we deserve it so much,
For surviving this world we live in today.
No, I don’t think that death is the end,
I do not think it is evil and dark.
But rather a blanket that’s placed round the shoulders
Of the tired distance runner who has battled it out.
It’s a hug from the coach and a medal in hand.
I agree that this world sees the pages slammed shut,
But only to wake in the bookshop of dreams
Where there is so much to read
That the fear and the pain are no longer things
On which your imagination can feed.
So, death terrifies me. I am a control freak and not knowing how or when or what even happens is something that makes me sweat. I mean, we all think that we are going to die as old people and our hearts just give up while we are sleeping. But the truth is that it’s probably not going to be a pleasant as that.
And then there’s the big question that is ‘where do we go?’ I’m a Christian, but even the Bible doesn’t tell me exactly what is going to happen. Do I go to a waiting room where they decide if I’ve made the grade to get into Heaven? Or do we go into some kind of hyper sleep until the second coming? There are so many questions still left open that I need the answer to. And I worry that if I think about it too much then my head will go pop.
That’s why I like to think that it’s not the end. Whenever I finish a race, I know that there are nice things to look forward to at the end. And I know that there are other races that I can enter to have another go at bettering my time. It is a similar experience when reading a book. There are times when I fall so in love with the characters that I can’t bear for it to end. But when the book is finished I can sit and think about it in my own head or discuss it with friends. I can read other work by the same author or see if the book has been made into a movie. Life won’t end as soon as that book is finished because the characters live on, and more importantly, I live on.
So, if death also terrifies you, try to think of it as a little break in the proceedings. It’ll be a time for you to have a look back at your ‘best bits’ and then prepare for whatever lies ahead in the great unknown. And if you have recently lost someone, it might be comforting to think that they have just finished this race, but they’re still out there running another one and waiting for you when it’s your turn to join them.
She smiled as she thought of the shock they would feel,
Of the kind words they’d say when she became dust.
She struck her one match, closing her eyes.
It didn’t take long for the fire to take hold.
Flames licking up over her head,
Becoming a torch, a warning to all
That people won’t rush to save those that choose
To make their own dark and devilish mess.
They’ll watch as she burns, down to the ground
Shaking their heads at the terrible waste.
She could have had quite the incredible story.
If only she’d needed far less attention
She wouldn’t have gone out in a blaze of glory.
I know so many people who seem to chase drama. While I was drinking I was one of them. I always needed somebody to be feeling sorry for me or to be jealous of me or to be in awe of me. I didn’t know how to just be.
I see so many people who are on that same destructive path, just inventing things to make people look in their direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something really dangerous one day. And the sad thing is that they are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t seem to realise people will only care about them for a limited time. Eventually we will be forgotten, so we need to savour the moment for our own benefit.
Therapy has taught me that I am enough on my own. I don’t need other people to tell me that I’m good or that I’m nice, I’m learning to know that from the inside. And I hope that the people I see needing this validation can find some peace. I hope that they can learn to live with themselves and that they don’t end up reaching some of the dark places I went to in my journey.
Take care of yourself and know that you are loved by God. Unfortunately people will let you down so don’t put your future happiness in people alone. Enjoy your time in the world, be nice and don’t chase likes and followers (there’s far more to life than those arbitrary numbers).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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