Losing a friend

I use this blog as one of my outlets, I’m know everyone experiences similar or varying complexities in their lives also, so here’s one of my recents…

I got a text out of the blue from someone I considered a good friend today, she said:

“I would appreciate it if you left my family alone, Many thanks. Name here”

I couldn’t believe it!  I was totally shocked and didnt see that coming at all?!?  I have genuinely racked my brain and searched my soul to try to figure out what I could have possibly done to cause such a kick reaction from a so called friend…?  I couldn’t find an answer, except that I have been in conversations with her husband recently about having piano lessons (all above board, no funny business, completely professional etc), and I’ve concluded that she possibly didn’t like this…?  To my understanding there has been illness and confusion in the family this year, so I think it could be a lash out on me because of that…? It is sad, because it does genuinely hurt, I am sad that I have lost a friend – especially when I don’t know why?

…This situation does press on old childhood wounds, I used to get bullied, excluded and lose friendships without explanation then too, I’ve often wondered why some people just reject me for no apparent reason?  It makes me feel really insecure and I question myself all the time: do they like me?  Is this person a true friend?  Will this person abandon me also?  I’m forever over checking myself, I’m never sure if someone is a genuine friend or if they are hating me behind me back – sometimes I just feel like I must be a horrible person, and that people are repelled by me.  I experience people pushing me away and just seeming like that just don’t want me around…?

…Anyway I’m going too deep, letting my mind run away into places that are harmful and not helpful…my true thought about myself is that I am loving, caring, kind, generous, considerate and overall a sincerely beautiful person, with may gifts, talents and pearls to offer in life and to anyone who choses to do life with me…I’m not a horrible person!  Its their loss, I wish people could be more honest and transparent about their feelings, thoughts, concerns etc – oh well, I cant let it tear me down.  I’ve lost about an hour pondering over this scenario and I’m now gonna lay it to rest…

My prayer…Father heal this situation, shed light on the areas of misunderstanding and bring reconciliation with your loving peace.

…I wish them well anyway, and really pray that one day that we can be reconciled.  Life is too short to hold grudges and keep bad vibes…

Amen ❤ x

 

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Am I invisible?

Sometimes I really wonder if I’m invisible?
I’ll have a really long conversation with someone and feel like i’ve really connected with them, then ill see them a week later and they’ll walk straight past me as if i’m invisible?

I’ve sent emails, texts, FB messages and even tweets letting people know of my progress, good news and asking for feedback support with my music and various creative projects, and I’ll get no response…?

Theres a string of things I could list, but I just cant be arsed to write it…but I really dont get it…?

I feel a bit silly writing this, because its really a cry for recognition, real connection, belonging and acceptance…I feel on some levels I’m missing these core elements in my life and when I feel ignored, overlooked etc its a bit of a sting if im honest…

Whats happening?

Am i missing something?

I really dont understand?

Am I really invisible?

…confused???

Loneliness is a bitch!

Gosh it’s been a while since I blogged…I’m gonna do a bit of a dear diary on this one…

…loneliness is a bitch!
I’ve heard it said that it’s a sign that we need to make the effort to seek out relationships because we are made to relate…
…where I believe this to be true, still there is that deep aching, sickening feeling, heavily placed in my chest.
I feel like a loser, alone with no friends. Watching everyone parade their blissful relating experience in my face, while I watch from my tower of isolation, wondering why I’m unfortunate enough to be cursed with the loneliness plague.

I run to my refuge of music and get lost in here for hours – my favourite place to be…but sadly when I emerge from my creative paradise, I’m displeased with my reality – loneliness!!!

…loneliness is a bitch!!!

Self Esteem

Today I’ve just started reading a book about self esteem and it’s got me thinking about my self esteem and the highs and lows I’ve experienced.  Its been an ongoing uphill battle at times, but I am thankful that I am on the up nowadays.  I think I can equate it to a combination of things (personal therapy, my counselling training, my faith in God, self acceptance etc).

I have come to the conclusion now that the foundation of my self

esteem comes from understanding and accepting myself

(which is an ongoing process) and most importantly…

…what I believe about myself.


Also in my profession as a counsellor and personal development trainer, I have witnessed personally from my client work how the thoughts and beliefs that run through ones mind (from past negative, difficult and painful experiences), can so powerfully overtake a person and literally have the power to break you.

However, when a person begins the journey into self awareness and starts to see the effects of their experiences in their thought life, with this insight they can choose to begin the process of replacing the old unhelpful beliefs with new life giving truthful beliefs – this is a process.  In my truthful and honest opinion, my experience has shown me that only God can supernaturally change a person, restore and heal the deep hurts that life has bruised us with.  Then the word (Jesus/The Bible) continues the ongoing washing, healing and restoration process.

Simply put: WHAT YOU BELIEVER ABOUT YOURSELF IS WHAT WILL MANIFEST AS YOUR REALITY.

So, simply put again: in order to challenge and change your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions etc.  The mind must be challenged about the negative, old and unhelpful thoughts/beliefs and replaced/renewed with new positive, inspiring, empowering, life giving thoughts/beliefs etc.

I believe that only Gods word is the true inspiration and has the transforming power that we need to renew our minds and our lives to live peaceful, purposeful and fulfilled lives.

Life is a journey, an ongoing process and we are always learning…


BUT one must start their journey with a true and honest intention to seek answers to their quetions and solutions for their problems etc…and be willing to put the work in – THEN the exciting process of change, growth and development etc begins!

I have come to the stage in my journey that I fully, whole heartedly and completely rely solely on every word that God gives (either through the bible or spiritual revelation).

The word of God is my: strength, hope, inspiration, encouragement, comfort, wisdom, motivation, empowerment, guide.  It is the reflection I need in the areas of my life that needs growth, development and maturity.

I simply cannot function in this life without God and I NEED to spend as much time as I can in His presence (reading the word, meditating, reflecting, praying, worshipping with music, being in church and with like minded believers).

I have tried MANY things to manage and cope with life but honestly, nothing comes close to a true relationship, utter and complete dependence on God.
I have to be honest though, I do have my down days when I will think various negative thoughts like:

“What’s the point?” 

“Am I really getting anywhere?” 

“When will I see the answer to the prayers I’ve prayed long ago?”

……And the classic:

“Its not fair, why me?” or even “Why not me – when will it be my turn?”

But I realise that sometimes its just the enemy taunting me and trying to upset me, steal my joy, plant seeds of doubt etc, and other times its just me allowing the old thoughts and negative thoughts (based on past experiences) replay in my mind.  At these times, I may have a little sulk, shed some tears, take a rest and listen to some inspiring music, find something inspiring to read, pray and/or I’ll channel these thoughts and feelings into writing a song or journalling etc.  Every day and situation is different, so I just go with the flow of what is right for that moment.

However God is without a doubt my lifeline and I am learning to trust Him daily.

X x

The warfare worshipper!

“You’re a worship leader, you’re on the frontline!”

After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the LORD;
his faithful love endures forever!”

2 Chronicles 20:21

As I was reading the scriptures above and below, after my house was broken into last week.  It seemed to me that God was reminding me that in addition to being a child of God, as worship leaders we are automatically on the front line in battle (spiritual battle).  Which means that I will be an enemy target and he will try to take me out, upset me, cause harm, frustrate things (overall: steal, kill and destroy – the usual!) at every opportunity he gets (hense the break in).

HOWEVER!!!  I serve and am in relationship with the almighty God, the author and the finisher of all things!  So even though the enemy may roar (smashing my glass), He cannot touch me (nothing was stolen)!

Now I’m gonna be real, it is costing me money which I would prefer not to spend to repair the damage and add additional security to the property, but I have prayed and demanded that every penny I spend will be returned to me – so WHEN it is returned, I will write about it!

So I will continue to worship God, I will take my place on the front line and keep lifting my praises to God, worry free knowing that God is fighting my battles and taking care of EVERYTHING!

22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves

27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the LORD had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 20: 22,27- 28,

The enemey must and will stop when we take our authority in spiritual warfare

Amen!

A Message from God: Part 1

(Re-posted, due to accidental deleting!)

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds – Psalm 147:3

During my devotional this morning I was praying about what I would write today.

I’ve got a million stories in my head to write, but I’m trusting God to lead me.  This week I have felt inspired to concentrate on the Psalms, so as I was reading Psalm 147, the above verse jumped out at me.  Immediately a memory came back to me about a phone call I had just over a year ago.  The phone call was from a lady from my old church and I could not remember the last time I had seen or spoken to her – it had been a while to say the least.  She said God had told her to call me And give me a Message.

He said:

He needed me to get into a church because there were some things He wanted to work out in me, but  He needed me to be in a place of corporate worship.

On reflection I realise that there is power when believers come together!  When 2 more are gathered in Jesus name, God is present and miracles can take place!

 

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” – Matthew 18:19.

I hadn’t been to church in months and I had no intention of going anytime soon.  I was angry and hurting, disgusted with church and people in it.  I felt downtrodden, let down, mistreated, unloved and discarded. I sinking into a depression and I knew I needed something because I felt so lost and confused, so it was quite an ‘uh mmmm’ moment for me!!!  Could this really be a word from God?

I didn’t act on this immediately, I decided anything God needed to do or say he could do anywhere – He had just proved that anyway by getting a random woman to call me and give me a message out of the blue!

I didn’t trust anyone and I certainly was not going back to my old church for more pain – no way!!  I was so vulnerable, wounded and scarred from a combination of events there that I just couldn’t bear to put myself through any more unnecessary torture.  No, if God wanted me in church, I wasn’t going anywhere until it sure that I would be safe.

One of my closest and longest friends invited me to church with her 1 Sunday and I tagged along because I didn’t have anything else to do, so I thought why not!  It was a beautiful experience.  The worship was soothing and uplifting, it was medicine to my spirit and soul.  The message was uplifting and inspiring, I felt at ease there and I knew it was somewhere I would come again.  I also bumped into some long lost friends, which was a pleasant surprise, so overall I actually had a good time!  The church was advertising the start of an Alpha course in the New Year.  I remembered the message I had received from God from that lady, so I figured I would give it a try – what was the worst that could happen?  I was already at rock bottom anyway, so I guessed it wouldn’t do much more harm!

I left the church that day feeling quite hopeful; maybe God was right getting back into church?  I would find out…look out for part 2 coming soon…

O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me – Psalm 139:1

…God is so good, I asked Him to show me what to write in my blog today and as I got into His word, this blog pretty much wrote itself!  I had no intention of writing my blog this morning (I just wrote my last one a few hours ago in the early hours of the morning!)  In fact MY plan was to develop some of the songs I am working on for my music course I am doing – but God knows best:)  I’m off to get ready for a vocal coaching session- another story ill tell you about soon I’m sure:)!

By for now!

xx

A message from God, Part 2: Rock bottom!

I’d love to be able to write here, that I skipped along to the Alpha course, and everything was magically ok again, but unfortunately I cannot pretend – it DID NOT go like that.  I hit rock bottom shortly after I attended that church service.  So much had gone on, and I was still nursing my wounds…

2010 was the most traumatic year of my life!  I had been through some emotionally disturbing times, but this, this was the worst ever!

To my shock and deep sadness, it was time for my sweet dear mother to be called home.  My mum passed in January 2010, but I had kept soldiering on with work, my counselling training, assignments, counselling clients, work, church, ministry, moving house, sorting out my mother’s estate – I was like a machine!

By the summer, I was emotionally exhausted!  I had nothing left to give, I physically couldn’t cope with much so I took the summer off work to rest and recuperate.  I worked in schools, so I was able to take the time out without much fuss – thank God!

After my 5-week break, I went back to work.  I really did not feel ready, (I could have done with 6 months off) but I felt guilty for taking so much time off so I went back.

My job role changed shortly after I retuned back to work due to company restructuring.  I was quite sad about this, because I loved my job.  My new role was very different to what I had been used to and this made me really unhappy.

After a couple of months of being back at work, I fell apart.

I remember driving to work one day and I just broke out into uncontrollable tears.  I had to pull over, because I couldn’t see anything, I was hysterical!  I phoned my dad, sobbing.  He could barely make out what I was saying, but he knew things were serious.

I couldn’t quite verbalise what was happening at the time, but it was as if the world that I had once known was being snatched away from me layer by layer.  I didn’t have a say, I was getting caught up in a tornado and losing things.  I felt out of control, like I was losing who I was, nothing made sense anymore – I felt like I’d dropped into a black hole of empty and had no clue what was happening, I couldn’t make sense of anything!

Everything that I felt contributed to my life, my identity was going away.  Mum, work, church, my flat, friends even God – I felt stripped, naked and bare.

I was trying to just get on with things and force myself to be ok, telling myself that everything was ‘all good’ but it wasn’t.  I couldn’t pretend anymore, my mess was spewing out and I had no strength to fight it back anymore.

I just needed to get away from everything.  All I wanted to do was sleep and just be.  Dad spoke to work for me and told them I’d be going away for a while, he told me to go home and pack my stuff; he was coming to get me…

More coming soon…Xx

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Free to be me!

FREEDOM!

 

After 6 months of redundancy, 5 of which I spent fretting about what it is I was going to do with myself, I am finally at peace.  I realised towards the end of 2011 that I didn’t want to find another 9-5 to disappear into again.  In fact, I never want to work another 9-5 again for the rest of my life!  I’m just not wired that way.  I need my freedom!  I need to have the flexibility to come and go as I please and focus my energy on what I want to do.  I don’t want to answer to a boss or fall in line with someone else’s agenda. 

I just want to be me! 

So I have given myself permission to just do me and I am loving it!

The 2 things I enjoy the most is writing (hence this blog), singing and songwriting.  I also have a special love for the guitar and I have already written and performed a few acoustic inspirational songs.  When I sing and get around music, I get this sense of peace and belonging.  It is as if everything inside me is in unity and I fly away into another realm of peace and tranquillity. 

This time is very special to me, because I have finally allowed myself to explore my passion for music fully.  I say finally because when I was 16 I auditioned and was accepted into the BRITS performing arts school (which is not an easy school to get into), to do a music course, but I dropped out just after 2 day!  At the time I thought it was the best thing for me, I was very insecure with my musical abilities and was absolutely petrified of failing.  I tortured myself by comparing myself against the other students who seemed SO much better than me and convinced myself that I would be better off at an academic college doing A ‘Levels!  I didn’t do so well in my A ‘Levels, in fact I left with 2 E’s in sociology and business studies!  I knew I had made a mistake not long after I had left BRITS, but I had made my decision and had to get on with it.  It has been a regret I have carried for the last 15 years, but after my redundancy, it gave me the push I needed to do something about it.

So last September 2011, I enrolled myself onto a song writing and artist development diploma course and I haven’t looked back.   My prayer is that one-day (hopefully soon) that I will have the opportunity to do something professionally with my music, so I am starting by developing myself.  In addition to my diploma course I am am taking singing, guitar lessons and basic music theory with my tutor. 

The fear of failure is no longer an issue.  The energy I used to supress this innate desire I have for music has now been refocused and channelled into allowing myself to explore and be free with it.

So I visualise the best of what I want, believe anything is possible, speak life over my dreams and take action to get me to the place I want to be. 

Bless 🙂 xx

 

The Depression: part 2

AGAIN!!!  Why did I wake up?

Every night I would secretly hope that I would just die in my sleep and wake up in heaven!  I didn’t see the point in my existence anymore, life was meaningless.  “Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, why am I still here?  What purpose could you possibly have for me, that you keep forcing me to wake up for ANOTHER pointless day?”  Just another day to get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, day after day, after week, month, year blah blah blah.  I’d had enough!!  Is this all life was about?  Working to pay for bills, spending most of my days working, having a few weeks off a year to escape the meaningless reality of life in another country, for as long as I could possibly afford and then drag myself back to the slavery that I was captive in…there must be more to life than this???

It was as if I had been asleep, a sleep walking zombie, unaware of my sleeping state, but every once in a while I would be rudely awakened by some painful experience beyond my control.  It would force me to self reflect and look at my wounds, but the pain was overwhelmingly unbearable to REALLY feel.   One of my coping mechanisms, was to stuff my pain along with myself, deep down beneath the fully reinforced impenetrable defence mechanisms, that I had created to ‘feel safe.’  I even managed to fool myself most of the time that I was ‘fine’!  I was lying though, my soul was sick, my defences were malfunctioning left right and centre and I didn’t know how to fix it.
I started to search the Internet for answers – Google became my best friend!  I realized that others were searching also, this offered some comfort actually, but I honestly still felt so lost.  I had been in church for about 8 years already, serving, tithing, and faithfully turning up week after week.  Was I doing something wrong?  Why was I so miserable?  Why did I feel so empty?  Maybe there was something more I needed to ‘do.’

It seemed no one I came across had the answers I needed, maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but finally I made a decision, that I needed to make a decision, to make some changes.  I have been in the personal development industry for 9 years and at the time I was mentoring and counselling young people in schools across South London.  Therefore clinical supervision was something the company provided for us to review our workload, work through any issues we were experiencing and any personal development needs we had.  Fortunately I had a good relationship with my supervisor and I felt safe enough to share with her how unhappy I was.  She recommended the book ‘Being Happy’ by Andrew Matthews for me to read, which she felt would point me in the right direction, so this was also a good starting point.   This among other books gave me glimmers of hope and pearls of wisdom, which I put into practice, but I kept getting stuck and still could not figure out what was wrong with me!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who would look out for others and help others to progress.  In my spare time I was busy volunteering and at work I was busy fixing other peoples lives, so I rarely had time to think about what I needed and do anything about it, I was mostly fire fighting!

In the autumn of 2008 I noticed the heaviness taking its toll on me.  I started to cry at random times, my temper was out of control, I struggled to sleep and everything was a chore.  This was during what was the most exciting times of my life.  I had just co-written and produced a large scale youth musical for my church, which was an amazing success – but I was absolutely miserable and inside I felt like a disgusting rotten corpse!

After the musical, I was at a loss as to what to do with myself.  My life felt stale and I just felt like I needed something more.  I remember talking through some ideas I had with my mum, one of them being my long-term desire to train as a counsellor.  My mum encouraged me to submit my application and she sat with me while I completed it, and we went together to take my passport photos to send off with the application (sadly my mother is no longer here, so this is a fond memory for me as I write this).  It was not long before I found out that my application was successful and that I was accepted onto the course.  My life was taking a new turn and I was so excited about my journey ahead…

Look out for pat 3 coming soon..

Xxx

The depression: part 1

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! –
Psalm 43:5

The heaviness was back.  The ugly burdensome, overwhelming weight of hopeless despair!

I was lost, confused and I hated myself for feeling this way.  Why couldnt I just hold it all together like everyone else?  What was the matter with me?  I wasn’t physically ill, disabled or suffering with some life threatening disease – why couldnt I just be happy?  What did I REALLY have to be sad or ‘depressed’ about anyway?  In fact I had everything ‘on paper’ to be ecstatic about!

Even though I tried to paste this ‘I’ve got it altogether exterior’ mask on by keeping busy with various projects, relationships and ‘doing,’ the emptiness within grew like a plague within, gradually stealing pieces of my soul.   The mask eventually grew too small, and the imperfections although I fiercely tried to hide them, fought back fiercely – they were winning.

…I had been struggling silently with bouts of depression for many years but didnt know it. One day during clinical supervision, it hit me – I could not recall the last time I was ‘truly happy’!  I felt guilty even admitting this to myself, I was a Christian, I thought I was supposed to be happy all the time, after all wasnt I ‘saved’, ‘born again’, ‘destined for heaven’, a ‘child of God’ ?!?!?!?!   How dare I not ‘be happy’??!!?  It was a shameful truth to admit to myself, I thought I was disgracing Gods name, a poor and shameful witness of the Christian faith to admit this ‘shocking’ truth that I – WAS – NOT – HAPPY!!!!  But it was the TRUTH.  It was the first time I had spoken out loud about my TRUE feelings of discontent and this was the beginning of my awakening: the awareness of my true self…

…I wrote the above a little while ago, but i decided to post it today because I know that many people suffer in silence – as I did.  I just want whoever reads this and may be going through depression now to know that you can overcome this and it does not have to be your reality forever.  You just need to be honest with yourself about your feelings, allow yourself to go through the motions of whatever is causing it, but also seek help – DONT suffer in silence.  I battled with depression for a long time, but I thank God that I have finally overcome it and I am now FREE!  It has been a long process and do still have the odd down day, but it doesnt floor me anymore.  I will talk more about my process in later blogs, but what I will say here is that it is my relationship and faith in God that keeps me grounded.  At my lowest point in my life, after I had tried EVERYTHING I could think of to make myself happy, I cried out to God in desperation “please God help me, if you are truly there help me, I need peace, I just want to be at peace.” I can honestly say, hand on heart that God was true to His word and He came to my rescue.  He will do the same for you too!

Feel free to leave any comments, questions etc if you want to.

Until next time…

Be Well xx

x lifejourneymemoirs x