Feeling Stuck – Advice from Tiny Buddha

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Why We Feel Stuck in Life and the Secret to Dealing with It

My Diaries Spanning 40 Years Don’t Lie

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40 years a slave to journaling! 

I’ve kept a diary since I was 12 years old – that’s nearly 40 years!

I’ve been re-reading them over the last few weeks.

Man, talk about a shock! Many of the events are clear in my head but some of my attitudes and behaviour were awful. What a cow I could be! And how much I took for granted.

I’m learning a lot. Maybe I’ll share some of my revelations here.

I see the diary reading as part of my spiritual journey and attempts at growth.

The Ease of Old Friends at Easter

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Back in my home town yet again for Easter and went to meet two of my oldest friends, both men, P and G. I’ve known them 31 years – since 1985 or thereabouts. P now lives in the South West, and reads this blog, and G lives in London. I hadn’t seen G for nearly five years.

But it was as if I’d just met them yesterday!

That’s the solace that old friends bring. You all have your foibles and ‘broken’ parts but you accept each other. With your newer friends you always have to be on your best behaviour to an extent, I think, ‘cos they are more ready to drop you for any infringement, real or imagined.

This I have learned vis a vis my neighbour who has turned out to be a nightmare. I made the mistake I always make: thinking that someone is going to be ‘there’ for a good few years. It’s a shock when you realise that people aren’t who you thought they were, even though, when you look back it is clear that all along they were telling you, showing you, who they really are! But we choose to ignore red flags and plough on.

I’m pretty naive sometimes when it comes to friendships. I expect too much. I read that that is a common thing among only children (I am an Only) – to invest a lot of time and emotion in friends who we often view as substitute siblings.

robert and paul

 

Politically Active: Back to My Senses

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This latest thing with the proposed cuts to Personal Independent Payments (PIP) for disabled people in the UK has galvanised me at last!

I know a LOT about PIP and have been glued to developments. Eugenics by economics. Govt must be shocked at level of anger and outrage out there.

Have reconnected with my disabled friends who are more active politically than I thought, even if it is mostly online.

Signed up for General Strike on 4 July.

Have signed PIP and ESA petitions and mum has too – for 38 degrees. Have given them quotes they can use in media also.

Thinking about joining Christians on the Left (formerly Christian Socialist Movement). I’ve been too concerned about alienating my conservative Christian friends (who are mostly lovely yet somewhat deluded) but enough is enough!

 

Rights of Way Issue Jeopardizing Purchase

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Easements/Rights – Would you buy a property that did not have access?

It would seem obvious that when you purchase a house that you have access to the property. However this does not always happen automatically and it is absolutely essential that rights of way and any other easements necessary to the title, use and enjoyment of a property are investigated at the outset. This is extremely relevant in relation to estates, housing developments and apartment developments.

This is also very important to any bank or lending institution that is funding a purchase. The purchaser’s solicitors must ensure that the rights of way or easements comply with the requirements under the legislative provisions of the Land & Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 as amended by the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011. In short, if a property has the benefit of a right of way which has been used over a number of years but remains unregistered, an application must now be lodged with the Property Registration Authority to Register the said right of way. If this it is not done within the time laid down in legislation the rights of way will be lost and the property may end up landlocked and unsalable.

Source: http://www.mlaw.ie/news-and-resources/latest-news/472-buying-a-selling-your-property-10-reasons-why-cheap-legal-services-are-more-expensive.html#Point5

Hot in the City, Lent, Day 14

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Was very stressed today and thus sought solace (in the cleanest possible way) in the sauna and steam facilities on our city’s university campus. This is  not a new activity exactly, though it is a while since I’ve been there. However, I did talk to a man there, briefly. He wasn’t scintillating but it counts as a NEW person and fulfills my ‘try a new thing each day’ challenge for Lent.

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No Pills and Thrills for Me, Lent, Day 13

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After the Celebrate Recovery  session tonight I went to one of our fast food outlets and instead of scurrying back to the car I sat and ate at a table indoors and watched people passing through the town. It was around 10pm.

A lot of them looked like they were heavy drinkers and I did think that some of them might benefit from Celebrate Recovery! Mind you, you have to be willing to encounter Step One – Denial – to  begin CR.

Town at night is not a pretty place and I thank God that despite my own sometimes torturous issues I don’t have  addictions to alcohol, drugs or similar.

 

 

Day 3, Lent for Love

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Life-enhancing activities for today (have to be new things):

  1. Listened to my hero David Bowie singing title track from Buddha of Suburbia. Not on of his best but okay.
  2. Listened to Pearl Jam singing ‘Jeremy’. Never heard it before!
  3. Listened to Pitbull. Switched it off halfway through!
  4. Planted new primula plant in large planter outside.

 

‘Celebrate Recovery’ is Not Just for Addicts

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Speaking of things that don't quite deliver on their promises...

I went to my first ever session of Celebrate Recovery this week. It’s a Christ-centred 12 step programme for anyone with ‘hurts, hang-ups or habits’ that are holding them back in life.

I’d been thinking about going for a while and a guy from my divorce group suggested that I give it a go. A lot of people think it’s just for addicts and alcoholics but that’s not the case. Anyone who’s battling with various issues (and who isn’t?) is welcome. Some examples would be: perfectionism, debt, guilt, divorce, anger, abuse, insecurity, gambling, anxiety, emotional abuse and other abuses, overspending, coming form a dysfunctional family, grief – plus lots of other things.

I realised that I do suffer from some low self-esteem issues emanating from childhood, my long-term illness and the divorce. Also, I think I have a tendency to co-dependency. Not like I used to but it could still be an issue. I know I am not experiencing as much joy in my life as I used to and these things are barriers to joy or freedom.

Not sure how much I can commit to the course (it runs for a year and some people go for many years) but I’ve at least made a start.

 

The Age of Loneliness Programme Delivers

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vkhr5

What a fascinating programme on BBC One just now about loneliness. I truly believe this is the affliction of our age. I loved how they profiled people of all ages and walks of life, including those who feel lonely who are surrounded by people.

One guy summed it up perfectly: plenty of people to do things with (friends) but no-one to do nothing with – after, say, a bereavement or relationship breakdown.

As 42 per cent of marriages in the UK will end in divorce it is no surprise that loneliness is on the increase. I have lots of friends who seem to genuinely care about me, and my mum, but loneliness is an issue in my life. I may not feel as bad as some of the people profiled, and I am quite extroverted, but I definitely have regular bouts of loneliness. Sometimes daily, sometimes just at weekends. Male Platonic Friend has helped me in this respect.

However, church groups and church attendance really help. This is not just because one is with people but also due to the fact that we talk about our vulnerabilities – in Life Group, for example. Also, in worship you are communing with God, even if at times you feel somewhat disconnected from God. Singing worship songs helps us feel connected to each other and to a greater being. (The great I Am).

I think some people I know may feel less lonely because they have a deep spiritual connection. But I may be making assumptions there.

 

 

Moving House and Worrying

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No wonder they say moving house (buying and selling) is one of the most stressful life events.

his has got to be one of the worst hings I’ve ever been through – and I’ve suffered a lot in other ways in life; I’m not being overdramatic.

I wish my faith was much stronger, that I could trust in God that everything will work out for the best. But my faith is not strong enough.

Now I can’t sleep for worrying. I’ve tried CBT thought records tonight but it hasn’t stopped the thoughts from racing.

A lot of my problems would be solved with money. It may not make you happy but it certainly smooths the way.

 

Toxic Tribal Ties

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Just got back from visiting a friend and she described her mother (now deceased) as someone who came out with similar utterances to mine.

Maybe the very elderly become bitter and frightened. But I reckon my mum was always negative, thinking back. When she was young it was easy to laugh about it, laugh with her, as being cynical, but now I realise it was actually toxic and snobby!

Hard.

Is This Friendship Waning?

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Didn’t go too well with Male Platonic Friend yesterday. Was at his house and felt like me and my dog were an inconvenience. He kept shooing the dog away (though he was kind to her later) and he seemed distant and cold. Not all the time but a lot.

He is under a lot of stress at the moment with work and other things, though he acts as if he’s fairly unaffected by it. I don’t believe this is the case.

All the time I have known him I’ve had doubts about how authentic he is. He’s been all over me like a rash (emotionally, not physically) but not any more!

He has said he’s a scared of intimacy. Even friendships, if they are going to last, need intimacy or else they are just ‘arrangements’. Like ‘coffee friends or someone you go to the cinema with.

I have been a little snappy with him too, which I am not proud of. I think it’s because I know he’s got major issues and he’s not dealing with them. And they are affecting his life in a big way.

I have to accept that. It’s NOT my place to make him face up to things.

As someone who is walking a Christian path, albeit quite shakily at times, I am used to being with people who are working on themselves, who acknowledge that we are all ‘broken’.  At my church there is a divorce group, Freedom in Christ course, a Grace course, bereavement group etc. At a neighbouring church there is Celebrate Recovery.

MPF pretends to be unbroken. It’s hard to get close to someone like that.

 

To Sleep Perchance to Dream.

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The Radio 3 logo, introduced in 2000 along wit...

The Radio 3 logo, introduced in 2000 but replaced in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am just listening to ‘Sleep’, which is the all-night world premiere performance of Max Richter‘s eight-hour epic piece on BBC Radio 3. Beautiful but eerie. As a chronic insomniac this intrigues me.

I don’t find praying very conducive to sleep as it makes me think about the things and people I am praying for too much! It’s actually too stimulating.

Sleep is such a precious thing, one I have trouble with, due to my chronic illness. I am doing a sleep course though.

Feeling Grounded Through Worship

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Worship Again

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)   

I’d had to miss church the previous two Sundays and I really felt the lack. I made it there tonight and I have to say I definitely feel more grounded, more centred, I guess, now.

Non-believers would say that it’s all down to doing something nice, like singing, with a group of people. But I disagree. While the singing aspect of a service is very releasing I think it goes beyond that; that there is something intrinsically healing to oneself and to others in group worship.

I don’t usually pray out loud in services when they ask you to feel free to offer up prayers, but I did this evening – just a prayer for all the people in my neighbourhood (which is not the same place my church is.)

Tonight’s message theme was social media, something I have a love-hate relationship with, as do many of us!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery – 101 Divorce Stories

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A Wedding Ring

A Wedding Ring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently bought this book – the first Chicken Soup book I’ve ever read. And I have very mixed feelings about this book. It did help me to some extent. I jotted down some great quotes that may help me to keep moving forward. I particularly liked the words of Kiera Peltz, who was just a child when she wrote them, and of Catherine Graham. Some of the stories were moving and inspiring.

But…the book seemed to be a celebration of divorce, and this was reflected in the cartoons. It’s pro-divorce and that doesn’t sit right with me and the things I have learned over the past five years, through my own experience and from encounters with others whose lives have been touched or shattered by separation and divorce. Children aren’t necessarily resilient and we need to stop pretending that they are. Even adult children of divorce can still suffer dreadfully – long after the actual divorce. Divorce isn’t necessarily freeing to both parties. Free to do what exactly? Be more selfish? Have “control of the remote”? Come on! We need tools to make marriages work not stories to say that the 50 per cent divorce rate is cool.

As another reviewer alluded to, the book is full of stories by women who imply that it was just great to get rid of their ghastly husbands and how they’d never looked back since dumping them. Mmm. That’s not much comfort to those who have been left behind.

Only one writer, a man, looked back and said that in his opinion the majority of divorces are unnecessary. His first wife had developed MS (long after they parted). Maybe it was guilt that formed his opinion but he was a least voicing an opinion based on moral issues and the long-term effects of divorce. Read Bill Doherty’s ‘Take Back Your Marriage’ (available on Amazon) for a great examination of how to build a great marriage, avoid a divorce and how whole communities need to support marriages. This is the best relationship book I have ever read, even though, sadly, it was too late for me.

Will I keep the Chicken Soul book? Probably. There were enough little gems in there for me to use. But would I recommend it to others? Probably not. If there’s any chance you can avoid a divorce read Doherty’s book. If divorce is inevitable read something else. Or join a forum. I’ll keep searching.

Cut Those Who Do You Harm

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Harm Done

Harm Done (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am on a  mission to detox from those people, no matter how nice they seem to be on the surface, who are doing me harm in some way or who are disrespecting me.

It’s tough, cos we all need friends, but I know that I need to do this for my own self-esteem. There were two people today who I realised just don’t really listen to me when I am talking to them. Gee, thanks, dudes.. and dudettes.

You’re GONE!