Wednesday, May 27

Loosing Friends & Learning Lessons



I've been really struggling for a topic to write about that fits well with May Be, our monthly theme and the goals of my thoughts day posts. If I want to be authentic, then there really is only one topic that I can write about that fits these criteria perfectly.  So then, here goes possibly one of the most painful articles I've ever written on this blog to date. 

Generally speaking, I tend to keep my personal life to myself, you may get the odd bit of information in my letters to life but outside of that, I pretty much keep things to myself.  I'm like that in person too, you are far more likely to hear about something that happened years ago, rather than something that is happening now if I do share anything about myself at all. It's a bad habit, I'm working on it.

As a part of the intention of working on this fault in my personality, and the fact that my last post was about facing fears, I am going to kill two birds with one stone, actually, can we just stun the birds? I don't want to kill them..anyway back on point. This post is going to require a little vulnerability on my part, that scares me. 

So then, with all that said the let's get on with it.

Broken relationships can be really painful. Be it friendship, relationship, business partners or estranged family relationship, none of it is easy.  I've definitely experienced more than a fair few broken relationships in my young life and along the way I learnt some lessons that are worth recording, I hope this helps someone but honestly, my main reason for writing this is because I know how forgetful I am at times and I do read my own old posts, so this is written for mainly my benefit.

Welcome To My Journal.

Recently, I lost a close friend that had been a big part of my life for nearly a decade.  The reasons really don't matter, I don't think this person would appreciate me writing them on my blog, but bottom line there were two main reasons for the end of this friendship, people change (or don't) and a lack of wisdom on my part.

Here are the lessons I've learnt from this experience. 

When people know us well enough to become close friends, they get to see the good the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, the ugly can take over the good and completely ruin the foundations of trust in a friendship, and once that's gone the friendship is pretty much over.
Don't drag it out, if a friendship or relationship is clearly going to crash and burn, let it happen sooner rather than later and if possible do it quietly, without too much drama. There's a reason some people choose to use the slow fade when a friendship isn't working out anymore but in most cases the longer it drags on the more painful it is when the said relationship is finally over.
It's great when relationships can be reconciled, but it's not always possible, so if a relationship is pretty much over remember dead things stink, don't keep them around.
Hanging on to something dead will only cause bad fruit in your life.
Flies like rotting fruit, you're not a fly, let it go.
I learnt these lessons the hard way, I didn't let go even after the trust was gone, I did drag it out and that did make it hurt more. 

There are already some really awesome articles on dealing with losing relationship on the Internet, but nevertheless, here are my tips for moving on after a relationship/friendship is over. 

Remember that everyone is different, some people will want to cry it out and never talk to the person again, others will feel the need for closure and end up talking too much because they don't quite know how to handle the pain. Losing a relationship can feel like the person is dead, but it's the relationship that is dead not the person. It's fine to mourn the loss of a relationship, but try to remember the other person is still alive and deserves to be treated with respect. This includes giving them time to get over the loss of the relationship too, they may grieve it differently to you, they may need more time then you do. Alternatively, they may actually just not care anymore. They may choose to give you the silent treatment and you may never hear from them again, but that is completely their call, and it's not fair to expect them to respond if they wish to remain silent. Let them be. It may be possible to have closure at some point in the future, but don't bank on it, carry on with your life regardless. Don't settle in grief-land for too long that never ends well. 

It can be the most awkward thing in the world when one person wants to talk and have closure to walk away from a relationship peacefully but the other just wants to get on with their lives and never speak again. It means that for the one that wants to talk about it, they are denied a proper end of the chapter, and so they are more likely to find it harder to move on. In my opinion, this is cruel, but if you do find yourself in this situation, the only thing you can really do is take it as taking one last bullet for someone who once meant a lot to you. It's not an easy thing to bear, to know that you have no hope of closure, but remember all the good qualities and memories about that person and it will make it easier not to resent them for putting you through the screaming silence. Time is a healer, and although this burden may never fully be forgotten ( unless you hand it over to the one that is good with carrying burdens) it will fade in time. I know this because years ago, someone did this to me and I'm still dealing with the fall out of that, and now it seems to be happening again, I'm just glad this time I'm prepared.

This time, I can see it from the other person's viewpoint, everyone reacts differently to the end of a friendship/relationship and everyone chooses the path that is easiest for them to cope with any given situation, so there is no blame or lack of forgiveness in me this time, even though I am more than well aware that time ( and it's creator)  is going to have to be the healer on this one, and I may have to grieve for a little while but I can also take the lessons this experience taught me and see this as growing pains.

Don't grieve in silence, even if you don't want to talk to the person that you're no longer friends with.  it may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but for some of us we need the reminder, our family and friends are still there for us, and surely at least one of them would be more than happy to help you get through your loss. It's much easier to move on when you don't have to carry the burden alone. Please don't make my mistake and try to handle it by yourself, it will bring out the worse in you. Failing that there are support groups out there such as The Experience Project that is more than happy to listen and let you lean on them.

Focus on the things you still have in your life that you love. I may have lost a close friend, but I still have an amazing family, boyfriend and friends around me. Losing one person is not the end of the world, although at the time depending on how close you were it may well feel like it's the end of your world. Remember the lessons from losing this friend/relationship, and learn to guard your heart in future, that by far is the most important thing you need to do. Don't put anyone on a pedestal, people will let you down. 




Remember that just as suddenly as you lost this relationship, you may find another around the corner. In the meantime, take care of the people in your life you still have. Especially those of you that have neglected current friendships for the sake of spending time with a significant other. Having such a person in your life shouldn't automatically mean you forget your friends and friendships that are not nurtured don't grow, they die. It's perfectly okay to grieve, but don't let that grief overtake your life. Life goes on and so should you. 
I think that's about it for this one.

I know this was a little bit of a different style of article, but it just felt right for this season.

Anyway until next time take care,

see you next post,

Love Hayley

xXx

Tuesday, May 19

Courage is only courage when you are afraid ( and other secrets about fear) Anxiety Talk Part 2


 

Hello and welcome to Hayley's little meltdown!  

Crisis averted, to see how I got a grip keep reading! 

Right now as I type this its the early hours of the morning and I can't sleep because I've just taken on some new challenges and I am petrified.

Somewhere on this very site is an article that I wrote about fear.  ( The Devil's Tool Box - The Hammer of Fear) 

That article was written well over a year ago, and yet the devil ( or dark-force or whatever you want to call the dark side of this world) still uses the same old tricks of the trade.

Fear is inevitable, we all know that it's a part of life. Since writing my previous article on the subject I've learnt a fair few things that I hope may help you face your own fear, and let's be honest I need the reminder!

So then some secrets about fear.

1. It is an illusion. ( Mostly)

Ever heard the old line False Evidence Appearing Real?
It's so true, half the time our own brains are our worst enemies. We build things up that half the time never happen, it's a lot of wasted energy and it doesn't do anyone any favours in the long run, but the devil (or whatever you want to call evil in this world) loves it! Watching you drive yourself crazy is one of his favourite things to do. Please don't give him the satisfaction! 

2. Fear is not always our enemy and it's not always the devil's fault. 

Fear can be a healthy reaction to dangerous situations. That's nothing new, but what about this, fear can actually help you grow. Think of it like a flower, a daisy if you will, that daisy is going to have roots deep underground spreading out to help keep it connected to the ground and find food and all that good stuff. If that daisy didn't get to stretch its roots out, it would just fall over and die. It's the same with us, stretching our faith is super important in order to make us grow, it strengthens our character and helps us become the person we were meant to become.

3. Courage is only courage when you are afraid. 

When you feel the fear and decide to do what you have to do anyway, you're living beyond your emotions and that helps with building courage in you to help face bigger challenges that will come your way in the future. Life tends to throw us a bigger challenge than the last one we faced, and it is only when you have the courage to face the first one that you will ever have the strength and character to face the next.

4.  Surrender doesn't always mean quitting. 


See there's a dirty little secret about control, ready for this?


Control is the same as fear,

it is an illusion. ( Mostly)

We think we control our finances, but unexpected bills have a nasty way of creeping up on is. A family member gets sick and we have medical bills, something in the house breaks and we have to replace it, or for those of you that have children, unexpected school trips, school fates, sponsored events and so on can all tighten the belt of your wallet really quickly.

We think we control our circumstances, but rags to riches stories exist for a reason as does the story of the prodigal son, and another such palace to the pit tales. No one knows how long they have on this earth and things and people can change rapidly.

We think we control so many things.

For years I thought that being super organised and meeting all the deadlines, being professional, kind, friendly and approachable were all things that equalled to being in control of my life. I had a nasty surprise when it turned out actually I don't control my life, circumstances can change in a blink of the eye and the plates will come crashing down at some point regardless of how organised and professional I am because that is a part of life. How I handle it when it does happen will teach me lessons I need in that season to grow, but right now everything is balancing just fine  ( well sort of) and there are other lessons for me to learn
You've heard it said the only constant changes?

Bottom line - Fear is only really a reminder we are not really in control so the best thing we can do to combat that, is trusting the only one who is.

Yes, I'm talking about Him, in the above statement, don't blame me, people always end up talking about what they love.


Final Point -When you are afraid of something, make sure you know the reason why you are doing it and make sure that why is your hearts desire not just a passing whim.  Tough days, fearful days and those oh so pesky just-want-to-quit days, are inevitable, but if you have a clear vision of a why you are sticking with something than those tough days won't make you quit and don't forget, each day brings a new morning, maybe tomorrow won't be so tough.

It's thought's day, I hope I gave you plenty to think about.

Hope you have a great day and catch you next time,




Monday, May 4

Anxiety & The End of The World ( It's not what you think)

Please Note The Green section in this post contains a little faith-based content, please feel free to skip it if you're not interested in that.  
This post is about anxiety, please read with this in mind. 

Politics, religion, conspiracies and end times.

What do all of these things have in common??

I'm guessing you could give me a list straight off the top of your head, but the one thing that no one really likes to address these things is fear.

Every single one of these topics can cause anxiety. (I'm not talking general anxiety here, although these topics can certainly contribute to that too) I am talking the kind of anxiety that makes you so petrified the world is going to end it almost drives you crazy.
Side Note - I am a woman of prayer and I am praying this article falls into the laps of those that need it most, please if anything I am saying makes you think of a friend pass this article on, I don't really care if you or they subscribe to me ( although I'd love it if you did) I'm writing this out of a genuine desire to see people set free from fear so they can go chase a life of fulfilment. 
Let's take a look at how anxiety relates to each of the topics mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Politics

Here in the U.K we just had our general election and David Cameron of the Conservative Party is still our prime minister.  A lot of people here are not happy with this, for a variety of reasons. People are afraid of what this new development means. Well, I can understand why people would be concerned, there is one tiny detail we are all overlooking.  We're not looking at the bigger picture.

Religion 

Regardless of which religion you follow chances are even people within your religion have different opinions on things. People argue over doctrines, theories and interpretations. If you're not religious, you may still be fearful because of things people are doing/have done in the name of religion but again, we are all overlooking one tiny little detail. We're not looking at the bigger picture. 

Conspiracy  and End Times

I'm putting these two in the same category because a lot of the time conspiracies are about the end of the world or how some secret organisation is conspiring to control/end the world.  It's super easy to get lost down the rabbit hole just from the simplest of google searches on these topics. You start off wondering why something is happening in your home town, then somehow end up on some random site talking about how some popular brand of food or drink is conspiring to kill us or some famous person has sworn intelligence to Satan and has joined the Illuminati. It's so easy to get lost in this and start joining dots that don't even exist and this generates fear every time, but again when we do this we are not seeing the bigger picture. 
I have done a series called The Devils Tool Box ( It's in the lost tressure tab at the top of this page) I spent over a year locked in a cage of fear thanks for end times conspiracies but I got free and you can too, my series outlined different tools that the dark one in this world uses to try to stop us succeeding in life and I finished up with a post on end-time addiction and how to get free.  ( wow hayls we always knew you were crazy, saying it so you don't have to) 

All joking aside, what exactly is the bigger picture?

If you are looking at the thing you fear, you are not looking at the thing you love. Your passions, your dreams your goals will all be put on hold and that problem that you were designed to solve won't get answered because you're too busy focusing on things that are set and you have little control over. You can change the world by changing your world. Did you get that? I'll say it again.  You can change the world by changing your world.

Right then, now that's out of my system lets wrap this all up in a  pretty little bow shall we? 



Choose love, not fear.

The bigger picture is simply there are two forces in the world love and fear if you're not operating out of love you will operate out of fear and that just leads to more fear, pain and darkness. Add to the light in the world it's better for everyone, to do that you need to get your eyes off of your fear and on to something or someone much better.

I know many of you would say that anxiety is not a choice. Yes, I know that, but how you react to anxiety is a choice and part of that is choosing NOT to put yourself in triggering situations if and when it's possible.

Anyway, I think that's about it for this one.  I will write my practical tips for combating anxiety in a little while but for now, that's about it.

Take care guys







Friday, May 1

My Secret To Beating Depression ( Here's a clue, Captain America Rocks!!)




Yesterday's topic for the blog every day In May challenge (yes, yes I'm behind again, insert really believable super amazing excuse here) was walk to the workday. That's awesome, walks can be really good for you for a number of reasons, but I will leave others taking the challenge to cover that.

Here today we are going to cover another topic entirely and again link it back into today's theme, if you haven't noticed I do love doing that.

Anyway, on to today's topic.

Depression.

There are plenty of articles out there, by people far more qualified than myself to talk about this topic and as always I recommend listening to the professionals. What I am about to say is just to help you get up and on with life when you really don't feel like it.(so you have the strength to go talk to the professionals or simply just to do the tasks set for a given day) It comes from experience and it's so simple it's super easy to overlook it when trying to get up when you have Jet (my name for depression) and his friends sitting on your head.

So what is my super amazing simple little tip?



When you're feeling depressed, walk it off.

Now to explain what I mean we have to go visit the world of Marvel for a moment. No spoilers I promise, but in The Avengers Age of Ultron, Captain America says" if you die, walk it off"

 I love Cap, especially Chris Even's version of him( insert Hayley's ramble about how awesome cap is here I deleted it for sake of time)  but I am going off point here.

Anyway, the advice to walk it off was to do with something completely different in the movie ( seriously go see it if you haven't you're in for a treat!) but it's also great advice when talking about depression or indeed mental illness in general.  Depression can feel like a living death, so for me, this line just hit home in terms of fighting depression.  So let's rephrase that.

"If you're depressed ( and feeling half dead or maybe even want to be) walk it off!"

Let's unpack this...


When it comes to depression what do I mean by walk it off?


Well, basically depression zaps your energy and makes you really not feel like doing anything at all, so if you have any hope of battling your depression you have got to break the routine. It won't happen straight away, and yes that jolt in the system may feel like you may as well be climbing Mount Everest, everything is so much harder when you are depressed, but just remember just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's impossible.


In past depressions my go-to position has always been straight under the covers in my bed, I want to hide from the world and I don't want to come out.

One time, I was feeling depressed, I went to go for my bed but misjudged the distance between me and it and fell straight on to the floor on my face. This little shock to my system made me want to get up and go tell a family member what happened, as a result, I ended up having a coffee with a family member instead of hiding in my bed.

I am NOT condoning hurting yourself on purpose, it is never a good idea and like I say this was an accident, but the shock to my system did give me a moment of clarity to make an informed decision about what I was going to do next.

Another time, I was feeling depressed and again I went straight for my bed, but moments after I had pulled the covers over my head, I remembered the incident I just told you about and so I decided to experiment with this jolt thing. I knew there was a glass of water sitting on my bedside table so I decided to grab it quickly and pour it over my head.

What possessed me I will never know but...

1

2

3

.........and quick before I had time to think,

I grabbed the glass and soaked myself and the bed with this cold water. What I had forgotten was that my window was open so the moment that the water hit my skin, the cold wind outside contributed to this jolt, it was freezing! ( I know, I know Hayl fails again)

It was hard, I had to talk myself into doing it but it certainly woke me up!

Again I found myself with a moment of clarity while I cleaned myself up ( hey I'm not staying cold and wet depression or no depression!) I couldn't go lay on my bed again because it was still wet, so that forced me to get up and go downstairs and start making dinner.

I learned an important lesson that day, just because you feel depressed doesn't mean you are depressed. There is a massive difference and the jolt really can help to find out for yourself if your depression is real or just emotional.

For those of us that suffer from depression, we can often time mistake feeling down for being depressed. It can be hard to tell the difference and this little jolt trick really helps you work out if this is just a passing feeling or you are actually going into another depression. At least it does for me.

There have been times where after using this jolt trick I just turned over and went back to hide, but that's how I knew my depression was real and not just emotional. Sometimes you will find yourself woken up and have a moment of clarity long enough to snap yourself out of it and back on to the task at hand, other times you won't but what you will know both times is how your depression actually is.

You have to treat emotional depression and chemical depression a little differently. Chemical depression needs professional guidance and helps a lot of the time, emotional depression needs human connection a lot of the time. Just observations, it may be different for you but for me, this is certainly the case.

Another thing I've noticed is real depression nearly always starts as emotional depression and if you can snap yourself out of it in that early stage, you are far less likely to go on the downward spiral to Jet (black depression) land.

An excellent way to do this is walk if off, literally. Go outside and walk around your garden or street if you don't feel up to going too far. Walking has many benefits but for those of us that suffer from depression it can be a great way to let the cobwebs out of your ears and the crazy talk in your head ( don't worry it's not just you) can get lost to the wind.

Please don't just take my word for it, I'm just sharing some observations from my own life, but I do hope this helps. I am going to release a resource list to beat depression soon. If you have any tips or tricks you find helpful please let me know below.

Take care and have an awesome day!



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