Wow Christmas is upon us! I love Christmas but I think we all do. It's that chance to add sparkle, love, and fun to the year that was and the opportunity to spoil and simply be with the ones we love most. Yet, in all the tinsel, life still happens and for some it's not that grand, in fact it is downright painful.
Hard times = yuk!! How else do we put it. We all face challenges and I do love that saying "not to judge others because everyone is facing their own challenge".
Life sure does throw the curve ball usually unexpected, tragically, or unbelievably and it must be faced, you have no choice.
I know first hand what it is like to be facing a massive challenge as I stare down the barrel of another Christmas as a single mum. I sure never knew that this would be apart of my journey and this challenge I walk has sure been painful - there have been lots of tears.
I have learnt several things that, amidst what I call the DARK, have brought rays of light into my world as I face my challenges and as I fight despair and feeling horrible at times.
Get out into the environment.
Nature is so powerful and teaches us strength, beauty, resilience, growth as well as giving us peace, stillness, joy and reminding us that life goes on in beauty.
I get out everyday and enjoy the elements, forces and natural wonders all around me. It awakens my soul and lifts my eyes out of my pain to see my value and the possibilities of my future. Taking a walk and feeling the day upon my cheeks is invaluable.
It is so very important to respect yourself when going through challenges and in fact it's a must for every day no matter what.
Respecting yourself is key to moving through the situation in elegance, and dignity.
I apply it to everything even when I feel ugly, a failure, fearful, messed up and really don't want to put my makeup on or even get out of bed.
For myself, the best way I can bring respect to my being is through the following practical ways:
- Speech: The words I say about myself and others especially in front of my children are important. It's not letting my inner voice that so easily wants to criticize me and pull me down get away with it. It's controlling my verbal voice to the world and choosing to remain true to my values and not letting loose in misguided or hurtful ways - keep in mind that inner pain always wants to verbalising itself.
It's not that I don't get emotional, feel angry or upset and this is perfectly ok and even needed to be felt, but I just don't let it get away from me in an attack on those around me or to disrespect myself and others in outbursts.
Talking to a trusted friend who knows the situation or a qualified councillor is great to work through pain and also getting out into nature really helps that escaping pain be released.
- Food: What and how I eat is very important. I make sure that I am feeding my physical body correctly and in self -worth. When you aim to put on your plate "edible respect" in the type of food, portion size and focus on eating to enjoy and not to stuff it down you are respecting your being. The effects of this are not to be underestimated.
Health plays a big part in our emotional well-being and when we eat to respect ourselves it brings a resilience in our health and in how we treat our physical body that helps manage our emotions and emotional expenditure. Yes, you can still have your chocolate because respect shapes your diet choices and amounts and the focus is gone from having that perfect, impossible, restrictive diet to get thin!!!
- Style: Presenting myself with pride and effort is rewarding and is power to get you through the day. I get up, I get dressed and I put my make-up on to suit the day.
This brings motivation, inspiration and is a great way to connect with one's self to keep discovering yourself as a person with your own individuality and value. This act of wearing what you love in respect and presenting yourself in beauty or style has a ripple effect for your day and to those around you. It makes it easier to step out into the world and do what you must.
Creating a home, office space (where possible) and surroundings of ambiance that reflect you is a balm for your soul. You get to have and do what you love. Space to just be and be in with the things you love brings calm, security and opens the door to dream. It's a place to come home to and be as you are, safe and having a retreat. Music, candles, books, colour, open windows, furnishings you love, photos, inspirational sayings...
Ambiance for me is also letting gratitude and thanks fill my space. I practice being grateful and feeling blessed with what I have and this creates a beautiful tone for my home.
Humans are made for humans. Connection.
Two aspects I make sure to always have in my life are:
- Surrounding myself with friends and family: We need each other. We need to share life, laughter, moments and be a witness to each other. We support each other, love with each other, cry with each other and walk the paths of life.
Be the initiator, inviter. Don't sweat that you may have to always step out and organise that dinner or outing - life is too short "just do it".
Don't isolate yourself, which is so easy to do when going through hard times, as this pulls you down into despair and aloneness. I struggle with this at times because it seems easier but in fact it makes things harder long term. Get with those who know you and bring joy.
- Give: Nothing on earth is more powerful then the spirit of love to help another.
Giving to another is so wonderful especially to those who can give nothing back to you. This helps you to not be self consumed but able to still see others.
Make giving apart of your life. i.e. sponsor a child, give to a mission or cause financially, give time to help a charity, blog to bring inspiration, visit or take time to chat with a neighbour, or help a single mum out with a gift of dinner... so many, many ways to give to others.
A controversial topic and you may disagree but one that is based on truth, my truth, because I have seen it work time and time again in my life.
We are spiritual beings as much as we are physical and emotional (soul).
Meditate, pause, pray, dream, be inspired. This is the light you can shine on the dark path to keep moving forward. Amazing light and love will shine back to you from the God of the universe for we are not walking life alone.
You were created to connect in spirit with something bigger then yourself and the force that weaves this planet and human connection together in love. God is this love and wants your life to be immersed in it so you can face anything.
Stop and pause on this and release your spirit to connect with this Love who wants the best for you and to walk with you in every aspect and area of your life. It just takes a whisper of "Love be in my life" and to take time everyday to pause and connect your spirit with God's spirit. You'll know it's real when you do it, it's the only way to know.
What do you do to get through the tough times?