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Life Lessons at Forty

Be Reliable. It’s sexy.

There are very few people in this world that are reliable. People who call or message when they say they will, who rarely change plans last minute, who say they are there for you and really are. Be that person. Keep your promises. Be reliable, it’s sexy. The world needs more people like you. You could save a life. Uphold the faith for others.

If you don’t fit in. Great! Then don’t.

Feel like a square peg for a round hole? We all want to feel a sense of belonging. The truth is, we don’t fit in everywhere. If you’re feeling left out or like you don’t fit in, then good. Don’t. You are you. Find the people more like you or find yourself and do what makes you happy. Even if it means doing things on your own. Stop wasting time and energy with trying to fit in with people, with work colleagues, with a sporting team. Find another friend, job, sport or go it alone.

Accept all of you. Right now!

Yep. Flaws and all. We all have things we don’t particularly like about ourselves. It might be our hair, our moods or where we work or live. Everything in life is temporary. Learn to be aware of these things and let it go. Don’t let them consume you. Remind yourself that you are the best person you can be right at this moment. I had a terrible habit of defending myself to others. It was exhausting. Over time, I recognised the times I would start using defensive words and eventually it stopped. Recognise the flaw, be aware when it becomes apparent, create a phrase or saying “I’m aware that I just defended myself”, and then move on. The first step to change is awareness.

Change yourself and the expectations you have of others.

The power of change is solely within the individual. There is very little you can do to help others change. Change comes about in yourself if you really want it and constantly work towards the end goal. Your expectations of others will lead to disappointment almost every time. I should know as I married a drug addict. My advice is to let the person know how they have disappointed you and let it go. The saying, “be the change you want to see” is way more complicated than the words themselves. It’s about learning to let go, accept others for who they are and managing your expectations of others. It would actually be simpler if you had no expectation of others at all. Focus all your energy on changing yourself into the person you want to be. Your happiness is a thousand times more important and eventually will reflect onto others. You may even form empathy and understanding for others by knowing how hard it was to constantly be working on yourself and your own goals.

Don’t base your decisions on what you believe others think of you.

This is the biggest trap of all for your own growth and personal achievement. I have found that what we believe in the way others think and see us is false. Be brave. Make your decision. Own it. What others think of you is their problem. Live your big life and make the hard decisions. You’ll be a step ahead from the majority already and rewarded for your courage and decisiveness.

Keep a dream journal.

All our hopes, fears and desires are translated in our dreams. Keep a dream journal so you can reflect back to see how far you’ve come and achieved. Interestingly, you will recognise that you have already dreamed up your future.

DREAM: 06 MAY 2016
I’ve been asleep for all of 30 minutes but I just woke up from a very rare and vivid dream. I was travelling, walking through mystical ancient ruins, feeling the warm sun on my face, noticing the redness in the dirt, casually dressed and wearing thongs on my feet. I had a sense of freeness, happiness and excitement. I felt alive and all I could think was how remarkable it was to be standing right there, seeing with my own eyes, and not from pictures in a magazine.
– awake –

I travelled to Myanmar on my own in May 2018. Two years after this dream! The town of Bagan was exactly like this.

DREAM: JUNE 2017
I was leading Cat (the horse) down a country town’s street past a local pub. It’s been raining loads and some roads were getting flooded. Up ahead the water was over the road. Some of the locals were sitting out on the verandah of the pub, with their country hats and boots, and commenting that I’d never make it. I openly disagreed with them and thought to myself that I was more than capable. I led Cat towards the water. As I approached I questioned whether I would go through or not. Cat started becoming uncomfortable and agitated. All of a sudden she spun around with her tail towards the water. She stumbled and was sliding over the bitumen road. She couldn’t get traction with the metal horse shoes. I tried calming her in that instant but it wasn’t enough. She began sliding away and the reins started slipping from my hands. I knew I had to let go but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to let her go.. I couldn’t. She can’t go. She slipped back into the fast moving water and my hands were grasping at the ends of the reins. I had to let go. In that moment I released her. She slowly began to flow away with the current. Her body was covered with water and then her head was submerged. She was gone. I felt so empty. So hollow. There was nothing I could do to save her.
– awake –

My mum died of cancer 02 SEP 17. Cat was my mum’s horse. A total translation of the feelings of lost control, grief, sadness and believing that I could make it no matter what. It was the hardest road I have ever been on and took months to recover.

You don’t have to be friends with your brothers and sisters.

But love your parents as they are your teachers of what to do and what not to do. Whilst it’s nice in theory that your entire family gets along, your brothers and sisters don’t have to be your friend. They are your siblings. If they weren’t your siblings, would you have chosen them as your friend? Enough said.

Rewrite your story and get happy.

I was a very negative, sad and withdrawn person most of my life. All the words from my mouth reflected the sadness from within. I felt the world was against me. I couldn’t understand or digest the events that happened. Over years and years I kept writing and embellishing the sad story in my mind of how I had been mistreated, cheated and unwanted. I believed that I should have been braver and stronger. Through professional help I changed my story. I rewrote my life’s movie in my mind. I was loved, fortunate and spoiled. I was kind, warm, smart, funny and beautiful.

Part of the process is accepting my adult self and giving everything that was missing to my inner child. I promised to look after her forever. Here’s the letter I wrote to her.

To the little girl inside
I am here for you. I will stand up for you when you are not strong or brave enough. I will be your voice. I will hold your hand when you are afraid. I’ll be the one you can talk to when everything seems so difficult. I shall protect your heart. I will be your 3am phone call. I will lift you up when you are down. I will be your friend and confidant. I will be there when you need me. I will help you learn that it’s ok to trust me. I will never give up on you. I am here for you. Always. That’s my promise to you.

Listen to your thoughts and declutter your mind.

We think and rerun about twenty of the same thoughts daily. These thoughts should be acted upon and dealt with as soon as practically possible. Once dealt with the energy you have placed towards these thoughts can be used elsewhere.

For me, my mind quietens and I have more energy when I remove the to-do or wish list that nags me. I feel motivated and less stuck. It also allows me to think other thoughts and be constantly moving forward in life. Try it for yourself and see how it feels.

Be who you want to be.

If you dream of being a writer, then write. If you want to become a runner, then run. If your heart’s desire is to become a world traveller, then travel. It’s that simple. Start today. You don’t have to write an award winning novel to be a writer. You just have to write. You don’t have to run a marathon to be considered a runner. Just run. You don’t have to have travelled the world to be considered a world traveller. Just travel. I think you catch my drift. Who do you want to be?

bgadke77 ❤️

Published inFear and Fortitude

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