Trying to be an island

I read a wonderful article today  “How to Stop Being Influenced by Other People’s Moods”.

I was drawn to read it because it’s something that I really need to work on.  I’ve always been very highly sensitive, and affected by other people’s moods.

This was particularly the case in my marriage.  My ex-husband used to suffer from bad headaches, and when he did he was very cranky.  And it really used to affect me. His crankiness made me feel on edge, and unable to avoid being drawn into his bad mood.  And we’d both suffer.

I learnt a lot of lessons after my marriage ended, but it’s something I still struggle with.  Not to be affected if people around me are stressed/angry etc.

This line from the article particularly spoke to me:

Everyone has the right to be in a bad mood if that is the way they feel, and by not feeling responsible for other people’s bad moods we give them the space to feel as they need without more negativity being directed towards them.

I’d never thought of it that way.

That by being responsible for my own mood, and maintaining my own mindfulness and “peace” that I was actually doing them a great kindness.

I personally struggle to do anything for myself, but I would do anything for anyone else.

So the idea of maintaining my own calm as a kindness to someone else appeals to me greatly.

This is a solo journey, but we share it with billions of other humans. Learning to not be thrown off by other people’s moods and emotions through mindfulness, self-awareness and gentle self-inquiry is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves, as well as for others.

 

 

Growing a spine

I was driving along in my car a couple of days ago, and contemplating life (as I often do).

And  I realised that I am a much stronger person these days.  Stronger on the inside and the outside.

I found out the hard way early on that I have a lot of resilience, and unfortunately I’ve found that out by going through hard times over and over and over again and picking up the pieces.  Which I guess is what resilience is in a nut shell!

But in a lot of ways I was still very meek and passive.  Far too much so.

I don’t know exactly when that changed, but it was quite suddenly.

I suspect it may have been the day I found out that someone was spreading lies about me and accusing me of cheating.  That was the day that I finally cracked and said no more.  The old me would have been upset and said nothing.  The new me had some very firm and direct words to say to them.

And that’s when I learnt…

I’m not afraid to speak my mind now.  I’m not afraid to say no, and to stand strong in my beliefs and stand behind my ethics.

I used to care too much what people thought of me, and of upsetting people.

And now that I am stronger I’ve noticed that I am occasionally having people upset with me.  And that’s still not easy.  But firstly there’s no pleasing everyone.  And secondly I’ve found that I don’t want to be that “doormat” any more that tries to keep everyone happy.

I will always act ethically, and as kindly as I possibly can.  But I WILL also stand behind my beliefs, and my morals.  And I won’t compromise those to keep other people happy.

It is a great opportunity for me to temper this new found strength with my belief in right speech, so I’ve been very mindful of that lately – more so than usual.

Maybe this is what ‘almost 40 feels’ like 🙂

 

 

 

The value of true friends

I’ve been having a little bit of a hard time lately with poor sleeping/nightmares etc so have been dragging myself through each day somewhat.

Regardless though of what is happening in my life, and how I am feeling, my friends always bring me the greatest joy.

I never for a moment take for granted the wonderful people in my life ♥

My friends cheer me up, make me smile, tell me the hard truths when I need it (and really you can’t put a value on that!).

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My friends are always there for me – to talk to, to vent to, to keep me company.

And something that I value more than I can say – I know that they have my back.  They believe me, they believe IN me, and they stand up for me.

I’ve never had the privilege of having friends that I call family, and I am blessed beyond belief ♥

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International PEOPLE’S day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and it was promoted very widely in the circles I am part of.  A lot of my friends participated in the International Women’s Day fun run, and I saw a lot of inspiring posts and message of support on Facebook.

It felt somehow ‘off’ to me however, as I don’t believe there should be a special day celebrating just one gender.

I believe all people are completely equal – men, women, and children. Regardless of gender, regardless of race or sexual preference. Every single human being matters (and every single living breathing creature for that matter).

All genders/races/nationalities should be as equally important every day of the year.

I would love to see World Kindness Day highlighted instead.

And for the focus to be on spreading loving and kindness to everyone in the world – not only as a whole, but in each little part of our individual worlds.  Every person we come across ♥

I have all that I need

I celebrated my birthday late last month (the last year of my 30’s… gulp).

Leading up to my birthday to Mum asked me repeatedly what I would like as a gift.  And I struggled to answer her.  After repeated replies of “I don’t really want anything” she finally got cranky with me.  She retorted “are you really that spoiled that you can’t think of anything that you want?”

And the answer is simply yes.

I have everything that I want.  I have my family (Mr ISFS and our son).

I have a roof over my head, and food on the table.

I have more luxuries that I need (phone, laptop, iPad, TV etc).

I have my friends and my hobbies and my sports.

My heart is completely full.

To appease her though I thought very long and hard about a suggestion, and finally I came up with a clock radio (which I was then given).  And I do love it – I have cello music playing on it right now).

But it was a hard task to try to think of something.

And in a similar vein I realise my priorities in life are so much clearer these days.

I love my friends dearly, and my running and swimming.

However the most important thing in my life is my family, and always will be.

After being apart from Mr ISFS for a couple of months it’s only reaffirmed to me how important the bond is that he and I have.  It is, and will always be, my priority to nurture and protect that bond and to continue to care for our relationship.

Sometimes it comes to a point in life where you have to draw a line.  You have to decide what’s important, and where you want to focus your time and energy.  And for me, my 2 boys are all that matters.

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