Category: Lessons in life

Confessions of a damaged heart

Confessions of a damaged heart

I may be damaged but I am not broken. I may have developed a few imperfections over time but similar to the intricate knots found in wood grain, the very curves and bends that make me weak, is where my beauty lies. The scars I bare are like the tiny flaws found in rare coins that make them so unique and so very valuable. If my heart could talk, I am sure it would cry out these words every day to remind me that I can still love and be loved. This blog is both a message from the heart and to the heart of every woman, man and child who has ever been ruined by love. After we have been damaged we question whether love is real, whether it is possible to ever love someone or whether it is possible for someone to ever truly love us. We go through phases of hope and despair, and often find ourselves thinking, speaking and doing crazy things.

Once you have been hurt it is easy to send yourself crazy by over thinking and over analysing every little detail of your life. It is easy to think that there is something wrong with you, that you did something wrong and that you were the problem. This is not true of course, but it is a path that most can go down. You are not perfect and you may have a few things that you need to work on, but you are no different to anyone else and you can still be loved. You just haven’t found the right personĀ in the right situation yet. This is what I have come to realise after spending many moments questioning my ability to be loved. I know it sounds ridiculous but after being pushed to the side on more than one occasion it is hard not to have those negative thoughts from time to time.

It is easy to feel worthless and insignificant when you are meant to be loved by someone but you are their last priority. I was in a relationship with someone for over a decade and I can’t even remember a single moment where I was put first in the relationship. Everything from his friends, the football club, the pub and even TV was given more attention than I received. When I finally had the courage to end it, he then gave me the pleasure of telling me that he never loved me. It hurt at first but then when I really thought about it, I knew it was true and realised that the same was true for me; I never truly loved him. I spent so much time trying to make it work, trying to gain his attention and affection that I never stopped to think and I couldn’t see that the whole situation was wrong.

So now I was out in the world alone and free to find someone who was more suited for me, someone who could appreciate me and treat me the way I deserved. But dating was not as fun as I first thought it would be. I came across a number of different men who were all unique in their own ways. But, they all had one thing in common; their only interest was in sex. None wanted to spend any actual time with me or take a chance to actually get to know me. This done wonders for my self esteem and self worth as I once again started to feel like there was something wrong with me and maybe I was doing something wrong. Even if they initially seemed like genuine guys and they started out by showing interest in me, it wasn’t long before the only time they could spare was bed time. We have all been guilty of saying these words and though I don’t believe them to be true, I started to have this mindset that ‘all men are the same’.

After looking at my past experiences, it is easy to see why I felt like there was something wrong with me. You may even be guilty of it now as you think, ‘well, what is wrong with you’? I obviously wasn’t interesting enough, I wasn’t attractive enough, I wasn’t fun and I wasn’t good in bed. I was too clingy or I didn’t show enough interest. It has to be true. How can it not be true? If I couldn’t gain and keep the attention of my partner, if I couldn’t gain the interest of any man long enough for a meal, and if no one wanted to spend any actual time with me then how could I possibly be interesting, attractive, fun or good in bed? Surely if I was those things I wouldn’t have so much trouble in this area, right? And that’s where the complication is, because I have had people assure me that I am those things but I have still not had any luck in this area. I know I am an amazing person (though it is hard to remember that at times) and anyone lucky enough to get to know me mostly would agree. I guess I just haven’t found the right personĀ in the right situation yet.

I thought I came close to finding something more, but more heartache and lessons to learn was all I found. After attempting to date for a little while, I came across a guy who seemed to be perfect. We enjoyed the same kind of activities and passion for adventure, his heart was damaged but kind and forgiving, he was a great communicator and we could talk for hours about anything, he had goals in life that he was on his way to achieving, his smile could make me melt, the sex was amazing, and when he held me he made me feel like nothing else mattered. But although he may have been right for me, I was clearly not right for him as he continued to see other girls and decided he no longer wanted to see me. A few more times I have come across decent men but the situation I am in seems to get in the way and none are brave enough to take a chance when my immediate future is unclear and distance may be an issue. Also, I am great at sabotaging anything that may have been possible by overreacting or reacting too quickly in a misguided attempt to protect myself.

So there are still nights when my pillow collects my tears. I am constantly torn between preparing for a life of independence while accepting that I am unlovable, and believing or hoping that one day someone will find reason to love me and be courageous enough to take a chance. But this person can’t just be anyone. They will have to be brave enough to go where life leads them. We all have goals in life that we’re working towards and although I am willing to detour to take my life down a different path than planned, It would only be for the person that is willing to do the same for me. The challenge of travelling and trying to find love is to avoid thinking about all the reasons why it may not work out. Instead we need to accept the possibility and allow ourselves to be excited with the idea that it might. We sometimes give up too easy and too quickly because we fear being hurt. Our fears become our limits.

I am not without fear of being hurt. But being brave is not being fearless, it is continuing in spite of fear. I know love brings pain but I walk into the future fully aware of this. I am me, you are you. Our past experiences are what make that so, including the pain we have experienced. I know sadness and loneliness too well and it is because of this, I appreciate love on a greater scale; like the beautiful timber and the collectable coins, my faults have become my advantages. When you have been in the dark for so long, the littlest spark can add such an intense light to your life. After being in the wrong kind of relationship and a number of undesirable situations, I feel that I have a greater understanding and appreciation of love and I will never take it for granted. My past has given me lessons on love and pain, allowed me to love more passionately and will make sure that any love I accept is nothing less than the real, life-changing kind of love we read about in books.

I don’t want us to need each other. I don’t want to be with you because we are both lonely and we like the idea of love. I don’t want the driving force to be a mere sexual attraction. I want the kind of love that knocks us off our feet while at the same time keeping us level headed, in touch with reality and focused on what’s most important in life. I want someone who loves me for my wild and kind heart, my eccentric mind, my awkward smile, my over enthusiasm for life, my passion for adventure, for my extreme blue eyes that somehow manage to still see the good in this world, and for my curiosity in everything that crosses my mind or path. I want to love someone for similar, and yet unique and exceptional reasons. I thought I had a set of qualities picked out that need to be present in anyone worthy of taking and keeping my heart, but the more I think about it the more I realise that sometimes you just have to let go. Sometimes we don’t actually know what we are looking for until we find it and we won’t ever find it unless we take a chance.

So my damaged heart confesses; though I may be damaged, I am not broken. I am still hopeful to love and be loved. I know pain but it only makes me value love more.

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Balance is Bliss

Balance is Bliss

The world is full of a lot of weird and wonderful things, with the most curious being the being! No, that is not a writing mistake. I am talking about the human being, the life form, the person, the individual! That is in fact what we all are, individuals! We all look, live, feel and indulge in pleasures differently. In every thought there is to be had, or every task there is to be done, we all do life in our own unique ways. But what if I said there was a conscious decision that we can all make, a secret, that would help you get the most out of life? We all have unique personalities and characteristics but what if I told you that the secret to life is to be more like your friend, neighbour, colleague, boss or even one of your rivals? Sounds silly huh? Why would you want to be like someone else and not yourself? How can I be asking you to set aside your individuality and how can I be asking you to be someone you’re not? Well read on and it will make more sense, I promise.

 

So, why should you try to be like someone else? I will get to that soon, but first I want you to think about all the different people you know and the different kinds of lives they lead. Who are they? What makes them smile? How do they get things done? What are they successful in? How do they react when things don’t go the way they planned? And how do you feel about this person? Having the answers to these questions will help you as you read on. But I want you to pause and really think about it. Is there someone in your life who is active, always on the go and can never sit still? Is there someone in your life who is motivated and dedicated and always achieves what they set out to do? Is there someone who is carefree, and what some may call a little lazy, but they always seem to get lucky and have things go their way regardless? Is there someone who is spontaneous and is always the life of the party? Is there someone who is responsible and always planning for the future in fine detail? Well, I am not going to ask you to choose to be like one of these people. Not one, but every person you thought of has something to teach you. You need to take, as they say, ‘a leaf out of their books’ and be more like them! Still doesn’t make sense? Continue and it will become clearer.

 

The truth is, I am not telling you to change and become a completely different person; I am not telling you to become your best friend from school or the colleague that gets on your nerves. No. I am not telling you to become them, I am telling you to be more like them. To help make sense of it all I want you to think about yourself now. I want you to think about yourself in regards to the questions mentioned above. Who are you? What makes you smile? How do you get things done? What are you successful in? How do you react when things don’t go the way you planned? How do you feel about yourself? Then, I want you to think about the statements above and decide where you would fit in all of it? Are you the active one, the motivated one, the carefree one, the spontaneous one or the one who has a plan for everything? Is it easy for you to put yourself in to one of these categories; do you have one in mind? Well the reality is, you should not be any one of them; you should be all of them! I am hoping this is starting to make more sense for you now when I say we should be more like others. To cut to the point, balance is best; balance is bliss. Don’t be stuck in your ways but rather, let yourself be fluid in making decisions and taking action. Don’t always stick with the same approach. Let yourself change and grow; be the person you need to be for that moment in time. I know it may sound a little unusual but I speak from experience. I was once the person who had a plan for EVERYTHING! Then, after a few changes in my life I went from one extreme to another and adjusted to becoming very spontaneous and a little crazy. Neither options were great, as I went from a rather boring and stressful life to a lifestyle that was rather unhealthy. I needed to find a balance.

 

Life is fun, crazy, unusual, unpredictable and diverse. Life is full of so many different situations and circumstances and each person will react and tackle it all differently. Sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won’t. That’s life. But in actual fact, you can succeed more and get the most out of life if you become more like others. Instead of  placing yourself in one of the categories above and continuing with your repetitive behaviours, you adopt the behaviours of others, a behaviour that is suitable for each situation. As you are reading this now you are thinking that I have fooled you into reading this far and I don’t actually have a secret to share with you. Changing your behaviour and approach to suit every situation is not a secret! And you would be correct. It is not a secret and it is something we may do on a daily basis. But the secret is, to become more aware of yourself and each situation and be conscious of the choices you are choosing to make because we all seem to fall back into certain habits more often than we would like to admit. The secret is to know yourself and how you would usually react to a situation. The secret is to break free from the usual ways that we would behave. The secret is to find balance in all that we do and to be active, motivated, spontaneous, well prepared, carefree, and even lazy at perfectly the right times when each situation calls for it. Don’t try to plan every detail of your life because you will fail. Don’t be overly spontaneous and carefree because when it all falls to pieces as a result of no plan, you will care a lot. Don’t be so lazy that you miss out on opportunities and experiences, but don’t be so active that you make yourself exhausted and become hospitalised as a result of not resting enough. Again, I am speaking from experience here. But that takes me to my final few points and how this can all be taken on board when travelling.

 

Travel often brings out certain characteristics and personalities in people. There are all types of travellers. There is the well prepared traveller who has a detailed schedule and a plan for everything. There is the spontaneous traveller who likes to ‘wing it’ and just take each experience as it comes. There is the active traveller who thrives on adventure, who aims to see and do it all. There is the carefree or lazy traveller who likes to sit by the pool and relax. There is the traveller who likes to indulge, the traveller who likes to sightsee, likes to party, likes to explore etc etc. I could go on and make a large list on the types of people that travel  and the ways of travelling but that would take a whole new blog. To get to the point quickly,  I will say again that balance is best; balance is bliss. Though we may all have a preference as to what we do and how we behave when we travel, I can say from experience that like life, we get more out of travelling when we become more like others. Take a leaf out of someone else’s book, step out of your comfort zone, try to find a balance and get the most out of travelling; get the most out of life! Make a flexible plan to allow you to be spontaneous, spend the day being active and then spend the afternoon relaxing with a drink, be tight-fisted with some choices to allow you to indulge in others, involve yourself in everything on offer from relaxing and taking it all in to partying and exploring. Travelling is an amazing opportunity and you should seek to get as much out of it as you can. Travelling brings about so many stories and so many lessons if you allow it to. Once more, I am talking from experience. For more stories, advice and practical information on travelling check out my other articles. And remember, next time you are faced with a situation ask yourself if it would be best to be like someone else? Balance is best; balance is bliss.