Fun but profound: declining a gift of limitless proportion

If you could have one dream gift what would it be?

A new car? £1000000? An island in the carribean? Maybe it would be marrying the love of your life with no spending limit for the ceremony. Or how about first class flights to anywhere in the world for the rest of your life for free?

The big bucks: image from amazon.co.uk

That was a question presented to me during a recent Zoom discussion. The lady running it private messaged us all a potential not-your-average gift based on what she thought each of us would be extatic to receive.

We each then shared it with the group (the conceptual gift that is) and mine was the £1000000. Then we had to consider and discuss what the downsides of each would be. Trust me, it was a hard one!

But with many things in life, to every high has it’s lows.

I met my fiance in rehab, for example. Had I not had the issues that took me there I never would have met him. But the shame of the reason I was there in the first place caused me to isolate from many friends and family members.

Then there’s Covid. Just look at the amazing work people are doing to help others.. For me, personally, it has been the offers of help with shopping or picking up meds from virtual strangers, and the man who helped me when I collapsed in the street. Plus I’m now talking to my grandma every week. We never used to do that. So in that way isolation has ironically made us closer.

But back to the gift of a life time idea. I realised it would potentially drive me away from the people I love not on the same financial level as me. I would squander money on useless things. I would probably become more selfish and no longer feel any desire to work, thus eliminating the joys of success and the new friendships I would make with my colleagues. I mean, I’m not working now and I really miss that. Would I ever truly feel content?

And of course there’s the elephant in the room of my own personal problems. Would my eating disorder worsen to the point of hospitalisation? Would I kill myself through drink? Recently I was in hospital and all I could hear one night was a man screaming over and over again. He was dying. From alcohol. His skin was yellow and bruised. They were basically keeping him alive on painkillers. The next day the bed was empty.

Jen went on to read a passage from the bible that highlighted the very same concept.

I can’t become a believer overnight. But with the help of others I can apply some of the principles of the bible to everyday life. And it becomes more manageable and less overwhelming.

And as for my £1000000, I guess it’s true what they say, money can’t buy you happiness.

Whats in your mirror today?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Image from Steemit

When you look in the mirror what do you see?

Is it an image of success? Or one of failure? It’s a strong word that. Failure. And I believe we use it way too much. Because really, just having got out of bed and fixed the sheets is a success. If you’ve got a pet you’ve probably fed it and possibly yourself. You may have said a prayer if you’re a religious person. And most of us will already have an idea of what we want to do with our day and been in contact with friends or family.

So really, the day will have got off to a fairly good start.

But have you said anything positive to or about yourself today? Or have you focused on the negatives? The washing up left in the sink from last night’s dinner or the hoovering that needs doing?

I’ve written recently about self judgement and the ways in which others judge us. Or at least, the way we think they’re judging us.

I’ve been in hospital not too long ago and when going through my medical history and what medication I’m on, the nurse’s voice often turns to a bit of a whisper when going on to ask about my alcohol consumption and what I’m doing about it.

Immediately I feel judged and ashamed. I feel like a failure.

The image of the below was sent to me when I was going through a particularly tough time. And when I spoke to friend of mine who is very religious she told me to rememver that Jesus doesn’t judge me. He loves me. And he forgives me. That’s positive self talk.

So why do we judge ourselves so harshly?

If we take the statement from the image and apply it to ourselves we face the question of why we allow ourselves to believe the judgements of others or our assumption of their judgements?

Perhaps instead we shout be asking: what is that person thinking and feeling? Can we help them? The obvious reaction might be to feel resentment towards them but does that help us ourselves or them?

I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. But maybe this is the exception to the rule.

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions but they’ve been circling round in my head and I’d love to hear what anyone’s thoughts are. (if you’d read this post this far. I know it’s a bit of a ramble).

And there I go again – self judgement and assuming no one will find it interesting. I want to read more into what has been written on the topic and I’ll blog about what I find out.

Sliding doors: everything happens for a reason

Image found on Pinterest

Do you ever wonder what would have happened if not for that one encounter? Where your life would be if you’d taken the bus instead of your normal tube to work; bought your lunch in Tesco not Sainsbury’s?

For me it was a coffee shop in London. If I’d gone to cafe Nero I wouldn’t be writing this. But I didn’t. I was in Pret.

A lady struck up a conversation with me. I felt a little nervous at first as in my true british-stiff-upper-lip way I just wanted to present myself as unbreakable and then run away and hide! No way was I going to admit I was unemployed due to mental health, or that I felt completely lost in life.

But she persevered, invited me to a church group (admittedly not really my thing but I went) and 2 years later we’re still in touch.

Which path will you choose?

A few weeks ago she asked me if I’d like to join a Thursday evening ‘Zoom’ discussion. I was wary given the religious element I was expected but instead of a lecture it was a short bible passage followed by a general discussion about how we could related to the thoughts/feelings/concepts within.

The whole experience really stuck with me and it got me thinking about the other random encounters that have changed my life.

Destiny

There’s the girl who I was introduced to as a pen pal when I was about 5 and still haven’t met but recently sent me a beautiful Bible and has been helping me with love, support and guidance.

Then there’s the guy who helped me when I collapsed outside the doctor’s surgery, and the woman down the street who gave me the ‘stories’ book that I blogged about not long ago which gave me so much comfort and reassurance. People writing honestly l about their hardships and how they overcame their struggles.

What if a housemate-to-be hadn’t failed his exams and dropped out of uni in my 3rd year, only to be replaced by a girl who rapidly became and still is one of my best friend?

Oh and last but not least there’s the guy who texted me out of the blue, thinking he was texting his friend Laura. Now, whether or not we do know each other and he’s gotten the two Lauras mixed up (me being one of them), or whether this other Laura gave him the wrong number and it’s a total coincidence… I have no idea. But his contact has helped me, and I think and hope my texting him has helped him.

The list just goes on and on the more I think about it. But I think I’ve made my point

I am really coming around to the idea that this is all happening for a reason. Call it fate or faith or God or whatever… I’ve had a few sliding doors moments recently and I do believe it’s in someone’s plan for me.

And I never thought I’d say that.