When I started this blog, I was aiming to post every 5-7 days. That hasn’t happened lately. Sometimes life just doesn’t go according to plan. When I started this blog, I also intended for it be completely raw, truthful and provide you with an insight into who I was and how I see the world, surmount hurdles and arrive at contentment. That has not changed. In fact so much time away from my writing has given me a chance to really think about the way I do live (or try to live my life). It’s not too complex really. There’s just three essential elements:
In my eyes, honesty is the most important thing we have – with both ourselves and each other. How can we really understand if something needs addressing and make it better if we don’t acknowledge it in the first place? At a glance in the mirror I can say I have 55 issues, 10 problems and a need for a cupcake and a cup of tea daily at this moment in time. And sushi for dinner would be great too. No, I am not perfect. I have a definite need for tweaking and some shiny new bells and whistles. Yes, I am completely comfortable with what my honest reflection says back to me. I am also comfortable to tell my friends and family what I see in the mirror (or at least a summary of it). “I have a problem please. Can you please bring me a shiny new bell? And a cupcake for good measure?”
And I do this quietly, (for the most part calmly) without creating drama. Living honestly does not mean losing your dignity. It means heightening your humanity. It also provides an innate self-understanding and the opportunity to affect change.
Unfortunately we are trained to live dishonestly – to ‘grin and bear it’, ‘buck up’, ‘ride it out’ and pretend everything is fine…. even if it isn’t. Pretence or denial that starts with our peers can often have us fooling ourselves. A false sense of okayness can become the worst kind of prison. Why is it that we are trained to keep any kind of truth to ourselves that doesn’t exude positivity and strength or success surrounding our progress in life? Does society despise weakness? Is it bad manners to share your hardship? Bollocks to both.
I have seen so many cases (especially in new mums) where they have been silent for so long struggling with an unaddressed issue that it has led to a deeper emotional problem like anxiety or depression. This is not OK. Denial or a self-perceived quiet strength does not serve anyone well. As our mamas used to say ‘honesty is the best policy’ – first with yourself, then everyone else. Living honestly takes a great deal of courage, bares your humanity and invites respect.
Everyone is travelling a different path in life, has a different beat and a different way of communicating. Along with honesty, it is important to provide the people in our lives with the respect and space to flow in and out of ours as and how they need to. While we may desperately want them to fit a certain slot in our people map, or a mould we have mentally carved out for them… that’s just not how it works and it’s just not fair to will it on them. By giving people the respect and freedom to be completely themselves: trackies and uggs, face-stuffing madness, tears, cancellations, cra cra moments or complete radio silence… whatever they need…. You may find that they are able to live honestly with you. And in turn you can live honestly with them. Respect isn’t just for your very best friends, BFFs and childhood friends. It’s for everyone. Honesty plus respect are the foundations for a strong relationship. The more honestly and respectfully a friendship is cultivated, the more it will flourish. These are the people who you will share your life with… including your joy.
Find joy everywhere. As much as possible. In the small things. Lap it up. That’s pretty much it.
To expand briefly… (of course! How could I leave it there, I have a few more sips of tea to drink, so better keep writing!)
Life can be hell of earth sometimes. It really can be the pits. But it can be joyful at the same time. In fact that’s when it should be most joyful. No need to look to big things like holidays, shopping trips, dinners out and fancy shiny things for your kicks… that’s not joy, That’s window dressing and hullaballoo. The simple things are where the true joy really lies. I make sure to experience joy each day… multiple times… even if I have curled up in a ball and cried. No two emotions are mutually exclusive. Joy is an essential part of everyday living.
Here are some things that I find joy in:
Watching my husband and daughter read stories together
A cup of tea all by myself
A long hot shower
Smelling the aromas from my oil diffuser
The sensation of my muscle melt cream as it heats my back and neck and the pain fades
Sushi. Sushi. And more sushi.
Closing the door after I put my daughter to bed and seeing my husband’s face – we have some couple time in our pjs now.
Watching my daughter kiss herself in the mirror with extrodinary vigor – she loves herself (not nearly as much as I love her)
The list goes on. I have many moments of joy every day. They may not be overwhelming. But they are there, and my insides smile every time. The ability to find joy in small things like these makes my life infinitely more incredible than it would be without it.
So that’s where I am at in life right now. I choose to live honestly, respectfully and joyfully. Of course sometimes it does all go out the window because like everyone else I am an imperfect human and life doesn’t go according to plan. However no matter what life throws at me, I do come back to these three key points and I must say I am very happy with my little lot.