Reflections

It’s funny how, when you sit and reflect, think about your life, think of what you have been through and then see where you are now.

I have been through a lot. I have been a single dad for over 20 years bringing up a son from an early age, and he has grown up to be a wonderful son, who now lives in the UK and because of the move here in Thailand, thousands of miles away,I am unable to be there in person, but, I am there for him, in spirit and on the phone. I will always be there, I have taught him well and so very proud of how he is doing.

It seems sad, but it’s not, when I reflect on my own life, my experiences, what I have been through and where I am now. That’s also good, as he often asks me “How did I get so strong?”, well he is finding out for himself, finding out that it’s the problems and the stresses that make up who we are and the choices we make that makes us strong.

That’s one of the reasons I have decided to put fingers to keyboard and write this particular blog. I am 60 this year, but in my head, I still feel as if I am in my 20’s, but when I look in the mirror, I see that my head is wrong. I am sure there are people who read this and will understand this thought and others who don’t, but its true.

” I was a trainer, I heard an expression, “Just because a person has 10 years experience, does not make them experienced, they may have done the same year, ten times, and not learnt a thing. So I thought I would try to help others from my experiences.

When I was in the UK one of my friend’s Sharon was talking to me on the phone, and she said that she wanted to spend Christmas and the New Year somewhere sunny. So I asked her to come over and visit us in Chiang Mai.  So Sharon and her son Elijah come over for two weeks and had a great time here. I suppose it was around then, I realised that, I had a wonderful home and live in a wonderful place. I live in Chiang Mai, in Thailand, and people come from all over the world to visit (not my home) , see the sights, enjoy the culture and soak in the sun.

So here I am, waking up every day, with the weather and culture, just outside my front door. You take things like this for granted. I look back on my life and see the troubles, the tribulations, the tests and the hard times, when I thought the world was against me, and all shit, crap, and rubbish that went my way, and I dealt with, it all led to here.

I focused on one thing, through all theses things, : – the future, the light at the end of the tunnel. I did not know where the tunnel heading, or where it led, but it lead here, Hang Dong, Chiang Mai in Thailand, with a beautiful Thai woman, called Nui, who is my wonderful wife.

I keep telling Chris ( My son) ( And I am telling you, the reader ) that through all the stuff he / you,  is / are going through, focus on the future, not the crap.

I was told a great thing once that helped me and still helps me now, I want to share it with you as it has served me well and I hope it will do the same for you.

I often wondered how some people are “Glass had empty” people and some are “Glass half full” people, are we born that way ? brought up that way? I don’t know, you may know. One thing I do know is, you can change your attitude, change how you look at things, change your perspective. I spent a long time training myself from “Empty” to “Full”, so I know it can be done. I do suffer from clinical depression, and have been through a lot , and taught myself to change my outlook, my perspective.

You may be in the dirt, as you look down you see lots of it, all-around you, in various depths and you may wonder “how did I get there?”, “what it happened to me?” and say “I am tired of being there all the time?”.

It may sound simple, but it’s not.

Imagine where you are, standing in that dirt, and you are looking down, seeing all this dirt at your feet, surrounding you.

I am not saying where you are in your life is wrong, it may be, but I am not saying that there is no shit or dirt, what I am saying is, where are you looking?. If you decide to look up, look ahead, may not see much, it may not be great , but the view is better than looking down, better than looking at the dirt.

You may not have a choice on where you are, but you do have a choice on where you look.

You can look behind, yes,  see where you have been, what you have done, be it good or bad, see your accomplishments, see you mistakes, but you have moved on from there, yes you have moved from there, otherwise it would not be behind you . You may have moved from one piece of dirt to another, but you have moved. A positive thought. Be positive.

While looking down, you made a choice to look down, you also have a choice to look up. Look up, see the stars, see a beautiful sight, see how beautiful they are, even though you are standing in the dirt. Beauty is there, if you look. Yes , there may be clouds there now, blocking the view, but they won’t be there all the time. It may have been a while since you have seen the stars, but they have always been there, but, you were looking downwards at the dirt, not knowing what was above you.  I have been there, looking downward,  but when the clouds obscure your view, you know that they will clear. They may not clear now but they will. Anyway its a better view looking at the clouds than the dirt.

Someone may be standing right beside you, in the same dirt, same place, you ask yourself “How can they be so bloody positive?”, “They have no idea what I am going through” . You may be right, they may not but, they may know exactly what you are going through.  You can’t see it, can’t see why they can be so bloody positive, it’s because they are not looking at the ground. you can’t see it, can’t see what they can see, you are not looking where they are looking, yet they are in the same place. When we are down , depressed, stressed, we naturally look down, its hard to look up, it takes effort, it’s a strain, but make that effort.

You can look to the side, but if you do, you don’t go anywhere, stay in the same place, not moving forward, stay in your dirt.

You also have a choice to look ahead. Your journey may be clear, you may have a goal, a purpose, so move toward that purpose or goal. I Know there were time I had no idea what my goal was , no idea where I was going, it was dark, uncertain, I had no idea. One thing I knew, I was in the dirt, so knew I had to move, move forward. There is a buddhist saying, ” Every journey, long or short, starts with a single step”

It’s a natural thing to think and say, no one knows what I am going through, I am alone. I remember when I was in a group, all sharing their feelings and thought, the surprise, and shock when I hear , from another mouth, the same bad thoughts and destructive feeling and loneliness from a complete stranger. I learnt a great lesson, others know what you are going through, the problem is, you don’t talk about it to find out.

You have that choice, take a step, a journey out of your current situation, a choice, your choice to look, to look back, to look to the side, to look down or to look forward. You have a choice, stay where you are, or take a single step, a small step, a start, a start on a journey. It may be a journey where you know where you are going, or have no idea where this journey may end. It may be clear or dark, but it’s moving forward, a journey. It’s better than where you are, better than in the dirt.

It’s not where you are , it’s where you look, it’s your attitude, its your choice. It took me a long time to change my attitude, but it changed, slowly and not all the time, sometimes I get swamped, then I let it go over me , then I recover, then I look ahead , not to the ground,but look forward and take another, small step.

I am sitting here, in my home, with a wonderful wife, a wonderful dog and a wonderful life. Not that many years ago, I would have never thought I would be here. I would have said you were stupid and laughed at you.  I have been through, depression, bankruptcy, two divorces, lost everything, lived from pay-day to pay-day, been broken,lost family, been betrayed, been so tired and drained it took so much energy just to get out of bed, I almost had a breakdown, been lonelier than I have ever been, even amongst people I love, been lonely when living with someone.  I have been  through counselling several times. I have been in that long dark tunnel where it was so dark, I could not see my hands in front of my face. I moved slowly forward, step by step.

Look forward, learn from your mistakes, focus, make a plan, even though that plan may be just putting one step in front of another. Move forward.

I took steps, small, little steps, I moved, and still move and now I am here. If my tunnel gets dark, which it will, I will keep making small steps forward, looking ahead, see the stars, and take those small, steady steps forward.

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