Last weekend I attended the annual Pro Blogger conference, which is where all the bloggers from around the country come together to talk about all things pro blogging – funny that! But so much more than that, more than any other conference I have ever been to (and there have been many), this event moves me. It moves me to tears, to laughter and to be inspired. It reminds me why I do what I do, why it is worth all the years of writing for free, and spending money to grow a brand, and how blogging can be so powerful.
During the event, the fabulous Darren Rowse, Mr Pro Blogger himself, asked us to look at our self care and the one thing we would do when we walked out the door on Sunday. I wrote a lot of things down. I did a lot of talking and even presented a session on blogging for business. But the thing I did the most was think and feel.
So my one thing? “Be sure to remember your why in all that you do.”
Why? Because at the end of the day the bloggers that matter most, the ones who truly do what most bloggers want to do – help people and make a difference, are the ones who always always write from their why. My why is all about helping you out there have a happy healthy home and life. This comes from my experiences in life of personal difficulties, and seeing others in personal pain. It also comes from my opposite end of this, my personal experiences of extraordinary joy. And if I can remember this whether I am sharing a post about the latest paint product or a more personal life the universe and all that post, I will be doing my job as a blogger well.
Today I am sharing something with you that also stood out to me as I listened to all the stories people told on stage of their lives, whether they were highly successful or not, most had some similar threads of adversity and even tragedy, and how they overcame this. I know I certainly have this in my background and it is often these things that in fact become our touch stones, the things that drive us forward to do something better with our lives.
So here is a letter to the ones who are hurting, hiding or lost, from me
Dear Fellow Human
I know that right now you feel like there is no hope, that you have wasted all the time and all that is left is suffering. You made some decisions, or had things happen that were outside of your personal control, that have broken your heart and now you are hiding from the rest of the world.
I know that you feel like the world may be better off without you, that you have nothing much to offer, that there is no point. Sometimes you can’t get up in the morning so you stay in bed trying to sleep so you can wash away the memories and the thoughts. Sometimes you can’t sleep and your exhausted body sits in front of mindless television while you try to will yourself into a deep slumber. You go off your food and then you go on binges. You hate yourself afterwards and you can feel the kilos piling on. You feel disgusted at your actions.
Your friends and family seem oblivious to this pain, the thought that the end of the world is near, at least for you. They look at you with concerned faces because you no longer accept their dinner invitations, but they don’t really know what is going on because you are so good at hiding it. Your partner thinks you hate them because you have no interest in sex anymore, and you can’t bear to utter the words “it’s not you, it’s me”. You hide behind a mask of normality, all the time feeling your grip on the world slipping more and more and feeling an overpowering sense of sadness.
You shout at the kids and feel guilty all the time that you are not cooking gourmet meals or take them to the park, because you just don’t have the energy. You are scared, worn out, alone, lost.
I am here to tell you that you do matter. That there is hope. That it does get better and you have the power to make the change. The fear and sadness and anxiety and worry have gotten hold of you and they are tricking you into believing their stories about your life. These are real emotions, but don’t believe a word they say about you – you are not over, you are not finished and you are not worthless. If you could give back all the difficult emotions and never have to experience them again but on the flip side, you would also never experience great joy, delight, love and happiness, would you do it? Most people say no. For life is full of the whole range of human emotion.
The real challenge for you now dear one, is to stand up to these feelings and thoughts and put them back in their place. Don’t let them take away the pleasures of life – the game of cards with your son, the walk in the park with your daughter, a passionate embrace with your partner, your dreams and goals and passions.
I want you to do something for me today, get up, go outside and take a long walk. Play some of your favourite music while you walk. Notice all the colours, smells, the wind on your face. Hear the birds and let those feelings of worry and fear and anxiety sit quietly in your lap, they can come along but they have to stay quiet.
When you get home take a long bath. While you are in there, take some deep breaths and imagine your life at a time where you are not struggling, where you don’t feel like hiding, where you feel centred and happy. See yourself going to bed tonight with a refreshed mind and get up tomorrow nice and early and watch the sunrise.
Get out of the bath and go hug your partner, your child or a pet, or call someone if you don’t have any of these with you – and tell them you love them. Also tell them how you have been feeling and ask them for understanding and an ear. Make this connection and let these feelings free, for then you will be free from their total control, and can start to get yourself back, and stop hiding.
All my love from another human who has been lost and hurt and hiding, and who is here to tell you it can and will be better, take the steps