Sunday, 29 May 2011

Turn around and face the future

I haven't written for a while. I have been busy. About the time I wrote my last post I made a decision to stop facing backwards with my head and heart in the past and start facing forward, taking what I have learned, scars and all, and get on with living. And since then I have been busy doing just that.

I have started exercising regularly at my local gym. I am hoping to lose a bit of weight and get fit but my main focus is on doing something for me each day and the benefit to my mental state each time I go. I am no good at long term goals, I am all about immediate gratification so it is much more motivating to focus on the benefits I get now, rather than having a weight, dress size or fitness goal. I am actually surprised that I am still going. Usually I lost my commitment almost the day after I commit!

I have also taken the risk of committing to help out with the Mum's spiritual support group at church, called Space. It has been a huge part of me getting better as each week I can spend time with other Mums, be inspired and also commiserate with the struggles of daily life and walking with God. It has given me 'space' to think about God when I was struggling to make any time or space on my own. It is scary to be involved in something at church again but also part of my decision not to focus on my weaknesses or fears but instead to use my gifts and follow my heart and hopefully God will be gracious to me and help me to do it well. It is amazing how freeing it is to stop thinking "Oh I couldn't cope with that", to thinking "I love being part of this and want to help". It is really good to challenge myself not to think I have to do things perfectly but instead to know that by getting involved I can grow and move on in my life.

We have also started house hunting. This has been a huge step as for so long I have felt that any sort of change would be too stressful and life has been in a holding pattern. Since turning in my focus and looking to the future I have had the courage to dream again and get excited about buying our own place. This has opened up my world again and I have almost felt overwhelmed by dreams and hopes and plans for the future. It is such a miracle to me to have a future to even contemplate, and to think that some of the things I used to dream about but had almost given up on, could become a reality is so amazing to me. Depression had threatened to steal all the confidence I used to have in my ability to realise my dreams and I cannot explain what a miracle it is to hope in the future again.

I am also amazed at how freeing it is to no longer be playing a victim role in my life. I used to feel at the mercy of my feelings and felt unable to choose how to deal with different situations. A simple example is food. I used to feel that if there was food out, I had no choice about eating it. Even if I really wanted to eat healthily I felt at the mercy of my desire to eat the food. But since deciding that eating lots of sugary and processed food makes me feel yuck I have been finding it so much easier to say "No thanks" to myself and stick with it. It is actually a bit embarassing to admit but that kind of self-mastery has been pretty foreign to me. And it is so empowering to know I can choose.

I truly believe that freedom is not about doing whatever you want, instead it is the ability to choose to do what is right, despite how it might feel, despite the patterns of the past and despite any fears you might have. I love this new freedom. And I have been so busy enjoying it that I haven't had time to write. But I choose to now and it reminds me how much I have missed it. So hopefully I will be back soon.


  1. Hi Marion! So fun to see your blog via FB. :) Completely agree about freedom! Great point. SO with you on the food/exercise front. I am going to start making that choice. And love your point about focussing on the instant gratification of exercise rather than working towards a long term goal. Totally going to try that! :)

  2. There's a Māori proverb I thought of when I read this post and I thought you might like it:

    "Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe."

    It means "Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you."