One of the most beautiful gifts we have in this world is connection. The ability to connect on many different levels with people, nature, animals, the universe! Each of these use all of our five senses, and with spoken and unspoken language. Connection in itself invites us into wholeness, and gives us the warmth and depth that we need in life.
On the other hand, vulnerability certainly takes us out of our comfort zone. We may shy away from vulnerability but ultimately it is actually a beautiful gift as well. Imagine a flower awaking in the sun and blooms to perfection in its magnificent colour. At that point, the flower is vulnerable to all the elements. As soon as the flower detects a threat, it will close up again and protect itself. Nature can teach us so much about how to live and survive.
I am self-taught in most things in life. I never really had anyone that took the time to teach me much when I was young. I observed adults in my household and at school and I never liked what I saw. I observed other adults of all ages in society, and I really didn’t get life. These are the things I picked up on as a child observing life: – people abused others and got away with it – people seemed so empty and sad or angry all the time – people hurt others purposely then would drown their sorrows in a bottle – no one seemed to notice, understand or care for the lost and vulnerable
I found a friend in nature and animals. I learned as a child that I couldn’t trust people but I could trust the furry ones and the trees. Nature taught me how to survive. My strong connection into all living things gave me a true sense of who I was and where I came from, rather than feeling dismissed in a family that didn’t seem to care about me. That is putting it mildly… more negligence and abuse.
I didn’t dwell on the obstacles I had to overcome. I concentrated on getting out the other side. I didn’t think about the abuse. I buried it (and dealt with it years later). I didn’t allow my circumstances to drive me backwards. I allowed my circumstances to drive my determination to find a better life.
Vulnerability is something I knew too well. And like the flower, I learned to escape from the threat or shut myself off from the abuse in the moment. To me, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is giving ourselves permission to grow. Much of my strength of character and determination to survive came from being vulnerable.
As I share my story, I visualise what I am saying as though I am standing back in that moment in time and can feel / see / smell all that is around me. It is not an easy thing to do but totally worth it. If my story can connect one person to their story, and it helps them to not feel as alone and/or inspired to keep going and perhaps be vulnerable too in sharing their story, then all that is worth it.
This week I had an engaging conversation with Guy Rowlison, host of BRAINSTORM mental health podcast.
The last couple of months has been so crazy! I’ve been juggling and tackling through so much that at times it has left me with no energy to even contemplate recording an episode. There’s been so many things I’ve lived through that I wanted to share … they will come eventually. During this break from LivingWell Talks, I have launched my new book Sleeping Under the Bridge, produced a short film, and done a host of other media stories.
Hope 103.2 recorded my story and it will be shared over 4 weeks in October on their FINDING HOPE PODCAST. They share other people’s stories of finding hope in their dark times, for the same reason I share my story, so that we are able to inspire hope into others. Life is so challenging at times, and we can all do with a little hope.
You can tune into the different parts as they arrive each week on Apple, Google, Spotify or Amazon music, or off their website (links below).
I wrote this song in my early 30s after confronting the men who had sexually assaulted me from age 4-17. It is also a chapter in my autobiography ‘A two-way street’. It was such a heavy load to carry not having talked to anyone about what I went through so early on in my life since I was shut down by the perpetrators. I wrote in my book “to fully appreciate the bonding that is formed in forgiveness, one must become the forgiver”.
I didn’t need to receive any response from them. By confronting them and saying ‘I forgive you’, I confronted my fears, trauma, guilt and shame. I walked away confident to be me and no longer felt trapped by their abuse. I was finally able to move on … a new reality for me began.
I hope you enjoy the song and if you have gone through similar abuse, may you find a way to free yourself to become you.
I was 16 years of age, having lived through horrific trauma, abuse and assaults since the age of 4 all orchestrated by the man who grew me up, called “dad”. This song written by a mate, Ben McKinnon, who read my story and looked at my life from a different perspective.
Ben and I recorded our CD in 2004. This is our cover song that goes with my autobiography A two-way street – 2nd edition is now available in Kindle Amazon, iBooks and Blurb.
If there is ever a time to empower each other it is 2020. I began Living Expressions publication and LivingWell Talks podcast to just this – to inspire, to encourage and to empower each other.
The publication’s first issue is beaming with inspirational life-stories, stirring poetry, art that captures a moment in time as well as Australian photography. Contributors who have expressed their story in any issue of Living Expressions are invited to be part of the podcast too. Paul’s story is one that is saving lives through coming out of depression and despair after finding his partner had suicided. His podcast will feature later this week.
In the meantime, why not grab a copy of the publication? To be part of empowering community, to inspire your journey, to transform others lives as the money raised goes towards helping people doing it tough as well as those who have contributed. After reading it through, why not be part of the community and share your story as well in anyway that you would like to express that.
Go to the link below to take a peak inside and watch the YouTube video, then head to the link below that to purchase your copy of Living Expressions.
Have you ever noticed the space between leaves? They live and thrive in their purpose to be a leaf in community with other leaves, but when they are crowded, overwhelmed, pushed down, they struggle. With nurturing they come good again! Then there are the ones that are snapped, squashed, darkened away and sadly they die.
Likewise as we live our purpose, we will come across difficult times and difficult people on our paths unexpectedly. Are we going to let it drown us or state there’s a time for exhaustion, a time for depression, a time for pain and when it’s time to thrive again be ready!