Spikes or Flower?

Spikes or Flower?

This cactus came from a family holiday in Lanzarote as a tiny sprout. It has been cared for since then, watered, fed, changed to a bigger pot, and has sunshine shining down on it, when it is actually sunny in Northern Ireland… Some people may still just see it as this spiky useless thing. They may not see the tiny, intricate, beautiful flowers it has produced.

I know a lot of people who on the outside may look quite scary and sharp; sometimes us who happen to ride motorcycles may be looked upon as loud, scary and rough. As with the beautiful flowers on my cactus, it is for the beholder to see what they wish.

So what are the spines (spikes) for? They are not thorns, rather they are modified leaves, and keep some predators away from the water inside, but also help on a misty or foggy night to trap some water, which then falls down the smooth cactus to the ground and is able to be absorbed by the roots.

So if you think of people who may be protecting themselves in this, sometimes, dry and arid world, devoid of empathy, they may use defenses to keep people away. If you look closely at a cactus it usually has a beautiful smooth surface behind the spines. If we cared enough to really see a person we may see the beautiful smooth stem, the spines all designed so intricately to protect, and the fruit that it produces, for this cactus it is the stunning flowers.

A person behind the spikes could be a father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, friend or any number of very kind things to many people. Going with the bikers again, I know most bikers have very big kind hearts and do many things to help people, maybe a charity bike run to raise money for little children who need some sunshine to shine down on them, and raise money to help them.

As both a biker and a counsellor I am privileged to know a lot of people who may on the outside have a lot of spines to protect themselves, after being hurt in this world. I know that behind these spines is a beautiful soul that is very kind and helpful to others, despite what has happened to them. I know the fruit they are producing and how they help others to flourish.

As you can read I look at a cactus very differently, and it means a lot to me. I find comfort in the spiky spines. It is a reminder to me that spiky people may be a lot different behind that defense. It reminds me if someone is spiky to me that if I negotiate them spiky spines carefully, the smoother, calmer person is there. The beautiful flowers this cactus produces twice a year, reminds me how a person can flourish, if they recieve the correct care and attention we all require in this world. Thanks for reading, Stephen.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

You Want Me to Forgive my Evil Abuser?

You Want Me to Forgive my Evil Abuser?

I wonder if you could forgive an evil person that has knowingly hurt you, or abused you? I wonder could you forgive a family member who has ripped every shred of trust out of your mind, body and spirit? I wonder could you forgive a partner who tried to send your ashes to the devil, after he or she discarded you after abusing you mentally and physically?

Forgiveness has to be a conscious decision of my will. If someone has done me harm intentionally and shows no remorse, it is an extremely difficult decision to forgive them, but this does not mean it is ok, that it was fine what they did to me. It just means that I am choosing not to allow what they did to me to eat me up inside and hold me prisoner. I am forgiving them to set myself free; to allow myself to move on with my life. If someone is a narcissist for instance, they will not feel remorse, so waiting or trying to get some sort of apology may not happen; at least for a long time.

Nelson Mandela said this regarding leaving prison, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

I wasn’t always a calm person and would have tried forcing someone by whatever means I could to ‘get’ someone to apologise to me. This was never an apology as they felt they needed to apologise to me just to appease me, and get me to back off. I am now a man of peace, and no matter how hard it is to do, I try to forgive people for their harm towards me. This means I am not allowing my feelings and emotions to become twisted up, bitter, angry, resentful and ultimately become the effect of other people’s nasty or evil agendas. I am responsible for my own feelings and emotions; although this does mean I have to stop sometimes and realise I have allowed myself to be tarnished with someone else’s hatred of me and reciprocated it towards them. You may have feelings of shame, loneliness, guilt, anger or many more, all of which are not yours to hold, as they were a product of what this person did to you, not what you did to them, therefore when you work through to being able to forgive this person, these feeling can also be left with them, not carried around on your shoulders.

This is where mindfulness is very useful, as it allows me to sit, or lie down, in the peace and stillness, and listen to my own emotions and thoughts, filter them back, and take forward only what is mine, leaving other people’s nasty or evil feelings, which can only harm me more than they ever could. I refuse to allow what they did to me, to continue long after they did it, to still affect me now. I refuse to give them that power over me and my current relationships.

Forgiveness blog pic

Forgiving others is not about ‘letting them of the hook’; It is about accepting it has happened, and becoming who you can be, without them holding you back, still having control over you. If what they did was illegal for instance, and if you haven’t already, take it to the authorities if you wish. Forgiveness is not making light of anything that has happened, but allowing you to move on, however difficult it will be.

The lady in the link below states she was raped by her Father a lot growing up, she was eventually able to forgive… I can’t ever imagine the pain, physically and mentally she went through as a young person so confused in the world, by someone she could have learned trust from…

Joyce Meyer Healing and Hope after Abuse

I want you to know that trust can be formed again, healing can take place. As a man of Christian Faith, I asked God for forgiveness, and have been forgiven for a lot. I pray everyday, and I also practice Mindfulness. This is my way of living life in peace, in charge of my thoughts, feeling and emotions. I refuse to allow others to hinder my steps in life because they are so twisted up inside they want to harm and control others with their evil plans. I take time everyday to stop, listen and feel my spirit, mind and body.

I am very interested in your comments on forgiveness. How did you forgive someone who harmed you? I would like this blog to be the start of someone being able to take control of their life back from the pain that was caused to them. This blog is only here to help trigger something in other people to start healing and steps towards a more peaceful life. Please also get professional help if you need it from a counsellor etc. to help you take the 1st steps.

Take care. Stephen

www.inspiredcounsellingservices.co.uk

Change Facebook to Narcissists united!

Change Facebook to Narcissists united!

Facebook! No! Should be narcissists united!

So many people posting look what I did, happy slap me on the back and give me a high-five! Tell me I’m awesome. Write how good I am and I will tell you how good you are and we can all be awesome on there!

Real life tells the real story. A hurting world hurts more as hurting people are ignored, because they are not going to inflate a Facebook narcissists ego by coming on it and high-five the person. A hurting person will not be on Facebook as they are going to feel worse by going onto Facebook and see Peoples lies about their over-exaggerated lives.

For instance:

My wife and I have the perfect marriage, we never argue look what she did for me today… Leaving out the argument they had because the toilet roll ran out 🙂

My son is amazing look at him playing with his brother all smiling together… Leaving out the massive fight they had and the broken vase we are now trying to glue back together before mummy comes home.

My husband bought me this amazing necklace, isn’t he the best… Leaving out that three nights before he came stumbling drunk in the door hours after he was supposed to be home.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking sites are contributing to our low self-worth and egos. I do have all of these as I have children, and they are also very good as I have family all around the world I can keep in touch with, read nosey at 🙂 I do have to check myself sometimes if I am on them too much. It is not good for our mental health.

narcissist

This is the Season we celebrate Jesus coming to this world because it was full of selfish narcissistic people only out for their own over inflated ego. Read the Bible again of what Jesus did. When did he ask for praise from anyone? He did good things for the people who needed them. Not people who could broadcast how much he did. In fact the influential people of his time were pissed off with him because he ignored them and focused on the sick, prostitutes, children, and generally the sinners, diseased and outcasts.

I am going off Facebook for this season. It is easy for me to write this I know as I am BLESSED with an ego that is inflated when I do things for people in the background, in the back room, out of preying eyes, and it is only that person knows how much I helped them. They appreciate it more. I do not like praise. I know not everyone is like that, but for example do not pray on the street corner to be seen. Who are you then praying too? Jesus or your own ego? See Matthew 6 v. 5-6.

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If this post annoys you I’m not sorry as that is your conscience poking you. Please take time to listen to it for your own health. I do not point fingers at anyone as if we walked a mile in each others shoes, we would see each other differently. As a counsellor I know for some people this may be their main source of praise, and people telling them they are super. This is a fake source though. How many people will like your Facebook post one day and the next time blatantly ignore it? What does this do to your self-worth and ego? Do something for someone this season that they cannot high-five your ego afterwards. See how it feels. To know inside your own heart that what you did for someone was amazing. You took time out of your life to put time and effort into someone else’s life.

For me if I get praise for helping a person it takes the shine off it. I prefer to get praise for being a helpful, caring person, meaning it is general praise, not getting praise for a particular person I may have helped. I know I have been called to be a counsellor, and I shall tell you why. I am an introvert, which I shall write about soon, as I can’t believe so many people struggle with their identity, simply because they do not know the difference in people’s personality, depending if they are introvert or extrovert. No-one is ever harder on me than myself. I get praise in my head when I do good, and questions of why when I do bad. Other people may think they need the praise from Facebook, but It is a sad world we live in that it has become so fake, so many smile at someone and tell them how good they are to their face and slag them off behind their back. No wonder some people cannot handle it any more and go bananas with someone, though never acceptable or justified.

Look out for each other. Look after yourselves. Be honest. Help someone today or tomorrow if you can.

I added this song for a moment of meditation. Listen to it and listen to yourself.

Stephen.