Littering

Newborough Beach taken by me in June 2017. I do miss this place but hopefully soon we can travel there

With lockdown easing people have been rushing to local beauty stops, getting out more, picnicking more but they seem to be leaving more litter/trash/rubbish (depending on which country you are from). But the question is why?

I was going to put a newspaper headline on here but there are too many and all of them repeat a similar message – that there has been an increase in people leaving their behind. Why?

I was chatting with a friend who does Quantum Energy counselling and she believes it has a lot to do with us all being in trauma of some kind. And I think that’s correct. Many of us can identify incidents through our lives where there has been a trauma of some kind that we have not dealt with and so we live in a fight or flight mode for too long. But for the last few years we have been encouraged to live with fear. I believe one of the key reasons people voted for Brexit was because of fear. The media throws fear and anxiety in our faces continuously and now we have the “joy” of 24 hour news channels that have to say something! And it isn’t good.

Just off the top of my head the anxieties I can identify our land with are – global warming, immigration, brexit, fear of not having job, a holiday, not having enough of what will make us loved and cared for, and then we’ve now got a pandemic to worry about.

A friend wrote a piece about her issues with PTSD If you read it as well as it being personal to her it could relate to the whole world especaially this first paragraph

” Flashbacks, intense emotions, hypervigilence, outbursts of anger, panic attacks, tense muscles, relationship problems, nightmares, exhaustion, amnesia, withdrawal and fear.

https://httpgraceisenough.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/how-to-support-someone-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

Look at how people have been reacting over the last few months, or even few years. Huge bursts of anger and emotions, increase in relationship issues, fears, tiredness, and also withdrawing. I would add to that a increase in the need to use alcohol, substances, shop, indulge in high adeneline activities, and an increase in labeling of mental illness and special needs behaviours.

So take all the above, then add three months of being told not to go out, go to work or school, or being in fear of going to a “key” work place, not being able to see friends and family, not being able to grieve a death because of not being able to attend a funeral, or to celebrate the end of school, a birthday, a wedding, and then seeing government leaders and others who are seen as “authority figures” seemingly doing as they pleased. Is this any wonder that people not longer care enough to take their litter home?

My friend goes on to list ways of being able to help someone with PTSD which include providing social support, being a good listener and building trust and safety. Go back to what I’m saying and people don’t want to listen. They are desperate to talk about themselves and also to ignore the situation. I believe a lot of people do not know how to build up a place a trust and safety because the world feels like such a scary place.

So if people are seeing the world as unsafe, of not giving them support, and are not listening to the deep needs of the land, then they will not care for it. No longer wil they be able to do the small things that in a calmer, safer world would have been taken for granted – like clearing up litter.

It is easy to be angry with people who don’t do these things but again one has to ask why am I getting angry? Is it because of the anxiety and stress I am feeling? And is the spirit/energy in my town, household, country, one that resembles the key componants of PTSD?

In looking at this subject I have seeing things that I believe we could work on that will help to bring about changes, but will save that for my next post. .

Reset

I seem to have got into pondering prophetic words that have been shared over the past few months. And in this blog I am going to look at “RESET”.

Reset is another of those prophetic words that has been banded about since the start of the lockdown. But what does it mean? To me? To you? To society?

I’ve a friend who has done a lot of research into his nation, and for him “resetting” would mean going back to how things were nearly 1000 years ago. That made me think of what that would mean to my country – England and Wales. England is my country of birth but I am very much a Celt at heart and have adopted North Wales as my native land – even if I cannot speak the language! But to me that means looking at a time before 1066, before Norman invasion. And I was happy with that until I read about book about the Viking/Saxon invasions of 550AD and then there are the Romans. So where do I go for my country’s reset?

How about the planet? And global warming? Can we reset our air quality back to before the Industrial Revolution? That’s only 3-4 hundred years ago. Do we really want to go back to how life was then? It would be fine if you were white, male and well-off but not if you were female – death in childbirth no matter what social class, not financially independent, education minimal!! And if you were poor or of an ethnic origin? Well!!!

How about personally? Could we all reset to that time before life messed us up? I know I cannot go back to whatever I was like when I popped out the womb because a lot of who I am now is shaped by the things I have experienced, but the decisions I have made, and also where I find myself now. I cannot, and don’t want to, get rid of my children, my home where I am now, my husband, my friends, the things I do now. I even don’t want to get rid of the things I have learned during lockdown. I want to go forward not back.

After pondering this, then doing a google search and getting a lot of sermons and church sites telling me about restoration and resetting, I went for a long dog walk. It was on this walk by the beach that I realised we have got all this totally wrong. It is not about going back in history or going back personally. I believe it is about resetting to back to the original plan in the original Garden of Eden. Not the actual Garden of Eden because, again like going back in history that isn’t possible. But it is about going back in our minds, hearts, souls. It is about walking naked and vulnerable with our Creator. Not actually no clothes on because well … it is a bit cold where I live to have no clothes on. But it is about not hiding ourselves away from our Creator or from each other. It is about knowing there is some greater being that we haven’t boxed into any type of religion at all, who loves us for who we true are. We may not even know our true selves until we walk with our Creator because we have learned to be good at hiding behind “clothes”; masks, careers, roles, hurts, abuses, addictions, the “that’s just who I am” statement and more. (Add in your own “clothes” that keep you hidden from who you truly are)

I believe “RESET” means resetting back to that place where we can live without fear, no matter what is going on around us, in true relationship with our Creator who loves us just as we are, even when our blemishes are visible, and we can love ourselves fully. And as I have mentioned in other blogs – once we can really love ourselves only then can we really love each other. Totally reset to the original plan!

Are you obeying Lockdown rules???

 

Is it just me or when you go out or look through your window or read Facebook or Instagram does the thought pass through your head of whether those people are obeying lockdown rules?

renly on the beach april 2020Maybe it is just me 🙂 But I know when I’m out walking my dog with my daughter I look at groups of people and ask myself “are you all part of the same family and living in the same house?” When I watch cars driving past I often think “is that journey necessary?” When I see all the cars in Tesco carpark I ask myself “how often have you been there this week?” All the time I’m judging people. And actually not in a good way.

What if those people walking together are from different families is it for me to judge? If people are walking for 2-3 hours rather than the one allotted for exercise, or going out 2-3 times a day instead of one, is that for me to judge?

Is it for me to judge? No it is not. I must follow the rules and guidelines as I have interpreted them but not judge others who see it differently. Yes they might get sick – but I must not say “serves the right”. They might die and that would be sad. They could stretch the NHS and that would not be good. But all in all it is their choice, as it is mine, how to interpret this whole situation that we have never been through before.

But it got me thinking of how much I judge others but the things I see them doing. And this can be good or bad, better or worse than me. Do they go to church more/less than me? So are they are better/worse Christian than me? Do they spend more/less time writing than me? Are they a better/worse writer than me? Etc, etc. Who am I to judge???

If nothing else lockdown has taught me how much I judge others by what I see and what I want to see. So today when I look at photos on Instagram or see people walking together outside or driving their cars I will just let it go and continue doing what I do. And trying not to judge myself!!

Brexit

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve had lots to say but not been able to work out how to say it, or have had other outlets. But this morning it came together.

dsc_0630I was at church where things were really uplifting but I didn’t feel it. I have had a heaviness in my heart since Friday evening with the whole Brexit thing. I’m not saying how I voted but what makes me sad is that – here is a momentous occasion in our nation’s history and yet the country is divided and so doesn’t know what to do.  Yes there were some who did have parties to celebrate, but it definitely wasn’t half the country. There were some who were in major mourning but again not all those who voted remain. There were many who were just numbed by the length of time it took to get from a vote to a movement. To me there was a sense of apathy, numbness and fear of the unknown. There was a sense of not knowing how to react so as not to upset anyone one way or the other. In our house the B word cannot be uttered because of where the conversation goes.

But this morning whilst we were singing it all made sense. We finished our service with an old favourite: Shine, Jesus, Shine by Graham Kendrick. The chorus says it all for me:

Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

The lines I have highlighted I sang with gusto and as a prayer, but especially the line “Flood this nation with grace and mercy.dsc_0621

My prayer was that I don’t care what you voted for and whether you regret it or are pleased about the result, all I pray is that each of us can go out with GRACE and MERCY to cover this land, to heal this land, to heal division. And then … no matter what happens we can stand together, build our identity as a nation built on GRACE and MERCY, walk out whatever the future has with GRACE and MERCY, look each other in the eye with GRACE and MERCY. Only then can we really become the nation that we were meant to be.

Surely whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan, Jew or any other that I’ve missed you want to see peace in this land, see freedom in this land, to unity in this land. And that will only come about if each of us can be filled with GRACE and MERCY and give it away to those around us.

Encouragement

 

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My son putting up our Christmas tree. I was sat taking photos and encouraging 🙂

I’ve been looking at encouragement a lot. I am a natural encourager so I do see places to encourage, places where people have encouraged others and also where it does not happen.

For the last two years, which means it has now become a tradition, the little drama group I coordinate  in at our church do a skit on something related to Christmas. The first year we did 4 disgruntled people at Christmas and how they had lost the meaning of the season – a frustrated housewife, a mad granny who was knitting Christmas, a selfish teenager and an overworked vicar. Last year we did a mother and daughter who had fallen out over something trivial and weren’t speaking and needed Jesus’s reconciliation. This year we are looking at Mary and how the angel and, her cousin. Elizabeth supported and encouraged her.

It has been an interesting development with the little group. I feel we have all gone, as people, from being slightly disgruntled with church and life in general,  to being reconciled with life, church, ourselves, etc. The way, I think,  it has happened is by encouraging each other. This group would not happen if our vicar didn’t expect something from us – which actually is encouraging in and of itself – but that we also all buoyed each other up and encouraged each other. Each of us has a different role and we all give the others the freedom to be who they are.

As I reflect on encouragement myself I think of how my life is changing for next year with my writing life become more central. There are a few people who have encouraged that but the big one has been when, on the Cinnamon writing retreat Jan, who runs Cinnamon Press, said she wanted to mentor me and my writing. To be mentored properly I cannot just have my writing as something I dip in and out of when I want to – or rather not when I want to but when I let all the other things that crowd my life butt out. I have to take it seriously and have to give it the time. Cinnamon then ran a competition for

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Books in my study for reading and researching as I start on my writing project

bursaries which I bravely entered. I came equal second!! Another amazing encouragement. So because of this I am giving up a lot of things and concentrating on what I have always dreamed of doing since I was about 12 years old. It has taken me 45 years to get to this point but I am now here.

Even with that I could put myself down and think of all the wasted time but I will encourage me and say now is the time to seize the day. Carpe diem.

Going back to Mary in the Bible. We often talk of how amazing she was – and yes she was – but she was able to be amazing by the encouragement and support she got not just from God via the angel but from her cousin, Elizabeth. So I will finish this post as I will finish the skit we are going later on by saying: (and go with this even if you don’t believe in God. Substitute “God” for whatever works for you)

Mary and Elizabeth were so excited about being able to support and encourage each other so should we be that excited about supporting and encouraging each other.

We will often find ourselves in situations we can’t cope with on our own and need to remember God’s promises but also need others to remind us who God is and what He says.

So this Christmas time let’s stand together and support each other and then be amazed at what we can do

The Gorse Bush Analogy

Gorse bushes are a bit like life. They can stick with you long after the event!

We were out walking on Conwy Mountain and I slipped. For some reason I chose to grab gorse busha gorse bush to steady myself. Not the best idea. I squealed. My hand went all numb and tingly like it had been poisoned. I poured some water over it and all seemed fine. A week later part of my hand started to throb. My husband graciously used his first aid skills and found bits of gorse bush spikes in my hand! For a week these little spikes kept making their way to the surface of my hand and often had to be dug out. Even now, nearly a month later, my hand is still sore in places and rough where the spikes were gentle encouraged out. But it made me think about how like life this is.

Often things happen to us – we trip, something hurts us, we move on and think we’re fine. Then something else happens and we feel a hurt, a pain, that is not quite related to what is going on. This is because the previous hurt has got deep inside of us and, even though we cannot see it, it is still inside of us.

I wrote on Medium – another blog type site I have started using – something along those line. Read it on Path of Least Resistance and if you like what you have read hold the little path-of-least-resistanceclap hands down for up to 50 clicks. But as you read you’ll see if is from something that is embedded in my childhood that is having an affect on me many years in the future.

Yesterday I saw a dead seagull in the road as I was walking the dog and I sobbed. It was a young seagull and it was flat. We have loads of seagulls here and they nest in the chimney pots and the parents will swoop on passersby! I didn’t cry for the seagull though but for those I have loved and lost, for others who are going through grief at the moment and also because that uncared for death struck something deep inside of me that maybe I can’t even quite explain. It was a gorse thorn that was embedded in me that wanted to get out. I didn’t have time to write or journal about it because I was rushing off out. But later that day I was at a gathering of well-being providers and we were “selling our wares” and so I shared it when explaining about writing for well-being and how I run a course.

Even that passing dead bird had become embedded. Often when I explore in blogs I think of sad things but I think that is because they are the things that get embedded into us that we do not see. I will bring out the lovely times of my life regularly to share with my friends and family but the sad, unhappy, confusing times I hide away keeping them hidden from view. I wonder if that is just a British thing or do all societies do that? Is it just a human thing?

handsSomeone once said you need 10 encouraging comments to balance out one bad one. And also that it is easier to pull someone down and off a chair than it is to pull someone up on to it. Maybe that is why the negative, painful things get lost in our skin and then worm their way to the surface? But actually, on a positive finish, if we keep to the gorse thorn analogy, then eventually they will work their way to the surface where some kind and gracious person can pull them out for us. [Note I could not pull it out myself because the hand I had used to save myself was the hand I use to do things with]

 

The Moorside

I watched the BBC drama The Moorside on iplayer, based on the disappearance and refinding of Shannon Matthews, a 9 year old girl who’s mother reported her missing and 94221540_moorside-metrothen 24 days later she was found staying at the home of her mother’s partner’s uncle. All the way through, because of knowing the story, it  appears obvious that the mother knows something more than she is saying, but most of the estate rally behind one of the women who organises searches, poster and t-shirt campaigns, marches and all sorts to keep the media focused on this little girl from the poor estate.

Thing turn horrid when it comes to light that the mother knew where her daughter was. It is interesting that the mother’s partner has been arrested for viewing child porn and there is the implication that he has been abusing the children, yet the estate turns on the mother calling her a “lying bitch” for the worry and upset she put them threw when, for whatever reason, she did not tell the truth that she knew where her daughter was.

The mother was a weak, sad, slightly mentally backward person, who had been abused all her life, rejected by her parents, and gone from different man to different man who used and her abused her. Maybe she did take her daughter to a safe place because she knew her 2016-01-26-1453834070-2415422-mentalhealth1present partner was abusing her but was not strong enough to say. Who knows. In one scene during two of the close friends of the mother are sat in the park and both say that they were abused but it is said in a matter of fact way; one saying you had to get over it and move on, the other saying she did report her father but only because he was remarrying and she wanted to project the children of his future wife. But it was just a very normal thing. It left me wondering how many people on that estate had been abused or where abusers and so reacted as they did.

There was a lot of showing mob rule and of it being all or nothing. But it was not just the people on the estate who were like that. When the mother was prosecuted the lawyer who gave the statement to the press said she was “pure evil.” No she wasn’t. She was a sad, weak, simple woman who had made a mistake and was taken advantage of and never told the truth. She never did tell the whole truth. And as psychiatrists are realising now there are people with borderline personality disorders who find truth a very strange concept.

12afa4a6d1d378e24725c1fb0fffe132Yes she did have mental health problems but she was not evil. What it left me feeling was how we are into this all or nothing. Trump is all evil or all mad or all something. Everything is in or out, good or bad. It is all or nothing mob rule and I believe The Moorside was showing just that through the tale of a young misused woman and an estate full of people who were lost and no longer knew their way.

2015 in review

A big Thank you to all who read my blog. Much as I do it to just write it is so encouraging to know what I write is read and commented on. Thank you and see you in 2016 Xx

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

View Point

I know I’ve written about how we can view the world before but today it struck me again just how we view our world via how we want to see it. Take tonight, I have had a really crazy day at work, had to walk the dog first thing this morning in the dark and then when I got home in the dark again. I’ve got a choice! I can lumber round the field grumbling or I can enjoy it. Both times, even tonight with aching feet and legs, I decided to enjoy it. My  little dog enjoys it. He is just pleased to be running around outside with me. He chases leaves in the dark, finds his dog friends in the dark, and is generally happy. Also I could decide to be scared of every little movement, be scared of the dark, but I know my field. I know where it is safe to walk without falling over things, where it is flat, what to avoid. I enjoyed watching the car headlights flickering across the hedges, the lights in the sky, this morning the sun trying to get up. It was good. And it makes me day good.

I suppose what set this one off was that on the weekend my mother-in-law said that this year would be the first year ever she had had to decide what to cook for Christmas dinner. She was 70 in September. It use to be her husband who did it but he had now been dead 2 Christmases, and then his brother would choose for her and he died in January this year. There is a choice here – to say ok that’s how it is, to say how awful that this year she has to choose, or to say how great it is that for 70 years she’s never had to choose. I found myself wanting to get angry because for 36 years I’ve either had to choose what I ate for Christmas dinner or where I went. I could feel a resentfulness rising. But then I realised that I have a choice too. I could be resentful. That’s my choice. Or I could say that’s just how it is, or I could be grateful that I have had so much opportunity to choose.

None of these things are right ways or wrong ways of thinking. And again that’s a choice. We could very easily say that this was the right way to think and this was wrong but why? But even that is a choice.

So even though my legs ache and I am so tired that for the last half hour I’ve been playing games on my laptop rather than writing I can decide that today has been a good day. Why? Just because it is  and that is my worldview today.

Interpretation

Will either of them say????

How often have we all been heard to say “but you said …” and the response to be “No I said …”? Each of us when we speak speak through our own interpretation of what we mean and each of us listens through our own interpretation of what we mean. Very rarely to we slow things down enough to say “I heard … Did you mean that? If not could you explain what you meant,” which is very rarely responded to by the other person saying “Actually that wasn’t what I meant. I meant … Please could you now tell me what you’ve heard,” all said in low calm voices. In most marriage courses and counselling course one is told to speak like that; to say what one thinks one had heard and then for each person to keep going back and forth till each person fully understands the other. Why does this not happen? I think because we are all in too much of a hurry to get our point over and to hear our own voices.

But also it can be interesting too. Recently someone posted a blog post in which they talked of a conversation we had had together and how much it had helped, or at least that’s how I read it, him to move on with some major changes. Now I had told this conversation to my husband only a day or so after it had happened. He also read the blog post. His comment was “this doesn’t sound like the same conversation.” Who is right? Who is wrong? Neither of us. Both of us heard our conversation with our own interpretations and also remembered the bits we liked the best.

My husband and I are in the process of a major life change ourselves and a friend of ours prayed about it and got a “word from God”. (Something with many interpretations there!) It meant a lot to us because we had had similar images in a “picture/word” we’d had when we first got married. Anyway what he shared he also interpreted. My husband and I both nodded and said “thank you” and left it at that. Later when we went to bed both of us said that we thought the picture meant something different to what our friend had interpreted. He was interpreting through his mind’s lens, we were interpreting though our mind’s lens. Why didn’t we tell him? Actually there I’m not sure. For me it can be just that I need a bit of time to chew it over.

In fact with this life change others have felt they could speak into our situation, and very often have totally misinterpreted what we are on about. Why? Probably for the same reason we all do; they hear a word that they can picture and so stay with that word and don’t hear any more. They then tell us what they think about that word they have captured and that makes sense to them. We then hear only bits of what they are saying too, so we interpret in our own way. Neither of us is right or wrong but actually we are both too busy to slow the conversation down and say “do you really mean …?” or to say “What I heard you say was …? Is that right?” I think we often don’t want to be thought of as wrong or not caring so we either don’t say someone has missed the point we wanted to make or we don’t want to say we don’t fully understand what they are saying. My husband says often him and I argue on something we are agreeing on and when we slow the conversation down we are saying the same thing.

All this can be fine until it escalates. People then fall out, fight, take sides, kill each other. Things like the Bible and other religious books really are only interpretations and yet I cannot think of one of the major world religions where there aren’t factions that disagree with each other. What is it they disagree on? Interpretation!!

whether you believe in God or not, this is a great way to live

I have often wondered why God didn’t come up with some clearer easier way to help people understand, but then I think that God didn’t because then it would put the whole deity and big answers to the world into easy to manage boxes, and though that would stop people fighting and killing each other, it would also stop them from exploring and finding. So whether you believe in a God/Higher Deity/Nothing that is down to your own, and my own interpretation, of what we observe around us and how we take on board what we take on board. So for me this means that I am kinder to those who misinterpret me and so I will try to slow down what I say and ask more questions when communicating with others, but also know that there will also be times when we make mistakes and misinterpret. Then FORGIVE. I think that is the only way until we, and I include me in this, can be bold enough to slow things down a lot 🙂