Help Offered

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3 weeks ago I was happily walking the dogs when I stepped into a hole and twisted my ankle.  I tore a ligament and have since been on crutches and in a moon boot.  Firstly I want to praise the inventor of the moon boot because it allowed me to be reasonably mobile at home.

Last week I was finally able to go shopping.  First I went to Moishes butchery (while my hubby who had dropped me there went to buy dogfood) and I was standing in the queue when I saw that the teller looked at my foot and was frowning.  When I got to her till she said to me that I shouldn’t have waited in the queue, next time I should just come to the front of the queue.  She then called the security officer to take my packets to the car for me which he duly did.

My hubby then dropped me at Woolies in Norwood and I was quite sure I would manage on my own and would catch an Uber back home.  While looking at the fresh produce a tall, gentle looking staff member named Bafana offered to push my trolley for me while I shopped.  I was so taken aback and felt very grateful for his offer but decided to do it myself as I knew that I would probably take quite long and didn’t want to use up his time.  It was actually quite challenging as I had to push the trolley with my tummy and it’s quite awkward reaching for items and then putting them in the trolley while walking with both crutches.  Bafana came to check on me halfway through my shopping and told me he really wanted to help me and suggested that I ask him next time.  My hubby fetched me as he had already finished all he had to do while I was in Woolies!  I told you I would take long.

Even though I could have relied on those people and it probably would have been wiser to do so, I was tired yet elated when I got home.  I was so amazed by the kindness of these strangers.  They had genuine care in their eyes.  It did not seem to be just a matter of being a good employee, they sincerely wanted to be of help.

I had to take a backseat these three weeks and let other people do things for me which is harder than you would think.  Sitting back and letting others do the work is not my default setting.  I would like to thank my family for making me feel comfortable and allowing me the time I needed to heal.  I have written to the shops to praise their staff members and hope that they get recognised in some way.

The kindness of strangers happens more than we think.  Let’s spread stories of kindness as much as possible.  I think we all need a little bit of sun.

Wishing you well
Eve

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Okay?

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The first step to healing is acknowledging that there’s something wrong.  Before that happens there is basically no way you can heal.  If you keep insisting that you are “fine” when you are not then how does the healing process start?

It is okay to not be okay.  You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, you can just admit it to yourself.  Once you do that then you can get assistance or guidance.

We think we have to be okay or look okay or seem okay all or most of the time.  What is that about?

Perhaps we are trying to protect ourselves from something.  We think people will think we are weak, useless, helpless, selfish, imperfect.  Those are some of the thoughts that we may be harbouring.  Most of those thoughts are untrue (coaching sessions help with clarification on this).

Nobody is okay all of the time – this means you are not alone.  Many people go through what you are going through.  Sometimes just talking it out is healing in itself.

Don’t hold on to your strong perfect bravado.  Cry a little.  Be vulnerable.  This is how we start to heal.

Wishing you well
Eve

Be brave mighty angel

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I was in hospital recovering from surgery about 11 years ago and I was having a particularly bad day (pain-wise).  My husband was with me but he had to leave to go home and be with the children.  I really didn’t want him to go because I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain on my own.  He looked me in the eyes and said “be brave mighty angel” and then left.

Those few encouraging words lifted me from despair to hope, from agony to being able to cope.  Suddenly I was not a helpless being lying in the hospital bed, I was a mighty angel.  A mighty angel would be able to be brave and get through this ordeal.

Often we don’t realise how what we say has such an impact on others.  Negatively or positively.

Here are some guidelines for encouraging words:

Be sincere
It’s not encouraging when someone says words that neither of you believe.

Say what you want to say with a loving heart
Sometimes we need to say things that may be difficult for the other person to receive.  If you say it with a loving heart it will come across in a gentle way.

Don’t add criticism to the mix
You are beautiful but……

Offer support
Do what you can within your power (while still keeping boundaries) to be supportive.  Perhaps the person just needs an ear to listen to now and then or a hug or maybe a gift showing you care delivered to their door.

Don’t find everything wrong with the situation
Dwelling on the negative will not be helpful or encouraging.  If you think the person has a terrible idea, try and find the positives in it and guide them in a direction that would work.

Have the other person’s interests in mind, not your own
We often think we know what’s best for the other person but maybe they are not in the same space as we are.  What another person needs right now is not necessarily what we think is good for them.  It’s their journey, let them travel it.

Sometimes silence is best
Silence and a listening ear could be the perfect way of encouraging or supporting someone who is going through a very challenging time.  Especially if they have lost someone.

* * * * *

Knowing that you have someone in your corner helps people find their inner strength and courage and it can be a huge relief.

If you are always the person who encourages others, don’t forget to ask someone you trust for some encouragement when you need it.

EN – COURAGE

With love
Eve

JOY and how to find s0me

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Joy  is hard to find when we focus on what went wrong in the past, what is wrong now or what will possibly go wrong in the future.

past present future

If we focus on what went wrong in our lives and keep that in the forefront of our minds, then we are living in the past and if it wasn’t a good past then why choose to live in it?   If the past was better than the present we can tend to live there too.  We must of course learn from our past mistakes and reminiscing isn’t a problem, as long as we don’t long for those times so much that we can’t live in the now.

If we focus on what is currently wrong in our lives then we are not seeing what is currently right in our lives.  This can cause great unhappiness (that sounds like an ancient proverb).

Seeing and enJOYing what’s right in our lives right now is the trick.

People need meaning in their lives as well.  Depression and addiction (just to name two) are prevalent if there is no meaning in a person’s life.

If you really can’t see much that’s right in your life then you need to create it.

Here are some ways:

  • Volunteer your help somewhere. When you give of yourself life becomes more meaningful.  (If you struggle with your health then volunteer once a month instead of every week).

dad and kid (2)

There are:

 

  • children who need help with reading or homework
  • elderly people or neighbours who are lonely
  • dogs that are left alone all day
  • people who can’t manage to do their shopping
  • sick people who need a visit to cheer them up
  • people who can’t manage to mow their lawn or do their washing
  • young parents you may know who would love a babysitter so that they can go out

Or….. how about a list from your senses to bring you some joy?

Write a list of all the things you like to do relating to your five senses, then choose one of them to do. Here’s my list with 3 examples of each…..

 

Sight Sound Smell Touch Taste
*A cloudy sky

*Nature

*Anything I can photograph

 

*music

*laughter

*inspiring talks

*flowers

*baking

*aromatherapy oils

*soft fluffy blankets

*purring cat

*holding hands

*ice cold water on a hot day

*chocolate

*miraculous juicy fruit (it’s amazing, it comes off a tree!)

 

  • pomelo

These are just a few of mine.  What are yours?

 Gratitude – focus on your blessings

  •  Write down five things every night that you are grateful for. When you notice how many things are good in your life you will start to see things differently.  If you struggle with this then start with the things you may take for granted such as “I have a blanket to cover me with” or “I have fresh water that comes out of a tap” .  Watch your life change when you start to notice what you DO have.  Ophrah Winfrey talks a lot about gratitude journals – here is a link to her short video.

Lastly, if we focus on what is going to go wrong in our lives we spend our time worrying and feeling anxious and how can that be enjoyable?  We can work towards something we want in the future, true, but spending all of our time worrying about it is soul destroying.  And can you really tell the future?  How do you know what’s going to happen?

I know I said “lastly” but this is important…… Loving and accepting ourselves and others is key to creating joy in our lives.  If we judge and hate ourselves, how are we going to love our lives?  If we hate and judge others, how can we have meaningful connection?

If you struggle to do this yourself, find someone who can help you.

Sending love

Eve

p.s. I’ve added a TED talk here called Cloudy With a Chance of Joy. It’s worth the watch.

 (Photos by Author)