Spreading your web.

Recently a friend asked how I tackled being alone when I first moved to this area. Was I lonely? Yes of course I was! I was 60, knew no-one & wasn’t sure where to begin.
There is really no definite formula that I can guarantee would work for everyone, however there is one tip that I believe always helps – that is to put yourself ‘out there’ and be pro-active, strangers are unlikely to knock on your door, begging for your friendship!

As I have previously said, at first, although nervous, I joined lots of groups and clubs until I found my feet and had begun to build a social circle, then I re-evaluated the usefulness of the clubs, dropping those that weren’t really working for me, leaving space in my life to join others If and when the opportunity arose.

Through these groups I was able to make contacts, through those contacts, further ones and so on. The point is that everything has to have a starting point. Wanting to make changes won’t work unless you actually do something about it.

As someone told me many years ago:

Nothing changes until something changes.

Think about it – then DO SOMETHING!

Loneliness is a dreadful thing and the longer the situation continues, the more difficult it is to resolve. That first step will never get easier, there will never be ‘the right time,’ the time to take action is NOW.

Don’t allow the fear to hold you back. Nervousness won’t kill you, it may feel like a step to far & that you’re not ready yet, but when is that likely to change? It is unlikely to. The first step is to make a personal commitment, the second is to walk through that door! Sure, so some people will turn and look at yo, just as people did when they first started, just as you probably will when newcomers join after you. It doesn’t mean that they are being unkind, generally they are just intrigued about who this stranger is, possibly wondering if this could be a new friend for them.

That very first time is scary, the next time it will be easier, soon you won’t bat an eyelid, so go on – do it! Make 2017 the year that your social circle will expand. But don’t wait till next month, or the spring or summer or your birthday, or any other excuse, because that’s all it is – an excuse, a reason to put off something that seems scary.

Please do it. Decide on something that you would like to join, ( if retired the local U3A is a good place to start.) find out details, phone up the contact number if there is one ( this will actually soften the blow), make a date to join and don’t let yourself talk you out of it.

Life is only as good as we make it so make it good!

Be brave. You can do it!

Take care

Rosie x

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If only we had a delete button

I had cause to think about something hurtful that had been said to me earlier today. I hadn’t been particularly upset because I’ve grown very thick skinned, however it set me thinking about how easy it is to cause hurt through careless comments.
As a sensitive child, I was very easily brought to inner turmoil when something that felt personal was aimed in my direction. Quite possibly many of these comments were not intended to hurt, more likely they were just stupid thoughtless words but due to my sensitivity they wounded me deeply. I carried this hurt for much of my life. This pattern was repeated throughout my teenage years & subsequent marriages.
Thankfully now having learnt the art of ‘letting go’, I can see things for what they were but for a long time I lived under the delusion that it was very much a one sided offence. Of course now I see that I was just as guilty, as I suspect, we all are.
I would never have intentionally hurt anyone ( Mrs Do-as-you-would be- done by, really influenced me as a child). But now, as someone aiming for self improvement, I can see that I must have hurt many people throughout the years.
A few memories spring to mind that I am deeply ashamed of. One that I would take back is a nickname that I gave to a school friend who was ‘amply endowed’. I said it as a joke – one that stuck through her entire school years. How I regret giving her that name. I wonder if she was traumatised, as I certainly would have been?
I was fortunate enough to have lengthy therapy with a wonderful counsellor which helped me to understand that my failings were no worse than anyone else.
I have always been damaged by harsh words – something that my ex husband used to good effect but now I wonder if he truly understood the harm that he was causing? I prefer to believe that it was alcohol induced spite & not personal but I doubt I’ll ever know for sure. Thanks to my counsellor I found the ability to forgive & move on from that baggage. It’s been a long process but one that I am succeeding with. I have learnt to rectify the false self beliefs & replace them with more appropriate ones.
It seems that the destructive tendencies between friends, family, partners & strangers is far more wide reaching than is generally accepted. I wonder how many people are weighed down by the damage inflicted through hurtful words? It’s quite a scary thought!
Now, in the days of widespread internet access & social media, it is even easier to instil hurt with thoughtless texts or inappropriate tweets. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to delete these things, taking the knowledge of them to the bin as well. Unfortunately once said, even if later apologised for, a comment can not be taken away. once uttered or written, the spite is out there, in the Universe, easily accessed by the recipient to use for self abuse.
None of us know what damage our ill worded jokes will cause, but nothing can delete them. Even accepting that they weren’t meant, they have already taken up residence in the recipients brain & stored in their memory bank.

Is there any way that we can make amends for unfair words? Probably not. They’ve been said. How many times I’ve wished that I could grab them in mid flight & force them back into my mouth! But it’s impossible.
As far as I can tell, the only solution is to be more mindful about what we say to/about others.
I try not to be judgemental but every now & then I find odd little snipes spilling out. I try to see good in everyone but I’m human, although I abhor gossip, it’s so easy to get carried along with the flow of a conversation. Our desire to ‘fit in’ makes it likely that we will say things that really aren’t fair.
I try to accept my wrong-doings & limit any harm that I may cause but we all need to do more. Next time there is the temptation to bitch about someone or throw insults at your partner during a row, try to visualise those words before they leave your mouth, hit the imaginary delete button & choose different wording. Yes, it’s virtually impossible, a fairy story, but even fairy stories can have a happy ending. Isn’t it worth a try?
Even though I’ve been working on this personally for a long time now, I intend to try much harder. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone carrying the hurt & baggage as I did. The problem of course is that no one can see it. It just sits there & festers. I make a vow to limit anymore pain that I may cause.
It is said that what goes around, comes around & that you reap what you sow. I want to reap happiness, joy, kindness & love, so that is what I will endeavour to always give out. I hope that you do too.

Until next time, take care,
Rosie x

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