‘Get up, dress up, show up and never give up‘
I’m sipping a latte and gazing aimlessly at an ocean mottled grey. So too the sky. The vista suits my mood. My rockstar-esque dark sunglasses hide swollen eyes that have a propensity for tearing up without warning, a tad embarrassing amidst a boardwalk of loved up couples. Beloved Noosa, Bistro C, broken heart. My bolt hole for celebrating, relaxing, contemplating and miserating. Yes I’m miserable. Indulging in emotional fallout, licking wounds, ruminating on what went wrong, what might have been…miserating.
A broken heart of sorts – for how could it be more given I’m pretty sure I now hold the world record for the shortest relationship – seven days. Caught your attention haven’t I. She of the ‘always bubbly, upbeat genre any self respecting fellow would be lucky to love’ sporting a wounded heart? How can this be? And why the big deal? And why the need to share given the story exposes the more vulnerable side of Jane? Simple really – none of us are immune and all of us hurt at some time. This is a (hopefully inspiring) story about stepping up, learning and moving on…
You see, I was recently introduced to a big bear of a man who positively emanated warmth and kindness, a deep curiosity for humanity and a fervent desire to make a difference in people’s lives. A big tick on the ‘perfect man’ list – I found myself intrigued.
He bore a quiet intelligence and a genuine altruism exercised through the formulation and deliverance of a scheme that steadfastly restores the self-worth of those less fortunate. Small gestures with large intent. I admired his heart.
His smile was bright and broad, voice soft and gentle, eyes that twinkled as they gazed into mine with depth and adoration. I basked in his attentions.
The man showered me in boisterous love, cherished being in my space, quietly embraced the curiosity and passion of my friends and fueled my ego with affirmations. And I was smitten. The exact opposite of Mr Elusive – my skittish former love. Or so I thought.
Without warning it was over. Something to do with poles, freedom, time. ‘We are poles apart – I adore you, love your company and your friends, BUT, you’re a city sophisticate and I’m just a country boy; it’s too soon, I’m too busy.’ Platitudes scorned lovers across the world hear.
Seems that while Mr Elusive had a world patent on ’emotional unavailability’, the Bear took the blue ribbon for ‘commitment-phobia’. Raw and recent marital separations, wounded pride, battered egos, new found freedom, no surprises here. More baggage than a Louis Vuitton flagship store. But who hasn’t?
Strolling the water’s edge, I yearned for a hand to hold, mingled footprints, easy banter. A great sadness at the thought of a future devoid of a lover’s touch, a warm embrace, a special person with whom to share adventures, settled over me. Table for one. RSVP’s sans ‘plus one’. Solo. The weight of ‘aloneness’ returned. Dark, oppressive, aloneness. (Not to be confused with loneliness)
Then I happened upon the recent work of Becky Vollmer (*Elephant Journal – March 26) who, following her keen interest in empowerment and choice, conducted a survey to identify what we tend to do when we feel ‘stuck’ – whether that be in relationships, our jobs, habits or behavioural patterns. Triggers, our feelings and our responses came under scrutiny as she poured over feedback from more than 500 people across the globe.
Becky identified that the overwhelming majority reported feeling sad or depressed. But she also noted that nearly two-thirds of her respondents said they wanted to make a change, and almost half were ready to do so. Yet only about 10 percent felt empowered to change. Instead, people said they withdraw, cry and procrastinate.
In her words: ‘I believe life’s too short to feel sad, unempowered and holding our collective breath, because “stuck” is a feeling like “hungry” or “cold.” It’s impermanent and changeable. Yet it’s heavy. Sticky. It can pull us down, like tar or quicksand.’ But we must remember that it’s not cement. “Stuck” is not forever.’
‘The truth is that we’re all lucky to have choices; we just have to be brave enough to make them.’
Being a girl with a reputation for positivity, I loved what I was hearing and, seeking inspiration to salve my misery, hungrily digested the powerful list of quotes about choice that Becky had curated…
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” ~ Denis Waitley
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~ William Jennings Bryan
“When you make a choice, you change the future.” ~ Deepak Chopra
“What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.” ~ Madeleine Albright
“Nothing in life, including our circumstances or potential, is fixed. Reality is bendable to our will.” ~ Brendon Burchard, The Motivation Manifesto
“Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.” ~ Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men
“The spirit of a man is constructed out of his choices.” ~ Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept
“If you limit your choice only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.” ~ Robert Fritz, The Path of Least Resistance
“There are two paths of which one may choose in the walk of life; one we are born with, and the one we consciously blaze. One is naturally true, while the other is a perceptive illusion. Choose wisely at each fork in the road.” ~ T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with “The Divine Presence
Pondering the depth of these quotes, I added a couple of simple faves:
‘If it is to be, it’s up to me’ – William H Johnson
‘Get up, dress up, show up and never give up‘ Genevieve Rhodes.
And that’s exactly what I did. Lessons learnt? Well I now recognise the characteristics my future life partner will have. Celebrations are in order. An entire bottle of wine and a spot of retail therapy later and I’m back in form, after all, beautiful Noosa deserves appreciation. So too my mental wellbeing. What’s more a smiling countenance is so much more attractive to the male species don’t you think?