Tag Archives: past

Me First – Elaine Gallagher

We are so accustomed to doing things for others without a second thought, but when it comes to ourselves we just keep putting it off.  That was me my whole life until I started to feel walls closing in and realizing I needed to make some positive changes.  I had gained weight, stopped exercising and had gotten into some unhealthy habits.

So I decided to change.  First of all, I started a new healthy eating regimen, after my doctor told me I needed to even though I was on cholesterol meds, because of my family history of heart problems, I decided to listen to his advice.  This coupled with the fact that my daughter was getting married and I wanted to look and feel beautiful that day.  So my new journey began….

First, I started cleaning my eating completely.  No more junk or processed foods.  It meant more planning of meals.  This was also going to benefit my husband, who has some health issues, to eat healthier.  Food shopping took longer but included lists of recipes and foods to include.  I looked for high-protein, low carb foods to infuse my diet with color and taste.  I scanned Pinterest daily for new recipes to cook fish, some new vegetables I discovered (butternut squash, escarole) and varieties of chicken recipes to get rid of the “Oh not chicken again” reaction to dinner.

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Next, along with a good friend, I checked out some exercise studios near me.  I started by going to use machines but felt as if I was bored and needed something more to keep me interested. We tried a few local places that offer a free class and finally found a place we now go to about four times a week.  I started enjoying yoga, piloxing, Zumba and triple fit programs.  And before you know it, the pounds came off and my confidence grew.  I am proud to say that I lost over 20 pounds and tightened up to looking spectacular at my daughter’s wedding if I can brag just a little bit.

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It would be the first and only brag of my life.  So now every day I push myself to remember how I felt that day and try to stick to my new plan.  Some days I do slip up (especially on vacation) but the trick is to not beat yourself up, but rather to remind yourself of your humanness and the need to work on ourselves every day.  It is a day to day journey.  Keep putting yourself first in your own life… you only get one to live so give it your all and reach for the stars.

Elaine Gallagher is an elementary educator and publishes a blog entitled HealthELiving.  Through this she has shared her journey to a healthier lifestyle. I just wanted to thank Elaine for contributing to my guest blogger showcase through February 2019. I keep getting more and more submissions in from amazing bloggers all over the world and I feel honored to share their stories. You can see the blog post I shared on Elaine’s blog here – my Classic Rock Sunday Morning Playlist. 

Fences – Glen McKenzie

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Emotional Barriers in Life

Like life, our blog has gone through an evolutionary process over the past while, part of which grew us to Thoughts From The WildernessIts about relating how nature and the outdoors intersect with our daily lives; our struggles; and ways we might be able to triumph over issues that are hindering us. Our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.Sometimes the hardest part is simply taking that first step to climb over whatever personal stumbling blocks are in your path. We’d love it if you would like to follow along this journey with us. Our blog can be found at https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com; on TwitterFacebook and finally on Instagram

Everyone has seen fences. We have them along two sides of our property; one wood and one chain link. Just walk down the street and you’ll pass fences of all descriptions. They can simply be for decoration along the front of a lawn; to surrounding a school yard; to marking the perimeter of a farmers field.

The reality is that fences serve two purposes only.

They are used to keep things in or to keep things out. We build them ourselvesor someone else builds them for us. They don’t spring up out of the ground, like dandelions on our lawn.

People also build another barrier or fence – aninvisible one.

These are the mental or emotional fences in our lives to keep things in or out…whether they be people, emotions, hurt, or pain, just to name a few. These invisible fences seemingly provide a sense of protection and comfort, as we live our lives.

Emotional fence building starts early in life. Unfortunately, these fences get re-enforced and strengthened as time goes by. They get built a little higher on a daily basis.

In as much as physical fences can be made of wood, concrete, brick, or wire, the emotional or mental fences and barriers we build can be constructed out of:

  • fear
  • self-worth
  • trusting others
  • the past

Fear

The building supplies needed to construct the emotional fence of fear can be found all around us.

For many of us, there were two or three things about fear we figured out, or conversely didn’t get a good grip on.

  • we never learned how to overcome fear
  • we learned that if we avoided making mistakes there was nothing to fear in life
  • we learned to never take any risks due to the risk of failure.

Because we feared failure; we also learned thefear to try.The hideous part of all of this is the spiral of “fear to try and fear of failure. This corrals us into a never-ending cycle of mind-numbing conformity of living life on a treadmill.

Fearing What?

We may fear starting a new career or asking a special someone out, or being in a long term relationship. Perhaps it’s the fear of success as it is unknown how life could be changed as a result.  Are you afraid of being pushed out of yourcomfort zone?

It is fear that tells us that we don’t have the correct skills for a new position; when in fact we do. Fear convinces us that our new colleagues may not like us. Fear also convinces us that we are comfortable where we are; that life is good enough.

We fear intimacy or to be in a relationship. We may have been hurt in the past and the fear of rejection or being hurt again whispers to us; don’t go down that road again.As a result of this fear; we don’t. We turn down an invite for coffee, afraid it may go further. We come up with every excuse under the sun, when that perfect someone shows interest in us. Even if we get into a relationship, our subconscious sabotages it because we fear the emotional intimacy.

The fears we have can appear to be real. Nevertheless, fear can pin us down like superglue.  This results in us being stuck in a place we truly don’t want to be. We desire to move on in our lives; to grow and live life full-out, but fear holds us back.

The fear of failure leads to the fear to try; which leads back to a fear of failure.  It is a vicious cycle.

Fears are personal — people are afraid of failure, rejection and possible conflicts.

Self-Worth

Self worth (how we view ourselves) is often tied directly to the level of self-esteem we have. At some point early in our life, we started to build those emotional fences, because we may have felt unloved, awkward, or incompetent.

This can be a life-long construction project. The materials needed to construct the fence of self-worth can get delivered right to your front door by the truckload. Perhaps they show up on a daily basis. People with low self-worth are hyper-sensitive to the criticism and actions of those around us. The greater threat, however, in the construction of this emotional barrier can be found within.

We don’t believe in ourselves, like everyone else does. Everyone encourages you saying, “you have got a great talent for this or that,but you don’t believe them, so you never try.

Every time that happens, you add yet another board to the fence of low self-worth. It slowly gets constructed higher and higher; year after year, until it becomes almostimpossible to knock down.

The nails holding the boards together become stronger each time it happens. The boards become thicker and heavier.

You may hear negative comments, so you choose to never try. What might have been your destiny in life had you not allowed others to erect your fence.

We come to believe we don’t have the talent, ability or skills to succeed in various areas of our life; while those around us believe we are capable.

Poor self-worth keeps us penned in from entering into meaningful relationships. Why would they like me? How can I love others, if I can’t even love myself?

Like fear; negative self-worth and low self-esteem are personal…real personal.

Trusting Others

Like the boards on a wooden fence rotting away over time, so does trust.

I read some place that trust is a “fundamental human experience”necessary for society to function and for any person to be relatively happy. Without it, fear rules. Trust is not an either/or proposition, but a matter of degree; and certain life experiences can impact a person’s ability to trust others.”

Issues of trust may come from experiences in childhood, such as inadequate love and affection, mistreatment or abuse. Perhaps you experienced bullying during your school years. Whatever the reason, these experiences have culminated into our adult relationships. It is harder to trust people if your self-esteem has been kicked out of you over time.

As an adult it could be a traumatic life event such as the loss of a loved one, an accident,  illness or perhaps you have been the victim of physical violence. These issues could very well lead to your inability to trust in the goodness of others. It might have been with a partner who broke that trust bond with you.

It could be all of the above. Trusting others, as well as trusting one’s self-care becomes a major issue.

It can be helpful to remind yourself that your current circle of friends/family may not be responsible for past events. It isn’t fair to them to make assumptions based on the actions of someone completely different from your past. It can be a hard process, but building trust is a choice, and building trust in any relationship takes time, especially if your trust has been shattered.

The fence of “trusting others”can be hard to change and renovate. But, it can be done.

The Past

The past often creeps into perceptions about the future. Unfortunately, the past gets carried into the present as the “baggage of life.”And we allow it to happen.

The tricky thing about emotional fences is that we may not even know we’ve built them. We don’t realize we allow the past to build yet another fence of emotional baggage when we get involved in a new relationship. The hideous part of this is, if we haven’t dealt with issues from our past, we are potentially sabotaging this new relationship; which just may be the one that has long-term potential.

If we never deal with past events, our feelings of fear and hurt continue growing until we somehow crazily justify the whole mess…and the cycle continues.

We do the same thing over and over and wonder why the results are always the same.

Fences that went up in the past don’t have to define our future.

So…..

Some fences we build on our own; some get built by others.

Regardless of who constructed them, complex structures require complex solutions.

We travel through life and convince ourselves we’re comfortable. We tell ourselves this is all we deserve. We base this on the fences and barriers we have built around us.

We build fences made out of our insecurities; our fears, our self-defined inadequacies, our lack of faith or our approval from others. Other fences get built to protect a broken heart, or to hide who we really are. Maybe we build a fence so we can’t be wrongly defined by society.

Board by board; wire by wire; higher and stronger the fence gets built. Thus; we live within the fences created.

A good reminder when we build fences around our emotions, is that it doesn’t just keep people away from us, it also keeps us from moving forward. Fences keep things in and inhibits us from moving forward. Like fences surrounding a prison, we become emotional prisoners.

Often, fences have a window that looks out at others. Every so often we peek out admiring those who appearfree.  They walk freely, run freely, love freely, seeminglywithout any walls stopping them.

How can I be like them?”Our window to the world opens in the fence WE ourselves have built.

What Now?

There is good news. It’s not all doom and gloom.

As physical fences can be torn down, emotional walls and barriers can be knocked down and overcome.

Yes, it will likely be difficult. Speaking from my own experience, it is and was a difficult and challenging process to go through. But, a necessary process.

In fact, it may well be very difficult at times and you may need help. If we tried each day to punch a brick or take a board off the fence, someday there would be no fence at all.

Even if the fence only becomes smaller, we’d still be better off. When the fences come down, we can be like those walking freely, running freely, and loving freely.

How?

How do we start dealing with the complex, difficult, and painful issues surrounding those emotional barriers in our lives?

.Im just going to say this and only because it relates to me and me only. This may not be you or you may not be in a place right know that reflects this.

Decide

First, you need to makea decision to start; a real decision. That is what I did. With fear and anxiety in making that difficult choice, it was a decision I needed to make. In fact, it was the only correct decision.

Identify

What are the fences or barriers made of?

A critical component is to identify what is keeping us a prisoner. Identifying and exploring what those barriers are helps to give us perspective, self-compassion and thus the catalyst to start the healing process. Remember, when you were born, you weren’t worried about building walls to keep from getting hurt. All that came later; much later.

Once we identify them, the work starts to destroy those false beliefs, and to get rid of them so that you can move forward in life. If we thinkwe’ve dealt with thembut have only done so on a superficial basis; we can easily fall back into them.  We revert to what is familiar to us.

You can’t escape from behind these barriers and move on in life if you keep retreating back into what is familiar.

This may not be an easy process, it certainly wasn’t for me. If you know you need to deconstruct these emotional barriers, remember you are not alone.

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Ask for help

A good therapist can help you put in the effort and work needed into tearing down emotional barriers; barriers that can hinder us from a more fruitful life.

Therapy can help us with:

  • rejecting irrational beliefs and self-defeating thoughts
  • learning how to become empowered
  • learning to identify and deconstruct harmful emotional fences

Remember, we are social beings; we were not made to go through life alone. There are plenty of people out there to support you and to be with you along this journey.

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Finally

My wish right now would be for all of us to move outside of our comfort zones.

I don’t know what may be involved to move you from your comfort zone” to that place where the magic happens. In reality, you may not be in the right place to start the work necessary to deal with the emotional fences in your life.

If that’s where you are, that’s okay. Tomorrow, however, may be your day. Regardless of where you are at the moment or where you want to be in the future, there is hope.

Fences are broken down one post at a time.

As I wrote in the beginning, our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.The hardest part sometimes is taking that first step to climb over your personal stumbling block.

Perhaps today, you can take that first step.

Thanks for reading!

Huge thanks to Glen for writing this and wanting me to help promote this post on The Unsanity. I feel it’s a perfect representation of what we all may feel from time to time. I think we can all learn something from this entry, so please, I hope you took the time to read this. NAME

Five Ways I’ve Learned True Happiness – Mallory’s Thoughts

Another week and another guest blog time! Huge shoutout to this beauty and her willingness to help out with my blog relaunch as I help with hers. October 1 was Mallory’s Thoughts blog relaunch and she decided she wanted to blog and really try and make an impact on others’ lives. We’re here to make that happen. Check out her guest spot below that she wrote and remember to check out her blog as well here.

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Hi everyone! Let me introduce myself to you. I’m Mallory and I’m 28. I was born and raised in sunny but hot Florida! I battle with Depression, Anxiety and PTSD. I was diagnosed when I was 16. I haven’t had the easiest life, but it’s made me who I am. My mission in life is to inspire others to stay strong and not to give up. I hope one day to really help someone.

It has taken me 28 years to learn that happiness comes from within. Others always told me that you can’t rely on others to make you happy, that true happiness comes from within yourself. I never believed them until I decided to make this year 2018 MY year and it completely opened my eyes. Below, I’m going to share with you 5 ways I learned how to become truly h a p p y .

1. Let go of your past: Over the years I kept my struggles to myself. I had a mindset that I could over come anything by myself. All I was doing was breaking myself. Last year I went and talked to a therapist and completely unloaded everything to her that I’ve been through. Talked about my depression, my anxiety, PTSD. I told her my experiences that I never told anyone else before. In doing so I FREED myself from the chains of my past that was holding me back. From there, I was able to accepted that I was a “Survivor” and capable of so much. I began to really love myself from there because I knew I could conquer anything. I felt like I had been reborn and that I had this new life ahead of me. I was so happy to be free, it was a whole new level of happiness.

2. Reevaluate your life: I decided to re-evaluated my life and to see who or what was hindering my happiness. I had to say goodbye to some people who meant so much to me but in reality they were just holding me back. Do I miss them? More than you could imagine but it was doing more harm than good to have them in my life. But the happiness I have felt from getting rid of those toxic people is much greater than how much I miss them. I know I’ve made the right call. I’ve re-evaluated my habits and the things I do. I’ve changed around some things to just make my life flow easier. I no longer put up with negative things. I use to give chances out like they were candy, but now I just don’t put up with it. 

3. Stop making excuses: I have always wanted to do a 5k. For YEARS I’ve wanted to but for some reason I never did. So last December I finally did one. I had challenges along the way that tried to stop me, but I kept pushing forward and did it. It felt so good. It showed me if you stop making excuses for yourself and do what you want to do it will bring you so much happiness. I have now done 2 5ks and in a week, I’ll be doing my 3rd. I’ve stopped making excuses for myself and if there is something I want to do, I’ll do whatever I need to do to make it happen. I won’t rely on anyone else to do those things for me. If I have to do it alone then so be it. At least I won’t have any regrets.

4. Take control of your life:  Before I had the habit of letting people’s opinions of me control my life. I cared way to much about what others thought about me that I stopped going after my goals/dreams. Even though that’s a battle I’m still working on, I have turned down the volume to those voices and raised the volume of my goals/dreams. I can honestly whole heartily say that 2018 has been the greatest year of my life. I have done more for MYSELF and I have chased my goals and completed some of them for the first time in my life. I took control of my life and I’ve been so happy. I have a new fire in me to continue to keep going and make my dreams come true. Again, no one else will do it for me.

5. Make yourself a priority: One of the hardest things I had to do was make myself the first priority. But I did. I put myself first and took care of myself.  With that comes the importance of Self Love & Self Care. I learned to listen to my body and not to over do it. If there was something I didn’t want to do, well I didn’t do it. I needed to please myself first and not do things to please others. I took time out each day to do things to take care of myself. For years I always pleased others first and then took care of myself. I needed to change that because I was losing myself. It’s perfectly okay to be selfish from time to time. Make yourself a priority. I can’t stress that enough. Take care of yourself first. It’s really the key to happiness. 

NAME

I Am The Wind

“When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly.” – Neil Hilborn, Ballad of the Bruised Lung

Been awhile, life’s been crazy. I’ve been trying to find the time to keep writing but I just haven’t had any. I mean I have, but I’ve had no ideas really to make me want to write anything substantial in my opinion. It’s been a blur to be honest, I can’t believe a year has almost gone by since myself and guy started dating again.. and it makes me feel semi good, that I can make it better than the last time we dated since we both effed up the last time and several times after that. Seems like we can’t just get it right.. Maybe this time won’t be so bad… here’s to hoping!

I’ve taken some photos recently, with guy’s other camera the Sony a6000 and I like it. But I only like it with the 90mm Macro since it’s amazing. I kind of want it. But there’s no way I can afford the lenses for it. Yes, I can borrow his, but what’s that going to do for me should something happen with myself and him. I will never give up my Canon camera for something else. I would only add to it. I plan on trying to start a collection of some sorts and when I finally get a home, I will have a camera closet for all my things.

Here are a few shots of the Sony a6000 that I took just yesterday around Nanticoke, PA. 

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When you’re tired of waiting and time is not on your side
When you’re tired of hating me, you no longer want to hide

It’s time for another session of relaxation and tea bath before my roommates get home and take their long shower. I’ve been thankful enough to get to take some nice showers lately thankfully, and it’s helping my mood a lot surprisingly. *hand clap* Off I go because then I’m going to sleep forever tonight, maybe I’ll put my hair in curlers again. We’ll see since it seems to poof then I use them, lol!

Cheers,

xoxox