Totally self-indulgent.

inspiration_blog-301543Forgive me. This is a totally self-indulgent post. If you’ve ever had something unexpected happen that has filled you with overwhelming joy and if you like a faith filled post, then please read on and share my proud moment. Otherwise I look forward to seeing you for my next post!

Like many mothers I cherish my children as the most amazing and the most special of all beings. My daughters bring me so much joy on a daily basis and are a constant blessing. But this week brought me something unexpected and precious.

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  ~Dostoyevsky

Fifteen years ago, in the weeks before Easter, I was in the depths of the biggest physical and emotional breakdown of my life.  Admitted to a secure psychiatric ward I was addicted to alcohol, suicidal and without a future. I was completely broken in mind, body and spirit.  The world had nothing to offer me and I had nothing to offer the world.

A whisper of hope and a speck of faith were all I had. And many times I believed that this was never going to be enough. But it was.

It was enough to give me the courage to give life one my try. And I did.

“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus” ~Corrie ten Boom

Fast forward fifteen years to this week, the week before Easter. I was attending my twelve year old daughter’s first parent-teacher meeting at high school. With every teacher telling me how high her averages were and how wonderful she was as a student,  I became more and more up-lifted.

Then I met the religious studies teacher. Like all the other teachers, she smiled and shook hands as I introduced myself, but somehow this felt different. Again I was congratulated on my daughter’s excellent grades, in particular for her assessed assignment, but there was something that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Like the teacher wanted to say more, but wasn’t sure how to. But just as I got up to leave she asked whether I had read the assignment, which when I replied that I hadn’t, was quietly placed in front of me.The task was ‘to describe a person who inspires you in your faith’.

                                                      My inspiration.

My inspiration is my mum, Carolyn Hughes. She is special to me and she’s my inspiration because of her shining personality, her strong faith in God and her achievements in life. She has achieved many great things in her life, like a degree in psychology and social policy, a very successful blog called ‘The Hurt Healer’ and fifteen years ago overcame a drink addiction. My mum has raised a lot of money for ‘The Kenwood Trust’, a charity which provides treatment and support to anyone with an addiction to drink or drugs.

My mum has a strong faith in God and prays every day. She prays to God for everything and believes that without God, we are hopeless and helpless. It was through God that she overcame her addiction. She says that she has been overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy and her reward has been a fantastic family of her own. Her religion and faith are extremely important to her and she has greatly helped me believe and understand my faith better.

My mum’s personality is amazing, as she is funny, supportive, clever, kind, generous and creative. She is also a great cook, writer and most importantly an extraordinary mum. She is my inspiration and I hope, after reading this, you will see why.

By Rebecca Hughes  🙂

I’m normally quite good with words, but I have none that can describe what I felt as I read that. Other than to say that it felt a bit like I had won the war.

I had battled with depression, alcoholism and everything that comes with it. And I had overcome them both. Over the years I had crawled my way from the brink of an existence. And I could now stand tall and proud as a survivor.

But beyond that I had been able to inspire someone who means the world to me. It may have taken me fifteen years, but today I am proud of who I am and what I have become. And totally grateful to those who have helped me on my way.abstract-floral-seamless-vector-background_50-13191

Thank you for allowing me my proud mum moment and for those of you who are struggling, hurting, grieving, lonely and in pain, let me offer you this Irish blessing.

” May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”

You make my world complete.

loveisallaroundusIs your life complete? Or do you feel like something or someone is missing?

The perception that somehow your world would be complete if only you had a different job, home or partner can leave you frustrated and disenchanted. And whilst it’s good to want the best for yourself, it’s still important to have peace of mind in the moment. Striving towards a better tomorrow is easier if you appreciate what you have today.

For me, contentment has little to do with what I have, it’s rather who I have around me that makes it meaningful. But I had to learn that before I could love others and enjoy their part in my life, I had to learn to love myself.  I spent too much time trying to replace the love I should have had from my mother and father. Yet the painful void left by years of abandonment and abuse were never going to be eased by anyone or anything. The search for wholeness was never going to be successful because I was missing that which could only be found within me.

I lacked so much. Self-respect, dignity, and self-esteem were all things that I had to nurture from nothing. I went through the motions of an existence but without hope and love, it was futile. Not surprising then that depression and alcoholism took me to a complete physical and mental breakdown.

At my lowest point I could never have contemplated being whole. I was emotionally shattered. But when brokenness is all that you have, there’s little choice but to pick up the pieces and start again.

“Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.” ~ David Bohm

Reclaiming my faith helped me on the journey to mending my mind, body and soul. Little by little I overcame those things that had caused me to fall apart. I allowed myself to be pieced together with the love and hope that I had been searching for, and with it came the restoration of my inner-self.

Eventually I came to a place previously never dreamt of. I came to a place of self-acceptance. Recovery showed me that I could live my life as the person as I was meant to be. And that was enough. I was complete by just being ‘me’.

“Don’t spend your life with someone you can live with – spend it with someone you can’t live without.” Anon

Like many things in life, when you stop searching for them they come to you anyway. Only when I was happy being single was I ready to meet the man who was to become my husband. And obviously when we became a couple, my sense of completeness changed. I experienced a love, trust and sense of security that  didn’t stifle it or overwhelm. It simply added to my being.

Similarly, it was only after accepting I may never have children and finding fulfillment within my marriage, that I was blessed with two daughters. And they too made my world whole in a way that I could never even begin to quantify. All I know is that my days are infinately richer for having them in it. And when I put them to bed at night and whisper ‘You make my life complete‘, I mean it with all my heart.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Matthew 6:21

IloveyouEveryone has their own uniqueness and therefore their own idea of what makes them whole. What’s important for me may not be special to you. It’s only by living and loving yourself and your own journey will you find out. And when you do, my advice is to cherish it  and nurture it.

Because nothing beats the feeling of a world that is complete.

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Images thanks to the brilliant Lori Portka http://www.etsy.com/shop/loriportka