Treasures of your heart.

1254860_heart_flowersWhat are the treasures of your heart? Where can they be found?

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

Wealth, possessions, success are all things that we can desire but they don’t guarantee peace of mind or happiness. Of course they help to make our daily existence enjoyable and can provide purpose and incentive, but it’s possible to be affluent and acclaimed yet still not be satisfied with life. I believe that’s because happiness has very little to do with what we have on the outside and everything to do with who we are on the inside.

My childhood experiences of abandonment and abuse had been the cause of long-term depression and alcoholism. I spent years believing that a successful career, being financially secure and having expensive possessions could fill the void in my life. But nothing was ever going to replace the love I should have had as a child.

When I hit rock-bottom and lost everything I felt like my life had ended and should be ended. My heart was like stone and there were no treasures to be found  in my existence.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu

As I have journeyed in recovery, I have learnt to replace the ‘hurt healers’ of alcohol and depression with the ‘hurt healers’ of life – simplicity, patience, compassion, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, hope. These riches I have found through a faith that teaches love. A love that provides an abundance of comfort, healing and power.

I used the experiences of my past as the foundation for my future. Through adversity and hard times I can now appreciate the prosperity and good times. Through abandonment and loss I can cherish and nurture my family and friends. And it is by coming through such depths of darkness yesterday that the light shines so brightly today.

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

Anyone who has been through a personal tragedy or is going through a time of adversity knows that when difficulties arise priorities change. The things you may have held in high esteem before, matter less. The day-to-day issues you have stressed over, become insignificant. Life takes on a new meaning.

Emotional healing demands that you turn away from what you don’t have to focus on what you do have. Losing a loved one means letting go of what you had in the physical, but holding tight to the memories that will last you a lifetime. Suffering with an illness means accepting the disease and looking after the rest of your health. Difficulties in a relationship means focusing on the good aspects whilst managing the bad.

Whatever you are dealing with, it can be tough. Yet you will be able to manage your situation so much easier if you have a strong heart. And your heart will be as strong as the treasures it holds within.

1256162_heartsIf your heart is weak, you will lack the strength you need to rebuild your mind, body and soul. If your heart is empty, you will lack the passion you need to pursue your dreams. If your heart is broken you will find it difficult to love and be loved. But a strong, complete and treasure filled heart will help you find peace, hope and happiness.

So how is your heart today?

Dear Dad…

waterDear Dad

I rarely think of you. You see once I’d forgiven you there was nothing left to think about. Occasionally though your presence from the past surfaces. And when it does  I wish I could look you in the eye and say ‘Have you any idea what you did to me?’

I’ll tell you. You stole my childhood. You destroyed my self-esteem. You crushed my spirit.

There’s more. You made me feel insignificant and worthless. You made me feel unloved. You made me believe I would never deserve anything because I was never good enough.

Even when I grew up and moved from country to country, you pursued me. Not out of love but out of a need to control. You didn’t have to be with me in person, because you always found a way to make sure that I knew you were still there.

You needn’t have bothered to hire that stalker, send the hate mail, make the threatening phone calls to my work colleagues, terrify my friends. Because your voice of abuse never left me anyway. It was there day and night.

For a long time, you won Dad. You won your crazy game.

You kept on winning even after you died. I didn’t expect that. Somehow I thought that your death would terminate my living hell and I would be free to get on with my life.  But I was so used to living in fear that it had become my normality. The damage had been done. With or without you I was a complete mess physically and emotionally.

“I stopped loving my father a long time ago. What remained was the slavery to a pattern.”  ~ Anais Nin


Actually I felt quite cheated that you died suddenly. You see I remember how much you hated alcohol, and I remember you telling me as a teenager that you would prefer I get pregnant rather than drunk. So you never knew that alcohol became my ‘hurt healer.’ It numbed me from the pain and helped me to manage your manipulation.

For a while it felt like I was winning. I was getting my own back and you didn’t even know it. But the self-medication slowly grew into addiction. So while other fathers leave their daughters a legacy of inspiration and love, I was left with alcoholism and depression.

But that was many years ago and this is now. Without you to sabotage my every move I have been able to reclaim my life and rediscover my identity. I fought my way back into the game and this time I am winning.

It’s true that sometimes when I face an emotional challenge, especially where there is a man involved, I think of you. It’s the moment when  the insecurities and the self-doubt return and I sense your spirit whisper ‘Told you so.’

Today though, I am able to recognise your words the lies that they are and can send them back to where they belong. Out of my mind. Out of my life.

I wish you had been kinder Dad. I wish you had been there to protect me. I wish you had been there to encourage me. Imagine how different my life could have been if I’d had a hero for a Dad instead of an abuser.

Too late now. For you. Not for me. Because I’m still here.

And if you could see me now I think even you would be proud of me. But if you weren’t that would be okay. Because I’m of proud myself.

I found out that I was good enough. I always was.

daisy blog

From your daughter                               ~ The Hurt Healer

Image thanks to Nicholas_Gent