Pure hope

Today |I want to touch on a subject that is particularly close to my heart, because I have had personal experience of the aftermath and that is suicide.

Yesterday I watched a very moving account of a survivor’s story. She uoff a bridge and amazingly lived to tell the tale. Her wonderful TedX Talk is on a recent DSM blog, entitled ‘Winter Sun’, which is well worth a visit. I won’t share it unless you would like me to, as I would encourage you to read Dr Sinu’s excellent post on the subject of hope, which has got me thinking hard.

The story of how someone survived depression that drove them to attempting suicide resonated. We sometimes make crazy decisions when we are injured and when we are suffering and struggling-I know I have. But one feature of this woman’s story which impacted upon me the most was a bookmark made for her by a child with the word hope written on it. That was a lifeline for her, along with the compassion and kindness of those around her.

I am reminded of the story of The Good Samaritan in the Bible, who did not walk by but tended the poor bruised man on the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37). He showed mercy and I also view this as a demonstration of hope. He held out hope by caring and acting with compassion. Those who are battling depression and other type of mental illness nee to be tended with compassion and understanding and shown mercy.

I saw a photo on Facebook last night of a man just before he took his own life. He was waiting for a Universal Credit payment and in horrendous debt. He felt he could not care for his children and that they would be better off without him. This tragic image kept me awake. There are on average 84 suicides by men every week and it is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. It is an epidemic.

I am writing about suicide and hope together because I believe hope is an antidote to despair. If you are reading this and contemplating suicide, please please tell someone. Please ask for help. I can assure you someone will miss you probably many people and their lives will be severely damaged if you decide to take your life. So please ask for help. And those of us who are not in that place, please ask if people are okay. Please check in with friends and family members who may be struggling. Let’s hold out branches of hope to one another and if we need to, let’s take someone to the Good Samaritan Inn, to be looked after.

Today my hope recipes are to look out for others, to hold a branch of hope out and to not pass by and not notice someone else’s pain.

Thank you for reading. Have a peaceful Sunday X

Journey into hope day 5

So, as I shared with you all yesterday I had a battle with hope for the entire day. I still feel sad deep down within me that my travel plans have been disrupted.

Yesterday, I listened to a fascinating pod cast on hope called ‘In our time: Hope (summer repeat on Apple Podcasts). This discusses whether hope is a positive or negative thing, because hope was found in Pandora’s box and this suggests both positive and negative connotations. I have always viewed hope as a positive, but perhaps quite a fleeting thing. Here are some actual definitions:

The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.

verb (used with object), hoped, hop·ing.

to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.

verb (used without object), hoped, hop·ing.

to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.

So I am looking forward with desire and confidence to visiting the animal sanctuary at Port Macquarie. I have been moved by the plight of the poor Australian wildlife and koalas especially, because they are unable to run from flames. The bushfires have absorbed a lot of my thinking over recent days as has the weather conditions. Living in a situation of potential catastrophe which many of those around me are facing constantly is very sobering. I will never take rain for granted, I will never take my personal safety for granted and I will appreciate those who work in the fire service especially, as they risk their lives to keep mine safe.

Yesterday I went in the pool for the first time, as the temperature was 35 degrees. It was beautiful and I relaxed and swam and enjoyed the cool water lapping against me. I started to make plans for my move when I return to the uK and spoke to a friend, asking for help with my impending move. They were only too willing to offer. Simple things. These are the building blocks of a dy.

I also made some lemonade scones. This for many people, would be an easy thing, but for me as I have shared in a previous post, it was a big deal, because I have battled a fear of failure in regard to cooking. However these were a real success and delicious. They were served with jam and cream-a lovely treat. I got some very positive comments when I put them on view on social media. I am feeling supported by Facebook friends particularly, in my efforts to challenge my fears and withholdings.

So, today my recipe for hope is to take support from friends around you to encourage efforts to change. And also to reach out for help with tasks which one can’t manage. This is mixed with an attitude of gratitude for weather and safety. Keep hopeful everyone X

Recipe of hope day 4

A battle against despair

Hello everyone. So, when I started this site, I promised to be transparent and write with integrity, so here goes.

Yesterday I had my biggest challenge of the New Year. Due to very very unforeseen circumstances regarding my accommodation, I am having to cut short a most wonderful, dreamy, relaxing holiday in Australia and fly back to the UK.

I woke early today feeling dreary and dismal. I sit here typing about hope when I am struggling to find any. I do not want to go back home; I was going to extend my stay and instead I am paying extra money to lose a great chunk of my holiday.

So my recipe for hope today is the choice to make the best of a bad job. I have several items on my wish list, some of which may be done, some may not. I do not feel in the least but hopeful-I feel sad and grey. But I choose to hope that I will be able to do some lovely things before I fly away.

It is trite to say I will count my blessings, because at this moment I do not want to. I will say that I do not wish to inflict my negative frame of mind on those around me, so I will try my level best to enjoy what I am doing each day.

Gritty perseverance is being put into play today against the feeling that everytime I am happy it is snatched away from me. It is okay to be disappointed, it is okay to feel sad, but I will still try to pursue a hopeful path nonetheless. Hope in the face of emotional pain.

I am learning many things from this hope journey. I would today describe hope as an attitude rather than an emotion and this involves a choice.

And just to add I poured out my heart to Oscar my beautiful furry friend last night. He looked up at me with his oracle eyes and spoke in cat language that he understood. And I know he did.

I truly appreciate people reading and liking my posts. It makes me feel this site is worth writing.

Let’s battle on hoping X

Recipe for hope day 2

I have always been a reluctant cook. This was started when my first attempt to make a Victoria sponge was marked by laughter because the final product at an angle, rather t flat. A photograph marked the event.

This was coupled with school cookery lessons where no-one ever wanted to be my partner. I dreaded those weeks. I did not know I had dyspraxia which impacts hugely on culinary skills.

So this led to a mindset of ‘cant cook, won’t cook’. I became avoidant and when I invited people around I struggled with my inadequacy in this area. I could never think of what to make and many of my friends are skilled in the kitchen.

So yesterday I was helped to make a quiche. A wonderful lady named Mary patiently talked me through preparing the pastry and putting the ingredients together. She basically held my hand as we did this together.

No it wasn’t perfect. It could have been neater, it could have been better cooked st a slightly lower temperature. However I was really proud of having faced a deeply ingrained fear of failure. And what’s more, I actually enjoyed it. I am going to make a flummery next.

My second learning of 2020 hopefulness, has been the impact of animals on me. I had a really tough 2019 as I know many others have. I longed for some fur therapy. Having come to Sydney, for a break, I have been blessed by beautiful guide dogs and a wonderful little Pomeranian named Honey, who has a gift of escapology; squeezing through any gaps, to come and visit at every opportunity. On one occasion she barked at our door to be let in then eventually, she realised it was pointless, gave a quick bark as if to say ‘ bye’ and padded off.

There is also the truly lovely Oscar who is staying here. He is a stunning rag doll cat with profound blue eyes and creme caramel fur. Last night he landed on my bed and I had to sleep on the other side.

Today’s recipe for hope is to try new challenges and break the mould of self-defining negative thought patterns. It might be a dormant dream, or a label that has been placed upon you that you may wish to smash. It may be hard, but it is worth persevering.

The second hope ingredient is to spend time with animals. They are very therapeutic and show empathy and love. I am not allowed pets in my rented property, but I have been able to enjoy other people’s animals while on holiday. Consider offering to walk someone’s dog or pet sitting. There is a website for this and you can combine it with a holiday.

Thank you for reading. Please send me comments, questions, or ideas.

I hope you are enjoying my site. Have a hopeful week X