Monday, June 9, 2014

Is Your Walk a Long and Winding Road or a Maze to Navigate Through?


I am very grateful to introduce a wonderful author to my blog readers. Jenni Leighton has a gift for sharing her experiences and knowledge in words that provide us with thoughts to ponder and hopefully that will cause us to consider life from a new perspective. I know you will enjoy her first guest blog post.

A Long Country Lane - (Still out on the lanes II by jchanders DeviantArt)

I would like to think that the journey of my life is like a long country lane, a few bends in the road and it may be a bit bumpy at times, but for the most part it’s a pleasant and peaceful journey, one that will hopefully last a lot longer. However, there have been times when it has felt like more of a maze to navigate through. Lots of dead ends and back tracking, with a never ending set of twists and turns, and just when you think you have reached the end, you find that you are in fact just as far away. Fortunately for me, these periods, although they may have seemed long at the time, were actually reasonably brief in duration, and the calm county lane once again was there for me to traverse through. Had it not been, I am not sure how long I could have carried on without being deeply affected by the difficulties that ‘the maze’ can cause.
What can make you feel like you’re in ‘the maze’? 
Many of us face hardships, some sooner than others, but at some point in our lives we can be faced with traumas such as bereavement, divorce, financial troubles, illness or disabilities, bullying and victimization, or any other type of problem where you feel a loss of control. Sometimes the problems come thick and fast and you can feel penned in on all sides with issues and problems. Many people try and deal with problems on their own, and without a support system in place many of those people can make their problems worse by resorting to drink and drugs as a way of coping. This can lead to their lives spiralling even further out of control. Some people have to hit rock bottom before they can start to see the road ahead of them again. Frequently, there is help for people who realize they need support. For those who feel unable to turn to friends, family, or their church, there are organizations such as Samaritans USA, who will listen without judgement and anonymity and confidentiality is assured. 
What can you do to help yourself through ‘the maze’? 
When I found myself in ‘the maze’ was the 18 months where I lost my Mother and another close family member to cancer. Suffering such loss and the feelings of helplessness, anger and depression I experienced over this period, made doing even the simplest of tasks nearly impossible at times. I was blessed to have the support of the remaining members of my family, and even further blessed that I met my soulmate shortly after this period. With his love and support, I came through this difficult period and was able to find my way back out of the maze again.   
Had I not had this help, I am not sure how things would have turned out.  Some people turn to their faith in times of trouble. There is a strong inner peace and comfort that can be felt from turning to both your own inner faith and that of the members of your church and its leaders. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling and that you need some help; in fact, it takes a stronger person to admit that you have a problem and to be willing to face the challenge of making some changes, or perhaps to face feelings and emotions that you have been bottling up inside for too long.  
Once the hard work is over 
For me, the hardest part of being out of the maze, is the thought that at some point I could find myself back there. Once you have experienced such a loss of control, through nothing that you have done wrong, it is hard sometimes not to live in fear of it reoccurring. Living with the fear, and not letting it overwhelm you is the key to accepting what has happened but not letting it define the journey of your life once that time has passed. 
In truth the hard work never is over completely, because life is hard sometimes, but it is also a blessing and not one to be taken for granted. Live your life well, live it with your whole heart, love, forgive, and be true to yourself and your journey will be the time of your life.
BY:  Jenni Leighton
Reference as accessed on 21st May 2014
Cancer.org, coping with the loss of a loved one
helpguide.org, coping with grief and loss
luxuryrehabs - women drug and alcohol rehab
outofstress.com, self help books for women
samaritansusa.org, contact page
webmd.com, symptoms of depression and anxiety

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