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Objects in the Rear View Mirror

Music is something immensely powerful. It holds a connection to both past present and future, as well as, having the ability to express feeling, thought, and emotion. It can alter our mood and emotions, and even our thoughts – for good or bad. For some its the music itself, for others its the lyrics, for me its a combination of both.
I’m a bit of a sucker for the bold rock ballad, even opera at times, though a country girl at heart, but given the news recently about the death of Meat Loaf, I have found myself revisiting many of the songs of my teenage years. All it takes is a few words in any random conversation and the associated song jumps into my head and becomes my next ear worm (welcomed though). I was noting how much these songs of my past, not limited to Meat Loaf, have shaped more than just my upbringing, but how I feel now, as well as, how I consider the future.
Earlier today Meat Loaf’s ‘Objects in the Rear View’ (1993) came into mind. So profound and impactful are the lyrics to this song, more so in a personal sense given my own past, but I noticed today that this has engaged the counsellor in me as well. Many times I’ve heard the line from clients “why talk about the past, its behind us?”, while that may indeed be true, the happenings of that past, for better or worse, have had a hand in shaping us. Even when we feel we have worked things through (or even attempted to bury them) they tend to have a way of rising up into our vision again and again.
This notion is summed up in the title alone and repeated multiple times over and over just to be sure we get the idea, “objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are“, and furthered elsewhere in the song, “and though the nightmares should be over, some of the terrors are still intact“. We need to offer careful consideration in our own lives to these ‘objects’, that when not dealt with can raise themselves “up out of the backseat now“, and even if they are dealt with, that we can be triggered by the “ugly coarse and violent voice” of memory alone.

RIP Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022)

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are

(trigger warning – speaks of abuse, death, and loss)

The skies were pure and the fields were green
The sun was brighter than it’s ever been
When I grew up with my best friend, Kenny
We were close as any brothers that you ever knew
It was always summer and the future called
We were ready for adventures and we wanted them all
There was so much left to dream
And so much time to make it real

But I can still recall the sting of all the tears when he was gone
They said he crashed and burned, I know I’ll never learn
Why any boy should die so young
We were racing; we were soldiers of fortune
We got in trouble but we sure got around
There are times I think I see him peeling out of the dark
I think he’s right behind me now, and he’s gaining ground


But it was long ago, and it was far away
Oh God, it seems so very far
And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
They are

They are

And when the sun descended and the night arose
I heard my father cursing everyone he knows
He was dangerous and drunk and defeated
And corroded by failure and envy and hate
There were endless winters and the dreams would freeze
No where to hide and no leaves on the trees
And my father’s eyes were blank as he hit me again and again and again


I know I still believe he’d never let me leave, I had to run away alone
So many threats and fears, so many wasted years
Before my life became my own
And though the nightmares should be over
Some of the terrors are still intact
I’ll hear that ugly, coarse, and violent voice
And then he grabs me from behind, and then he pulls me back


But it was long ago, and it was far away
Oh God, it seems so very far
And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
They are


There was a beauty living on the edge of town
She always put the top up and the hammer down
And she taught me everything I’ll ever know
About the mystery and the muscle of love
The stars would glimmer and the moon would glow
I’m in the back seat with my Julie like Romeo
And the signs along the highway all said
Caution! Kids at play!

Those were the rights of spring and we did everything
There was salvation every night
We got dreams reborn and our upholstery torn
But everything we tried was right
She used her body just like a bandage
She use my body just like a wound
I’ll probably never know where she disappeared
But I can see her rising up out of the back seat now
Just like an angel rising up from a tomb

But it was long ago, and it was far away
Oh God, it seems so very far
And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are x3
Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are

Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are x3
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are

Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are x2
Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are x3

She used her body just like a bandage
She used my body just like a wound
I’ll never know where she disappeared
But I can see her rising up out of the back seat now…


Source: Musixmatch (corrected by me)
Songwriters: Jim Steinman

Resignation or Acceptance, there’s a difference?

resignation or acceptanceI had resigned myself to the fact that my life is… lets speak candidly here… crap! Why? Have you ever looked at your life and said, I want better, I want more, this can’t be it, why does this happen to me? Well here’s some news, most people do. I’m not talking here about having enough and wanting more, I’m talking about wanting what others seem to have. Yes, I have heard the stories about the grass being greener, and not coveting the things that others have, the green eyes of jealousy etcetera. I’m not talking about that either, I’m talking about a childhood that by today’s measure would have had people jailed, a husband that cheated and after denying the fact and accusing me of doing the same took the business that I had built from the ground up. Blocked fallopian tubes and no financial means of circumventing the issue, step children who… well let’s leave that one alone lest I say something nasty about their mother who reminds me of my own. Let’s not speculate on how my tubes got blocked, the doctors say it may have been from an unknown/unnoticed infection, suffice to say I have one child from early on in the marriage and none thereafter, only a husband who, in his own words, “just wanted to have some fun”. So, back to my opening line, I had resigned myself to the fact my life is crap!

I’m one who speaks on forgiveness being necessary for our own health, and for the most part I have been able to manage this, for example, the man who daily beat my sister and I for many years, are a non-issue to me. What I struggle with is the blue faced liars and those who stood by and watched and did nothing! Sometimes it helps to know that those were days when you didn’t interfere in the business of others, thus was the culture of the day, I mean we had only just come out of the time when it was okay for a husband to beat his wife, sad to see this still happening today.

For many years I hated those who did nothing, then I resigned myself to the notion that maybe they didn’t know any better, or they didn’t think it was their place to step in, that maybe they didn’t know after all and my sister and I were to remain alone in this pain. I later found out people did know, and yes they thought it wasn’t their place to intervene, to add insult to injury some thought what we experienced was “simply a heavy handed form of discipline”!

This simply added to my inner burning, not only did people stand by and watch, they made excuses for not actioning any form of help. I ran away from home at 16, and tried my best to put this all behind me, my burning had birthed thoughts that I would not be like them. As an adult I learned better the act of forgiveness and felt I had managed to master this time in my life, I even began, like those who watched, to make excuses for their behaviour, unbeknownst to me I was allowing people in my life now to do the same. They just became more people who I had to ‘forgive’.

I thought I had turned a corner when I had my son and sought to introduce him to his grandmother, but little did I know that what I was doing was not forgiving, merely burying the hurt and trying to forget the actions of others. I later learned that forgiveness is not about forgetting, nor is it about an ability to instantly put a stop to the hurt.

So many have told me that we only need to forgive once and it is done, if it comes back it basically means you didn’t do it right, try try try again, until it doesn’t bother you anymore. No wonder this forgiveness thing wasn’t working for me. Then I found out that it’s not how it’s meant to work, like love, forgiveness is a decision not a feeling, it’s not about emotion, it’s about a process and growth. It’s more than just saying the words and living out your life until bad things happen and oops you fell out of love. Just the same for love, forgiveness is about working toward it, not some magical thing that hangs around until someone bursts the pretty bubble.

Like I said I had resigned myself to such a life as this, until I read about the difference between resignation and acceptance.

Resignation. The word is so final, so complete, so… the end. It screams “it’s ending”, “it’s over”, “give up”, “stop fighting”.

Acceptance, however, speaks of something completely different, though the outward action looks much the same, acceptance keeps going, it whispers, “okay, this is new”, “what are we going to do about this?”, its embracing, welcoming… positive. It speaks of letting go and moving forward.

This is what I believe to be the problem with the method of forgiveness I was trying to operate under, it was looking at things through the lens of resignation “it’s over”, when the lens should have been acceptance, “where do we go from here?”.

Here are some words for thought, my own twist on the writings of Creath Davis…

Resignation is a surrender to whatever will be
Acceptance is a surrender to being

Resignation lies down quietly on the path of life
Acceptance rises up with purpose and destiny

Resignation says “I can’t”
Acceptance looks for hope

Resignation paralyses the life process
Acceptance releases the process for its greater creativity

Resignation says “it’s all over for me”
Acceptance says, “now I am here, what next?”

Resignation says “what a waste”
Acceptance says “In what redemptive way can I use this mess?”

Resignation says “I am alone”
Acceptance says “I belong”

Resignation says “I’m done”
Acceptance is choosing to walk forward

Acceptance, I believe is the key to forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a process, a journey, not a destination, and though I had laid down in Death Valley, I have chosen to get up and walk and I am still walking through the forgiveness of those who have wronged me, I’m sure not ever going to forget, but I am choosing to not let the burning consume me any longer. Has anything changed externally? Have people apologised? Some have, did it make a difference? Not really. Once the pottery is shattered can it ever be the same again? No, but if it doesn’t resign itself to fate, it can be painstakingly repaired and become even more remarkable (look up the art of Kintsugi).

I have rejected resignation and chosen acceptance, I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and I am Walking Life’s Path, will you join me?

WLP Picto for WP

 

Why you won’t find pictures of smiley happy people on our counselling page.

www.liferestored.me/counselling

Have you ever been so despondent, so unhappy that the sight of happy people brings either a lump to your throat or something else less pleasant up from down below?

Have you ever been in a relationship, whether it be with your friends, family, or spouse that wasn’t at its best, maybe even at its worst and the sight of others getting on with their significant others brings much the same result as mentioned above, or perhaps even thoughts of a more sinister nature?

An attractive couple playing around on the beach

I can remember a time when I couldn’t watch romantic comedy or so much as think of viewing a chick flick DVD cover without cynicism.

Images of smiley happy people, including getting that song stuck in your head, has never cheered me up when I’ve been down, how about you?

What about someone experiencing grief?

Happy_Elderly_Couple_Smiling

Take a look at these images in this blog for example, imagine yourself in any of the following situations visiting a counselling website covered in such images:

  • Troubled teen at home or runaway
  • Abusive spouse either verbal and/or physical
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Just been made redundant at age 58
  • Household member, or even yourself, having just suffered an injury or been diagnosed with some kind of debilitating illness
  • Struggling to make ends meet
  • Don’t have time to rest (or be reading this, I hope insightful, blog)
  • Even the loss of the family pet

Happy_Family_Smiling

Do any of these images bring you comfort, make you feel happy, make you want to hang around the webpage looking for helpful information and contact details??? No??

Likewise, pictures of unhappy people tend to not bring comfort either.

Hence you will only find generic pictures and boring photos taken by myself of generic and boring things. Because it’s with our hearts we comfort, it’s with our own genuineness, empathy, and willingness to be with people in their need. It’s not with stock images of feigned happiness, not that I’m saying these people’s happiness is feigned, my point is that from a place of hurt it’s not images that calm and soothe, its people themselves.
And I’d not wish the throat lump, other substance, or unhappy thought upon anyone.

Sometimes life is… hard. You don’t have to go it alone

Feeling overwhelmed by it all? Drowning? Stuck in a rut? Lost? Tired?
Alone? 
Do you feel you are wandering aimlessly through life? 

Everyone needs someone to talk to, a listening ear; sharing our hurts helps us in many ways, but for some this may not be possible. Friends and family may be too close to the situation, or at too much of a distance. Sometimes it’s just more comfortable to talk to someone outside our normal circles. Counselling can help, it’s confidential, it’s objective, it’s non-judgemental, it can help us grow, it shares in the burdens of life, it comes alongside us helping us to discover strengths in ourselves that we may not have ever realised we had.

Introducing Danielle-Marie your friendly counsellor from Walking Life’s Path, a recently new counselling service opened up in the Logan City area. Danielle-Marie can cover such areas with you, as;

  • anxiety
  • stress
  • time management
  • relationship issues (not just limited to spouses, this can include workmates, friends, siblings, parent/child etcetera)
  • grief and loss (not limited to the loss of a loved one, can also include job loss, loss of a beloved pet, or even the kids moving out of home)
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • depression
  • addiction
  • and much more…

To celebrate our opening we are extending our offer to reduce the hourly fees till the end of October. Normally $50 per 1 hour session, you can take advantage of a reduced rate of $30/hr, saving you $20.

Located in the Logan City area. For more details or to contact Danielle-Marie please visit our website on the links above.

Stop trying to be so happy

We focus on what quickly fades, when we should be investing in the long term.

Our concept of ‘happiness’ forgets half the equation.

There are two kinds of happiness – a fleeting kind we all chase and a lasting kind we often ignore.

When we think of being happy, experts tell us that what we commonly imagine is actually pleasure. It’s the taste of delicious food, the fantasy of winning the lottery or the fallacy that material things can fix our woes.

According to experts interviewed by The New Daily, research shows these pleasures soon fade. Instead, we should also be searching for meaning, a far more stable form of happiness.

“It’s not normal to be yellow smiley face happy all the time. In fact, they’d probably lock you up if you were,” Positive Psychology Institute founder Dr Suzy Green said.

“If you are focussed on that, you are setting yourself up for disappointment, at the very least.”

Shutterstock

Quality Life Australia counsellor Dr Wendy Kennedy agreed that happiness, as most of us define it, does not last. According to ongoing Australian research, most of us are ‘happy’ only about 75 per cent of the time.

“The pursuit of happiness as an end state is not really realistic because it’s a fact of life that we’ll have ups and downs and that’s normal,” Dr Kennedy said.

“There’s a lot of confusion there, and sometimes an expectation that happiness is a state you can achieve and stay there forever and a day. As we well know from experience, it doesn’t generally happen.”

Rather than striving to experience this feel-good emotion all the time, we should focus on adding meaning – what Dr Kennedy called “life satisfaction”.

“Hopefully that is where most people spend most of their time.”

The solution

While pleasures fade, meaning lasts, Federation University psychology lecturer Dr Liz Temple said.

To find it, strive to give and achieve.

“Your accomplishments at work or in sport or family and relationships actually have more depth to them. While they may be harder and may not always make us ‘happy’, they add more to us over the long term,” Dr Temple explained.

Other examples include:

• building greater self esteem;
• doing selfless acts, such as giving your time or money;
• finding a job that fills you with pride; and
• investing more time in personal relationships.

Fun is still important

Shutterstock

Pleasure, defined as ‘hedonistic happiness’ in research, should not be ignored, Dr Temple said.

But, as mentioned above, these things quickly fade. Thus, strategies to make them last should be used.

“If we are always focussed just on meaning, then we never have fun … but in the long run we do need to have those more meaningful aspects,” Dr Temple said.

Last year, The New Daily reported that money can actually buy happiness, provided you buy the right things. You just need to spend it wisely on worthwhile experiences, rather than shiny new things.

Savouring pleasure is also important, another expert said.

“We have one Tim Tam then we want another one and another one. You need to learn to really savour, which means to bring your mindful attention to any of the pleasures to try and get as much joy out of them as you possibly can rather than mindlessly engaging in them,” Positive Psychology Institute’s Dr Green said.

Do both

We should aim to savour our pleasures while also finding more meaning, University of New England psychologist Associate Professor Nicola Schutte said.

“I’m not sure if one can make a blanket statement that all people are better off striving towards one or another type of happiness,” she said.

“I think both types of happiness are valuable.”

 Jul 27, 2015 – Jackson Stiles – Life Editor

http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/07/27/stop-trying-happy-instead/

10 tips to stay mentally healthy

Enjoying mental health means having a sense of wellbeing, being able to function during everyday life and feeling confident to rise to a challenge when the opportunity arises. Just like your physical health, there are actions you can take to increase your mental health. Boost your wellbeing and stay mentally healthy by following a few simple steps.

  1. Connect with others. Develop and maintain strong relationships with people around you who will support and enrich your life. The quality of our personal relationships has a great effect on our wellbeing. Putting time and effort into building strong relationships can bring great rewards.
  2. Take time to enjoy. Set aside time for activities, hobbies and projects you enjoy. Let yourself be spontaneous and creative when the urge takes you. Do a crossword; take a walk in your local park; read a book; sew a quilt; draw pictures with your kids; play with your pets – whatever takes your fancy.
  3. Participate and share interests. Join a club or group of people who share your interests. Being part of a group of people with a common interest provides a sense of belonging and is good for your mental health. Join a sports club; a band; an evening walking group; a dance class; a theatre or choir group; a book or car club.
  4. Contribute to your community. Volunteer your time for a cause or issue that you care about. Help out a neighbour, work in a community garden or do something nice for a friend. There are many great ways to contribute that can help you feel good about yourself and your place in the world. An effort to improve the lives of others is sure to improve your life too.
  5. Take care of yourself. Be active and eat well – these help maintain a healthy body. Physical and mental health are closely linked; it’s easier to feel good about life if your body feels good. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise – gardening, vacuuming, dancing and bushwalking all count. Combine physical activity with a balanced diet to nourish your body and mind and keep you feeling good, inside and out.
  6. Challenge yourself. Learn a new skill or take on a challenge to meet a goal. You could take on something different at work; commit to a fitness goal or learn to cook a new recipe. Learning improves your mental fitness, while striving to meet your own goals builds skills and confidence and gives you a sense of progress and achievement.
  7. Deal with stress. Be aware of what triggers your stress and how you react. You may be able to avoid some of the triggers and learn to prepare for or manage others. Stress is a part of life and affects people in different ways. It only becomes a problem when it makes you feel uncomfortable or distressed. A balanced lifestyle can help you manage stress better. If you have trouble winding down, you may find that relaxation breathing, yoga or meditation can help.
  8. Rest and refresh. Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at a regular time each day and practice good habits to get better sleep. Sleep restores both your mind and body. However, feelings of fatigue can still set in if you feel constantly rushed and overwhelmed when you are awake. Allow yourself some unfocussed time each day to refresh; for example, let your mind wander, daydream or simply watch the clouds go by for a while. It’s OK to add ‘do nothing’ to your to-do list!
  9. Notice the here and now. Take a moment to notice each of your senses each day. Simply ‘be’ in the moment – feel the sun and wind on your face and notice the air you are breathing. It’s easy to be caught up thinking about the past or planning for the future instead of experiencing the present. Practising mindfulness, by focusing your attention on being in the moment, is a good way to do this. Making a conscious effort to be aware of your inner and outer world is important for your mental health.
  10. Ask for help. This can be as simple as asking a friend to babysit while you have some time out or speaking to your doctor (GP) about where to find a counsellor or community mental health service. The perfect, worry-free life does not exist. Everyone’s life journey has bumpy bits and the people around you can help. If you don’t get the help you need first off, keep asking until you do.

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one call Lifeline 13 11 14 or speak to a mental health professional.

From http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/ten_tips_to_stay_mentally_healthy?open

Three Simple Rules

There are three simple rules in life

  1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never make it.
  2. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be NO.
  3. If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.

Now, I don’t know who wrote that, but I love it.

Free Counselling on Offer (ENDED)

 

Feeling overwhelmed by it all? Stuck in a rut? Lost? Tired?
Alone? 
Do you feel you are wandering aimlessly through life? 

Have you considered counselling?
Do you know of someone who may benefit from counselling?

Why counselling? What can counselling offer?

Someone to talk to, a listening ear; counselling helps us in many ways.
It’s confidential, it’s objective, it’s non-judgemental, it can help us grow, it shares in the burdens of life, it comes alongside people helping them to discover strengths in themselves that they may not have realised they had.

Introducing Danielle-Marie your friendly counsellor from Walking Life’s Path, a new counselling service in the Logan City area, covering areas such as;

  • anxiety
  • stress
  • time management
  • relationship issues (not just limited to spouses, this can include workmates, friends, siblings, parent/child etcetera)
  • grief and loss (not limited to the loss of a loved one, can also include job loss, loss of a beloved pet, or even the kids moving out of home)
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • depression
  • addiction
  • and much more…

To celebrate our birth we are offering 2 free 1 hour sessions to the first 10 people to make a booking for this September, this is a saving of $100.
If that wasn’t enough, any bookings which aren’t free will be reduced to $30/hr, saving you $20/hr, so even if you miss out on the free sessions you still get a discount.

For more details or to contact Danielle-Marie please visit our website on the links above.

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