Losing Faith

To have faith (not necessarily religious) is to have hope; to lose faith means all hope is gone. It’s understandable, therefore, why, ‘Keep the faith,’ resonates across the globe; but what if faith lets us down? What if we wait so long for something we believe in that we end up growing wearisome and abandon our hope? Life, in that instant, becomes entirely meaningless; depression will ensue and in the most extreme cases, where no light is found, suicide. It seems simple, given the drastic nature of such a demise, that the best option is, indeed, to keep the faith; yet in my experience, doing so is exhausting; sometimes the faith just slides away; a situation I have found myself in recently.

I have long believed that my soulmate is out there, that my perfect version of love exists and that I am yet to find her. As a woman who will not settle for less, I am resigned to being single until the big one reels in. I have also believed that my maternal Nan, who passed away five years ago, has been with me ever since, in spirit, and I have felt her presence from time to time, consciously as well as subconsciously, in my dreams. A paternal Uncle has visited me at key times, also within my dreams. These experiences had been too significant to simply be random sleepy imaginations.

Recently a decision to accept an invitation to Paris in June, became the catalyst for the shattering of my belief system. I have refused many previous nonchalant invitations by acquaintances because, for me, Paris is too romantic to see with anyone other than a soulmate, lover, partner. This time, when asked by friends, I figured, why not? Why wait any longer? If I never meet ‘the one’ I’ll never go; and in that simple decision to take a trip to Paris, I lost my faith. Slowly, my self-awareness crumbled, parts of my psyche packed up and wandered off in varying directions, leaving me lost and unsure of my existence. There are, of course, a chain of circumstances that lead up to such a malfunction, but there’s always a snapping point, thus Paris.

I have taken time out of my long term contract to attempt to re-evaluate myself, my life; to have a break from people and all external noise, so that I might hear myself again. There was no need to run abroad to a beach or go back-packing in search of finding oneself; the truth is we find ourselves within ourselves and our physical beings can be anywhere for that to happen. Instead I have stayed around familiar settings, the comfort of my home and my family (and a few caring friends in between who have kindly been to see me, or messaged to check up on how I’m feeling.). Yet, even the high of visiting family up North dissipated within a few hours of being back in my own home. The incessant aloneness is unbearable at times and I soon found myself floundering in the well of faithless gloom once more.

Despite having a fairly sociable week, my mood hadn’t altered. With my energy levels bordering on low to non existent I kept a promise to visit a friend and her partner last weekend in Salisbury. I don’t really know how this happened…but when asked what I’d like to do I promptly responded, “Glasto.” She’s always telling me how lovely a place it is, so it was the first thing I thought of. She’s been to see a Medium before in the town, so she must’ve asked if I wanted to see her, and I must’ve said yes, because before I knew it she’d booked me an appointment for the day I arrived. No sooner had she collected me from the train station we were on our way to Glastonbury; she dropped me at the shop with only a couple of minutes to spare before my appointment commenced, while she went off in search of a parking space.

I had no expectations of the meeting and I was completely unprepared for it, emotionally. Though I believe in mediumship and clairvoyancy, my untrusting nature means I am always sceptical of the individual claiming to have the gift. As with all people I encounter, I look for trust before I accept them. This particular woman was either totally legitimate, or excellent at reading body language and facial expressions. She accurately described me; divulged details of what I am seeking/feeling and advised that my Nan was indeed with me and watching me at all times. Some of what she communicated didn’t make sense to me, but a great deal did. I left the meeting quite shell shocked but, most assuredly, changed.

There is no way of truly knowing if my Nan was my by side in that session, or whether I was played to the tune of £35 and 30 minutes of my day; but I immediately realised that it didn’t matter either way. We all have an abundance of choices at our fingertips, every second of every day. In that moment I had the choice to believe or disbelieve. The messages and encouragement I received were entirely positive and exactly what I needed. To draw me out of my funk I needed something powerful, something from beyond the grave. I needed my Nan. What I heard was the door to faith reopening. I felt empowered.

From the moment I stepped out of that mystical shop, (which is basically like every other shop on the high street…..in fact the entire street permeates joss sticks and sounds the clanging of a million wind chimes; with the occasional vegan café thrown in in-between), I felt better than I had done in weeks. My belief system had begun to rebuild; the soulmate, the future, the possibilities, all started to filter back into my being and my eyes re-opened. Choosing to disbelieve the experience wasn’t really an option. Okay, so I’m going to Paris without a lover…I’m over it….and I can’t wait to get there! The day will come when I’m able to go with my soulmate and it will be every bit as beautiful as I have always imagined it would be.

Life can be hard work at times; the battle can wear you down to the point of despair, but it truly is hope and faith that all will be well, that we can make different choices to improve our lives, that keeps us going. Losing faith in ourselves or our life’s plan can destroy everything we are. I am extremely glad I had that special half hour. With this new and improved faith, I have hope, and that is a much better feeling and far more productive state to be in.

No matter how hard it gets……..keep the faith.

JG 09.02.16

Chasing Happiness

Sometimes you get an overwhelming compulsion to run away or to radically alter yourself/your life; perhaps both.  Either way they are escapist notions born out of sheer boredom.  Suddenly the life you lead becomes insufficient, mundane, frustratingly routine.  The work you do is no longer challenging; the relationship you are in becomes stagnant; the stay at home mum gets tired of laundry and relentless tidying.  Life gets dull for us all from time to time.  And this is where I’ve found myself recently.

It’s taken a few weeks to get to a point where I needed a time out, whereby my tolerance for everyone and everything fell through the floor – not ideal when you are mentoring trainee staff that constantly need answers to their questions.  Suffice to say I had to apologise to one patience-testing individual who, on the second occasion that I snapped at last week, I told to ‘piss off before I slap you one.’  Fortunately I am well known enough for my reaction to be seen as both out of character and in jest (ish.)  No lasting harm done; not that there is ever an excuse for having a bad attitude, hence my apology.  This, and other coinciding events, brought me to one single conclusion – I needed to be alone.  Frankly, and ideally, a month or two on an isolated beach with zero interaction with any human being is what I fantasised about; but for the self-employed woman, just beginning a renewed contract, a long weekend had to make do.

I sat on my bench on the green after work on Thursday night and called my Mum regarding the day, the decisions, the tears with colleagues, aka my mini meltdown.  I said that I have so much planned for May/June that I barely have a weekend free and that, while I am looking forward to them, I’m not excited.  I’m not excited about anything lately.  I have become increasingly unhappy, and when you feel unhappy there isn’t a physical thing you can do to change it; you just have to let it pass.  Happiness is an inherent state of being; not a beach you are on, not the job you are in, nor even the company you keep;  but all of those things can perpetuate your happiness if you are already within that place.  I digress.

So my Mum wished that I would hurry up and settle down, preferably up North nearer to where they moved to, put some roots down, instead of always, “Chasing happiness.”  Those two words, unbeknownst to her, stopped me in my tracks.  ‘Chasing happiness.’  Is that what I do?  Given some thought it becomes a desperately depressing statement.  Am I the (relatively) young, free and single girl with money to spend, places to visit, experiences to have whose ideology is spontaneity?  Or am I the middle-aged purposeless woman, filling my free time with adventures and escapism to evade an otherwise crippingly lonely existence?  Do my escapades from hotel to motel; North coast to South coast; theatre to opera and everywhere inbetween simply fill an aching void before a meaning, a reason, a purpose for my time on Earth finally presents itself?

Chasing happiness….

I don’t regard myself as unhappy, generally; I’m just having a blip.  Mundanity has crept in.  Running away, as idyllic as it sounds, is never a solution.  Problems will simply pack their bags and tell the cab they just got into to follow yours.  Time out is good though, to find some peace and quiet, some solitude away from the daily clucking of fellow battery caged office workers.

The long weekend of doing what I pleased and having quality time with the tonic that is my best pal has calmed my stormy seas, for now.  Old routines must go, mundanity is not acceptable.  Big changes are a must, but for now, it’s back to work tomorrow….more relaxed….and hopefully with a better attitude.

Perhaps I should apologise to my colleagues in advance….just in case…!

JG
27.04.15

Comfortably Single vs Desperately Dating

It is often wondered just why I am still single.  People that truly care about me will ask me why, when I am so deserving of someone, am I alone?  Earlier today my choice to not date was put into question by a complete stranger and it made me stop and think……why don’t I date?  Why am I alone?

I was upset by this stranger, momentarily.  The idea that someone, who knows nothing about me, could challenge my lifestyle choice as though they somehow knew something I didn’t, was a bit too presumptious for my liking.  I don’t date because I don’t believe in it.  It’s just another Americanism, embraced by the U.K. and it doesn’t suit everyone; least of all me.

I once relented and agreed to a date.  Worst date in the history of all dates, as it transpired.  I won’t detail the quite unimaginable eye opening scenarios that unfolded but, suffice to say if there was ever a book on dating etiquette, she most certainly would’ve only used it to prop up a wonky table leg.  Ultimately it confirmed to me why I don’t like dates.  As a good friend recently said, “Dating is a strange creation.  Putting two people in a situation they can, usually, ill afford; in a town one of them doesn’t know; acting totally unnaturally.”  This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.  What on Earth is the point?  I understand it from an entertainment point of view; it certainly does provide some eccentric stories to relay around the dinner table; but other than that, I see no benefit.

I am a traditionalist and I make no apologies for it.  With my own experiences in love and loss, I am now at a point where I am perfectly comfortable alone.  I really never thought I’d say that.  I believe in love; I believe in real, true, lasting and fated love.  I believe that all love is predestined; and I believe that there is someone out there for me who will become the love of my life.  I have yet to meet her.  Why settle for anything less in the meantime?

Being asked, “Why are you still single?” isn’t a reflection on me; it’s more a reflection of the people currently in my life; or, to be more accurate, the lack of anyone ‘special’ in my life.  I am single, because my heart doesn’t, currently, desire anyone that I could actually have a relationship with.  When the time comes, I meet someone and that spark happens…..that is when I’ll pursue it.  That is when my ticker will kick in and I’ll have an interest in someone again.

I don’t believe that I would find my ‘one’ from dating.  And, truly, with so, so many people in the world finding The One is almost impossible.  You know what they say……’stop looking and you will find it.’  Love, real love, will find us, all in good time.

JG