Missing You Aunty on Your Birthday

DSC_0043I can’t believe you’re not here today on what would have been your birthday.  Two months have passed since you were suddenly taken from us and I still can’t really believe it.  My funny, caring, lovely aunty should still be around, bringing us joy every time we’d come together.

Like I said about my grandad, God obviously knew that it was your time to go and He has his reasons, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Although death is inevitable for all of us, I never, ever expected that your life would be snatched away – definitely not at this time anyway.

I wanted to celebrate more family birthdays, family gatherings and of course, your birthdays, at your house.  I wanted to hear more of your stories, told in your unique way, in that husky voice I love so much.  I wanted to be able to see you rush around the kitchen, tell me what was in each dish and then sit down to eat your dinner once we all got our fill.  I wanted to be able to smile and laugh at all of the reading glasses you had scattered around, but now all I have is the memories.

Reminders of your birthday have popped up, and it makes me sad to think that I can’t send you a birthday message and look forward to your quirky reply back.  You used to say that the best people are born in August and you were definitely one of those.  It also makes me sad as I get closer to my birthday, because I know that I won’t have a message from you now.

I can’t believe that I have to get used to August without you too and it breaks my heart, but I feel so lucky to be able to say that I shared this month with Aunty Joce.  I miss having you around and I hope you know how much I loved you and appreciated the time we spent together.  You were the best and you’ve got also got a piece of my heart.  I love you always and forever.

Crying Out for Acceptance, Approval & Appreciation

In this world, we find ourselves striving for material things, things that can be bought, things that can be studied or achieved. We want the nice house, the pretty clothes, the flash car, the good grades, the top job to fill our bank accounts with money, and the list goes on.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting these things, as most of them are basic needs and wanting our things to be nice or attractive to look at isn’t a crime. However, it becomes a problem when this becomes our main want in life and our desire for these things overtakes our need for happiness, love, inner peace or our own well-being.

We have a tendency to neglect our mental and emotional health, in favour of meeting the standards society has set for us, striving to make the most money we can, or get the best grades we can, or have as many things as we can. I’m guilty of this myself and I’ve been paying the price for it over the years.

I put myself under pressure and unnecessary stress to achieve the best grades possible at GCSE and A-level. I worked myself ragged as I did all I could to get into my dream university. I found myself emotionally drained and mentally tired, giving my all on a university course I hated, in an institution where I never felt comfortable.

Although my grades at GCSE and A-level were good, I got into my dream university and I persevered for two years at that university, it wasn’t worth the emotional and mental turmoil I put myself through. By putting myself on a pedestal and piling on the pressure, I ended up losing myself and a sense of happiness in the process.

My energy dropped, my mood could quickly worsen and I let little things upset me. I found myself easily getting into depressive states, I cried bucket loads of tears and I was self-harming over the years. I was emotionally dying, walking around in a daze and struggling to fall asleep.

Yet through it all, my desire to make others proud wouldn’t allow me to give up. I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make my Textiles teacher proud, I wanted to make my tutors proud etc, etc. However, I can’t say that I was making myself proud – all I saw was disappointment after disappointment.

My GCSE grades weren’t good enough for me. I wanted to get all As at A-level, just like my teachers had predicted, not just one A*. I was regressing rather than progressing at university, which depressed me more and more, because I was trying my absolute hardest and spending practically every waking moment on my assignments.

None of this was helping me and my desire to be the best (or perhaps the world’s idea of the best) was covering up the issues within myself. In trying to be the best, I was crying out for acceptance, approval and appreciation.

I wanted my parents to say how proud they were of me and tell me they loved me. I wanted to make something of myself so that people would no longer look down on me or look through me. I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be second best anymore.

Looking back on it all, I can see that all I want and all I’ve ever wanted is love, affection, support, care and appreciation from the people around me. I don’t want to feel lonely (despite not being alone) and I don’t want to feel like I’m second best all the time. Yet what I really need is to learn to truly love myself.

The Real Issue

A few days ago, I told you that I need to go back to the beginning, and yesterday I did just that.  Going back to the start was what I needed to do in order to move forward and now I believe that I can finally do that, after having a refreshing walk and long talk with God.

It wasn’t the easiest of tasks, as some my childhood memories were a little hazy and there were particular situations that I don’t really like facing , because of how bad they make me feel about myself.  However, it was all necessary if I was going to gain an understanding of why I behave the way I do and why I get so deeply effected by unnecessary things and situations.

Last night, I took a long hard look at myself and the guys that I clearly remember being involved with.  I realised that my early antics were typical silly actions that many children carry out.  I saw that I was intrigued by people from an early age and that I liked lighties from childhood.  Most little girls like boys and they think it’s fun to talk about boys, but I let this love of boys become a controlling factor in my life.

It’s easier to blame a guy or tell others that a guy has hurt you, rather than admit that you have problems with yourself or face up to the issues in your family.  I would take all of the bad things that guys would say or do to me and react badly, because I actually felt horrible about myself and did not like the person that I was.  I would do things with guys that weren’t me, because I desired to feel wanted and attractive, but I would just feel worse later.  I would crave the attention that they would give me, because I didn’t feel that I was getting it from my parents.

Up until recently, I did not even realise that I had such deep-rooted issues in my home life and now I think that it’s too late to change them.  However, what I can change is how I feel about myself and how I perceive the person that I am.  I need to really love myself, appreciate who I am and forgive myself for the things I have done in the past that I ashamed of.  I need to see the person that God sees when He looks at me.

Guys are not the main issue, even though I have spent so long convincing myself that they are.  The real issue is me and I’m glad that I have finally realised that, because now I can do something about it.  The hole in my heart that I have spent so long trying to fill with attention from guys has been caused by the emptiness that I feel, and I need God to come in and fill it.  It won’t be easy, but I have faith that it will happen, because my God can do anything.

My hope in finding love has been revitalised, because I know that once I am at one with myself and have a heart filled with God’s love, He will send the one into my life.  I just need to keep on remembering that God will always want me, love me and give me undivided attention, even when others won’t, because that is what is important.