Misunderstandings and Missed Opportunities

I have just finished listening to Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes on Audible. After struggling to get into the book in the beginning, I spent my Sunday cooking and baking, and getting more and more engrossed in the characters’ lives as the day went on.

The central love story of the book focuses on a couple who embark on an extra-marital affair that, rather unsurprisingly, seems doomed from the off. A combination of bad luck and well-meaning, but interfering friends prevent the couple from starting a life together – that is until a journalist stumbles across one of their love letters decades later and endeavours to find out what happened to them.

Throughout the book, you constantly find yourself wondering if they ever find happiness together, and it was obvious that this would never happen without clear communication between the two. There’s a moment in the book, where the main female character feels she has done all she can to show her lover how she truly feels and she perceives the ball to be in his court. Due to a number of events, her lover never finds out about her attempts to reach him and he interprets her silence as rejection.

It got me thinking about situations we might find ourselves in where we’re not as open and honest as we could or should be with the other people involved. When was the last time you held back saying what you really felt out of fear?

The example from this book provides some food for thought because if either one of the characters had refused to take no for an answer and had reached out just one more time, their lives might have been completely different.

Misunderstandings and the fallout from them occurs when you don’t talk openly and instead interpret what the other person is thinking based on your notion of the situation. We can never truly know what another person is thinking unless we ask.

Regret is something that can eat away at you when you look back on missed opportunities – whether it’s matters of the heart or something else. With that in mind, is there anyone you haven’t been completely honest with of late? Can you push yourself to reach out to them one more time, explain why you feel the way you do and see what happens?

On The Right Track

“You can’t go around being what everyone expects you to be, living your life through other people’s rules, and be happy and successful.” Wayne Dyer
This is such a simple and logical premise, and yet it’s something that we all find so hard to put into action.

When did you last agree to do something, not because you wanted to, but because someone asked it of you or expected it of you?

We’re all guilty of doing this from time-to-time. We all find it hard to say no and we hate to feel like we’re letting people down, but committing to being yourself isn’t a bad thing.

If you commit to yourself and your goals, you’re on the right track. Agreeing to things that take you off this path, move you out of alignment with what you truly want and leads to frustrations.

You plant the seeds for growth in your own life with the thoughts you think, and if you’re bogged down with feelings of anger and resentment this is what you’ll attract. And, we all know these feelings only gets worse when you find yourself in a situation that you never wanted to be in because you agreed to something you never wanted to do in the first place…

If you’re focused on what will make you happy, that is what you’ll get, so keep that in mind the next time someone in your life asks you do something that will take you out of alignment with what you really want.

Otherwise you would never have moved…

Last week I said it felt a little surreal getting back into our normal routine after the wedding, but, in all honesty, it’s been a struggle.

With wedding planning done and dusted, I have found myself at a little bit of a loose end and wondering what I can do to fill my time. Don’t worry, the irony isn’t lost on me because I know I was downright craving this time before the wedding but, isn’t that always the way?!

My feelings have been somewhat exacerbated by the fact that, on the week I returned to work, a colleague handed in her notice and had started a new job within the week. I’m not gonna lie, I was incredibly jealous that she was going off to start a new and exciting challenge, but, this morning, I saw this quote on Instagram:

“I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you never would have moved” – The Universe

It reminded me that sometimes we need a good old push to get out of our comfort zone, and feelings of frustration are a sign that something needs to change.

How could the way you’re feeling right now be a sign? If you’re happy, what can you keep doing more of? If you’re sad, what do you need move away from? If you’re frustrated, what can you do to make a change?

I know I need to be doing more to pursue my interests outside of work, and to get back into the things that I spent my time on before wedding planning took over my life. For example, I haven’t picked up a pack of oracle cards in months and that’s not like me.

Are there any hobbies and interests of yours that you’ve neglected because other parts of your life have taken over lately? What can you do today to get back into them?

The Real Work Begins

We returned from our honeymoon just over a week ago and it feels very surreal to be getting back into our normal routine after such a life-changing event!

The high we experienced on our wedding day lasted for ages and then the excitement of continuing our honeymoon around Italy took over. When we landed back in Manchester, I started to wonder what had really changed… In reality, the answer is that not very much has changed at all, and yet, absolutely everything has changed at the same time.

As a little girl, you dream about your wedding day and being lucky enough to marry your Prince Charming. I got to do that and exchanging our wedding vows is a memory I will cherish forever, but I also know that I need to cherish the sense of happiness and contentment that sits with me every day now.

Alex and I made an important commitment to one another in front of our friends and family, but now that the day is over, the real work begins. We’re incredibly lucky to have met theone person that we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and although I’m dreading the day it happens, I know the newlywed joy will start to fade and the grind of daily life will start to take its toll once again. When that inevitably happens, we’ll need to make sure we remember to love each other, each and every day, in the same way as we have up until now. We must remember to never take one another for granted and to treat each other with the love and respect we have shared so that we continue to grow together.

There’s no getting away from the fact that relationships take work but the rewards definitely make it all worthwhile. With this in mind, can you honestly say you have been giving the relationships, romantic or otherwise, in your life the care and attention they deserve? If the answer is no, what can you do to rectify this?

Everything is as it should be

When was the last time you ranted to a friend or family member about how something was unfair or just downright wrong?

Sometimes it can be really hard to remember that everything is just as it should be.

When we’re much further down the line, we can find ourselves looking back and realising that we wouldn’t be where we are without that particular event taking place. For me, times were hard in the run up to my decision to leave London, but I know now that everything needed to play out in that exact way. If it hadn’t, I might have been happy plodding along down South and I wouldn’t have moved to Newcastle. If I hadn’t moved to Newcastle when I did, I might not have got the job that I got, and if that hadn’t happened I might not have met Alex.

At the time, things can appear to be annoying or upsetting, but time allows us to look back with a more objective pair of eyes.

If you’re struggling with how something is right now, remember that the pain will ease as time goes on, and if you can, look for ways in which you can start to quietly accept what is right now.

You Have A Choice

No matter the situation, you always have a choice because you are in control of how you react. I know this is easier said than done when you’re in the thick of some drama or another, but as I write this in advance of my wedding and honeymoon, I know that by the time this is published, all of the drama associated with the wedding will (hopefully) be over.

Everyone has drama and it’s really hard not to allow yourself to be pulled into it, but you do have a choice. You can choose not to be pulled in, and if you choose to do this, it will automatically change the energy of the situation. You can help to move the situation from a negative and into a positive by controlling your reaction. 

If you had done this in a recent tense situation, how do you think it would’ve changed the outcome?

Next time you find someone pushing your buttons, choose not to be pulled in and instead think about how you could redirect the conversation towards the positive.  

Positive Pick-Me-Ups

As I leave the house every morning, I see a postcard on my mirror which says ‘Darling, you’ve got this.’ On my bedroom mirror, I have a post-it note which says ‘Life has bigger plans for you.’ On my fridge, I have a note which says ‘You know you can so go ahead and do it.’

I love leaving positive notes for myself dotted around the house because you never know when you might need a word of encouragement and what that might spark in you.

Where in your house can you strategically place positive quotes and affirmations to give yourself a little pick-me-up?

Winners vs. Whiners

I read an article by Ramit Sethi recently which talked about the difference between winners and whiners. He explained that whiners have excuse after excuse at hand to explain why certain things aren’t possible for them, while winners tend to just crack on and adapt to the circumstances around them.

Hands up if anyone else has found themselves arguing for their limitations… I know I do this when I feel backed into a corner and I’d much rather stay in the safety of my comfort zone instead of pushing myself out of it.

We’re all guilty of allowing ourselves to stay stuck from time-to-time and whining about our circumstances can provide temporary relief and help us to feel better about our current situation, but I find that it’s short lived. Soon enough, I’m feeling frustrated once again and wanting to strive for more. Anyone else feel this way? If so, how could you change your approach to something that’s frustrating you in your life and adapt to your circumstances like a winner would?

Remember, if you’re arguing and making a strong case to stay where you are right now, you’re never going to evolve past your current circumstances.

Square Peg, Round Hole

Sometimes my daily calendar really does make me smile and a recent entry did just that. It read:

‘You can’t get prune juice from an orange, no matter how hard you squeeze it.’ Wayne Dyer.

There are so many times in life when we try to force and force something – no matter how much push back we get. The old adage, ‘square peg, round hole’ comes to mind, but the refreshing analogy used here helped me to view it from a different angle.

Have you found yourself banging your head against a brick wall recently?

I know that my stubbornness can be a hinderance rather than a help sometimes, and I often need someone else to tell me when it’s time to call it quits and either approach something in a different way or leave it behind altogether.

Even though it’s often someone else who makes it clear I need to make this decision, deep down inside I’m always aware of what I should really be doing. So right now, I’m here to ask you, what should you be getting ready to leave behind or approach in a different way?

Forced to Feel Grateful

I haven’t been feeling that well in myself of late and now that I can feel my body on the mend, I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have my body back at full capacity. It feels heavenly to go about my day and not be in pain of any description. 

Quite often, we forget to be grateful for things because we take them for granted until they’re taken away. In my case, I’m usually a very healthy person and as I lay in bed feeling terrible, I longed for the days when I’d felt 100%.

When was the last time you were given a forcible reminder to feel grateful because something you usually take for granted was temporarily taken away?

I know that there’s an extra spring in my step as I acknowledge how good I feel when I wake up in the mornings, and it got me thinking about what else in my life I could be taking for granted. I also wondered if the same might be true for you, so, what is there in your life that you need to remember to be grateful for?