I have never got to grips with understanding who I am, what makes me the person I am today. I can safely say my children gave me the greatest gift. I am a Dad. Without that I really do not know what would have happened to me. I certainly do not think I would be roaming around the earth being me. Now my daughters can’t take all the credit I am blessed to have four people in my life that I can talk to without judgement being made and can always call them for council. All in all these people, these incredible people have helped me find my identity.
As a young man I was involved in sport and these activities helped me make goals. Unfortunately in life it is not always possible to achieve these goals but for me I have always struggled to have a balanced approach in realising why they were not attained. Time and time again I would fall back to being self-critical and become consumed with negativity so much so until all my motivation was drained. It has taken me five decades to get to know myself and know what I needed to do to change. This process has opened my eyes and let me approach myself in a more positive way. I suppose my life to date has been a journey to find self-acceptance.
I was a casualty of the financial crash in 2008 and lost everything, the absolute feeling of failure is so intense and with that there were are a cue of people shouting at me in anger backing up what I already thought of myself. Things were said to me that have never left my conscious and the sorrow of letting down some really good people financially I will never get over. During this time I was truly alone and there was no God that was free to help me. This I had to work through myself.
My marriage quickly fell apart during this time as truths surfaced and we parted our ways, not before agreeing terms of the custody of both of our wonderful daughters. Common sense between both parents prevailed and only the best for our children was our focal points and goal.
All of these factors helped cement the negative perception of myself that already existed. I was defeated and every mistake or obstacle that came my way was proof of my shortcomings. Being a Dad kept me grounded and the desire to be the best Dad was my only motivation. Everything else I was able to park and all the negativity around me I fought. Perhaps this was the beginning of me learning to value myself or at the very least prioritising. My family and I were my motivation and goal.
I am beginning to learn to concentrate on who I am and not what I do. The negative noise in my head is slowly being drowned out. I don’t think of myself in that negative way anymore and those people that have judged me on may failures are entitled to, the only difference now is I won’t let them pull me down. Time to swim and stop sinking. My biggest lesson was to cease looking at my accomplishments either negatively or positively to validate my worthiness. My children and my four friends have guided me to validating my achievements by looking within myself and to my relationships with them as a monitor of my life achievements. Essentially this is my space to get my self-acceptance back.
Being fifty has been a wonderful gift and I have a quiver filled of experience and life to reflect on. This as given me a greater sense of well-being and a true meaning of the direction of my path/journey in life. I feel good about myself and want to nurture it and become the best Dad and friend to the people that matter to me in life and that I love.
I am not naive, life will throw lots more challenges at me. To deal with these I have made some life changes. I enjoy swimming and get huge head space when in the water and the added bonus is I am fit. I try to swim a minimum of 3 kilometres twice a week and sometimes three times a week. I have a goal this summer and when I achieve it I will share with you. I have always been a social person, now I am a little more guarded and protective of myself so only let my hair down in the company of my four friends. The power of positive relationships cannot be underestimated and this supports me emotionally and practically. I hope I am as good a friend to them as they are to me. I enjoy our very different personalities, opinions and sometimes beliefs and especially their honesty.
My goal for 2020 is to take setbacks as momentary problems and not as proof of my shortcomings and failures. I hope you are well and my experiences, shortcomings, failures, inadequacies, fight, strength and the want to be the best Dad and friend helps you understand you are not alone and you can be the person you are without prejudice and with ambiguity.