My broken heart.

my tears my pain‘I see the tracks of ev’ry tear that ran right down your face.                         I see the hurt, I see the pain, I see the human race.’ ~ Annie Lennox, Universal Child

Is the person you love hurting you? They express remorse, promise to change, declare their love for you, but then it happens again. The let down. The lies. And all you have is the pain. The tears. And the broken heart.

When I look back now it is hard to imagine why I stayed in a loveless and destructive relationship for so long.  I was devoted yet received so little in return. I gave my all and forgave all in the mistaken belief that I was being compassionate and supportive.  Yet tolerating isn’t loving and existing isn’t living.

I poured out my unconditional love because even though my head kept telling me it wasn’t worth it, my heart disagreed. Because you reap what you sow. Right?

Not necessarily. Just as to reap good crops you have to sow your seed in good soil, you have to sow your love into a good relationship. That is, a shared partnership of mutual affection, trust, commitment and respect. My relationship was void of all of those.

‘You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don’t.’ ~ Dr Phil McGraw

The problem was that I should never have got involved in the first place. The abuse I had encountered in my younger years had destroyed my sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Consequently, I didn’t require anyone to treat me any better than I thought I deserved.

Additionally the rejection issues I had experienced as a child had left me with a fear of attaching to anyone, so that even when I did form a bond I never expected it to last.

Little surprise then that my relationships were at best short-lived and superficial, at worst destructive and detrimental to my well-being on every level. One thing I knew for certain though and that was the result would be a broken heart. Usually mine.

If like me you have been hurt or are hurting still, it’s time to heal. If you thought that your love would be good enough for them, it was. But their love was not good enough for you. Not then and not now.

Remember that the more you invest in a relationship, the greater the harm to your soul if the commitment is not reciprocated. And when the love you have given is exploited, it strips your spirit of joy and dims the light of your inner-being.

‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’     ~ Psalm 147:3

Faith taught me that just as love hurts, so does it heal. In the rawness of an ending of a something you believed to be special, it can feel that your heart is broken beyond repair. But it is possible to recover and to discover a love so infinite and so complete that the pain of the past is but a wisp of a memory.

That same love you gave away you must now be used in abundance to nurture your mind, body and soul. Stop telling yourself that you will never love anyone again. You will. But only when you completely and unconditionally immerse yourself with the love that lies within.

‘The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.’ ~ Steve Maraboli

Your new life, your new love awaits. But you can’t embrace either if your heart and mind hold on to what’s gone before. As devastating as it feels, the ending also signifies a beginning.  And forgiveness is the key to unlock your wonderful new start.

All that resentment, anger, fear and loneliness can only be overcome through a willingness to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t condoning what someone else had done or said.  It is empowering yourself by replacing the negativity of the past with compassion, happiness, truth and peace.

Forgiving yourself is equally as important. Release yourself from the blame and shame that keeps you captive for by doing so you will find the freedom to live your life with the love of your life.

Help your heart to heal by accepting that love is accountable. You can’t make anyone change but you can take responsibility for your own life. It’s time to stop living your life through someone else and start taking your love to a new level by putting yourself first. Because if loving someone else means you have to stop loving yourself that is too high a price to pay.

‘He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.’ ~ Epictetus

Finally, in those times when the pain is ripping you apart, dig deep into your soul and search for those things for which you can still be grateful.  When your wounded heart is screaming for attention, focus on what you have and what you will have. Whatever your circumstances you can always find something or someone who gives you a speck of hope.

broken heartIn my own journey of recovery, I found it was my moments of despair that the light of my faith shined the brightest. It provided me with the strength, comfort and gratitude that I needed to affirm my worthiness. And it reminded me that as broken as I was, I was lovable and precious. And that I could be restored.

Join me by resolving to be stronger than the pain of yesterday, find peace for today and pursue your dreams for tomorrow.

For my broken heart has healed. So can yours.

‘You have within you more love than you can ever understand.’ ~ Rumi

 

 

 

Thankyou! And a competition!

Embrace

Embrace

“It is amazing how things can change when you embrace the reality that you’re better than the life you’ve settled for.”  ~ Steve Maraboli
Are you enjoying your life? Do you want to make the most of your life despite difficult circumstances? Then  Embrace – an e-course being run by the fabulous artist and life couch Jane Hinchliffe could be just for you. And today I have the pleasure of offering up a competition to win a free place!

Details at the end of the post, but first a few ‘Thank you!’s to some kind bloggers who have nominated me for awards.

I was delighted to be voted in the top 25 bloggers in  Blog with Heart award. Huge gratitude goes to Jodi Chapman of Soul Speak for organising the award which goes to bloggers sharing from their hearts. Jodi was looking for ‘those special souls who came from an authentic space of love and grace,’ so it was an honour to be nominated. Please do visit Jodi’s soul-filled site http://www.jodichapman.com blog-award-top-25-winner

Thank you to everyone who nominated me, with a special shout out to Vidya Sury of going-a-musing, Susan Deborah Schiller of Team Family Online, Sharon O’Day of  Sharon O’Day ~ Awaking the Financial Genius in Today’s Woman and Gertraud Walters of Life Begins at Change. You won’t find a greater wealth of experience, wisdom, inspiration or joy than these wonderful women offer!

“Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” ~ Anne Frank.superstar-blogger-award

Next I would like to offer a massive thank you to Melanie Jean Juneau for nominating me for The Superstar Award.   You can’t help but be in awe of Melanie Jean whose blog – joy of nine9 highlights her amazing life as a spirit-filled mother to 9 incredible children.                    
A completely different but equally inspiring blog comes from Michael Monday . Thank you Michael for my Sunshine Award! sunshine-award-sunflower2His faith-filled business page can be found here: http://businessplaze.wordpress.com/ or show some support at his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mondaymichael

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” ~ Stephen King

liebster2And now I am delighted to thank Sam Ross ~ The Teenage Whisperer for nominating me for The Liebster Award.  This wonderful site is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues facing our young people. Writing with passion  and insight, Sam offers advice to anyone who lives, loves or works with teenagers. Do take a look!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

In the spirit of accepting these awards I would like to shout out a few supporters of The Hurt Healer. They are in no particular order and if you are not mentioned here, please do not be offended. I would love to mention you all but it is simply impossible to list you all. :)

http://ariannasrandomthoughts.com/  http://danaiana.com/  http://grannysmithunleashed.wordpress.com/ http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/  https://jennnadams.wordpress.com/  http://myinnerchick.com/  http://thegreatzambini.com/   http://ourgrowingpaynes.wordpress.com/  http://www.jodichapman.com/  http://richardankerswrites.wordpress.com/  http://christiangrandfather.wordpress.com/ http://nutsfortreasure.wordpress.com/  http://waitingforthekarmatruck.com/  http://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/  http://michellemarieantellg.wordpress.com/  http://littlevoicetalks.wordpress.com/ http://misifusa.wordpress.com/    http://womenwhothinktoomuch.wordpress.com  http://furrylittlegnome.wordpress.com/ http://tamingtheinvisibledragon.com/  http://horizonsofthepossible.wordpress.com/  http://mohitkshah.wordpress.com/ http://straightfromtheheart11.wordpress.com/  http://welcomemuchmadness.wordpress.com/        http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/              http://traceymoonsparkle.wordpress.com/                http://helpwithyourlife.wordpress.com/  http://steverebus.com/ http://prayerineverycity.com/  http://wherewordsdailycomealive.wordpress.com/   http://madeleinemaya.wordpress.com/   http://bwthoughts.wordpress.com/   http://horizonsofthepossible.wordpress.com/   http://31daysofawesome.com/   http://jamesradcliffe.com/ http://mysubmittingsoul.wordpress.com/

Embrace

Embrace

Finally I promised you a competition and here it is! Jane Hinchliffe will be offering 3 free places on her ecourse – Embrace . If you want to get the best from life then this 4 week programme is for you!

And if you would like to hear some exclusive Hurt Healer insights in my video interview with Jane, as well as benefitting from all the other aspects of Embrace, sign up here: http://janehinchliffe.com/ecourses/embrace-4-week-ecourse/

Or enter the competition to win a place for free! Simply leave your answer to this simple question in the comment box for Jane to select the winners.

                                      How do you embrace your life?

Love your life.

life kathleen tennant

Life – Kathleen Tennant

“A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.” Steve Maraboli

Life can be tough. And if you’ve ever had one of those days, that turns into one of those weeks it can be to hard embrace the new day and be happy. Everyone has difficult times and whilst it’s essential to your overall well-being to feel your emotions, but it’s also crucial to have some balance. You have to love your life too.

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. ~ Maya Angelou.

I spent many years battling the depression and addiction that defined my existence. Whilst my circumstances had a huge part to play in how I felt, the fundamental issue was that I didn’t know how to enjoy my life because I didn’t how to enjoy being me.  

Somehow everyone else seemed to have life that I could only dream of, because I was never good enough. And it was that principle that fueled the cycle of negativity and the belief that I could never love my life because deep down I felt I didn’t deserve it.

Loving your life means loving yourself. It’s having the reassurance that you are okay, even when everything and everyone else around you is falling apart or in turmoil. It’s accepting that you don’t have to be perfect, and that your imperfections are part of your uniqueness. It’s being at home with yourself, wherever you are.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27  NIV

Having a strong sense of self-worth and confidence in your own abilities will also help during those times when life has become chaotic because of the actions of others. When your world is impacted by someone else’s bad choices it can be hard to find a sense of peace.

But even though feelings of frustration, anger and resentment can be overwhelming, it is still possible to find some calm in the storm. There may be nothing in the physical you can do to change the circumstances, but you can take control through the spiritual.

When you dig deep with all the power your mind and soul can muster you can find a place of peace. As soon as you refuse to give into the darkness, the light will reveal itself.It may only be the slightest glimmer. But a glimmer of light means hope. And even a flicker is infinitely better than no hope at all.

I know what it’s like to feel completely hopeless. My rock-bottom pit of depression and alcoholism was a very dark place indeed. It was filled with turmoil and torment that raged through my spirit and crushed my soul. Exhausted and desperate I couldn’t imagine that I could ever find peace.Yet I did.

I found my serenity by focusing on the tiniest speck of light that gave me a whisper of hope. That little speck of light was faith. And whilst I would have loved that glimmer to have had the immediate effect of a firework, it didn’t. I wasn’t suddenly cured of my difficulties in a spectacular blaze. I simply allowed the light there was, to gently glow like a candle to my soul.

As the light grew so did my understanding and my acceptance. I realised that life wasn’t meant to be only good or only bad. Life is made complete through the complexities of pleasure and pain. And it is possible to benefit from both.

So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good and bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. ~ C.G.Jung

The game of life isn’t about spending each moment in an unrealistic state of euphoria, although it’s fabulous when everything is going great. Celebrate, rejoice and look forward to more of the same!  And remembering those happy times will help reassure you will see the rainbow after the rain. Because sometimes trouble doesn’t gently drizzle down, it crashes through like a hurricane.

Believing that all things happen for a reason can help keep you positive in the hardest of situations. If I look back at some of the difficulties I have encountered, whether it be abuse, betrayal, alcoholism, self-esteem issues or loss, I can still remember the pain, but I have pushed through it. I may not understand why I had to experience some of those traumatic times, but I do recognise what I have learnt from them – insight, patience, forgiveness, empathy, serenity and gratitude.

So if you are finding it hard to enjoy your life, be reassured that something good can come out of something bad. And that from the darkness of today,  it is possible for a brighter tomorrow to emerge.

Bursting – Kathleen Tennant

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ~ Steve Jobs

As clichéd as it’s sounds, life is short. And your days too precious to be wasted through wishing you were someone else, somewhere else. It’s wonderful to want to change and grow as a person. It’s essential to have aspirations and dreams. But most of all it’s great to be the unique and special ‘you‘.     It’s your life. Love it!  

Huge thanks to the talented Kathleen Tennant  for allowing me to use her artwork. May not be reproduced in any form without her permission. Take a look at her other work here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KathleenTennant

Betrayal.

Abstract Nude by Aja

Abstract Nude by Aja

“Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime.”              ~ Mineko Iwasaki

Loving someone and being loved is wonderful. But when your love is rejected as a result of betrayal, the pain can be agonizing. Possibly the ultimate form of rejection, betrayal can shatter your mind, body and soul.

Where once you knew that you were the only one, you know now that there is another. But true love can’t be shared. That love that you had for each other was too precious, too deep, too tender to be passed on. Yet it has.

And from the moment you become aware of the betrayal, so begins the incessant and intense aching of your heart.  For someone else is now receiving the love you believed to be rightly yours.

When the man I loved betrayed me, I tried at first to pretend he hadn’t. I refused to consider that the relationship was anything more than a brotherly friendship. This of course, was exactly the way he justified his actions. He was simply offering support and consolation to someone who had been through a difficult time. So who was I to be challenging such kind words and offers of help?

With all my mind, I tried to convince myself that he was innocent, yet deep-down I knew differently. In matters of the heart, a woman’s intuition is rarely mistaken. And whether it is an emotional betrayal or a physical infidelity, both are deal-breakers in a loving relationship.

Actually I had known right from the start. His over-exaggeration of how he disliked her, while his body language indicated the opposite. The not-so-subtle comments about her stunning looks and amazing figure, which when repeated back to him were dismissed as a joke. Making special efforts to look nice in her company and being the first to volunteer if she needed a lift. Goodness, I saw it all.

And I heard it all too. Soothing words to reassure her in her time of need. Tender offers of assistance day or night; nothing too much trouble. Then inevitably the words I least wanted to hear were declared with passion; ‘I love you.’

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a unique brutal pain at hearing the one you love profess their love to someone else. You listen with outraged incredulity, whilst being completely powerless. The reality hits hard.

It was when I stopped being in such denial and raised my objections, that things turned ominous. Instead of an admission of guilt or remorse, he tried to convince me that the problem was all mine. It was my paranoia, my jealousy, my insecurity.

Except it wasn’t. It was his lies. His deceit. His betrayal. And it was at that point that I learnt that the level of betrayal you feel depends on the level of love you invested. The greater the love. The greater the pain.

And betrayal raises a huge number of questions that refuse to be answered too. How could they do it to me? Why would they risk destroying everything we have? What did I do to deserve that? What do I do now? And the question that I repeated daily to myself: How could I have been so stupid to let myself become this vulnerable?

Whatever the answers, when it comes to betrayal there is a fine line between love and hate. You love the person, but you hate what they do. You love how they make you feel when you’re with them, but you hate them when they reject you. It’s the rejection that stabs you in the heart and crushes your soul.

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”  ~ Marcus Aurelius

Being betrayed can leave you with feelings of revenge, but there are three reasons why it won’t do anymore than provide momentary relief.

For a start, it won’t undo what has been said or done. God himself can’t turn back time. Secondly, your emotions may override any sense of common sense and you may live to regret what you did. Finally, and most importantly you have integrity and self-worth, so don’t demean yourself by stooping down to their level – you are better than that!

“As long as I have a heart I can heal, as long as I can heal I have a heart.” ~ The Hurt Healer

Anyone who has gone through or is going through the trauma of a broken heart knows that the pain can overwhelm. It might feel like the agony is never going to end, but it is possible and more importantly essential to find a way to let go and move on.

Good friends can listen and comfort, family can empathise and nurture you. Yet only you can heal your heart. The fact is that no matter how hard you try to hide your hurt from the outside world, you carry your brokenness within you, where ever you go.

So let the betrayer go and it will release you too. Because the longer you hold on to what could have been or what should have been, the longer you are trapped in a relationship that is finished.

Of course that’s easier said than done. I know that had this situation occurred when I was in the grip of my addiction and depression, I would have turned to the bottle to numb the pain and blamed myself for being so unlovable.

Thankfully, my journey of recovery has made me stronger and wiser. No longer a victim that crumbles at the actions of another, I am a survivor who accepts that although she can’t control what someone else does, she can control how she reacts to it.

“All healing is first a healing of the heart.” ~ Carl Townsend

Initially you may try to manage the damage with things that gratify you.  Alcohol, drugs, relationships, work, even food can all help fill the void, numb the pain, and distract you. Yet temporary respite fades and the reality of your raw soul is exposed.

You may feel like you will never love again. But it’s love that hurts and love that heals. And there is strength to be gained from your vulnerability. Learning to confront the truth, even when that truth is excruciating, is empowering.

When you love someone deeply, you assume that your level of investment and honesty in the relationship is reciprocated. Being betrayed is the realisation that not only have you been deceived by another, but you have deceived yourself. Ultimately, that can be soul destroying.

Yet reclaiming you ability to trust is essential to emotional healing. Reassure yourself that you were right to believe in the relationship, but it was the betrayer who was in the wrong for abusing your trust.  Rebuild your faith in others by surrounding yourself with those who care for you and allow them to nurture you. Then focus not on what you have lost, but on the good things you still have in your life. Gratitude is a great pain-killer.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis B Smedes

Once the initial shock has passed and you have started to trust again, the next step to freedom is through forgiveness. Personally, I couldn’t have undertaken any level of forgiveness without my faith to guide and comfort me. I learnt that forgiveness wasn’t about condoning the actions, but accepting what had taken place.

Forgiveness also meant that instead of being burdened with fear, resentment, bitterness and anger, I was free to fill my heart with hope, expectation, joy and peace. And in doing so I was able to redefine my expectations and boundaries of relationships.  Most of all, forgiveness was about saying goodbye to the bad, so that I could embrace the good.

Femme 104 by Aja

Femme 104 by Aja

With the love of friends and the strength of my faith, I was able to manage the stormy days which fuelled the tears and the trauma. It was also faith that reassured me that after the rain, there was the promise of a rainbow.

And if betrayal has darkened your days, that promise of a bright future filled with love, awaits you too.

“Everybody wants happiness. Nobody wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.” ~ unknown

Huge thanks to talented Aja, owner of the Sagittarius Gallery for allowing me to use her artwork. May not be reproduced in any form without her permission. Take a look at her other work here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SagittariusGallery

Amazing grace

the special one amanda cass

The special one
Amanda Cass

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” Lao Tzu

If you are struggling with feeling ‘not being good enough’, or holding on to shame that is preventing you from accepting who you are, you are not alone. Society idolises celebrity status, bombards us with images of what we should look like, and manipulates what we should have and aspire to be. And there is an expectation to be perfect in everything and in every way.

Yet perfectionism is a myth. It’s a powerful myth that damages lives. Because when you fail to live up to those expectations, it can have devastating effects on your self-esteem. It’s natural to feel disappointed if you make a mistake or fail to do something, but if that feeling turns to shame then you could be heading down a spiral of self-destruct.

If the shame of ‘not being good enough’ has left you battling with low moods or depression, or your lack of self-worth has led to self-medicating with food, drink, drugs or prescribed medications, then you need to start challenging that myth of perfection.

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” ~ Brené Brown

My own long-term issues with depression stemmed from unresolved childhood trauma which led to a dependency on alcohol. From early childhood the experience of being rejected by my mother and abused by my father had a devastating effect on how I valued myself.

As I progressed through adulthood those feelings of ‘not being good enough’ intensified. Outwardly I wore the mask of the ‘independent, capable, confident woman’ but underneath I was lonely, confused and broken. But most of all I was ashamed of who I was.

At the lowest point of my life I was a chronically depressed alcoholic who had lost everything. By society’s standards I was a complete failure. I had nothing so I was nothing.  Except that was not strictly true, I did have something.  I was breathing and I had a speck of faith.

“T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.” ~ Amazing Grace by John Newton

I would love to say that I came to faith and an appreciation of grace through an instantaneous moment of spiritual enlightenment, but I didn’t. I came to believe through doubt and fear, and if I am totally honest because I had nowhere else to turn. Yet a speck of faith was all that was necessary to receive the gift of grace.

This is what is so wonderful about faith. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, as long as you believe and then receive. I know that receiving can be just as hard as believing if your sense of self-esteem is low, or if you feel that you have messed up too much to be forgiven. Anyone who has experienced heartbreak, loss, abuse, addiction, depression will be all too aware of how difficult it can be to start seeing themselves in a positive light.

Yet you are precious. You have value. You can be forgiven. And you owe it to yourself to receive the gift of grace and start to live your life as the person you know deep down, you can be.

“Courage is grace under pressure.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Maybe taking that step of faith seems impossible, but be reassured that it is through your weaknesses that you will find your strength. Dare to expose your vulnerability and you will reveal the intense beauty of your authenticity.

Grace is the antidote to shame. Grace through faith allowed me to accept my past and move on from it. It is grace that helped open my heart to forgive others and myself. It is grace that has enabled me to find my inner-strength and courage to heal.

It is so empowering to learn that you don’t have to be perfect and that you can embrace your imperfections as part of your uniqueness. And it is liberating to be able to accept yourself because of what you are, not despite of it. Grace is the key to both self-approval and emotional freedom.

“The gift of grace is a fresh start to each day, every day.” ~ The Hurt Healer

making a fresh start

Making a fresh start – Amanda Cass

Imagine being able to wake each morning knowing that your past didn’t have to define your future. Think of how good it would feel if you knew you could begin again. Consider how good you would feel if you believed that you were simply okay as you are, but with the desire to fulfill your potential. Those are the spiritual promises that I choose to embrace daily, and they are there for you too.

The gift of grace allows me to accept yesterday, live for today and dream for tomorrow. It’s the privilege of living with a peaceful mind, a vibrant heart and an illuminated soul.

Now that’s what I call ‘Amazing Grace’.

Both images thanks to the super talented Amanda Cass                                                      at http://www.redbubble.com/people/theartoflove                                                                     All rights reserved. No part of these images may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission

 

Thank you! 18 awards

thank youI delighted to be able to start this new year by accepting 18 awards and taking the opportunity to mention some of my favourite bloggers and newest followers.

First of all a massive thanks to the wonderful Sandra Bellamy of Quirkybooks .She sums up her attitude to writing on her post Happy Quirky Christmas as she says:” It’s about being quirky by being different, letting your creativity explode and standing out from the crowd.”              I agree!

Not only an author and blogger, she also has invaluable advice on her site: Beat Redundancy Blueshttp://www.beatredundancyblues.com/  for anyone who has been made redundant or simply wants a new direction in their career.

2013-apr-12-wordpress-family-award-from-motherofnine9So I’m delighted that she has nominated me for The Dragons Loyalty Award which is a lovely new award to add to the list of other awards Sandra has kindly nominated me for. These are the WordPress Family Award, Sunshine Award and Versatile Blogger Award which I have already accepted from other wonderful bloggers, so to save repetition, here is the link -  http://carolynhughesthehurthealer.com/2013/07/25/thank-you-24-awards/  But it’s always lovely to be nominated again! Thank you Sandra for all your support and encouragement. Please help me to return the kindness to my friend by taking time to visit her sites. :)

Moving on to the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, there are a few rules to follow:

dragon-award

  1. Display the award certificate on your website.
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  3. Present the award to 15 deserving bloggers.
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

All nominations for all the awards will be listed at the end, so here are a few ‘interesting’ things about me that you may not know.

  • I have gradually overcome a spider phobia thanks to my youngest daughter insisting on keeping a pet tarantula.
  • I used to keep donkeys and miss owning one now, so if I see any donkey in a field I can’t leave until I’ve petted it.
  • I learnt to ride a motorbike and got my licence after someone bet me I couldn’t.
  • I write a ‘Book of Blessings’ which I update each week with all the good things that have happened to me.
  • I don’t set a foot out of bed without saying a  prayer.
  • I’m very shy.
  • If I could change anything about my past life, I wouldn’t. Today is the only day that really matters.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” ~ James Thurber

Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpegMoving on to some more awards, I have another thank you to Sandra of Quirky Books, to Michael Monday  to Anna Rose, blogger of Rose with Thorns  and to Ajaytao 2010 for their nominations for Blog of the Year 2013.

I must shout out Alyson Sheldrake of ‘The Thought Palette’ who created this award. Not only a talented blogger Alyson is an artist whose beautiful work can be explored here: http://www.a3art.co.uk/.

Anna Rose provides sensitive insight into many aspects of mental health.  Her vulnerability in sharing the challenges she faces is so encouraging. Give her some love at http://annarosemeeds.wordpress.com/inventive blogger award.

For faith-filled business and lifestyle awesomeness take a look at Michael’s blogs here: http://justmikemon.wordpress.com/ and here: http://businessplaze.wordpress.com/ Michael also nominated me for Inventive Blogger Award which requires me to list 5 things I like about blogging.

When I started my blog last June, I never expected anyone to read it. But I’m thrilled that my posts have now been read nearly 48,000 times. I like that! Yet it’s not the quantity but the quality that counts and I am certain that I have the most loyal, supportive and encouraging followers in the blogging world. I like that even more!

I would say I ‘love’ rather than ‘like’ the connection that my blog gives me with so many amazingly different people from wonderfully diverse backgrounds and cultures. I like being able to share heart, mind and soul with so many of you . And I like being able to offer some understanding and hope in a hurting world.

“When we’re looking for compassion, we need someone who is deeply rooted, is able to bend and , most of all, embraces us for our strengths and struggles.” ~ Brene Brown

first-best-moment-award-winMy next words of thanks go to Michelle Smith, blogger of Rising Woman who nominated me for Best Moment Award. Thank you Michelle! As I’ve accepted this before, I shan’t repeat myself, but you can read more here: http://carolynhughesthehurthealer.com/2013/07/25/thank-you-24-awards/:

Michelle describes herself as: ‘Obsessive writer. Non-practicing alcoholic. Cancer survivor. World traveller. Hardcore caffeine lover. Die-hard optimist with a dark side.’ Her blog http://risingwoman.wordpress.com/  is well worth a visit, so please do.  She is also the author of ‘What Happened That Day‘ and ‘Stone Princess’ both of which come highly recommended.

versatileblogger113One of my newest followers this year has been Gaurab of Processing the life. His blog is a photographic and written journal of his life. It’s personal and interesting, especially if you enjoy reading about other cultures. Please do help me thank Gaurab for his nominations for WordPress Family Award and Versatile Blogger Award by calling over to his blog http://processingthelife.com/ You will be made most welcome!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu

As well as thanking the kind and generous Ajaytao for the WordPress Family Award, I also need to say a huge ‘Thank you’ for the other 4 awards kindly offered, including The Lighthouse Award for ‘A blog that brings light to a dark world.’ created by Good Time Stories. Ajatao posts the most gorgeous and unusual photographs, often with thoughtful quotes. A real inspiration in the blogging world. the-lighthouse-award

The Lighthouse Award includes sharing 3 ways I like to help people. For me I would say that I can help others by having an open mind, an honest soul and a loving heart.

miraclebloggerawardNow last, but by no means least, I would like to share my gratitude with Belsbror who nominated me for the Miracle Blogger Award. I love the description of blogging that Belsbror gives. ‘A blog is anchored to the imagination of its author, grounded in the basic principle of freedom of expression with responsibility.’  For more interesting ideas please head over to  http://belsbror.wordpress.com - Like it or not, it’s already written my way.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”~ Henry David Thoreau

I’ve decided it would be ridiculously lengthy to nominate numerous blogs for each award and I am aware that many bloggers don’t wish to participate, so I shall simply give a shout out to as many as I can for the moment. There is no particular order and if I have missed you out this time, please forgive me and let me know so that I can give you a mention next time.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have followed, commented and shared The Hurt Healer.

Wishing you all many blessings and much happiness. :)

” Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie.

http://wherewordsdailycomealive.wordpress.com/

http://www.teenagewhisperer.co.uk/            http://teamfamilyonline.com/

http://patcegan.wordpress.com/                  http://lifebeginsatchange.com/

http://abiburlingham.wordpress.com/           http://lifebeam.wordpress.com/

http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/     http://vidyasury.com/

http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/                   http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com/

http://misifusa.wordpress.com/                    http://newheavenonearth.wordpress.com/

http://deepthinker52.wordpress.com/           http://sharonoday.com/

http://bipolarforlife.me/                                  http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

http://steverebus.com/                                  http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/                        http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com/

http://rachelhamiltonnz.wordpress.com/      http://praneethharsha.wordpress.com/

http://tamingtheinvisibledragon.com/            http://theinfp.com/

http://findingorderincorpusa.wordpress.com/   http://happsters.com/

http://roots2blossom.wordpress.com/          http://warmbreezebliss.wordpress.com/

http://overacuppa.co.uk/                                http://myinnerchick.com/

http://processingthelife.com/                         http://rootedinbeing.wordpress.com/

http://jenalexanderbooks.wordpress.com/    http://imaginecontinua.wordpress.com/

http://wifemotherawesomegirl.com/             http://nutsfortreasure.wordpress.com/

http://bkcross.wordpress.com/                     http://risingwoman.wordpress.com/

http://purplerays.wordpress.com/                 http://meirozavian.wordpress.com/

http://starscrutiny.wordpress.com/               http://lifebeam.wordpress.com/

http://landoffun.wordpress.com/                   http://christiangrandfather.wordpress.com/

http://littlevoicetalks.wordpress.com/           http://focusedandfree.com/

http://judysp.wordpress.com/                      http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/

http://donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com/

http://sheridegrom.com/                               http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/

http://womenwhothinktoomuch.wordpress.com/

http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/  http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/

http://paharidotme.wordpress.com/              http://paharidotme.wordpress.com/

http://bipolarforlife.me/                                 http://humaninrecovery.wordpress.com/

http://thehipgrandmother.wordpress.com/   http://meirozavian.wordpress.com/

Colours of frost

frost appleI love this time of year. I love the brightly decorated shop displays and the anticipation of Christmas. I love the chance to meet up with friends and exchange gifts with those I love and care for. But as the year draws to an end it seems like each day gallops away in a blur of things to do and people to see.

“Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~ Pablo Picasso

It was my youngest daughter who reminded me of the need to slow down so that I could appreciate the little things that this season brings.  We were talking about what she liked most about winter. She didn’t mention presents or school plays or holidays. Instead she said she really liked the ‘colours of frost’. And to be honest, I had no clue what she meant!

For me frost is purely the covering on the ground we wake to in the mornings. It’s a sign of winter. It’s cold. It’s white. It certainly doesn’t inspire me. For my daughter though frost is a magical substance that gently sparkles on all that it touches. For her the frost isn’t only white. No, the frost takes on the colour of whatever it is attached to. The colours of frost change with the light and the heat of the day. And they are beautiful to her.

My daughter’s eyes light up when she talks about winter. Her imagination is amazing as she describes what she sees. Her frost covered world is one of marvellous patterns and exiting shades of white.

But the most important thing she shares is the importance of taking the time to find pleasure in the little things in life. I forget to do that, especially when the pressures of everyday life are building up around me. Yet it’s so important for me to take that time and allow myself to see things through the eyes of a child.

“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” ~Jean de la Bruyere

My childhood was too full of fear to feel any happiness. It was too full of loneliness to share the visions. It was too dark to see the light. I grew up way too quickly and as an adult I mourned the loss of my infancy and youth. It’s one of the reasons I take such care in nurturing my own children. They need to experience the security, the love, the fun that all children deserve. And sometimes it is through my own daughters that I find my own inner-child and my own child-like creativity. They show me what it is like to be innocent. They show me how to enjoy the moment. They show me the colours of frost.

If you are struggling with the past or find it hard to manage the present because you are grieving the loss of your childhood, be reassured that it is never too late to reclaim your inner-child. Look to the lessons that the young can teach you – they forgive easily, they laugh lots, they find time to play. But most of all they embrace the new day. And so can you.

As a thank you to my daughter Charlotte I am finishing this post with a poem that she wrote for her final homework of the term. And I hope that like me, you will enjoy finding time to time to think about what and who you love.

                            What I love about Winter by Charlotte Hughes – age 10

I love

the dew drops as they cling to the spiders’ webs with all their might, the sunshine when it shines on the frosty grass and the pretty colours of white.

I love

the snowmen built by little children all around, until the melt and make pools of slush and ice on the ground.

I love

the snow as it falls on to the slippery ice covered earth, and how we join together on Christmas day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas. Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported and encouraged me this year, and I look forward to sharing much more from The Hurt Healer in 2014.