I was recently asked, “What is love?” I realised then, that I do not know the answer, only that I believe true love should lead to happiness. After thinking about this for some time, I have concluded that this should never be asked in a relationship unless there is something missing. Love is like ageing, it happens to everyone, and is not something you would try to analyse unless you are concerned with what is missing. But what does the “full package” look like?
My ideal is best illustrated by the lyrics of a song by Howard Jones:
Love is letting each other be who we are without fear of censure. Love is not wanting the other to become a clone of ourselves. ‘Other’ offers resistance, pushing us to find what is self. Love is actively embracing our equality and pushing each other to realise our full potential and make our full contribution to the world. Love is facing forward, both fighting for a common goal – both strong, both independent and positively choosing a knowing dependence. Love is always leaving the door unlocked and continuing that love when ‘other’ may choose to use the exit. Love is letting go and wishing well. Love is aching joy. Love is the safe haven. Love is arriving home.
I think Aristotle was onto something too when he said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
I have a confession to make. I went to see the Trolls movie at the cinema. It’s funny how kids’ movies often have deep and meaningful messages. The movie finished by explaining that you can’t ingest happiness, it is already within you. To ingest something, you take in something external. If love is happiness, should I be searching for it within myself? After all, nobody else has been with me more, through all the good times, the bad times, knows all my hopes and dreams, and has the power to completely change every aspect of my life. So, is love where you combine your happiness with someone else’s, to create an elevated state of happiness? Or does love help you to find your happiness within? Or both?
I would LOVE to hear people’s opinions.
I cannot properly express the gratitude I feel for the way people are coming together to help me realise my dream. I dream of independent freedom.
I thought freedom would forever be out of my reach. Being reliant on an electric wheelchair is very restrictive; steps become your nemesis, electricity a necessity. The other option is to be completely dependent on somebody pushing me in a manual wheelchair. Both the options will not allow me to traverse rough terrain. Not that I MYSELF am doing any traversing, I am just sat there, motionless, feeling disconnected to the world passing me by. I thought this would always be the case.
I moved down to the coast because I love the sea; I loved walking across the beach, felt connection and relaxation for my soul. After my attack, I had resigned to never being able to do this again. I grew up playing on Ilkley Moor – again, I thought this would forever be out of my reach. I love nature, used to love family outings walking through the forest. But no more. Can you imagine never being able to enjoy the things about this world, that mean the most to you? I have to live with this dark tragedy every day. Until recently, when there was a glimmer of light. Below is a picture of me, taking MYSELF through Ashridge Woods:
I hired a Mountain Trike for the weekend. It was like a dream come true! I took MYSELF over ROUGH TERRAIN, through an environment I never thought I would be part of again. I only had it for the weekend, so didn’t get the chance to do a fraction of the amazing things I’d like, but the possibilities to propel myself to my dreams are ENDLESS. I need this fantastic piece of kit in my life and thank everybody IMMENSELY for helping in so many ways to make this happen. My mum has set up a campaign HERE to raise funds for it. I have trouble comprehending how generous people have been already, both in donations and in sharing it around. I am eternally grateful. It is so true that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Seven years ago, I experienced the darkest parts of humanity. Now I am experiencing the brightest parts.
I know I haven’t been on here for a while. But once I’ve explained why, maybe you’ll forgive me.
It’s been quite liberating, brutally selling all my possessions through car boot sales and eBay. I hope to soon have nothing but dreams and freedom to pursue them.
I’d been forward in stating my intention to go travelling. But let me show you why; I was shown the most profound 5:30 video I have ever seen. Here it is:
It spurred the thought process where I asked myself, “Have I really worked hard to make the most of this miracle I have been blessed with, to sit here and stare at these four walls?” This got me thinking, about how I was surrounded by nice materialistic things. All the things that I have been led to believe that their attainment would lead to certain happiness. But I have them and am not happy.
So, I weighed up my options. Continue with my safe but unfulfilling life, and always wonder what could have been, or face soul crushing fear. Fear of the unknown. But I realised something at this point which made it all okay; if you’re in a situation where you can’t know all the things that can go wrong, equally you cannot know all the things that could go right.
I’ve been quite privileged to be able to look back over a group of extreme situations, condensed over the last few years, and clearly see what has transpired. Applying this life lesson makes me smile even when facing the bitterest, most painful situation. I have learned that if something isn’t going your way, keep in the back of your mind that “life” is steering you toward something better. Remember, though, that it is only steering; you still need to provide the momentum to keep moving forward. Always try your best and believe in your dreams. This mindset has propelled me much further than I ever thought possible, to the start of an unimaginable dream.
On the subject of propulsion, let me fill you in on the amazing discovery I’ve made this weekend. As you may know, I am confined to a wheelchair when “out and about”. Most people can push the rims of these useful devices to propel themselves. Frustratingly, I do not have the coordination to do this.
I am quite exhausted after a weekend of propelling myself through Ashridge Woods and Stowe Gardens. I have hired a piece of equipment to test its suitability and it is simply AWESOME. It can handle most terrains, hills, is transportable (on planes for instance…) and most importantly, I CAN PROPEL IT!!!
Enter the Mountain Trike.
This is my favourite picture from today. The beautiful catalyst responsible for showing me the life changing video pointing me to my dreams, sat on the equipment that can take me there.
It doesn’t feel right yet, switching off the alarm clock before I go to bed, but I could get used to it easily enough. The alarms didn’t go off, because I hadn’t asked them to and the novelty of not being dragged from my bed by their screeching is one I appreciate. For the past seven years, it is that ear-assaulting noise that has started my day, seven days a week, apart from my time in the north and the occasional research trip. Today, however, my services are not required.
The past few weeks have been busy ones. While both I and my younger son have been moving and getting settled into our respective new homes, my eldest son has been clearing and decluttering his home prior to leaving it. Nick has mentioned his plans to see something of the world and is busily making his preparations. We’ve worked long…
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When I saw her, it was love at first sight. She is very high maintenance though.
When we began our adventure together, my current best friend knew the “ins and outs” of the maintenance meaning me and my new love could just enjoy our time together. Then I fell out with my best friend and learned just how much I didn’t know…
It has taken me until this point to simply get the things and knowledge I need to consider starting her up for the first time. I then began to look into care, maintenance and repair and to say I am daunted is an understatement! Anybody who already knows these things, I take my hat off to you.
For me, this is inevitably a long-term commitment, and one which I fear I cannot honour. I am selling my house and everything in it to explore the world. In addition, the slightest mistake could lead to permanent damage. This is not the machine for “trial and error”.
So I decided to grudgingly part ways with her. She currently resides on eBay. The problem is that although this is an awesome machine, she will only appeal to a select few. Of those people, most will not have the money to begin this relationship.
So, I am hoping to witness some WordPress community spirit in action and would be eternally grateful if you were to re-blog this. I am hoping that if enough people are introduced, she will have a good new home. Thank you.
This was just too amazingly relevant not to share (click on the link to see to what I’m referring to). It describes the mentality behind my extreme “dream catching mission” perfectly. I stumbled across this website (by chance?), specifically an article which simply contained a picture and a quote. Together they make a reassuring and inspirational combination🙂
There are revelations hidden within your inner Fortress of Solitude
It’s very rare to be able to remove yourself from a busy lifestyle, from the copious expectations associated with living. I was way too busy to even remotely consider solitude. But as it’s done so many times before, “life” steered me towards what I unknowingly needed, which differed completely from what I wanted. On face value, it would appear that my life was destroyed. However, I see now that I have been privileged to be able to take a step back from my life, assess it from a detached perspective and make a conscious decision on its direction. I am very grateful for the faculties I have been allowed to keep and enhance. I feel it is now my responsibility to fully utilise them.
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I couldn’t have put it better myself! Please read these uplifting words from Inspired Beacon…
Happiness is not just a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. You can be as happy as you make up your mind to be. Once you realize that happiness is not controlled by outside forces but instead by what goes on inside your mind, you can make happiness a choice, day by day.…