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Facing The Future

Updated on October 11, 2013

How to Face The Future With Hope

This is my personal journey battling with depression due to past mistakes and anxiety due to fear of making even more mistakes. I am a 57 year old woman that never even remotely imagined to find myself living this way. As a young girl, I had a storybook dream of marriage, children and getting old. I lived some of the dreams but now my life is a nightmare.

If you choose to join with me on this new chapter of my life, I hope it will be helpful to you and give you some understanding about yourself or others facing like life challenges.

Please feel free to comment, give me advice and share your ways of coping.

Thought I would leave an update here since 2 months have passed since writing this introduction. I am loving the opportunity to find out new things about myself, as I create a new life. I'm over coming many of my fears and one day I will shout... No Fear.

I wonder sometimes if I am the only one that wants a fresh start or a do over. Have you ever felt this way? What did you do?

Step One

Reality Check

Looking in the mirror is so very hard for me. The reflection is hazy. I don't know the person looking back at me. There is no smile. The eyes look dark with despair. Tears flow and follow the well worn wrinkles of age.

What happened to the reflection that use to look back at me? I want to tell myself that I need a new mirror, that will fix it. The reality is I need to look deeper into this reflection and improve it. The mirror is just fine.

We all make mistakes, hurt and disappoint people, get hurt and get disappointed. Dont get caught up in the past, learn from it. Allow yourself to grow, to smile and to be happy. Isnt it lovely to look in the mirror and see a honest person, your best friend, the one you can always count on. Make sure you are. Love yourself. With a big fire in your heart, you can set other hearts on fire. Be gentle, kind, respectful, sincere. If you carry that out, you might inspire others with that attitude.

Have You Looked In The Mirror Lately? - Does it reflect the true you?

What kind of reflection do you see?

I know that I look in the mirror every morning but I usually don't pay much attention to the reflection. I wonder, what kind of image do I reflect to others through out the day?

Are you happy with the reflection?

See results

My Past Mistakes

Divorce

I am so guilty, it is my problem and it is my fault. I have done irreparable harm to everyone in my family, especially my children. I tried to make good decisions based on my children's needs. I tried to repair my selfish decision. I thought they would be happier with their dad in a familiar home, a familiar school. I had destroyed my marriage, I had broken my vows and I had destroyed my family and any trust, respect and love they had for me. I abandoned them. I was not worthy of being their mother. I committed the Unforgivable.

I have asked for forgiveness, but my wrongs are too many and my children still suffer for my mistakes. I feel as if I am on Death Row and have been here for almost 20 years. I see now that I have wasted those years in deep depression rather than trying to be a better more productive person. Others do not need to forgive me but I have to learn to forgive myself. I pray that one day they will forgive me for their own benefit. As I have learned when you don't forgive it fuels hate and hate brings personal problems.

I ask God to be by all of their sides to nurture and protect them with His Unfailing and Unconditional Love.

Step Two

Forgive Yourself and Forgive Others

What is forgiveness? To me, forgiveness is the conscious decision to release blame for a wrong done whether real or imaginary. For forgiveness to be genuine one has to forgive themselves before they can begin to forgive others.

Forgiveness isn't something that is done easy. Everyone does things in their life that they need forgiveness for. No one is perfect! Mistake are made, words are said and as hurtful as those things are to us, we need to remember that no one is perfect, and everyone can make a mistake. Even stupid choices that can really cause damage...but that doesn't mean that it was done intentionally to hurt us.

We all have love in our hearts, we need to use that love...tap into the power of love and forgive, not for the other person so much, but more for ourselves, so we can heal and get better. But if you are going to forgive, you have to do it all the way, in forgiveness there can't be half way...it's all or nothing. If you think you have forgiven and you are still hating that person or dwelling on the hurt, or trying to hold that person accountable...you haven't truly forgiven.

Quit bringing it up, quit punishing that person and quit punishing yourself because if you are still doing that then you haven't forgiven anything.

Forgive and Forget

Is it easy for you to forgive and forget?

See results

Me and My Reality Check

As a result of years in a very abusive relationship, I suffer deep depression and low self esteem. The transition from strong confident woman to the weak depressed person I am didn't happen over night. It crept in like a thief taking away my family through isolation, my confidence by harsh daily verbal abuse. Through the years my physical, mental and spiritual health suffered. Now away from the abuser, I still hear his voice in my head.

The hardest thing for me to do now is accept myself just the way I am. I view myself through the eyes of others and how they respond to me. This is wrong in so many ways. They are not me, they have their own judgements and failures in life, they only see the outside of me not the inside of my soul, they know their pain not mine, they want to help but their actions are based on their own needs, they love me with expectations, not freely. I am me not them. Accept me the way I am and it just might help me accept myself.

Everyday, I try to start over but the past haunts me. I feel judged and sentenced to a life of no hope. I wish I could forgive myself and move on. Over and over the past interrupts my future. How do I stop this madness and move forward?

What is it that defines who we really are? Is it our past mistakes? Is it our past achievements? Is it our job and how much money we have? Is it our age, our looks our talents?

I am far too sensitive and analytical. I seem to feel what others think of me without them voicing it to me.I want to be loved by everyone,someone,anyone but I don't love myself. I fear rejection and I want to be accepted. As a result, I tend to put on a false facade, that is easily seen through by those who know me the best. But I keep trying to fool them and myself.

I have looked for satisfaction in all the wrong ways, sex, alcohol, drugs to no avail. Satisfaction has to come from within. Perhaps when I accept myself just the way I am and grow from there, I will know love, peace and joy.

Step Three

Forget The Past

Now that I have forgiven myself and others, I must forget the past. This is easier said then done. In therapy, I often have to open an old wound in order to heal it properly. I also am reminded of my past by those I have caused pain. I am uncertain if they even realize how this hurts. I acknowledge and accept that they also are trying to forgive and forget.

I can't live today or tomorrow if my eyes are focused on what was or should have been. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here, I have today and this moment.

Live A New Story

Quit Living The Old Story

Wow, a challenge one day at a time. It is definitely time to start living a new story. In this story, I will be the survivor and claim victory over the haunting past. Forward with confidence is my path. With my eyes focused on the future, I will not glance back and lose my footing. Stay tuned for my new chapter of Living Life.

Please visit my next lens with the link below.

Thank you

Out With The Old - In With The New

This lens is my journey in starting over and accepting the fact that only I can change my life.

My Positive Affirmations

It's not too late to start over.

I am loved.

I am different.

I am talented.

I am me.

I am forgiven.

No Fear!

Today is the first day of my new future.

Step Four

Live Today With A Positive Attitude

I want to enjoy life again. This is impossible with a negative Woe is me attitude. Think positive, be positive. Starting the day with positive thoughts and holding on to them is a hard task at first but the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Remember that mirror? Look into it and tell yourself positive affirmations. Gazing at that little picture of post -it notes in the corner got me thinking. Why not use post -it notes to surround myself in affirmations by putting them on my mirror? I'll be surrounded with affirmations saying I am loved, I am special, I can do it, I am free, Smile, Laugh Out Loud, etc.

Surround yourself with positive like friends that encourage and challenge you to raise the bar higher. Read stories of hope and accomplishment. Meditate. Fill your mind with all things good. We are what we think.

Positive Affirmations on Amazon

Order 2 one for you and one to share. I think they are a great gift.

Step Five

Set Goals

Where do I want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and so on? Dream big! This is not the time to think small.

Isn't it fantastic to have a new slate full of endless possibilities?

* Smile at someone everyday.

* Be grateful.

* A home of my own

* Be Independent

* Volunteer and make friends

* Be a Mentor

* Live Healthy

I Need Help

Getting Help

The hardest thing to do is admit to yourself that you need help. The next step, asking for help is even harder. You courageously open up and accept help but soon you will realize, to get help you have to help yourself.

When you finally do ask for help, you are referred to someone. When you see that someone they refer you to someone else. That someone else then gives you a list of resources that can help. You go to get help at some of of those resources and are told you don't qualify. They give you another list of resources. You seek help at one of those resources and are put on a 1 to 2 year waiting list. They in turn give you another list. You call that resource and they access your needs over the phone and put you on a list. They ask you to call back to see if you qualify and then they can give you a list of resources to go to.

I want to give up. I think I will go back to my world of isolation while I wait for help. Truth is, I really don't seek isolation but I feel ignored and invisible. So I disappear as not to disturb anyone. Isn't it odd that you can be with 4-6 people and they really never speak all day? I have tried to even engage them in conversations but their answer is only one word. In fact, it's not even the real word, I'll hear ya instead of yes. I hate the silent treatment. It makes me feel like I have done something wrong. However, I will excuse the rudeness and assume they just don't know what to say. Do you know the old saying about the word ...assume?

Depression and anxiety are crippling. They can change everything in your life before you know it. They take away your life.

Homeless and Proud

Evidently my future includes being homeless. At first I was scared of this and couldn't picture myself in the park feeding pigeons. Now I look forward to the challenge and the personal growth that it will encourage in my life.

I have lived so many lives and this is just one more for me to conquer and share. I hope you will check back for updates and leave me words of encouragement.

I know I will meet some interesting people with stories of their own. I hope to take notes and honor them in a lens. I need a camera for pictures. Did you hear me Universe that supplies all of my needs?

PS. I don't have a laptop to use either but they have one at the library.

Writing The Next Chapter

Today I came across a fantastic lens which led me to 3 more lenses by masunyoananda.

It was as if God, Spirit and Angels guided my hand to click on this link:

http://www.squidoo.com/cleansing-process.

I am so excited and feel as if a cloud has been lifted and I see hope for my future.

It is past time to cleanse out the negative thoughts and actions. It is time to meditate and use positive energy to write a new chapter.

The first chapter of the rest of my life is finally a work in progress.

I have finally begun my new journey to wholeness. I asked for help and thankfully received it. I was in crisis and needed to admit myself into Neil Dobbins Center for crisis management and to adjust my medications. During those 5 days I became a new person. I became rational and hopeful. I can't thank the staff enough.They encouraged me to talk about things and share with others. They made me see the value of connecting with others for support and assistance in reaching goals.

With my caseworkers help I have a temporary place to live while waiting for something more permanent. I am enjoying watching birds and squirrels scamper around while I drink my coffee. I also get to enjoy watching the sunset in the afternoon and all the city lights at night.

The view has always been there but my perspective has changed.

Any Comments and Any Hints Appreciated

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    • endamclarnon profile image

      Enda McLarnon 4 years ago from Belfast, Ireland

      Every single person should do this. Imagine you are dead and laying in your coffin. Morbid I know but please bear with me. Four people are going to say things about you at your funeral..a member of your family, a close friend, someone you have worked with and a member of some organisation. What would you like them to say about you and your life. Write down the answers and make these the very centre of your life and every day will be fulfilled as you work towards those goals. God bless you in every way.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      @Linda BookLady: I read that ; very good!

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Thanks for sharing your story. I hope things are going well for you....I've been through many of the things you have; I know it's tough. I now do the positive affirmations --it's really amazing how much 'retraining' your mind/thoughts/feelings works. Takes awhile, but works. There's a book I'm reading now called I Declare; you may not like it or be into those books (from Joel Osteen) but it's literally brought so much awareness to me and my husband about accepting ourselves and more. A-ma-zing. Thought I'd mention it. Wishing you all the best ;)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Cool lens.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 4 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: You have read my heart in these writings. I am glad to say I am finding away to glean the lesssons of my past, forgive myself and move forward. I realize it won't happen over night but I look forward to the journey as I travel to a new destination. It will be exciting as every day is new. Thank you for sharing with me such valuble words of encouragement just when I need them most.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      It sounds like you're able to forgive others but not forgive yourself. I declare you forgiven now. All there is - is love. You are lovable and worthy. I recommend reading a new memoir - "Dying to Be Me" ... it is about a woman who was at death's door with terminal cancer. She was in a coma for 24 hours and had a NDE. She says beyond this world, all there is, is love. So don't waste time beating yourself up. Your homelessness could be an adventure rather than a scary thing, you know? Ever heard of Peace Pilgrim, who voluntarily gave up everything to walk across the country repeatedly and without money, fasting until given food and walking until given shelter. There are other ways to look at life. Just remember this: that you are loveable and should very much be loving yourself and your life and looking forward to every moment with excitement. Please love yourself!!! I love you.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 4 years ago

      @PaulWinter: Thank you for your wishes.I am a Christian and I do try and remain positive. This is one of my favorite quotes...

      Jack's quote Titanic: " I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.

      me: Every day is a gift and ours to appreciate or waste. Like Jack, I'm learning to take life as it comes and making it count.

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      Keep doing what you are doing now. You are living Life and Loving Yourself for it. You are here for a reason which may not be clear to you but you are helping many a person out with beautiful lens such as these. It has helped me for sure now I've got to get my old journal's out and start another lens. Thank you for the blessings on me from your lens.

    • PaulWinter profile image

      PaulWinter 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I hope and pray things improve for you and in particular that you don't remain homeless too long.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 4 years ago

      @mrducksmrnot: Thank you so much for this comment. You have reminded me that everything has a purpose. I am glad to hear that you got your journals out. I can't wait to read more lenses by you.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the encouraging words and blessing. Squidoo is helping me in a of ways. Writing here makes me go deep into my heart and soul. I have learned things about myself. I also have been so blessed by the comments of many a Squid. Thank you again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your story here. I hope and pray that you find your way out of the darkness and back into the light before too long. I feel that with the wonderful, positive, accepting attitude you have it is only a matter of time before good things come your way.

    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 4 years ago

      Your story is amazing. I always found, throughout my life, that when bad things happened something good always came out of it. It will for you too. I'll be checking back here again.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for this precious lens about life, I enjoyed reading it. Keep on the path you are on now, you will make it. Blessed.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      You have courage, clearly, and that will make all the difference in going forward. You know, I have come to believe that each one of us tends to do the best we can under the circumstances of our own situations, given who we are and what we have to work with at the time.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 4 years ago

      @crstnblue: Thank you Thank you for the angel blessing.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 4 years ago

      Very good work here! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      webscan 5 years ago

      You are able to analyze everything well.

    • profile image

      roony672 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing, it is a very nice lens!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and also any books by David D. Burns. I have discovered that a lot of depression is negative thinking, which leads to negative emotions. Squid Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I am glad you shared your experiences because it can help so many people who have been through similar situations. Also writing about it is a way to heal and renew oneself.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm 57 too. Watch "The Secret" ........ a documentary that can help you transform all negative into positive. And embrace what is unique about you, kiddo! Hang on to that for dear life. :)

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: Thank you Josh for the blessing. It means a lot to me. I looked at your profile and can see we have some things in common. I will be busy reading and learning from you. Dr. Who fan here.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this piece of your life with us here. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @davenjilli lm: Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. Finding Squidoo and a means to express myself has brought healing to my heart.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @Terrie_Schultz: Thank you for your kind words. Yes, becoming a survivor can be a struggle at times. I try to live positively, share a smile and a kind word everyday. We never know what others are having to face in their own lives.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your difficult story with such honesty. It sounds like even though you have gone through a long, painful period, you are coming out the other side stronger and with a positive outlook for a better future.

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 5 years ago

      I think you have voiced what many feel but are unable to articulate. Forgiveness is definitely for the person who was wronged. So often we replay things in our heads that could have been different especially at night when we should be sleeping and especially when we feel that we are responsible somehow, though in reality we were not. Thank you so much for sharing this heart felt explanation of where you are and how you got here and how you plan to move forward.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @ElizabethSheppard: Thanks lizziebeth. I still have so much to learn.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      What a great story of forgiveness and being excited about today. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I took some really valuable advice from your lens today.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @Annbulance2000: I wonder if I share (TMI) too much information but I write from my heart. I will check out your lenses. Great to meet you.

    • Annbulance2000 profile image

      Annbulance2000 5 years ago

      A new start, a new adventure. Thank you for this open lense.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @denman4: Thank you so much for the note you left on my lens. Facing The Future. Yes, I did try to blame others, as I tried to understand my mistakes in life. Now, I can admit I was a somewhat willing victim. I am determined to be victorious. Your affirmation was a like a warm hug and confirmed the journey I am on now. :)= squid smile

    • profile image

      denman4 5 years ago

      Hi Justmelucy,

      What a painful story. In spite of all of the negative things that you have gone through, you have achieved something that very few people accomplish: you have learned how to be brutally honest with yourself. It is so very easy to deceive ourselves and to justify almost any kind of behavior. Perhaps you did this in the past, but this is not part of your defense mechanisms now. You have learned how to look in the mirror, see your mistakes, feel badly for what you have done to others, and now you are trying restore damaged relationships and reconnect with your children. It will take some time but I get the strong sense that you are definitely on the path to renewed physical, mental, and spiritual health. We are all insecure at some level and all of us have strengths and weaknesses. You are aware of your shortcomings. Now celebrate your strengths: self awareness, honesty, personal integrity, perseverance, the desire to mend broken relationships, and the strength to pursue a path of enhanced physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You are now on a wonderful journey. Thank goodness you are doing this when you are 57 rather than never. :-)

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @MrMojo01: Yes we do and I keep an eraser around called forgiveness.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @TwistedWiseman: Thank you for reading the lens and Yes I am getting stronger everyday.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 5 years ago

      These are very good advice, all of them, I am sorry for your divorce and what you had to go trough, but you were strong and survived. Good job, I survived my parents divorce so I know how you feel.

    • MrMojo01 profile image

      MrMojo01 5 years ago

      Everyone needs a clean slate once in a while.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Absolutely and positively on new journey, learning to love myself and exploring the possibilities in my future is so exciting. Thank you for the like on my lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Looks like you're ready for a positive fresh start.

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Thank you for the encouraging words. I have started reading your lenses and I must say, "Many kudos to you for being in Education." Our mind is a terrible thing to waste. And yes, I am on a new journey. My new lens is about The Journey of Journaling. Published today but drafting another related lens to go with it.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Your candid, honest article brings tears to my eyes. And yet, if you can write this, you are on the way to something better. I wish you the best with your journey.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      I have suffered from depression since I was 18 -I am now 50 so I know exactly what you are talking about.Some-one said this to me once *you did the best you could with the knowledge and circumstances you had at that time* Be gentle with yourself. Angel Blessed

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Thank you. I hope that I don't scare anyone off by trying to keep it real

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It sure takes a lot of courage to share this, but I'm sure it feel liberating as well. Forgiveness and letting go play a big role in the moving forward. Like you said, the first step is to learn to forgive self and then others. May you receive all the strength and grace to continue to move forward...stay blessed!

    • justmelucy profile image
      Author

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the encouragement. Any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great honest lens. Well done. It is not always easy being honest to total strangers. Keep it up; I'm sure it will help you on your journey.