It Wasn’t ALL Bad

It Wasn’t ALL Bad

The thing about the past is that it’s easy to see it ALL as bad, so that everything now is good, and light, and positive and progress.

It’s disingenuous to oversimplify it like that. Although there was a lot that was broken and dishonest in the past, not everything was. In fact there was a lot of good back then, too. 

A second voice from the past reached out this week, this time to thank me for teaching him business communications, a few years ago. 

He has just started a new job this week, and has been commended on his professional communications – and he took the time to thank me for what I taught him, because it has helped him in his role, and has already earned him recognition. 

Today I am grateful for his thanks, for reminding me that there are things I do well, that teach and inspire people. But mostly I am grateful that he is out there, making a name for himself and getting the recognition he deserves. 

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

Image by Mikhail Pavstyuk at Unsplash free images 

Friends

Friends

I’m late, leaving the office at 19:15, but there’s no helping that – there’s a lot to do, and plenty that’s not finished. 

But tonight – even though all my body is telling me to do is to crawl under a duvet for a thousand years – I have a date.

We see each other very rarely these days – maybe once every two months or so, for a couple of hours – but tonight is one of those times, and even though my headspace is consumed with deadlines and delivery and flights and copy decks and budgets and brand strategy, my heart belongs to my friends, and nothing will get in the way of our date night.

Just for a couple of hours we lose ourselves in each other; in each other’s lives and stories and milestones and revelations and loves. 

In this moment, we belong together. No judgement. No demands. Nothing but love and friendship. Laughter. Hugs. 

And then it is all over for another two months.

But just for tonight, I am grateful for love that I can feel, and these beautiful humans who are my friends: Maru, Daisy, Natalie, Steffi, Jeanne, Eugene, Vincent and Craig – you are a superb lot. You can stay. 

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

A Chance To Forgive

A Chance To Forgive

A voice from the past reached my ears last night. A voice I never expected nor wanted to hear from ever again.

He talked about pain and truths and hurt and moving on. And he apologised for the “deep reservoir of pain” I felt by his hand.

It was a chance for me to practice the forgiveness I talk so openly about. It was also an unspoken seeking out of absolution, which is not mine to give. 

Today, I am grateful to be able to forgive, and to keep on forgiving.

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Staring Into The Chaos

Staring Into The Chaos

Today has been a day filled with difficult conversations that needed to be had. 

Plenty of reality checks. Emotional introspection and exploring things I would rather not talk about or feel.

I have come out of today with some questions answered, and more questions raised. But at the end of it, today I reaffirmed my commitment to progress and healing. To move through the feelings, the pain, the obstacles – and when the past rears up to confront me – to face it head on, and handle. 

Today I am grateful for the people who take the time to listen, and answer my questions, and who show me that the way forward is by taking the next step.

Sometimes that next step is simply staring at the chaos. 

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Like Family

Like Family

Today again, I’m not forcing a list of five things to be grateful for.

I am becoming aware, slowly, of more positive aspects – a compassionate support system of friends, family and colleagues and an engaging, creative career. These will be picked over in fine detail later, as I unravel their positive influence.

But today I am most grateful for friends who wrap me up in their lives and invite me in – not to the big sensational events – but the exquisite ordinariness of a family dinner and sharing moments with their kids. 

Playing, having fun and laughing at the silliness of life, words, feelings, situations, people and stuff – just…like family. With all the love, warmth and sense of belonging that that word holds.

Family. 

Just like family. 

Today was a good day.

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Five Things.

Five Things.

Five things to be grateful for, today:

  1. It’s Father’s Day – and although he’s no longer with us, the memories of dad are happy ones.
  2. Danielle’s blanket. My niece visited 2 years ago, in August, and was so cold she bought a blanket that there was no need to carry back to Dubai. It’s warming my feet as I write.
  3. Support from friends. The messages and phone calls since yesterday’s Rising Tides post was amazing. Thank you.

Three things, then. Not five. The trick is not to force the list to make that target. 
I can’t immediately think of another two but yes, I know the list of things to be grateful for is practically endless – and this daily exercise will slowly reveal more and more. No need to rush it.

All in good time, right? 

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Rising Tides

Rising Tides

Anxious. Overwhelmed. Insecure. Exhausted. Feeling like I am letting people down on all sides, professionally and personally.

There is just so much going on at the moment and it feels like I’m about to start dropping balls. 

I’m spending long hours at work learning new stuff and trying to keep things going without dropping the standards that the business expects. 

I’m also trying to prove myself worthy of this new role – that the business made the right decision to appoint me – so I drive myself relentlessly. 

Result? Feeling overwhelmed and anxious. And this has manifested as illness. I’m constantly sick. I sleep badly and have nightmares about missed deadlines and unhappy clients. 

This all eats away at me, making a mockery of any sense of enjoyment or achievement that I have in my new role. I keep expecting the worst. 

My sister picked up on this in one of my voice notes to her and this morning she sent me a valuable reminder of a simple way to fight this rising tide of fear: make a gratitude list. 

This was something she inspired me to do in 2013, when my old employer had yet another of its wobblies, and I sank into a well of depression. 

Back then, I started listing 5 things I was grateful for, in a Facebook status update every morning. 

It felt silly, at first, and was hard to do – amazingly hard to do – I couldn’t think of more than 2 or 3…astounding, really, when you consider the myriad blessings that filled my life at that point. 

But like the proverbial snowball that spawns an avalanche, those first few posts lead to a daily celebration of all the people, situations, feelings, epiphanies… things I had to be grateful for. And it inspired a few friends to make their own daily gratitude lists. 

Well, it’s time to do that again. I’m building these lists on my blog to create a rising tide of gratitude that will overwhelm the black dog of depression that is gnawing at my heart. 

Let’s start with 5 things I am grateful for, right now:

  1. My sister Lynn, for her daily inspirational and nurturing messages.
  2. Whatsapp voice notes. I get 15 minutes of my sister’s beautiful voice every day on my drive to work.
  3. The patience of friends. Friends like Koreshini, Ryan and the two Sarahs, and Dorothy, Maru, and Phil and Grethe, Anita and Werner, Steve, Allison, Natalie, Steffi, Daisy and Eugene and so many more, who know that I’m constantly working and that I haven’t forgotten them. Friends who miss me and every now and then do a gentle reminder that they are still there, patiently waiting. 
  4. My whole family – siblings, nephews and nieces, cousins and all, who tag me relentlessly on Facebook, reminding me that I am part of a family, despite the vast distances that separate us.
  5. A job that I love, and am good at. That I am passionate about.

There. That’s a start. Tomorrow I will add 5 more. Slowly, slowly – this will change the spaces inside me, filling them with love and gratitude and chasing away the dark fears.

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.