Is this it?

I love music. It’s my life. It takes me away from my thoughts and helps me be in the present. I lose myself in the rhythms and the rhymes. I also love to be in the silence of nature, but even then I hear the rhythm in the waves, sweet melodies of birds and rhymes of the breeze through the trees. My head is a jungle, at times, it never sleeps. When I go to bed at night, I still hear music, my thoughts, something. Something plays over and over in my head. It’s beautiful and frustrating all at once. At first I put it down to being so excited about feeling this well again but now It feels more like I have forgotten how to fall asleep. If there is such a thing as a musical insomniac, I am it. I know when we go to sleep, we are meant to process our day through our dreams. I guess I struggle to process what I’ve been through in my life, let alone one day. It overwhelms me, life, that is. Happiness can be a struggle, so I’ve discovered. How can what I’ve been through, bring such joy? I just don’t want to switch this feeling off, even to sleep.

I’ve been labeled such extremes as inspirational, super human to loudmouth and confronting. So I call it like I see it. It may not seem right to some, but its who I am. I can only relay why I say what I do because I survived two kidney transplants and it wasn’t by being a bloody mute. I had to stand up for myself, ask questions, be heard anyway I could, and so I still do. Simple human nature, survival of the fittest. But now its not about my health anymore, its about my sanity. How the hell do I make sense of my life without needing to worry about my health on a daily basis? It’s all I knew for most of my 40 yrs of life, apart from a healthy 10 years of it, where nothing else mattered except being in love, thankfully, I still am to the same man. I have come to understand that for some people, even the ones closest to me, hate confrontation. Even if I think I’m saying it from the most loving place, it makes them feel vulnerable and vulnerability is the scariest feeling because its when you have to face your fears. Silence, anger, sarcasm, denial, sadness, any defence mechanism to protect their soul. I wish I had a choice not to face my fears, it would of been so much easier but unfortunately for me, it was a matter of living or dying.

So to all my nearest and dearest, the only way I know how to live life is to understand it, talk about it, laugh about but most importantly, face it. Thank god my folks brought me up to believe it was O.K to say it loud because for me life was never ever going to be about ‘yes sir’, ‘ no sir’, I would of been dead if i never asked why or said no. So you ask me for advice or you say something that clearly you don’t believe but it seems like the easy way out, well, I’m going to be blunt, and you know why, because I love you. Maybe my downfall is, I care too much. I didn’t get here by being weak and taking the easy road. If I offend anyone, ill be the first one to apologise, if you bloody tell me I did! I’m learning to be more humble in my older age, but I just can’t be less honest. Someone asked me this morning if I was happy? Most of the time, YES, I am. I faced my fears and now I get to experience freedom. It’s a beautiful thing. Its called the game of life, and I won. I’m so goddam proud of how far I’ve come but I am also aware that life will continue to throw daily challenges at me and there are life lessons everywhere I look, and I want to learn them all. I want to continue to be a better person firstly for myself, then to support the people closest to me and finally to make a real difference for things I really believe deserve better.

Everyday is a challenge of the mind, body and soul. I have daily ups and downs but what insomnia has taught me is a strong perception of what being present means. Sometimes I’m so mentally tired and I become so wired, I emotionally cannot move forward unless I face whatever is on my mind, in that extreme state of tired confusion, like now, it heightens that feeling so much so, that I really try to work through those challenges, as they happen. I can’t let them build up because its going to destroy everything I have worked so bloody hard for, i.e, health and happiness. I know that my experience has hardened me in many ways so I cant pity on you, because i know it never helped me. If your struggling in any way, then that’s a sign something needs to change. If you can’t do it alone, I don’t need to tell you there are people around you who love you dearly that will listen. If you don’t want to burden them, seek professional help. There are really no excuses as to living in denial, unhappiness or ill health. Guess what… This IS it.

Everyone who has followed my blog or that knows me, understands how sensitive I am to animal welfare issues. I continue to struggle with this on a daily basis. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have the mindset or money to devote my entire being to saving dogs from being euthanised on a daily basis, nor can I not cry myself to sleep at the thought of thousands of greyhounds, horses discarded like trash, because they don’t make money for their owners anymore, chickens, pigs, ducks, enslaved in cages just to fill our bellies, the torturous practice of live export and dairy cattle that stop producing milk get no food or water for sometimes days on their way to abattoirs, in utter agony with infected udders only to be turned into minced meat sent to burger chains in the U.S.A. See, I’m already feeling utter despair but how I deal with this is I make a minimal monthly contribution to Animals Australia because they can put everything I believe in, into practice and with small steps, they are making a difference. I have faith that one day, all these cruel practices will end in developing countries. In may not be in my lifetime, but my nieces and nephews will grow with a different perspective on how we treat animals. There is too much campaigning for animal rights in the spotlight for people to turn a blind eye anymore. See, I’m already feeling better! Maybe the secret to happiness lies beyond who we see in the mirror. I like doing good.

So, my secret is: I never forget how far I’ve come, what I’ve got and how magical my life is RIGHT NOW. I plan holidays so I know my hard work is for something more rewarding than just paying off my mortgage, its for creating memories and experiences that will outlive the roof over my head. I put myself out there and try new things to challenge my personal barriers and to understand my limits. I surround myself with friends and family to know that I’m truly loved but cherish my alone time so I can do the things I love. I believe there is a solution for everything so I try not complain, but figure out what I can do to turn that complaint into a positive vision and make it happen. Cherish those moments where you feel utter peace within. It’s where we all must strive for.

Last few words ill leave you with are the day I woke up on my kidney transplants first birthday 6th Feb 2015. It’s probably similar to the above, but I love to talk/write/dance just to get if off my chest somehow. I would hope that it rubs off in someway to make a change for the better but just knowing it gets read, it’s so bloody magical. Sleep well for me. Xxxxxx

I woke up this morning ,sat down at my desk to prepare for the day and first thing I saw in my diary for Feb 6th was ‘1st anniversary of kidney transplant’.

I had forgotten. I sat back and cried with joy because it may have taken 12 months, but I now wake up with a healthy mind, body and soul. Its no longer about my kidney, its about ME.

Below is a picture of Erin and I at my husband and mine combined 40th bday party on Jan 10th this year. I wanted the party to be all about Erin and for everyone to be inspired about what she did for me. Erin did this because she wanted to give back for all the blessings she has in her life now as she admitted her life was never easy, nor was she always this grateful. Erin continues to make a difference which she does on a daily basis as a nurse, but dreams of working overseas in third world countries to help underprivileged women.

I thought that only people like me that have experienced ill health, near death or tragedy could only really experience the gift that is ‘LIFE’. I thought maybe only WE could feel the exhilaration of what it was like to have a complete transformation that makes you see things from a perspective of true appreciation to make the most of each step we take on this earth. It’s not true. Our experiences have only just made it easier to learn this life lesson, and for that I am truly blessed and wouldn’t of changed a thing. Erin found the inner strength to face her fears and now she says I saved her life as much as she saved mine. Now I understand this feeling of upmost gratitude is out there for everyone to feel because no ones life has been easy.

If I could bottle what I feel right here right now, and share it with you all, it would look like a bottle of glitter dust. A little bit sprinkled over you everyday would help you feel freedom, inner peace but mostly a strength that makes you feel like you can achieve anything you ever wanted but also wants you to find ways to give back to underprivileged people or causes just to say THANK YOU for this beautiful life.

What my experience with Erin has shown me is to firstly, LOOK WITHIN. Let go of all that’s hurt you and holding you back. If your life experiences have made you bitter, depressed, egotistical, lazy, angry and you want to keep blaming everyone else for your problems, the time is NOW to STOP COMPLAINING. There is no shame in admitting to these emotional defeats. If you don’t want to be that person anymore but don’t know how to get out of the rut, REACH OUT.

Look at yourself in the mirror, deep into your eyes and allow yourself to see what it is you really want. Once you find that, go search for it. If you need professional help, that’s ok, I’ve had to and it saved my life. Sometimes our scars are too deep to erase. Surround yourself with people that lift you, embrace you and support you. Once you find that inner peace, life will reward you. I promise.
Now I need to take my beautiful dog for a walk, because that’s what makes me happy. Love and blessings to you all. Maria x

Erin Coyne: What an amazing year it has been x thank you for your strength and courage x thank you for letting me make a real difference in someone’s lifex thank you for embracing us as your own and unconditionally xx we are forever bondedx love ya x

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