Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Mindful Wednesday. And then I left him....

Hi there,
Welcome to mindful Wednesday!
This is where we come together to talk about LIFE,
take a look at various coping mechanisms on offer.
Where we fill our little survival toolkit with tricks, tips and techniques.

Well, this week I’d like to talk about Acceptance.
George Orwell once said,
“Happiness can only exist in Acceptance” 
I am so with him on that one!
But to really believe that, to accept that as the truth, 
I suppose we need to check the meaning of Acceptance.


I can only speak for myself, 
but I know what it means to me.
It doesn’t mean settling for a situation; 
not at all!
That is more like endurance.

Now I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to tread a heavier path today, one which will doubtless resonate with many of you. 
I feel the need to do so, because I think my little story will define acceptance at root level.

Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I was in an abusive relationship.
It wasn’t a happy one, in fact when I look back, 
I can’t believe I stuck with it for so long!
For years I denied it, tried to hide it, didn’t want to admit it.
I was ashamed, blamed myself, felt I had failed, all that stuff. 
Always hoped it would get better.
Of course it never did. 
I remember, I used to sit at the window alone, and draw.
Pen and ink mostly. Even way back then, I used art as an escape. 

John Keats once wrote,
“Ever let the fancy roam, 
pleasure never is at home.”


Finally, it got so ugly, 
I had to accept that I was in a hopeless, abusive relationship 
which was never going to improve.

And therein lay my solution. 
Acceptance of the problem.
Once I fully accepted my situation for what it was,
and stopped trying to qualify it, justify it, deny it, ignore it,
I had taken the first step.
When I finally traded expectations for acceptance, 
I was able to move on.

Don’t get me wrong.
I didn’t HAVE to leave.
I CHOSE to because I had accepted the situation. 

I had to give up everything.
The house, the furniture, the car - you get the picture.
I think that’s often the problem.
People don’t want to give up their belongings, 
what they perceive as their security. 

That was a long time ago, and I am glad I had the courage to change my situation. 

I have a little plaque on the wall, 
with the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the Serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Nowadays, I can apply this to anything,
absolutely anything in my life. 
And I figure if I can get out of the pickle I was in then
with my shirt on,
I can get through anything !!

So acceptance is the key to all my problems really.
For example, if I had my way, 
Grace would live up the road and Mark would live down the road.
Of course I would prefer them closer to home 
than New York and San Francisco!
But I accept that I can’t change that, nor should I want to.
As long as they are happy, then so am I. 
Today, I absolutely accept that situation.
Ask me again tomorrow!
And if I really need a reality check, 
then I think of my friends who have buried their children.
Heavy maybe, but rightsizes my kids’ location instantly. 

We all have something, don’t we. 

written from the heart
with love,

77 comments:

  1. Barbara, thank you for sharing, and how beautifully explained. I'm so glad you are in such a better place now! I can relate to the situation in a small way - I think most of us have things we look back on and wonder what we were thinking, and why did we put up with that for so long? But it's so easy to live in denial and hope for something external to change, to make things better for us, especially when we're low. Now the lesson is to look at our life now and see the changes to be made sooner rather than later! Doesn't sound like acceptance, does it, but I think you're right, it is!

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  2. Tears in my eyes, no streaming down my face. Your blog was just there. I struggle with acceptance but I reckon the blog has got me much farther down the road. You are such an inspiration when the lights are not on and everywhere seems dark and gloomy. Thank you so much. Onward and upward to acceptance.
    Much love, also from my heart
    Anne (Reading)

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  3. I agree totally, sanity is precious. Barbs xx. (another one)

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  4. Bless you Barbara, it must have been so difficult to make that decision at that time. Makes me realise that I have been blessed with a fairly easy path through life. I am so glad you are in a better place now, even though your cherished Mark and Grace are so far away. Thankyou for sharing your story. xx

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  5. Well said Barb, gritty but necessary to show you point. I am glad you had the courage to go...that is a very brave thing to do but with hindsight now you can see how right it was. I am lucky that I have a Hb that is one in a million...but boy did we go to a dark place together 10 years ago and had the strength to keep going. What doesn't kill us really does make us stronger. Also once you have dealt with it and accepted it, which does take time, nothing can ever be that bad again. Coping strategies can be learnt and are so important. Cheers to you xx

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  6. My aunt had that same desicision to make. It wasn't easy for her back in the 70's but was the best thing she has ever done. May your story give hope to others x

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  7. OMG! Barbara, you lovely, lovely girl. I too know what it's like to be in a horrible relationship. There are different sorts of abuse aren't there? Got the Tshirt etc. You are so right, it is acceptance that finally pushes you onto the right path, even though it may take a while. I love my crafting and can be wonderfully absorbed by it, I find gardening good too. Thanks for writing from your heart and sharing a little bit of yourself. Glad you're in a good place now and long may it last. Xx

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  8. We do indeed Barbara saying goodbye to a child being one of the hardest. I knew your story but reading it again kicks your own issues back in to touch - reality check shall we say. Like you have said we all have something and being brave enough to share it is a bold step xx

    Much love

    Kim xx

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  9. Hello Barb, absolutely written from the heart, and I also know what it is like to be an abusive relationship, maybe not physical, but verbal and emotional. I took my kids and moved 2 continents away to make a new life. Today I am grateful and happy that I made that break, and that I love the person I am with, and took the step, not with courage, but with trepidation, based on the need to carry on. You have Dave, Grace and Mark, and of course your Mum and Dad (not forgetting your Clarity family). How does the saying go "Friends are the family you choose for yourself" You have strength, beauty (Both in and out), and are an amazing source of inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt blog, you are a strong and beautiful person, and may we all share in that. Take care. Bx

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  10. Such a brilliant life check Barbara. I've been there and got the tee shirt to match yours. We come out the other side a stronger person and hopefully realise we have to accept, we cannot change others the only person we can change is ourselves, then we can change our situation. Yes acceptance is the key not the doormat xxx

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  11. Such a brilliant life check Barbara. I've been there and got the tee shirt to match yours. We come out the other side a stronger person and hopefully realise we have to accept, we cannot change others the only person we can change is ourselves, then we can change our situation. Yes acceptance is the key not the doormat xxx

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  12. I had to make a decision very similar to yours Barbara - and once the situation was accepted for what it was - it was so much easier to plan the future and, like you Barbara, as you know I have met someone who is very precious to me. I value it even more because I have seen the other side of life and I am sure you know exactly what I mean by that. Life is what we make it and you are on a pathway bathed in sunshine - enjoy! xxx

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  13. Wise words indeed! In a very small way I've made a decision recently to take some stress out of my 'retired' life and instead of saying 'yes' all the time, I decided to say 'no'. Thanks for your encouragement xx

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  14. very lovely and very true words Barbara. I did a Mindfulness course last year and practice in regularly in daily life now. Funny but when I watched your show on Sunday morning there were a few things you said that shouted Mindfulness at me, I wondered then if you too were a fan. xx

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  15. Just returned from a 7 hour round journey to say bye bye to a lovely lady that was a second mum to me & hubby years ago. Your words are so uplifting and inspirational I cannot thank you enough. I really do look forward to your daily chats, I really hope they are not too stressful for you you to do each day. X

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  16. Thanks for sharing. a surprise to read your blog today and see that it was about the word I had mentioned in a post on an earlier blog this week. I have been thinking a lot about acceptance in the past few weeks, deciding to move on rather than fight some things I cannot change,at least for now. I have found it liberating. I can concentrate on the positives and concentrate on the things in my life I am truly grateful for.

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  17. Always find something in your Wednesday blog to inspire me. Look. How far you have come since those dark days

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  18. Thank you for sharing painful memories, memories that changed your course of events, you are a shero to me every day? Thank you?

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  19. That was an emotional read, my eyes are welling up for you but I'm very pleased that you have moved onto much happier times. I really like the Serenity Prayer, how very true, I shall take some time out to think about what acceptance means to me, thank you xx

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  20. Oh Barbara thank you for sharing your story on this mindful Wednesday your blog is such a special place to come each day knowing we are not alone in our daily struggles special hugs to all xxx

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  21. Thank you for sharing this, not sure I am quite brave enough to share all yet but I understand where you are coming from and I so agree acceptance is about understanding only you have the power to stop and the power to change and improve the situation. Sometimes that is admitting you made a mistake that for all the right reasons you did things that were just plain wrong. Acceptance is admitting that to yourself, forgiving yourself and allowing yourself to move on and to try not to make the same mistake all over again. When I did, along came Mark and what joy he has bought into my life. You know that saying that your Mum always taught you, there is always someone in a worse off. This week, the lady whose son has been in hospital since a terrible fall from a balcony got dealt another blow, her other son has had a heart attack at 26. So now she has one son looking at a long road to an uncertain rehabilitation in London and another in Bristol suffering from a heart attack. Speaking to her yesterday, her thoughts are around how she can be strong for both of them and her gratitude to the people who saved his life by administering aspirin quickly. She is just thankful both are still alive and focusing on one day at a time on the road to recovery. Acceptance, well certainly she is not sitting there going "why me?", that is what the rest of us are saying because a kinder more lovely lady you will not find. Sobering and humbling, definitely and realisation that all our troubles ain't nothing compared to hers. So yes, acceptance that the situation is what it is but what we do about it is up to us.

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    1. Hi Karen send her a hug from me it's not much but it shows she is not alone xxx

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    2. Oh dear poor lady! Just as she has good news. Thinking of her and let's hope everything gets easier for her soon. Xx

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    3. Karen I really feel for that poor lady, I agree it's always the loveliest people that have such awful things thrown at them. Please give the lady a hug from me too and have one for yourself too for being so kind xxx

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    4. Ta heaps everyone, she told me on Tuesday through her tears how much it means to have all these people sending love, hugs, kind thoughts and prayers and these help her through the low times, so thanks you everyone. I also should say they help me too, knowing that you are all there so thank you from me, making it easier to help Jill through this. Karen

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  22. thanks for sharing hope save is better

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story, Lovely Lady. Love and hugs xxx

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  24. Sometimes acceptance is the hardest thing. The first step in a long and sometimes painful road, accepting that things must change, that things will be different, that no one has a crystal ball to tell you that everything will be OK. A thoughtful blog today, one that I know will be resonating with many people who are just at that first step of accepting what is. Xx

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    1. Hi Sheila, last day of freedom today, back to work tomorrow! Its gone sooooo quickly! Xx

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    2. Yes it has ,enjoy will be thinking of you xxx

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  25. Hi Barbara
    Your experience has probably made you a much stronger person,I also think you where a very brave lady to leave everything behind so well done you I admire your courage.

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  26. Barbara, when I read your post tonight it was like reading an account of my past! I too experienced a similar situation and after 19 years of marriage and many many years of hesitation i divorced and moved on. It was like jumping off a cliff and not knowing where I was going to land!
    I married again in my 50th year and am a different person. I am ME!!!
    Looking back I realise courage takes many forms, Thank goodness I took that leap.

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  27. Hi Barbara you have been through so much thankfully your the other side you have an amazing man In Dave by your side. As you know we our just coming up to the second an overdraft since we lost are prescous daughter Sandie been a hard road having to expect she ain't coming back there's been very bad days learning to live with out her you and are wonderful clarity friends have more than you will ever know been on h a down would path last few days but life carries onihave four amazing grandchildren who keep me going and I am getting there thank you love hugs Joy xxx

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  28. Thank you Barbara for sharing your self with us. Thank you , I've been trying to come to terms with a type 2 diabetis diagnosis, the how's the whys etc etc but acceptance is the key it's not a life sentence it's just a new way . X

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  29. H Barb,
    Thank you for sharing this with us. It must have been horrible for you and you were very brave to walk away from it. I have been so lucky in my life with my family when I was growing up and then now with my wonderful husband of 29 years ( + 11 years together before that). Love to you and Dave, Alison xx

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  30. Wow Barb, we have so much in common, that could well have been my life you was describing there and I too feel that way about my kids, wish they were nearer but as long as they are happy. That is all a parent could ask for isn't it? Be happy my friend we are all with you.

    Big love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk/

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  31. Hello Barbara

    Thank you for sharing. I am sitting here with tears falling down my face. I have recently had to put my husband into care due to severe dementia and it is not going well as he is a physically fit 75 years old with agressive moments. I know there is nothing I can do but, after 48 years of marriage it is hard, but....I have a very good friend of 86 who, in the last seven years has lost her husband and daughter, had treatment for skin cancer and breast cancer and will live with chronic lymphatic leukemia for the rest of her life. This needs periodic treatment. Throughout all this she remains cheerful and optimistic because she accepts. As she says, she can't change anything so has to live with it and make the best of everything.

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    1. Bless you rosalind and a hug to give your friend xxx

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    2. Rosalind such a hard decision for you to make but in your heart of hearts you know it's the best one for both of you. Sending you and your wonderful friend a big hugxxx

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    3. What a hard decision to make and a brave one as it is sometimes easier to just pretend it is not happening. I hope you and your friend can support each other through this difficult time and in between, we are always here for you to moan to, have a cry or whatever you need to help you through it. Much hugs Karen xxx

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  32. Good evening Barbara thank you for sharing your story. You were so brave to face up to the situation you were in. Our daughter lived with someone who treated her badly there were no children involved and she was able to come home. She is now with a much nicer guy who treats her right. It is so hard to say that things aren't right so much is invested in relationships lots of time as well as things. I would so like to give you a big hug you are an amazing lady. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Hugs Jackie

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  33. Once you accept you and let go and move on . Easier said than done .

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  34. Thank you Barbara for sharig I too have the little picture with the serenity words. You were very brave for your children God bless you Barbara love to Dave xxxxx

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  35. Hi Barbara, Thank you for sharing it couldn't have been easy, I like others who have commented was in a abusive relationship, mainly mental cruelty and control. I eventually said enough is enough but I felt guilty for a long time thinking it was my fault and of course it wasn't. I now live with a lovely man who puts up with all my craft stuff which has become a monster (a nice one) because I now teach as well and you can't just have one of everything - now can you! Thanks K x

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  36. So brave to share such a personal and painful memory. But what a transformation and aren't we all lucky to share the good (and some downs) with you. Xx

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  37. Thank you for sharing your painful past Barbara. I think feel that these things although terrible and difficult to get through at the time do make us stronger and more determined to succeed and make the best of our lives in the future and look where you are now and with your lovely Dave, and Grace and Mark are a credit to you and are both doing well and I'm sure will continue to do so. x

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  38. Dear Barbara

    Thank you for sharing and all you have said it could have been writing those same words. It's now 8 years since I left my ex leaving everything behind as my acceptance was I am worth more than this and nothing and no one was going to continue to mentally and physically abuse me. I accepted I was not responsible for his actions only mine. So I left.....

    I pinch myself, so to speak, each day to have found such a wonderful loving person in my partner who loves me for me. It just happened ... I was out with my camera taking photos at work and he was working at the same place and asked who I was. And that was that....The rest is history.

    Its acceptance that this is how life is meant to be .... Happy & content a day at a time. It had been a long time coming but my path was the way it has been otherwise I would not be here now. Been happy for the last 7 years and hope for many many more....

    Great word acceptance was my word for the word of the day.

    I use the serenity prayer each day. If only everyone would life would be so much better

    Will say bye and big hugs enough of my rambles

    Pen x

    p's hope Dave is still on the road of recovery.



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  39. Thank you for sharing, you are a brave lady. Love the Serenity Prayer, it keeps me sane on times. Take care, jx

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  40. you haven't had it easy at all have you? i can understand a bit more why you are so driven. would be nice to hear some more positive stories too just for balance, hugs xx

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  41. Hi Barbara
    Yours is a truly inspirational story and thank you for sharing it with us. When we accept a situation then it is easier to deal with it. You were very brave and have come out of the other side after what must have been a challenging time.
    Hugs from Chris X

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  43. Hi Barbara, You are wonderful to share with us your experience and wisdom. You are a very special lady who touches so many of us with your caring, thoughtful and enlightened approach to life. You have a wonderful heart. Thinking of you. Sending big hugs! Marian Costello xxx

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  44. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience in a such a beautiful way today. It takes grace and serenity to recall dark times without bitterness and rancour sneaking in. I'm glad you are in a better and happier place now, long may it continue.

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  45. Dear Barbara, thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. I too have learned the lesson of acceptance, albeit in a different way, and it does help you to move forward, make changes and live a much happier life. I'm thankful every day for the life I now have, but am also thankful for the life that I have lived and the lessons learnt which make me the person that I am!

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  46. Thanks Barbara,
    for sharing very intimate things with us.
    As a famous singer wrote in her biography "if you are unsatisfied with your circumstances like husband, house, job, or simple things like your car you have to change it."
    I agree absolutely. Maybe easier said than done but it is the best way.

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  47. Your story was very moving Barbara and it is so very good of you to share this with us. After a crap day at work for me today ,you have just put things in to perspective and I end the day in a better frame of mind xx

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  48. I think you have a spammer here, one above this Esango Shrine Barbara.

    You are a very strong lady, I wish I had been as strong as you years ago.

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  49. Thank you for sharing your past and the way you survived and grew from this. You always appear such a strong woman that its hard to imagine you as anything but that. Good for you for breaking away when you did and allowing you to grow into a new happier and fulfilling life

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  50. As you say we all have something I seemed to have lived my life in denial,my mother died when I was three years old and all my life I seem to have lurched from one disastrous situation to another including an abusive marriage. I had two beautiful Labrador dogs in my later years who gave me the peace I needed they taught me to see things through a dogs eyes ,to give without expecting anything in return and most of all to Accept life for what it is. I live Today and enjoy the marvel of this beautiful planet we live on I accept the things I cannot change and absorb everything life throws at me with the philosophy that there is always tomorrow. I love my Crafting and have recently got in the Groove and can't wait to see what goodies you are going to bring us to help us on this mindful journey.

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  51. It has been a traumatic day as my husband (and co-worker) managed to miss a step in the our school's art centre and throw himself down the stairs - on the first day of term, thas broken his leg in three places. Back at home, exhausted willing myself to go to sleep, acceptance is a very good word to ponder. Not worry about 'what if' or 'why' but accept the situation for what it is and take each day as it comes. Goodnight and thank you for sharing. xx

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    1. Oh my goodness, not a good start to the term! I hope he makes a speedy recovery. Sending you both a hug xxx

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    2. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery and that the cast does not get too itchy! Hope you managed to switch off your brain and sleep well. Karen xxx

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  52. Hi Barbara
    You are such a brave lady walking away from the relationship with nothing, supporting the children and yourself for all the years that followed and working your socks off to run the business and make enough money to live on and also sharing your story with us all. I think you are a remarkable role model for all of us and especially your lovely children. You have your lovely Dave now and it shines through you how important he is to your life . My lovely daughter goes to university on Saturday 600 miles away from home. I have had to accept her choice of uni, it is a beautiful place and I know she will be happy and safe there but it's still such a long way away for my 'little girl ' to be. We are all being brave but something I once heard keeps coming back to me. You have to let your children fly for them to be able to find their way home. Very true I know - I'm sure at Christmas I will be moaning because there are piles of stuff lying around and she's leaving dirty plates on the floor but I will still love her loads and will miss her so much. Thank you for sharing such a personal blog with us today. Love and hugs Diane xxx

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  53. Hi Barbara. I have never been in an abusive relationship but due to health problems Acceptance has been a big part of my life. Thank you for sharing your life with us and for reminding us that accepting that our children may live far away but they are still with us, unlike parents that have lost their children!
    You are a wonderful strong lady and deserve all of the good people and things life can give you. May your words give anyone in a bad place right now food for thought. The Serenity words are so meaningful.
    Have a good day. Take care xx

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  54. Hi Barbara, thanks for sharing such a personal story. Acceptance..I have come to accept that our daughter will never be out of pain. (hypermobility with wide spread chronic pain.) She has just turned 24 and has had this condition for 5 years. She still lives with us as she wouldn't manage on her own.

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  55. I'm reminded of something my lovely dad used to say, Barbara: circumstances don't shape people; they reveal them.Clearly your inner strength and courage got you through those awful years, and thank god for it. Look where it's brought you – right here, to Clarity Stamp, to C&C and then to Hochanda! And to this blog. To take something so painful and negative and turn it into the positive, creative success your life has since become, is fantastic. Well done hardly seems adequate! :) I hope in among all that acceptance (which is wonderful) is also an acceptance – however humble – of how incredibly talented and inspiring you are. Thank you for sharing your story

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  56. Thank you for this, Barbara, seems so many of us have walked the same path... I too was in a very bad marriage, he left when our second child was born profoundly disabled. I lost my son when he was four, and my daughter and I have battled on for ten years. A couple of years ago I met a wonderful man, whom I wish I had met years ago, he would have been the father my son deserved. Now, at 50, I am engaged to be married, and cannot believe how good life is now! Thanks to your daily blogs I am crafting every day, making all my wedding stationery etc, and really concentrating on mindfulness and acceptance. You are very special. Xxx

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  57. Thanks for sharing Barbara, it takes a lot of courage to do so. What a great word acceptance is, one I think I will ponder on. How's Dave doing? xx

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  58. Thankyou, thankyou for yet another mind blowing 'mindful Wednesday. So well written and explaining life's journey and the things we learn along the way. It took me over 10 years to accept my marriage would never get any better and wishing and hoping didn't work. Mental cruelty took it's toll and when I divorced and accepted this, I found unbelievable happiness with my 2nd husband - albeit for 11 years until he died of a heart attack (with unknown heart disease)
    Eight years on and so grateful for the happiness my second marriage gave us.
    So Acceptance of what life dishes out is only just coming in to play after 8 long years of grieving.
    Thank goodness for our children, grandchildren, friends and hobbies to keep us going.
    Bless you for a special piece of your experiences and your positive way forward. xxx

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  59. Thank you for sharing this very personal journey with us Barbara. You are a much stronger person for this experience which has made you the person you are to-day. You are an inspiration to us all and show how Acceptance is a part of life that we must all understand - not easy though. xx

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  60. Thank you for sharing Barbara , I think that sharing is caring ,and you are obviously a very caring person.
    I read a book not too long ago called "everything belongs ".....even the bad bits , because it has the capacity to make us who we are .....who we really are.
    You are Barbara ....a gem !
    God Bless
    Ruthxxx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x