Since being a very young child I learnt to pick myself up after knock backs and just keep going.
Back then my ‘knock backs’ were someone not wanting to play with me for a day, or not getting picked to play ‘wing attack’ on the netball team, but they still stung and I still learnt resilience.
As I got older and was off out into the big wide world the stakes were higher. We need to make money, find a place to live, pay bills, survive the daily life stuff and find our way.
From 11 years old I became an actress and as much as I had many success’, most of you will never see the tons and tons of rejections I got, the parts I narrowly missed, the scenes that got cut, or funding that got pulled from a film.
Being an actor, (or any self employed person for that matter) means you need to build a thick skin and learn to jump back onto the horse after each fall. For some they will say this is just ‘too hard’ and they fall after the first hurdle, but I made it a bit of a dance and I taught myself to always move forward.
Moving into the ‘proper grown up’ stage of my life, when I became a Mum for the first time the stakes were raised again and suddenly life hurled things at me with great force, at a shockingly rapid speed.
Pre- eclampsia with my first daughter, a difficult and rather traumatic pregnancy, finding out I had Hughes syndrome (an autoimmune disease that is often called ‘sticky blood’) and having to inject my pregnant stomach with blood thinner during my second pregnancy. Both early babies, the first in the Special Care Baby Unit, at Coventry University Hospital and me pretty ill too.
At 3 months my first daughter contracted meningitis and at only 7 pounds was really ill, but thankfully turned out just fine.
My husband suffering terrible depression and then eventually the big one, the scary one…CANCER.
Grade 4, brain cancer.
Rare brain cancer.
Now this one was tricky. I vividly remember sat crying on my kitchen floor and making the decision that crying wasn’t going to get me through this, that it would take more. I decided right then and there that I would do ‘whatever it took’ to get me and my family (my daughters were 1 and 3 at the time) through this situation.
Writing that all down (and obviously MASSIVELY condensing the ins and outs of what happened and what has happened since, with cancer treatments) reminds me of just what has gone on in the last 6 years.
I could read that and feel sorry for myself. I could sit here, cry, ask “why me!?”, talk about how it’s ‘always the good ones’ or lay down and give up.
BUT I haven’t and I wont. The reason I wont? Because life ISN’T perfect, life does have challenges and pit falls and it isn’t ‘always me’, or only me, it’s all of us! We ALL have pain and sadness and sickness and troubles.
All of us!
I am not a victim and neither are you.
Being a victim means you are choosing to accept a circumstance that is thrown your way, you are giving up, it means you are going to remain passive and let life thrown you around. I don’t want this for you and neither should you. You are worth far more than this nonsense.
It’s time for some tough talk.
You want something, you want a nice life? You have to go out and get it. You have to decide what that life looks like, live it, breath it and know every aspect of what a ‘good life’ looks like to you and then you need to make it happen.
You also need to look at what you currently have and learn to appreciate and feel grateful for that too. Feeling grateful doesn’t mean you can’t want more, it’s just learning to enjoy the journey as well as what you are going to create. Even when you are going through the trickiest of times, there are still things to feel grateful for, you just have to look closely.
I am sick of hearing people moan, complain and feel sorry for themselves. Making tiny things into a huge gossipy drama and feeling horrendous about life.
I read a great quote by Wayne Dyer this week, which said:
“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”- Wayne Dyer
This couldn’t be truer. When you lead a positive and grateful life, you don’t see things as a ‘problem’ or a ‘nightmare’, you see solutions or if you can’t find solutions you enjoy the moment and you feel grateful.
I know that people will read in the newspapers or magazines about mine and my families story and think how awful our life must be, but it isn’t. Of course we will be the first to admit, the cancer, yeah thats an ‘ugh!’, ‘rubbish one’ but in the same breath we know our lives are good too. We have our own home, money in the bank, two beautiful children, food in the fridge, we get up every day and have created a life where we can do what we want and spend time together.
I am not a victim.
It’s time to stop letting life happen to you. If you know this is currently you and you have been letting people tell you what to do, letting challenges bat you around like a pinball, then just stop. DECIDE. Take charge.
Whatever you believe about what happens once we die, in this life, it’s short. the time you spend posting how crap everything is all over your Facebook and gossiping with your friend about ‘that rumour’ that’s going around, could be better spent.
You are not a victim, so stop acting like one.
If you feel like you need some guidance on developing a more positive mindset, head on over to www.iamhollymatthews.com/coachingwithme and let’s chat, or watch some of my many videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/hollymatthewsonline
I look forward to your posts about strength and how amazing your life is, make sure to tag me in them!
Originally published at medium.com