Marea with Dog
Marea's story (an email she sent me) has been shared with permission. Her unsolicited words are about me and the Weekly Wonder newsletter I publish - and Marea's words are glowing, and encouraging and perfect (actually!) - but they also provide an insight into Marea's world, I think you'll agree.
So forgive me my 'vanity' for including such flattering comments here. I AM glad my Self Help Collective website (and Weekly Wonder/Monthly Marvel newsletter) can inspire people... this inspires me to carry on writing, connecting and helping
"Many times I have thought of contacting you to thank you for being a part of my life on a weekly basis. It is a bit remiss of me not giving you feedback earlier and it has taken the jolt of your last Weekly Wonder
to put my thoughts into words. Your videos have been an inspiration to me
and I have enjoyed them immensely. I recall the different scenes of your videos with a warm smile that touches my heart. Through the different landscapes, to different rooms within your house, to the video in your backyard using your torch .... oh how enchanting
it is to recall the memories of you opening your inner most feelings
to a world of strangers and leaving an impact to this one lost soul unbeknownst to you.
"Your quotation, 'Learn from others, but teach yourself' runs deep within my bone marrow. My life has been has had more thorns than roses
and more troughs than peaks but throughout it all I have discovered that no matter what lessons you learn from others your own experiences bring true meaning to your self knowledge. You have to believe in yourself
, your dreams, your aspirations and then you will learn than nobody can teach you better than yourself ... I have had to teach my self to be strong when I felt weak, to feel grateful when things were bad, to find a sliver of happiness when I felt sad.
"I guess I've been a loner most of my life. Always felt like a square peg in a round hole. Yearned for solitude when crowds were around me. And after so many years struggling to be someone that wasn't me, I can finally hang up my dresses of satin and my bags of makeup and just be me. It has taken me many decades to learn that it is okay to be me
, and to like who I am. That is the biggest lesson life has taught me :)
"It's amazing after so many years to find answers to things that puzzled me for so long. I was raised by Greek parents
to a foreign land to make a better life for themselves and their children. They worked so hard and sacrificed so much to put a roof over our heads and food on the table but were unable to give what this sensitive child who desperately hungered for love and attention, needed the most. These deficits followed me throughout my life, an endless series of broken relationships
trying to find those missing elements from my upbringing.
"Once I understood this simple principle after so many years of fruitless searching it was as though a veil was lifted from my eyes. For years I was desperately trying to discover love in my eternal quest for happiness but after so many futile attempts I finally learned that this was a conquest which I could not succeed without self-love
. Oh the trials and tribulations of having to learn everything the hard way :)
"So Steve, I very much look forward to any future videos you produce and know that this back seat observer and quiet achiever is absorbing all the information. I may never see your beloved Castle Hill
in person but it gives me great pleasure to have seen it and experienced it through your eyes.
"I wish you well dear Steve, and even though we have never met, I think of you as a treasured friend. I have attached a photo so you can put a face to the writer. The beautiful dog in the photo is my beloved Sammy who passed away in my arms a few weeks ago and I miss him terribly. I rescued him ten years ago and every day with him was a treasure. I continue to rescue many animals and have a menagerie ranging from frogs, to dogs, to rabbits, to lizards and turtles to name a few. Oh the pleasure and peace of being at one with animals and nature :)
"Marea from Australia"
It is my absolute pleasure, Marea, and I'm so glad you have enjoyed my videos - I enjoyed creating them.
And thanks for allowing me to share your (personal) email with me; I thought I'd add this poem of yours (about your love of Greece) at the bottom, by way of sharing just a little bit more about you...
You beckon my return once more to
tread through ancient olive groves
taste the fruit of your earth
feel your ocean envelop me
see the beauty that has imprisoned my heart
Strong warm under currents
pulling me towards your shoreline
to satisfy this need that hungers for
one more day of your sunshine
one more night bathed in your moonlight
one more moment captured under your stars