Audience Participation


I better stop right now

before I go any further

my mind keeps thinking

but I am doing nothing about it

and this is going nowhere


I am feeling disconnected

I am closing down

and becoming isolated

I find it easier

to avoid making changes


I’ve got ideas

on how I can change that

create a routine

see friends, become engaged

be part of a conversation


Get myself out there

volunteer where there are people and movement

people say I have so much to offer the world

but I don’t know

how or where to offer it


You see the problem is

I think I’ve stopped believing in myself

and I haven’t exactly got my health

so I am procrastinating

finding excuses to avoid things


I guess it’s just a phase

this is quite a transition

as I build the rest of my life

caregiving will end

how will I keep on going?


Explore my values

there’s got to be a reason

but I am struggling folks

do you have any suggestions what one can do

to help one believe in oneself again?


44 thoughts on “Audience Participation

  1. 42 people (so far) have stopped in their tracks and taken the time to answer your call. Your moving, honest blog reaches the heart – you reach people! I am sure if you take even a small step of some kind the second one will be easier to find! Good Luck, Harlon x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Isabel, and yes it is truly amazing the response which in turn touches my heart. I think writing this post and reaching out was the first small step – and now I have an abundance of very practical, relevant second steps – many of which I am introducing into my routine or into the way I think. Hugs, Harlon


  2. Hello my friend ♡ I’m so sorry to be coming upon this so late…but pray that you are feeling much better now 🙂 I think, sometimes, when we feel this way (and I would venture to guess that most people do or will at some point) it is usually before a giant “breakthrough!” Some kind of incredible movement in your soul…something that makes your heart sing…something so very important to the rest of journey. At least that is what I hope for you ♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello my dear friend, and thank you for your lovely message which was quite illuminating for me. I am reminded now that I have felt this way before and it has always happened before a “breakthrough”. I am questioning things and affirming my values and connecting to my purpose – these are the steps that tend to lead me to feeling illuminated. Thank you for lighting the path. Much love, Harlon


  3. Hi Harlon. I’m late to this conversation, but it resonates with me as how I felt for much of the last few years. Finally, I’m feeling more confident even if I don’t have real clarity of direction. Two things helped me; being more accepting and gentle with myself. And in retrospect, ANY action would have been better than endless mind games and analyzation. I’m coming to realize that I gain clarity, confidence and more by engaging with the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are never too late to join this conversation 🙂 and thanks for your comments. It’s been quite empowering to know that others can relate to what I tried to express and I have received such great guidance – and so far, it’s stuff that works. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but perhaps I need to ” reinvent how I perceive myself and how I can “collaborate” with my brain rather than to be in conflict with it, or allow me to get consumed by doubt. So yes, overthinking it has been the trap I have fallen into and relaxing and knowing that being me will be enough for me to be happy – and being me means connecting to my values and yes engaging with the world. When I took on the role as caregiver it meant a change of location and a change of lifestyle – and now that it’s becoming my new normal I realized that I had isolated myself. I know myself well, and I know I “do better” if I introduce change slowly and thoughtfully, so I have created regular meetings with a close friend to go for hikes or take yoga together – to cultivate a stronger friendship so that we can support and follow each other through life’s ebbs and flows. I am also volunteering, for an organization that is in line with my values and that means meeting new people, and doing good stuff. It seems that sometimes all I need to do is press the help button and with the help of friends, navigating life seems more clear and more fun. Thanks for being there for me. Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the very kind and thoughtful response Harlon. Clearly, you are navigating the waters of change and doubt much better than I did. Maybe next time, I’ll ask you and the WP community for help. You’ve given me some ideas. Thanks. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • And I feel pretty confident saying that you know that ideas can be a fun thing to pursue. Reaching out was formidable for me. I highly encourage you, when needed and as needed, to explore your version of that. It’s a nice thing to have in your back pocket. Peace, Haron


    • I understand what you are saying. I am always cautious about giving advice, rather I focus on listening. What’s great about what happened with this post is people listened, and that is part of the empowerment process. People also gave me great ideas, tips, recommendations – and all of it, is something that I can practice, some in small ways others in bigger ways, in my life. Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The world is upside down.
    Those who believe in themselves and have abundant confidence, the Trumps of the world, are the last to believe this and the first to believe this
    and the good people
    the good people never believe
    and if they do it’s never enough
    because the world burns

    Recently I lost a really good friend because I was not confident enough for her confident self. She had remade herself, I had not.
    If I knew the answer I would surely give it
    Perhaps the answer is, there is a reason for everything
    Some reasons are bad some reasons are good and some reasons are the truth
    Maybe the truth is too much belief would stop you being who you are
    Maybe the truth is too little belief makes you think you will stop being who you are
    Maybe the truth is – you will never stop being who you are and one day you will see that is a good thing?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s always the believing in myself or trying to feel goo about myself. The struggle never seems to end. One problem, is I judge myself by my results…you know, the way we have been programmed. Keep writing or draw …I have found that when I exercise my creative self, that’s when I feel best. That is closest to my true self and that’s the only thing the world can’t take from me. My trouble is, I feel broken, the minute I stop. I can only hope that goes away. Hang in there, you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Harlon,

    Sorry to hear you are struggling, but glad the writing helps. It keeps things open anyway, doesn’t it? Expressing it allows for a certain flow I feel.

    I’ve felt before like it seems you are feeling– not sure quite where or how to move but knowing there is movement in me. For me it is helpful at times to realize that only that thinking/inspecting/judging mind comes to these sorts of conclusions about how we fit in. That type of thinking gives this conceptual distance from life that is isolating, and it is a strange sort of cerebral concoction that I’ve learned over the years is pretty meaningless.

    I think you’re right about there not being a silver bullet. There is simply the living of Harlon. But that, of course, is a great thing. I think you see from the response here people looking in through the window of your sharing see goodness, intelligence, grace and well-being. It can be hard to hold ourselves in the same generous light, but I think that is the sacrifice we must make sometimes… Ha! We must give up the idea we’ve been given somewhere of our own futility, and realize we were never on our own to begin with.

    I was reminded of this favorite quote of mine in writing a response here, from A Course in Miracles, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is.”

    Whether you believe in God or not is beside the point at some level, but it is important to realize we are the work of the whole– of goodness and life. There can be no distance within us when we discover this truth of ourselves.

    Peace, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks Sheldon, your feedback, actually everyone’s feedback has been so helpful and empowering. I think you are right. it starts with the awareness – for me it is the awareness that maybe I have lost faith in myself – then comes further awareness, action and realization. I think I am in a period of heavy transition and change can do funny things to a person. Thank you for pointing out the sign that I may have overlooked “I am on the path to finding out”. Cheers mate, Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Harlon! Thought about your post again this AM an thought that a wonderful book by a Buddhist author might interest you. It is WHEN THINGS FALL APART by Pema Chodron. It will give you, perhaps, a different perspective from which to view. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey you! I really value the fact that you took some of your time to reflect on my post and to invest in some useful advice. I think I am just going through a bumpy phase and there probably isn’t a silver bullet, but I have received some great advice so I think exploring options and combinations are a great way to go. When someone recommends a book to me, well, firstly I feel honoured, and secondly my intuition tells me to listen to what you are saying. Book ordered and looking forward to where it will take me. Thank you for the first step, it’s often the most awkward. Thanks for fostering my courage to move forward. Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi! Glad to hear you have ordered the book. My recommendation comes with a caveat. If you haven’t done any reading about Buddhism, what you find in this book may contradict everything you’ve ever heard or read about problem solving. Try to read this with an open mind and learner mind-set. In my estimation there is much truth here and it is worth more than a single read. I am about to read it a second time myself. Peace!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Got it! I’ve read a book by Pema Chodron before so I am not treading into completely unknown waters, yet, I agree that this sort of writing takes time to absorb. I will approach the book with an open mind and a hunger to learn and with patience. Thanks again! Harlon

          Liked by 1 person

    • Precisely. Just writing this post accomplished a lot for me and then all the wonderful feedback that has come with it. I always value your perspective and yes, staying the course and writing is a great form that helps me move forward when I might just be feeling a bit stuck. Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Seems we are similar paths. I’ve been questioning myself and my purpose lately. The balls I’ve been juggling have hit the floor. Recently I finally had to admit that I needed help. I don’t want to spend my Life just going through the motions of Living yet not being alive. At this point all I can do is work with my doctors and keep moving towards retirement. I suppose one advantage I have if you can call it an advantage is the I’m a U.S. Veteran. Unfortunately I’m actually going to have to make use of what little services the VA offers. If you served in the military I’d suggest that. If you believe to a church or temple I’d go for spiritual counseling. Also take advantage of any volunteer activities in your local community. For example if you enjoy pets volunteer at the local pet shelter. Not sure if my words helped but know that you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing, and although I wish you weren’t experiencing similar struggles, I am glad that we can have this dialogue about what can work when someone feels stuck. I think I am at that point in my life where I really need to make decisions that can create a hopeful future for me but also being realistic. The being realistic part seems to be the hard part. Your ideas are great. I live in Canada so I have turned to Community And Social Services, but there is very little that they offer – or at least it seems you have to reach rock bottom before you receive support, which seems inefficient to me – I think it would cost less, and the outcomes were better when “the system” supported us when we need it, not when we are desperate.

      Thank yo for encouraging me to pursue spiritual counselling – bonus points for that. It’s not something I had considered. And I think that whatever this feeling is, the more I talk and share, the less overwhelming it will become.

      I am wishing the best for you, and thank you so much for guiding me.

      Love, Harlon


  10. Harlon, knowing you only from your writings, I have to believe that you are a decent person. Morally speaking, this gives you an edge in life over most others.

    I’m not in the know of your health, but if I may and if you’re able, might I suggest you work on your wellness. Eat right and exercise. No matter how little workout you begin with you’ll soon realize the benefits. But please, Harlon, know your limits. You might even consult a physician, first.

    Personally, I think there’s no better formula to strengthen the body and one’s confidence than wholesome plant-based foods and exercise.

    To further build self-confidence and strength of character I recommend living compassionately and respectfully to all earthlings, and to the earth in every way possible. It expands your virtue and at the same time, your insight. It’s a formula that has served me well for years.

    Peace, strength, courage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very astute observation Peter – and it’s kinda funny that you should mention it. I feel like I’ve been struggling with my health – it could just be a blip – and then there is the whole question of what is healthy? I know feeling confident in this is a priority – so yes I am on it, a reassessment of my diet and activities, heaps of appointments with Doctors and Specialists – and am just about done. I know that for me to feel confident about myself, I need to know what and who I am working with – and my health is a big part of that and in guiding me to which adventures I wish to pursue. I am going to research plant-based foods – so thank you, you have given me an actual resource that I can pursue, that makes a difference for me, so look what we can do for each other; share experiences and learn. Through in some mindfulness and some patience and reduce the overthinking. It’s a process, but I do feel progress. Thanks again for the words of wisdom, they make for a nice nudge. Peace, Harlon


  11. I thought long and hard and could not come up with anything better than my conviction that the answer lies within. There are often times when each of us must have the patience and tenacity of the caterpillar. Peace, Harlon!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Believing in yourself is so much easier if you listen to those who know you best tell you just how good you are. I doubt you’ll ever be short of that Harlon.Good luck with the future and may your health improve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, and wise words indeed, firstly I find writing and sharing is such a catalyst for creating the change we feel we need to create. Hence, I am opening up to friends about my self-doubt and encouragement and support from people who know me, who see my strengths is a really powerful way for me to rediscover hope and confidence. Isn’t there a song “I get by with a little help from my friends?”.
      Thank you friend,


  13. Thank you for that, talk about perfect timing, all of “this” seems like a struggle but I think it is change, transition, and that I am on the path to finding out….just can feel kinda bumpy at times. Your support helps me find my even keel. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think that’s a wise move, stay with what I know works – and then, thank you so much for that bonus word: experiment! I hadn’t considered that concept. Why not just try things out, this is the time in my life and I have the time in my life to do that. Thanks so much for your suppoort JoAnna. Lotsa love, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

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