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People of Cessnock is a blog by local resident, Rebecca Murray. The project seeks to value the people of her home town by sharing their stories value and raising the profile of people living outside metropolitan areas.

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“For a lot of my life I feel like there’s just been an inadequacy. Who I am, what I do … it’s never been good enough. It’s always been a fight to be accepted or to be worthy.

And, you know, there has been some pretty nasty and traumatic things that have happened in my life. Some of which is my fault, some of which was not.  

And so, it was quite difficult. I felt like I would go through these cycles where I would get quite depressive and self-destructive. And recently I found myself in one of these states and it came to a point where I realised something has to change.

I got some help. I started seeing a counselor with my wife. It started as a couple’s thing and realised I probably needed to see the counselor as an individual.

So, did that. Started working through some things and I came to identify this thing in my life as being shame. And it was really quite a revelation to realise that’s what it was.

So that moment when I was really able to confront this shame, I saw myself in my old primary school as if I was standing in the playground. And I came to myself and I saw me as an adult curled up in a ball just really unable to move. And it was at that point, when I was able to extend kindness and compassion to myself, rather than judgement and shame, that this adult/child version of myself was able to stand up. Just by sitting and being patient and allowing myself the space to process, I was able to encourage myself to walk with me and … we walked out.

I was able to have forgiveness and compassion and kindness to myself. I felt accepted for the first time in a very long time. Just for me, not because of what I have achieved or what I could do or what I could offer …  but just me being accepted.

And for me it was about understanding the love that God has for me and really understanding and grasping that for the first time and then extending that to myself.

I find that really, really amazing.”

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