Earlier this week I came across a personal development app called Lets Goal part of which includes a journal. Having written a few lines into the app I realised what a cathartic experience journaling was so I've decided to extend the journaling over to my blog.
One of the most important areas to develop in life and business is your personal development. Unlike my business articles, I'm unapologetically holding nothing back, the plan with this is to become the person I was and the person I'm going to be. And maybe help you too in the process.
This is my journal about finding John McLauchlan.
Many men today are living quiet lives of desperation and don't have the backup and support the same way women do. So before we get started with this journey, I'm going to give you some context by sharing my back story with you.
I understand that journals like these attract their fair share of trolls and negative comments from the basement keyboard warriors. So in the first instance, this will not be tolerated, secondly, having survived life this far and having spent 10 years as a Police Officer, it's water off a duck's back if you do!
The image on the left is me visiting Mum and Dad while on duty. It was a regular frequente where coffee and conversation flowed and serves as a reminder that the simple things in life are those that are dearly missed…
My Back Story
Back in the late 80's and 90's, I was a huge advocate of personal development – attending seminars, reading books and applying what I learned successfully into the property game.
Life was good and yet it was no picnic… We lost a lot of family members in a short space of time and life decided to take away our firstborn daughter.
There are many things you should never have to experience in your lifetime, and cremating your child is one of them. Emily was a perfect child, she looked like me and when I first saw her there was an instant connection, like reacquainting with an old friend.
After losing Emily, for me, it was all about being “the man.” Being strong for everyone else, putting on a brave face, helping my wife to recover and getting on with life. Yet when I look back at that time there are huge memory gaps.
In times like this, you get support from your friends and family, and my support network was my mum. She could say the right thing at the right time and made me feel safe and grounded.
The following year our son William was born. He was fighting fit, perfect just like his big sister and looked like his mum. Life finally gave us a sense of gratitude and normality for a couple of years.
Two years later my mum was diagnosed with cancer. Her last Christmas with us was emotional, we filled the house with love and spent precious moments all together with Mum and Dad
A few days later she was in hospital and it was the new year of the millennium. Like all Police Officers that night, I was on duty. I remember walking into the hospital and seeing my dad walking around with a small bottle of champagne, with a complete look of devastation on his face.
Mum died on January 5th almost a month after her 52nd birthday.
If you have or had a great relationship with your mum, you'll know what an effect that has. Mum was my sanity anchor, the rudder that steered me in the right direction. Despite what life threw at us, a chat and a hug from Mum solved everything.
Deep emotional pain can create a shift in your consciousness, if you've experienced it you'll know what I mean and I've seen it in a lot of people. The conclusion many people arrive at is “Fuck It…”
“Fuck it, let's get on with life and make the most of it”, or “Fuck it, this life is a bag of shit.” (let's buy pizza and fags)
I tried to get on with life, but I was now a boat without a rudder or an anchor, heading for the white water. My self-destructive tendencies went into overdrive. Consciously I was doing what I thought I needed to do, while subconsciously I was a complete basket case.
Three years later I had lost everything.
Self-destructive tendencies affect everything, relationships, health, finances your whole existence. You can be a few degrees off from your goal, but compound that by a year or two and you'll wonder what happened to your life.
I pushed my wife and son away and moved into an uninhabitable rental property with no possessions.
The relationship with my now ex-wife broke down to such a degree that she stopped me from seeing William, and looking back I don't blame her. Despite my best efforts, nobody was interested or able to help, I was unable to see him and I haven't seen him since. And it hurts so much every single day. I don't know what's worse, to mourn your dead child, or find out what's happening with your living child from the conversations of others, watching him grow up on Facebook.
If you're still reading at this point, this is where I say if you're going through shit right now, find your rudder. Find a counsellor, reach out to a friend but don't try to work things out for yourself, which is what I tried to do because you'll destroy your life.
You see what makes us the people we are today is what we're exposed to from conception to 7 years old. The big emotional shifts can change our built-in values and beliefs, but in the quest to find your real potential, look at your experiences in those first 7 years of life.
My New Year Phone Call
Fast forward to December 2023 and my self-destructive habits are still leaving a trail of broken relationships and circumstances along the way. Counselling helped but it only put a band-aid around an infected wound, then on December 30th the love of my life told me she didn't want to see me anymore.
I was shattered. Not just because she ended the 6 1/2-year relationship following a nice Christmas together, but because I didn't address the signs in her and I knew she was hurting too.
For years, I kept my emotions guarded, sealed and chained in a metal box. This relationship was different, the box opened and together we examined my emotions properly for the first time. We developed such a bond and a connection which is why those words “I don't want to see you anymore” hurt so much.
At times like these we can blame everyone else, that's the easy thing to do. Then surround yourself with people who support your narrative. We can blame the economy, the government, alien abduction, or the person you're with, but until you take responsibility for yourself nothing will change.
When you do look inside yourself, you need to forensically dissect the person you have become. To begin the process of rewiring your brain one day at a time to begin the paradigm shift. To become the person you and others want you to be.
In the first instance, those changes are small habits that form part of the bigger picture. Eating clean, drinking good water, sleeping properly and using that negative energy to train like a beast. Developing positive energy, and making permanent, long-term results in the use of clinical psychedelic therapy which is planned this year.
A paradigm shift happened the other day while thinking about Emily and William. For so many years my overbearing thought concentrated on grief and loss. This time my focus was on the connection I have with them. They are part of me and will always be with me in spirit. Some people never experience their own child, even if that experience is fleeting, so this went on my gratitude list.
So that's where we are, the last 24 years condensed in 1300 words. A journey that will take me from where I am now to achieving and exceeding my potential. Will I succeed? I have no idea, but as my mum used to say, ‘We McLauchlan's are made of tougher stuff…'
Come and join me and keep updated by subscribing to my newsletter.
You've got this…
Love to you all