L.O.V.E

Love…

Poets have written odes, writers have given stories, musicians all have at least one song about it, actors try their best to portray it, religions preach it, humanity yearns for it; but what is love really?

In my life, love is my mother who sacrifices all her desires and dreams for her children. Love are my sisters who stick by me even when I am at my worst. Love is the pinky promise to never leave and the eyes that still look right into mine with love even when I have messed up. Love are the friends that know I am a drama queen but still put up with it and laugh. Love are the children in the Sunday school who have a light that never seems to dim. Love is God who sees all my imperfections and still chooses to never leave.

Love therefore, isn’t a feeling or an idea. Love are the people. Their actions. Their reactions. Their choices. Love isn’t to be found without, somewhere out there, it’s within, waiting to be used. You and I are the definition of love, because you and I are the ones who can show love and therefore open up others to do the same.

Love is all we really need, all we really want, everything else is just extras. Love provides everything else.

So I end with the lyrics that I like best on love from one of my favourite artists – Matt Maher.

“Love will hold us together, make us a shelter away from the storm. And I’ll be my brother’s keeper, so the whole world will know that we are not alone…”

Be LOVE to someone today.

Lessons From My Garden

This morning, like every other morning of late, I woke up feeling tired, exhausted and completely down and out. I stayed in bed, I fell asleep again and finally managed to wake myself up and get a move on.

I decided to check on my kittens, (well they are pretty grown up now but I still call them kittens) so I went out of my house to locate them. It’s a dark, gloomy day, no sun in sight. It’s cool outside which is a most welcome change from the constant humidity and the first thing I notice is a plant that grows near our front door, it’s branches tend to go all over the place and I noticed a flower. On closer inspection there were more buds waiting to bloom. Now you may ask what’s so special in that? Flowers bloom all the time. What’s special is that this plant struggles, it’s not the healthiest plant, it doesn’t have the best nutrition, it’s branches die, it’s leaves are brown, it’s afflicted by one thing or another and yet here it is – flowering!

It got me thinking how similar to that plant I am, we all are. None of us can claim to be whole, we all have our issues, our struggles, our ghosts, our karma, the regrets, the mistakes, the things that keep us up at night, the things that don’t allow us to sleep in. We all are afflicted by one thing or another, we all have demons we fight on a daily basis. What that flowering plant reminded me of was that, inspite of all that we can still bloom into a beautiful flower! We can put a smile on another’s face, we can still shine!

Life is not a guaranteed happy journey. We go searching for happiness so hard that we forget sadness is also a part and parcel of it all.  Accepting the “negative” feelings we feel as much as looking for those “positive” ones is important. The more we try to ignore the negative or change them, the more we make ourselves miserable. Living in denial, for that is what it is, isn’t life. It’s a constant running away from life.

Sometimes we can’t change things, and that is okay. We don’t always have to be in control, holding on so tight the blood stops flowing to your hands. Letting go is alright. It’s scary, it’s panic attack inducing for me but sometimes you have to. Sometimes that is all you can do!

Trapped Within Yourself

Life is a journey that each of us have to make. There is no sitting this one out. There is no saying, I am too busy or too tired. Even if we don’t actively participate, we’ll still get carried along. No escape no matter how hard we all try, and we all try to some degree.

The journey like any other leaves us with experiences. What do we do though, when those experiences trap us and hinder us from continuing on; when the experiences leave you scarred and broken and feeling trapped within yourself? When the person you know you are finds themselves trapped within experiences that seem to have robbed them of their freedom?

The frustration that builds up in not being able to handle the dark clouds that seem to blow over from nowhere and the helplessness you feel when you just can’t seem to find a shred of hope on a perfectly salvageable situation. The worries you have for the future when you can’t seem to be able to handle the present. All of these just make the dark thunder clouds grow.

Feeling trapped within yourself is scary. How do you escape yourself? Where do you run? How to drown out yourself? Knowing there is no else to help you and yet hoping someone will and not wanting to be the darkness in other people’s lives all make things even more complicated. What you really want is to disappear but how does one achieve that miracle?

I don’t have answers to any of the questions, just the questions…Is there any hope?

A Little Tale

The sun is shining brightly, it’s rays making everything bright and cheery. In the midst of this happy day, sits a girl, alone in a bench, under the shade of a great oak, looking as cold as ice. Her face pale, her eyes far-away, her lips in a straight line, not even a ghost of a smile. Passers-by didn’t notice her, she was petite and she sat hunched and appearing smaller than usual. Her blue eyes were dulled and if anyone bothered to look into them, they’d see a soul that had lost all hope.

The sun continued to shine as the boy with the book in his hands stopped to contemplate the words he had read, looking around with a big smile on his face. He took in the scene around him, and smiled at the happy, relaxed people in the park. His eyes swept past the great oak and then immediately went back to it. He noticed her sitting there, looking as out of place as a clown at a funeral. His brow wrinkled thoughtfully, as he wondered why on earth anyone would look so lost on this day, sitting in the midst of this scene. The thought crossed his mind to let it be but before it even had time to take root he was up on his feet, walking towards her.

She was lost deep in thought and didn’t notice the lanky figure make his way towards her and sit down next to her. She nearly jumped out of her skin when he said hiya in a loud and jovial voice. She had been lost in her own silence for the entire time. She looked at him cautiously, her black hair framing her face and hiding it. She didn’t know what to make of him. Something about his open smile and twinkling eyes made her feel she could trust him…

Await what happens next…

Perfect Moments

What are perfect moments?

They are described in books, captured in photographs, acted out in movies, but what are they in reality? In the real world – the ‘non-magical’ place where life isn’t perfect – where are the perfect moments, the ones we’ll cherish and look back on one day?

You see, I realised there are no perfect moments; no “Oh this is going to be a perfect memory” will run through our heads. The moments we cherish, the ones we will look back on with a smile are not ones we’ll realise we are making, nothing that we planned will ever create that! No! Perfect memories are created not in our heads and then acted out on; they are created when we live.

When we live…what is that? Most of us (me included) live with our heads buried in our phones, chatting away, taking pictures, liking things, poking people, we don’t live! We have forgotten the meaning! We are a generation of capturing moments, very rarely making any meaningful ones.

I grew up in Africa, I am a 90s kid. Me and my sisters, we have perfect moments, we don’t have pictures of them, we don’t have videos, we don’t have evidence to show the world where we were or what we were doing, but we have the memories and every once in a while we look back and laugh at our childhood escapades and adventures. The fun, crazy, loud moments screaming and chasing each other to the quieter more relaxed moments of lying in bed and just talking while waiting to sleep. Those are the memories I will cherish!

What I now know is that, perfect moments are the ones that just happened, the ones we didn’t think twice about when they were happening. They were the “let’s have a picnic” and taking what we find in the kitchen and lying on a sheet under a Mullberry bush, staring at the sky and laughing out loud. They were the after fight moments when we apologise and in no time are talking as though nothing happened, never thinking “Oh isn’t this perfect?”. They were the arguing with the parrot who wouldn’t shut up, or chasing the cat who had the entire chicken in it’s mouth or just feeling all warm inside on a cold day after reading a good book.

The sad thing is, I don’t have a lot of perfect moments anymore. Nothing I can look back on and smile and say “Wasn’t that fun?”. Cause I honestly cannot remember. I was too busy looking through a lens or sharing the moments. My life has become one that is unfulfilled, one that is happy, but I had joy in the past. Happy is second best and no one wants to settle for second best. I have to make some major changes and it’s going to be difficult, but I am not a second best kinda girl, I will never be happy with half a life. I (we) only have one. I think I am doing myself a great dis-service if I don’t live it to the best…as are you, if you don’t live your life to the best.

Strong minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events… Weak minds discuss people

So very true and on point

Grounds For Thought

Gossip

“She is leaving her husband after 40 years of marriage… Wonder what happened there?”, “She’s 35 and has never been with someone in a relationship… I think she a lesbian?”, “He’s such a good-natured guy, does he even know there are rumors of his wife cheating on him?”

Have you ever, been on the receiving end of such gossip? God knows I have. Its hard to be away from such immaterial talk. Most around us engage in this line of gossip all the time. It’s important to know who and what to filter out from our daily routine. There was a point when I cut certain people out of my life, just because of the negative energy they brought by talking down about people I may know (or even not know!) for a laugh or just bring it up as a something that happened. I highly dislike it (hate is a very strong word…

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Experience

Every experience we have, shapes us, moulds us, so that we are not the same person we were before said experience. The truth of the matter is there is no usual you, cause you are getting added onto each day you spend on this earth. Every event, be it the death of a father that was absent, or falling in love and giving of yourself more than you knew you’d ever receive back (twice) or having people you trusted let you down, or people you didn’t trust show they were trustworthy; they all change us.

We can get so lost in the feelings and emotions of the events that we sometimes forget that life is bigger than one single event, that it is an accumulation of a series of events, some pleasant, some not so much. We choose those events and sometimes they choose us, but how we process and react to them are always our choice. That does not mean we are expected to not feel whatever emotions we feel. It means we decide when we move on and it differs for each person. Some people take longer because they’d rather feel everything and get it out of their systems, others choose to bury the feelings and “fake it till they make it”. Neither is wrong, we are all just human. Sometimes though it is hard when you take the time to mourn and someone seems to have moved on in a heartbeat. The thing though is, we are all different and if we hold that against each other we’d never find peace.

So we all live life, each day changing, till maybe one day we can finally come to the end of our lives, and hopefully we look back and smile. Then we can leave the cacoons we were bound to, spread our wings and fly like the butterflies I love so much.

As Alice said in Wonderland, “I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” So I look forward and follow the road that is before me, not the same person I was, growing each day with every step.