Committing To Life

Committing, Celebrating and Growing through Life


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Cold Wars

“I’ll tell her that I know what it’s like to drag a woman out of a Cold War and then being to worn to clean up the battlefield it has made of her.” – Jasmine Mans (Dear Ex Lover)

Definitely one of my favourite artists (poets) and definitely one of her most potent poems I’ve heard. ‘Dear ex-lover’ may be a poem written about abandoned hearts and lost love but I feel like its meaning transcends all sorts of life’s facets: Ex-dreams; ex-failures; ex-victories; ex-companions; ex-courage; ex-pain; ex-scars. Remnants of our sanity left scattered after long cold wars that leave us too scared to embrace any warmth or even believe in the soft embrace of hope.

How often do we find ourselves crawling from our life’s battlefields left so worn out that we lose the will and strength to clean ourselves up and embrace a new season? This thought hit me weeks ago when Spring began and I thought back to a year ago and where I was emotionally and mentally and I thought ‘damn, my how things change.’ I thought to myself, how beautiful is it that the sun rose one morning to signal the beginning of Spring and we swiftly forgot how cold it was a week ago? I was overwhelmed and amazed by how beautifully synchronized nature is and how everything really has a season. It sparked more thoughts in my mind about a topic I like to delve in a lot: healing. I thought about the terrible Winters I had once been immersed in, the cold wars I had struggled with for years until I accepted the end and whether it was a victory or not, I had survived and I had to clean myself up for peace and a fresh start and that’s all that mattered.

I am a reflector by nature and a prude analyst (which sometimes isn’t so good) but as Socrates said “An unexamined life is not worth living.” So I track my emotions, responses and thoughts all the time and somehow I did see a change in things. I had decided to raise my white flag and accept my scars as the warm sun rays warmed the rifles I carried through my darkest hours, turning them into heavy keys to unlock the shackles of my Winter.

So what I am trying to say is that as ‘feelers’, us people who write, know what it is like to go through all sorts of life’s trials and lessons. We know what it is like to fight, kill mercilessly just to survive, flee when it is dangerous and emerge out of hardships that fall incessantly like raindrops in a hard storm and wonder if we will ever ‘live’ again and if life will ever offer us another Spring. Sometimes we remain so closely attached to our hardships that we do not know when it is time to get clean, put on some blusher and allow our cheeks to be kissed gently by new beginnings. I admire strength in human beings but we can never remain in ‘fight mode’ even when it is time for us to transform from bullets into butterflies. Yes you are too worn but you are still breathing – your life is worth another take, another chance, another scene.

What I have learned is that as tough as it is sometimes we may block our own sunlight because we have married the darkness that was never committed to us in the first place. Release yourself from your Winter and acknowledge your ‘exes’ – your ex-dreams, failures, disappointments, negative thoughts, failures etc. Acknowledge them, take in the lessons and move on to your new season.

It is not about adopting an idealistic view but it is about letting go of what needs to be let go and accept what needs to be received and allowing what needs to begin to commence in your life.

None of us has been predestined to a lifetime of darkness or hardships. Find one thing that you love and is worth living for and let it give your legs strength to accept that your time to shine and be fuelled with passion and light has come then run.

Have a splendid week and Happy Spring 🙂

QUOTE: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery because none but ourselves can free our minds.” – Bob Marley


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Ode to The Women

Phoenix.
She rose from battered bones and discarded dreams.
Dusted the sorrow from her cheeks and smoothed down the grooves the tears had set.
Set in her soul.
The pain had created so much destruction her self-worth caved in.

The Book says we were created perfect in his image but this construction gives in so easily to destruction.
Marred by failure: Hope escapes and defies all positive instruction.
But somehow something kept her motivated even though her heart was blacklisted and she found herself undeserving of any love and devotion.

A Single mother who did not even think about terminating the seed that began to grow within her even though she knew she couldn’t build a garden lush enough to nurture it.

***********************************************************************

In light of National Women’s Day 9 August 2013 (In South Africa) and to celebrate our National Women’s month I felt the need to share an excerpt from a poem I wrote about my mother titled The Phoenix. We all know the popular tale of the phoenix that burned down to ashes but instead of succumbing to destruction it was reborn, renewed and rose even more splendid than before. The poem was inspired by my mother but ultimately I see the story reflected in a lot of women’s eyes.

I cannot even begin to describe just how many phenomenal women I have met and come across. The sad thing is sometimes we forget just how incredible we are, we forget the battles we have fought and we are left maimed and forget the mountains we have actually climbed. And so, I constantly ask myself what makes us believe that we are so weak when ultimately we are so strong and unbelievably resilient? This time we have to look for the solution within, this time I really think we ought to turn the hand around and point at our chests.

We live in a world where a woman has become so objectified you tend to wonder if we even remember that we have intelligent minds, beautiful hearts (though at times, they may be bruised ) and deep mystical souls. It’s a debate I have had in my mind for a while and somehow I always come back to how women have allowed themselves to become objectified. Sure, appearance is an awesome thing and I think the way you maintain yourself is a reflection of just how much respect and love you have for yourself but what we look like is not all who we are. I may sound like a feminist right now but we have to refuse to be bottled in to nothing but pretty pictures. I know single mothers (young and old), business women who created empires from their own mental capacity and toil, young women who grew up in tarnished homes but somehow grew up to become so beautiful and intelligent, women who have been abused who had the strength to walk away and so many more types of women who serve as shining examples of just how incredible we are. Why do we forget?

And so, after being objectified and labelled by the other sex they write books FOR US on how to live as women. What do we do? We flock to Amazon.com, CNA, Exclusive Books etc. because we hold so little faith in our inherent femininity and wisdom that we continue to seek approval from the outside world instead of consulting with the inside and living honestly with our values. Are we doing it for ourselves or to somehow be “accepted”? Introspection time ladies.

There is so much more to you than you give yourself credit for. Every now and then just look back at all your achievements and all the destruction/failure you have risen from. Do not succumb to other people’s definition of who you are or who you should be – the best person who can define you is yourself. You are not just beautiful, but you are all intelligent, resilient, strong-willed and capable of building not just strong families but massive empires too.

It’s time we take responsibility for how we feel about ourselves and start realizing our greatness. In doing that we should also uplift each other, I cannot fathom how we can wage war against ourselves and each other as well. To the amazing women in my life – thank you for always seeing my light even when I simply see it as a flickering flame. Thank you for being absolutely amazing and I doubt you would have made an impact in who I am if you yourselves were not phenomenal.

Happy Women’s Month.

With Love. 🙂
Stay Committed.


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Life on Repeat

How often have we heard or said one of these lines?
“I always fall for the same guy/girl.”
“I keep making the same mistake.”
“This is my 3rd job change and I still feel the same.”
“I wish I didn’t attract the same ambition-less friends.”

The list is endless. We end certain roads and begin new ones (or so we think) only to end up where the previous road led us. Our intentions are good aren’t they? I mean we want a different ending so badly but why is life stuck on repeat? Heck, we even adopt the rules of The Secret and picture the life we desire daily but somehow chapter 5 stubbornly clings to the same plot as chapter 6. What is going on?

I stumbled upon a quote a couple of weeks ago. As usual, it was a few words long but somehow sparked so much meaning and left me saying “Ahhh…” I believe in a higher power, so I don’t really think our existence and choices occur in isolation. There is a reason that we are here on Earth and even if we don’t see the impact that our breath has, if anything, we should leave with many lessons and growth.

Why does life repeat itself at times? Everything that happens, happens to build us and teach us something about ourselves. The same lessons will keep re-appearing in different forms and situations until “Life” is satisfied that we have learned. When this thought hit me I was amazed but looking closely at the milestones I had had and the defeats too, I clearly saw how each was packed with a lesson or lessons.

So actually, it is not life that repeats itself but rather its lessons that we simply have to learn in order to move forward. If you find yourself dating the same men you cannot turn around and blame ALL men for “being the same” – all billions of them? Really? It’s impossible. There’s a quote that says “we attract who are” and as tough as it is to swallow, it is true. The speck that you find in another’s eye is a mere reflection of the speck in your own eye.
First step, what about me attracts men/women that abuse me?
Second step, what about me makes me stay?
When I speak to women who have been in abusive relationships, I always ask them the second question: what made you stay all those years? In the end, an individual has to do some introspection and change a few things to attract different set-ups in life – I have no doubt that it is difficult, but every exam can be passed.

As a child of a mother who was diagnosed with depression years ago and developed depression herself in early adolescence– I know the difficulty faced in change and changing oneself instead of taking the easiest way out and blaming the world. I always jokingly say: I would rather be angry than sad. Anger is not great, I know, but I’d rather fight than shrivel into a powerless ball. Simply because I gained the understanding that life will never be to blame and as long as we are living and breathing we are growing and harnessing the potential within us that’s waiting to be released. Suddenly, I saw dead-ends as chances to re-evaluate, I saw failure as a chance to re-direct and go in the correct direction and I saw endings as opportunities to examine myself and await brighter horizons. I have no doubt that I am not done learning and my biggest lesson right now in life is learning to be gentle – the lessons are all around me and yes, certain parts of the plot are being repeated. And guess what? I love it, there is nothing better than running a new race and finding ways to become an even better individual.

We are really on a journey of self-discovery and growth. There is nothing as important as viewing every interaction as a lesson – you cannot risk forgetting who you are after spending years finding yourself.

It is never too late to dream a new dream, grow your roots deeper and become a better individual – the decision is really up to you. Take some time out to analyse the lessons learned and the lessons yet to learn from your experiences – press play and take the finger off repeat. There is greatness within you and abundance in healing that just needs you to learn and grow.

Have a great week ahead!

🙂 Stay Committed.

QUOTE: “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung (Swiss psychologist, influential thinker and founder of analytical psychology)


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Words and Scars

A thought hit me the other day. I think it was a week ago. I thought about all the christians I had interacted with in my life and the non-christians I’d interacted with who flinched when I mentioned ‘church’. Their reasons were constant throughout, regardless of age, sex, race, they all gave me the same response: “I don’t like christians and I don’t like church because I don’t want to be judged.”

In the beginning I dismissed it as utter ignorance because I thought heck! The rules are there, just adhere to them. I had never been judged by a christian because I was too young. There is only so much that life revealed to me before I was, let’s say, at the age of 22. Which was only a year ago.

The purpose of this post is not to dissect the realities of church and human beings. That is a massive debate that I will not even stir up today. The purpose of my post relates to the thought that then hit me a week ago.

I thought to myself: the bible is truly poetic. Especially in the way it has depicted the ‘Enemy’. It is either too poetic or we as people are not interpreting it correctly. The “Enemy” ie. The Devil, is depicted as a monstrous and scary spirit (of which he is) but he is also small, non-intimidating and strategic in his moves. He is so slick in ways that we don’t even realize that he is as easy to breathe in and let out as oxygen.

As people we focus so much on depicting what is heinous and disgusting in another person that we forget that the mere act of judging is the enemy’s work.

If you have something bad to say about everyone and anyone then you need to press pause and do a routine check on your thoughts. If you don’t know someone’s story from birth to the present then don’t even utter an opinionated word. Words are powerful & most of the time we don’t even hold the rights to utter them in enormous weights. Speak words that build or don’t speak at all.

I have suffered from all sorts of insecurities in my younger years. From weight issues (even though I have never even been overweight in retrospect) to merely feeling like my nose was too big. My journey of moving from a young girl raised in a single-parent home with various struggles, to being a working young lady and student at 16 taught me a lot of resilience and the self-sufficiency it taught me showed me just how much strength and tenacity I had. It taught me to never bring people down because I know what being stuck in the grips of depression feels like.

But as I grew older, especially in the previous year I found myself being hurled at with the most atrocious words. From being mocked because I was raised by a single mom (so apparently that means I have male issues) to being told I am self-absorbed.

There were many times I wanted to take my own life but the thought of what it would do to my mother shattered me. The thought of how she took care of us even in the darkest hours before the dawn that never even came. I was extremely humbled by her love and strength. I still am – it brings me to tears. A lot of the decisions I have made have been centered on pleasing my mother. Not in the moment, but definitely in the future that I am building. But my tenacity and focus is simply translated as “overly ambitious” and “self-absorbed” to people that do not know my story.

The worst thing you could do as a man would be to compare a woman to another woman when each person ultimately bears different burdens and their own insecurities and fears. It is unmanly and it is disgusting.

I would rather bite my tongue and have my silence mistaken for sulking than utter words that break another human being. The devil does not reside in the knife, or the gun, or the killer’s heart, or the rapist, or the criminal, or the gay/lesbian, or the fornicator, or the drunkard. The devil resides comfortably in our thoughts and our tongues.

The process of healing from words is a hard and necessary process. Before you say something think about what scars it will leave on another person’s soul. And, before you accept someone’s judgment as “your truth”, go back to your purpose and journey and re-commit to your life.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK AND BEYOND: Do a routine check on your thoughts and understand before you speak. Love yourself enough to care about the world your life is immersed in.

QUOTE: “Be kind to yourself and others. Come from love every moment you can.” – Chopra Foundation

Stay Committed.
🙂


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Hard Hearts & Soft Minds

Firstly, I do apologize for the inconsistency in my posts & I appreciate every one who has subscribed to my blog 😀 thank you, receiving that email every time you press “follow” makes me want to write every day & make a difference in some way in your hearts/minds.

I really value routine and order but applying it here, I’d have to suppress an idea when it wants to be born and have to draft it & stare at it for days till I’m “allowed” to post it or simply post something mundane because I HAVE to post something. So, there’s a time & place for rules and order, and unfortunately my blog is linked to my thoughts so really, order cannot reside here. 🙂

I posted a discussion last year on healing titled: Becoming That Which We Have Killed. Basically I discussed what happens when we don’t forgive the monsters we conquer. I want to discuss again, another result of not forgiving ourselves and those that we disagree with on our life path. “Disagreement”, covering a multitude of sins such as “betrayal”, “judgment”, “hurt” and their cousins…

There is a bitter residue that pain leaves. It leaves resentment, it leaves scars. It leaves a lot of ugly slime that needs to be cleaned away. The predicament always arises when one tries to figure out ‘how’ to clean up the mess life has made of you. So quite often, we will cover it up with a pretty carpet and pretend that somehow science will allow it to vanish through reverse osmosis (or some beautiful reaction) back into the ground.

The result though is usually quite far from that. We will either become what we are trying to fight off or we will simply carry the hurt and become enslaved to it and it will change us.

Something that will surely shock anyone who has read half of my blog posts, tweets, facebook updates is that I too, struggle with cleaning up the mess. So even though I seem quite ‘clued-up’ on the process: I internalize a lot of things. So that’s been my tiny project lately: an internal clean up because at some really naïve point in my life I decided that the minute I am hurt I will become hard. I thought: I will harden my heart & dismiss every “weak emotion” that even dares to come up. Not a smart theory, Socrates should’ve warned me about this in one of his theories.

So, in the process all that happens is that your brain becomes soft. As you harden your heart & build concrete walls around your soul, you leave your mind barren & confused because it is really unnatural. It relates quite closely to the phrase: “hurt people hurt people.”

Hurt people, hurt other people because they are weak. They have not cleaned up the mess in their hearts & so they walk around with false bravado. It really is a scary philosophy that we follow as human beings: celebrating steel-walls of human beings & labeling them as ‘strong’ and, mocking the fragile people that DARE to even shed a tear, when the latter are ultimately the strongest of our Human species.

So what does one have to do: Confront the hurt. Stand up to the pain. Release the resentment & be real with yourself. Soften your heart & reinforce your mind because ultimately, strength is seen through humility and forgiveness. Also, be gentle on yourself because it takes time but also be firm because it shouldn’t turn into a pity party.

The strongest people that I have come across in life are the one’s with the most forgiving and beautiful hearts: 🙂 and they know who they are, one is my gorgeous friend who has a blog titled “Daughter of A King” you will find it in my “blogs I follow” section. If you’re a single mom or even just a woman in need of guidance on forgiving & healing through God’s word, I’d urge you to read it.

I learn so much from the graceful people that are around me. I’m grateful for that.

QUOTE: “The stronger you become, the gentler you will be.”

Life is Amazing,Stay Committed.

🙂

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PERSEVERANCE

I will be reposting my blogs from my very first blog found on Google+. The journey didn’t begin here. I am also still astounded by the lessons I learned. Now that I’m at my 2nd stage of healing and learning: the one of applying lessons and growing I will revisit and share the insight.

Happy Reading and Introspection.
Here is one on Perseverance 🙂

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You cannot complain about the shadows when your back is constantly turned towards the sun, life is exactly that. The line “life is what you make of it” means exactly that. You are here now, you and all your weaknesses and fears, scars and painful past – you are here. You and all your confusion and remorse – you are still standing. Within the chaos and trauma you are still breathing. Am I the only weird person who sees a warrior within all of us? That a powerful force resides within our souls that simply wants to survive?

Olympic champions seldom ever rest to get that medal. Why then do we want to savour the succulent fruits of life without lifting a finger or giving up before we reach the finish line? Read any success story out there of some powerful person and it will be lined, grounded and laced with blood, sweat, tears and raw perseverance.

Life has an innumerable number of possibilities and greatness – only if you will turn around and face the sun. It gets hard and we want to give up – we are human. However, whether you are running, walking or even crawling – you simply have to keep moving.

Let’s challenge ourselves to making the best of this moment that we are in. Forget about the shackles that hold us to our past and they will release themselves, don’t worry about the future ,because if we savour and take care of the present wholeheartedly, the future will take care of itself.

Smile, laugh and dream. Love and appreciate the beauty around you. Commit to your life. 🙂

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: *PERSEVERE – WHOLE HEARTEDLY AND RELENTLESSLY*

QUOTE: “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength”- Oprah

Let’s have a good week

🙂

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A Decision to Heal

I just think that perhaps we should not be seeking to find “better” but we should be releasing, healing and rebuilding our faith in people.

There are breakups and then there are BREAKUPS, there are betrayals and then there are BETRAYALS, etc. We have all been hurt, disappointed, confused, perplexed at how people can treat us in a way that is completely unrelated to the royal treatment that they spoke of. There are disappointments that simply whisp by and we live and there are disappointments that leave people shattered on icy, foreign, lonely ground. The hardest thing is then to stand up again with a renewed mind and spirit and hope again.

What does it take though? Does it take time? It is said that time heals all but I beg to differ. A decision to heal, heals all. Heartless you say? No, it is not a heartless thought because if time heals all then we could all lock ourselves up in a room and wait for the clock to tick away all our misery. Healing comes from a decision and from that decision, action is birthed and actively, we make choices to feel better every day. If time healed all then people would not breakdown after years of sweeping misery under the carpet and pretending that life goes on.

Life goes on but it won’t drag you along with it. Life goes on with or without us, so we once again have to decide to go on with life. We all know this, to be honest. But as fragile human becomings we wish that somehow life will just carry us with it and hack away at all the weeds and thorns that would’ve hurt us. If only it were so.

Responsibility. We are responsible for our thoughts, our feelings, our fears, our beliefs, our aspirations and everything else that influences are present disposition and decisions. The world won’t always sing just because we want it to. This is where resilience steps in and we have to continue regardless.

Exes and Why’s. Put the pencil down,Rip the paper apart, discard of it and realise that life does not entertain pitiful games. Show me one person who has triumphed by complaining and succeeded by constantly having excuses.

Am i wise? Do i birth these epiphanies out of my own intelligence and strength? I will happily say “no” and I am glad that I don’t because it makes life that more worthy of living. It makes having someone who believes in you even at your weakest and bruised that much more comforting. It makes healing more probable. Healing has a beautiful side, that side when when the wound has healed, scabbed and the scar is silently fading away. I’ll be writing about this side soon. But for now, there are harder and more pressing issues to ponder about with regards to Life.

Commit to Your Life.
🙂