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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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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The Knowing

“I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labour on the foundation that would be necessary to erect a hut.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I took a random journey today of looking at my earliest facebook posts from when I was 19. I just wanted to delve in my younger mind and ascertain whether I have always been the way I am. I couldn’t help but giggle and go ‘wow’ at every post because even at that age, I was as opinionated and sure of what I want as I am now.

What made me giggle and gasp was actually the rage and aggression I had developed because I was always intent on fighting and preserving myself from being tainted by external things. What was I fighting? I’m not really sure but I sure am glad that I was born a fighter because I wouldn’t have made it here otherwise. But, what I can say is from the day I started writing which was around the age of 10 years, I had realized that life was one huge battlefield and that I had to figure out just what it was that I wanted and making it clear to everyone who I interacted with.

My first song, which I wrote at the age of 10/11 was titled “broken dreams”. What did I even know about disappointment and broken dreams? I could perhaps relate it to the fact that I desperately wanted to be a “rock star” but my mother swiftly dismissed that yearning. I’m glad though, because she shielded me from a lot of exploitation and uncertainty because I know now that I would not want to be a guitar-wielding girl with a raspy voice. I’ve built a very different image from that.

I have had many people tell me that I am far too opinionated and just 2 days ago I had breakfast with one of our Director’s and she was shocked that I had found my purpose. Looking back though, I acquainted myself to my ‘reason for breathing’ at a very young age. I just needed to grow and learn more about life to hone it, which I am still doing.

It reminded me of the words of Johann Wolfgang van Goethe that have been comfortably saved in my phone memo for a while. I am nowhere near where I ought to be and I am not even close to the woman my late grandfather always said I would become but at least I know what the end goal is.

A lot of people trudge along life trying to live up to other people’s expectations and wishes because they just aren’t very sure. I would rather say ‘not sure’ than ‘don’t know’ because each of us is born with a true knowing of just what we are and what we want to become – its only more obvious in our younger years.

Knowing ourselves shouldn’t be a complex journey of embarking to sacred mountains with Shamans to tap into “Self”. Self is not so far, Self is in the very breath you inhale/exhale, comfortably embedded in every heart beat. Finding who you are simply requires blocking out all external opinions and studying just what makes you tick (happy) and tock (upset).

In my life journey I have made mistakes and gotten involved in things that were not really part of my tick but the tock they sparked redirected me towards my passion: The Engineering Degree I dropped, The relationships I fled, The thoughts I dismissed etc. All very necessary ‘tocks’

A lot of our mistakes and frustrations stem from building a foundation that is too weak/wide/thick for the structure we actually desire.

My passion (part of it) is learning just what makes people tick and the materials that their dreams are made of. I have no doubt that I’m still young and still have much more to learn but the end game in my mind will never alter.

You need to know yourself well before you attempt to build knowledge about the world and even attempt to fix it.

The amazing thing about life is it accommodates our mistakes and the universe is always eager to redirect us. Just be open to learning and growth. Its never too late! 🙂

As we begin a new week tomorrow, be aware of the emotions and thoughts that your surroundings trigger. Make your breaths valuable by channeling them towards your passion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Quote: “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” – Stacia Tauscher

Stay Committed.
🙂


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Frayed Brushes & Distorted Portraits

My mother said to me: “Since when do you care about other people? You used to be so determined and driven to achieve what you want, what the next person thought didn’t matter. When did you change?”

It felt as if she was talking about someone else because she shocked me so much I couldn’t quite relate what she said to who I am. Being a thinker and a writer it tortured my mind to its depths because it baffled me how my strength had sneaked out & left remnants of fear & weakness.

We can’t attribute it to growth because growth finds seeds within us that need to be nurtured and grows them. Growth taps into our potential and harnesses it, sculpting it to what it is meant to be. Growth prunes the shoots that aren’t growing right and allows them to re-grow and take shape correctly. So no, its not growth that completely overturns our character; growth enhances and refines, it doesn’t completely change and create something different.

We change when we are afraid of our own strength. We change when we intimidate others. We relinquish our inner power when we are painted with the wrong brush and take on the strokes and bad paint to become what others think of us. We shake off the determination when we look back at the ditch of failure it ‘mistakenly’ led us to. ‘Mistakenly’ being a misnomer because failure is always there simply to re-direct us and build us. It is never a mistake.

I always ask young people, when we speak in-depth about our dreams, if the little girl/boy they were 10-15 years ago is proud of who they are right now? The dreams they had – did they relinquish any of them because they were apparently ‘absurd’? That fearless character they had – did it get warped by fear and failure?

The more I thought about it over the past two days the more it just made sense to me. My mother knows me at my most ‘organic’. Where I wasn’t tainted by the world or covered with everyone’s opinions and brush strokes. Because beneath the bad paint-work and frayed brushes I’ve been painted with, my true portrait remains the same.

The same remains true for each of us. Tap back into your ‘organic self’, relive your dreams and gain back that character you had because that is your true portrait. Life is one long journey of learning but it should never alter who we are. It should grow us and refine us.

Wipe away the brush strokes and accept those that have pruned you and refined you but let your true self shine through at its best potential.

Have an amazing week.

Life is amazing. Stay committed.
🙂

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Metamorphosis

I am pretty sure that rocks that lay miles beneath the ground we tread, lie there in absolute agony wailing and cursing from the heat and the pressure they endure so they may become diamonds.

I am also pretty sure that there have been billions of caterpillars over the centuries that have looked upon their reflections on droplets stuck on leaves, and become absolutely repulsed by the image that stared back at them with huge marble eyes. There have been plenty of them that silently embarked on their daily journeys in dense bushes looking at butterflies and birds in absolute painful envy.

Imagine if the rock had cursed the Gods for the pain and the caterpillar lurched itself on a sharp thorn in order to end its agony? Both oblivious to the test that they were meant to endure, the growth they had to go through, the slow transformation they had to undergo in order to become the marvelous creations they were meant to be.

The strength and resilience of a diamond is only brought about by the pressure and heat that forms it from a rock. Let alone the process it has to go through to get extracted from the rock face in which it is embedded.

I, Like every other human, gets discouraged easily and starts questioning the worth of one’s life when “the going gets tough”. I also allow the weight of my worry slow me down in doing what I am meant to do in order to become what I am destined to be. Yet within it all I can always look back at experiences and see them as preparation, as tests, as trials and test-runs.

I don’t think we can ever become what we are destined to be if our resilience is not tested, our thinking isn’t challenged, our hearts aren’t destroyed and reconstructed, our will strengthened and our vision enhanced. I am learning that there are no mistakes only lessons. There are no hardships, only trials and test-runs. Continually taking ourselves to the drawing board and seeing where we can improve this model called “Self” so we can equip ourselves FULLY for where we are meant to get.

I have said before that there is an entity within all of us that is so eager to Live, not live, but to Live fully and truly. The entity that knows our aspirations, our dreams and most importantly our enormous potential. Listen to it when you feel like the pressure is too great or you will never bloom into a beautiful winged creature.

I am just lucky. I know that I am blessed beyond measure, beyond what I can truly fathom. I am lucky to have people that wipe my tears away without them even noticing. And I know it is the same for everyone else.

We are blessed so we may be blessings some day. We are inspired so we may inspire others. We are healed so we may also stitch other people’s wounds together. I just think our purpose is too great to not be acknowledged.

Whether you are still a rock or a caterpillar, please persevere. Understand that your journey is not worthless. Your life is worth the effort you put in to keep you going.

Stay Committed.
🙂


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Becoming that which we have killed.

 

I would never really notice when someone was giving their all. Honestly, I blind myself to self-sacrifices because I know how personal they can be, I know they come from a place more sacred than the mind, this place is the heart. I stay away from hearts (now) and I guard my own too. Secondly, I did not notice because quite frankly I don’t know when I received this lesson or these lessons but I grew up self-sufficient. At some point in my childhood my third eye opened and I saw what my naive normal eyes couldn’t see and that was that I am my own hero. Not to say that I am island, never. But, that I am my first source of strength and the well I quench from is the Divine one and never a companion or a person.

 

Truth is we all face some sort of struggles as we grow, whether it is personal demons that we fight in order to improve ourselves  as or it is external hurdles that we constantly have to leap over. But there is one thing that I have recently learned:

We may fight our demons, sleigh those dragons and rise from all kinds of desperation and pain but if we do not acknowledge and forgive that which has harmed us it will always become who we are later on. We will become that which we have killed. If you look into the mirror with honest eyes you will see the faint reflection of your enemy staring back. A part of you now ofcourse because you invited him in, you let him stay because you were not strong enough to look him in the eye and say “goodbye & go well, I forgive you”.

These last words, most of the time unspoken but felt, thought, affirmed, are so important. Listen, it is not enough to forgive and release people alone, we also have to forgive ourselves. I know it is hard to forgive ourselves for the pain we have endured but if life was that predictable and we could avoid every stumble we would never learn. You do not have that much control over what befalls you daily, some lessons simply find us, and as we know if we have faith in what is Divine and good it all works out for the greater good of ourselves in the end. Forgive yourself first.

I have walked around with lumps in my throat for a while, forgiven everyone and every rock that I knocked my toe against except the woman who needs it most and that is myself. I asked for strength and I recieved it, but as a woman I have said that our strength is different, we do not show strength with as much command and aggression as males but rather it is silent, unspoken and gently walks into the room. Felt, but never commanding.

My wish is more for us as woman to heal in a way that not only strengthens us but also grants us our gentle nature back. I only understood this when I spoke to a mature friend of mine who had been raped and the maturity, calm and contentment with which she spoke about her rape humbled me so greatly. I searched her eyes for the reflection of the man that stripped her of her innocence but he was no where to be seen. She had forgiven, released and had been granted her gentleness back.

I am not a sexist. I will always believe in the empowerment of women but I also believe in respecting our fairer sex and understanding that we need eachother and the one can never take on the other’s role.

THOUGHT: That we may regain our strength but our gentleness too, woman.

QUOTE: “To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live”- Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estës (Author of Women Who Run With The Wolves – A must read please 🙂

Stay committed. 🙂


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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.
🙂