Don’t Let It Happen To You!


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Dear Readers,

I hope this post finds you and your family well, and  in a good place.

The New Year opened with grim news and mass hysteria for immigrants and minorities in America. I can only imagine the panic resonating among the refugees still waiting for their chance to come to America. A distraction was very much welcomed. For the entire month of January, I challenged myself to promote only positive and uplifting messages on social media, especially Facebook. Now, before the wheels start churning, my posts are generally positive; however, when I see instances of social injustices, discrimination in any form, police brutality etc, I will get out my soap box. The posts typically garner a bit of attention and discussion. Anyway, I digress, back to the matter at hand! Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite messages from the challenge. I guess it resonated with me because I’ve dedicated the rest of my life, however long that is, to ensuring it is full, in every way possible.

Take a look again at Anne’s message above. Does it urge you pursue the type of life you want to live, with wild, passionate, and fearless abandon? God, I hope so! I’m fully aware how ridiculously easy it is to get caught up in “doing stuff”; dreams are hard to chase, when we are furiously paddling beneath the surface, to stay above water. The timing isn’t convenient. My friends, it never is. As I have said before, one day, we will wake up, and realize there isn’t enough time to do all the things we wanted to do. Whatever your circumstances, and however this message reaches you, please don’t let this happen to you. Take steps, regardless of how small. Please, try not to get overwhelmed by the obstacles which persists on every step towards the destination. The only way you can fail, is if you fail to try. Focus on the journey instead, and how magical and glorious it can be.

I’m fast approaching my 6th anniversary as a blogger. Chindeepinlife will become a Blook; some of the most well liked, popular, and searched-for posts, will appear in its pages. The Blook is currently in the editing process, and it’s so difficult to choose! Watch this space. I remain grateful for you, my audience, for allowing me this platform, on which I’ve grown, thrived, and hopefully provided you succor in your time of need!

 

Until the next post,

 

Best,

 

Juan

Stay Gone!


original1As a follow on to my last post, I’m sharing the poem below by the oh-so-talented Marty McConnell. The piece is life affirming and brilliant. All too often, we often go back to the same dead-end, toxic relationship. Hoping this time around, things will be different. Holding out hope. It’s so much easier than accepting the alternative; the relationship is over. Has been, for a long time.

IF like me, you’ve done this time and again, or you’re thinking about going back, please read the piece below. A few times, to get the gist of it. You must stay GONE. I don’t mean just physically either! Isn’t it time to live your truth? It took me years to realize: NEVER settle for someone, who isn’t absolutely, insanely, and foolishly happy to be with you!

Leaving is not enough.You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he’s never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did.

And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.”  Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

#dontfeedthenarcissist#


dont-feed-the-narcissistI have written about my relationship with a narc. Shared articles and personal insights into how they go about attracting their empaths; the ensuing devaluing, triangulation, gas lighting etc. There is a really good chance you have dated one, and never even knew it. You might have had an inkling something was off, but just couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Narcs are crazy makers! Red Flag Series takes you to previous articles I’ve shared on the subject.

If you have dated a narc, the end goal is to not fall victim to their charms. Ever again. It’s not uncommon people to fall for a narc multiple times. The pattern and toxic cycles will continue, until you figure out the reasons why you keep attracting them.

I found the article below on Narcnation. It lays out helpful strategies and advice to protect yourself. Apologies for the length, however, it contains situations you will recognize. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and take notes!

  1. Be slow in trusting. Trust is not something we should just give away, especially to people we have just met or began dating. However, this doesn’t mean to question everything your new partner says and/or does. It does mean to take your time and get to know the person. Do not rush into a relationship or declare your love for each other after a few weeks. Healthy love takes time to develop and should happen naturally and with ease. If your new partner is fast forwarding the relationship in any way, then you must proceed with caution. If you attempt to slow things down and your partner gets upset or tries to talk you out of your decision then you know this person isn’t completely healthy.
  1. Verify and investigate information. This doesn’t mean stalk their Facebook page, or run a background check on them (although at times this needs to be done), or interrogate them. It simply means to listen and listen well. Pay attention to what they tell you. Are there inconsistencies? Have you caught them in a few little white lies? Are they forthcoming with information or do you get the sense they are holding back? Ask questions. A lot of questions. Because how else are you supposed to get to know someone.

This is important and I know this from experience. I met my ex on an online dating site. His profile said he was divorced. We exchanged a few emails before agreeing to meet in person and in one of the emails I asked him how long he had been divorced. This was in January and he answered that he had officially been divorced since October. I inquired about this because I wasn’t interested in someone who had just gotten divorced or was almost divorced. I wanted to be sure that the person I was going out with was 100% available to be going on dates. We went out and we hit it off or so I thought. Six months later, after he love bombed me with ‘I love you” after two weeks and asked me to move in after a month, I found out he was still married (I found out by searching public records because I had a hunch something was off). Being the charming narcissist that he is, he convinced me to stay and claimed he lied because he didn’t think we would turn into anything so it didn’t matter. Stupidly, I accepted this lame excuse and a month later he was officially divorced.

  1. If it seems too good to be true it is! My ex and I had been dating for two weeks when he told me he loved me. I don’t know if I was intoxicated that night because we had went to a bar or I was simply naïve, but I said it back and at the time thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. I had met this seemingly wonderful guy who was attractive, funny, smart, and open with his feelings. I remember thinking our relationship was like a fairytale and that I was finally getting my happily ever after. Within 3 months of dating, the cracks began to show and my dream guy had turned into a nightmare.

Narcissists are con artists. They know exactly what to say and do to get us hooked and then they pull the rug out from under us. We are then left confused and desperate for things to go back to the way they used to be, the way they were in the beginning, but they never go back because the beginning wasn’t real. The narc played us. The narc used us. They abused us and left us with next to nothing because these types of men are always too good to be true.

  1. Don’t expose your weaknesses/vulnerabilities. If I have learned anything from dating abusive men it is to not share every single detail about my life and my past. I am selective with what I share with people. Some people get a lot and some get very little. It all depends on my level of trust and comfort with the person. Have they proven they are trustworthy? Have they shown that they value our relationship? Do they consistently respect me? How long have I known this person? Do they have a history of gossiping? Dating a narcissist will quickly show you that nothing you tell them is sacred. Narcs love to use our weaknesses against us to inflict pain. They can take a seemingly innocent detail about us and turn it into the most hurtful and degrading insult. Does your partner really need to know that every guy you’ve ever dated was an asshole? No. At least not on day one and maybe not even on day 365. A narcissist can take your love for chocolate cake and turn it around on you by calling you a fat pig that eats cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, they are that juvenile. I am not suggesting that you share nothing about yourself with people, but instead be smart about what you share and if someone uses something you told them against you, run!
  1. Take a break from dating. If you have recently ended a relationship, whether with a narcissist or not, it is imperative that you take time for yourself. Taking a break from dating is the only way to really heal. It is during this time that we should take stock of our lives and decipher the reasons why we ended up in an abusive relationship. What is at your core that attracts you to men who treat you poorly? Low self-esteem is typically to blame. We don’t love ourselves. We don’t believe we are good enough or deserving of healthy love, especially if we have never experienced it. Sadly, a lot of our parents failed to show us what healthy love is supposed to look like so we are on our own trying to figure out what we need to do or change about ourselves to attract healthy people. Attracting healthy people into our lives ultimately starts with us. It starts with us liking ourselves and saying no to people and things that are no good for us. To do this, we must take time and not jump from one bad relationship to the next without healing from the previous one. I suggest taking at least 90 days and committing to caring for yourself. Commit to having better boundaries. Commit to your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Read books, listen to podcasts, exercise, go on a trip, organize your entire house, go to therapy, and learn to cook, or plan a party. Do anything, but do it without a partner or bringing a date. Solitude is so good for us. It is so good to sit with our feelings, especially our loneliness. Push through the bad feelings and eventually you will work them out and move forward.
  1. Do a boundary check. Do you know your limits? Do you know how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty or offering a lengthy explanation? What are your dating deal breakers? Do you even know what you are looking for in a partner? Make a list. Get specific. What will you tolerate and what will you walk away from?
  1. How does your partner speak about their exes? If your partner talks poorly about his exes and blames their breakup solely on them, get out now. This is a huge red flag and should be taken very seriously. If your partner bad mouths their ex, you can guarantee they will bad mouth you as well. At first you might feel bad for your partner and what they went through with their supposedly “crazy” ex. However, if you have done the work on yourself and are stepping into the dating scene armed with information, education, and a good sense of what a healthy relationship is, you will realize that this person is no good for you. Healthy people are able to breakup with their partners and not talk badly about them. Healthy people do not blame the failure of an entire relationship on the other partner. Healthy people can experience the end of a relationship and walk away without seeking revenge or name-calling.

On our first date my ex told me his ex-wife was crazy and had cheated on him. He even went as far as calling her a borderline (meaning she has borderline personality disorder). Now, his ex may very well be disordered and she may have cheated on him. I don’t know for sure. But, what I do know is that my ex was horribly abusive in every way you can imagine and told me I was crazy and accused me almost daily of cheating on him when I never did.

  1. How do you feel when you are not with your partner? Are you calm and secure because your partner is consistent with their character and showing you care and respect? Or are you anxious and restless because you never know if your partner is going to call or stick to scheduled plans? Do you have mixed feelings about your relationship or have a strong feeling of uncertainty? Do you know where you stand with this person? Has the relationship been defined? Have you been open with what you want and what you are looking for in a partner? Our bodies can tell us a great deal about things, people, and situations. When we are around good company we feel calm, secure, and at ease. There is peacefulness when being around these types of people. When we are around bad company our bodies can feel tense and stressed. We can experience worry and anxiety, doubt and confusion. Being involved with a narcissist can make us feel on edge, keyed up and chaotic, which is exactly the type of response that gives them pleasure.

Trying to fall asleep with my ex next to me was nearly impossible. I would be anxious and restless lying next to him. My skin would itch all over and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I remember feeling like I couldn’t go to sleep because I didn’t know what he would do. He would badger me when we argued and everything I said was taken out of context or twisted around. He had an excuse for everything and normally I was to blame for why he lied or called me a cunt or choked me. These one sided arguments could last for days even without my participation. I eventually realized that it didn’t matter what I said because he would always find a way to make me the bad guy. I was always wrong. So, instead of fighting back, I shut down. I stopped talking or I would respond with one word answers or simply say ok. This infuriated him and thus kept it going. I know why I was anxious sleeping next to him. I didn’t feel safe and my body was telling me that.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you need a list of more resources, please feel free to get in touch!

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

 

 

Freedom Is Not Free.


 

aphiliprandolph212163America celebrated Independence yesterday. All around the city of Brooklyn, people came out with the familiar celebratory BBQ  get up; food and drinks to feed a small army, grills, loud music, and of course, family, friends, and loved ones, to mark the nation’s annual tradition. Amidst the flurry of activity, I couldn’t help but reflect on what makes us truly free. Can we be truly free of any and everything?

Rhetorical question, yes. There will always be a crisis to handle, problem to solve, and some part of our world to be put to right. Isn’t life a constant changing of the guards from one problem to another? If we are to grow and learn from experience, then these challenges are necessary, right? Isn’t this what those self-improvement guru’s want us to believe? I have also blogged about the need to remain steady and firm in the face of difficulties.

My thoughts then turned to the things I can control. My actions and how much they impact my future happiness. There is no personalized life book that comes with any of us at birth. We make what we think is the best decision, and hope for the right outcome.  I guess I can only look back now, at the battles the past few years, and ponder heavily on how one decision changed the course of my life. Forever.

Stay with me.

The year started out with major disappointments. Two days in, and the bad news opened like flood gates. Adding to the existing string of difficult issues already being tended to. They kept coming. Granted, I have to accept and appreciate all the good. The small and big moments of happiness, that have help me through the most difficult few years of my life. Some of which have been noted on my Earth strong post. You can’t have the great without the struggle. The only prayer I offer up these days is one of hope, for things to turn around.

I used to attend church regularly. Served the members of my congregation in every capacity possible. Did all the right things. For a very long time. Somewhere along the line, all that changed. As a result of one decision. Call it the consequences of veering off the path, or some type of karmic shift, I don’t know, but the ensuing years have been very harsh. I was free to make this decision, but not free of the consequences. No one ever is. Freedom does come at a cost. Always.

I’m writing my memoir. It is a project I’ve started and stopped many times. Why a memoir? I mean, everyone has a story, but not everyone is sharing it with the world. You WILL understand, once it’s published. I’ve abandoned all completion timelines. The story needs to be written and accurately. However, it is coming. Months or years from now, it will come.

When you get to a certain age, for all intents and purposes, it appears you must go through a few years of extreme hardship. I’m aware some people have more. Whether it’s the loss of an important relationship, financial downfall, home, or anything that means something. I remain grateful to the universe though, for the things, experiences, and good, wholesome people I’ve been blessed to cross paths with.

I hope this refiner’s fire I am going through leads to something glorious. Since I no longer hold many of the beliefs about Deity I used to, I only have to believe the universe is preparing me for an elevation of gigantic proportions. I also hope whatever karmic debt I owed in my previous life, will soon be repaid. Then there is the question of whether or not, I ever owed any “debts” to speak of.

I hope the struggles of the past few years continue to strengthen my battle weary shoulders. Among my friends, I’m always admired for qualities such as fortitude, resilience, and inspiration. Sometimes I get tired of the fight. Don’t you? Tired of having to keep a brave face all the time. A partner once told me : ‘You’re strong woman, you don’t need anyone’. Sadly, he failed to recognize underneath all the strength, is a woman who wished he would see the silent battles I fought. Another time and universe I guess.

I also know, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten (Tony Robbins). My heart and soul hungers to be free of so much. I’m working on it. I think it’s time to make life a whole lot simpler. Continue working on my bucket list….I hate that phrase, but it applies for now

I hope wherever you are, and however this post reaches you, life has been kind to you. I hope you and your family are well, and happy. I wish you enough. Of everything.

Until the next post,

 

Best,

 

Juan

“I Never Loved You”


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Book excerpt…….

Her gaze collided with his. She must have misunderstood. She dared not ask him to repeat himself. He didn’t need to. No one can mishear :“I never loved you” They were the only two people in the room. The words didn’t come from her. She looked away quickly, hoping he would realize what he said. And offer an apology, or retract the statement. For long, interminable seconds, she mentally repeated the words. Suddenly, she felt like the main character in a movie. In this particular scene, she stepped into one of those old, run down establishments on the outskirts of town. The type of place where, no one asked questions, or knows your name. The place where you go to drown your sorrows. And figure out what to do next.

She looked around her, searching for the corner where the music was coming from. As her eyes adjusted to the dim interior, she spotted the shiny edges of the jukebox. There it was, old and familiar, playing a 60’s Ballard. She recognized the song immediately, because it was on repeat. The few patrons who remained, were either too lazy, or too drunk, to get up and change the song. No one turned to acknowledge her presence. Good.

She grabbed the first empty stool in sight, plopped down, and stared straight ahead. The bartender was nowhere to be seen. She turned to “look” at the man who had uttered the words, which culminated everything else. It all felt a bit surreal. She felt like a passerby, observing, off to the side. Transfixed, as she witnessed the exchange between the couple. It was rude to eavesdrop. She should turn away. Avert her gaze a little. Unfortunately, she just couldn’t. Not even if she tried. An inexplicable force kept her rooted to the spot.

The taste buds in the back of her mouth twitched, as the bitter taste of bile rose in her throat. Unwelcome, and repulsive. Very much like the experience she was having. She swallowed. And felt sick. Nauseated and trembling internally, she took a deep breath, hoping to trick her mind into blocking out the words, which continued to ring mercilessly in her ears. A battle of wills began raging within her. She knew she was fighting forces much bigger than she was.

Forces which only began to reveal themselves a year or two ago. The things she had lived through, turned her into a woman, she no longer recognized. The wheels had come off the bus, and in the process, she was destroying herself. It was like a train wreck you saw coming, but couldn’t stop.

Painful and traumatic memories flooded through her. Hot and smouldering. She locked eyes with the man she had given up so much for. Sacrifices which had rerouted her life in crucial ways. The second person to whom she had given her heart. An eternity passed. Not knowing what else to say, but knowing she had to say something, she said :“ So if you never loved me, why….”

Next up: open letters……

Intrigued?!

Be patient. Keep calm. I am writing my second and third book at the same time! I hope you enjoyed this taster.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Last Christmas.


christmas 3Decorated hall at the shelter (pic could be a year old)

Last Christmas, I was fortunate enough to be in a role, where I had the entire Christmas break off. I decided to do something different. I volunteered at Caring at Christmas; a local organization, which houses about 80 homeless people from December 24th – Jan 1st, on a 24/7 basis. They have access to free food all day, manicures, haircuts, board games, pool, clothing, television, massage, dentists, doctor visits, chiropodist, the works. During the year, a smaller numbers are offered a bed, and food for the night. Rules stipulate, they must leave the next morning. Caring at Christmas is also open to others during the day. Anyone is welcomed to stop in, and help themselves to anything on offer.

During induction, we were made aware, that anyone at anytime can be homeless. Some of the people who frequent the shelter, once served in the armed services, held good jobs. You might be talking to a former engineer, teacher, civil servant etc. Chances are, we might be the only ones who bothered to sit, and have a chat with them all year. The Christmas season is the only time the majority of guests had a warm place to sleep, and food all day.

As much as I wanted to, a recent back injury prevented me from being at the shelter every day. I went as often as I could though. What an AMAZING experience! I didn’t know what to expect, but realized very shortly, how grateful I was to be able to do this. Naturally, I wanted to commit the experience, and the people whose paths crossed mine, to memory. Permit me to introduce you to a few of the people I met (names have been changed).

On my first shift, I met John. A fellow islander, he eagerly entertained me with card tricks. He told me how he had spent time in prison. His mom was suffering from terminal cancer. In a matter of fact way, he recounted the struggles he faced. I was impressed with his commitment to just keep going. I also spent time with John and Richard, who invited me to play several rounds of table tennis. John was very matter of fact in giving me hints, and tips on ball movement, paddle handling. The fact that I hadn’t played since I was a teenager? None issue.

Terry moved to Bristol a few years ago from London. He was well dressed, and well spoken. By all accounts, life was good in London. What led to the move, I didn’t know, and didn’t ask. He wasn’t interested in participating in the games, or activities. Terry was content to sit, and observe. He complained about not getting enough sleep at night. Apparently, some of the other guests stayed up all night! He had no choice though, he needed to eat.

Sandra had just moved to Britain from Spain. She was staying in a rundown hotel. One of my duties was to keep the clothes table tidy, and assists the guests with any items they needed. She had one request; a towel. Apparently, the ones at the hotel were flimsy, and not always clean. I gave her two. Wished that I could give more. The look on her face when she received the one item she asked, for will always stay with me.

Graham, he lived in a small town outside Bristol. He was nursing a broken ankle. His monthly benefit money wouldn’t come in until January. Every single day, he walked 5 hours to the shelter, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t eat. He didn’t have money for bus fare. I struck up a quick rapport with him. Graham is tenacious. Carrying on, doing what needs to be done.

Sam was only interested in putting puzzle pieces together. We spent hours chatting over a 1000 piece. He didn’t share much about himself. So we kept to neutral, everyday topics. Time, naturally flew by. His thing was puzzles. No games, no television. Nothing. Just puzzles. And the company, of anyone who wanted to help him put them together.

Keith was a total character. A man with more than 5 City & Guilds qualifications to his name. We shared a mutual interest in pottery. Keith was the resident scrabble champion. He continually boasted about this to anyone within ear shot. One day, I put the word out, that I would challenge him. The next day, another player joined us. Come to find out, Keith had a habit of making up his own words. I came in second. I won’t forget this fellow. Keith, you’ve made an impression. May God bless you!

I could go on and on. Sometimes, I think my life is hard. The struggles, too great. I want to give up. Just like you. Then I volunteered last Christmas. I will not forget this experience, for as long as I walk the earth. I realised, I have more than I can possibly need. Before hand, I had asked some of my friends to donate unwanted clothing, and other donations. The second I place them on the table, hands came out of nowhere and swiped them away. One man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure. Thank you to Leanne B and Sylvia K. for coming through in time, and those who promised to do so later.

I will be back this year.
Until the next post,

Juan

Till We Meet….


2532988Mere days ago (19.03.14) we lost our beloved cousin Elroy Cornelius Morris. Elroy was in the second year of his theology studies at Bethel Bible College in Jamaica. My sister’s Alma Mater. He was excelling academically. A  favourite among his peers. Deeply loved by those who knew him. Everyone was in a state of shock. Still is. Many were praying for his return. Pleading with God for a miracle. For him to be a modern day Lazarus.

Elroy’s death affected me. And of course, more so, his immediate family. I still remember his first day home from the hospital. In the months and years to follow, I baby sat and fed him, changed his diaper, watched him grow up. In Christmas of 2010, I made my first visit back home in many years.  Totally delighted to see how he had blossomed into such a great young man. My cousin’s firstborn.

I had a chance to speak to his mom the day after his passing. Captivated as I  listened to her recount his final moments on earth. We laughed and cried, as we reminisced about his childhood. I can’t fathom her pain. Although devastated, she kept repeating she was comforted by the fact, he died in Christ. His life was an example to everyone. We spoke of his last moments, and I felt as if I was a bystander, as she described the events to me.

Death reminds us of our own mortality. The preciousness of life. And things we need to do. Today, I came across a quote from the Happier Face book group, in simple, beautiful words: “Life is short. Collect experiences”.  Indeed, we are too busy collecting other things. Better jobs. More money. Nice houses. Expensive Clothes. Fake friends. Things we cannot take with us. Things that no longer matter to my sweet and precious cousin. Never did. If I am honest.

On March 20th, I posted these words on his Facebook page : RIP cousin. Having a terrible time grasping the fact you’re no longer with us. Just spoke with your mom. Learned of your final moments. So many have been touched by you, and your example. You are free from all pain and suffering. The work God has for you couldn’t be done by anyone else. Rest safe in his arms. Till we meet again.

No one dies in vain. There is always a lesson behind losing someone so young. With so much more to offer. I love you. Will miss your spirit. Wont ever forget your influence. Thank you for the time you spent with us. The memories we collected. The hearts you touched.Till we meet again. Rest in Peace.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

The Now.


how-to-live-in-the-moment-plitvice-waterfallWe live in a fascinating age. Have access to unprecedented methods of technology. So, its incomprehensible to watch reports indicating Boeing 777- 200 ER, carrying 200+ passengers and crew, has vanished. Literally. On March 8th, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 departed from Malaysia bound for China. However, shortly after take-off, air traffic controllers lost contact with the jet. It’s been more than 48hrs and counting. The barrage of conspiracy theories is in full swing.

For history purposes, read the story here. I won’t dwell on this too much. Too disturbing. I’m not a good flyer. Between take off, and cruising, I am a bundle of nerves. So, I can’t begin to imagine the pain of family members and loved ones. Not knowing. Waiting. Hoping. Praying. But as time goes on. You begin to lose hope.

Once again, I’m reminded, not to procrastinate. It’s incredibly easy, but counterproductive to look back on mistakes. Spend time berating yourself, with the what if’s. Recently, I have made my fair share. However, I am painfully aware the past has nothing new to say. Does it? In the face of incredible difficulties, it’s even harder to press on. Oh, you can get lost in the judgements being meted out. But, we have to move on. Enjoy life. Even with the knowledge we might have to learn the same lessons. Time and again. Until we get it.

Today, I intend to live. Grab the moments. As Gandhi once said: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever”. I reaffirm my commitment to do just that. Because tomorrow. Is not promised to anyone.  I tend to worry. A lot . Perhaps a bit too much. My younger sister recently told me: “You’re worried about something that is so far away. Live in the NOW”. Thank you Hannah.

Today, right now. In light of everything that’s happening around us. I hope we realise what a blessing it is to be alive. To be here at this time. Live. Love. Laugh. Forgive. Move on. Be happy.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

It’s Been Three Years!


keep-calm-coz-its-my-birthday-3-years-today-2I vividly remember how it started. Sat in my dorm at Essex uni. Reviewing the day’s lecture notes. Inspiration struck. And here I am. Blogging three years on. So much has happened. Still happening.

This post is simple. Brief. And to the point. Thank you! My supporters. Friends. Followers. Passers-by. The curious onlookers. Whoever you may be. Thanks you for visiting. And taking time to read. I haven’t always gotten it right. Perhaps I never will. But its onwards and upwards.

Curious to see where the year takes me. Life is beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, we can whine and moan about our lot in life. Or we can just get on with it. There is great joy to be found. I hope you find yours. Soon. Because “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you”

Amendment 28.03.2014 : my three year mark was actually yesterday! Had to double check. Whoop sees 🙂

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

One More Day!


OneMoreDayOLTwo days. That’s all it took. To change the life of a person I adore. On Thursday, my friend learned her father had terminal cancer. The next day doctors delivered even more grave news. His condition had deteriorated so badly, and he had days to live. My heart ached for her. The journey would take 12 hours. He couldn’t even speak anymore. She left with a heavy heart. Hoping to make it to his bedside. Before he passed away. Like me, she met her father very late in life.

I began thinking about my own personal circumstances. A father I never knew. Until two years ago. To be honest. I think it was too late for us. Perhaps, if we met a decade or two ago, things might be different. The damage has been done. I know there is a lot for me to forgive. And so I shall. It’s a start.

I thought about what I would do. If I only had days to live. Then I remembered, a piece from my first published anthology of poems. One More Day. I hope it offers insight. No matter where you are in life.

If we knew that we had one more day on earth, would we…

Love with more passion?

Listen more attentively?

Hug our loved ones tighter?

Laugh until it hurts?

Smile a tad bit wider?

Touch more gently?

Kiss as if it will be your last?

Talk a lot less and listen more?

Forgive wrongdoings more quickly?

Walk with a spring in our step?

Spend more time with the ones you love?

Leave work at work?

Sweat the small stuff?

Tell them how much you truly love them?

Stop to smell the flowers?

Play in the rain, just once more?

Take a moonlight stroll on the beach?

Turn off the television and read a bedtime story to your child?

Pray together as a family?

Give away all your possessions, just to have one more day?

Appreciate nature?

Give thanks for all that you have?

Yield to someone in traffic?

Give to the beggar on the street?

Volunteer at your favourite charity?

Make someone’s wish come true?

Be a big brother or big sister to an underprivileged child?

Stop by the local food kitchen and ask how you can help?

Handwrite a letter to your mom?

Dance, really, like no one is watching?

Befriend the office outcast?

Pray longer tonight?

Make breakfast in bed for your spouse?

Take the day off work to spend with the family?

Spend a few hours at the local humane society?

Treat this Christmas as if it was your last?

Quit complaining as much?

Say: “I’m sorry,” even though you did nothing wrong?

Drive hours to see a friend who is hospitalized?

Give up your seat on the bus?

Look at your glass as half empty or half full?

Would you…?

In short, make time for the things that really, truly matter. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Juan Williams (2009)

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan