Every once in a while. You meet a kindred spirit.With whom you share an incredibly rare and special bond. You savour the tender moments. Because. Life is precious. Fragile. And these are the moments. Which make it beautiful. There is a sense of profound gratitude. That is was the Lord’s design. To have your paths cross. Sadly though. They either stay in our lives forever. Or leave. Of course, your heart breaks. But. You know. After one season is another. And some things change. While others remain the same.
I also know. Despite everything. The time will come. When my teeth are in a cup. Eyes on the shelf. Ears in the drawer. Memories come in spurts. One foot in the grave. I’ll ask someone to read me this post. Dedicated to this kindred spirit. Who I’ll never forget. It’s astounding how much we’ve shared. And trusted each other with . With you, I’m not afraid to bare my soul. Because. There is no judgment. It comes naturally.
This post is to thank you. For supporting me. Through some very dark days. For being a part of my life. And everything you brought to it. The intellectual conversations. Laughter. Caring. Support. Incredible acts of kindness. Sacrifices. Every other good deed. And thought. Which has enriched my life. I am grateful. Always will be.
I chose not to name you in this post. But. When you read it. You will recognize yourself. Immediately. Wherever life takes us. Regardless of what the future holds. I know we have reserved a place in our hearts. For each other. For special memories. Shared by two people. Who knew. How it felt. To have someone accept you.Unconditionally. Wherever you go. Whatever you do. Be happy.
Until the next post,
Christopher Columbus once said “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. The “shore” we often need to cross is saying “goodbye and good luck” to the person we once loved. Dearly. I love J. Krishnamurti’s definition of a relationship. To date, he has provided the most concise description I’ve come across. He said “a relationship is an interconnected challenge and response between two people, one which creates a society, it is also the awareness of the interconnection between the two people, communion without fear, freedom to understand each other, to communicate directly”. Try breaking that down!
Chances are you saw it coming. Instead of talking to one another. You talked at each other. The undoubtedly strong connection you once felt? Evaporated. The incredibly rare level of understanding? Well, we all make mistakes. I cannot, in all good conscience, pen this piece without reflecting on my relationship shortcomings. The times I held on. For too long. Loved the wrong person. For all the wrong reasons. Gave too much. Until there was nothing left. Well, here I am. I survived. And you will too.
You’ve done the same too . Sacrificed. Stuck by them. Loved them. Forgave ills. You know.The stuff Lifetime movies are made of. Now, it’s time to say thank you for the lessons.Good times. The beautiful intimacies. Experiences. And tell them goodbye. But wish them good luck. Beware.The temptation to hold on a little longer. Rationalize. And find reasons to stay. Can be incredibly strong. But, in your heart. You know, there is nothing left. To fight for.
There are signs you should move on. For instance, if you find yourself waiting for the person to change. Or doing the unthinkable. And try to change them. If the relationship brings more pain than joy. You address the same issues over and over. You’ve mistakenly convinced yourself, you can “save” the person. You’re justifying actions. Existing on past memories. Instead of making new, happy ones. Or you just know. Click here for a few more. I’m no relationship expert. By any stretch of the imagination. These signs are experiences from my life. And the lives of friends and family.
Krishnamurti also said: “Relationship is self-revelation; it is because we do not want to be revealed to ourselves that we hide in comfort, and then the relationship loses its extraordinary depth, significance and beauty. Relationship is really a process of self-revelation, which is a process of self-knowledge, in that revelation there are many unpleasant things, disquieting uncomfortable thoughts and activities.” The end of any relationship presents the opportunity to look at ourselves. Admit we’ve played a part in it’s demise. A time to become more intimate, and familiar, with our needs and desires. To promise ourselves better. And keep that promise.
Parting ways, especially after a LTR can be distressing. Challenging. Painful. Unfortunately, this is the risk we all take. When we invite another imperfect mortal into our lives. Sometimes, it’s helpful to consider the alternative. Of remaining in the relationship. That’s been spinning in mud. The alternative of wasting time. And resources. On something that’s no longer working. Of holding onto a closed-door so tightly, we cannot see the one opening before us. Beckoning. It takes courage. Heart. And backbone.To finally look at the person you once loved. So much. And say with conviction and meaning: “Goodbye and Good luck”.
While you’re working up the nerve. Keep this in mind: “One day, you will look back on it and smile. Because it was life. And you decided to”. If any part of this post relates to you.I wish you luck in the decisions you have to make.
Until the next post,
It’s great to be alive!! This morning I opened my eyes. And like days gone by, I was reminded many people didn’t. I’m grateful. Life is hard. Sometimes, it’s impossible to see the rainbow. Through the rain. Let me share some of the reasons why I get up in the morning. Here’s my invitation: make a list. Or two. Place it in a spot, where it can be seen. Often. The result? You’ll see. Go on. I dare you.
Until the next post, enjoy #100reasonstokeepliving
Yep. This piece is late. Just a bit. The London 2012 Olympics was spectacular. Well done Brits! Records fell. Pioneers blazed trails. Dreams came true. I cheered the winners. Cried with those who fell short. Bring on Rio.
Fave Olympic memories: Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time. Sarah Attar is Saudi Arabia’s first female track and field athlete. The word “no” is not in Oscar Pistorius‘s vocabulary. He made history as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. Gabby Douglas is the first African-American to win two of gymnastics most coveted crown; gold in the all round and Individual event. Kayla Harrison overcame sexual abuse and other tragedies, to become the first US woman to win gold in Judo.
These athletes have received and will receive their fair share of praise. And sadly criticism. The court of public opinion is now in session. Enter the pundits. Acting as Judge. Jury. And frothing-at-the-mouth Prosecutor. Michael Phelps uses marijuana. Oscar has an unfair advantage over the other athletes. Gabby’s hair. And Attar? Sacrilegious!! I mean off with her head.
Each of us is an Olympian. No, we’re not competing on sports biggest state. We will not accept medals in front of millions of viewers. Forget about the endorsement deals. And victory parades. Furthermore, countries wont cheer for us. BUT. We’re working on something far more personally rewarding. We celebrate small victories many will never know about. Day by day. Hour by hour. We claw away at life. Putting one foot in front of the other. Simply because, we don’t have four more years to refocus. Train. Try again. No. Today is all we get. There are no do-over’s. Or second chances. To make things right.
Oscar Pistorius finished last in the relay . There was not an ounce of self-pity in his post race interview. He accomplished his goal. He won. Made history in the process. Disability is not inability. We need to be able to say we lost, but still made history. For ourselves! You and I might be far behind. Some have finished their leg of the race. Eons ago. The rest might be lapping us. Or so it seem. Our finish line might seem unattainable. It’s okay. All is well. It’s fine. We are running a race only we know how to finish. Because no one else can do it for us.
We are competing in our very own Olympic games now. This very moment. Every day. On our stage. Our terms. When we make the decision to “go for the gold”. It’s our gold. No one else’s. Because we are not in competition with anyone else. Just the man or woman in the mirror. There have been many false starts. Stops. Injuries. Losses. Wins. But. We keep fighting. Because we cannot lose sight of the prize. There is too much at stake.
Love this quote, by one of the greatest men ever to play basketball. Micheal Jordan :”I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Until the next post,
……Because I sin differently than you!
Recently, a woman I was paired to work with on a volunteer project, fired off a lengthy email to the co-ordinator. She claimed, among other things “I wasn’t tough or independent enough” for the rigorous work ahead. This after 3-4 phone conversations. And two hours in each other’s company.
Too bad. For her. Especially when I received a copy of the email hours after a transatlantic flight from Britain. There was no sleeping on this one. I wouldn’t feel differently the next day. I had to set her straight. Immediately. I was taken aback by the fact that someone who barely knew anything besides my name. And the city I lived in. Could make such quick, unfounded judgements.
I directly addressed each of her points. And specifically asked her “not to judge me because of a few minor, petty, inconsequential incidents. Or because I sin differently than you”. Needless to say, we wont be working together. The project is rather important. Her revelations? A blessing in disguise. Her timing? Spot on. We were due to start within a month.
This experience solidifies how remarkably easy it is to judge others. In my opinion, we judge, stereotype, etc, because we are too lazy. To find out otherwise. When we label. And place people in groups. We have something to work with. We don’t have to look any further than the box we’ve placed them in. We overlook the fact that in the majority of instances, we know their names. Not their story.
We’ve become a society of judgemental moralists. Making decisions which affect the lives of others. Sometimes, with no earthly idea. Yet, based on personal experiences, we forge ahead. Judging spouses. Children. Coworkers. Complete strangers. Anyone with a pulse. There in lies the great danger.
Obviously, some situations require us to act on the information available to us. Simple, every day things. Others more complex. To help. Or remain a bystander. To allow a person to learn lessons. When the person has repeatedly brought woe upon themselves. Etc. In these instances, we should use our intelligence. As a way of figuring out what’s happening.
Expressing an opinion is not judging. Making an observation is not judging. But. When we chose to pass sentences on any person. And act upon those sentences. That is judging. Especially with insufficient knowledge. Perhaps, the next time we are tempted to dismiss someone. Because of course, we cannot be wrong. We might want to take a step back. Better yet, try to live their lives for a day. See if you still feel the same way.
Mother Teresa once said: “If we judge people, we have no time to love them“.
Until the next post,
……….There is no menu here. You get served, what you deserve.
I was a Property Guardian while living in Bath. Simply put, PG’s look after empty businesses, homes etc. The main aim, is to prevent squatters from moving in. We sign a letting agreement. Pay a licence fee. Agree to maintain an active presence. And keep the property clean. Ready for inspection at any time. Rent is dirt cheap. And in most cases includes all utilities.
Two other guardians Carlos* and Rachel* (names have been changed), shared the premises. It wasn’t long before Carlos and I established a budding friendship. An unspoken agreement existed between us, to share cleaning duties. Rachel never lifted a finger to help. In any way. Not once in the 2.5 months we all lived together. She also took liberties. Using things which didn’t belong to her. Other incidents made it obvious Rachel didn’t care about anyone. Besides Rachel.
One day, we discussed how best to approach the situation. Eventually ,we decided to pull the load ourselves. The conversation strayed to more serious offences. The Holocaust. Syria. Slavery. Endangered animals. Human trafficking. And other ills. We talked about Karma. I remember saying : “Everyone eventually gets their dues“. That night before bed, I made a mental note to blog about Karma. Click here for a good explanation of this law.
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. It’s a part of life. Experience. With great knowledge comes responsibility. Especially how we respond to and treat others. My hands are not clean. I have hurt others. Treated them unjustly. Turned my back. We all have. Trust me. The same things have happened to me. Even now, I sometimes speak too quickly. And react to situations without thinking. Massive work in progress. As I’ve lived. And learned. I realised a long time ago, the golden rule is golden. For a reason.
Lets face it, people will hurt and disappoint us. And depending on the severity of the offence. There are stages through which we must all pass. Anger. Denial. Acceptance. Human nature ignites feelings of revenge. To give as good as we’ve gotten. Or even worse. A broken heart? Yep. Cheated on. Sure. Lied to. Been there. The coworker from hell. Check. A family member who turned their back on you. Sure. A gossip has ruined your reputation. Certainly. A romantic partner played you for a fool. Been there. Identity stolen? Done. A broken trust. You betcha. Someone’s actions caused the death of a family member. For sure. A child’s father is years behind in child support. Undoubtedly.The list is lengthy.
Why do we wrong each other? The jury might still be out on this. Learned behavior (wonderful, life is easier). We are afraid to step outside the warm, and fluffy comfort zone. Basic human nature. Greater benefit to ourselves. Stupidity. No conscience. Doing wrong feels right. Old habits are hard to break. Carry on.
A few years ago, I decided to let time take care of things. Meaning. Karma or justice eventually prevails. Carry on with life. The best revenge is living well. One day, all scores will be settled. Every misdeed. Ill will. Unjustifiable act. When it becomes necessary to set records straight. Clear up misunderstandings. Stand up for ourselves. Do it.
I try to leave relationships with the other person feeling good about themselves. Even though they’ve done terrible things. This gives them an incentive to change. I firmly believe if we treat people how they can be. They will want to live up to expectations. Although change might be slow in coming. Forgiveness frees your soul. Not the offender’s. I haven’t done this with every relationship. I continue to try.
It’s imperative we learn from the experience.When we are angry, it’s easier to strike out. Seek revenge. Especially if it seems Karma has missed this person on it’s list. Resist the urge. Please. Wish them well. And move on. Wayne Dyer has said : ” How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours”.
One final note, Carlos and I moved out on the same day. Rachel revealed to Carlos, her boyfriend had dumped her. And she feared she was about to be sacked. From her new job. Both happening within a week of each other. Whether or not this relates to our experience with her. Or something else entirely. Is anyone’s guess. It’s not for me to decide. Nor will I gloat in her misfortunes.
The good. Or bad. You do. Comes back to you.
Until the next post,
Recently, I decided to record all the “firsts” in my life. Time passes. And what do you know? Memories fade. Details become fuzzy. Last Thursday, omw from the UK to the USA. I flew first class. For the first time. My curiosity about what happens behind those curtains was finally satisfied. We’ve all done it. Craned our necks. Trying to get a glimpse of how the “other half” flies. Today I found out. Thanks to a family member with connections.
At 7:15 am, I arrived at Heathrow airport. Bleary eyed from lack of sleep. As the cab driver unloaded my suitcases, I cast a long look at them. Briefly wondering how I managed to stuff almost two years of my life into two. And a carry on. On a whim, I decided to hire a porter to tote the heavy, red monsters inside. A luxury yes. But then again, I blamed it on wanting to have the total experience. True.
Here is what yours truly will remember:
One last note; one of the flight attendants is a human version of a tree trunk. No doubt, a wrestler in his down time. It was comical to see him with bread rolls politely asking: “Would you like another roll ma’am?”. Then again, I awoke from my nap. Looked over. And saw him curled in a fetal position, wearing an eye mask, fast asleep. I won’t forget that image.
It will be hard to fly coach again. Knowing just beyond the thin curtains, the “others” are receiving royal treatment. Coach tickets can cost a small fortune. Many drive. Take the train. Or coach. Because of the exorbitant cost of flying. That night I thought to myself: why can’t all of us be treated this way when we fly?
Well, then. On with life.
Until the next post,
In my post about having No Regrets , I alluded to my horoscope being correct. Call me cheesy. Now, I can’t resist glossing over them. Just to be sure. Yep. True.Uh-huh :). In days, I’ll be back on US soil. While writing this post, I read it again, here goes: “You’re heading home in one way or another. You may be on your way to a reunion, or you may just be finding a place that is more comfortable and will work better for you in the long run”. Coincidence? Stroke of luck? Truth? I’ve got to leave this stuff alone. I tell you.
Throughout our lives, there will be times when we have to move on. Close chapters of our lives. We feel it in our souls. However, before we got to that point, we’ve tried many things. Perhaps, ignored the possibility the universe tried to warn us. That things might not turn out the way we envisioned. But we had to know. In my case, I paid no attention to the rumblings of friends. Family. And honest-to-goodness well wishers. I didn’t want to have any regrets. As in choosing to stay in the UK beyond my degree completion. Returning to the US without knowing how things would turn out in the UK, was a no-no. I gave it a fair shot.The time has come .
After the mind numbing process of applying for and getting my BRP, a job followed a month later. In the beautiful and magical city of Bath. Went through a month-long training. After a week in the hot seat, I knew I wasn’t going to be happy there. May 14th : first day on the job/training. July 2nd: resignation handed in. Yep. It was dizzyingly fast. Other factors, not job related, were also at play. One day, I said to myself: “It doesn’t have to be this way”. Throughout my life, I’ve wasted untold amounts of time. Energy. And resources. On things. People. And situations which killed my spirit. No more. I can’t replace these things. But I wont lose anymore.
My UK adventure is over. This stage of my life will soon be behind me. The time expired. To say the least. The UK has a lot to offer in terms of culture, history, education, and some of the best-mannered people I have ever met! Maybe one day I will return. But for now, its time to regroup. Sort out the next year. Before returning to school. For the last time.
This experience has reiterated a lesson I learned years ago. Only you will know when it’s time to move on. No one can make the decision for you. Whether it’s from a relationship. A job. A place of abode. Whatever. People need time to come to terms with themselves. And situations. It’s amazingly easy to stand by. And make judgments. When we have no earthly idea. I was reminded of this now more than ever.
One final note; sometimes, it’s with the best intentions we dole out advice to loved ones, friends, and coworkers. Sometimes solicited. Others not. We think we have a clue. When we don’t. I’ve done it. More recently. I championed a cause for a family member to remove herself from a place and situation. In my own distorted perception, it was the best decision for everyone. I mean why couldn’t she see it? Sadly enough, it was me who couldn’t! Because, I was not walking in her shoes. No. I was on the outside looking in with my rose-colored glasses. Not realizing that the grass on the other side was actually artificial turf. BTW, she chose to remain.
Until we’ve walked a mile in another person’s shoes, we cannot judge. And when you do, it doesn’t matter anymore, because you already have the darn shoes!. Now my time has come. For new adventures. Beginnings. Friendships. Relationships. Education. I look forward to it with the gusto and challenge life will undoubtedly offer. See you on the other side of the pond. Soon.
Until the next post,
Until a few years ago, I relied on others for self acceptance. And self-love. I worked hard for this. I was like a piano in the hands of an accomplished pianist. Dramatic changes have since occurred. Hello there. I woke up. Determined not to be anyone’s prisoner. Not to a situation. Bad judgment. Nada. I accepted me. Loved me. My mistakes.Weaknesses. Limitations. Failures.Talents. Abilities. The entire lot. I learned if someone has a problem with me, it’s their problem. Not mine!
This post is for those who haven’t found their niche. Still trying to figure how to go about this strenuous journey. Of doing what it takes to love themselves.They cannot look in the mirror, on any given day, and say with conviction: “I am of worth. I am an amazing person. I love me. And no one can take that away”. It’s been an uphill struggle to be happy in their own skin. Many among us strongly believe if we looked, dressed, and acted differently. Had more money. A better job. Achieved a higher SES. Get over past hurts…We will be happy. Be complete.
Wrong. This way of thinking needs to stop. Now. It’s time. To say “sayonara” to the people and things, holding you hostage. Literally. To know you are worth more than possessions. More than the last idiot who treated you shabbily. A job which drains your energy. And is slowly and methodically killing your spirit. A relationship that should have ended a lifetime ago. You catch my drift.
Self acceptance is a long, arduous journey. Punctuated by false starts. Sudden stops. Spinning of wheels. Remember: if you are not careful. If, you aren’t mindful your choices. If you don’t make conscious decisions about whom you let into your life. You will slip. Fall. Question your judgment. Choices. Sense of self. The essence of who you are. This is dangerous territory.
It’s not easy to love ourselves is it? After all, others seem to have it together. In every aspect. You? A hot mess. Remember these three pieces of advice: first everyone is fighting a different battle. Second, you know their name, not their story. Third, the grass on the other side might be artificial turf. Do not waste another moment dissecting your failures. Or comparing yourself to another human being. Don’t bother trying to please everyone. You can’t. Stop obsessing over mistakes. And how others will judge you because of them. The voice which whispers you are not good enough. And never will be. Must be silenced. Now.
I fear and realize many will never truly accept themselves. My heart aches. We are all fighting different battles. It’s not fair to make moral judgments. On the flip side, self acceptance is possible. For some the journey might take years. Decades . An entire lifetime. But we have to start somewhere. Recognize our value. Eternal worth. Who we are. We can do this. Self acceptance means loving ourselves. To be selfish enough to try to love another before loving ourselves is untenable. It’s also called cheating.
Accept who you are. Really.Truly.Unequivocably. Everything. All of it. No exceptions. To get started some things must change. Habits. Distorted perceptions. Misfits you continuously allow into your life. Shabby treatment from others. The penchant for getting involved in toxic relationships. Dare I continue? Get on with it. Next month you will be closer than you are today. Closer to liberation. To the indescribable feeling of complete and utter exhilaration at the changes within you.How bad do you want it?
Finally, you are not a carbon copy. You are unique. Compare yourself only to the person you used to be. Live your best life. Love you your nature. Physical characteristics. Strengths. Limitations. Intelligence. Sense of self. Your sexiness. Charm. Inner beauty. Your potential for greatness. Life experiences. Your accomplishments. Innate goodness. Courage. Your will to carry on despite obstacles . When someone tells you are you amazing. Believe them. They see more in you than you do in yourself. Accept you. It’s yours. Own it.
Until the next post,
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