2016, Uncategorized

The drought of 2016

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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I would like to think of myself as a fierce  woman and this could be true but I have one huge flaw- when the going gets tough I pack up my bags and seek a new adventure. I lack the endurance to go through with things. If I see that there is a chance that I could fail – I won’t bother with the thing for too long. I have avoided opportunities, friendships and many things simply because I feared disappointment – I do not fear hard work but I fear failure.

“We have been living through a time of sorrow. Our seed remains seed. Our nostrils are dusty.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

I am the kind of person who would not plant a seed if I did not know for sure that within a certain time frame that this seed would blossom into the most extravagant tree- actually I would not care whether it blossoms as long as there is some sign of life. 2016 has been a year I would describe as a drought. Whatever I planted simply would not grow. Perhaps I did not take into account that some things take a bit longer to grow or maybe that there is a lesson in the drought? I did not realise that there were different kinds of droughts:

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  1. Meteorological droughts: Basically when a land goes without rain for a certain period of time.

Now you are probably wondering what point am I trying to make? Well it is quite simple. You cannot expect to grow if you do not stand in the rain or find a way to get some sort of moisture. I discovered that during a drought a cactus reduces the amount of leaves it produces in order to remain alive and to fight through the drought and I think that sometimes we need to do that. We cannot keep stretching ourselves to reach a target or to force things when our spiritual and mental health has a chance of deteriorating. Some days I would get so busy that I would not have time to read my Bible or sit and listen to a word of encouragement and then wonder why am I remaining a seed? Well it is actually quite simple… When it rained with encouragement I took it for granted and complained that it is going to ruin my perfectly blow dried hair.  Now what? The drought came and there is not an influx of people pouring encouragement over every little thing you do?  The seed remained a seed because the encouragement given before fell into overgrazed soil. You cannot rely on others to keep giving you encouragement and to keep you keeping on. There will be a season where there is no rain coming but that does not mean the seed cannot grow.

2. Agricultural droughts.  This is when there is a lack of moisture in the soil where the crop grows.

We take for granted the encouragement we receive. I cannot remember who said this but the quote went something like this ” You need to prepare for the season in which you are not yet in” We do not think of storing up for when there is a season of lack until the season of lack comes.

“Only miss the sun when it starts to snow”- Passenger

That song by Passenger represents the point I am trying to make. We do not appreciate the  moment we are in, the people we have, the food we eating or even the show we are watching until it is gone. We need to accept the season we in and that the rain is not currently falling but that does not mean we are going to sit and cry and wonder when the rain will come and when will people encourage us again. There is a method to growing plants in the middle of a drought and it is called companion planting- this is basically when you plant plants together that can reap different benefits from each other. You see the point I am trying to make? You do not need to be alone in order to survive a drought… Alone might actually be the biggest hindrance to you. Surround yourself with people of different qualities and nutrients and help each other survive the drought.

       3. Hydrological drought. This happens when reservoirs and lakes dry up.

As the year is coming to an end you possibly feel like this is the drought you are in. There is no energy left, how are you even going to make it to next week? Your leave seems so far away but the rain will come again.

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Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Endurance and I do not go together. I would love to say that I am patient and that when the going gets tough that I do not get going but unfortunately that is not the case. I get frustrated and I get fed up but that is why I am glad the drought of 2016 came because I got to see how far I could go without having rainfall, how far I could go without having a growth that is open to the whole world. The seed still has small victories that the world does not know about. The seed is gaining strong roots and I hope you realise that you are too.

“At the end of the day it’s about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.”
Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.- Galatians 6:9

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2016, Uncategorized

Disillusioned hallucinations

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My soul leads me into the desert, into the desert of my own self. – Carl Jung

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about different seasons of life and she brought up that there can be a season of complete stagnation… I never really thought of a season of “nothing” but that is when I realised that I am in fact in my desert season.

The desert is super hot during the day and super cold at night and without water hallucinations begin to take over your mind. I entitled this blog post “disillusioned hallucinations” because no other words described this season (in which I find myself )any better. When you get stuck in a desert experts would tell you to keep out of the sun as best as you can- which runs true in a figurative desert- you have to protect yourself from others spotlight because if you focus too much on it your mind will begin to become dehydrated and you will thirst for something that is not within your reach.

At the first sign of thirst you are advised not to drink all your water at once. You need to ration yourself as the days go on. So basically when the first sign of success comes or the first sign of movement comes along don’t indulge yourself in it. Take small sips and remember this is the reason for the desert season. DO NOT PANIC when you are stranded in a desert- When we find ourselves in the desert we usually find ourselves walking in circles or into bigger trouble simply because we want to get out of this dry dry dry area… Staying put in a desert is what experts encourage. You need to calm yourself in order to truly assess who you are and how you ended up here. Once you have calmed down and are certain you know where you are going – it is important to make your mark. You are encouraged to focus on a distant landmark and to follow it to wherever you are going. So in your figurative desert it is important to keep your focus on where you want to be even if you do not know where you want to be you still need to focus on a future where you are happy and satisfied. Keep your eyes on God and remember that walking through this desert is not only for yourself but it is for whoever happens to walk in a similar desert- your journey will be the path they follow to their version of a happy and fulfilled future.

In deserts you are encouraged not to speak as it results in your body losing water. In the figurative desert I think that you need to know WHEN to speak. But being silent (basically not complaining that nothing is happening in your life) is the best option. When you speak make sure that what you say says huge amount. In your figurative desert it helps to listen and ponder more than it does to yell and complain. Remember that a desert isn’t just hot… it gets cold…super super super cold. So in a “nothing happening” season remember that happy moments can come and you can feel safe and secure but sad moments will come too and you would want nothing more than shelter. But in the desert you need to brave the weather conditions even if you are going nowhere. When the temperature drops you need to be secure and know that you will be safe- basically when the stagnation results in panic know that God has you regardless of what you are feeling.

 

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides – Hillsong, Desert Song

 

I cannot tell you when or how the desert season ends but I can tell you that harvest is on its way. Keep sowing seed into yourself and others and it will eventually come to a bountiful harvest. The desert is when you learn about yourself and who you are trusting in. The first few days – even months are torturous but you need to remind yourself that they are mere hallucinations.

 

“Something will grow from everything you are going through & it will be you.”

“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…”

 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

 

The desert tests obedience and you will discover who you are without any challenges and without any success.

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2016, Uncategorized

Pain. Suffering. Agony-Ouch.

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“If the wounds on her heart and the bruises on her soul were translated on her skin, you wouldn’t recognise her at all.”

– Verona Q

“How could you hurt me like that? How could you say those words? How could you just hit me ? Instead of asking you these questions…I asked myself. The pain became so unbearable that I began to question everything I was. In my mind happiness resulted in sadness…Love resulted in heartbreak…Friendship resulted in loneliness and beauty was temporary.”

We all deal with pain and suffering differently and pain and suffering is different to everyone. Pain is a reaction to allow healing but we make pain the walls we build around ourselves. Pain becomes our bodyguard and the thing with pain is that it does not know who the VIPs are or who should not be on the list. Pain is the bodyguard that will not let anyone in thinking they are not welcome.

Pain is a funny thing because you feel it when you get a paper cut but you do not feel it straight away when you twist your ankle because of adrenaline. I think emotional pain works the same way… We cry when  dogs die in movies but when we receive the most heartbreaking news we sit in silence and become numb because we fear we will never stop crying.

“I felt so much pain, that I started to feel nothing…”

I think that is when we go wrong… We do not allow ourselves to feel and we just work through the motions of life ignore our emotions because they cannot be easily understood and the tears do not seem to heal the deep wounds but the ignoring of the wounds results in them becoming infected and never truly healing.

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Pain is something that needs to be felt. When we get close to fire we start feeling pain and that tells us that if we proceed we will harm ourselves but when it comes to emotional,spiritual and mental pain we react differently. But why? Pain is pain and acknowledging it makes  all the difference. I thought that  feeling numb was much better than feeling pain but in reality the pain still needs to be felt the numb feeling is just a mere cover up and prolonging the healing process.

When I was at the tattoo parlour the other day this guy next to me applied so much local anesthetic to the area he was about to get tattooed in that he barely felt much. The artist told him that the pain will still come even if it is delayed and that got me thinking to when I blocked out pain and pretended it wasn’t there just so I did not have to feel it until the pain demanded me to feel it. Pain or the blocking out of it results in one blocking a lot of other things out as well…When I decided to ignore the bullies words it did not mean that I immediately forgot all the things they said to me I just chose not to show them I was hurting but I was a hypocrite because in public I looked like I had it all together and then when I was alone I was a complete mess. The words of the bullies did not stop at their mouths it became the only way I saw myself. It took me years to train my brain to think of myself in a different light.

Acting like I had it all together resulted in  me cutting people out of my life and pushing people far away especially people who cared about me because in my mind they are the ones who will hurt you the most. That is true but they are also the ones who you can love and support you the best. (I know this to be true now). The words that I heard over and over again became the truth I lived my life by. The only truth I would accept. Pushing people away resulted in me pushing God away for creating me…” I was not what the world needed…nobody wants me here so why am I here?? “-Thoughts I lived my life by.

Pain demands to be felt sometime or another so when the pain hits I think we should fully feel it in the moment and we should not turn from God in those moments because when we block pain out -we block happiness out- we block love out and then we just become zombies that are numb to all things.

“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”-Tim Keller

Pain sucks but pain will always come… The way in which we choose to deal with the pain changes who we are. If I acknowledged  the pain I was feeling much earlier and cried and became angry and let it out I honestly think it would have been so much better. Pushing people away in life only leads to our own destruction- we need people and we need God.

“I DON’T CARE!” Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH, I’VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!”
“You do care,” said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Pain sucks I agree 100% but when we deal with other humans it will always be a factor we have to acknowledge. We cannot not have pain because then I do not think we would really appreciate happiness or healing… There is a term called “redemptive suffering” it is basically suffering for the benefit of others. Jesus suffered for our benefit.

“But resurrection is not just consolation — it is restoration. We get it all back — the love, the loved ones, the goods, the beauties of this life — but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength.”-Tim Keller

“Madge: I don’t know why I keep shouting at them.
The Doctor: Because every time you see them happy you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.
~ The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe”

Steven Moffat

I do not have all the answers as to why pain happens or how to make it hurt less but just like getting a tattoo cover up- it can hurt really badly in the moment but it turns into the most beautiful thing if you put yourself under the hand of someone trustworthy. When we are in pain we should go to the ultimate Artist and let Him turn the pain into something beautiful.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

 

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2016, Uncategorized

You don’t know what you are missing

“But to cry in front of you, That’s the worst thing I could do.”-Rizzo,Grease.

“How dare you show any sort of emotional connection to anyone?! This is not what we spoke about. Keep it together.” These are the words I told myself whenever someone said something mean. I was not always like this. When I was much younger than I am now I was a victim of bullying. Social media was not a very popular thing when I was in primary school which I am so grateful for. I never saw flaws in myself (I am not saying that because I believed I was perfect and a gift sent from the Heavens). When I say I never saw flaws in myself I mean that I did not think being skinny was wrong, being short was unattractive, growing up with a single parent was wrong… I never thought that being a late bloomer was in any way wrong or not enough until one day…

I remember the day as if it was yesterday… I was leaning over to talk to a little child and someone walked past me and said no wonder you do not have a father, no wonder he left you… I would have left you too. I stood up and was so overwhelmed by emotions that I did not react, did not say a word… I just stood there and told myself you better not cry. Before this moment I was told that it was not attractive to have a thigh gap, or to be skinny or to be short or to be clever or to be an achiever (I am a bit of an over achiever and have no shame about it). What I am trying to get at is that I did not see fault or see lack until someone else pointed it out to me. I was fully satisfied with who I was and I adore my family and I would not have changed it for the world.

I need to set one thing clear:My dad did not leave, he was simply just not any way part of my life. I do not have any childhood memories of him and I have no sort of hatred or disgust towards him. Having a child is not an easy task especially if you want to give your child the best of everything. He was not ready or capable of that and my mom stepped up and raised me with such love and grace and I would not trade her for the world.

Anyway back to my story. I did not see an issue with emotions or expressing feelings or anything until people made me believe that it is weak. I felt a rage build up within me and anger became my natural reaction to everything. You called me ugly? Okay here is some anger and sarcasm. You back-stabbed me and spread rumours about me? Oh here is some anger with a touch of insult and bad words. Anger was comfortable for me because I believed it made me look strong and as if I have everything in control. I never told my family about the bullying and torment and because crying is weak I never shed a tear about these issues so how would the have known something was wrong?

My mom is my biggest role model and she is my biggest supporter. I failed to recognise her sacrifices and her love through the years because I was listening to what the little kids said…saying I need a dad and because I do not have one I am not enough. You see I did not see myself as a beautiful creation for so many years and I did not see myself as worth anyone’s time. I did not see myself as a blessing I believed I was a curse and that I needed to have curves and all those things that made a girl worth anyone’s time.

Here is something I should have told myself instead of do not cry: You are enough. You are allowed to feel any emotion you choose to feel. You deserve love. This is not your fault. Recognise what is in your life currently and stop focusing on what you are missing out on.This is not called settling it is recognising that this is who I am and this is what I plan to do to improve myself and not try to be someone else. The featured image is an image of my latest tattoo. The inspiration behind it is instead of being  a Barbie that was “Made in China” I am a child of God “Made in His Image”.

 

“A rose can never be a sunflower and a sunflower can never be a rose All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.”-Miranda Kerr

 

 

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2016, Uncategorized

The beauty of vulnerability

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“Vulnerability is terrifying. The courage it takes to reveal you heart is one of the most daunting…yet rewarding experiences in life. It will set you free.”

 

I never understood what vulnerability is, I always just assumed being vulnerable meant opening yourself up to get hurt. I thought making yourself vulnerable meant making yourself the bullseye and allowing people to target practice on you. I would be lying if I said that being vulnerable does not still terrify me. There has always been this one person in my life that being vulnerable with was such an easy task but unfortunately being vulnerable with that person caused more trouble than anything else. Imagine opening up yourself to someone only for them to listen say okay and then leave pretending as if it wasn’t a big deal. Exposing yourself to someone is not an easy task but I don’t think being vulnerable is necessarily for anyone else, I think being vulnerable benefits you more than anything else.

 

Being vulnerable means being honest and raw. I don’t think I was always honest and raw with myself. I used to be a very insecure angry girl that used to tell herself that she is pathetic, useless and not worth much. Now was this being honest? No. We are all worth something, we aren’t pathetic and telling yourself these things puts up a barrier between you and yourself and in return you ultimately build a barrier to the entire world. Vulnerability is confidence. I don’t think one can obtain true confidence without being vulnerable. Vulnerability is showing who you really are and valuing yourself. Showing someone my writing is me being vulnerable as writing exposes who I am and is something I truly cherish.

 

The dictionary definition of vulnerable is “Vulnerability is the quality of being easily hurt or attacked.” And I think when we see this definition we run away from anything that makes us vulnerable because who would honestly want to be easily hurt? No one. Being a human being opens you up for being easily attacked so why not be true to yourself? I would rather be attacked for the truth than a lie. I do not want to be a target because I was not true to myself. Brene Brown is one of the most brilliant writers on the topic of vulnerability and she states that “Vulnerability is our most accurate form of courage”

 

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown

 

When avoiding vulnerability, we need to weigh up what we are giving up and what we have. Not being vulnerable leaves true love, strength and joy behind and we only have cowardice and regret which ends up hurting us anyway. The person I am so willing to be vulnerable with is someone I care deeply about and I don’t want to end up losing them because I put half of myself into the relationship. Vulnerability is giving it all.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

― Brené Brown

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2016, Uncategorized

One of a kind.

“…you’ll search for me inside of everyone you’re with & I won’t be found.” r.h. sin

Comparison is such an ugly thing but is something we do unintentionally. Comparison has to be made as humans are our threshold of who we are. We cannot describe ourselves without referring to another human as a threshold. “I am short” How do you know you are short without comparing yourself with someone who is taller than you? “I am tan” How would you know that without comparing yourself with someone who is pale or dark? Comparison is necessary and important surely but we have taken it too far. We have become radical comparison humans.

I am sure many women will agree with me and say that when they cut their hair men started treating them differently and some men will even go so far as to say that women are more attractive with long hair than short hair and I have two things to say to those men…

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People will always compare you and that is just what humans do so naturally but when you begin comparing yourself to the next person that is when trouble sets in. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you feel you need to change yourself into someone you are not just to get someone to love or like you then you are selling yourself short. The way to get ahead in life and be happy is by successfully being yourself because no one on this planet is who you are. He will search for someone better to replace you but that won’t happen because no one is arranged in the manner in which you are arranged and the key to true happiness is to accept and love the wonderful arrangement in which you have been created.

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