So often we ask ourselves what life is all about or what your purpose in life is.  To say life is complicated, will be an understatement.  Life is NOT predictable!  Life often confuses us because we do not understand something.  Life is puzzling at times; often pushing us to the limits (or it feels that way).  Yet, we continue…

They define a puzzle as a problem designed in the form of a toy or game to test ingenuity or knowledge.  And life, my dear friend, is nothing less than a puzzle.  Your life is an evolving jigsaw puzzle.

Now, a jigsaw puzzle is described as a tiling puzzle that you need to assemble by putting together multiple ‘oddly-shaped’ interlocking and tessellating pieces.  Each piece contains a small part of a picture on it and all of them assembled produces a complete picture.

A jigsaw puzzle can even be 2D or even 3D.  It can be 100 pieces or 15000 pieces.  A jigsaw puzzle can be any shape or size.  The subject of the jigsaw puzzle is only limited to your imagination.

Isn’t life exactly that?  Little bits and pieces in time we juggle around to fit snuggly together.  We cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this evolutionary jigsaw and we cannot control the process completely.

Some people may attempt to finish the edges off first and then work their way inwards, whilst others may start in the middle.  Some may even complete little clusters of detail and fill in the minor details afterwards.  Irrespective of which route you take, none of them are wrong, and the result will still be the same – a complete picture.

Think back at the last time you sat down and worked on a puzzle.  How many times did you take a piece and rotate it repeatedly with the hope that it fits?  Other times, by luck, you picked the right piece and it fit immediately; sometimes you put the correct piece aside because you didn’t rotate the piece correctly.

The more I think about it, the more I believe life really is an evolving, 3D, million-piece jigsaw puzzle.  Sometimes you think the right person/situation came along and fit ‘just there’, just to be reminded with a broken heart and scars that it is not the case.  Other times the opposite is possible too where you push away a great person you love and cherish, but because of their importance, you put it aside as you do not want to take that slim chance that you are wrong.

Either way, life is a puzzle in progress.

From my experience, I know I have lost great opportunities because I would rather be hurting than to disappoint someone a care about.  But all is not gloomy!  As the one piece is placed, it created a space for new developments.  A prime example is because if the ‘bad’ didn’t happen, I would not have had the opportunity to experience the great people in my life.  This range from my current employment to people in my life.  Every person; every circumstance; every memory.  It all forms part of your unique jigsaw puzzle.

You were given the puzzle pieces which can vary and you were given time – an underrated, priceless commodity!  At the end, what you do with these pieces and your will to try and try again, will ultimately define your puzzle.

Will you sit with a completed jigsaw puzzle, or will you end up with a heap of unused puzzle pieces and empty holes in your puzzle?

We need to realise that life is a puzzle assembled piece by piece and that every experience, person and memory forms part of the puzzle whether we like it or not.  It all forms part of the complete puzzle: the bigger picture.

Whether it is lost friendships; gained relationships, loving someone wholehearted and yet, they will never know, or being on the other side of the coin of wondering; all forms part of your puzzle.  At times, you might wonder if you force a puzzle piece in a slot because you want it there, what the repercussions may be.  A single puzzle piece has multiple sides and forcing it to try and fit where it should not be, will exponentially affect your puzzle.

Our puzzles might be unique, but we all have received a time as a measure.  A second is a second is a second; no matter where in the world or in which century you live.  But appreciate each piece in your life.  Cherish the cornerstones of your existence.  Invest in the time commodity as the dividends will pay off when you complete and showcase your jigsaw puzzle.

What will yours look like at the end? Will it be of such importance that others will showcase it long after you are gone?

The night is dark.  Barely any light break through the towering tree tops that create faint silhouettes, but as soon as they appear, are they absorbed in the thick mist covering the forest floor.  A grey, lifeless canvas is all that is left.  The path forward is uncertain, but turning around is not an option.

This is where my thoughts lead me the last while.  The eerie shadows of mistakes from the past.  It is easy to say not to live with regrets, and I understand the thought process behind it.

But ‘What if…’

What if you could time-travel back in time to avoid making a mistake?  How far would you go back?  Would you go back, knowing that it will change your whole future, and erase good memories made after the mistake you wish to fix?

Friends gave me their input, based on their current mindset and circumstances.  Interesting enough, it ranges from friends wishing not to change anything, to friends having specific times in their lives.  This made me realise that we all have a struggle of our own.

The struggle is real.

When I asked myself this question, I would probably try to go back for more than a decade.  Maybe even further back, however, it is more complicated than that.  If I time-travelled to all these years ago, there is no doubt my life would’ve been totally different.  But as we all know, there are consequences to our actions.  If you changed the history affecting your life, you will change your path forward.  If I changed the course of my life, I would’ve gained in certain aspects, but lost in other aspects.

My character would’ve been slightly different as certain experiences help you grow in life, and some things you can only learn from experience.  And let’s be honest, at times we are too proud to learn from other’s mistakes or ask a helping hand.

Unfortunately, one cannot time-travel, and the consequences of our decisions and actions of our past will have changed our lives inevitably.  Our decisions would’ve cost us friends, and gained new ones.  Our professional careers might have been different, or our direction of studies might have been different.

My mistakes have cost me more than what I would admit to, but saying it was only losses would be a lie.  I have gained a lot as well.  I have met new people.  I have met great people BECAUSE I have made the mistakes in the past.

Mistakes come with a cost.  Gaining all I have as a consequence of my mistakes, also came at a price.

Now, imagine the warm smile on someone’s face when they are happy.  Imagine the friendly wrinkles around their eyes when they are content.  Imagine the air filled with the laughter and warmth of their beating heart.  Imagine their comforting voice as they speak.  Imagine that racing heartbeat when you just think of them.  Imagine the excitement of having them in your life.  Imagine how you wish to be there as support them when things go wrong – even if is just a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear.  To know they can rely and depend on you.  Imagine getting good news and talking to them trump the feeling of the good news.

Then imagine…

Then imagine pushing them away because you do not wish to hurt them; you wish not to disappoint them; you wish to keep them safe from your demons.  You watch from afar because you care too deeply and you sacrifice possibly one of your few chances of happiness all to see them happy.  Imagine this burden bearable because you believe they are worth every moment.

We all battle our demons daily.  And with some battles we are victorious and others we have casualties.  The scar tissue remains as the reminder of battles won and lost. It is easy to say not to live with regret, but some say it is not regretting, just lessons learned.  At the end, it boils down to your decision on how you wish to balance it because every single moment of our life, is about choices and that begins a new vicious circle of consequences all over again.

As we meander through our unique ominous wilderness, we know we are not the first or the last to take this journey, yet we feel alone.  The burden adds weights to our feet and at times it feels as if our backs are snapped backwards.  At the end, we all yearn for that ray of sunshine, even if just for a split second.  It gives us hope and we push forward.

The journey continues…

Life is filled with constants and variables: things we can change and things we can’t – notions defines as absolute or relational to…While some might say it is keeping life interesting, it is not always a walk in the park. Others even resolve to manipulation in an attempt to control the variables in life.

The last few weeks, I frequently found myself reflecting on events, circumstances, consequences, and choices (sometimes even misinterpreted) that I have made.  My whole life is filled with variables, with time being the only constant value.

Space is a variable that we live in and that we create – whether it is visible (like your home or garden) or fictional (in the mind’s eye).  Your circle of friends is a self-made fictional space and you tend to decide how big or small the circle is and who you allow in that circle.  At the same time, giving someone space to either reflect on something or to enable that person to find inner peace, isn’t always verbally communicated.  More often than not, it is seen as an uncaring characteristic.

Having enough respect for someone to sacrifice your own happiness in order to ensure their happiness is not just a sign of a loving heart, but also of pure intentions.  Space does not mean you are unreachable.  Many believe that a good friend is always with you are parties and clubbing.  Isn’t a true friend to speak the truth, irrespective of whether you would like to hear it or not?  Isn’t a friend the one that will give up their life for you in a heartbeat?

Even friends are variables in life.  You might argue and say that friends should be defined as a constant in life.  But hear me out…
Some friends come and go.  Others stay put.  The amount of friends differs often.  Even the quality of friends change.  Friendship, as is love, is like a fruit tree.  You water it, nourish it and protect it against the cold and in return you receive fruits and shade protecting you from the harsh elements.  A healthy give-and-take relationship: never one-sided.

Circumstances are variables often forced upon you, and sometimes it is just the result and consequences of decisions and/or actions.  Some decisions can change your whole life – for better or worse.

The variables in life are endless whether self-made or force upon.  There are people trying to manipulate anyone or anything in an attempt to control a variable, but not with lasting results.

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Picture by Gerd Altmann

Even though a moment in time can be a fraction of a second, or years, time is our only true constant measurement tool.  What have you done with your time?  What have you accomplished in your life?

Years ago, I made the greatest mistake in my life:  a decision I made changed the course of my life forever.  Consequences of my decisions and actions have been a bitter pill to swallow.  But the pain is bearable and accompanied by what I have learned from my mistakes.  A person learns to adjust and adapt.

Variables are not always loom and gloom.  Variables, even though a form of uncertainty, can be positive too.  New experiences and new challenges and goals often reward a person more than what you would expect.  Appreciation is often a great gift!

I think what I am trying to say is to use time as your measurement tool.  Make every moment count.  Appreciate a single moment.  Cherish a whole lifetime.  Time is all you have.  Use the time to tell someone you miss them or you love them.  Use the time you have to walk through your garden and appreciate the miracles.  Treasure the time you have with a friend because it might be the last opportunity you may have.

I have wasted too much time unnecessarily.  Don’t make the mistakes I made.  If you have a split second to tell someone how much you care or love them, use it!  Tomorrow, things might change.  Time is a gift!  Time is a miracle!  Don’t let it slip away!

Heroes: Fact or Fiction?

Posted: February 20, 2017 in Current
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In the world of make believe, the movies always portray a world of heroes and villains.  They are dressed in fancy costumes and with powers from beyond this world.  Unfortunately, we do not stay in the land far, far away of fairy tales.

Do heroes exist in our reality? The short answer is simple:  There are definitely heroes in this not-so-distant world.  When we talk about heroes in our world, we most often talk about firefighters, paramedics, doctors and good Samaritans – more often than not putting their lives in danger without any hesitation to safe a stranger (or even an animal for that matter).

The dictionaries describe a hero/heroin (referred to as heroes from here on) as a person with special abilities, like in our make-believe era, or as someone noted for their courageous acts or nobility of character.  A hero/heroin can also be seen as a role model.

Yet, how often does one meet a hero.  They are few and far between, and more often than not, a person can believe that these heroes and heroines don’t exist.  And then…

When you look closer to home, you realize that heroes and villains are in constant battle in your daily life.  Mini movie productions on a daily basis where you are the main character.

In the motion picture of my life, I have realized that I am fortunate where heroes are not limited to the land, far, far away.  In my decades of my existence, more often than not I played the villain with dire consequences – some irreversible. And it is a burden I will carry as it is the price one pays for your actions.  Yet, somehow, I have been very fortunate where strangers became my heroes.

My life has been a rollercoaster ride of note, and you only grasp how much of a peak or dip you had, once you are through it.  I had the best times of my life and the worst.  At one point, I believed my life was over.

At a stage, where I believe might have been the lowest point in my life, did a stranger reach out to take my hand and lift me back to where I can stand.  This person does not wear a cape or have extra-terrestrial powers, but just harvested the power, I believe, we all have within ourselves.  This hero showed that it is possible to be ‘all heart’.

This person showed me that you do not have to be the size of Hercules to be branded a hero, as long as your heart and intentions are pure.  I will always be in debt, and I will always respect this individual for who they are.  My gratitude is a debt I will gladly pay over and over again on a daily basis.  Words cannot express how I feel.  It might even sound melodramatic, but I would most likely have lost my life if it wasn’t for this soul.

This person is now among very few people I truly cherish in my life.  This person now forms part of a handful of people that I know for a fact safe me on a daily basis.

Wale Ayeni said: “Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairytale.”

With these few selected people in my life, my fairytale is one I am proud to journey through.  I will make mistakes and at times, I will undoubtedly be villainous in my story, but I am at peace as I know I have heroes that can guide me and support me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Being Single…

Posted: January 14, 2017 in Current
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Many would believe that being single is all fun and games… others believe there is either something wrong with you or you may be gay or lesbian… Yet very few people actually believe being single is as normal as being in a relationship.

Being single is not an easy way out where it is all partying up storms and having the time of your life!  It is just as hard as the efforts a person needs to put into a successful relationship.  The only support you have, is yourself.

More often than not, friendships perish because ‘it is an inconvenience to invite someone that is not married or have a partner’.  Sadly, it is a very familiar occurrence, yet when assistance or support is needed, people preferably contact their ‘single’ friends than their friends in relationships, because I think, for that brief moment of their weakened state of mind, they already know that single people will look after and support you as a friend – no questions asked, and they will not have to feel like the outcast in the crowd.

Thinking and believing that being single is  easy, cannot be further from the truth.  I cannot declare that I know all the reasons why some people stay single, but I know from my own experience, that it can be a single reason, or a multitude of reasons.  I will share with you some of my experiences and why I will probably always stay single.

Sometimes you get your heart broken so many times that you are not sure that what you have left, is enough to share with someone, with the chance that it can be broken again.  When you put everything you have in a relationship to make it work, and then later on all your efforts gets flushed down a toilet effortlessly, it breaks your motivation to try again.

Yet we often do try again and often we do succeed.  Some people have met their greatest treasures through the school of life and is destined to grow old together.  But like the hunt of a cheetah, so often than not, is the hunt unsuccessful.

It is even possible to have lost the greatest treasure in your life and you cannot attempt to chase a relationship if you have not forgiven yourself yet.  Forgiveness is not a quick and easy solution.  Sometimes it takes a lot more effort and time.

Of course it is also possible that you do not find what you are looking for.  Being realistic, you can still upkeep you standards and not forsake your standards just to be in a mere relationship to make others happy.  Why compromise your beliefs when you might still find that perfect one for you?

Why am I still single?

In my case, I can categorically state that I carry a lot of baggage (as we all have I suppose).  I have been blessed with the greatest partners in my past and they set the standards high, and I will always cherish them for that.  I have made mistakes and for some of my mistakes, I cannot forgive myself, and until I can, I will not allow someone to suffer because of me and the broken person I am.  I have been broken by lies and deceit and I am still mending the puzzle pieces of a shattered soul.  For this reason do I not easily allow people close to me.  That of course already burden a possible relationship and even friendships.

Have I ever thought that there is someone out there for me?   I have, but unfortunately because of the aforementioned, and because these people I truly believe are the greatest gifts in my life, I have pushed away in an attempt to avoid their disappointment in me.  I am not phased about the public eye and what they think of me, I am a mere stranger, but for these few people in my life, I will do my utmost best to support and ensure they have the best they possibly can.  Even if I sacrifice one happiness for the greater good.

Just as relationships need work and adjusting and compromise, don’t think for a moment that being single is any less hard work and sacrifices.  Sometimes you sacrifice the best you ever had, to ensure their happiness.

Just as single people respect people in relationships, isn’t it just fair not to forget your single friends and not throw them to the wolves and to just assume that they are worthless?

If we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts. – Thomas Merton

 

 

 

Another year has come and passed.  During this year we experienced good and bad… In some cases people experienced good that outweighs the bad, but unfortunately with others it was the other way around.  Some of us end this year with less family and friends than we started this year with.  Life does not wait for anyone, and while you try to cope with one aspect, time is ticking on and you have to adapt and cope.  And I just have a dream…dragon-fly

I dream of great years,

but I will accept the good moments even if it lasts for seconds.

I dream of laughter,
even if I have to laugh at myself sometimes.

I dream of wealth,

even if it is in the form of moments with great company.

I dream of happiness,
even if it is for a stranger next to the road.

I dream of peace,
even if it is for the moments I can spend in a garden.

I dream of joy,
the kind I have seen in a good friend’s smile.

I dream of ideas,
that might never realize, but it is a goal.

I dream of riches,
those I have found in a few friendships.

I dream of forgiveness:
for the things I have done in my past that changed my life forever.

I dream of success:
in the passion I have in life and professional.

I dream of wisdom
that will reflect on my decisions and actions.

I dream of health
for my family and friends.

I dream of sight,

to see the opportunities that arises.

I dream of faith
in trusting my capabilities.

I dream of hope,
of what can be and what can be achieved.

I dream of love,
shared between people.

I dream of patience,
to listen and hear; to watch and see; to live and experience.

I dream of a day where some of this can come true.  I am a dreamer.  It is in my nature, but it makes me who I am.  Some dreams are just too far to reach now, but for now, I will dream about tomorrow as my past has been written in stone already.

Image  —  Posted: January 1, 2017 in Current
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