Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

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!

ProteaSome of us like summer, while other prefer winter.  Some love the the newly-sprouted in the early spring; others love the summer rains; others love the snowtop mountains; and other love the autumn-orange of fallen leaves.

But there is a purpose to the different seasons.  Veld fires caused by lightning during the summer rains create space for new life.  Decaying leaves from autumn replenish the soil with nutrients and act as compost. And with every passing season, we learn something new.  Never a dull moment in the school of life!

Friendships are very much the same.  You are more fond of some than others.  Some scorch you.  Some will leech onto you like a parasite.  Others pick you up and stand by you.  Some friends act as leaves and others act as the tree itself.  Many shapes and sizes; many reasons; many possibilities. All happens for a reason.  Some friendships will be with you every step of the way.  They will photosynthesize and be the air you breathe.  Some will cast a shade over you to protect you from the elements.  Some will whsisper inspiration into your ears as the wind rustles through their branches.  Some will cushion your steps as you slowly take careful steps into your future.
Even lost friendships that has past, will have left a lasting impression.  A parasite will have left scare-tissue, but it would’ve made you stronger. Fallen leaves would have had an input in your growth.  A standing tree will be there to support you when you wanted to lie down.  Some will blossom and you will admire the beauty and their charismatic aroma.

As seasons pass, you will have lost many; but gained as well.  Sometimes you would’ve lost the best.  And yes! Sometimes you will find an irreplacable treasure.  But I think it is important to realize that as much as these people are important in your life, you need to be a postive input in their life as well.

Let luscious grass grow underneath your treetop for when your friend needs to lay their head down and let the tree top spread wide over them to protect them from the harsh sun and heavy hail and winds; Be the tree they can lean on when they are tired;  Let your autumn leaves gentle cover the soil and replace nurtients and minerals.  Photosynthesize good quality fresh air for your friend to be able to breathe when panic surrounds them.

The saying goes: “good friends are hard to find” and “the best things in life a free”.  So realize the wealth you have in your friends. Love them for who they are and what they mean to you.

Friendships… A term widely used and often misunderstood. While some friendships are not destined to last, others transform into something better and greater. Some friendships even carry the same weight as family.

The unfortunate truth is that some friendships fade away… Not necessarily because of wrongdoing from a specific party… It just happens. Distance between people grow wider and at the end, it ends up as memories. Others end purely because it was build on fake ideals and empty promises. Some diminish by choice, while others wilt away unnoticed. It is facts that some of these friendships leave an empty space within you as they perish, whilst others don’t affect you as much.

But all is not lost. Some friendships do survive and not only survive but even flourish! Some friendships become a bond that cannot be broken. These friendships are built on trust, truth and mutual respect. Some become so much more.

If there is a friendship you believe is worth fighting for, do it. But if you fail to keep it, acknowledge its value and accept the outcome. Sometimes friendships appear from the most unsuspecting places and between people you never thought possible.

In my life, I have found great friendships and lost just as many. Some great and some… not as great. Some by choice, and some lost even after I fought long and hard battles to keep. However, the ones I have now, I appreciate. A few of them, I cherish as if it is the last miracle on earth.

The Unforgettable Moment

Posted: July 11, 2016 in Current
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Life is an ocean filled with ebb and flow tides – filled with good and bad experiences.  We accept it as we understand it forms part of our school of life.  Sometimes we feel like quitting, and other times we wish time would pause for a moment – just to soak in the greatness of a memory in the making.

I believe that my purpose in life is simply trying to make other people smile.  At times it works, and other times it fails miserably.  Good intentions aren’t always received in the fancy wrapping you pictured in your mind.  I am very particular to see the people in my life to be happy (as much as possible) and if something is hindering a friend, I always try to be there for them to lean on or just to listen.  The aim is to be there for them; assure them they are not alone and do not always have to carry their load alone.  I will be there – irrespective of time, place or circumstances.  And the reason is because I care.

But sometimes, it is not an easy task – impossible even, but you attempt nonetheless.  And then…

You experience something you didn’t expect.

With a tough week behind them, you know a friend, strong and able, put up a brave face to avoid nagging questions and attempts to ‘make them feel better’.  But magic happened before my eyes!

Her eyes lit up and sparkled like diamonds! Her face glowed as her beautiful smile appeared!  I was in awe!  Her energy was revived and you could see she was at a place in her mind where she needed to be!  A place where her heart and mind joined!

What did I do to accomplish this?  Nothing.  Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for it.  The miracle working was a child, and it made me wonder how such a small creature can accomplish so much with no effort and little time.  The answer was staring me in the face without me knowing it.

Truth, honesty and a pure heart!  This little one wasn’t fake or attempted to crack a smile for her own benefit.  She was simply honest, truthful and herself.  While she was working her magic, I found myself constantly stare at my friend’s eyes and smile and at the end I found myself speechless – scared to taint the beautiful moments they share.

Maybe that is what adults lack?  Perhaps we are so used to overcomplicate things.  I think we have so much to learn from the little ones, we just never make the time to sit down and actually look and listen.  Humans have the tendency to always work at an angle to see how they can benefit.

Maybe we should take a few steps back and start with the basics again.  Be truthful!  Be honest!  Be yourself!  Be the support pillar because you want to be – with no hidden agendas.  Be the listening ear that listens and absorbs and not attempt to throw back intelligent-sounding answers.  Allow your friend to rant and rave.  Give a hug because you wish to absorb some of their pain and not because you want them to be in your debt.

Make space in your life to be a child and adult alike.  Just give it your all.  Be there for who you really are.  Be respectful of others’ feelings and accept that sometimes you can’t fix things.  but also remember that it is easier to be truthful and honest.  Make space in your heart to fill a section with the characteristics of a child!

 

A glossy cover does not depict the quality of the content in a book.  Yet, if possible readers see the ripped and worn backbone of a book, they do not reach for it, but a glossy, well-designed cover attracts them like a moth to a flame.  A good read is normally the one showing wear and tear because not one but many people read the book, and maybe even read it a few times.

In our modern times, on a daily basis you hear how people are judged for their sexual orientation, their religion, their skin colour, gender, cultures, their abilities/disabilities.  These matters even get accentuated during the ‘voting seasons’.  For these reasons am I losing faith in mankind!

Even when there is no gain for anyone, these matters are still a major problem in society, but when someone can benefit themselves, then all of a sudden they use these ‘trump cards’ to justify their means and add fuel to the fire.

Religion is but one tool for someone to gain votes and popularity; for another it is a way of life and beliefs.  ISIS-extremists are not speaking for the whole Muslim community.  Muslim is one of the great religions – their followers are dedicated and passionate about their beliefs.  Me, being a Christian, does not make me any better or worse than them, and the same apply to Buddhists and Hinduists and the multiple other religions out there.  Even if you have studied the Quran and the Bible in full to the utmost extent, the ‘educated’ outcome will still be “just your opinion”.

How can you fault someone for not believing in the same thing you do?  Can you say for certain you are right and the other person wrong?  Why can’t people from different religions share a table and enjoy each other’s companionship?  It is not impossible you know!

Race… In the apartheid era in South Africa, blood was spilled, based on your skin colour. Unfortunately, even now in the 21st century, not much has changed across the world.  Some use the race-card to incite others to violence.  Others then retaliate.  At the end, it is just a spinning wheel repeating the same problems over and over again.  Seeing an African walking down the street with a boom box, doesn’t mean the person stole it. A ‘white’ person is not necessarily wealthy. A Muslim is not a terrorist!

A person with or without abilities or disabilities is no better or worse than the other.  Being an amputee, does not mean you are less human than an able-bodied person (and I say that with caution).  Looking down on a disabled person is a disability by itself: Not to see what those people have accomplished with the hardships they face.  The only disability a human being can have is the lack of the correct attitude.

There is a saying that justice is blind.  Unfortunately, people think the blind means ignorant where it is actually meaning justice is impartial and objective.  Have you ever wondered why Lady Justice (a statue of a woman with a scale and a sword) is blindfolded?  The blindfold simply represent objectivity.  Justice is impartial and should be handed down objectively.  This needs to be done without fear or favour, regardless of the identities involved, fame, wealth, power or money.

Yet, mankind is so easy to judge without delving deeper.  People love the power to judge others and look down on others.  We all have weaknesses, but at the end, doesn’t matter who you are, what your believes and preferences are, we are all the same.  If a person closes his/her eyes, what do you know about a person across the road behind a brick wall?  It is a soul that travels through life in a vessel that bleeds red-coloured blood.  In essence, we are all the same: Flawed, but perfect!

Mankind have a degree in ignorance! We should be compassionate, selfless, respectful, kind and honest, yet we don’t experience that as much as we experience judgement on a daily basis.  We judge a book by its glossy cover, and pretend we have studied the content extensively and have become a know-it-all.  Regrettably, that is a choice a person makes.

We breathe the same air; we walk the same earth; we gaze at the same moon.  We can decide to burn ourselves by judging one another, or we can respect one another and appreciate what we have in our lives.  Hopefully one day, the common man judge and juries of the world will realize that we are all the same.