Posts Tagged ‘Love’

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?

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!

Being Single…

Posted: January 14, 2017 in Current
Tags: , , , ,

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

 

 

 

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.

Every day we wake up, and from the word ‘Go’ are we in a race against time: we rush from Point A to Point B, passing thousands of people – each to their own accord.  Have you taken the time to look at their faces?   Have you seen the hurt in someone’s eyes? Have you seen a stranger’s beautiful smile? While you commute (and cannot really do much), have you listened to another stranger’s ‘belly laughter’?

Who were your friends before you became friends?  Isn’t true to say that they were strangers too?  How did you manage to take a stranger and change that person not to be a stranger anymore, but become one of your friends?  Can you remember the circumstances?  Was it just coincidence?  Was it a conscious decision? On the other hand, was it something that ‘just happened’?  Was it the similarities you shared, or was it the differences that changed this stranger to a friend.

My circle of friends surely all has one thing in common: diversity.  As much as they are alike, do they differ.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, some of my friends carry more weight in my life than others.  This weight is not defined by race, gender or wealth, but it is more defined by the nature of the friendship we share.  With this statement, I do not mean it is a complicated process of judging and elimination, but it boils down to a very simple principle: be true to who you are and to the friendship.

In any circle of friends, there are only a few individuals that don’t fear speaking the truth.  These friends will not sugarcoat the things they believe they should share with you.  I have so much respect for these friends as it takes courage to do so.  Because of this, will I do everything to my capability to ensure the friendship grows from strength to strength!  Many times in my life have I allowed people to get the better of me because of lies and deceit, and I have often bumped my head against this boulder; so I much prefer bumping my head against the deserved truth every once in a while.

What is a good friendship (and what is not) according to me?

Whether it is the spoken word or your actions, be truthful about everything.  Respect each other.  Respect does not mean always agreeing.  It simply means respect each other’s point of view and opinions.  Be reliable and supportive.  You don’t necessarily need to have all the answers, but a shoulder to lean on can go far!  Listen!  Listen because you want to listen and understand.  Do not listen with a fraction of your brain while the majority of your intelligence tries to formulate an answer while your friends still talks.  Make the friendship a good experience.  Base your friendship on love – unconditional and sincere.

Just as strangers can become friends, it saddens me to admit that sometimes the opposite is true as well.  How many people can pride themselves that they have their friends for forty, fifty, sixty or even more years? Sadly, that number is not great.  When a friendship ends for the reason where you are better off, a person can understand, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes it is circumstances out of your control.  In these cases, you realize that you did not thank them or tell them how much you appreciate them before it is too late.

My current special friends (and the ones I have lost), times may pass without a whisper exchanged between us, but the bond is still strong and growing.  For the truth we share, I appreciate you.  For the moments shared and the memories created, I love you.  For your support, I hope I can repay soon.

Villains And Heroes

Posted: June 4, 2015 in Current
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In our childhood, we were told fairy-tales where superheroes always defeat monsters or villains.  We believed in these superheroes and always wanted to become one.  As we grow older, our believes change and the term ‘superheroes’ is confined to movies and stories we tell our children.

How can we tell our kids not to lie, but we tell them stories of superheroes – the things we don’t believe in anymore.  Little do we know, some of us are blessed with heroes – with superpowers of their own and sadly, with villains too.  I am sure by now you believe I have lost my mind or that I am delusional?  I can confidently tell you I am far from it.  Life has little twists and turns and it never plays out how you originally planned, but it is not necessarily all bad. So where are these heroes?

How do we define superheroes and villains?  If I was to ask you to describe a superhero or villain, how will you describe them?  To me, superheroes and villains all wear masks, some to hide the darkness, and others just to merely blend in.  Here is my take on superheroes and villains that I encounter on a daily basis.

I know that nameless strangers can be categorized into these two groups too.  Paramedics, firefighters, etc. is a prime example of heroes – even superheroes, that put their life on the line for someone they have never met, while the ones that practice crime and corruption for example can be seen as villains.  Both these groups think nothing of what they are; it is just who they are.  But it is not just strangers that can be categorized into these two groups.  It can be much, much closer than what you can imagine.

Yes, friends, family, loved ones can be categorized into the same groups.  Unfortunately, we have people in our lives that will play the role of the villains.  They wear masks to make you feel at ease and comfortable.  At some point in time, their true colours appear.  We all have friends in our lives, and it is true what they say ‘Quality over Quantity’!  Somewhere you will have a friend that is always there for you.  You don’t necessarily contact them on a daily basis, but when you need the pillar to lean on, they don’t ask questions – they are just there for you!  Sometimes you need someone to direct you, sometimes someone just to lend you an ear.  Other times you need that friend to share a special moment, a tear, memory or laughter.  They don’t ask for remuneration or wealth.  It is just something they do.  It is part of their nature.

I know I have a few.  Some that support me; some that share special moments; some that speak the truth when I lose my way.  Some have the courage to be ‘cruel to be kind’.  And sometimes, when I break down, I have the friends that support me without judging. I know that some will fade and I know some will even disappear, but at the same time I know that there are people in my life that will be the light at the end of the tunnel.  These same people will not pretend and just tell me what they think I wish to hear.  Some will give me suggestions, some will just listen; and then one or two will slap me across the face and tell me to face reality.

And in the same way, I wish to be there for these friends.  If someone needs some venting, or want a listening ear, I want to be there for them.  I might not have the answers, but I do not want any of my superheroes to implode.  I cherish them too much.  I will do whatever it takes to see them happy and smile, at any cost.  If I can be a release button, I would be that for them.  If I could be a stress reliever, I would be.  If I have to be a punching bag, so be it.  Bruises heal.

At the end, my downfall is seeing my friends in a bad space; an unhappy place.

But like in every good comic book, superheroes and villains have superpowers, with our everyday experiences, the heroes and villains have special abilities too.   Some more than others and these powers differs from person to person.

On even a deeper level, I have superheroes and villains within me – From thriving demons to struggling heroes!  I am not saying I am possessed by spirits, but a war is constantly battling within me; not sure who will stand tall as the victor at the end.

One of the great villains is disappointment.  I don’t focus a lot of my energy on what people think about me.  However, I do not want to disappoint the great people in my life.  This in turn often turns out as if insecurities fill my life.  Maybe I try too hard.

Trust is one of those characters that can be a villain or a hero.  At times I trust too easily and I find myself juggling coal and still burning myself.  Other times, I build walls around me and then not allowing myself to trust people with genuine intentions.

I think my greatest superhero residing within me, is the capability to love; unconditionally and without pretence.  I know I have a big heart and I know it often carried me to dark and lonely places, but I have no regrets.  At the end I know, I can love my family and they tell them I love them.  I love my friends and they know I do.  And for that special someone, there is a very special place where this superhero called Love draws its energy from.

The last hero I would like to mention is Hope!  Hope is one of those typical sidekicks of a superhero: stubborn and often gets kicked in the nuts, but always by your side as strong as it possibly can be.  Hope is that one day the heroes will conquer and rule over the villains; Hope is looking forward to introduce someone to that special place.

Do you know who the superheroes are in your life?  What are their ‘powers’?  Do they know you believe they are a hero in your life?

Just the same way is there something out there more complex, yet less understood.