You Are Beautiful As You Are

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There was once a crow who did not like his feathers.

“I wish I were a peacock!” he would say.

“You are beautiful as you are!” the other crows insisted.

“How plain and dull you seem to me!” he’d complain, and fly off to admire peacocks.

The peacocks strutted about with their colorful tail feathers outstretched. To the delight of the crow, some of the peacock feathers lay on the ground when the peacocks left.

Crow flew down to the ground and stuck the feathers into his wings and tail. He attached a few sticking up from his head.

“Now I am as beautiful as a peacock,” he said.

But, when he went to join them in their strutting, the peacocks poked him and pecked him. What a fuss!

“You are not a peacock,” they said, “Don’t imitate us!”

Bruised and still dragging some broken peacock feathers in his tail, he returned home.

After all his insults, no one wanted his company!

As he sat alone, the other crows said, “It’s foolish to try and be what you’re not. Learn to love the feathers you’ve got!”

Is forgiveness really possible?

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Forgiveness is one of the world’s greatest mysteries, one that seems to always come with a short answer “just accept and move on”. Hah! Yeah right… seriously? Just accept it and move on? You have to be kidding people!

After hearing that one liner so many times I stopped asking others how they came to forgive another. I started to realize that each of us have our own journeys to live with roads that may intersect at times but overall are lived only by us. No one can tell you how to come to a place where forgiving someone for something they did to you is accomplished.

imageThat said, I have also come to realize that in order for any one of us to reach a place where we genuinely forgive another we have to face the past and the transgression head on. We can skim over it and act like we have forgiven someone but all it does is delay the pain.

I call forgiveness a devil ghost with a multitude of horns for it haunts us, sits on both our shoulders and whispers negativity, it reminds us of the hurt and encourages us to distrust constantly. Forgiveness is a ghost that can haunt our lives right up till the time we join it in a ghostly fashion. No, you can’t just forget nor can you just accept and move on.  If that were the case there would be no vengeful acts or murders, suicides or even estranged relatives.

So how can you come to accept and to forgive?

The long and short of it is that it is ultimately up to you. From my experience it is a lifelong process with many different stages and in turn these stages can often take the form of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance.  Much like how they work in the 5 Stages of Grief, these 5 amigos swing between each other.

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It’s easy to deny that we are hurt, more often than not it is easier to pretend we weren’t hurt in the first place as a “pay back” against the person who hurt us… I think that deep down we truly want to believe that we weren’t hurt by their actions, that we aren’t that weak.

Anger… well that is a totally different matter, one we all know too well (well I do anyways).

imageBargaining – Perhaps it was actually me, perhaps they didn’t really mean to hurt me so badly, maybe I instigated it!

Depression, now this one sneaks up on you, it slips in undetected and normally this only comes in when the hurt is so profound that it changes how we “operate” or our belief structures.

Acceptance?

From my experience:

· Acceptance feels like knowing that what happened to you can never be undone.

· Knowing that the lessons in what happened, how you reacted and how the other person acted, help you be a better person and guide you towards the person you want to be.

· Knowing that you yourself are capable of doing what was done to you (it’s the scary truth).image

Forgiveness?

It comes in many different shapes and forms and it can take a life time to attain, your friends and/or loved ones may not understand how you could ever reach it and that it is ok… and the cherry on the cake is that more often than not you reach it without even realizing. One day you suddenly realize that you are not carrying the extra weight on your shoulders anymore and you smile.

I’ve mourned my childhood and I have mourned the ideals I had set for certain figures in my life, I have heard the request for forgiveness from another and understood that those that hurt us don’t always realize they hurt us unless we let them know.

I’m no guru nor do I proclaim anything but I do speak from my own personal journey in hope that perhaps it helps you.

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One day at a time, focus on today and the rest will follow

Moving forward with Speed bumps…

Its odd how one comes full circle without even being aware of it.  My life has taken so many turns since I last concentrated on writing on my blog.  Twists and turns, hills and valleys its been constantly bombarding my multi-tasking senses and warping my wants versus what I really need.

I left South African on one pretence only to land in another, they say to tell God a good joke you tell him your plans! My God is that the truth!

I am now sitting in America studying towards an Associates Degree in Advertising Design, have a Partner that is turning into long term and look after his two small kids, drive (a miracle) and work when I can.

I hit a speed bump tonight with the realization that I long to write and to re-assess what was versus what is, what I want versus what I need.  I honestly don’t know where I am or what I am doing, it is mostly auto-pilot with hopes and prayers that I am doing it right.

I never dreamed that I would actually be studying, going to college let alone in a foreign country.  I never dreamt that I would live in America, for me it was always going to be Europe.  I thought I would be failing college, my high school career is dotted with wonderful bad marks and notes from teachers telling me that I should work harder.

Writing the the midterm last week though was another speed bump, a speed bump because I could barely get the time to study and got a A+.  I am not bragging but merely exploring the truth that your circumstances in school really do have a lot to do with the results you produce.  Many I guess have come to this realisation long ago but while I was working in the recruitment field this was one of the big things I was told to look out for when recruiting… good marks at school.

Another is that I am really enjoying a class that was last minute, Sociology.  It goes through the why’s and the how’s of society, the inner workings and the results that come out the other end.  In short… People.  The things they discuss in class has re-ignited a deep passion within me, one that has my heart beating again and my head thinking once more.

Speed bump.

I am studying Advertising Design, a course based on design and business, advertising

Sociology is polar to it in every sense.

I guess I have a lot to think on, whether I will change my direction once more to that of people instead of design or stick with what I am doing and finish it then decide where I’m going.

Speed bumps, you gotta love them!

The Lesson from the Donkey

imageOne day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.  The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

imageHe invited all his neighbours to come over and help him.  They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. 

At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly..

Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.  

He was astonished at what he saw.

With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.  He would shake it off and take a step up.

imageAs the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.
Each of our troubles is a steppingstone.
We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up.


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Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less from people but more from God.

Enjoy Life & Stay Happy

A mixed world of polar bear differences

image It shocked me today to hear out of an eight year olds mouth that he didn’t believe in charity.  At first I thought he was joking and made the comment that it couldn’t be true only to hear him confirm that he doesn’t believe in charity.  He went on to say that he has never seen it, the only charity he has ever seen is one beggar with his mother and they didn’t give anything to him.

image I was in a state of shock and then intense sadness at the truth of this world we live in.  On one side there is money, more than needed fully stocked cupboards and food a plentiful.  On the other side are millions of children who don’t even have safe water to drink, a slice of bread a day without butter and jam if they’re lucky.  They don’t know about each other either and if the richer kids find out about the poorer ones they don’t believe it until they see it… in person.

If we were in Africa I’d take this unaware kid that has a big heart to an Orphanage, allow him to hold a baby that is so marked by the ravishes of living that it’s bones stick out.  I’d get him to help dish up soup for the lunch lines at the shelter, let him watch the peoples faces change at the prospect of having a full belly.  This kid’s had a good life compared to millions of other kids but he can’t comprehend it, he’s never seen it or felt it in his life.

Polar bear differences in one world, the indifference by those that have towards those that have never had a chance is ridiculous, beyond ridiculous.  I don’t fault that little boy I fault society, I fault society for not creating awareness or caring.  With this recession progressing as it is I don’t think it will be long before “one” beggar becomes thousands worldwide like it is everyday in Africa.

Soon the world won’t be able to ignore Africa because Africa will be the world. The world will not be able to run anymore from the truths and the harsh reality. 

Those that had will find themselves without and standing right next to the man they spat at on the side of the road last week when he asked for a few coins to by some bread for his 3 barely clothed children standing on the other side waiting for him.

Those that laughed at the images of family upon family living in shacks in Africa will find themselves encased in a tent on the side of the road in a run down once upon a time happy suburbia.

For many newly homeless, those that used to make statements that the drunk lying in the street should sober up and just get a job will find themselves sharing more than one bottle with the same guy just to drown away his sorrows.

It doesn’t make me happy at all to make these statements but it is the truth and reality of the present day in this world. 

It’s happening as we speak.

Sometimes this world makes me sick to my stomach. 

Sometimes it makes me sit on the floor in a ball and just cry.

Compassion is free.

Caring is free.

Someone that stands up and says let me help priceless.

African Dream

This song is possibly one of the most well known to come out of Africa, it is one that follows me where ever I go and always brings peace to my soul in times of unrest.

Listen and read the lyrics… Africa will run through my blood no matter where I am in the world, my heart beats to the drums of its soul…

 

 

Sometimes alone in the evening,I look outside my window,
At the shadow in the night.
I hear the sound of distant crying, the darkness multiplying,
The weary hearts denied.
All I feel is my heartbeat,
Beating like a drum,
Beating with confusion.
All I hear are the voices,
Telling me to go,
But I could never run.
(Chorus)
Cos’ in my African Dream
There’s a new tommorow
Cos’ in my african Dream
Theres a dream that we can follow
Now when the night begins to fall, I listen for your call,
I listen for your heartbeat.
Although my dream is just a dream, another false illusion,
A shadow in the night.
All I want is for our heartbeats,
The beat just as one,
To silence that confusion.
And the pain and the illusion,
Will dissapear again,
And we would never run
(Chorus)
Cos’ in my African Dream
Theres a new tommorow
Cos’ in my african Dream
Theres a dream that we can follow