Life

Life

Life is a harsh teacher
and you will learn
the grass isn't always greener
and youthful exuberance 
relegated to its urn.

Life doesn't give you extra point
because you meant well.
It will show you, you don't know
what you need to know
by bringing you low.

Life uses time
as the tool 
to showcase the rules, 
that can keep you from dying.

Though you start off  sprinting
Life slows you us down,
so in this lifetime
you can make your imprint.

Dark Places

Dark Places

Those dark places
twisted spaces
that are wasteland 
to make you understand 
that you are strong
to go the distance
because you belong.

I love those dark places
cool, wet and moist land
fertile soil,
that holds the promise of possiblity. 

Thanks for those dark places
that makes you dance and shout
when the sun comes out
and chases away those dark clouds.
The Sun,
that linger long after it becomes undone.

It Will be Worth It

It Will Be Worth It

That pool 
of sweat and grime
that you are swimming in,
it won't drown you,
it will give you life.

That rush of blood, marrow and spleen
that attacks you
will not silence you
they are fuel to propel you.

You think you are defeated
and you wish you had retreated
back into the hole to lick your wounds
and console yourself.

But if you just stay awhile,
face this trial
head first
to quench the thrist 
of those dreams
waiting to be seen.
Just wait
it will be worth it
after all when you are redeemed.

Motivation

 “When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.”

African Proverb

Is it then true that the only locked doors we have are the ones we construct in our minds? Is it as simple as this?

It’s hard to know what’s true, but what is true about each of us is that our minds are the most powerful and valuable possession we have. It is also true that if we do not use our minds for good, it will turn on us. It will produce what we plant there and can either build or destroy our dreams.

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It’s hard to know what to do when you’re the only one complaining. When you’re the only one who see something more, just out of reach, if only so many eyes were not looking at you, judging, waiting to tell you, “you see, it was all a bad dream, it will never be”. It is hard to keep going when you do not trust the process and your doubt s block your vision. It makes you sick to your stomach, when you look away from the Light that has kept you for so long, and look instead into a bottomless pit. You may smile, but we know that behind that smile is a helpless quivering mass of human frailty and fragility.

Do not quit they say, even when you are staring death in the face. If you do then you will surely die. Do not give up. even if physically, your body betrays you, because if your mind does that too – let’s not imagine that!

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Let us not imagine, with a damaged vision, where we do not want to be. Instead let us focus on where we want to be so we can get there. Focus on what you can be and not what you are, especially in the eyes of others. Outside of God, your future depends on you and no one else. Anyone can give you advice but no one knows you better than you can know yourself. Be good being you, and do what you are being led to do by the Holy Spirit, even if no one can understand, that’s okay.

It is good to be an outsider, because you will always add something interesting to a predictable mix. Decide to follow the path that is for you and confidently go forward. With any storm you face, God will bring all that is good.

Also, here’s a secret you may not know or have forgotten:

In the midst of life we do not die but become transformed by the renewing of our minds.

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It Will Be Okay.

Imagine if you lost everything you thought you could never live without.

That is a terrifying thought for many of us, but what if we did? What would we do?

It’s easy to look at someone who is not okay and give them advice on what they need to do. Then we think or talk out of their hearing: “man that is rough, but, thank God it’s not me!”

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Now, my issue with such a sentiment is this, does God allow good things happen to some and bad things to others? Sometimes when we say the above, it seems as if we are somehow exempt from going through certain trials, but we are not.

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I spoke recently to a colleague and former teacher, who is undergoing cancer treatment. I had not seen her at work for some time and then I saw her back out at work and though she had lost some weight, she seemed so calm and was laughing and smiling and it made me pause and think about how I overreact to some simple things at time. After all she has been through lately where did she find the courage to get up and live each day as it comes?

As she pointed out to me, it is not easy but, she does it because the alternative is death.

I am realizing that the problems I see as insurmountable or really not impossible to overcome. I am in the process of reconstructing my mindset about the outlook I have concerning every situation I am faced with. If I can be devastated at the thought of someone else’s diagnosis and surprised by her ability to get up every day and smile and be pleasant then maybe I need to change how I view my own problems. Are they really that serious or require the reaction I sometimes have?

Would I be okay if I lost all the things I fear losing, that have nothing to do with the life I have been given by God.

I remember a point, as I got older, that I feared losing my grandmother, and so I use to pray every year that she would life one more year and that God would make it ten or twenty years – or forever if he could. It has been 15 years since my grandmother died and I still have not forgotten how important she was in my life. Since then, I have made some terrible decisions and some good one, but the most important thing is that I have been able to continue to live.

An article I recently read entitled, In Haiti, the Art of Resilience, comes to mind. The article was written in 2010 by Bill Brubaker, after the earthquake which devastated the country and killed 230,000 and displaced approximately 1.5 million others. The writer highlighted a series of stories concerning the impact of the earthquake on the Art community. One that stood out to me was about 87-year-old Haitian artist, Préfète Duffaut who lost family members, friends, his home, and most of his art work. What was so inspiring about his interview was the hope that Brubaker noted was, “shining from his eyes”. The hope to build from the rubble something new and vital. There were other stories of gallery owners – whose galleries had not escaped the devastation – who provided money and art supplies to artists who had lost everything. Duffaut at 87, having experienced crisis after crisis in Haiti, along with his country men and women, was able to affirm of this particular event: “my future paintings will be inspired by this tragedy”. How many of us would be able to create something meaningful and inspiring from the rubble of our own tragedies?

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We all have the potential to take ourselves out of the dark abyss that life places us in. All we need is to cultivate is a vision of possibilities in the face of adversities.

Though it may be hard for us to keep the faith when things go south, real quick; it will be okay. Just keep telling yourself this, until you believe it.

Like many Haitians, let us adopt their attitude when faced with difficulties:  ‘Let’s get on with it! Tomorrow is another day.’

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