That Lesson is the true Blessing

Often times when “bad” things happen to us we question why. We feel and act like victims and may even curse the day we were born. It is not easy to navigate this life when your intentions do not bear the kind of fruits you had in mind. Too often people, like me and you, become disillusioned with the twist and turns that punctuate our lives. DIsturbances as we see them, that happen maybe when we least expect them or produce our greatest fears. There is a tendency to be angry in these situations, to feel trapped and oppressed.

So, it is hard to think that there is anything good to see in these situations much less to see them as a blessing. I have learned that hard times produce the opportunity for us to not only mature but to flourish. When we get too comfortable where we are, we may feel reluctant to “rock the boat”, and accept where we are, who we are and how we have come to be perceived as our lot in life. But here comes those lessons that say, “no this is not your final destination, you have to be stretched a little more, melted down to the liquid fire and beaten into a new shape”. We are there resistant, resentful and hopeless, waiting for it to end. By it I mean this season of hard lessons, the experience of the hard-knock life. However, it can be that our greatest strength can come from these surely hard lessons. We are forced to work from our survival and with it and toughness develops, when we choose to stick around, that can take us through another hard knock. With each of those knocks out toughness becomes more improved until we can better appreciate the hits and even welcome them because they really allow us to live life fearlessly, or with a little less fear even.

For all the things we can gain, awards and wealth, it is those difficult times, sometimes the hardest in our lives that are the real treasures on earth. It is never easy to reconcile the painful experiences that we have blessings as we have become too focused on blessings that lead to matchless prosperity. How about we shout amens for those lessons, hard lessons that lead to our blessings, true blessings not limited by a limited and our very human understanding.

I’m Tired

I'm Tired

I'm tired of you
and all you do
to make lies true
when you do whatever to
make me the one who
had to pursue
while you unbothered pursue
your pleasures.

I'm tired
and I want out
now!
Do you hear me?
Can you see me?
Do you even know me?
I don't think you do.
But that's staying true to you
so what's new.
I guess I was the fool
who clung to this mirage of untruths.

Quitting when it Counts

“A winner never quits and a quitter never wins”, unlike this quote, this piece is not about perseverance but on the real need sometimes to quit while we are ahead.

Here’s a thought how about we quit when quitting is the right thing to do. Sure we have been told all our lives never to give up and to keep trying and we should. But, what if the path we are on the thing we are pursuing is causing us more harm than good? Should we keep pushing, expending all our time, energy and potential on something that offers no reward?

If you have to second guess whether or not you should be exactly where you are maybe quitting is an option to consider. Perseverance is important in the world we live in today, however, trying to persevere when there is this nagging feeling that there is something else beyond what you currently experience should not be ignored.

This maybe a stretch for many but consider this, what if we thought about quitting as a way not to settle for less than we can have and that our efforts require. When we see the writing on the wall, and we know what it means, sometimes in the name of persevering we commit and participate in our own downfall. Sure we have dreams, we have goals and we want them to be realized. But, if we evaluate some of them can they stand up to scrutiny, are the based more on a sentiment that on hard cold reality? In being stubborn about some of those dreams that really were based on unrealistic expectations, are we being blind to the other opportunities around us?

There are things I am slowly letting go of, and through this process I have been less stressed, unhappy and dissatisfied. I am stubborn to a fault and I have always seen this as a positive, until this very flawed characteristic nearly cost me my sanity. I was unwilling to give up on a failed enterprise because I had given so much time, made so much sacrifice and burnt some bridges in the process. So there I was about to go down with the ship – would have gone down with it too – until a cold bucket of reality snapped me back from that fatal finale. No one should wait until they have tested the benevolence of that cliff and how quickly we can slip down it, before taking a step back and walking away. When faced with the challenge of quitting, don’t think about what others will say or how they will react. Instead be honest and determine if our own myopia and fear of being seen as a failure could be holding us back.

Yes, this piece has a lot of questions but few explicit answers. However, I think if you dig a little deeper and be more honest, they answers are already there.

Thrive

Thrive

Do you hear my song?
do you know I am rooting for you.
I see your petals have all fallen off
no leaves to cover your nakedness
even the green 
has forsaken you.
I breathe warmth on you
 in you and through you
I want you to live.
do not bow your head,
raise it up!
breathe-
see I am doing it with you.
I feel  you tremble
but do not be afraid.
Your roots are too deep
they cannot be removed.
see I will water you but you must want to live!
I must see your brown turn to green 
yellow, red and purple.
I must see you spread and take flight.
I must see you lifted high
way above the deep blue skies.
Your must perfume my world
brighten my rainy days.
but my only prayer for you - 
you must thrive.

Waiting Behind Walls

Hear me out for a minute. Sometimes we may feel we are being strong, resilient even defiant when we dig in our heels and refused to be moved. This calls to mind the African American spiritual song, “I Shall not be moved”, I shall not, I shall not be moved Just like a tree planted by the water I shall not be moved… I am sure it is meant to call to mind the strength of the individual to remain firm in the face of overwhelming obstacles. And while traditionally, it carries a positive message, let’s consider it another way.

Sometimes we have to move. Sometimes we have to uproot ourselves out of that water that has become infested by all manner of pollutants that threaten our true selves, our very lives. We cannot be rooted in places that offer no nourishment, that shrink us instead of making us tall, that compromise our potential instead of making us flourish. At that point we must move or be removed.

But, I wanted to go to the idea of walls. I have always found solace in hiding behind walls, after all aren’t they there to protect us? So we build walls to keep bad things out and the good in. Overtime we develop a false sense of security, we believe we are untouchable because we have the wall there to keep us safe. We start forgetting how bad things can get and we sometimes forget to recognize those things that are used to deceive us, we forget the evil and what it looks like and the fact that it can take many shapes and sizes. However, walls are never impenetrable, they can be breached. And when they are, will we be ready for the consequences?

How far can we go to have the lives we want for ourselves, in a space with innumerable pockets of potential disasters? This is not an easy question to answer and certainly cannot be answered by thinking or philosophizing about it, but by doing, taking action. However, there is one thing that I see as sure, sitting behind those walls and waiting things out makes us sitting ducks for those pockets that can explode and destroy those walls and breach those imaginary bubbles.

Love What You Have.

When you love what you have. You have everything you need…

Maybe I have it all wrong and maybe I need to think this through some more. Could it be that in focusing on what we want and what we do not have that we have failed to realize how much we do have, at points in our lives. Yes, we have all heard and know the sentiment of appreciating what we have, but we often do not, and I know I have not and need to be honest about this. There are times when we realise that we do have things to be grateful for but that epiphany does not go very far. Too often the reasons to be grateful are buried under an avalanche of desires that occupy our waking and sleeping moments. When we go to bed we are consumed by them and when we wake up they greet us first thing.

Maybe we need to more intentional about first loving what we have, not just being grateful that we have them but actually loving on them. Loving them to the point where if we never get those things we dream of we will be okay. We will be okay and love the life that we enjoy because of them. We will be okay, mentally and spiritually. We will be okay with no regrets that this thing never happened or we were never able to get those things we placed on our bucket list.

It is truly hard sometimes to realize that we are pushing aside what we have for what we desire. However, sometimes before we can get something else we need to show that we can love what we have. Whether it is a talent with think is not so impressive, a job, a possession or even the people around us, we have to love them and show appreciation for them no matter what. It doesn’t matter if they can help us get ahead or if no one else appreciates those things you appreciate. What matters is that we take the time to give love and show gratitude for having them. I know the saying is true from my experience: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. We cannot lose sight of the importance of what we already have, they matter. They have helped to shape us and they will forever be a part of who we are. Therefore, while we pursue new dreams may we never forget those we have attained and while we seek new paths let us not leave the things or people we have gathered from old routes behind.

Love what you've got
because you need them to thrive
love what you've got
without them you may not survive
all the trappings 
that seem to frame all your dreams
that take you further
away from yourself.

Love what you got
they are your saving grace.
Love what you've got
Let that set your pace.

The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within


A spring bubbles up and bursts forth
lots of promise 
lots of pomp.
As it gets bigger and flows down
it faces lots of twist and turns.
The winding mounting from which it must descend
made it tired
and it stopped.
it gathered to itself
things it thought
would make it strong 
enough.
With each new stop it gathered more
some good,
mostly bad.
By the time it reached the sea
it had brought new dangers disguised as friend
though it was foe.
Because it loved it the sea 
rejoiced
with open arms
to receive the daggers it had wrought.