The lessons of 2012.


418

If there is anything I have learnt over the past few weeks, it’s that you cannot
move forward into a new year if you cannot appreciate the goodness and the
challenges of the previous year.

As the end of 2012 draws closer, I reflect on the events of the year and I stand hearty saying it’s been a hell of a ride. There was laughter, tears, good times, bad times and above all, lessons learnt. There were times the tide of life would hit so hard that I thought I couldn’t handle it, but I am glad I went through what I went through because it opened my eyes to my naive mentality of life. There are no regrets, since some mistakes cannot be retracted the best a person can do is to look at life from a different perspective and focus on becoming better.

I could write down 101 lessons that the joys and challenges of 2012 have taught me, but I will only note down 12, and hopefully they will also change someone’s life.

1.) Life is a cycle, when something happens in our lives and we do not resolve it, the same test will keep reoccurring until we learn to handle it the best way and retract from the same mistakes.

2.) Regardless of the mistakes you make you have to forgive yourself, work on change and stop being so hard on yourself.

3.) True happiness stems from the inside of us. You have to love yourself wholly so you can be able to love others.

4.) People will always talk, whether you do good or bad. Its what people do. But its not about what they say, but about how you respond. Do not hold on to anger and do not take things personally, just focus on what’s best for you and make yourself a better person.

5.) You should never have to hold on to someone obsessively, regardless of how good they are because if you’re a great person yourself, they will be too busy trying to hold on to you, and the job will be effortless if its mutual.

6.) It’s good to take care of someone, and even better when someone takes care of you, but its always best when you both take care of each other.

7.) No one can ever walk in your shoes, literally speaking, whatever path you choose in life, people may walk in the same direction with you, but they can never walk for you.

8.) They say that you can do nice things for people and they merely turn a blind eye but as soon as you do a mistake they never forget…But a lesson here is that when a friend makes a mistake, never forget all the good things they ever did to you.

9.) Always make time for the people you love. Your presence is valued more.

10.) If God is all you have, then you have everything. Seek Him first, and everything else will fall in its perfect place.

11.) Before you leave a relationship, remember it’s not only about the things that the other person did, you may also have contributed to it and those issues will still follow. Always find the root to every problem. You cannot escape the work you need to do on YOU!

Finally, and this is my best one….

12.) When you think you are doing the right thing, yet your intuition/inner man tells you that it’s the wrong time, believe without a doubt that you are doing the wrong thing. The Bible says that God has made everything beautiful in its own time. (Ecc 3.11)

So as 2013 unfolds, I ask you to reflect and challenge yourself on the lessons you have had, the deep understanding you had about the world surrounding you and the changes that you have gone through.

What have you done and why have you done it?
What friendships or relationships have you formed? Are they contract-based or unconditional?
Did you die to your selfish needs or was it just “I want” all the time and never thinking about other people?

Whatever route you took, you have no one to blame but yourself for the choices that you made.

Do not enter into 2013 so casually.

Don’t just say “New year, New me”…Evaluate!!!

Do an assessment of where you have been in the past and learn to make changes.
Speaking from experience, I have come to understand that through the wrong choices made in the past, sometimes we cannot just wipe the slate clean within a day or two, or with just a change of mindset. But actions and effort play a big part. You’ve got to walk the talk!

Character, self esteem and integrity will then soon pick up.

I heard this reflective quote from my pastor once in a service, that when you are born, you come into this world with 2 pillows…1 for pain and the other for pleasure. Which one have you used so far in your lifetime? Exhaust the pillow of pain in your early days and use the pillow of pleasure in your later days. It’s all about sacrifice. Pay the full price by sleeping on the pillow of pain, then one day you can sit back and relax and rest on the pillow of pleasure. Your willingness to sacrifice is the prove of the value that you place on the object/person/situation.

In a nutshell, nothing comes easy.
Think about the quote, “The bigger the future, the bigger the Enemy”.
We all face temptation in life, but your zeal to overcome that temptation and commit to sacrifice, will determine your big reward waiting for you. What you achieve becomes a legacy.
START NOW…

 

Advertisements

Did you know?

Did you know that the people that seem the strongest are usually the most sensitive? And the people who exhibit the most kindness are the most hurt. Did you know that the ones who act like they don’t need love are the ones that need it the most? The ones who take care of everyone, need to be taken care of the most and the ones who smile a lot may be the ones who cry a lot when no one is around!!!

20120613-130751.jpg

When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?

A few months ago, on one quiet evening, I was surfing the net for inspiration and i came across this amazing story. I shared the story with my better half  and i just thought i should share it on my Blog too. I’m sure it will change someone’s perspective on life and its challenges….

ENJOY.


THE CARROT, THE EGG, AND THE COFFEE BEAN

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how
things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to
make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and
struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother
took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed
each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she
placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty

minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and
placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a
bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning
to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother
brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and
noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break
it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she
tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean,
mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity – BOILING WATER – but each reacted differently.


The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected
to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its
liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its
inside became hardened!

The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a

coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems

strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and
lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a
breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on
the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened
heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot
water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets
hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get
better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the
darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another
level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a
coffee bean?

Think About It…

Aside

Take a moment to ponder. A moment to look at your life, your situation and the circumstances in your present time. A moment to look at what you have, what others have and what you are lacking…Or rather…you THINK you are lacking!!!

And when you take that moment to think about all the above, think about this;… you are breathing right? You have a roof over your head, your fridge or cupboard cannot lack some food to sustain you for at least a couple of days until your next pay day, or shopping spree. Most of all, you are in good health!!.. At least most of us anyway!
I believe God doesn’t work in coincidence. He always has a plan and a reason for everything. A few days ago, i watched a Youtube clip about a girl who has Multiple Sclerosis and she was explaining how its been for her since she was diagnosed with the MS. (MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively). She was just a young girl and she had big dreams. But unfortunately, she may never be able to accomplish all of them.

And this video made me think…

I was overwhelmed with guilt and sadness, just thinking about how we complain and we question God when something very minor goes wrong in our lives. There are people in this world who have it worse than us.

It is not just about being critically ill, like the girl in the video, there are so many things that we ignore and we refuse to acknowledge how priviledged we are.

Think about this…Children in the remote areas of Africa and Asia walk to school without shoes, when some of us have a walk-in closet of designer clothes and shoes. The poor and needy are lucky if they get a snack to eat, to get them through the day. Most of us reading this article are probarbly eating dessert after having a 3 course meal. The sick can only depend on herbs for healing, when NHS is free for most of us.

The disabled cannot walk, the blind cannot see the beauty of God’s creation, The homeless have no shelter, and the men in the army die protecting our countries.

So next time any one of us wants to complain about the little adjustments in our lives, we should think about the above, and so much more going on in this world that i haven’t mentioned.

If by any chance you have been in the ungrateful category like me sometimes, we should all learn to appreciate how God has created us. When things in our lives are not going the way we want them to, lets look around and thank God for what we have, or how far He’s brought us. Believe that  He didn’t bring us this far, to leave us half way, He will surely us get through the situation.

God is faithful. Stay thankful no matter what. Do you know why? because the best gift we can give him is our appreciation and our praise. He has our best interests at heart.

Stay blessed.

Think About This…

Cheers to a New Year…Another chance to get it right.

It’s been quite a journey for most of us in 2011. All of us have grown a year older and of course wiser.  Some of us have remained stagnant in our ways of life and some have managed to accomplish a few goals or more. We have said goodbye to a few people from our lives, either in death or end of a relationship, and met some great people in our daily walk of life. People that have helped to make a difference in one way or another. Whether its in a negative or positive way, we can say there’s always a lesson learned and we should  try to keep that lesson.

The start of a new year gets people excited for new things. We begin to think about resolutions to keep and to improve on.

But I am wondering,…How many of us actually kept our resolutions for 2011….???

I had so many resolutions lined up at the beginning of 2011. I remember vividly, i had them written on a cute notebook i had bought from WHSmith. The notebook had cute little rabbits at the front page and it was white and blue. It was as though the manufacturer had made it especially for me and that was part of the excitement of writing the resolutions.

So i sat down quietly in my room before i headed to church and i wrote down all the things i wanted to be able to do before the 31st of December 2011. I had it down that i wanted to do my driving, stop eating fast foods and sodas, basically eat healthy. I wanted to take part in a charity run or do a hike, and to excel in my studies. Well, I can tell you now that the whole year just went past and all I managed to do was one resolution, because I had no choice but to do it. Failure they say is not an option, so exceling in my studies was a must!! The rest, only God knows.

So now we have struck 2012 and I’m sure most of us have made a list of about 5 to 10 resolutions to follow this year. But I decided to do things differently this time. My main aim is not to have resolutions to follow and keep, but to have a set of goals that are achievable and even though I do not manage to accomplish them by the end of this year, at least I would have started them and would be halfway through the mission, but depending on  size.

I have said to myself time and again that a new year is a new start for me in many things including bettering myself, but as time has gone by, I learnt that every day is a brand new day to start over from what you messed up on yesterday, so there’s no point of waiting till the next year to make that change.

But for the rest of us who still have their resolutions, focus on them one by one and do not stop at nothing or get side-tracked. In everything you choose to do, put in all your effort and do not lose hope, neither give up. Remember, you are the captain of your own ship, strive to be the best.

As we run through this New Year, it is my pleasure to tell you , don’t look back on where you used to be in sadness and regret, but rather… PAUSE…. and give thanks to God for this far that He has brought you. Forget the worries and situations of yesterday and SMILE…because it is a new day!

It is a blank page on a 365 page book…. How well will you write your new story?

A letter to the heart

DEAR HEART,

I never asked you to be in this position, I never asked you to open yourself up for a risk you knew you could not handle. I never asked you to love someone who you knew was out of your league, or seemed like it. You should have just listened to me when i told you a few years ago to put a full stop to it and just take one step at a time. Fair enough you did listen and let a few mindless idiots pass by, and maybe that’s the beauty of it, because along came Mr eye candy. But what’s so different this time? What is it about this particular individual? Is it the way he dresses? Or the way he smiles at you? Better still, is it the way he whispers sweet words to you, and makes you feel more beautiful than you ever thought about yourself? Or is it because you like the same things and share the same dreams? No, I think it is more than that. It has got to be the way he carries himself out, or the way he cares for you, and others for that matter. It is his charisma, so sweet and charming isn’t it? His smile, his systematic walk, his skilled and motivated self.  But hold on, so what if it is all that? Didn’t the rest possess two or three of these? Or did they not have their own special ways and qualities? I am guessing they did, but even so, they are not him right? Because he is one of a kind, the lover and friend all in one, the soul mate-(ish), the knight and shining armour you always dreamt of, or rather desired in your life. The total package…

Well now my dear heart, you have decided to be captivated, to get out of your careful bundle the mind wrapped you in. You have decided to break free from the titanium cage and fill yourself up with emotions and let your brain run empty. You have aroused yourself with feelings. Feelings that I warned you about and told you to control. It looks like you have once again submitted yourself fully, because if I remember well, a few weeks ago you impulsively uttered the three word sentence that you never felt like you could ever say again after your first ordeal. And I can tell you that those words have now changed you. They were the doorway to your nobleness and your unconditional way of loving.

The worst thing is, I know you too well, when you set yourself to love, you do it without limits, you compromise, you put your lover’s needs before your own. On the contrary, you also become weak, which others describe as jealousy, but that’s just sometimes, when your respect is at stake.  Whether a little bit or a bit more, you are still weak, but that’s okay, because they say when you have that weak emotion, it means you truly care and wouldn’t want to lose that person. Other than that, you also have a tendency of being too attached. Now this, I can tell you is not a very good look, especially if it is towards someone who loves his own space and has a lot of things going for him. Well, it’s also not a good look if you fall for the wrong person who indirectly doesn’t feel the same way as you do, but in this case we know at least he does. Right? Of course he does!

So… #heart, speaking in the name of love, without getting out of topic, I wonder what you are going to do. There are visible side effects to this intensity. But what can I do for you my love? I tried to shield you from the animosity of the nature, but i didn’t do so well, i told you to continue pumping blood but not to catch the feelings, but you felt you could do everything all once. You see, what i don’t like about you is, when the problem comes in, when the going gets tough, you start straining. Suddenly you are rushing blood and beating so fast, until the pacemaker is almost unable to control the heart rate. You also confuse your very best friend the brain, making him try so hard to make ME (the body) to function well. You know you’re meant to work together so get a grip of yourself. But i don’t blame you heart. I know you don’t do all that without a reason. I guess that is how you were created, you beautiful, tender and gentle thing.

I realise you’d rather be told once and for all about what is going on, or be assured every few days or hours even. And I realise that you like to be pampered with sweet words of comfort even when anger is raging or through a tiny bit of sadness, But I’ll tell you truthfully that your human-pathology is complex and unfortunately very different from you. So here is the thing I want you to do now if you can. If you feel you are not getting what you want, then figure out a way to balance the feelings you decided to catch. I know it hurts, I can see it through, and of course the brain always tells me when you both communicate, but just try to encapsulate that it is not the end of the world and life must go on no matter what the situation looks like. Hold on tight through the rollercoaster and let go If you’re given the green light.

My dear heart, there’s no better advice I can give you than this. You are already in too deep.

Yours sincerely,

ME

Reflections on values

OK, so this is life, you are born,  raised by your family, some single, some extended and some, the whole community. You are brought up, until the point where you are released into the world and this same world starts teaching you certain things that maybe your mother or your aunties were not brave enough to teach you. Well, that is for the ones who do not have a dad around to tell their little girls about the world’s not so merry-go-round. Or for those that their moms are too busy trying to make ends meet that they lack time to advice their daughters. But for some, it’s not that they don’t have that sufficient time, they just lay back and fail to teach their children important values and principles, and in this, they just wait for the world to teach them.

Like it is said on the last ever series of friends ‘The Last One’, I could identify with “The one where she lays back”, or maybe it is “The one where we both live our separate lives”. Two categories? Wow, that is a plus. I say this because, dear mothers who lay back probably assume that as their children grow up, they shall become wiser and learn about the strife and storms of life. Or better still, when they live separate lives, it is because the parent-child relationship is not so close,  because from a child’s young age, they have always seen each other maybe after he or she comes back from school in the evening or after the parent comes back from work. This makes it like a 1 way street. You never catch up with each other, or walk side to side. Never spend time together to enhance the bond or just to talk just in general.

This doesn’t mean these mothers love their children any less, it just means that their own mothers did not pass on the same morals to them so in turn, they felt like they have nothing offer to their kids. I do not hold anything against the mothers, or the fathers who were never there for their children and as much as it rings in my head almost everyday, I would advice anyone in this situation to try not to make it their driving force in life’s challenges. In fact, it should be a motivator and a lesson learnt, to better themselves as they grow up to be mature adults and to make a difference with their children.

You see I  love my mother and grandmother very much. But sometimes I just wish that there were some things that they could have taught me as I was growing up. Things that I can proudly be able to pass on to my children in the future and start the sentence with “My mother once told me” or “Your grandmother taught me this when I was a little girl”. When i say things, i do not just mean the basic how to be happy or who to be happy with lessons, I mean the inmost, underlying ancestral traditions and what they stand for in our community. But then again, maybe they weren’t taught either like I said earlier on.

But believe it or not, if there is one thing that I have learnt from my mother, it is that no matter what your mission in life is, you should always work hard for it and most of all, never forget where you come from, because everywhere you go, tradition is different. And if you lose sight of who you are, who you were brought up as, then what tradition will you give your children?  I guess one time in the years to comes i will at least be able to tell my daughter or my son the value of working hard taught by their grandmother, although it wasnt in a ” come sit down let’s have a chat” way, but as a by the way, or in the middle of a lecture for doing wrong.

It doesn’t matter whether we speak a different language from our parents, or whether we can speak the language but not fluently. I believe tradition emerges from the heart rather than what you speak. It is the overall morals of life, what you believe in, how you do things, how you carry yourself out, how you handle the storms in your life and the happy times too. Tradition is you. Most of all, Who brought us in this world and has been taking care of us and giving us the driving force to move forward even when life gets tough, giving us hope, blessing us, guiding us. God, is our tradition.

So even if I feel that I came from a not so close family, that meets up 3 times a year to have a family barbecue, or to celebrate  Christmas or Easter together, I can still say that love was transcended and through the model of family it has been, I have been able to pick on the positives as well as the negatives and I know I will carry on fine with my children in the near future.

FAMILY plays a big part in molding our upbringing and the values we hold, especially in unconditional love. There’s a life quote that says that all relationships such Friend, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, all have an E.N.D at the end…but family has an I.L.Y meaning I love you. That is somewhat true. But even with that said, if we are not fortunate enough to be in the picture perfect kind of family, we shouldn’t  lose our values and morals of a human being. We should still hold our ground and know how our response and reactions affect different people around us. As the world revolves and time passes by, we shall eventually form our own families, so we should have something positive to give them that they can pass on to the next generations.

Career Shifting

I remember the good ol’ days…As a child, I always had this dream to be an air hostess. The thought of dressing smart, particularly in high heels, and a short skirt, with my hair tied back seemed to amuse me so much. I could see myself flying from one country to the other, meeting different people, enjoying different scenarios. I even dreamt of speaking different languages, especially french and spanish, which i still have a desire to learn even now as an adult. I had it all planned out in my head how I would be taking different pictures and showing them off to my family and friends.

Well…I am sure it has been the same case with most of us when we were young. Some boys wanted to be Astronauts, because they watched programmes on TV about a man landing on the moon, and most wanted to be pilots. Some girls wanted to be nurses, or chefs because of the sort of dolls that their parents bought for them at that young age. However, as we grow up, we begin to differentiate between a childhood dream and the pangs of real life. We realise that whatever we choose to do, has to come from our hearts, not from a model of a desirable lifestyle. The career path we take must be conceived of course through inspiration, but also the very essential ingredients of key skills and the burning passion.

You see for me, it is until I grew up, that I  learnt what being a cabin crew involved, and I had to rethink my options. Yes, I get to dress smart and look beautiful and get a lot of money, And yes I would get to travel to different countries, but the furthest I could get to take photographs as I thought I would, is the entrance or the exit of the airport, unless I’m lucky enough to have a day or 2 off before my next flight shift. Above all that, you realise that there is no consistency in the hours you work and eventually if you get a family, you don’t spend regular time together. This fierce truth made me change my mind and start exploring other career options. But even with that said, some people still do cabin crew. Because they love it, they enjoy it, and they know how to balance their lives around the job, because it’s in their heart.

Everything we choose to do in life is born from our minds and stirred by the passion for it. If you started off by aspiring to be a nurse and now you want to be a lawyer, it is maybe because you realised that your skills best suit standing in front of a multitude in a court room, defending your client rather than sticking a needle in someone else’s vein. The nurse has that passion to do that, because they love helping people get better and making a change in someone’s health.

By all means there is still that minimal group of people, who have grown up with one passion as a child and now they are living, or working towards it. And there are those who never really made up their minds about what career to venture into and as life goes by, they become career shifter every now and then. Some eventually find their ground.

Either way, my point is simple. Whatever matters to you and suits your skills, and whatever you enjoy and can see yourself growing  a level higher every time, pursue such, and do not give up. We all start small, but we can expand, but only something that has potential to expand can actually do so. A creative mind only plays with objects it loves.
Give it focus, Reach your potential.

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
– Buddha.

Lazy thoughts

You ever had one of those particular days, as the morning is breaking, you are half asleep yet so awake; Your brain so crumpled up, thinking of the the tasks ahead? Better still, your thinking about how little the time is, to accomplish those tasks???I was having one of those days this morning. I was having a lazy unmotivated thought. My mind was running wild from excitement of the day, but at the same time torn apart by the amount of things I thought i had to do. These things were bigger than words, bigger than my imagination could fathom. Furthermore, the journey to the end seemed so far away, so long, so tiring. Well, to be honest, as the day went on, i realised that those tasks  were not that bad, but the thought of them and the fact that I had not started them made them an obstruction in my mind and hence why they seemed like they could not be accomplished in a day. One of the tasks was to write this blog… And this is where it all begins. As soon as you tackle one task, you begin to see that even the rest are minor as long as you put your mind to it. Subtract the lazy thoughts before the objective and add the motivation.One step at a time folks, and the mountain will move.
Xoxo

By BlossomLoise Posted in Life