be a pencil

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Photo credit : quotesgram.com

Just a little thought for us to consider today…. and yes, sometimes life is unpleasant, so feel free to eat cookies 😉

There was once a humble lady who spent her lifetime caring for the poor in the harsh slums of Calcutta. She lived her life by the words she was often heard to say :

”I am just a little pencil. But God is using me to write a love letter to the world.”

How about today we decide that instead of just complaining about all that is wrong (in our lives, in our immediate surroundings, in the world) we actually decide to make a positive contribution and difference?

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Photo credit : film-english.com

How about today instead of just taking from what is available to us, we also make a decision to give?

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Photo credit : fluerdelyz.com

How about today we walk around in a state of global awareness, not just of how environmental, social, cultural, economic and political factors impact the world, but also in a way that helps us see opportunities to love, give, and encourage others – to see how kindness can impact the world?

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Photo credit : PictureQuotes.com

And if you find yourself eating cookies, remember this :

 

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Photo credit : centralofsuccess.com

 

Are you okay?

I suppose this can be considered my comeback post.
It contains no great literary excellence and would not be attractive to any magazine looking for new article writers, because this post has not been well researched.

What it does contain, however, is some truth.

Personal experience gathered through another series of painful episodes, and I have chosen to spew some of that experience here….because you just never know who needs to hear/read this truth today.
So if you’re reading, welcome to ‘my world’, as it is at the moment.

The last few months have been a mixture of negative emotions : fear, anger, hurt, worry, a sense of hopelessness fueled by unnecessary anxiety. And yet somewhere deep inside me there is this determination that refuses to just let me rest.
Because there have been moments in all of the above where I look in the mirror and think, “I just want to close my eyes and sleep forever”. I think I may have even said the words aloud on a few occasions. Whoops! 

Because, ladies and gentlemen, truth be told : Life sucks, for everyone. It never goes according to plan, no matter how successful you are – the merit of that success being whatever you base success on. We all have a vision for the way we want / wanted our lives to be. And nothing has gone according to plan. And guess what :

IT’S OKAY!!!!

I don’t remember who said it, or where I read it, but I remember in my early twenties that I came across the following statement ~ 

If life was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t have started with something called labor.

All the negative emotions of the last few months have deprived me of so much, mostly restful nights of deep, uninterrupted sleep. I’m exhausted. Because, truth be told, I am, for the most part, a positive and happy person. I have my moments, but they never last very long. Of late, they’ve lasted longer than usual. I don’t know how to handle the experience of such awfully draining emotions for more than a day. And it has scared me.

Anyone who has any influence over my life – and media in general – have forced the words ”suck it up”, ”it is what it is”, ”stop being negative” into my brain.

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(I don’t have a baseball bat, which I suppose is a good thing, all things considered)

Again, I repeat, if you find yourself in a negative space consumed by crippling emotions, IT’S OKAY. YOU’RE OKAY! 
People (the world over) want to force the beauty of life on us. 
Reality is that some days (sometimes for a few consecutive days) life simply isn’t beautiful. 

I mentioned earlier a determination that won’t let me rest. Guess what? You have it too. Somewhere deep inside you, it’s simmering. Because you’re still here. (And hopefully still reading this.)
We’ve all heard that life is a journey. Well…what journey is perfect? Your boarding pass gets lost, or your luggage goes to a different destination, or the weather doesn’t co-operate, or the hotel isn’t exactly what it made out to be online, or the food/travel made you ill, or……
There’s a multitude of ”’or’s” in life. Embrace them. Feel them. Experience them. Even if you’re there for a few days. 

My epiphany of truth yesterday was simple : I’ve had months of more than one bad/negative day. I’ve been in valleys of despair. But I haven’t pitched my tent and stayed there. Each time, I’ve reached a point (after a few days) where I’ve continued on….carrying a heavy load….but continued on, nevertheless. Slow, heavy, burdened progress is STILL progress!

And THAT’S why it’s okay, and you’re okay. If you’re still here, you’re winning.  

I’ve suddenly realised that it’s okay to say I am NOT okay, because that makes me okay. (That sentence makes sense in my head – here’s hoping yours can find the sense in it too!) There’s no shame in admitting that things are not great. And it’s probably my greatest achievement yet.
Life sucks. It doesn’t mean that I have to.
My life is going on…. and I am going to live it. Bad days and all.
And there’s no promise that the good will eventually supersede the bad.
But I’m sure as hell sticking around to find out…I’m a sucker for travel 😉 

Who’s The Boss?

 

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I’ve had my share of bad managers – people overseeing me in the work place who were more than questionable in many areas. The mind boggles when trying to figure out how it is they got their position to start with. They sure do ruin the work place. In fact, one day I should blog for ‘the prospective employer’, because ‘bosses’ these days leave a lot to be desired. You’d think they’d know better – surely they can see/read the same rants and tips the rest of us do? I guess they really just don’t care. How sad that this is what ‘life in the workplace’ has become.

But as I stared at the picture, I saw it in a different light. Who’s my boss?

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Builders and Breakers

Apparently our DNA is the reason for a lot of ‘built-in’ tendencies, one of which is the desire to ‘self-improve’. I am a firm believer that there is always room for improvement in all of us, and that nobody is perfect – even though some are closer than others.

As much as I can be inspiring, and sometimes motivational, and enjoy being of great encouragement to others, I often times find that I am my own worst enemy.

My self-concept is not very positive – and it’s something I have to work on daily. I suppose it can be accredited to the fact that I have had more ‘Breakers’ (people who prefer to hurt and offend and criticize) than ‘Builders’ (people who help others by encouraging and delivering constructive criticism when necessary) in my life. These people are not entirely to blame – and I can still fix ‘damage that has been done to my self-concept’ by making the choice to continuously exert effort into  ‘being positive about myself’.

There is a story about a cup that gets broken. And even though glue can be used to mend the cup, it will never be as beautiful and ‘perfect’ as it once was.

In the same way, although the ‘breakers’ have managed to outnumber the ‘builders’ in my life, and they seem to have successfully destroyed my cup of self-concept, I still have so many ways and resources in order to slowly ‘glue my self-concept’ back together. Perhaps it will never be as positive or great as someone who has been blessed enough to experience the opposite of what I have. But even though I may not get it ‘perfect’, I can still help it reach the stage where it is positive enough, to be enough. I also have to regularly maintain my ‘positive self-concept’.

It’s hard work! But it’s worth it. I have an ‘action plan’ for my positive self-concept, and on days when I feel that I am just not getting anywhere (they seem to be fewer as time is wearing on), I fall back on this action plan. It never makes me 100% sure that I am wonderful – but it sure gets me going. And even if I am falling after each step – each step I take is moving forward. It’s better than standing still, or perish the thought, moving backwards.

  1. I make a list of five good things about me – that list is usually made up of the good things that my few ‘Builders’ have said about me, and I try to vary them, because my ‘builders’ have quite a few good things to say.
  1. I give myself three compliments – even if all I can manage that day is things like, “You made a good cup of coffee this morning; you didn’t almost drown in the shower; you remembered to lovingly lavish your skin with cream today.”
  1. The toughest one is this one. But I say it out loud and do this point anyway….
    I accept my body, despite its size, shape or color. I not only accept it, but I am grateful for it. And on days when I feel that my body has failed me and I have pain, or am sick, or feel overweight, or …. whatever the reason may be : on those days, I just accept and am grateful that I still have my eyesight, my hearing, my fingers and my toes.
  1. I acknowledge that there are many things about me that I cannot change, particularly about my physical appearance, but I dig deep and find at least one thing that I can – and then I commit to try and change just that one thing – even it takes me a day, month or year to do it!
  1. I try to not say anything negative about myself for at least a day. I think this is probably on a par in the level of difficulty as number 3. It has been my experience that when the Breakers give you so many negative things to focus on about yourself, that it’s tough to not repeat those things – especially when defending yourself against the possibility of someone else saying the same thing to you. eg. “I’ll just say I’m fat, so that when I order a slice of cake she won’t be able to tell me I’m too fat to be eating cake.”

I suppose we need to try and stop being our own worst enemies. We need to embrace the lives we have, no matter how much we think they don’t fit into the ‘ideal’, and we need to try and be positive enough for it to BE enough!

Crawling forward is better than running back!