Tag: reflections

You take nothing with you when you die.

burial cemetery countryside cross
Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

I attended my aunt’s funeral last week and as I reflected on her death, I realised that there are key lessons that could be learned from her passing. I do hope that as I share the lessons that I took from losing a loved one, someone reading this may also relate. Here are the key things I have learned:

You take nothing with you when you die

We are often so consumed with amassing wealth and material possessions. Death is the perfect reminder that none of those things matter the way we think they do. When you die, you will go with the one outfit and nothing else. It made me wonder what the point is to our existence. I was sad to realise that our time on this side of heaven is nothing but a short stay in which we must make sure we live purposefully, otherwise what else is there? Does this mean we stop buying clothes and other material things because when we die we leave with nothing? In my reflection and after reading for the umpteenth time, the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, I concluded that we must be content with less. Our aim should not be in gathering material possessions but should be on building relationships and leaving a legacy worth remembering. There are more important things than having the latest clothes, bags, cars, etc.

Make your life make sense while you still have the chance

Death makes life seem meaningless. I had so many questions and I honestly wondered about my whole existence. What is the point? Are we born to suffer for a couple of decades (if we’re lucky) and then die? The moments of joy are so fleeting while the pain and suffering seem endless. As I reflected, I thought life does make sense if you live with purpose. You have to find your purpose and the joy will follow. Often, we live one day at a time, merely existing and going with the flow. When you think about dying and leaving it all, you will realise that every second of your life counts and you must make it count. What does this mean? It means that every single day must be lived as if it were the last day. It means not spending too much time wallowing in misery and negative feelings because you only have that one life to live. It means forgiving quickly because tomorrow is not promised. It means taking those chances and using up all the resources inside of us while we still can. The time is now.

All roads lead back to God

My aunt’s death also made me realise that all roads lead back to God. At least for me. The confusion, the search for meaning and purpose…it is only God who can help us make sense of it. Without faith, there would be a void and I am even worried to contemplate what my life will be like without it. The Lord is my source of comfort and my refuge when the world makes no sense.

What about you? What event made you sit back and reflect on the meaning of life?

Confronting my ageism…

ageism
/ˈeɪdʒɪz(ə)m/
noun
  1. stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age. “ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem”

I am going to start with a few questions for you.

  • Is it always important for you to only hang out with people your own age?
  • Do you only consider dating in a certain age range and never step out of that range?
  • Do you only accept the views of people in your own age range and view others on the outside of that range to be “uninformed” about your experiences?

If you have answered yes to one or both of these questions, you might be an ageist. Well, that might be a strong statement, so let me rephrase. You might have practiced ageism knowingly or unknowingly.  I recently had to admit that about myself and it was only after taking some time to reflect on it and research on what ageism is all about that I realised just how limiting this mindset can be. The extreme forms of ageism can lead to people being overlooked for job opportunities or being discriminated against in society. However, I am going to describe my own experience with ageism, from how I have come to understand it.

The first time I came face to face with my own prejudice related to age was a little while back when I went on the GPS Gateway Camp . This was the first time I admitted to having stereotyped people according to their age and I felt really ashamed to have done this. The funny thing is as I was busy making stereotypes about people based on their age, it did not occur to me that I was also making those same stereotypes about myself (judging myself as old).

Here is how it happened:

So, we arrived at the camp on the first day and it was a Monday afternoon. I registered as an individual camper which meant that I would be part of a team of people who will be meeting each other for the very first time, unlike those who registered as a group. So, you know how it goes when you have to make introductions… The conversation went like this:

“Hey, how are you? My name is ….and I am from (insert country of origin),  how old are you?”

I was fine answering the first part of the question, but the last part I found myself feeling oddly uncomfortable. For some reason, I felt uneasy answering the question about my age. The reason being that the people in my team looked really young. I immediately thought, OMG, I am in the wrong team. I am in my early 30s and most of the people in the camp looked like they were teenagers. My reaction was so immediate and sort of subconscious. I  had judged them based on their appearance and made the conclusion that they were young and therefore, I was in the wrong group/the wrong camp.

In hindsight, I am happy to know how wrong I was to have made that judgement because even though the people in my team were much younger, it was the right group for me. Their energy levels and stories made me reflect back on my days as a young adult and also gave me an opportunity to feel like an older sister. 

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These days I am learning to work on my prejudices. I am willing to befriend people outside of my age range and I honestly think that has widened my network a whole lot. I am finding that younger or older people also have a lot they can show and teach me. Even people ten years younger or older than me.  I also realised the importance of having a teachable spirit and not judging a book by its cover.  Funny story…none of the people in my team believed me when I told them my real age, so it goes to show that age is really just a number.

Have you confronted your ageism and in what instances? Drop me a message below, you know that I always love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Boulevard of broken dreams

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone
~Green Day-Boulevard of broken dreams

There is this space filled with dreams that have never materialised, dashed hopes, unmet needs, unlived moments. The space filled with a lot of unfinished business and a lot of unspoken words. I am walking on this pavement that feels like my feet are stepping on broken glass, every step filled with regret. My heart heavy, my head full of shouting voices which refuse to shut up.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you ever met someone and felt like your whole world was going to burst into flames and be consumed to nothing if you don’t get to say hello? Sounds like an acute case of infatuation or something I cannot describe. I wouldn’t know about it because I am usually the level-headed one. I don’t believe in love at first sight or even the idea of falling in love. I believe in well-thought out actions, but emotions such as the one described above do not and should not make any sense.  And they demand to be felt.

I digress…

I am still on the boulevard of broken dreams. The path of nothingness, no joy or excitement, same thing everyday that I am sick to my stomach. What happened to dreams of laughter and conversations underneath the stars. They were just that, DREAMS. Why do we crave what we see in dreams? Who has ever actually found proof that dreams come true? I am of the opinion that the only dreams that actually come true are those we work on. They don’t come just by us wishing they would. So, why do we spend countless hours daydreaming, focusing our minds on the things we wish for and sometimes knowing that they will never happen–still we carry on dreaming. It is like an escape, a fantasy.

I want some reality for a change. I want to feel real emotions, I want to experience real things. I want to go on that trip to that amazing island, I want to stop dreaming about it. What stops us from living the DREAM? What stops us from facing the one who makes our hearts flutter and throwing all caution to the wind. Why do we prefer to be more courageous in our heads than we are in real life? I am having the kind of dreams that will totally consume me if I do not get to live them. I can already feel myself in my dreams and they feel so real.

woman wearing white collared top and beige hat behind of blue cyclone fence
Photo by Marcelo Moreira on Pexels.com

As for my dreams, I think at this rate, they can only come to life through prayer and fasting.

Life is too short, what is stopping you from living the DREAM?

 

The good, the bad and the ugly…

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It’s the end of the year now and today we had our last fellowship for 2018 with my Christian brothers and sisters. One activity that we did was to reflect on the year that is about to end and discuss it based on three things: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In other words, we each had to reflect on what went well, what didn’t go so well and what was a total fail in 2018. I shared my three things with my fellowship family, but I thought this would make for a good blog post. So here goes…

2018

The Ugly

I always want to start with the bad news and build up to the good news. 2018 was the year I had my very first mental breakdown. Yes, you read that right! I broke down in a really bad way in July 2018. I was in a very dark place. I almost gave up on my studies, I think a small part of me actually did give up and I hated the isolation I felt being so far away from home at the time. I hated being here in Hong Kong and some days I could not find the strength to get out of bed. For the first time in my life, I reached out to other humans to tell them “I am not ok” because I was so tired of being strong all the time. I cried all the tears I had been holding on to since the year began. I cried for all my failed relationships and the people I lost in 2017, including my father. I finally broke down. This was after a tumultuous trip to Ireland which was meant to be a vacation but turned out to be one of the worst moments of my adult life. Something about being back in a familiar place, with people who were supposed to be familiar but who had become strangers, triggered something in me and I just could not go on cruising on autopilot. Depression is not a joke, it is so easy to go over the edge. I almost lost it, but I am glad I only teetered close to the edge, I did not fall.

The Bad

  • This year has been a tough one for my family concept. I love my family, but this year has tested everything I thought I knew about blood relationships. It doesn’t help that my Ph.D. thesis is about the meaning of family and I argue that family is more than just blood relationships (one day I will be able to write a post without mentioning the PhD…soon). Anyway, as we grow older it is expected that we grow distant, but as a child, I never thought I would live a life without my siblings or live knowing they are there but we are not as connected as we used to be. The distance, the change in mindsets, the different lifestyles… Human relationships are fragile and this is something I have reflected upon before HERE. We live and we learn though. How I wish we were young and innocent again.
  • Another ‘bad’ is that I am still single. This one is really just bad because my mother says so. I cannot explain how or why I am still single, but I just seem to enjoy being alone more than I do being in a relationship. I however know I have to change this bad habit of not wanting to be in companionship with a significant other. Studies have shown that coupling if done properly can have some positive effects. I always say I will try it, but it just hasn’t been a good year for that. Better luck in 2019.

The Good

The good in all this is that I am still standing. 2018 started off on a semi-bad note, things were not so rosy and the middle of it was the pits as I have just mentioned. But your girl is still here and I plan to stay. I am not a survivor, I am a conqueror. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. As I look forward to 2019, I am expectant of renewed favor upon my life. There is something that I am trusting God for in 2019, I seriously hope this is the year it finally happens cause I have beeeeeen waiting!!!

Image result for expectant
Image from https://ashleyvarner.com/be-expectant/

Happy end of the year reflections to everyone reading this. Consider doing this little exercise, to think about the good, the bad and the ugly in 2018 for you.

Happy holidays.

GG

Child, what is it that you seek?

meaning

 

I realise I have been searching for something…I don’t know what exactly.
I have probably been searching for it my whole life. I just know it…
It’s a feeling I get, that something is missing. A gap, a hole…that needs filling.

You feel lonely in a room full of people, you feel misunderstood because everyone you meet just can’t seem to fill the hole, the space. It just seems to grow bigger each time.
There are times when you meet someone who makes an honest attempt to complete your existence. You acknowledge their effort and hope that the feeling of nothingness will go away…
But it remains…
Maybe, just maybe…you begin to realise that you are the only one who can make you feel whole.
The search will go on forever if you are not complete on your own before attempting to interact on a deeper level with another.
It’s a tough job to try a complete a human being, you would have to know completely what made the hole appear in their life. It is a mammoth task.

The search for meaning? The search for fulfillment? The search for purpose?
As long as I or you are searching, depending on whether we look in the right place…which is not in the world or within others…but within ourselves
Maybe, just maybe…we can both find what we are searching for.

Just don’t drive yourself crazy in the process #notetoself

 Reflections

Why I fall in love with myself everyday…

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Early morn reflections…

It’s not often that we take the time to fall in love with ourselves. We are so caught up in loving others and often neglect ourselves. As I was enjoying a cup of coffee yesterday it suddenly dawned on me that I do love myself and I fall deeper and deeper in love with ME every day. In the spirit of Women’s Month, I have decided to embrace my womanhood with a dedication to myself (I don’t need an excuse really…).

One of my closest friends recently described me as “phenomenal” (swoon) and I decided to write up some of the things that help to mould me into the woman I am and why I fall in love with myself everyday:

#I am extremely unapologetic about who I am

What you see is what you get!! I do not make apologies for who I am, how I look, how I talk or dress!! Fortunately or unfortunately, its either you like me or you don’t. I have found there is no grey area there. If you are one of those people still trying to decide how you feel about me, I hope this article helps.

#I accept that I am crazy

This may be an understatement but since I am the one writing this, please allow. I have my moments of utter madness and silliness and I love that about myself (I think everyone does, but it happens to some more often and in different degrees). If you have never seen this side of me you are in luck. On the flipside, you might be missing out because that means you only get to see my serious side, which can be quite intimidating.  I have been told I cannot dance, but I dance anyway. I accept and love myself, flaws and all!!!

#I constantly forgive myself

Living with guilt erodes the spirit. I have made many mistakes in my adult life and I cannot say I am done messing up, but I have learnt to let go of the guilt or bad feelings that come with that. I have hurt some people and I am not proud of that. I have a fiery temper that gets me into trouble more times than is necessary, I am a work in progress!! Although I hope those that I hurt have forgiven me; I am not worried because between me and God, all is well in my soul. Self-loathing is a powerful thing and it keeps us from loving ourselves. I have learnt to forgive myself constantly, no matter how bad it gets.

#I dream big and I chase those dreams like a madman

I am very ambitious and nothing can stop me once I put my mind to something. This has led me to cross boundaries and challenge norms. I don’t hear NO and I don’t accept failure. I love this about myself because I would not be where I am without the drive that moves me and helps me get out of bed in the morning. Success does not come from sitting idly waiting for opportunities to come by. I look for opportunities and with my God by my side, I have done many things. I believe there is still more to be explored…watch this space!!

#I embrace that I am a 30 year old, unmarried woman with no kids

Contrary to popular belief in Zimbabwean culture, this does not make me less than “normal” or make me love myself any less. I embrace this stage of my life and my perception is that it is time to work on myself whilst I wait for future hubby. I do not succumb to the pressure to get married because I am not one for conformity, plus where is the eager hubby? I will get married (I promise) if and when I am ready, not because “everyone else my age is already married or at least have a child”. It is amazing how many times attempts have been made to make me feel less loveable than I am just because I am not yet married. In the small town where I am currently some have even added that “no one wants to marry an educated woman”. I mean *insert side eye*…in 2016?

#I take time to reflect on myself

Some people are scared to be alone with their thoughts. I am not. I love the fact that I can be alone as this is when I shut everything out and reflect on my actions, words and ponder on where I am going. This has helped me to assess where I go wrong and what I would not want to repeat in future. Everyday is a new opportunity to begin again and what I did or how I thought yesterday may be used in a positive way. My moments of reflection shape my confidence in my abilities and increases my self-love.

Last but not least…

#My relationship with God

God is love and he is my Father. I have not known a greater love than this. Once you know God, you cannot help but love yourself the way Father loves you!!!

Have you learnt to love yourself? Because no one else will love you if you don’t!!

Diary Of An Over-thinker….Pt.1

I have decided to start a new series of writings…and I am going to name them “Diary of an OVERTHINKER”. Because if I can be completely honest with myself this is the reason why I am up at 2 am in the morning. So instead of tossing and turning all night, every night; I have decided to make good use of my time and make noise on my blog.

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Well if you are reading, good luck because you have just gotten a front row seat to the show that my mind will conjure up on this page. And more pages to come because the “Diary of an OVER-THINKER” will be edited every night I cannot sleep.I have to try and figure out what will be occupying my mind during these ungodly hours.
I have tried all sorts of things; watch movies, series,chat for hours…but what happened to normal sleep? I was faced with that question earlier this week and I tried to answer it at the time and failed. I think I have finally figured it out and it is really not rocket science. So I concluded that I THINK TOO MUCH!!!! That is why I can’t sleep.
I have known this about myself for a while but it has never cost me my sleep. Now that it has started to, well I have to find out why I think too much. An over-thinker is according to me; someone who goes over something more than once after it has occurred, cuts it in half, then halves the halves and carries on until the thing is no longer unrecognizable. The Urban dictionary (I actually checked) adds that it is someone who thinks deeply about something…not sure about deep but there is a lot of thinking involved. In short I make a mountain out of a mole hill, all the time!!! I am sure one or two people who know me personally can testify loudly to this one. Anyway I am wondering if overthinking something will actually make that thing any more important or does it just magnify a thing for no reason? What causes overthinking? is it anxiety? fear of something?Is it obsessive behavior that makes someone cling to something for hours without letting it go? Are there any advantages to over-thinking? There is an actual page on Google that explains how to stop over-thinking which just makes it sound like a disorder and the fact that I know this is slowly starting to make me wonder.

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.”
Anthony Hopkins
From personal experience I think its WORRY and it is unhealthy. But I also know I overthink even when I am happy…so I just have an overactive mind then. When you have a million thoughts in your head with the way our brains work its normal right? I am no scientist but I think if the thoughts are not contained they can overwhelm the thinker.
Too many questions…very few answers. This is just a diary…don’t overthink it!!!

“This is probably the advantage of being stupid. Stupid people just do. We tend to overthink. If we could eliminate the “over” and just think, then we could do, too. Only we’d be smarter doers because we’d be thinkers.”
Sarah Strohmeyer, Smart Girls Get What They Want