Owning The Harsh Side Of Life – Part 3 of 3

Learning to move on

Gratitude. One pearl of happiness and peacefulness that is very often overlooked. One stepping stone to growth that is never given credit. Many of us have grown from trauma, endured pain, redeemed ourselves from regret and yet we have clouded the beauty that life has because we still holding on to the past. Most of all, we are so quick to beat ourselves up and hardly ever note how strong we are. Many a time we want to move on from life but we do not know where to start. Sometimes all it takes is appreciating life itself, and acknowledging ourselves. Appreciate the person you are, and acknowledge the tremendous amount of strength that is embodied deep within you. A shift of focus can make a huge difference. As cliché as it may sound, it is the dawn of growth and rooting of happiness and peace. Changing your perspective is the beginning of discovering a whole new side of life.

We fail to realize that it is what you focus on, that will be of great magnitude.We focus too much on what is happening that should not be happening, or what is not happening that should be happening that we forget to stop and appreciate life itself. We bombard ourselves with so much negativity and feed our hearts, soul, and mind with so much heaviness. We block out every chance of being happy because of the miserable normal we choose to live. It is true that ‘holding on to the past is dying in the present’. At times we hold on to the past which only means we deny life the opportunity to open a new season for us which has far more possibilities and growth. Life is always willing to offer greater and most fulfilling happiness and freedom, yet we are too consumed by the past that we deny ourselves of this greater promise. Every new day is another chance to remake yourself and narrate a better story. It is time we stop overlooking the abundant amount of fulfillment that life has instore and the greater promise that the future seems to offer.

Oprah Winfrey once said ‘be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you do not have you will never have enough’. There is so much in life to be grateful for and a little patience and letting go will make you realize all of it. There is always a greater cause to look forward to. And one thing about gratitude is the essence of inspiration that it gives off. I think it is time we rekindle the pearl of happiness, peacefulness, and stillness. And know that this pearl will never shine in all of its glory when overshadowed or clouded by sadness, trauma, and hurt. Take that leap of faith to free yourself from the tangles that mistakes, regret, trauma, and pain have left you in. Allow yourself of the most fulfilling happiness that life is willing to give and free yourself of that trauma. Your future is way greater than the past that you confine yourself to. It is time to let go and move on. I wish you well.

Owning the Harsh Side of Life – Part 2 of 3

Healing through a Journal

 After years of abandoning journaling, I was reintroduced to it when I had to deal with anxiety – a whole different story for another day. For the first time ever I spoke about being bullied. I realized how detached I was from myself, how much of unanswered questions I had yet never really sought the answers, and how much of a void I carried. I confined myself to walls that trauma had built. For the longest time, I had been suppressing the trauma that lingered for years after the bullying had stopped. I guess it was a coping mechanism. Yet, fact that I had to deal with anxiety later on in life, shows I was not really coping with anything; it was a matter of time until walls of my life would come crushing in on me.  I realized how I was emotionally, mentally, and physically deteriorating. That entry was made of every agonized, traumatized, and the most dispirited point in my life. I released the anger, hurt, and pain that bullying left in me. Healing started off rather as one journey made of the heaviest sobs with helpless, uncontrollable tears yet it is one process that yields liberation.

At times we talk with people and still feel unheard, misunderstood, or even worse, feel like our feelings, circumstances, and traumas are rather invalidated. At times it is not easy talking to anyone. I guess I found myself in the midst of that. I describe journaling as having a conversation with a friend who seems to know more about you, who seems to be up to date with what you want, and most of all, a friend who seems to be patient enough to listen to understand you. It is one friend who you can freely open your closet to yet not be judged nor criticized. It is a friend who somehow finds a way of giving you answers without even saying much, but rather lets you talk as raw as you can. And that is the beauty of journaling. You get to understand what you have long misunderstood, you get to put things into perspective and really get a sense of yourself and of life as vast as it is. And yet all this can only be possible if you are honest with yourself. We all have things that gives us chills when we have to talk about them, we all have truths we are running away from, traumas that are better left unspoken of. You do not have to carry everything alone; let journaling be that pal. Sometimes we are just too scared to sit down with ourselves and give ourselves enough time to listen.

Allow yourself to be intimate with yourself. Open yourself to a world of your own. One where judgment and criticism have no place and where regret is non-existent. Express an abundant amount of kindness to yourself to understand your feelings, be patient enough to put to rest the traumas that have hindered you of happiness, and compassionately bring yourself to letting go of all that was. Exclude yourself from this busy world we live in, introspect, and put things into perspective. Let your innermost authentic voice speak. That voice right there seems to know more about us then we may seem to know, and it seems to have taken its time to understand life a little more than we may seem to care, yet we give it little credit. We hardly give it time in our life, let alone give it a voice. Instead, we constantly allow people’s voices to cloud it; we deliberately keep it quiet. We give voices that are harsh to us and that take every opportunity to magnify our wrongdoing and let them have a voice. Believe me, that voice has a little more sense and direction than us. That voice is compassionate in pointing out our mistakes and it is patient in steering us in the right direction. I wish you well.

Owning The Harsh Side Of Life – part 1 of 3

A lot of the time we are scared to face our most daunting traumas, we have fears we decided to bury, and the anger that we bottle up has altered our characters into versions we do not know. We hold back the most unbearable tears and block the heavy sobs that our burdened hearts are desperate to release. We are always trying to run away from all the mistakes we have done and the failures we have surrendered to. The heavy frustrations that we carry every day are enough to bring one down. Many of us behind closed doors are fighting the most inexplicable battles and the smiles and laughter we share each day are clouding the unknown stories we have. The desperate need to undo mistakes gives us sleepless nights. We are all so scared of being vulnerable and always find alternative paths to avoid facing and coming to terms with all these predicaments. We have resorted to shying away from all these problems because of the sense of insecurity they instill and the feeling of weakness they evoke. We view vulnerability as the end of our strength and the beginning of our downfall. We find every reason and excuse to avoid breaking down. With this whole clutter and burden, we carry each day, we expect life to go on and everything to be okay.

At some point, you need to stop running away and face these matters. You need to acknowledge what you’ve been feeling, what you’ve long left unattended and the uncomfortable truths you have been running away from. Come to terms with the fear, do not shy away from the anger and frustration, let that mistake you wish to undo eat you, allow your heart to release those uncontrollable tears and heavy sob, feel stupid for not achieving that goal. It is okay to feel like the walls of your life are caving in on you. You will be overwhelmed with weakness and you sure will feel like giving in but it is okay to feel like that. Acknowledging the existence of these issues and allowing yourself to realize the damage they have, will free you from the hell hole you’ve been confined to. In essence, own these predicaments; do not allow them to dictate your life. But it is the attitude you have when unraveling all these issues that will determine your victory in the end. It’s time we understand that life at some point will take an unforeseen turn. At some point life does hit us rock bottom. You need patience and compassion.

The reason we find ourselves feeling like we are weak or we are useless is that we beat ourselves up, forgetting that life is not perfect neither are we. Life will always happen and we do not always have control over some things. One thing about our past is that you can not undo it, but you can change the narrative for the future by doing right now. Compassion will allow you to understand things better, but most importantly, it will free you from all the tangles of pain, regret, trauma, and sadness. Patience will allow you to relinquish all that has happened, where you get to realize that you are only an imperfect being with an endeavor to live. It is time we realize that ‘had you known better, you would have done better’. Life has no manual book and therefore we do reach dead ends, we unknowingly make mistakes and life can be a strain that we have no control over. Compassion and patience will allow you to learn to live past these life experiences.

Willingly forgive yourself. Forgiveness is the beginning of learning to live past these uncomfortable truths. One thing we miss is that these stumbling blocks can really be left in the past but we carry them with us unaware and allow them to exacerbate our present,  and let them muddle with our future, one thing that should be filled with hope. You cannot burden yourself with things you can never undo nor can you reverse; and torturing yourself with the disappointing hope that things will somehow disappear, will never unwind the hands of time. Forgiveness is the window to rejuvenation, peace, and stillness. It is the stepping stone that allows you to narrate a better story. I always say ‘in life, we learn to live and live to learn’. These experiences are only meant to be temporary yet they teach us the greatest life lessons which are the beginning of great knowledge, and they give birth to a resilient, strong, and bold character. It’s these very experiences that tell stories of great wisdom. These are only seasonal experiences of which compared to the happiness and prosper that awaits you, they are only a drop in the ocean. You are yet to endure the greatness of life that time is yet reveal. All shall be well.

The Dawn of Writing

My heart would be pumping away with sheer excitement. Scattered words of anticipation would make their way out of my brain through my pen and onto my paper. I was never really sure where my writing was headed but the simple blissfulness of writing was exhilarating and I guess the way my uncle would keenly and genuinely read my rather scattered words made it more of a pleasurable journey. It was pleasing to read my thoughts gathered on paper, sometimes in the form of a story but more mind-blowing if it turns out to be a poem. From the age of 13, I found balance and sense in writing. It was my little haven and really the one place I could let go. The writing was a way I could tell stories about my state of being and the reality of those around me.

I grew up in Alexandra; although the small township instills some sense of belonging and teaches one the token of sharing – at least that’s the good I for one took from it – it is notoriously infested with poverty, lack of education, crime, depression, abuse, and all sorts of challenges that can steer one from achieving their dreams and goals. My shy yet fierce character stood out, yet it was hard for me to trust or let alone open up to anyone, not forgetting it was homework for me to make friends. Writing turned out to be that one pal who seemed to understand. Through writing, I dealt with the effects of being bullied when I was 7. I was able to fully express how I felt without feeling much like a burden or even feeling as though my feelings were invalid or better yet unnecessary. I’ve always been one to have big dreams and goals yet leaving those dreams as just thoughts never really made sense until I delivered my goals on paper. Just like that, my desire and burning passion to tell stories through writing began.

Little did I know that all that writing would lead to a blog. Through this blog, I aim to tell the untold stories of those living in places such as Alexandra, I aim to unfold the unknown about the effects of bullying, the unheard-of anxiety, and many other mental challenges. I want to start conversations about tokens of leading an emotionally and mentally balanced lifestyle all through my experiences, motivations, and inspirational stories I’ll get to tell. I have come to realize that relationships these days are based on what social media portrays it to be; let’s question if really that’s what happens outside social media. Let’s talk about the importance of harnessing the petal of self-love and the good that can come from that. Let’s talk about the nits and grits of success; success as we may differently define it. It’s about time we start assuring each other that mistakes that happen certainly don’t determine where we headed in life. I hope you will learn a thing or two from this journey. Let’s get personal.