Sometimes I feel like people give up little pieces of themselves, allowing them to crumble and fall away, like pieces of paper in the wind. It’s as if they let other forces destroy parts of themselves. But the pieces aren’t gone. Not really. They are still there, like transparent versions of what was once colorful and bright. And the people always feel them. Only they ignore them. They shut out the pain, the regret and the anger by focusing on other parts of themselves, or thoughts and things that “make it OK.” Little things to numb their pain, or simply lose themselves from it.
For some people it’s OK that they aren’t emotionally open, because at least they have a great job. For some it’s OK that they are fat, because at least they have candy to make them feel good. For some it’s OK that they never dealt with their fear around relationships, because at least they have great friends. For some it’s OK giving up having a happy family, because at least they have a niece. For some it’s OK having a lousy job, because at least they have a great partner. For some it’s OK not being fit and eating healthy, because at least they’re skinny. For some it’s OK being in a relationship where they care more, because at least they have a relationship.
For some desires are buried under so many layers of fear or imagined helplessness, that they almost feel relieved making up they don’t want it anymore, or they have ‘accepted’ it. They may even crack jokes about it, or revel in their problems. They prefer settling for what’s easy; or should I say: what doesn’t hurt. Because it hurts going beyond perceived ideas of fear; of wounds; and previous suffering. Sometimes it even hurts acknowledging where you are in relation to where you want to be. On the other side of pain lies pleasure, but pain frightens many people. And sometimes we actually get so used to something, we forget that once there was something sparkly and colorful in its place. We forget our own pain because we are so used to seeing it. We believe it to be normal.
It hit me some time ago that the thought of family means pain for some people. They know family can be a good thing, but their own experiences of it have left them frightened of it. They think “it’s not for me.” And I’m not talking about the people who want to be single, because they love that, I’m talking about the perception of family as a whole.
I was born to a couple that loved each other very much, but after my mom passed I dealt with life as Cinderella for many years. It was neither pleasant nor fun, but during this time all I dreamt of was a family and I had very loving grandparents who helped me get a feel for what family can be. A real, proper, loving family. I dreamt of a family on my terms too – we all have different ideas for what a home should be like; what makes for a great family and a loving household (with lots of pillow fights!). I never thought blood ties were the only ties; it’s actions and commonalities, not blood that really tie us together, but I have a lot of respect for what constitutes a family: love and a commitment to being there for each other. It’s about sharing a home; about safety and love. If that’s not there it’s not a family. Not what I call family. There will be hard times too, but that’s why you need both commitment and love. From everyone. Not just from the one side.
Other people had a hideous childhood full stop and rather than dreaming of having a family they started dreading it, thinking they’d only relive their parents mistake. Even if they would want what they consider a great family, they don’t trust that they could achieve that and rather than decide they will learn how to, they decide they are incapable.
Yet others had a family of their own, or have a family of their own, that they regard with pain. To them family has become something they dislike, because their dream did not materialize. It causes them pain to think about it. Their husband is a gambler, their wife is abusive, or their kids have derailed and they can’t bring them back. Suddenly family is synonymous with pain for them. And rather than build a new “extended” family to help them with the one they have/had, they step away from it altogether. They may have friends that become like family, but they would never use that word. To them family is simply synonymous with pain. That’s not the truth, but it’s what they’ve made up about it.
Family is just one example. People have negative and positive associations with everything in life, often greatly dependent on their experience of it. Many can’t see beyond their own experiences; their own associations. And thoughts and feelings are powerful things – if you don’t take control of them, they will rule your life.
It’s often hard for people to realize that their thoughts and feelings are skewed. “I feel bad, so it is bad.” That’s not so. Only when you go beyond thoughts and feelings will you discover the truth. To go beyond them is going beyond the pain and misconceptions of a certain association, but the pain frightens most people so much they can’t see beyond it. They don’t realize there is something beyond it. They think if they go there they will be stuck in pain. Likewise some people have memories that connect pain with pleasure and therefore keep attracting pain in order to get pleasure. It’s like Pavlov’s dog experiment gone terribly wrong. But you can break patterns – it’s like the Hero’s Journey – you have to die to your demons to resurrect to love. The demons aren’t actually dangerous though, it’s your thoughts and memories that make them so.
We live in a world of illusions and still, we don’t believe in magic.
Magic is possible though. You can reclaim those sparkly colorful pieces of yourself that were “killed by life.” People are wrong when they say adulthood kills youthful dreams. It doesn’t. People who give up on solutions get killed by adulthood. People who let wounds grow without healing them get killed by adulthood. People who give in to negative forces or start fighting them with negativity get killed by adulthood. People who lose their sparkle don’t do so because of life, but because they let life dictate them.
It’s hard to find love and peace in the midst of the chaos. To truly take charge of your mind and step into a space of beauty, praying for a solution, rather than panicking about the situation. It’s hard to let go of your own thoughts and feelings, especially if something feels very urgent to you. You have to find peace in the midst of a war.
In a sense it’s like being a doctor – instead of panicking and crying from watching a wounded child lying in front of you, you have to gently look to her wounds and treat her with love. You are providing the solution and making it happen, as opposed to crying in pain with the little girl. So many times in Africa and with the kids I have to remind myself of this. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I scream in pain. Especially when I think it’s urgent and I know I can’t do something that very moment, I get filled with hopelessness, anger and even hatred. To stay in a space of love and not get carried away by pain is difficult. As I was saying to Liezl yesterday – there are lives at stake. She told me to pray and believe and it will take the time it takes. You can’t change a village over night, but you can start the process. We may not save the person who needs an ambulance today, as it often takes 24 hours to show, but we can work on creating structures that tomorrow will bring ambulances within minutes, not hours. And I have to let go of my anger and my pain in the meantime. I have to focus on love.
Remember too, that solutions aren’t always logical. Don’t be rigid in your search for answers.
It’s crucial to work for solutions from a space of love. If you want to get fit, if you want to find that sparkly side of your body again, you can’t be angry with your body. You aren’t taking out your self-hatred for getting fat by attacking the gym machines. No, you are loving yourself to a happier body. Even if you get fit using self-hatred for your body, the self-hatred will take on a new form when you get fit. If it doesn’t show up in your life, it will show up in your body as illness.
I also believe it’s time for my theory about Jesus. You see, apart from constantly taking the piss out of religion, I have a certain weakness for Jesus. I may even have opted for the part of Mary Magdalene if a man like that existed today. Minus the beard and hopefully a lot less hair on uhm, other body parts too. But I digress and I’m afraid I’ve already pissed off the religious. So anyway. I always rather fancied some of Jesus’ teachings. I quite admire the man. Point being, I believe the reason he could forgive anyone is because he knew that man is born with a heart, then life – the yin and the yang, the good and the evil, the divine and the devil, the forces around – shape him/her. And whilst we all have the opportunity to go beyond our thoughts and feelings some really have forgotten the sparkly sides of their heart. They don’t know how to access it. Or during a bout of anger they commit terrible crimes, because they were never taught to curb their instincts; their reactions to nature. They don’t know how to access that space of love, or see beyond their associations.
So I urge you today – don’t let anger lead you. Don’t let grief stop you from seeing the wonders of the world. Don’t let negative associations stop you from seeing the beauty in you, a situation or anyone else. Live from your heart, not your thoughts.
You don’t just have to be the change you want to see in the world, you have to be the love you want to see in the world. Love yourself better and the world will be better too.
I always wondered what would happen if we all worked for a better world? If no company existed unless it was to honestly try to make the world a better place through their products and services? If we all lived life with integrity? If we did not fight each other, but fought for the better good of the planet and our future? Imagine what we could create then.
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926711694291/
Below are some links to my favorite stories, blogs and general sources for transformation when it comes to finding love, health and wellbeing. When it comes to truly living the love and honoring yourself and Mother Nature. Pills do not cure, to cure, you have to heal.
Paulo Coehlo – The Alchemist, Brida, The Pilgrimage
Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements
William Whitecloud – The Magician’s Way, The Last Shaman (the latter especially, though for the latter to make sense, you have to read the former)
David Deida – The Way of the Superior Man (and other writings)
Gary Chapman – The Five Love Languages (restored my faith in relationships)
Dan Buettner – The Blue Zones (so far I have only read about the book, but I intend to read the whole thing – it helped me understand health)
Dr. John Sarno – Healing Back Pain, the Mind Body Solution (healed my incurable RSI)
Shazzie – Detox Your Life (whilst I don’t think it’s the best of books, it does explain some things regarding how to, in fact, detox your life)
Buddha and Jesus had some wise words too.
I’ve seen highly intelligent kids with foetal alcohol syndrome. And I’ve seen kids who are severely abused, or have severe learning abilities open up to me and run to hug me. I’ve seen what love can do first hand. And I will never give up on humanity. I may speak of the pain in Africa, but South Africa and a township called Hangberg has taught me more about love than pretty much anything else. And Dr. Sarno cured my incurable RSI and has some very interesting stories to tell about healing. I’d recommend reading his books before you get sick. And if you have any kind of illness or pain I recommend you read it TODAY.
http://nhne-pulse.org/carly-fleischmann-autistic-girl-who-used-computer-to-ask-for-help/ – girl who didn’t speak for fourteen years expresses herself in writing “help” and “hurt” were her two first words
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYkT_GndKtE – an autistic boy is healed by horses
http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection-ebook/dp/B00FOTRI4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426587117&sr=1-1&keywords=dr+sarno – 1,027 reviews for healing with Dr. Sarno
http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Success_Stories_by_Symptoms_%26_Diagnoses – these are success stories from people using Sarno’s method to heal a plethora of diseases
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/from-near-death-to-cancer-free-an-amazing-true-story.html – from near death to cancer free; an incredible story of healing emotionally and physically
http://www.conquerrsi.com/mystory.html – this was my favorite RSI recovery story
http://alankazdin.com/the-kazdin-method-for-parenting-the-defiant-child-with-no-pills-no-therapy-no-contest-of-wills/ – how to help kids
http://www.brainbalancecenters.com – how to help kids
Fitness to Inspire:
I am the first to confess I have a weakness for six packs, and pretty much any other kind of muscles I can see and touch on a man. We all have different body types; some are stockier, some are slimmer, some are curvy, some have no curves. Love your body. It’s not about your weight, it’s about loving your body by what you put in it and on it and what you do to exercise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYkT_GndKtE – man uses yoga to regain ability to walk after doctors gave up
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2474969/Super-fit-grandfather-64-overweight-walk-cane-56.html – man gets fit at 64
http://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/9-fittest-old-celebrities – inspiring to see
http://masculineheart.blogspot.se/2014/06/want-to-age-in-good-health-build-muscle.html – why you want muscles
http://www.bodyhack.com/blog/fit-beyond-50-ten-inspirational-female-role-models-1108 – inspiration
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1BCzZBMMd0 – this woman is seventy two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6qi3gfIJRA – this woman is seventy one
http://madamenoire.com/493609/women-over-50-who-motivate-us/ – more female inspiration
Movies for Healing:
P.S. I Love You – grief
The Time Traveler’s Wife – whilst I think this is a bad movie, I love the concept – what would you say if you could go back to your younger self? How would you treat yourself if you were your own friend? Truly your own friend. Not your judge. Not your teacher. But your friend.
Heal Your Skin & Lungs:
Your skin is your largest organ (no kidding) and you detox a lot through it, which is why hot salty baths, hot springs, saunas and steams are excellent. What’s not excellent is fake body products. Stay natural, stay safe.
Likewise, cleaning products. Want your toddler to crawl on a floor sprayed with toxins? Want your feet to touch it? Want to inhale the scent of toxins? Want to flush it out in your toilet after “cleaning” the floor and pollute the waters? Didn’t think so. For God’s sake buy non-toxic cleaning products, including dish washing and laundry liquid, or you will end up wearing or eating poison. When I was a kid a friend of the family sold cleaning products for a little while. He became so allergic to scents he couldn’t be in a room with someone wearing perfume.
Food to Inspire and Heal:
GORGEOUS blogs and INSPIRING stories for health or simply pure ingredients! I don’t believe in one diet, I believe in real food with lots of vegetables and a lot of raw mixed in there. Have a look at the Blue Zones to see where the longest living people on the planet are and what they eat. As for the country with the longest living people, well, that’s Monaco…
I have found researching nutrition hard as there are opposing studies. Several studies have shown that excluding grains and eating mainly plants and meats, as well as vegetable fats help the gut. Others show that eating only vegan food will get rid of diabetes. For me the Blue Zones was the answer I was looking for. And if you are into 80/20 then I’d make it 100% natural, 80% veggies and fruits, 20% grains, meats, dairy, fats. More than anything – eat whole foods and love what you eat. Enjoy your food!
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Zones-Lessons-Living-Longest/dp/1426204000/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288991779&sr=1-3 – the book about the Blue Zones
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Zone – the Wikipedia Article
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwAC6EEx2Y4 – Jason Vale took “sick” people on a 30 day juice retreat, this is what happened…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktQzM2IA-qU – an M.D.’s take on how to cure diabetes with food. Tedx.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pjkC71exKU – is diabetes incurable? Maybe not… (I don’t like this documentary, but it proves a very valid point.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mS0YA465ts – fat, sick and nearly dead; another documentary about the power of juicing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIY1hk9X1ps – a guy who did a hundred day juice fast on his own and checked in with the doctor before and after…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkGXADXjkrg – Tedx Talk about health, weight and juice