Category Archives: Friendship

Pour some chocolate sauce on top…

Chocolate sauce is a very useful ingredient. A very indulgent, delicious and useful ingredient. Sometimes I don’t use it very often though. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had chocolate sauce.

Chocolate sauce, of course has to be of good quality. If you pour bad quality chocolate sauce on something, that something gets ruined. We’ve all had “fake” over the top sweet chocolate sauce made with ingredients that aren’t natural. Terrible.

Now, chocolate sauce is a little bit like compliments: when honest and pure they’re indulgent, sweet and wonderful. They make any friendship blossom, they make lovers see stars and they make random strangers smile like the sun when you pour some on them.

We often take friends and lovers for granted. What we first saw as unique becomes commonplace. We get used to it. As we get used to it, we forget to compliment it. Sometimes we even forget it exists.

Other times we note something as wonderful, but we don’t share it. It doesn’t occur to us to do so. We say we love someone, so why do we have to also tell them they’re kind, we love their cooking, they’ve got the hottest butt, they are great at doing their job, they have the brightest smile…?

I’ve said this many times, but whatever grows stagnant dies. Relationships (as well as we, ourselves, our work, etc.) need to develop to be any good, but they also need to shine. They need to sparkle. And we all sparkle when we receive genuine, true to the heart, compliments.

When you find something you love, pour some sweet, dark, decadent and indulgent chocolate sauce on it. After all, you’re likely the one who gets to taste the chocolate sauce, because most people will let you lick it off… (Which is a metaphor for them being happy and you being around their happiness. In case you were wondering.)

So dear readers, I hereby challenge you to pour chocolate sauce on at least ten people in the coming week…and include some whom you wouldn’t normally pour chocolate sauce on. You’d be surprised to see how even grapefruit people turn into oranges with the right amount of chocolate sauce, but I believe I’m losing track of my metaphors now so it’s time to stop writing…

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727245385/ 

 

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Filed under Friendship, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, relationships, Uncategorized

Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114399/

 

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Filed under Friendship, Life, Love, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, relationships, self help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Maybe that night we make love till morning…

Sometimes we feel small and insignificant. Much like a tiny girl, walking up a massive mountain. We aren’t quite sure of where we are, or where we will end up. We have an idea of where we want to go – to the top – but the path is winding and we can’t always see the top – there is fog, trees and sometimes fires blocking the sight.

There are nights, when we are curled up by the fire watching a starry sky, and we feel calm and serene, and the path we are walking feels like the loveliest thing ever. Our muscles are tired after a day’s worth of climbing, in fact we are feeling tired through and through, but a good tired – we lived. We lived to the full and we are still buzzing, still filled with life and life force. We are almost giddy with excitement of all the wonders we have seen and are yet to see. Our eyes are still glazed with the beauty of butterflies catching the morning breeze underneath their wings, or the glorious sight of rainbows and waterfalls. Maybe a sudden thunderstorm filled us with power, with lust and then a gentle drizzle calmed our spirits shortly after, only to be followed by sunshine that made us laugh.

We may be sharing our camp fire with some exhilarating stranger we have met whose faces tell tales of faraway countries and adventures more fearful, more wild than we could ever imagine…or maybe adventures so sweet and lustful we can only dream of….and maybe, maybe one day achieve. Or maybe we are sharing the fire with gorgeous loved ones who are accompanying us on our journey and feel as familiar as our favorite spice.

Maybe the night is filled with laughter and excited whispers and tender words. Maybe children are playing and grown-ups smiling. And maybe, long after the kids have gone to bed, everyone is sharing tales that make our heart sing. Maybe we have found a boy whose eyes are sparkling in the moonlight and seemingly reflecting not just the moon, but our own soul, making us feel understood. Maybe for that moment it all makes sense – the search, the climb, the path that we are now on. Maybe that night we make love till  the morning.

At other times we are utterly lost – it’s raining, our knees are aching, we can’t see the top of the mountain – we are walking upwards, but we have no idea if we will ever reach the top, or at least find enough treasure to buy a fire that is always burning, a bottle that is always full, a bed that is always protected and love that is always tender. We are fearful, tired and soaked to our bones. We seek the light in our soul, the inner warmth, the love we know is hidden there, but the fear is overwhelming and the panic seemingly real as the night closes in on us and we shiver.

We  think about friends we have lost, lovers that crossed our path. We think about the chances we never took and those we should never have taken. We think about our own death and wonder where we will be then? Will we have reached the top? Or will we still be fearful and lonely?

We try to fight it, to be strong, but we only get angrier and angrier with ourselves when we do – because we are meant to be strong, right? We are meant to conquer the rain and walk with joy in our heart. We are meant to have learnt enough to find our way by the stars. We aren’t supposed to be lost, or lonely, or tired, or hungry. We are supposed to know better, be better.

Then, we give up. We remember what being truly tiny meant – what it was like being a child. When the world felt large and scary and we jumped up into our parents, or siblings laps and cried, or were just held tight. We were stil told that we were beautiful, that we were loved. No one gave up on us because we slipped and fell. They just hugged us better. We remember that it was OK then. OK to be lost and frightened and sooner, or later we found our way – whether by ourselves, or with the help of others. We felt tiny back then too. We felt scared back then too. But we weren’t angry with ourselves. We just were. We just allowed ourselves to be and somehow, somewhere, we always found the love we needed to find, the light to lit up the deepest night.

Then we take a moment to rest. We sink down, our back towards a cold fir-tree. The cold, suddenly intense against our back, awakens us. We look around. We see a tiny hare, followed by another tiny hare, looking out at us from underneath the bushes. We slowly reach out our hand. We are in desolate parts where man rarely walks and the hares have not yet learnt to fear us. We slowly look at them, as they are looking at us. In their eyes we see our own fear and trepidation reflected. We see curiosity and hope. We see warmth and love.

One of the hares slowly, slowly moves over, seeing whether to trust us. And then, with a final jump it is by our hand, sniffing it. Its nose feels warm against our cold skin. It keeps sniffing around, then suddenly jumps up, into our lap, and looks at us with big eyes. The other hare now follows, carefully, but bravely, seeing the success of its fellow friend. And then, you have them both in your lap, sharing their warmth, their lives with you.

Everywhere the rain is drizzling, turning the wood into a hazy, almost surreal place. The raindrops glisten in the final hour of dusk and the sun is making one last effort to shine through, turning everything golden. You feel a little warmth from it against your skin and the hares’ body heat radiating through your clothes, into your stiff, frozen bones. For a moment you are sharing your life with two other creatures, like yourself, trying to stay warm, find food, love and happiness. You are helping each other, understanding one another. Suddenly life has conquered and you once again feel calm – inside a new dawn has awoken.

You feel fresh. Every part of you has been shaken – you have been lost and you are still lost, but inside you have found the light. You know that as night comes rolling in you will eat some food that strengthen your body and find peace in your dreams. You will then awaken with the sun and move towards new horizons. Maybe with some furry friends by your side.

It is impossible to know if we will ever reach the top of any mountain. Life is an adventure and as such, we know that there will be struggle, there will be loss, but what will always save us is our own life force, our own love of that which surrounds us, that which we do and those whom we love, including ourselves.

We will continue to get lost and we will continue to get found. Storms will shake us and events move us. We will lose what we have found and move on to find love in unexpected places.

The best we can do is find our own heart, our own peace. We can never know what storm is coming next, or how far we will get the next day. We can only continue to move with a purpose in our heart, which gives meaning to our journey. We can continue to build love in our heart, which will strengthen us and keep us calm in the eye of the storm. We can surround ourselves by love, by doing what we love and taking time to build friendships with those we love, or those we think we will come to love. We can give of what we have, as well as our gifts, our talents, and share our lives with others.

We can love and with love always comes a treasure.

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You are simply beautiful to some…

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Today, as I was getting out of the tube, one person laid eyes on someone they knew and started waving. I could only see this person’s back, but the smile on the receiving end (the guy he was waving at) was so big it made me smile. And that’s life. It’s so beautiful when two people really appreciate one another – when they bring smiles to each other’s faces. When they share this world, so if only for a while.

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Filed under Friends, Friendship, Gifts, Joy, Life, Love

Gorgeous you and incredible me…

Cafe in Paris

Who will fill these seats next? Who will share their lives, if so only for a moment?

I was out having coffee with some friends last week. For some reason the meeting entered my mind today and suddenly a beautiful thought hit me: you meet people just to enjoy their company. Maybe that’s obvious, but isn’t it also beautiful? You go somewhere just to sit down and enjoy someone’s presence. To see them smile, to hear their laughter, to listen to their pain, to laugh at their jokes, to get entertained by their stories, to be intrigued by their minds, to share their life…to enjoy them and support them. To get happy for them and try to remove their sorrow from them. It may so be that I am corny, but I think this is absolutely amazing…just to sit there and indulge in someone’s presence…

 

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Beautiful you…

I love flowers

Dare to stick your neck out...into the flower field...

Knock, knock, who’s in there? Will you come out? Will you show me the beautiful you? Will you share your love and laughter with the world today? Hiding in the shadows doesn’t bring much light to your eyes. Walking in the sunshine makes your skin sparkle and your eyes twinkle with delight.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a master at hiding. Since age nine, or so, I remember walking in roundabout ways to avoid people I thought would rather not see me. I remember locking myself into my room to avoid my step family. I remember looking down when a cute guy passed my path in fear of rejection. I remember feeling like a burden; an unwanted piece of something, that was better off hiding so as not to disturb others.

To this day I sometimes still retract; hide in a corner. Frightened that my company is unwanted; a burden on someone else. I don’t dare to open up and show the beauty that is me. I don’t dare to give.

If you aren’t sharing the light that is truly you. If you aren’t showing off your talents, your smile, your gorgeous, gorgeous laughter, you are doing the world, not to mention yourself, a disfavor.

The world is not here to judge you – the world is here to love you.  The world is not here to put you down – the world is here to enjoy you. The world is not here to punch you in the face – the world is here to fall in love with you. You see though, the tricky thing is for the world to enjoy you, they have to see you. For the world to receive your gifts, you have to give them. For the world to laugh at your jokes, you have to tell them. For the world to hear your stories, you have to share them. For the world to fall in love with you, you have to fall in love with the world.

And if you want for someone else to open, you have to love them open. Like a flower opens to the sun, humans open to love. That doesn’t mean there can’t be boundaries and discipline and telling someone right from wrong, that too is love, but without love all is empty. Without love we all close up. And so, you also have to love yourself open, so that you can see the beautiful you. So that the world gets a chance to enjoy you and you get a chance to enjoy the world.

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If you ever…this is for you… (to the unsung heroes of bad first time sex…)

Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Navajo Cod...

Congrats!!

Did you ever have bad first time sex? Or spilled a drink on the first date? Did you ever fail an exam? Or got fired? Did you ever screw up? Then this one is for you…

I think we deserve gold medals for the disasters we have endured. Everyone who makes it to the top gets praise, but isn’t it when we are at the bottom that we need some motivation? Someone telling us that we are gold worthy? The fact that we managed to survive whatever trauma (like spilling coffee all over the potential to-be boss’ Armani suit) makes us gold worthy in an instant. Last time I went for an interview, someone complimented my high heels just as I got caught up in them. I literally stumbled whilst saying “Thank you.” Not to mention first time sex…ever tried getting stuck in mousetraps? And that was probably the best first time sex I ever had…I’m a natural disaster. If first impressions last I’m doomed to becomming a spinister unless I start preaching no sex before marriage.

It’s so easy to praise people who do well and they sure as hell deserve the praise, but so do all of us that are trying to sort out one area, or other, of our lives. Maybe you need to hear that you shouldn’t make that same mistake again (do not walk into a dark room when there are mousetraps lying around), but what you need is faith that next time you will do better and that you have the capacity to do just that. That you are a shining star. To hear that you are an idiot, whom should have known better and that these patterns of not thinking before you act really are so harming your life and shouldn’t you have learnt by now…well, that just crushes your spirits.

Sometimes I want to escape some areas of my life. Like my love life. I don’t have a smashing past. But as soon as I think about that, it reinforces it. To change my present, I need to change my thoughts around it. I am not addicted to players…I am addicted to loving, caring men, who truly love me and show up for me. I have a great heart, that will know when the right men arrive. I have faith in my innate knowledge to know whom to trust.

They say a tiger doesn’t change its stripes, but I have changed mine a hundred times, or more, only because I started believing I was someone else and acting from that place. I had a belief I was that person. I had a belief I deserved to be that person.

You have to find that place inside of you, that healthy place, where you are whom you want to be and act from that place. Not from a place of lack, or fear, but from a place of abundance. Of joy. Of love. Of faith.

The best gift you can give someone is faith in themselves. An ability to love themselves. So go on then: sprinkle some praise on the peeps in your life. It doesn’t cost a dime, but it breeds miracles.

This is for the unsung heroes of everyday life. Those of us who fight, but don’t always win. Those of us that need a hug, a cuddle, a sprinkle of love and a sincere belief that we can do what we most wish to do. That we have the capability to be whom we choose. Let’s face it: if you survived all that, you are destined for greatness, because you are already a hero, a survivor of the fight.

P.S. Hey, by the way, I like you for all the smiles you’ve shared and all the joy you’ve brought to this world.

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