I just read a message in a group I’m part of. They were talking about a boy in South Africa who was attacked with a hammer by a group of boys said boy knows. They didn’t know why he was attacked. Maybe because he does sport instead of gangsterism?
A few weeks back an acquaintance of mine’s maid’s son was killed by gangsters. Stoned in front of the family. A case of mistaken identity, most probably.
These things happen here. All the time. And I was thinking today, it’s not about helping that one kid. That one family. It’s about putting systems in place to help communities at large.
Of course, we all fall in love with that one kid. That one family. And we all get personally affected when they’re affected. To think about the bigger picture at such times is not always easy. What’s more, individuals need attention too. We all stumble. We all fall. We all need people who pick us up and dust us off.
It also crossed my mind that in other places, these things would be big news. Here it’s so common that chances are it won’t make the papers.
I know a lot of people in the US have been angry recently. The elections stirred up a lot of emotions. But how about thinking about how well off we all are if we have quite a few systems in place that serve us instead? Yes, there are inequalities. Yes, things can improve. But if you don’t live in fear of gangsters breaking into your house and stoning your family, you’re still ahead of some places. If you have an educational system, even if not perfect, you’re still ahead of some places. And if you have opportunities for help when unwell, you’re ahead of many places. I know people here who have waited for an ambulance for about 12 hours. Lastly, if you’re allowed to express your opinion without anyone threatening you, you’re ahead of some places.
Random things will happen anywhere. But if you live in a fairly functional society, where there are several systems in place to support you, you’ve struck gold.
You can bicker about what you don’t agree with. You can create separation from friends and family because of politics. Or you can, together, cherish what you have that is working. Try to figure out how you can grow even better together. Agree to disagree on other factors.
We’re all given time on this Earth. This is our gift, if you so like. We can do whatever we want with this time. Some of us are born into poverty, some into luxury, some into emotional wellness, others into abuse. As children, we are molded by our circumstance, as adults we have the option to choose whom we’d like to be by focusing our thoughts.
Some people have a lot of time on this Earth, some have little time. The best any of us can do is love and cherish the people in our lives while we have them. At some point, we have to say goodbye to everyone we love. That’s part of this journey. It doesn’t mean we won’t see them again if there’s an afterlife, but it means that for now we have to say goodbye.
Time is limited. This is a fact of life. We can either cherish the gift we’ve been given and the people in our life have been given, or we can be bitter about it.
In the past, I used to get very upset by life. I still do at times. But now I know I have choice. Choice how I look upon situations.
I was picking up the little one yesterday after he spent the day with his biological parents. His mother was having a hissy fit because the little one’s older brother on the autism spectrum was misbehaving, so she was saying she’d like to send him away.
This is the same child I help raise, who I recently asked her to take care of for a while as I wasn’t coping at home and didn’t have the money to pay for 24/7 special trained staff to take care of him. Now I see him for outings until he is enough in control of his emotions that he doesn’t constitute a threat to anyone in the household.
As far as I know, there is no government institution to send him to in this country that would benefit his condition, because I have been round the block with social workers, doctors, schools and even the police.
Now, if I start thinking about this, I panic. I want my boy to be safe and loved. I want him to have all the help available the world. I want him to have a shot at life. And I’d like him to be able to live the happy side of his personality — the one that doesn’t attack people when having anxiety.
So if I start thinking about him being sent away or the fact that he’s living an unstable life with his mother at the moment, I get sad. I worry. In the past, that meant that I would happily ruin my own life to try to keep him safe. But I know that didn’t work. Not for any of us. It was the wrong way to go about it. If I could go back in time, I’d have done it differently. Set up structures one by one that actually worked. Instead I tried to do everything at once, and ended up drowning.
The only thing I can do is work. Work to earn more money. And focus on the end result of him being happy and healthy.
To be in a frame of mind to earn more money, I need to be inspired. Beating myself up because I feel like I’ve failed him, or sitting weeping because I’m sad for him, won’t help. So I choose to focus on the good things in my life. Like the fact that I picked up my bundle of joy and went home to cook a chicken roast for Sunday dinner. I always wanted to create traditions and show my love through cooking. With the little one I have a chance of doing it. Of creating family traditions filled with love and joy.
So I choose to focus on the fact that I’ve always done what I can to help the kids and still do and that I am creating a beautiful home life in the present. One filled with candle lights, frog song and looking at the stars at night. There’s also a lot of doggie love, food, time in the woods and play. Poetry, art, film, photography and dance also abound.
Think about it this way: you should be thinking about what you want to create (my boy getting the help he needs to create a happy and healthy life), not revel in the fear of what you don’t want to create (my boy being sad, unhappy and not getting the help he needs to one day conquering his condition). Think about what you’re working towards; what you’d love to create, because that will help you come up with ideas for how to create it.
I choose to focus on what I can do, what I love, what I’d love to create and what’s working. That makes me happy. That makes me inspired. That makes me energized. That makes me take actions that serve myself and others.
Once you’re in control of your state of mind, you’re in control of your actions.
Today, someone close to me messaged me to say she might have breast cancer. Part of me wants to panic about it. The other part of me told her that she needs to focus on the fact that whether it’s breast cancer or not, she’ll get through it. She’s a beautiful soul. She’ll win. And I told her to focus on the good stuff in her life and in herself. She told me I was healing her soul, bless her. And by doing so, she healed me.
Friendship and love constitute the actions we take to make others feel better and help them face life better. Sometimes, that involves temporarily making them feel bad. Not so they stay feeling bad, but because you have to have them face the truth to be able to deal with it. They have to face their fears, their pain, their demons and then release them and actively choose to focus on what’s working, what they love, what they’d love to create (end results) and their good qualities. That’s what’s going to transform their lives, together with putting the right structures in place and speaking from the heart, instead of saying what they think they need to say to get what they want.
I’ve had to learn to control my own reactions, not just to my own personal stuff, but to how I react to others. Because how I react to others, affect how they feel. If I get furious with someone, or start crying about them, will it help them? Will I speak from my heart? Or am I just in reaction — doing something on autopilot based on my learned behavior?
Focus creates reality. Choose your focus, choose your life.
Your life is a reflection of your thoughts and the structures you put in place to uphold those thoughts. Change your structures, change your thoughts. Change your thoughts, change your structures. Either way, you change your life.
Some years ago a dating site had me work on an article about Dave Stafford Finney — a sailor in the Australian Navy. It was an article about men in uniform. As such, I read his blog, which was a stunning blog about what it truly means to serve in a war, save people, and end up with the scars yourself. So I commented on his blog. I mean, come on, the guy sounded amazing, why wouldn’t I talk to him?
The thing is, he looked me up on LinkedIn and messaged me.
He had read my blog and sent me a super sweet message about what an incredible person I am. Over the year and a bit that we knew each other, we’d exchange a couple of messages/comments and I remember I reached out to him when I felt my life was falling apart. I was fighting like a mad person to get a visa to South Africa to get the rights to adopt kids I was already raising. I had, by chance, or misfortune, or maybe in the end: fortune, ended up in a legal battle to be with kids I started helping out in a township I was volunteering in. I had been told by authorities I could adopt them, then that I couldn’t adopt unless I got permanent residency.
I had seen things and been through things in the township that most people don’t get to see. With Dave I felt a kinship about these things. How you go through a “war” and you get scarred. You see shit other people don’t. You see the abuse, the crime, the fucked-up-ness of life.
We didn’t talk that much over the years, but I know I told him he should come to South Africa to volunteer like he did in Australia.
And ever so often, out of the blue, I’d just get some message/comment saying I’m amazing.
That was the extent of our friendship.
Today I found out that Dave killed himself. That the PTSD that he fought, very openly, finally won the battle. That the battle scars won. That the hero succumbed to his own demons.
I was wondering why he didn’t reply to a comment I made on his post the other day. I was planning to send him a message asking if he wanted to be interviewed by me for a new platform where I’m now the lead editor for the lifestyle section. I just didn’t get round to sending the message. But I kept thinking about him during the week, looking forward to speaking with him.
Frankly, I want to punch him in the face and yell at him, or something, to wake him up. From death. From depression. Neither would work very well.
I was “clinically” depressed twice. For me it wasn’t the wish to die that frightened me, it was that I felt nothing. I remember the fear of that feeling. It would last for an hour, two hours, a minute…but it was horrible. Feeling nothing. No joy, no sadness, no nothing.
It was petrifying.
But I was one of the lucky ones. I acquired tools. I fought. I got help. I read books. I won the battle with my mind.
That’s not to say I’m not still fighting. I do. My mind has a tendency to walk down paths that aren’t helpful. To find weird and dark alleys that it gets stuck in, mistaking them for reality.
The truth is, once you come out of the alley, you realize you chose to walk in there. You didn’t go there on purpose the first time, you just ended up there, because life took you there, but then you chose to stay. Not because you wanted to, but because your mind didn’t know the other paths. The other roads. The other alleys. The ones filled with beauty. You could be standing there instead.
To make your mind walk into the right streets…it’s not easy. Not when you’ve been to a lot of dark places. It’s a constant effort. I can only imagine what it’s like when you’ve been to an actual war. I had childhood trauma that made my view of myself screwed up. I kept looking at myself seeing distorted visions that made me hate myself. Like the dark alleys, I was stuck in a place of my own doing.
The reality is, this world is filled with a shitload of crap. Of really nasty stuff and bad humans and miserable events. Once you’ve seen them, you have to choose to focus on the other stuff, or you get stuck.
For some, it appears impossible to get out of the dark alleys. With all the myriads of roads this life presents, they are captured in darkness. Always living in the shadow of their own thoughts.
Right now, I’m betting a lot of people are fighting a hard battle because Dave died. People who actually knew him in real life and was touched by his joy and friendship. People who have an emptiness within them nothing will ever remove. People who now have to fight not to go to the alley marked with “missing friend.”
At the same time, I bet that those who knew what hell Dave actually lived through and saw the extent of the darkness, know that he found peace. Not in the way that anyone would have liked for it to happen, but they know that there was an end to the suffering.
I guess I recognized myself in a small part of Dave, as he recognized himself in a small part of me. We put our lives in blogs that revealed all. Dished it out. I had a strong belief that if everyone would just share how they actually feel, no one would feel like I did as a kid. And I admired Dave for putting it all out there. The real life. The real pain. The real joy.
When someone dies, it feels like a missed opportunity. That you should have done more. Said more. Fuck, at least gone to Australia to say hello in person. Frankly, I was furious with myself and the world at large today because I didn’t get to explore a connection I felt with someone. Like it was a cruel joke. If I’d only sent that message I wanted to send a few days earlier, if only I’d been braver, if only something… I mean I wanted to get to know the guy, but when he first reached out to me I was scared. I was scared of depression. I felt a kinship, a connection and jeez the man was hot…you know, it’s like that online crush right. But I was scared. And when a year or so later I wasn’t scared, he died before I sent the message. And it hurts. I know I made a mistake. I ignored the obvious person right in front of me. Maybe we would not have connected well at all. I don’t know. It’s impossible to know, because I didn’t explore it. I could at the very least have told him his messages and blogs really touched me. However small those messages were, to me they meant something and I didn’t say that out loud. Because I was scared. So I have regret. Things could have been different.
But maybe that’s not the truth. Maybe the truth is, that we all play exactly the part in each other’s lives that we were meant to play. That we gave each other what we meant to give. Maybe this is exactly what I was meant to learn: that you should never ever try to predict how things could go. That you should open your door and explore. And you should speak frankly. Because when you don’t, you end up with regret. I never told that stranger I wanted to get to know him. Never told him I lit up like a pinball machine when he messaged me. And now I can’t. And I never again want to feel like I do right now.
How do we choose to focus our thoughts?
I choose to think that Dave brightened some of my days, as I did his. A tiny twinkle in our lives. Not the big bright light of those close to us, but a tiny twinkle that makes the world more beautiful somehow. Or as I said to the Dave, in the very last comment I sent him this week as he shared the memory of losing his baby to cot death: “Sorry to hear that man. You’ve come a long way since. Life is filled with so many painful things. Thankfully there are many wondrous things too, including the people we do get to keep with us.”
So let’s all look after those wondrous people. Make an effort to smile. To hug. To check in on one another. Dave touched so many people’s lives. He’s not one who didn’t have friends. Not one who wasn’t loved. So let’s all strive to touch others with our honesty. The truth about how we feel. But also the joy and care. Even the strangers we meet, who are angles in disguise. Let’s smile at them. Hug them. Give them a word of encouragement. We never know who they are, or where they’re going. If they’re living in their own personal heaven or hell. All we can do is to be a star. However small the twinkle. However fast the passing. Be a light.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the times you told me I was amazing. And thank you for listening when I was going through my own personal hell. You were a star man. I think you still are. Out there, somewhere, brightening the night sky.
P.S. I stole one of your photos for this blog. I’m pretty sure you’d just wink at me, not sue me for it.
I hung out with someone today. Someone I met nine years ago. At the time I lived in Los Angeles, but my dad gave me the gift of Easter with the family in Sweden and I decided it was the perfect excuse to stop by London to talk to someone there. That someone dragged me to a seminar as his “moral support.” And there was this other guy who was on stage that day and I guess we exchanged a few words.
Fast forward nine years. We’re chasing each other around an ice rink in Athens, laughing and sharing memories of how we ended up where we are. Today I texted him saying “You know, there was once a boy who used to say “it’s magical Maria, it’s magical.” That boy dragged me along to a seminar. That boy, in a way, is the reason I was ice skating the other day. And you know what? It’s magical. It’s absolutely fucking magical. The people we meet. The memories we make. The crazy and absurd. The wonderful and weird. Friends. Magical, indeed.
There are people we create beautiful memories with. Beyond that, there are people who have our back. When you combine the two, that’s when you know you’ve created something amazing.
As I look at my phone I see messages from a friend from around the same time. He also lives in Athens. It’s really his fault we’re all here, because he set off a chain reaction when my best friend went to visit him. I see like five hundred calls to my best friend. I see messages from mine and my best friend’s best friend from back then. One of the three musketeers. She’s in Africa, helping me with some movies and working to convince us the three of us will be in Senegal together for Christmas this year. I’m voting for Cape Town, but hey! It’s been ten years since our last Christmas together. And I get happy. Because those people, those people are magical.
And this blog, this blog that I rarely have time to write these days. This blog filled with sexual innuendo, swear words and all those things the woman who’s raising three kids in Cape Town really shouldn’t say out loud, this blog was started back then.
I do, indeed, help raise three kids today. I have responsibilities I didn’t back then. I still love the movies, my friends and driving down Mulholland. I still have a potty mouth and a dirty sense of humor. Some things change, some don’t. And I’d like to create more of the things that I truly love. The things that never changed. The stuff that make me come alive.
Moral of the story? People are fucking beautiful. They make our world. But they also form part of a chain reaction. Whoever you meet, whatever you do, it sets off repercussions that echo back to you, and sometimes lead to events years later. It’s as if we form melodies when our universes collide and the notes dance in the ether long after the music played, leading to encores and events a long, long time later.
Friday I got the message I’ve been waiting for: “It’s time to come home to say goodbye to grandma.” I’ve been waiting for that message and yet it took me an hour to book the ticket because it freaked me out so much that once it’s booked that’s it. That’s the final goodbye.
A few months back, Liezl’s sister, Jess, died and I wrote a letter to Jess that I gave to Liezl. I wrote that letter because I wanted to help Liezl and I wanted to say goodbye to Jess in my own way. Below you can see an excerpt.
Liezl always tells me that she knows when I’m hurting, because she can feel it. Well, I know Liezl is hurting now, because I can feel it. So please, let her see life as a puzzle of moments made up of experiences with those we love. We only get so many puzzle pieces with each person. We never know when they will leave for another world. It feels so unfair when they do, especially when they are young, or when we have lost many people we love, but that’s life. We can’t change it. All we can do is treasure the moments we have with those we love. The ones who are here. And carry the wisdom and love of those we have lost in our hearts.
In a few months I may have to write another letter to my extra nieces in Cape Town, as their father, Tony, is dying. And I promised him I’d be there for them when that happened. Liezl and I plan to take them to see the stars — to look at their dad.
About a year ago Tony had one of his bad spells and he took the time then that he was entitled to live in a hospice for a few weeks. That he has survived till now is a miracle, but when he was in hospice I sat with Liezl and another friend of ours in the little chapel they have there. We were talking about grief. About mourning. And I felt so happy that I had those two women next to me. I knew I wasn’t alone.
I think when people die, what we need is something that anchors us to life. We need to feel love. We need to feel the joy of life. We cannot allow ourselves to be bitter about what life is: a limited period of time. Instead we need to cherish what little time we have and make every moment with those we love special. Because it is special. Every single moment you share with the people you love and care about is special.
Yesterday I was speaking with Liezl on the phone and at first I was rambling on about how this just wasn’t happening, because I needed someone to hug at night. My gran couldn’t die, if I didn’t have a man whose heartbeat I could hear through the night. I needed to know I had life next to me. But as I spoke to Liezl we spoke about the kids I raise, about the kids I mentor, about our friends in the township, about Liezl’s family and about all the plans we have for Little Angels and Malaika. And somewhere I started smiling and I didn’t stop.
My phonecall with Liezl anchored me to life; to what I love. The kids I help raise are the most important part of my life and Little Angels is the part that’s brought me the most joy.
When I got that message Friday I was overwhelmed by memories from my childhood. I was petrified of losing the one home that’s always been my safe haven — my grandparents’ flat. It’s where I lived for part of my childhood. It’s where I ran to away from my stepmom. It was my haven. It was where I built the dreams of the future.
My grandparents taught me that love is real and that the reality of it is commitment. In a family you don’t always see eye to eye, you don’t always understand each other, but you are always there for each other. You take care of each other.
My grandparents also taught me to look after what you have. You take pride in your home. In your clothes. In your being. You look after what’s yours.
When my mom died my grandparents on both sides became substitute parents. They were always there. It made me realize that family, really, is just simply the people who show up. When I moved to South Africa and started looking after children I did that because I believed all children should have what I had as a kid — someone who’s there for them. A rock.
I am coming to terms with now having to create my own haven. I need to find my own footing. I need to be my own rock. But the truth is that none of us are a very good rock on our own. We need each other. We need life. We need the sound of the heartbeats that we love.
Cherish those hearts. And commit to look after them, because that’s what family does. I’m a firm believer, as my life is a testament to, that family is the people you care about, not the people whose blood you share. My family is part South African.
I feel like I’m losing a part of myself right now. A part that’s always been there. And I keep bursting into tears. But I also know that there will be many more parts to my life; many more blessings in the shape of human beings; in the shape of beautiful souls. And together we will go on adventures and create moments filled with love and laughter.
It’s all an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view. – The Greatest Showman
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
Yeah, I’m quoting Roxette. It’s alright. I have an excuse: I’m Swedish. When walking around town the other day my best friend looked at me and did a little jump: “I love you,” she said and laughed. I told her I loved her too. It’s emotional discomfort month and I had forgotten to tell her I loved her thus far that day. She has taken such a joy in this habit she now reminds me if I forget to say it.
People change with love. Their features soften. Their smiles shine brighter. Their hearts grow warmer. They look cozy, comfortable and inviting.
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When you see beauty…..a smile, a look, a touch of that thing……….when you see something you love, do you share that? Do you tell the person what beauty you just caught a glimpse of? Do you invite them to open the door to their inner gorgeousness just a tad more? Do you open that door yourself? Do you allow yourself to feel happy about who you are? Do you invite others to see the beauty that is you?
I don’t know darlings, but this emotional discomfort month is changing my life…and that of those around me. I feel…I feel more alive. More on fire. More like a light rather than a shadow. More intense. More awake. More pulsating and warm. More free. I’m not just sharing my opinions, I’m sharing my emotions, my love and my heartfelt desires with the world. The jail I always felt captured me is now crumbling to dust. I am free.
By complimenting someone you are setting them free from their worst demons: their own disbelief in themselves. Their own negative thoughts are being conquered. They think you are their mirror. If you display joy, they will believe they are joy. If you display love, they will believe they are love. If you smile, they will think they are the reason for your smile.
Maybe your love alone will not transform the entire world…yet it will because everything you touch, that is capable of feeling your touch, will turn to gold. And that gold in turn will turn other things into gold. Your warmth will spread. Your light will brighten the night sky and you will be surrounded by your own light.
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while…’cuz you are amazing just the way you are…
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