Tag Archives: Life

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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The five levels of attraction…

A long time ago someone who had made spirituality the main focus of his life and who had studied a lot of Gurdjieff told me something about relationships. He told me that attraction happens on five levels: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical and sexual.

I believe Buddha Bear, as I used to call him, was right. I believe we are attracted to these five different things and for a relationship to work they need to be a match. Not a 100% match, nothing ever is, but high enough.

In the past I used to be scared of ending up with the wrong guy, because, let’s face it: maybe it’s just the physical, sexual and intellectual that’s a match, but if you’re scoring 99% on each of those, you can get a bit blinded. Just a little bit…

Likewise, maybe you have a friend and the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical are all pretty high up there, but one day you fall into bed with each other and realize that the sexual is really not a match. You’re already emotionally invested, so then what?

What I came to realize over the years is that if it isn’t working on one, or more, of these planes, the attraction fades. You don’t get hurt, your life doesn’t turn into a mess, friendships don’t die, you simply lose interest in more than friendship. The only pain is the void you feel; the void you were hoping to fill with Mister-Who-Didn’t-Turn-Out-Right. It’s a little bit harder to let go of those who were close to being right, because we all have emotional and sexual needs, but that’s about it.

The only time you get hurt is when people don’t communicate, or simply just treat you badly.

When I was younger I did get hurt for other reasons, but that was because I didn’t understand any better and let myself get led astray by one form of attraction or another, thinking that was the real deal, then being horrified when it wasn’t. I also had a tremendous amount of ego thrown into the equation; needing to be liked.

There’s also what I call “false attraction” which is basically being attracted to people who reflect your scars by proving them to be true, as opposed to being attracted to people who reflect your true nture; your heart. It’s part of emotional attraction, but as the story goes you are drawn to those who are where you are at emotionally, so if you haven’t sorted those childhood wounds… In short, being an emotional fit isn’t always a good thing!

Even today I believe the best approach is to take things very slow in the beginning, because I don’t think anyone knows if they’re a fit on all levels when they first meet someone. You don’t need to know. You can just slowly find out. Being a fit doesn’t mean you care for each other, or are emotionally invested in each other, either – that takes time. And there’s more to it than being a fit: you also have to be willing to create a beautiful relationships and build your dreams together. That takes work. Work not everyone’s willing to do and that’s their perrogative – we all have different goals in life.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727206690/ 

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Life’s a bitch and then you have an orgasm…

Do you ever complain about life? I do. Life can be a bitch sometimes. Seriously. And there are times when you despair. You’ve banged your head against the same wall for what seems like an eternity. Every door that opened got slammed in your face, or led to a dead end. Your thoughts start circling in a negative downspiral and life starts feeling like it sucks.

This year I decided to pull my head out of the gutter. However, there have been a few slamming doors this year too and after walking head first into a door rather recently I started despairing. I thought I’d be stuck in the same situation forever. And as one thing was tied to another, that was tied to another, that was tied to another, I felt trapped. Like I’d never find a way out. The kids I help raise are in Cape Town, so I need to get back. For that reason I can’t change jobs, can’t do this, can’t do that, am financially strapped…and I have felt very stuck for a very long time.

Have I felt like a victim and pitied myself? Oh you have no idea. Have I gotten angry and wanted to punch a number of government officials? Hell to the yes. Have I panicked and felt like the lousiest extra parent in the world and hated myself for it? Gosh, you have no idea what a terrible person I am and how much I can possibly hate myself. Have I awoken in a state of panic from dreams of the kids, screaming, hyper ventilating, or crying? Way too many times to count. Sometimes I’m scared of sleeping.

Have I wanted to give up? Yes. I’ve felt like there is no strenght left in me. Like I’ll never win this fight. Like there’s no joy left in life. Like there is no way out of this blooming visa-adoption-career nightmare.

This year I decided to choose art. Choose poetry. Choose magical moments. Choose to believe that what I can do for the kids is a blessing, not that what I can’t do is a curse. In general, do what I can to enjoy what I can. When a door closes a window opens. It is all about that window. About the moment. About what you can do.

Some times are harder than others. It’s inevitable…and sometimes we invite it by doing something utterly stupid. We need to forgive ourselves. Give ourselves the gift of allowing ourselves to enjoy the moment. Give that joy to others. And slowly change our life and that of those around us simply by growing flowers in the mud. As the story goes, I prefer satin and Egyptian cotton sheets, but there’s nothing saying you can’t have an orgasm on whatever you picked up at Ikea. And I’m talking about the sheets you pick up there, not the men. Should Ikea come up with an invention for “easy-to-put-together-Scandinavian-men” that included the perfect user manual maybe I’d consider it, but Scandinavian men are generally not my type. I prefer the more exotic version…

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Poem No. 69: Desire of Life. Writing poetry for Magique is one of the things that’s resurrected my spirits this year. Poetry, to me, is like growing flowers in the mud when you focus on the beauty of life. This poem was written today. More poetry can be found here

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Filed under Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, Musings, poetry, the beauty of life, the journey of life, 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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Filed under Fairytale, Fear, Freedom, Friendship, Goals, Heart, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Magic, Motivation, People, Personal Development, Psychology, Self, Self-help, Spirituality, Stories, Story, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

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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Filed under Courage, Creating, Creation, Fear, Freedom, Friends, Friendship, Gifts, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Motivation, People, Personal Development, Psychology, Self, Self-confidence, Self-help, socializing, Society, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The dizzy blonde manifesto…

To find faith during your hours of despair. To see the light when darkness enters. To believe in kindness when you encounter hatred. To find peace when a storm is raging. To see what you have instead of what you lack. To feel love when your heart is breaking. To stand up for what you are when someone tries to put you down. To know why there is laughter when you are crying. To avoid cursing when someone acts badly and instead pray for goodness for all. To let go of what annoys you and embrace what you believe in. To question even the obvious. To know that if someone treats you badly, you should go for better. To believe in health when you feel sickness. To always remember, whether good, or bad, there is always a tomorrow. To know that if your gain require a loss of integrity, it is a loss too. To see the colors others splash onto your canvas, yet choosing to add your own; the ones you truly desire.  To see steps in advance, yet be present in the moment, knowing all your blessings.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller

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A moment like this…

Moon

The moon outside my window looks so big and yellow…like an old Gouda, hovering above the hill…looking like it could almost touch it. It looks surreal…like a fairy tale come alive. It’s in moments like these I wish I had someone next to me, who would understand. See the same beauty. Feel it. That magic.

I used to feel like that all the time when I lived in Paris. The beauty that was all around…how I wanted to capture it…let others see it. I wanted to become a filmmaker so that I could capture moments like those. Although a painting is beautiful for what it is, I never felt it entirely captured a moment. And although photography captures every detail of the picture, it can’t capture the sound…the movement…the flow of interaction between people.

I think I felt it was so frail, like soon it would be over and if I did not capture it, no one would have seen it. Yet, maybe all I wanted was that one person next to me who understood exactly how I felt? Who saw the same beauty? For sure I will always be telling stories – adding the comedy, the beauty as I go along…but those moments…those extreme moments of beauty… Like the moon outside my window now: it’s turning more and more yellow, getting closer and closer to the hill with a magical glow surrounding it… Those surreal moments, when life is as beautiful as a fairy tale…maybe those moments, all you need is for someone else to acknowledge what you are seeing? I don’t know, but it is in those moments I always feel terribly alone. As if I am the only one watching. As if I am the only one seeing. The only one experiencing life the way I do. It’s then I feel like life is so frail, so transitory, like it’s almost over and I need to show the world how beautiful it is. And maybe, just maybe I want to hold onto it forever, yet knowing it’s impossible. Not even a camera can do that. The moment is now.

Soon the moon will go down on the other side of the hill and the moment is over. And I can’t prove it ever was. Maybe a little piece has been captured in these words. Maybe this whole macabre and also amazing evening had to happen for me to stay awake this long. Maybe it was for me to remember. Remember the beauty when life is so much greater than any film and without change it would stagnate. We need change to keep our curiosity alive…to experience something new…one moon is not like another…and that is the bliss of life.

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