Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

 

CS6,P20Can,P20Do,P20logo_blue,P26black_0.png.pagespeed.ce.DOAv6m2MTQ

Image via https://www.leonardcheshire.org/

#CanDo #BetterLifeBetterWorld #Inspiration #Motivation

I don’t know if it is me getting older and wiser, or just me getting older and crankier. The thing is, I’ve become a little bit irritated by everything in the world. So, I have been wondering if I’m the only one noticing these really bizarre things.

Have you noticed, for instance, that everyone on social media seems happy, yet the world is now more filled with depression and suicide than ever before in history? Not to mention the enormous increase in drug and alcohol abuse AND the growing rate of prescriptions for anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and sleeping pills. Never before have I been so bombarded by meme’s proclaiming that kindness, compassion and love is the way, however the world remains to be a boiling cauldron of war, famine, poverty, abuse, pain and suffering, while those that are supposed to bring change, just keep on talking about the very things these meme’s proclaim. It is ludicrous, to say the least.

What is this ‘authentic life’ people are talking about? I just don’t understand. Have we been living false lives then? Yes, I know I sound crazy, but seriously, it seems that everywhere motivational speakers are popping up with ‘the answer’ to it all. They provide solutions and 5-step programmes, solutions that are rarely taken seriously and programmes that are never followed through. People remain in discontent; they are clinically unhappy and wallow in self-hate, self-pity and depression!! Why?

I’ve mulled over this issue and suddenly it became SO clear. Remember that old saying ‘talk is cheap’? This is exactly what is happening here! We talk and talk about kindness and caring, love and compassion, reaching out to war zones and helping refugees. “PEACE,” we shout and then we have a cup of tea and watch CNN. WATCH CNN, mind you! So that we can comment on the war and the famine and say things like: “This should…. They must…Why don’t they?”. I’m right, aren’t I?

Then we go to our comfortable beds, scan our Facebook newsfeeds, check Twitter and post a nice meme on Instagram (or a photo of your cute cat, curled at the bottom of the bed). How do I know this? Because this is what I do and I just KNOW I’m not the only one. We are SO busy online and wagging our tongues about the state of the world (and life in general) that we forget we’ve got some serious power. That power, my friends, is the ‘CAN DO’ or in SM-speak #CanDo. Unfortunately, you’ll have to get up and go out and actually lift a finger or two, not to mention an arm and a leg, oh, and you’ll have to bend the old noodle as well.

Point is, you cannot change the world or your life, by just TALKING about it. Your words will not feed the hungry or bring warm blankets to the poor during the winter months. Your power of positivity-meme on Instagram will NOT stop the teen from committing suicide or using drugs. Yes, it may uplift him in the moment, but once he scrolled down, what then??? Politicians love to talk, we all know that, and maybe they have the REAL power to change things. Celebrities have money and social power and many of them actually do go out of their way to help those in need. Hats off to them!! Now I can just hear you saying: “But I’m not a Hollywood star or a politician. My input has no clout at all. I don’t have money to fund outreach programmes and build rehabilitation centres. It doesn’t matter what I do, it will amount to nothing.” WRONG!!!

Do you believe that meme you posted this morning? That one about kindness or compassion? Do you believe that is how a person should be? Then BE LIKE IT!! Don’t just post about it because people expect you to, actually BE KIND! Smile at the stranger in the street, give food to the homeless fellow on the corner, visit a sick neighbour. This is something you CAN DO!

Did you comment on a post about a tragic suicide or a mourning family? Did you send them a little sad face to show your support? Did you think: “Those poor people, I feel SO sorry for them”? Why don’t you start doing something about it then? If you can’t visit them in person, at least type something more supportive than an emoticon. Or send them a direct message with a poem of condolence. Learn the lesson through their experience by appreciating your own loved ones more, be careful what you say to others and talk to someone who seems lonely or depressed. You never know when another person’s misery and sorrow come knocking at your own door. You CAN DO it!!

People, we may not be able to have the universal power of the United Nations or the fist of power held by leaders in the free world, but we can nurture our own CAN DO-power with action. We can change OUR little world, our lives if we dare to reach beyond our own comfort zone. And to think that you will not impact anything or anyone is a big mistake. Your smile may give hope to the stranger in the street, your kind touch may save the life of a broken teenager, your loaf of bread may feed the beggar’s family tonight…and if that is not impacting a life, I don’t know what is.

Closer to home you can be more THERE for your loved ones (and less online), listen to them, take time to care about their lives, notice them, love them. Stop posting about perfect families and CREATE the perfect family. You CAN DO it!!

You want to live an ‘authentic life’? This is how. This is also how your Facebook smile becomes the real thing and not just a ‘for the photo’-grin. This is also how health and happiness can be achieved. Doing good for others uplift the spirit, brings fulfilment and content. Why? Because you feel you live a life worthy of something. You MEAN something.

Also, when you see the suffering in the world first-hand, you learn to appreciate what you have. We are all struggling to get by in a world that demands more and more from us every single day. Sometimes we feel trapped by all these terrible things. We worry constantly, but once you are faced with the harsh reality of other people’s misery and pain, you learn that you should count your blessings and be thankful for what you have.

The thing is, friends, we post a multitude of nonsense on social media, yet we never take responsibility for it. We put things out into the world, without a single thought that, maybe, we must take that message to heart ourselves. I admit that I love the meme’s and the quotes and the little smiley faces (even though it sometimes gets irritating) and that it gives me hope to think there are so many people on this planet who crave to become better human beings. However, perhaps we should really consider acting on what we post: BE kind, BE considerate, BE caring. Do not read the inspirational quote and then promptly forget it. ACT on it if you believe in it.

Life should be lived to the full. We all have limited days and we must make the most of it. This is our world, we have a responsibility towards it and its residents to be the best person we can be and no post will ever achieve that. You must do it YOURSELF.

Look, listen, learn….that’s life, love it and embrace it.

Remember, you got this and you CAN!!

 

 

Read Full Post »

plansjeremiah2911-1

Being desperate about life is something most of us have experienced at some point. While some of us may be lucky enough to perceive it as ‘just a bad day’, others may be living their lives in complete shadow. It is widely known that depression is one of the worst diseases of our time. A silent killer, sometimes referred to as ‘suicide’ or ‘heart attack’, but I’m not going to talk about depression from a counsellor’s point of view today. I’m just mentioning it so that you can understand the depth of despair some people face every day of their lives. I’m also mentioning it because I understand it, know it, yes, it is an old enemy. One I’ve been living with for 31 years. But that is ALSO not what I want to talk about, not really. Listen up, hear it comes….

The past few years have been particularly challenging. In 2009 I went off my meds and haven’t been using since. Needless to say, it’s been hard and I’ve had my ‘moments’ of deep, dark thoughts. Despite these ‘moments’, however, I’ve somehow managed to find the light every time. My secret? I’ve realized that, corny as it may sound, everything, even the bad in life, is part of a divine plan to build an authentic human being.

Let me tell you a story: in 2014 something really bad happened, something that someone did (or actually several people did several different things) to totally disrupt the peace and happiness in my life. I was angry, sad, confused and very depressed about what happened. I felt betrayed and couldn’t understand why such things can happen to someone who devoted a life to serve others. Why are people so mean? Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m sure you’ve asked that question yourself many times.

Despair

For a while I remained gloomy, filling my mind with thoughts of things that I don’t wish to repeat here and then, one evening, I read a piece in the Bible. It was from the book of Job 27:5-6: ‘Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. To my righteousness I hold fast…’ I gave this some thought and realized that if Job could say something like that after all he’s been through, who am I to think differently? You see, things that happen to us and what others say about us, has a way of changing us, and usually not in a good way.

Let me explain it this way; I’ve always seen depression and depressive thoughts as a deep, dark well, a place in which other people, with their snide and hurtful remarks or events that bring sorrow and pain, can pull us. I say ‘pull’, because those people and events are already down there in the dark. We allow them, in our desperation, to keep us down there and to brainwash us in a way, making us like them. Filling our minds with dark thoughts and, when we try to get out of this well, they set traps like crumbling rocks or slippery walls, so that we keep on falling back down. They LOVE it when we’re down and when our thoughts are corrupted. We let it go, because we are just too glad to be accepted again, even if it is by the ‘bad’.  We lose our integrity, we betray ourselves and that is the mistake we make. We start believing that the ‘bad’ is right, that there really is no light and that we were wrong to think good things happen and that we can be who we are, trying to make the world a better place. We forget God’s promise in Matthew 28:20.

kagesa_matthew28-20

After I read the piece in Job, I sat myself down. It was time for a me to myself peptalk. I looked at my life, who I am, what I am and suddenly it was clear….the important thing was not what others have to say about me or what happened to me, the important thing was that I’ve survived and learned something from every single experience I’ve ever had. This depression, this darkness was changing me into something I did not want to be; I was becoming like the darkness itself! I was losing my integrity, betraying myself and the purpose of my life. In Jeremiah God says that He has a plan for each one of us, and it is not a plan that involves all this evil, this ‘bad’.  (Remember the image at the beginning of this post?) We forget, also that we do not have to fight alone.

0061

We lose ourselves trying to figure out ways of surviving life, we conform to the masses and to the demands of those who, in fact, hate us. Instead we should remember that everything really happens for a reason. Maybe not the reason we thought, but a reason nonetheless and that we were made in a certain way, with a certain purpose and our personality, our souls and our hearts tell us exactly what we should be. My heart has always been telling me to be compassionate, to look out for those who cannot stand up for themselves, to not hold a grudge, to hold on to my faith. How can I then allow depression, caused by events out of my control, to change the fundamental ‘me’? Yesterday my husband sent me the meme below and it really made me think about all these things again, because I am going through another dark battle now.

l-362350

We cannot allow evil to change us into something that goes against everything we stand for. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about prophecies and the end of days and it concerns me that we’ve done so much to ‘belong’ in the dark world, yet we’ve done nothing to return to the light in which we were born. Do we not realize that the time is near for Jesus to return? Do we not understand that it can happen at any moment? Staying true to the person that God wants you to be, the person He created, must be the most important thing in our lives. All the other stuff, the hurtful words, the catastrophic events, the sorrow and pain mean NOTHING when we remain on the path planned for us. Staying true to the righteous me would mean that, come the rapture, I will be taken and not left behind. I will be ready.

Friends, don’t be fooled by those against you or the events that seem to hijack you at every turn. Remain loyal to yourself, to the creature that God made.  Allow yourself to have moments of depression if you have to, but never lose sight of the light. Don’t let the darkness change you. Listen to your inner voice, believe in yourself and in your purpose and KNOW, always know, that God is by your side wherever you go, in whatever you do, until the end of time.

IMAGE SOURCES:

Exodus 14:14 –  Timewarp Wife. 2013. [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Jeremiah 29:11Joe Quatrone jr.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Matthew 28:20Kagesa Files.  2012.   [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016.

Woman in DespairMy Carpal Tunnel.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Border

Read Full Post »

l-73562

Tony ‏yahwehisjesus

Interestingly enough, soon after I’ve received the above image via Twitter (@yahwehisjesus), someone asked me why I keep writing these ‘messages’ on my blog (meaning:  String Of Pearls, one of my other WordPress blogs). I was a bit taken aback, as I thought this person should understand my reasons….I write it, not because I want something to keep me occupied, I write it because I’m compelled to. This person insisted that I’m wasting my time and added that it would be time better spent if I’d rather watch a television programme. I was astonished! And hurt. Why do people always question it when you are trying to do something good? Is it perhaps Satan, working through them, to try and keep you from doing what you are supposed to do? A definite YES, I think, is the answer.

Just yesterday I saw someone reaching out to people on Facebook to help a family in a drought stricken town somewhere in South Africa.  The family had absolutely NOTHING; no food for their babies, no diapers, no milk, no proper home or furniture, no source of income. You wouldn’t believe the comments I read. Can’t people just keep quiet if they have nothing good to add? Why do they have to embarrass themselves like that; pointing fingers, judging the people that are just trying to help? What happened to Christian charity? What happened to the fruits of the Spirit? It reminded me of what someone once asked me when I told them I support charity organizations and projects across South Africa. This person asked: ‘Yes, but are the donations going to the RIGHT people?’ Can someone please define ‘right people’? Poverty doesn’t discriminate, so why should we? (I nearly kicked myself, because I only thought of the proper reply after the fact: I should have asked him: So, what do YOU plan to do about the ‘right people’?) I was just so astonished that, despite our claim to Christian living, we still find it hard to accept that we are all one in the Spirit, one Body.

This brings me back to my complainant, thoughtlessly sharing his opinion and by that accusing me of wasting time by posting religious messages on my blog, and to try and do it on a daily basis. I’m not trying to defend myself here, please understand. I’m sure there are many more important (to the world anyway) things that I can be doing instead. Strange then that I saw this ‘prophecy’ on Twitter: “I want healing in My Body, and I want My Body to prosper again….you are just beginning to receive”.

How can one ignore this? I contemplated the entire message carefully, not wanting to read into it something that I should rather not. You see, I know I’ve been called to bring forth the message and have, in fact, resisted it for the longest time. Why did I resist you may ask.  Well, the story of my life is that I’ve always felt unworthy. So how on earth could God appoint ME, as one of His messengers? It was simply unbelievable. I’m perhaps the biggest sinner of all (okay, I don’t kill people or hurt small animals, but still – I’m far from the perfect example of what a Christian should be).  I’m nothing, a nobody, until I realized it is not about me or what I’ve achieved in life. The point is to get the Word out, NOT to tell the world about my little ol’ life! It’s NOT about the messenger, it is about the MESSAGE!

This realization forced me to sit down and take stock of my life (a giggle, given the fact that I’m nearly half a century old!  Memory’s not all that good anymore!). Ever since I can remember I thought nothing of myself. I’ve never been important or particularly special…I’ve been just a regular Joe (or Joey). People never looked twice at me; I lived a non-descript life, in a non-descript house, with a non-descript family. In school, when asked who was the most likely to succeed, I didn’t even get a mention….no-one knew who the hell I was! Although I have many interests, I’m not really good at anything. I’m one of those dream big, achieve little, people. Please, I’m not trying to get any sympathy and I’m NOT feeling sorry for myself. Despite being a nothing, THINGS DID HAPPEN to me along the way. Bad things, mostly, but some good things too…the bad things got REALLY bad at times and I often screamed and shouted in anger at God for allowing such a thing to happen. What have I ever done to You, God? I’d stomp away from the face of God, angry and confused. Sometimes I stayed away from Him for months, but I always returned; sneaking back, shamefaced and totally embarrassed when I saw that even that bad thing had purpose. This is the lesson I learned; the road we travel in life is never perfect; it goes up steep cliffs, where we often slip back a few paces, sometimes we travel onward, calm and sure, until the road drops away into a sinkhole right in front of us; sometimes the road takes us into dark forests filled with strange and dangerous animals, we get lost in the dark. Life is NEVER perfect (not even for the pretty, rich, famous, successful kids that went to school with me), life is our lesson and it is rarely the things that happen to us that determine our path, it is the way we deal with it. Would you try to climb back up the cliff after you’ve slipped down a bit, or would you let go and just drop to the bottom?

its-who-you-become-that-matters-e1382408672112

It was a strange experience….looking back over a life lived and SEEING it clearly for the first time. Would I change any of it? Would I still be the same person I am today without any of those experiences? I don’t think so….God has brought me to this point in my life and He prepared me for something remarkable. I am to tell the world about His love. I should NOT forget the lessons I learnt, no, but I must use it as testimony of His kindness and share it to glorify His Name. However, my story is of less importance….I was NEVER important, because I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BE important. God and HIS MESSAGE ARE IMPORTANT. Nothing else matters.

all-about-jesus

I read about Jeremiah who was so unhappy that God ‘forgot’ to help him. He asked  God why and God didn’t even answer the question….God just said: return to me. Jeremiah 15: 18-19: “Why do I keep on suffering? Why are my wounds incurable? Why won’t they heal? Do you intend to disappoint me like a stream that goes dry in the summer?’ To this the LORD replied, ‘If you return, I will take you back, and you will be my servant again. If instead of talking nonsense you proclaim a worthwhile message, you will be my prophet again. The people will come back to you, and you will not need to go to them.”[1]

So, I know many people will think I’m all set for the men in the white coats, ready to be committed, but here is the truth: whether you lived a wonderfully blessed life, whether you became wealthy beyond your own expectations, whether you are the most beautiful and successful person on earth or whether you are a lonely soul, never acknowledged, recognized or given an opportunity to shine…IT DOESN’T MATTER. God has PURPOSE for you! And all these things YOU have or have not achieved simply don’t count. It’s nothing….all that matter is the Good News, the Word of God and the Christian’s obligation to see that it is told to everyone.

25fb4b21cb97893f86a556a5af2d0154

1 Corinthians 9:16-17: “I have no right to boast just because I preach the gospel. After all, I am under orders to do so. And how terrible it would be for me if I did not preach the gospel! If I did my work as a matter of free choice, then I could expect to be paid; but I do it as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted me with this task.” [1]

2 Corinthians 4:1-5: “God in his mercy has given us this work to do, and so we are not discouraged. We put aside all secret and shameful deeds; we do not act with deceit, nor do we falsify the word of God. In the full light of truth we live in God’s sight and try to commend ourselves to everyone’s good conscience. For if the gospel we preach is hidden, it is hidden only from those who are being lost. They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes for the Good News about th glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake, “[1]

If anyone doubts that this purpose is worthy, he/she is still thinking with the selfish mind of the world and need to turn their faces to the heavens, so that the light of God Himself can bring wisdom of all ages.

SOURCES:

  1. 2001. Good News Bible: Today’s English Version.  Cape Town: Bible Society of South Africa.

IMAGE SOURCES:

  1. BRADLEY D. FOSTER QUOTE. Via
  2. GOING FORWARD REJOICING. Via Blogspot.
  3. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU JESUS QUOTE. Via Flywheel.
  4. PETE WILSON QUOTE. Via HopeForTheWearyMom.
  5. PROPHETIC WORD. Via Tony @yahwehisjesus
  6. TERESA S. TAYLOR QUOTE. Via Pixteller.

newhead

Read Full Post »

f3c8776daf1ee4eb5b58b46c52d644b2

IMAGE SOURCE:

FELIX, Liza.  2015. Unnamed quote: So very true…. [Web:] Pinterest: For the Love of God.  [Date of Access:] 3 March 2016.

witness

Read Full Post »

tumblr_n176eqqobv1tsp46zo4_1280

I want to ask you a question. Have you ever looked at someone else’s life thinking: “Oh, they have it all figured out. Look how happy they are!” I’m sure you have. Let me tell you a little secret….the joy and smiles you see is just the surface, it is NOT the reality. Now, please, I’m not saying that all people pretend to be happy, I’m sure some of them really ARE filled with laughter and joy, because they’ve found ways around the challenges of their lives.  However, in most cases that moment of ‘smile for the camera’ is just that….a smile for the camera. We should take it at face value and NOT confuse it with fact.

Let me explain it in another way: a few years back I was driving my son home from school and he was commenting on the houses in the area, pointing to some and saying: ‘Mom, that is such a lovely house. Those people must be very happy.’ I, always the ‘teacher’, said to him that he must not be fooled by the ‘surface looks’, like a beautiful house or a shiny, new car or even how people dress….it is the only part of their lives we see. We do not know what goes on behind the doors of that lovely house; we do not know if Mom and Dad constantly argue, frightening their children; we do not know if those people bought an expensive car and beautiful, fashionably in clothes, but are actually now struggling financially….a price to pay to be ‘accepted’ by society.

The same goes for all those ‘happy’ pictures we see in magazines and on social media. It is but a moment…we do not know anything at all. I’ve learned over the years to become very distrustful when it comes to accepting truth based on imagery. How many times have you, for instance, seen a celebrity couple smiling and holding hands and even telling the journalists how extraordinarily happy they are, just to read in the news the next week that they’ve separated/divorced and are now involved in a desperate custody battle over their poor little babies.  So much for marital bliss!

Apart from celebrity joy often being totally bogus, these days one cannot even trust their appearance! PhotoShop is a wonderful tool, very clever and abused by many a celebrity photographer. We can simply never trust what we see. I invite you to look closely at those magazine articles featuring blow-ups of the beautiful people in our world….no one on earth has such perfect skin, such bright eyes, such a perfectly proportioned body. One can barely believe what you see on the Internet…people report seeing ghosts (and videotaping them) or witnessing alien spacecraft. Can you really believe that? I don’t KNOW! Oh, I may sound like a doubting Thomas, but the point is, you cannot trust ANYthing anymore.

These days people believe what they see and doubt that which is invisible. Like God….I’ve never seen Him, yet I believe He exists. Modern society stopped believing in Him, though, because they cannot PhotoShop Him into any picture. We rely too much on what we see, we believe everything blindly (like the false relationship, false smile, edited body type and added ghost image), claiming that it is ‘physical evidence’.  We are being fooled people! The reality we THINK we know, is NOT a reality after all, in many cases it is a means to boost sales for diet pills, beauty products, movie tickets, whatever. I fear our generation has become one of the most superficial in all of history; our heroes and role models are figments of the imagination of their sponsors, and our belief in their pretence makes it fact. It is time for a reality check, I think.

The tragic result of all this false imagery is that we are fooled into thinking what we see is what WE should be, because they (those in the pictures) seem perfect. Not to be like that, would mean we are different, outcasts of society. Our need to fit in is overwhelming. Instead of finding peace within ourselves, understanding that people sometimes pretend to be perfect, while hiding their true pain and sorrow, we battle on to BECOME their clones in every way. We should strive to be more OURselves rather than what others are; you cannot live another person’s life, you do not know the face you see in a magazine personally, you don’t know the demons they are battling behind that smile. If you knew the reality, would you still strive to be like that person? Do you think without that ‘face’ that person would still ‘fit in’?

tumblr_n176eqqobv1tsp46zo2_500

People constantly complain of feeling confused and depressed by life….whose life? The one you see in those pictures and long for, or the one you are living? Ask yourself this….are you living an authentic life, translation….are you living the life that fulfils YOU? Or are you just trying to cover up your own faults and insecurities by ‘becoming’ a version of the unreality you see around you?

Society’s claim to perfection has, of course, its purpose….it challenges people to be better, to reach higher and further than they can imagine….it inspires. But there’s a difference between being inspired to greatness and selling your soul to it. Many people will disregard the fact that what they see in movies, on television and in magazines or on the internet is mere representations of life and perfection, than life itself. Those happy, smiling faces, those perfect bodies are an illusion; behind them there are REAL people with REAL problems, just like you and me. The difference is that they have the means to slap on some paint and call it ‘perfect’, because, in our society, they have become the ‘item’, the ‘object’, which is actually very sad, because their own pain is disregarded and they’ve learned to hide it behind a mask. Once that perfect mask is removed, the world rocks to a standstill, shocked by the reality; remember all those ‘fallen’ stars? Those with the drug habits, abusive relationships, depression, etc.…we stood gasping in shock, because we never suspected. Our icons are people too, you see, and we would do well to understand that for our own sakes.

Example: there’s nothing wrong with admiring Jennifer’s haircut and having your hairdresser do yours in the same way. What is totally OUT there, though, is feeling that, because Jennifer seems so happy and loved by all (and tanned to perfection) you are a failure, because you are this dull, pale blonde in an unhappy relationship. Therefore you feel the desperate need to change everything about yourself, to become her, so that you can also be so happy (and tanned). You forget, you are NOT Jennifer Aniston, you have to live your own life and acknowledge the fact that even she is not as perfect as she seems (she lost Brad, remember!). The Jen YOU see on the telly is NOT necessarily ‘Jennifer the PERSON’, it is ‘Jennifer the IMAGE OF SUCCESFUL STARDOM’; she’s merely an ‘item’ that is used as walking, talking advertisement for Hollywood, it’s designers and producers. She sells perfection. (NOTE: I adore Jennifer Aniston and think she’s an accomplished actress and absolutely gorgeous to boot, so, please, I do not mean any offense here…just trying to make a point.)

Unfortunately, people, we are only ourselves and we can never BE anyone else. We’ve been given this life, I believe, for a purpose. We live our life in the best way we see fit, but we should stop trying so hard to become part of this unrealistic society. Ask yourself: what do I want? NOT: what should I have/what should I be/WHO should I be? Stop trying to fit in, be different, that is what makes life interesting. Don’t look toward others to seek your joy, look toward yourself…find happiness and laughter in your own life.

We see it so often; people going out of their way, like I said above, literally selling their soul to achieve ‘greatness’ so that they can be accepted in this superficial society. They need people to SEE that they’ve made it. They drive around in their sporty cars, wearing designer clothes, eating at the ‘right’ restaurants, doing the ‘right’ job and, yes, society adores them. They are the Barbie’s and Ken’s of the world – custom made, stamped and sealed….accepted. But are they really happy? Are those not ‘plastic smiles’? The thing is, one day; these accepted great ones will travel exactly the same road than the ordinary bloke in the street. They will die, turn to dust and, no, they may be buried in a designer coffin or end up in a crystal urn, but they will NOT take their ‘acceptable’ lifestyles with them. They’ve lived their glamorous facades, it’s over….the end. But not quite….what about the hereafter? After spending a lifetime of accumulating stuff to be accepted in this world, would they also be accepted in the other world?

I’ve babbled on and on now, only to come to this final point…and I return to the subject of self-actualization and where it is to be found. Not in the smiling, perfect piccies you see in magazines, nor in the perfect body shape or biggest, most modern house….you have to look hard inside yourself for that. Our biggest mistake is that we judge ourselves too harshly. We complain that, for the world we are never good enough, while the truth is, for ourselves we are never good enough. Hence all the make-up, high heels and flashy cars….not only do we often seek to be accepted by society, we seek to accept ourselves, constantly compensating for our own low self-esteem. I’ve told you in the course of this post that what we see in the world is hardly reality and that we are only fooling ourselves if we think that moulding ourselves to the standards of society, will make us feel any better. All the status and acceptance in the world cannot buy inner peace.  And I’m sure all those smiling photograph-people will agree.

I’ve explained the superficial nature of modern society, as I see it, at great length here, so you obviously understand that I don’t really have a lot of respect for what we see in the media; I don’t take what I see as fact…at least not until I’ve considered the alternative. And, since one cannot seem to trust the media anymore, perhaps we should begin trusting ourselves, our own instincts. Stop measuring yourself against the false front of society and start looking at your life, your body and your soul through the eyes given to you by God.

tumblr_n176eqqobv1tsp46zo3_500

Try this….

Forget for a moment all preconceived ideas about what is ‘in’, and  what is, in the world, seen as beautiful and perfect and ‘the thing to be/do’.  Take a chance on reality. Be kind to yourself for a change and be kind to the things around you; grab an opportunity to accept yourself just as you are, without the superficial frills demanded by the world.

  • Let’s look at ourselves: stand in front of a mirror and look without judgment. See the perfect eyes, nose, mouth…the unique shape of your face and body. Your hair, coiffed to your own idea of perfection? Or someone else’s? Your clothes….does it represent you or what you want the world to think you are? Ask yourself: Is there anything I want to change….for MYSELF, NOT for society? What do YOU like? Not what is acceptable for your age, for instance, or fashionable at the time. Consider it for a moment.
  • Now, ask yourself this: what makes ME happy? What would make me smile an honest smile? To me? Always having happy children and a happy husband…will make me, well, HAPPY! But again, that is a mistake….what if the kids and the husband are having a bad day? Should I feel unhappy too? You understand what I’m saying? You cannot count on other people’s emotions to determine how YOU feel…you have to find the joy in YOUR life, not in THEIRS! So, back to the question…being alone with a good book, THAT makes me happy. I’m sure, once you get used to the idea of not comparing your level of happiness and joy to another person’s or basing your feelings on another’s, you’ll find what makes you happy, brings you peace, fulfils you, etc.
  • Look around you. Do you live a comfortable life, with all you need? Do you like where you live? Or did you purchase your house because it is in the ‘right’ area even though the neighbours are hideous snobs? Look at the things you own….do you really like what you see? Your home should reflect the personality of your family. Others should enter your house and just KNOW the type of people that live there. Every detail in your house should tell a story about YOU, not about what you think it should tell, so that others can be impressed. Other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter. So, have a look, do you like? Or not? Be honest.
  • Many of us hate our jobs. We work to bring home the bread; so to speak, we don’t work because we love it. This is a tough one, especially in today’s economic climate….if you can do what you love, you should, but unfortunately this is one we can only change with great difficulty. It is more than just the demands of social acceptance that forces us to be so well-employed; if you don’t have a job, you cannot take care of your family, period. On the other hand, if we did not try to live up to society’s expectations in the first place, we would not have been forced to earn high incomes to buy things we don’t really need. Strange, isn’t it? Perhaps there is a lesson in this – if we started out NOT trying to adhere to society, not trying so hard to ‘fit in’ and followed our hearts to do the job we wanted to do, perhaps then our lives would have been easier and happier. We would have understood that the world is only an imperfect mirage of reality and that we should rather remain true to ourselves and be what WE WANT to be, not what the world expects us to be.
  • Finally: who are you? Not – who am I according to the world? Who are you to yourself? Your personality as perceived by yourself. Are you a good person? Do you like yourself? What can I change to make me become a better person, again, for myself? Look at it this way; if you were your own best friend, would you like yourself?

be-happy-be-yourself-happiness-inspiring-quotes-favim-com-1221373

Remember I’ve said that the people in the pictures are often just pretending? Of course you do, I’ve repeated it often enough in this post, haven’t I? Can you imagine how it would be if you can smile honestly at a camera, without pretending, really BE happy and filled with peace and joy? Do you think others will notice the difference? I do, I think people will be able to see the difference between pretence and reality….now THAT would be true inspiration!

IMAGE SOURCE:

AfroKinkiLove.  n.d. Be Real: Hiding Behind A Mask.  [Web:] AfroKinkiLove on Tumbler.  [Date of Access:] 23 February 2016.

Favim.  2014.  Happiness.  [Web:] favim.com.  [Date of Access:]  23 February 2016.

 

Border

Read Full Post »

Via Lebo Morake on FB

Read Full Post »

via Pinterest

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: