This week did not go according to plan. My cousin became ill and was admitted to the hospital and I decided to be of assistance and look after her 2 year old daughter, Faith. Her other two children stayed with their dad and grandmom. Unfortunately Faith is yet to master the art of sleeping straight through the night. I took her on Tuesday night as her mom was admitted to the hospital that day. She was off to bed around 10PM on Tuesday night and around 1:30AM on Wednesday morning, she woke up, ready to play, watch television, eat popcorn and go swimming…yes swimming. She stayed up until 4AM and was back up at 5:30AM. I’m not sure how most mothers do it but I do give them praise for it. I dropped her off to daycare that morning and drove straight back home…I was a wreck. My plan to make it to work before 12PM proved to be futile and I spent the entire day at home. I usually take Faith for the day to give her mom some time to run errands and do chores, or just give her time for herself but since she turned one, she hasn’t really spent the night with me. Sadly on Wednesday, I wrote no blog posts. I woke up after my morning rest, got some chores done, ran some errands, visited her mom in the hospital then I picked her up by 6PM. Having her with me makes me feel somewhat like a mom. I’m actually happy driving home from work in traffic to pick her up and I usually prefer to stay in office late to avoid the traffic. Yesterday afternoon was really great. I picked her up, took her to the supermarket to get some essentials, visited the pharmacy for her children’s toothpaste, then we were home. How mother’s manage all of their work and home responsibilities is beyond me but they’re definitely superheros in my eyes. One day I will embark on the journey and be blessed by the God of my Heart to bring life into this world but until that day comes, I will have all the practice I need being an Aunt.
I don’t follow reality television but it’s hard to not be aware of who the Kardashians are. Last Friday, one member of the show, Bruce Jenner, sat down with Diane Sawyer for an interview to discuss his transition from a man to a woman. Homosexual, Bisexual and Transgender issues are always starting points for conflict but that’s not the angle I’m coming from. Speaking to Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner said he always believed he was born with ‘the soul of a woman’, and this is the last time he would appear as ‘Bruce’ before becoming ‘her’. Now whether this is right or wrong is none of my concern but one thing I do understand from all of this, is that it can drain your spirit if you can’t be yourself. So many times we pretend to be someone else for so many reasons. Either because we believe it’s the societal norm, to make or parents and family happy, to be accepted by those around us or to make relationships work. Bruce Jenner has been living a life where he could not be his true self for the past 65 years and I can only imagine how crippling that can be. I know personally what it’s like to be be living a life to make someone else happy and forgetting who you truly want to be. I have found great joy in getting back to my true self and regaining sight of the things I want to accomplish in life, instead of living by someone else’s standards and ideals. One of the most beautiful things about life is that we each have our own and we can live it how ever we see fit. While something may have worked for someone else, it’s not guaranteed to work for you. There is not blueprint for life, for relationships, for parenting. Referring to Pythagoras’ quote ” Man know thyself; then thou shalt know the Universe and God”. Instead of trying to be who society or some else tells you to be, figure out who you truly are and everything will fall into place.
Oh how do I love my Aunt Bernadette. She is my father’s eldest sister and I often describe her as the epitome of female perfection. The respect I have for her as a person far surpasses the respect I have for my mother and father combined, not that I love my parents any less. I’ve always admired her approach when dealing with me and people in general. She has never raised her voice or her hand at me, yet she can easily influence my decision making. My parents on the other hand, have both raised theirs hands and voices at me and yet I have disobeyed them on numerous occasions. I recall noticing this about her as a teenager and I often wondered, how does she do it. I would look at other family members and friends who would often use aggression, obscene language or try to instill fear in someone else to get what they want from a person, whereas she would find kind words and even a bit of scripture to get her point across. This lady has amazed me all my life. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and even her approach to dealing with it has been inspiring. I would admit that growing up I was a bit more aggressive than I am now but after having noticed how my Aunt Bernadette got the things she needed and wanted in life by taking a gentler approach, I was determined to try it myself. I am no where close to being like her but I constantly aim for it. People and circumstances constantly test me to see how much I really want to change but it helps to focus my mind on her when I’m tempted to act otherwise. While there may be many people who have found a more aggressive approach to work for them and they have gotten what they wanted, it’s important to consider the psychological consequences of the person who is the recipient of such aggressive behavior. The emotional and mental abuse passed on to someone can affect so many aspects of that persons life and the people around them. Whenever I call my Aunt Bernadette for advice on anything, I can guarantee that she’ll be honest, give her opinion about both sides of the situation and always suggest I pray about it. Aunt Bernadette, I love you dearly, please continue to be an inspiration to me and for many others who look up to you.
A few months ago, while sitting by myself for a brief moment, I thought about how I’m currently living my life and I wondered, is the Universe treating me exactly the way I treat myself. I’m very hard on myself for various reasons but mostly because I feel as if I should have accomplished more by this age. Growing up, my father talked a bit lowly about women who were over the age of 30 who did not accomplish certain things and I guess some part of me felt as if I should have had all those things completed by now. The truth is, not all of those things were on my list of things to do by age 30. I wonder sometimes if I am punishing myself because I feel I’m not where I should be. While I enjoy most of the work I do, the truth is there are things in my day that I do, that I really do not love and there are things I love, that I’m currently not able to do. “Am I telling the Universe it’s ok to be hard on me by simply being hard on myself?”. If I consider a previous post about “How Much Do You Love You” which mentioned the correlation between the type of love you give yourself and the type of love you receive from others, I guess me being hard on myself will attract that to me. Since thinking about this, I have made efforts to be gentler with my body. I’ve been making time for love, sleep, spending time with family and spontaneous activities that make me happy. While I do treat my body well with food, exercise and the things I will put into and onto my body, I was purposely creating stressful situations for the wrong reasons. I was punishing myself and essentially the Universe was responding to the energy I was creating. Things are becoming better and I’m not only learning to love myself in a whole new way but I’m also opening up myself to love someone else.
“The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out.“…Alan Cohen
Last week during a conversation with one of my best girlfriends, she highlighted all these amazing qualities she wanted in a partner. Her list of requirements are quite typical…spiritually grounded, educated, a great sense of humor, speaks well, dresses well, has a great job, good conversation skills, a positive outlook on life and someone who puts family first. I listened to her and then I asked, so what are you willing to compromise. She initially responded by saying nothing, then after I said really, she chose everything except spirituality and family. Sometimes I wonder if the requirements we have for a mate are based on ideals society has put out there for us or do we truly try to find out what works for us and choose someone based on that. Quite often I also hear men list all these requirements for a wife and I start to feel a bit overwhelmed. I can’t help but question…are all these qualities really important to them, are they a reflection of their ego or is it some image of a perfect wife society has created. How often do we take the time to consider what would really work for us, what qualities in someone else would bring out the best in us or are we so consumed by the desire for perfection that we choose all these amazing qualities for a mate that we cannot even match up to sometimes.
Women want the tall, super fit, six pack having, God-fearing, successful corporate guy, with the 2 or 3 degrees, great family background, six or seven figure annual income, his own home, no kids and the list goes on and on. How often do we sit and ask ourselves if we are best suited for that type of person, would that person bring out the best in us and would all of that really make us feel happy or would it make us more insecure about ourselves. Men also ask for a lot. They would like someone who can cook and maintain a home like their mother or grandmothers, have the 2 or 3 degrees, be in exceptional physical shape, have a corporate job with a six or seven figure annual income, look as close to a Ms. Universe contestant as possible and it would be great if she can achieve all this by at least age 28 so she would still be at an ideal child-bearing age by the time he decides he is ready to get married.
We are all entitled to choose our love but it’s important that what we desire in a partner brings out the best in both parties. Don’t choose someone with a long list of admirable qualities if you know you’re incapable of contributing positively to that person’s life. It’s always good to ask yourself, “Am I the type of person, that the type of person I want, would want to be with or is best suited for“.
Yesterday I wrote about finding purpose in pain and later that evening I found out that someone who grew up a few streets from me took his life. Now the reaction by most people would be to say that person was foolish but sometimes it’s so hard to hold on until you figure out the purpose of your pain. There are so many negative thoughts and experiences that can cause depression and lead one to commit suicide and we should be careful not to judge. When someone’s expectation does not match their reality, it is likely that negative emotions or fear based emotions will start creeping in. There are so many causes of negative thinking and anxiety has been highlighted as one of the main triggers. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying and these disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Dark thoughts and negative thinking are extremely destructive and one of the best things anyone can do in situations like these is continue to visualise the future they want despite what their current reality is. In the past, when I found myself in somewhat depressed situations or feeling a great sense of anxiety, I visualised that future I wanted with the emotions as if it’s happening now…I smiled, cried, laughed, jumped, screamed and did what ever was necessary to feel as if it’s happening now. I needed to become that which I desired…I needed to master the Art of Being. It is indeed sad that this planet has lost another beautiful soul too soon and I do hope in his next incarnation he has the strength to find the purpose in his pain.
Most adults consider young love to be somewhat frivolous. I remember one boyfriend I had at age 17, let’s call him KC. When you think of what young love should be, I think that relationship epitomised that for a while. We were young, playful, happy, enthusiastic about life and our relationship and most importantly we openly expressed how we felt about each other every opportunity we had. As time goes by and we experience life and other relationships, we tend to lose that innocence and openness with respect to love and relationships. We calculate everything when we get older and most times it’s according to standards society has set for us. It’s about all these areas of compatibility we need to look at and the love factor is not really given preference. We look at qualifications, employment, physical ability, family structure, social groups, peers and so many other areas, one would think it’s a job interview. Now please don’t misunderstand me, choosing to be in a relationship with someone should be a well thought out decision but I feel as if we’re calculating so much before making such a decision that we either can’t make a decision or we make one without the consideration of love. I understand that being calculated can help some people cope with the fear of failing in that relationship but I honestly do not believe that love can be calculated because God is love. When I think of my relationship with KC and how much fun we had, I always smile. We’re still good friends now and that is a friendship I will always cherish. When I envision my future relationship, it’s really important that it includes some element of young love. Other areas of my life require that I be extremely organised, responsible and serious that my personal life should keep me young at heart and balance out the rest of me.
“No one is too young for love, because love doesn’t come from mind, which knows your age, but from your heart, which knows no age.”