Shattered existence….

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…Shattered Image.

“Do not be weary in well doing, for you will reap in due season………..if you faint not” – Galatians 6:9 (God’s Manual)

Phew! Happy new year!! It is the start of yet another wonderful year – 2016, it just rolls off the tongue and its so exciting that it is a leap year, makes it all the more special I dare say. Having my beautiful daughter explain the concept of a leap year is something that every parent would cherish because in those moments therein lies irrepressible and undaunting hope, and an embodiment of a greater tomorrow. When something occurs just once in four years, what are the odds that it will not be special. So I say it is a special and while I also acknowledge that it also represents time gone, my next task is evaluating and reviewing the time spent with the objective of improving on the good and discarding the bad. Resolutions? No! More like goals to me and being as regular as I can blogging, with improvement (one of the most obvious goals). There is also the goal to being a better me that I was last year, now that encompasses a huge lot….
I did not get to do anything since my last post in November (my unreserved apologies about that) because it was and will always be filled with lots of activities each persistently varying for my full attention and I am not the best at multi-tasking but I try to apportion and appropriate the limited resource that time is. Nothing has further drawn me closer to the fleeting and brittle nature of our existence with the births and deaths that closed last year. Now I unashamedly admit that regardless of how far a relationship you share with someone, a loss is painful and grief is not a sign of weakness. I have shared the pains with those who lost and celebrated the joys with those who were blessed, and either way, life does have its ups and downs. Fitting in requires something of a balancing skill if you want to have more than just a weak shot at living. I was sharing portions of my life story with a young friend and I told her that certain events occur in your live that reveal more of your humanity. Weeping is not exclusively for the weak, in actuality, it is a revelation and display of both empathy,compassion and our humanity.
I remember, not very vividly, the first time I beheld a mirror of my own back in the days ( it was kind of a luxury/’self centered’ icon) and taking out time to check out the acne, your own facial features (yep it was a handheld small one not the full length…) – funny now in retrospect but back then it was quite a task. Ensuring every hair strand is in place, the smile rehearsals for occasions that may come up, and even the different game faces, was it not a lot back then. And then like every other thing, it just happened, one day haste got the better of me and it slipped from my grip and hit the ground. Shards of glass all over the place…geez! being incensed does not quite capture my emotions, who I was incensed at did not even matter because it was all about the mirror. Getting the largest sliver, after hopelessly trying to childishly put it back together like a puzzle, I realized that the largest shard would have to suffice because trying to get a reflection from a put together cracked mirror is almost as frustrating as trying to leap into a moving plane (I am no Tom Cruise and even he had the necessary gear etc).
Attempting to put that shattered mirror together comes with some pain, glass is sharp (scars unequivocally attest to that) but in reality some things cannot be fixed. You did not make it in the first place even though you broke it, so move on. I have long ceased trying to fix others especially when it dawned on me decades ago (April 27, 1992 to be precise) that I so desperately needed fixing myself, but I choose to use that aspect of me that can encourage others to get a glimpse of themselves and realize that it is not as hopeless as it seems. Now having seen more than my fair share of medical experts and heard their droning, believe me when I say nothing is as hopeless as it seems even when you are the one responsible for the mess. Making the choice to be nice even when all the laws of science demand the alternative is not as easy as it is being written, said or read, you simply cannot do that all by yourself – you will drain yourself of your life energy. And so, I choose this year to continue to be nice even when I can not explain the reason to the next person. I choose to aspire to encourage even on the very bad days, and there have been quite a deluge of those days in recent times. The resonating joy is that I am doing things that I could not dare imagine some years ago. so for me, it is still a day – good or bad.
Looking back, like I tend to do, reminds me of how much time we spend expending so much negative emotions at everyone else and everything but ourselves that we fail to realize that regardless of how bad a situation may be, something can be salvaged from it. Without delving into my battle with Myoclonus, I have come almost a full 180 degrees based on the ongoing challenges I face and the ones I have overcome and still are. Joiv repeatedly tells me how unsettling it is the way I currently respond to situations, the usual reaction that was my trademark is slowly but evidently loosing its influence and I am not even aware. What I do know is that there is more to be gained treating others not just the way I want to be treated but maybe even better than I would (if that is possible). Does the truth have to be told? Oh most definitely, honesty is fundamental – the vehicle that conveys that truth is what you certainly have to make a choice on. Malleability was one of my best words in high school because of the definition and having it as a trait (from the human perspective) is also nice, being able to adapt to change without being too rigid or too amorphous goes a long way in living life easier. Pertinent to note is that whether we like it or not, change is indeed the only permanent thing in life. Word play is an art, and is best utilized by the greatest minds.
In the last few weeks – the closing of last year and the beginning of this year, I have seen more of the idiosyncrasies of individuals up, close and personal and it does not drive me as oddly (up the wall fast) as it used to because it is so much easier to live when you appreciate that people are simply a result of the choices they have and are still making, throw in handful of the experiences they have been through and how much they allowed themselves to be torn up or thrust up, accompany that with the lifestyle they presently choose and you have yourself a meal, oops a package/profile of that individual. Now, admittedly,  it has not been very palatable but it just helps in being able to process very fast and still choose to be nice without loosing your cool and reverting back to that inherent vicious brute that is somewhere hidden inside. For me; up, close and personal is certainly not the best of options for me (no thanks to myoclonus) but I have also seen that you are forced to make instant decisions on whether being a Christian is a garment that can easily be tossed aside when the gloves come off or that it is a lifestyle that inevitably calls for some sacrifices that are so difficult to make. Closed quarters just like adversity brings out the real you.
Our lives are more than a reflection of our physical semblance in a mirror, they are the instruments for living out a tale that will motivate others to move up to higher and more stable grounds…or not! We are all on this journey called life and no matter how reclusive you are, you will always encounter someone else and the moments you spend with that person might be all you may ever have, so what deters us from making those moments count. I have been bitter, resentful, unforgiving etc and so I can recognize them when I see them but I choose to learn from my own playbook (God’s manual) and not get into the trenches with those negative emotions because that right there is a leap backwards, a plunge into mucky waters…when we ought instead to be moving forwards and heading upwards. That is actually where the best is! Learn from the mistakes of history so that we do not repeat them, the history has been done however the future is still to be. We choose either to dwell continually in the past or make today count towards a better tomorrow, however the resource called time is not ours to fiddle with.
I have stopped trying to see a reflection of myself from the put together pieces of a broken mirror because it is just futility to the letter, instead focusing more on what I have learned from past reflection, I am moving on with as much spring as my knees and back can take, my cane is quite handy too. With a jaunty whistle to the tune in my heart, I move on because it is not so much as the reward that awaits me in due season, it is also about not growing weary and fainting – now therein lies the question that only me/you can answer. Where does my/your strength lie? And my response is still unchanged, my eyes are lifted up to the hills where His inexhaustible reserves of strength lies awaiting. For this new year, where do you choose to draw strength from because we both assuredly know that we cannot do it all by ourselves by any means. The harder we try, the less we have of ourselves to give but give we must so there had better be something good to give otherwise we will be so minimized; with all the negative emotions already overwhelming society, that our lives will count for nothing and to me that is the most pitiable thing that can ever happen to an individual.
Remember that there is just one of you amongst the billions in the world, make that count by aspiring to be the best you can be, there really is no competition save for walking in accordance with the purpose of Your Creator. Let go of striving to see ourselves in the warped reflection of broken mirrors, adjudging yourself by the expectations of people and just be YOU! Even when you think you have failed, get back up and begin again, you are in no competition with another you. My prayers are that this year will not just be the best year we have lived but that we will each plug into the life cord that flows from God and together live such a life that the world would be saddened to see us go.
מאי להאירובנעימות עליך עד שנפגש שוב .

Unleavened Freshness….


The freshness of YOU!

“Your perspective and confession in the face of events determines whether you are overcome or you overcome. Let your desire to succeed supersede your pain” – Doug Stringer

There is the freshness that comes with every waking breath and to me, I usually take that brief moment to thoroughly be thankful for the breath that I have, and right now I want to sincerely appreciate the hundreds that make the choice to stop by once in a moment and just listen to me. Now it goes without saying that I am just an ordinary chap like anyone of you but the difference is that I am making choices that continually remind me of the fact that regardless of what happens to me, who I am is a result of the choice I make in the moment.

The last few days have been something of a prelude to my theme – “I am having the best days of my life!” That is a choice I make and when I am grappling with the incomprehensible challenges of myoclonus, moments that can not be shared because pain can only be borne however just having a listening ear makes the burden just a mite lighter. Pain always and will always precede gain. The question is the wait – how long will it be? How much can I still bear but to as many that tussle with this familiar scenario, I have just these few words to say – focus not on the pain of the moment but choose to luxuriate in the inevitability of the truth; your pain is birthing your gain.

I was in the company of an exceptionally unique individual who has made a choice that governs his every day activities – Doug Stringer and every second I spent in his company was so inspiring that I said the least I could do was acknowledge and thank him for letting go of his own teeny-weeny priorities, so that God would rearrange and set them aright – blazing trails everywhere he goes. On the other hand, for many who like Scott, were raised up to believe that religion is not a pre-requisite for success – I say what a profound truth that is, because religion is a wagon whose wheels are so bogged down in the mire of tradition and resistant change. I say that there can be no success without identifying your purpose here and there can be no identifying that purpose without acknowledging He for whose purpose we all have been made. There is no room for religion here because religion has not played any role in who I have become, neither has it given me any panacea for my travails. What has been an unending succor despite all the pain, tears, depression that comes with myoclonus, has been an unflinching acceptance of a love so profound that even when I was weighed down and left for dead, that love lifted me and still does till today.

I share my story from the perspective of one who has been cast out, forsaken and buffeted – yet today, I can (have chosen to) freely give because I have freely received. My life is not measured by the wealth accrued, disbursed and whatever but by the beauty of every encounter I am blessed to have with people from my past, present and now.  In response to a question asked by Annette from Global Branding, my definition of success is the number of lives that you can assist in becoming who they are meant to be. In the last few months, I have given cognizance to the recognition that comes, not from desperately sought fame but the contentment that comes with understanding that we each have a purpose and that purpose is incomplete without touching a life here or there. Putting a smile here or there. Helping others realize that you are all you have got and once that truth sinks in, then let life chuck it all at you including the kitchen sink, you already know that there is a victor within you. Life comprises of moments and every moment is influenced by the choices you make because private decisions have public consequences, so my simple message to you is MAKE EVERY CHOICE COUNT FOR SOMETHING! Do it now, beginning with the simplest activities in your every day life – make someone else happy and glad he met you and you are certainly on the right track.

I have touched a freshness that cannot be tainted by the staleness of the negativity that so easily swirls round today’s world and that freshness sets me aglow each day because I know that my life shall be lived irrespective of the number of days but by the experiences I have had and will have – that is what makes you who you are. Do you choose to be transformed by the events that arise in your life or do you choose to transform those events into legacies that others will learn from? I truly have no regrets, sweating over the past mistakes and hurts took me nowhere. Rising above them and making them count for something positive is something so amazing that nothing can change it. Reach down inside you and realize that there is greatness resident within you, dare to touch that greatness and allow God use it to make your days count – there will be no regrets, I can guarantee you. Living for the applause of others is the most unworthy cause you can set for yourself, instead set your priorities right – God First, Others Second and bask in the exhilaration of such a worthy cause.

To those who are committed to being a stain and not a sparkle, make a decision now – the world is big enough for everyone and no matter how hard you may rehearse for a role, if it is not yours, you will always be a very horrible stand-in. Be you because there is just one you and allow the freshness of you permeate the lives of those who encounter you.

Remember “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” – Charles M. Schwab

עד שנפגש שוב בזמן שלו, לא דגל לבן הוא אי פעם הולך לתלות מהמשקוף שלי