I develop through my connections, I need them to centre me. They all push in different directions but towards the centre where they balance to hold me up. Like a tripod but with more legs. When one of these legs shift, it leaves my world limping, imbalanced and struggling to stay upright.
I listened to a lady talking about a journey her sister had fighting with cancer. She spoke of their relationship, theirs had been one of love, jealousy, friendship, sisterhood and more, a relationship typical of siblings. Overtime it had become clouded and the truth of emotions, thoughts and opinions had been lost between them. This lady explained how during the course of her sister’s treatment it came to light that she would need a bone marrow transplant. The lady was a match for her sister. and would donate. One of the potential side effects following the procedure could be a rejection of the lady’s bone marrow by her sister’s system. So she suggested and they agreed on therapy in order to air their differences and be ‘soul clean’ before they made the transplant. The power of belief that clean “blood” between them would bring good energy to the surgery giving her sister a better chance of taking to the transplant… It worked.
From this narrative, the timing of their transparency with one another was highlighted. It took a major life event for them to seek a path of reparation. This lady spoke of layers that we adopt as humans as we evolve through life to a point where we no longer truly express ourselves to one another, our important loved ones. How we no longer seek to offer truth and hear it back allowing for understanding, trust, better connections and a way forward in our relationships. In some cases, over time our relationships with those we love can become strained, and infected by gradual issues that we may be blind to or choose not to respond to. The more these seep in the less we are willing to engage and resolve them and the more these connections are damaged, the more we feel out of balance. The legs that hold us up start to crumble underneath us.
At times it is painful to address difficult aspects in relationships, but the pain, like delivering a child allows you to birth new life to your relationships. As opposed to the ladies who had to address her relationship due to circumstance, how much more improved might our connections be if we opened up to others truthfully and also sought the truth from them? How much sweeter our relationships might if this is an avenue we become willing to explore especially where we have the time.
We often recite the old age adage of how life is too short, but what does that mean if not for investing in our people. Beyond the lives we build for ourselves, our connections ultimately infuse our soul, is attention too high a price?
There’s something about growing older that starts to focus your perspectives, choices, desires. You become more aware and more secure of yourself and what you want. But my problem had been that some of the people and relationships I had along the way didn’t fit in my life quite the way they used to anymore, && others had chosen paths that I didn’t fit into either. I found myself stuck between who I was for the sake of preserving history and who I’m becoming. Stifled in growth and lost.
Today however enlightened my view when I came across a post saying “take what you can get (what people are willing to give) and forgive the rest”. I took this to mean we are all our own people and sometimes we impose obligation on each other. Yet I shouldn’t expect someone to feel obligated to accommodate me; my desires, my choices, to an extent that they stifle themselves and in turn they shouldn’t expect me to either. Of course there are some do or die instances BUT as life evolves so do relationships. Some grow stronger some fade out and some simply change in their nature. Accepting this I’m now able to allow myself permission to my own choices and trust that everything else will fall into place knowing that I’ll fit in exactly where I should, where I belong importantly where MY choices take me.
This seemingly simple realisation has been conceptualised in so many ways in my head, to the point of confusion; up until this point it had me reeling, yet the simple solution is to let life be. Grow and allow new chapters into your life. As much as I was anxious about my relationships so are others about their own. So simply: enjoy what others have to offer and give only what you can, free yourself from obligation and be open to possibilities. Let life be what it will be…
I remember one day when I was young maybe 5 or 6. I wanted to be ambidextrous and my sekuru (grandfather in the Shona language) was teaching me to write with my left hand. After a while as often happened, the lesson evolved and it turned into a handwriting session instead. I remember we were sat outside in the sun at an old desk and kitchen chairs. He said something in passing which in the past week I have taken on as a valuable lesson. He told me “you must always dot your ‘i’ and cross your ‘t’.
At the time this didn’t resonate much with me. I didn’t quite get the importance of what he was saying. Now I understand it to have been a simple but vital lesson in attention to detail, commitment and purposefulness. “How?” you might ask, well…
1. to dot your ‘i’ is almost unnecessary because almost always the implication of the full letter is there. However without the dot, the letter is incomplete, a short cut. Your sentence will always make sense but it’s not quite right… Lacking full execution, cutting corners which may not seem important in writing but who is to say it’s not a habit that will grace everything else you do?
2. Again dotting your ‘i’ or taking the time to cross your ‘t’. That’s a purposefulness where you are taking note of the finer details, taking pride in producing wholesome work. A lesson in meticulous execution. The attention to detail that you must have when proofing your work to see where the ‘i’ is not dotted and the ‘t’ is not crossed. Imagine how useful that practice of self analysis can have either in life, in the job you have now, the exams you write etc. Usually, it’s the small mistakes that can take away focus from the credibility of your work or the value of a presentation.
I often think that its in small everyday actions that habits are founded. Therefore being purposeful, thorough and paying attention to detail can have an impact on all you do. How you appear, how you interact, and many other facets of life. Even biblically “it’s the small foxes that spoil the vine”. So weeding out imperfections can go a long way to bettering your general conduct. All these qualities potentially developed from a simple habit in one area of your life that can become an influence in how you operate.
Now… *Stop Sign* slow down before you go back dotting and crossing every work you ever produced. This is simply an interpretation of spoken words and me taking a deeper meaning from them. I often find lessons in nothing sometimes, but maybe with this one, I may be onto something? Thoughts?
1. No, it’s not gossip, when I speak about my life it’s told to those who will respect it. It happened to me. It made me feel. It changed me. It’s real, it means more.
2. Yes, I have always been independent. Yes, I can be alone. I am comfortable in my silence, in my own company.
3. No, I haven’t been as spiritual as I would have liked to be. My relationship with God needs work. I am grateful for all he continues to do in my life.
4. Yes, I am happy career wise. I feel I am in the place I should be right now.
5. No, I no dont harbour regret or hurt over life as it’s happened thus far. I reflect and learn and continue to grow.
6. Yes, I value my family and friends more. They are the extentions of me that help me take in more of life.
7. No, I haven’t done as well as I would have hoped with my finances (that now leaves room for improvement).
8. Yes, I have accepted who I am at present, I embrace all of me and positively work on the pieces of me that could be polished.
9. No, I still haven’t rejoined the gym.
10. Yes, I am open and happy to love. Happy to learn. Happy to feel. Happy to grow. I’m ready.
Thinking about a movie I found hilarious as a child ‘Dinner for one’. A movie about a 90 year old cebrating her birthday. She had a dinner table set for herself and friends, sadly they had all passed. That is how she found herself eating alone with only her butler who was waiting on her for company.
This got me thinking, a lot of the time people are afraid to do things unless they have someone else with them. But think of all the great opportunities you could miss.
Most people consider the point that it may be perceived as sad or friendless to try things alone. But is it not courage, could we not look at it as independence and strength?
Personally I used to not want to be seen to do things alone because of the message it might send. But now with or without anyone, I simply live.
(Life happens while you’re busy planning)
In support of the post titled Unplugging by HartHelps, I decided to write my own. The author struck close to my heart with this topic.
With our lives revolving more and more around technology and becoming reliant on it. I find myself wishing at times that we could slow down. While phones, computers etc have made it possible to stay connected. I personally find myself frustrated when emails/texts/notifications endlessly flood my screen. I don’t hate communication but I also need down time; to think, meditate or simply read a book, be quiet and recoup.
Being an extroverted introvert I can function socially, but, more often than not I need time to be alone. I’m often told off for not having my phone or being unavailable. However, it is just a matter of preference that I not always be slave to my gadgets. Now, I make it a habit to have a no phone day at least once a week; its necessary to unplug.
We must not hold each other hostage to the obligation of round the clock communication (if only for the reason we’ll fast run out of things to talk about… think about it ;).
Following two interesting catch up conversations with a couple of my girlfriends, I now fully stand by my opinion that the African man is boldly forward in his approach to courting than any other man I have yet encountered.
As an African woman, I have always preferred a man to pursue me, to make it explicit that he is interested AND to follow through and act on it. If you have ever been to Africa and encountered the mosquito; a brave, risk taking, perseverrant and determined insect which despite likely swatting in its attempt to bite humans, remains tenacious in its pursuit. The same determination has been what I have always been used to in my men. They relentlessly make it known they are interested even to the point of almost removing your option to decline their advances (a weirdly flattering stage just before harassment). You may play hard to get, in some cases genuinely not be interested but they are determined and confident to the extent that you start doubting your choice to decline their advances. You start questioning whether there is something more to him that you are missing and if luck has him, he’ll charm you… #Win!
Now my experience and observations suggests men are wary of women, or is it rejection they are avoiding? I understand times-a-changing and society is accepting of either sex dominantly making their interest known (if repeating Sex & The City Episodes over & over taught me nothing else, it was this!) but call me traditional; I love the feeling of the hunt, the chase and the desire of courting.
Is it a cultural difference African compared to western, or just a generational thing that courting is now open for grabs? It’s almost disappointing that romance and courting is a scarce practice, almost a thing of the past. In its stead, Internet romance, Netflix and chill, situationships and more. Is it just me who misses the old ways of dating? Is dating a thing of the past? When it comes to dating- Are we evolving past courtship?