I am good for me

I am a masterpiece
There is indeed no one like me
My DNA is proof

Sometimes I am tempted to fit in
To think, To dress, To live like you
But it is okay to sit out
If that is not who I am

I have got to keep checking my ways
Lest I find others have crept in
Lest I discover I have lost sight
of who I am

I am me
I am happy being me
I am good for me

BJT 2013

You can do this!

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Challenges reveal our strength. No matter how difficult the situation gets, always remember you can handle it and come our better, wiser and stronger. Your experience will help someone else coming behind you. Don’t give up because someone else’s survival is based on you winning your own battles.

Thank you!

Saying thank you can be a difficult thing to do. Doing so means admitting that you are in another’s debt. I am admitting that another individual did something for me. I am not all powerful, I need the help of others to survive. The reality is that the human race is interdependent. We cannot live life alone. We are constantly relying on each other for all kinds of resources, both physical and emotional. When I say thank you I am acknowledging that I have received something from another human being.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/family/thank-you-poems.asp

We all have a story, what’s yours?

I recently came across Ryan’s story. The story came about from Ryan’s desire to solve the world’s water problem. What started as a wish by a Grade One pupil in 1998 has grown into a Foundation that has played an immense part in solving the challenge of clean water in some parts of the world.

Ryan currently speaks around the world on the importance of making a difference no matter who you are or how old you are. He believes each of us has to find something we are passionate about and take the required steps to make a difference.

There are so many people in the world today who have found what they are passionate about and have made an impact in many lives. I would like to highlight three examples below:

Malala Yousafzai

16-year-old girl who at the age of 11, spoke out for the right of girls to an education. She escaped a near assassination by the Taliban and has been featured by the Times as 1 on the 100 most influential people in the world.

Nelson Mandela
Fought apartheid in South Africa, he was imprisoned for 27 years and instrumental in ending Apartheid. He became the first black president in South Africa and has inspired the world.

Nick Vujicic
He was born without arms and legs. He dealt with his depression and loneliness.
He is an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. Nick says, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!” He is now a proud dad! He advocates the need to ‘live above your circumstance!

These analogies demonstrate age, colour, limitations can be overcome and we can make an impact no matter the obstacles.

What’s your story now and what will your story be with the passage of time?

Below are ten concepts to make your story noteworthy

 Find your life purpose and run with it
 Understand life is not a bed of roses
 Increase your strength
 Remember there is always an end
 You are not a victim but a victor
 Think of your reward
 You need people in your life
 Don’t dwell on your past
 Take time out to meditate and pray (for those with a ‘Faith’)
 You are not alone (others have walked this path)

As you progress in this journey, sometimes you would encounter setbacks, disappointment, frustrations but the key is to keep going and not give up!

The power to choose

I meet people every-day who no matter how good they have it, seem to find some gloom. I also meet people who have the odds stacked against them, but face each day with a smile, a spring in their step and a pocketful of hope.

It’s true that some challenges seem daunting especially when they become your every-day.

I’m not talking about a looming exam or a project in renovating your home, the trial of moving halfway across the country or finding a new job. Those things come to you and pass soon enough.

I’m talking about situations that redefine your life.

Becoming a widow, a single mother, an amputee, raising a child with cerebral palsy, a figure altering operation like a mastectomy and scars that you wake up to every morning. I’m talking about life events that have the potential of destroying any vision of the future.

You wake up to a whole new world and there’s no easy escape route. It’s your new reality, dished out by unpredictable circumstances for you to now live out every-day. I know what it’s like because I too have watched my picture perfect world spiral into utter chaos, leaving me in a state of catatonic despair.

One of the critical lessons I’ve learnt is that a trial is a trial – whether it looks trivial to people on the outside or intense. The weight of the situation is not determined by a universal scale, but by the person or people in the situation. So whether your situation is terrible or not too bad – you decide. But if you feel like I felt, that your situation is hopeless; read on.

Life as always, is about the choices you make. Again, I challenge you to choose to live and not die.

I’m not even talking about suicide here. I’m talking about the death of visions, dreams, hopes, ideas, projects, enterprises that once burned inside of you. I’m talking about the death of a soul, long before the body is in the grave. I’m asking you to fan the embers and spark up your life again.

Today, I invite you to choose life. Choose that no matter the circumstance, your knees will not buckle but rather, you will choose to steady the ship of your life. The tides may have come strong against you but you still hold the rudder – and that is the power to choose.

“Choose, you say?”

Do I hear?

“I didn’t choose this life, this family, this disease!”

Hold that thought while I’ll share a quote by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. He endured and survived the most inhumane conditions in several concentration camps including Auschwitz.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

You will never have it all or have complete control over all that happens to you. So get over it and accept it as a fact.

I urge you today though to take an inventory of your life.

After I seemed to have lost it all, I sat down and began to write down what I had left. I had my faith, air in my lungs, my daughter, an amazing family, wonderful friends, a job and slowly but surely, the sun began to rise from the horizon, giving me hope and a beautiful view of my future, one day at a time.

I urge you to do the same. Even if your list ends at one thing and nothing more – there are days I have felt and still sometimes feel that way; know for sure that that one thing is enough for now.

Choose to be thankful. Choose to maximize whatever you have. Choose to be positive, hopeful and full of life, because in spite of the ‘over-a-zillion things’ you cannot control; these, you can.

 by Trujoi

Anchor Deep (Part 2)

Setbacks, tragedies, crisis, challenges, battles, storms of life…whatever you prefer to call them, are unfortunately, a part of this life.

While I certainly wish you joy, peace, happiness and above all, the heart to dance through life; I cannot promise that there won’t be days when it will rain.

What I hope to offer though, by sharing the keys that got me through my personal hurricane is the truth that you can make it through anything; so that after it passes (and it will), you’d be stronger.

Three months before my second wedding anniversary, when my daughter was barely ten weeks old, I faced the most painful and most difficult crisis of my life. As a physician, I had learnt to handle breaking bad news to others and comforting friends and families who had lost loved ones almost on a daily basis. I had even survived the personal loss of my father a few years before, but nothing prepared me for this.

As I look back on that time of my life and ask myself how I made it through; of the long list of things I could write or say, these remaining four points (see ‘Anchor Deep, part 1’ for first four points) below for me are the most important.

 

  1. Refuse to be bitter

This is somewhat tied into forgiveness. Bitterness has been likened to cancer – a ravenous evil that eats up everything good till it kills. In actual pathology, a cancerous cell is one that has lost the natural process of stopping – kind of like when you stop growing. Imagine if you continued to grow taller when others stopped. You’d be too tall, too high above everyone else to share a joke, see a smile, shake a hand or give or get a hug! You’d be lost! A cancer cell doesn’t stop, it just continues to grow and grow until it uses up all the resources that were meant to be used by normal cells and invades normal tissue, destroying it. It is ugly. And that is what bitterness is. Bitterness is like wearing sunglasses. Everything looks darker. If you are struggling with bitterness, don’t give up. It’s very common to do so especially when you’ve been deeply hurt. Find help. Talk to a counselor, a trusted friend, a mentor. Find a way out. You’d be finding healing and life.

  1. Lean on family and friends

I cannot overrate the refreshing zest you can get from laughing with, crying on the shoulder of and walking through life with good friends and family. While I must confess I was especially blessed with a strong, relentlessly loving family and a circle of amazingly true friends, I know some people aren’t. I am no Dr. Phil, but I know a good way to start is by being a good friend yourself. Listen, hold, offer yourself – a smile, your time, share your possessions with a friend in need. Join a group – if you are religious, you can find a group at your local place of worship, join a professional group, support groups online or in your community. Point is you can find support – you just need to start looking. And if there is none, maybe think of starting one! You’d be surprised how many people will join you. Some things are universal, like love and family.

  1. Love yourself

Sister, sister! Please love yourself. Do not be vain. But never take yourself for granted. Be kind to yourself, be patient, treat yourself with respect. No matter what you’ve done, how you’ve been treated or what has happened to you, you are a priceless treasure, a gift to this world. You are you! So treat yourself nice. The first step in loving yourself is to forgive then treasure yourself body, spirit and soul. Get a manicure, massage, facial – pamper yourself! Don’t wait for someone else to. You can’t expect someone else to love you till you do! Read a book, if you don’t have a lot of time, read a refreshing article in a magazine or online. Feed your soul! Regularly too. Listen to music; invest in programs that build you up mentally, spiritually, professionally, socially, in every way. Loving yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Think about it, it’s that greatest gift you want!

  1. Live!

My heart breaks for people who end up chronically depressed and even more for people who commit suicide. I don’t think less of them. I just hurt and wish they found, what I found. That is, the truth that you can live…..again. And when I say live, I mean with a fullness and richness you never knew before. Without bitterness and with the healing of forgiveness.

 There were times in my pain; I thought I died over and over again. But I survived, and so would you. You have to choose to, though. Choose to live. You may not know how. That’s why you need to first decide to. When you do, you’d start looking for how. And then you can start at the stop of the list by finding an anchor. You’d be alive by the time you make it back down the list.

 As I close, I leave you with a truly, truly beautiful piece. May it warm your soul.

 

My dear,

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

 

I realized, through it all, that…

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,

Albert Camus

 

 You can live again, anchor deep, life isn’t a bed of rose, thriving in spite of my pain, free through forgiveness.

 

by Trujoi

 

Anchor Deep (Part 1)

Setbacks, tragedies, crisis, challenges, battles, storms of life…whatever you prefer to call them, are unfortunately, a part of this life.

While I certainly wish you joy, peace, happiness and above all, the heart to dance through life; I cannot promise that there won’t be days when it will rain.

What I hope to offer though, by sharing the keys that got me through my personal hurricane is the truth that you can make it through anything; so that after it passes (and it will), you’d be stronger.

Three months before my second wedding anniversary, when my daughter was barely ten weeks old, I faced the most painful and most difficult crisis of my life. As a physician, I had learnt to handle breaking bad news to others and comforting friends and families who had lost loved ones almost on a daily basis. I had even survived the personal loss of my father a few years before, but nothing prepared me for this.

As I look back on that time of my life and ask myself how I made it through; of the long list of things I could write or say, these eight points below for me are the most important.

  1. Anchor deep

I read a book once that engraved this truth on my heart. We all need an anchor. Roots that go deep, that keep you grounded. The author described asking sailors the secret of making it through a storm. Their response had been – “Anchor deep.”

 I don’t know what your anchor is, but I know mine and when my storm came, it held.

You need a timeless truth that when all fails will remind you, when you are alone, will remind you, when facing another sunrise seems impossible, will remind you; that you are not alone and you are strong enough to make it through. So find your anchor, but remember; it must be rock solid, true and timeless, strong enough to hold. I found mine.

  1. Allow yourself to grieve

Everybody loves a comeback! Everyone loves a success story. I do and I’m sure you do too.

In the midst of our struggles, we may feel pressured to ‘get it together,’ act like nothing happened, and keep moving. We may feel forced to deny our pain and agony and just –“Get back in the game.”

Remember, healing is a process and any surgeon will tell you every scar heals differently, over a different period of time.

People may down play your pain by telling you how the same thing happened to someone else and how they ‘bounced back’ after a day or two and leave you feeling guilty that you just can’t ‘bounce back’. Note that no two strikingly similar situations are ever truly the same, and that person it happened to, was not you. It helps to know that someone else survived and that you will; but you must also allow yourself to grieve and heal.

Cry if you have to; take time off work, school or whatever intense responsibilities you have if you need to. (Some personalities do better by keeping busy, some need a break. Bottom-line – Know thyself. Don’t try to be someone else. You’ll heal faster that way.) Find a healthy outlet for your pain – listening to music, watching a comedy, taking a walk in the park, write in a journal. Try not to do anything wild and daring because you are vulnerable and can end up complicating the situation by doing something you’d regret later.

The Kübler-Ross model describes five stages of grief. These stages are not necessarily chronological and not every grieving person passes through all stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You can look this up but I want you to know that if you identify yourself in any of these stages, do not feel guilty. What I want you to do though, is be determined to move beyond self-pity into the place of acceptance, where you understand what you can fix about the situation (and fix it)and what you can’t; and find that peace, that that’s ok.

 3.    Forgive yourself, forgive others

Oh, the anger and rage that can come from painful situations! While I hate clichés, I must agree with the one that states that the person you truly free when you forgive is yourself. It heals. There is a ‘lightness’ in knowing that you are not perfect and a wisdom in accepting the imperfections of others. You must find the strength to admit your role in the situation including your mistakes and understand that no failure, weakness or ‘foolishness’ can define you if you choose to learn and grow. Try not to make excuses for yourself or avoid facing the truth. If you blew it, its fine this time, and the next; unless you don’t care enough to evaluate the situation so it’s not happening again and again.

After you have forgiven yourself and positioned yourself to avoid the same mistake, forgive others. And keep forgiving. When you are hurting, more wounds can come from well-meaning friends who try to wish you well but end up saying or doing insensitive things, and some people actually set out to hurt you more. Whatever the offence, forgiveness transcends it. And proves you are stronger. So please, forgive.

  1. Find the strength to accept and move beyond

I hope you accept the things you cannot change but more than that, I hope you can find the strength to move beyond acceptance. After you’re done crying and replaying the events and struggling with how you could have avoided or fixed the situation, paint a picture. Yeah, paint a picture. In your mind. Paint a picture of you being well, alright, fine and thriving; in spite of your loss. Paint a picture of your future. Do not stumble forward. Your setback has caused a change in direction and if it came unexpectedly, even more so. You need to pick up your brush and retouch your portrait. Moving beyond may mean a new career, learning something new for instance, an amputee has to learn to reuse her limbs, redirecting your talents and gifts –  for instance if you lost a child, you may find moving beyond to mean being an advocate for child safety. Whatever you do, don’t be pressured. Let it come naturally; let it be what you want to do. But do it. Move beyond.

By: Trujoi