Personal Development

man in gray shirt looking at city buildings

CORRECTION IS HUMBLING

I wasn’t ready to lose my mother when she died in 2020. I was 28 years old; still figuring things out, finding my feet, unbeknownst to her; hiding and finding comfort in her bosom. Even at the age of 28-years old, I was very much a child. Today at 30, in many respects, I still am.

God knew I was not ready to lose my mother. He knew and still knows that I needed correction, discipline, and sometimes those things only come through tragedy. God had other plans. He thrust me into this place where I find myself today, being shaped and molded and, at times, scolded by other strong women.

I’ve realised I took advantage of the role my mother had in my life. I fought her a lot; especially as I grew older. I was hardly ever willing to learn from her because as we know, young children and young adults ‘know everything’. A wall was built between us which, until the day she died, could not be penetrated. I think I will always live with that regret.

So here I am now; finding myself in a place where I am being humbled through correction. Internally and externally. It’s a convicting feeling.

It’s painful to be honest. It forces you to break out of the mould you created for yourself with all the things you thought you knew. It brings you face-to-face with yourself and that is not necessarily a comfortable experience. In fact, it can be downright excruciating and frustrating. At times you find yourself biting your lip and digging in your nails, just so that you don’t scream out in agony.

No one wants to be told when they’re doing something wrong but we don’t always see that correction, if done right, is almost always done in love.

Help and correction won’t always come freely though. The hard part comes when you have to ask for it. When you have to admit that you need help, that’s when the walls really start to come down.

I have been battling with my season of correction; it’s been extremely frustrating at times. Other days, I take it on the chin, I humble myself and say thank you, I needed that. Other days, I roll my eyes and think to myself, ‘I already knew that’

Not only have I been receiving correction from people around me, God has also been working in me and with me. Reminding me when to hold my tongue, helping me to keep a lid on my complaints, opening my eyes to see people the way He sees them, teaching me to be patient, helping me understand that my journey is not that of my husband’s or my colleagues or anyone in my inner circle.

When I think about correction or being shown the error of your ways, I think of it in terms of when you know better, you do better. You change when you are corrected, you can decide to become better or refuse the change and stay the same. Its all about your attitude when you are in the process of receiving correction; you can stand back and roll your eyes and stay in your ‘I know this already’ mindset or you can pay attention, take notes and humble yourself to those who are trying to show you a better way or different way.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT CORRECTION

pink pencil on open bible page and pink
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Here are a few verses from the Bible that speak on correction. There are many more but these are the ones that stood out for me.

Hebrews 12:11

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 12: 1

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Proverbs 15:32

Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Hebrews 12:10-11

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

You might not see it now but when you look back in a couple of months or years; you’ll notice that you have better habits, you do things in a different way than before. You do better because you know better. It’s hard to see the finish line when you’re still in the early stages of the race but you need to know, the finish line is there.

That’s where I find myself now in life; being corrected, almost on a daily basis and its hard but I know sooner or later I will appreciate the correction. I will appreciate the molding and shaping because it has made me a better person.

I started this post of by speaking about my mother. Reason being that I wish I had been more open to my mother’s correction. I wish I had listened to her more, asked her more questions because now I realise I need her more than I ever thought I would. Now that I’m in this place of becoming, I need my mother and I need her to reassure me or guide me when I make a decision. I need her to make me laugh when I’m feeling frustrated or show me her feisty and fierce character when I feel uncertain. I needed her then and I need her now.

WHEN YOU’RE THE ONE DOING THE CORRECTING

two people sitting on pallet on beach and talking
Photo by Anna Shevchuk on Pexels.com

Sometimes you will find yourself doing the correcting and I’d like you to think about the following when you’re in that position:

  1. Correction come with patience just as learning comes with patience.
  2. Correcting someone can’t be done with aggression. Not everyone responds well to being spoken down to; in fact I don’t think anyone does.
  3. Correction can’t be done with arrogance; you as the person trying to teach another are also still learning in the process.

body of water at daytime

THESE HARD DAYS WON’T LAST

These hard, tiring and busy days won’t last.

Some day you will look back and know that all the hard work and time spent was worth it.

You won’t always feel tired.

You won’t always have questions because you’ll understand that the answers don’t really matter.

The time you thought you lost will be caught up in memories and nostalgic laughter.

You will look back and know that you were never alone; not in your darkest valley or even atop your highest and brightest peaks.

Your sighs will turn into songs, your sorrows into shouts of joy.

Your frustrations will turn into feelings of freedom and your exhaustion will disappear behind the excitement.

It will all be worth it.

You might not see it now but you will.

The tides are turning and the winds are changing.

30 things before 30

30 THINGS I LEARNED BEFORE 30

This month I celebrate my 30th birthday. The last 30 years seem to have gone by in a blur but there were some hard and necessary lessons learned. As I enter my 30s, allow me to share 30 things (out of the thousands) I’ve learned before turning 30-years-old. My 20’s were for learning. My 30s will be for putting what I’ve learned into practice.

1.Everything is a blessing from God if you choose to see it that way and if you can’t see it as a blessing, see it as a lesson.

Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

2. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and frustration if you choose not to focus on what others think of you.

3. Time with family is more precious than money.

4. Its not just okay to live as your authentic self, its absolutely necessary.

5. Gratitude opens up the door to opportunities.

6. Comparison is just another form of ignorance.

7. Grief never goes away. You simply learn to live with it.

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

8. Patience, persistence, preparation and prayer, these things will get through hard times.

9. Rest when you need to. You are no good to anyone when you are operating on fumes.

10. Inspiration is not something to be found. It’s something to be created.

11. To get through anything, you’ll need patience. You’ll find yourself waiting a lot. Waiting in queues, waiting for transport, waiting on people, waiting for signs and miracles. Work while you wait. (I wrote this part while waiting in a queue at a clothing store)

12. Always have a book with you. Whether its a reading book or a note book. You’ll either read something worth remembering or write something worth sharing.

cup with plate and book with notebook on table
Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com

13. No one will and no one should believe in your art more than you.

14. Prayer will guide you and conviction will save you.

15. You need to have honest conversations with yourself about who you are and who you want to be. You need to dig deep into your heart and that will hurt sometimes because you won’t always like what you find.

16. Marriage and love are beautiful thing things. Despite the fact that many people will make you think love is painful or marriage is pointless, once you find it and experience it at its purest essence, you’ll understand the beauty of it.

marriage, sacrifice, love
My husband and I on our wedding day.

17. You children will never do what you say. They will do what you do. Make sure you do the right thing.

18. The world is full of bad things but there are even more beautiful things to be discovered.

19. Set goals for yourself, have a plan. Do not go through life rudderless.

20. Take care of your finances. Be smart about your savings and where and how you spend your money.

21. Mind your business but make it your business to care for others.

22. Read and study your bible. You’ll find all the answers you need.

23. It’s okay to ask for help. It does not mean you are weak.

24. Your mind can become a battlefield, you need to protect it at all costs.

photo of man sitting on a cave
Photo by M Venter on Pexels.com

25. Be grateful for the hard times. Grapes are pressed and crushed to create wine.

26. Change is scary but sometimes it takes a big change to move you into action.

27. Being kind doesn’t have to be a production. Sometimes its a sincere word, a hug or just a smile.

28. Not everyone is out to hurt you. Some people simply want to get to know you and love you. It’s okay to trust people.

29. Don’t make social media your life. Make time to live in the real world.

30. Love sincerely and wholeheartedly and never regret giving someone your heart, even when they break it.

“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie

composing, woman, fantasy

THE STRENGTH OF A WOMAN

MEETING THE MATRIARCH

This past December, my family and I took a road trip to East London in the Eastern Cape. I met my husband’s grandmother, and now my grandmother.

In the ten days I lived in her home, I saw and experienced raw strength.

She is the matriarch and a true one at that. Mama is my husband’s 81-year-old paternal grandmother. She is also as fierce and feisty as they come. For you to understand my admiration for Mama, you need to understand a bit of her life and her history.

Mama, as she is so affectionately known, lost both her husband and only daughter of five children, who was also the youngest sibling, within the space of 6 months more than 15 years ago. She ended up having to take care of her late daughter’s son, who was two years old at the time. He is now a well raised young man.

Through conversations I had with Mama during our stay at her home in Buffalo Flats, I was in awe of how she relayed stories of when her husband, Dada, died and then how she lost her daughter only six months later. When I listened to her speak, I could hear pain, sadness, loss but also acceptance. She made me realize that acceptance like that only comes from a very deep-rooted strength.

I also realized that she didn’t have a choice but to be strong. She took on the responsibility of raising her grandson like he was her own. I cannot fathom the sheer determination and willpower it had to take for her to get out of bed every morning and be there for her grandson, the rest of her children as well as other family members.

Mama, strength, children, great-grandchildren
The first day we arrived, Mama showed her new great-grandchildren some photos.

SHAPED BY EXPERIENCE

I watched her as she sat on her red lumpy but very comfortable sofa in her home, hunched over with all the experiences from her past trying to weigh her down but she gets up every day, determined to live her life and do her daily chores.

It was at one of these moments when it hit me; she wasn’t sitting on a couch but a throne.

Mama also very much reminded me of my mother who died in 2020. Both women have seen and have been through some of the worst pain you can imagine, both refusing to be dictated to by bad and negative circumstances and both set in their daily way of life.

During the time I spent with Mama, I learned that yes, we are shaped by our experiences but we can choose how to live out those experiences. We choose how to live, we choose whether we give up or go on. We choose to forgive.

Mama, strength
Mama, my husband and out two children.

ACCEPTANCE

There was a point where Mama said to me that she didn’t know if she could ever accept or get through what had happened to her but God had gotten her through it and she did manage to accept her fate.

She could have chosen to be angry and to turn away from God, which I’m sure there were many of those moments when those bad feelings overwhelmed her. She could have chosen to become a lifeless vessel of her former self but I can assure you, that woman still has a lot of life left in her.

Her relationship with God is so secure and I truly believe that that is her source of strength. Every morning she wakes up and reads devotionals and her Bible. I’ve decided to put that in practice as well.

LIVING WITH INTENTION

Every time Mama would tell a story and explain the difficult parts, she would say, “but it doesn’t really matter

For me, that didn’t mean she gave up or lost hope or didn’t accept things. For me it meant that in the bigger picture, the grand plan of God for her life, her focusing on the past was not the point. It was what she got out of all her pain and loss. The wisdom and understanding that her loss and pain was not for nothing. The way in which she imparted her wisdom and what she learned, to others around her. It was peace beyond all human understanding. It was knowing that love is sacrifice and that understanding comes from compassion.

Mama showed me that life demands of you to be intentional; intentional about your actions, your energy, your focus, your thoughts and emotions.

I learned patience and I saw accepting the things one cannot change, in action.

I loved sitting in her company, I loved watching the movie of her life play out as she told me stories and showed me old polaroid photographs.

In ten days, I lived a life of 40+ years through the eyes of a woman who lost everything, was forced down on her knees and found herself in the perfect position to pray for the strength and will to live to tell the tale.

hope, dandelion

MY HOPE FOR YOU

I hope you fall in love with yourself. I hope you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I hope you learn to appreciate all your flaws and find the beauty in every scar, wrinkle, and folded skin.

I hope you learn to love your voice. I hope that you use it to change your world.

I hope you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and, I hope you let go of the burden of guilt.

I hope you find love in all the different relationships in your life. 

I hope you chase your dreams and get the chance to watch them come to life.

I hope you share your stories and adventures and inspire others to do the same.

I hope you learn to be gentle with yourself and remember that bad decisions do not define you.

I hope you find the strength to fight through the bad times and come out the other side a stronger person.

I hope you remember to pray.

I hope you remember how beautiful you are.

I hope you laugh more.

I hope you play more.

I hope you find more.

I hope you always look for stars in the darkest of nights 

and know that the sun will always rise in the morning.

I hope you start believing in love again.  

Just believe it again.

I hope you can look back on the last season in your life and find the good

And I hope that you will always be grateful that you have made it this far.

I hope you know that your story is far from over and that the next blank page is waiting for you to create the life that you want.

I hope you know that you have the power to change your life and I hope you remember to never give that power away.

I hope you know that you can push boundaries and break barriers.

I hope that you know that you are never alone.

I hope that you witness great things and climb majestic mountains.

I hope that you find the courage to reach deep within yourself and do what makes you happy.

I hope you walk away from anything that no longer serves you and, I hope you walk away with your head held high.

I hope that you smile again and laugh with all the joy in your spirit. 

I hope it’s so loud that the rest of the world can’t help but laugh with you.

.

girls, women, happy

I hope you remember that saying goodbye is not always a bad thing.
I hope you know that the pain doesn’t last.
I hope you know that love is plentiful.
I hope you dance in the rain and roll in the mud.
I hope you plant seeds instead of picking flowers.
I hope you remember that having a bit of fun is good for you.
I hope you hold warm hands and kiss soft lips.
I hope you get the chance to look into loving eyes and fall asleep in a warm embrace.
I hope you take care of yourself.

I hope you know that your story is worth telling.

woman, desperate, sad

PURSUING A KINGDOM MARRIAGE

PART 3 – FIGHTING TEMPTATION

We all struggle with temptation, and we all give in to sin. Luckily for us, God knows our hearts, and He knows what we need and when we need it. He also knows when to show us the way we need to go, and He gives us direction. I believe that is exactly what He did when He gave me this message that I share here.

Temptation within a marriage is not something that is uncommon and as part of the kingdom marriage series, I want to explore this idea.

The temptation will come at you looking like something beautiful and desirable. It will be something that looks good, makes you feel good. It will come across as someone speaking well, someone who sounds as if they have a lot of wisdom, and it will make sense to you at that moment

Think of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent approached her and spoke to her in a way that she understood.
It made her doubt that which God had instructed them not to do. The serpent painted God in a bad light, making it seem as if God didn’t want the best for them but in actual fact, the serpent was manipulating her.

That is what temptation does. It manipulates you and makes you doubt the truth. It makes you question what you already know is the truth.

GENESIS 3 VS 6

“The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it”

When the door of temptation is opened, we allow others to become a part of it. For example, if you are married and you are tempted to cheat, you unknowingly invite that deception and temptation into your home and your marriage and this happens before you have even acted on the temptation. Your spouse also becomes tempted, a riff is caused between you and neither of you can understand where the trouble in your marriage is coming from. Temptation looks good and feels wonderful and makes you feel good. That is how the cracks are created within your life. 

We need to learn to kill temptation before it seeps into our lives and affects the different facets of our lives.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT TEMPTATION

open book, bible, scripture
1 CORINTHIANS 7 VS 2-5

Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

What I take away from this verse is that it reaffirms that marriage is a 50/50 partnership between a man and a woman. It tells me that we take care of one another in every way so that we are not tempted by the world and by Satan in cheating on our spouses spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. We need to take care of each other in all facets of our relationship. That is my interpretation of the above verse.

1 CORINTHIANS 10 VS 13

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

This verse says that the temptation will come but God will provide you with way to overcome it. God gave us free-will; we have the choice to give in to temptation or fight it. The power is already given to us but the choice still has to be made.

JAMES 4 VS 7

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

1 TIMOTHY 6 VS 11

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”

The word ‘avoid’ literally means to keep away from something or to stop yourself from doing something. You can also interpret it as not putting yourself in a situation where you know that you will be tempted. Don’t go to that party, don’t have that conversation, don’t engage with that person. Avoid all these things if you know it will tempt you into unrighteousness.

adventure, trail, hair
MATTHEW 26 VS 41

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

This is why we fast, so that we can deny ourselves and our bodies of the things of the world. In this way, we make room for the Holy Spirit to take over. We make room for the Spirit of God in our lives. When we are tempted in any way, we should pray, keep watch, be aware of all the different types of temptations that can sneak into our lives.

2 PETER 2 VS 9

And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trails.”

Simple; God knows how to help you, and He will help you; you only have to ask.

cross, sunset, humility

MORE ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES

PSALM 25 VS 21

“May my goodness and honesty preserve me because I trust in you”

ROMANS 12 VS 21

Do not let evil defeat you; instead conquer evil with good”

ROMANS 12 VS 2

“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind, Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect”

Papertrailza literary journal

PAPER TRAIL LITERARY JOURNAL – REVIEW

LAUNCHED 31st OCTOBER 2021

It was fun to be a part of this project. I recall, when the Whatsapp group opened, and all the discussions started flowing, I thought what a wonderful group of people who would come together and contribute to the idea of one person. I believe that is the foundation of Paper Trail.

An amazing group of writers is brought together with a variety of thoughts and ideas and it’s all mixed together in a melting pot of creativity.

I spent some time reading through the journal and it was really hard for me to choose which pieces were my favourite. When you read through it, it really highlights the importance of young people and the pivotal role that they play in society. It gives them a voice.

Where there are challenges there is bounteous space for the cultural economy to flourish. All that is required is clarity of vision and openness”

On the Twitter page of Paper Trail, the pinned tweet reads as follows:

“Our mission is to inspire young people through modern storytelling, and our vision is to create a digital journal that includes collaborators of all age groups to share poetry, short stories, articles and write-ups on young leaders and small businesses that improve our community.”

A TRAIL OF FAVOURITES

Like I mentioned before, there are so many facets and a variety of topics in this journal, that it makes it pleasantly difficult to choose which ones were my favourite. There are however some pieces that I would like to highlight.

Back In The Day” by Shiara Sharanund. A learner at Westville Girls High school wrote a beautiful article that makes you reflect on the days past and how they made you feel. It sums up the idea of nostalgia stunningly. Below is a piece from her article.

An extract from Papertrail Literary Journal.

There is also a sweet little piece from a Grade 4 learner at R.A Engar Primary school. This piece made me feel a bit sad but also put a smile on my face. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have forgotten that the little ones have also gone through some major changes but they have adapted so well.

The following quote is from a piece written by Shika Budhoo from her column titled “Align and Shine”

“Be the producer / radio DJ of your own mind and make sure the thoughts you think stay focused on your blessings and goals.”

Shika’s column gives you easy and practical tips on how to change the frequency of your thoughts from negative to positive and I think we can all do with a bit more positivity.

An extract from the column, “Align and Shine”

Another important piece that I would like to highlight is “How To Take Care Of You and Your Mental Health” by Robin Cleote. This piece speaks to all of us and after everything we’ve been through, it’s definitely worth the read.

KOFFEE FOR THE SOUL

I also contributed to the journal and I truly feel honoured that I could do that. I shared a space with amazing writers and if you haven’t heard of them before, you surely will now. Paper Trail brings communities together from across the world through the power of words. It reminds me of my review on Letting In The Light. Another body of work that simply reminds you about the beauty of words and shared experiences.

When I thought about the column that I wanted to contribute to Paper Trail, I wanted to write something honest and something that anyone could relate to. I didn’t want to give advice, I simply wanted to reflect and that’s the brief I proposed to the founder and editor, Ekta Somera.

The name “Koffee For The Soul” was inspired by how when we drink a warm beverage, its comforting and relaxes us and that is the experience I wanted to give the reader.

My first column in Paper Trail

There is a little bit of wisdom in every piece that has been added to this journal. I am amazed at the array of writers and their contributions.

Paper Trail brings together a range of articles for every kind of reader. From recipes, poetry, history, fashion, and makeup to anime and so much more. There is truly something for everyone.

It is not just an enjoyable read but is also a learning experience.

Well done to everyone involved and to Ekta Somera for the idea of starting this journal.

A SOCIAL MEDIA TRAIL:

Twitter: PapertrailZA

Instagram: Papertrailza

Literary Journal: PapertrailZA Journal

If you would like to get involved in future issues of the journal, please do contact the editor Ekta Somera by email on ekta.somera@gmail.com

******

conversation, restaurant, pair

MY FEAR OF CONFRONTATION

FEAR AND BEING A CHRONIC OVER-APOLOGISER

I’ve always had this fear of confrontation. Speaking to people or addressing issues with people that bother me or put me in an uncomfortable position. I get nervous when I simply think about speaking my mind about certain things of which I have an opinion. I’m that person at the restaurant that will eat the wrong order that the waiter or waitress brings me. I am also a chronic over-apologiser or if you will, a knee-jerk apologist ; I constantly say sorry for things that certainly do not need an apology. Instead of saying ‘Excuse me, if I need to pass by someone, I would say, “I’m sorry”. I would rather write a long letter or text message, than confront you face-to-face.

At times I find myself apologizing for apologizing in the first place.

In an article by Psychology Today, it speaks about the different types of people who apologise. It also referred to a 2010 study that indicated women tend to apologise more than men.

“A 2010 study found that women apologize more than men. Women also self-report committing more offenses, or engaging in behavior that warranted apologies, than men. Do women simply misbehave more than men? Not exactly. The study found that men and women have markedly different thresholds of what constitutes an offense deserving an apology. Women have a lower threshold; men have a much higher one. In other words, women see more acts for which we must apologize than men do; we see more of the things we do as wrong, out of line, inappropriate, or hurtful. A man and woman may do exactly the same thing but regard it differently; she will see it as an offense that requires an apology and he may not.”

sorry, excuse me, i beg your pardon

I get this uncomfortable feeling in my gut, like a knot when I think about confrontation. Even after I’ve said something or on the rare occasion that I do address an issue, it would sit with me for hours afterward and I would replay conversations or try and think what I could have said or done differently or maybe what I should not have said. I would have second-hand embarrassment for even doing it. Sometimes I find myself simply typing something on a Whatsapp group and instantly regretting it once I hit send.

Some of us are so over-apologetic, that we don’t just apologize to inanimate objects we may have accidentally bumped into, but also feel the need to apologize for the actions of others that are beyond our control.”

I prefer to be invisible but at the same time, I want my voice to be heard.

As I sit here and write this, I have this fear that I will be judged or criticized for this post.

ROOT CAUSE

I can’t tell you where this fear emanated from; there wasn’t a specific day or event when I decided that I will fear confrontation and I won’t tell you either that I am working on it. I guess I simply get used to certain settings even though I still get nervous or anxious, even when I know I’m not doing or saying anything wrong.

There have been situations where I have accepted an outcome when I knew it was wrong. In that situation, I did not retaliate or address the issue, even though it sat heavily on my heart.

I need to specify that the confrontation I am speaking about is not the aggressive / physically violent confrontation. Kathy Caprino in an article for Forbes writes the following:

“I’m defining confrontation here not as aggressive or angry conflict, but as the act of facing something or someone that needs to be addressed head on – directly and proactively. I’ve found that many of us (particularly women) dread confrontation, or certainly go to extreme lengths to avoid it.”

I know it takes bravery to speak your mind and say what you think or feel. There have been times when I’ve been told that I let people walk all over me and maybe I can be labelled as a ‘people pleaser’ or even weak but I don’t see myself that way. I just want to save my fight for when it matters.

Sometimes people tend to get into verbal confrontations which end up going nowhere; you interact with people who love the sound of their own voice more than the actual topic at hand and more than they try to reach a reasonable conclusion based on facts. There are some people that you simply cannot win an argument with and at times, it’s not worth the breath that you waste on that confrontation or argument.

argue, angry, husband and wife

TIPS TO DEAL WITH CONFRONTATION

I’ve found some amazing references on positive or healthy confrontation. Here are some tips to get over the fear of confrontation in no particular order:

  • Start the conversation with a positive statement.
  • Be flexible – allow for the possibility that you might not have it right. 
  • Acknowledge your part in the problem
  • Try to be as specific as possible.
  • Engage productively
  • List what you might gain by speaking up

There are many other ways in which we can work through our fear of confrontation, but always try and determine if the situation calls for a confrontation or simply for a nod and a smile. It might save you a lot of unnecessary long-term conflict.

There is a saying I love that goes;

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”

Sometimes it is better to be silent and other times it’s best to speak up; we just need to know when is the right time for which action.

flower, blue, rose

WHY I CRY.

I find myself being terribly emotional lately, I’m always choking on tears and having to look away when I’m in a public space.
I’m both sad and happy.
Both grieving and celebrating.
Both fearful and brave.

Everything that has happened over the last year and 8 months is indescribable
I’m still sad that we lost our mom and I relive that sadness every time I hear or read about someone else dying or someone else losing a loved one.

I cry for everyone who is hurting and I cry for everyone who has survived. I cry for everyone who don’t know which direction to turn and who feel as if the world is just dark.

It’s as if the sadness has latched on to me but then I experience joy and peace and happiness, I feel hope and I feel as if I can conquer anything.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those whose spirits are crushed’ – Psalm 34 vs 18

There is something greater at work in the world. We may not understand it and maybe it’s best if we don’t. It’s already enough that we experience these things, can you imagine being able to dissect the intricacies of God’s plan. Our minds would probably literally be blown.

I’ve also been experiencing a great sense of gratitude. I realise how blessed I am and how full my life is. I do not take it for granted.
I love my family so much, seeing my kids happy and seeing my husband happy brings me so much joy. Sometimes it feels as if I can’t handle it and that too, makes me cry.

Maybe this is just a season of feeling. Understanding that we are all vulnerable and that we are all afraid sometimes and that we all have something or someone to lose.
It’s a season of cleansing, cleaning out the cobwebs of our life. Taking stock of what’s important.

Yes, it hurts. Its painful to carry on when you’ve born the brunt of so much loss. Sometimes, it can make you feel guilty. I’ve experienced that. Feeling guilty for being happy when so many others are suffering. Your happiness shouldn’t be a source of personal guilt. It should be a light in the dark to those who can’t see the way.

beyond, death, faith

Letting in the light, mental wellness anthology

LETTING IN THE LIGHT – REVIEW

I have to admit, it took me a while to really sit down and read this book. I think mostly because of the subject of the book; mental wellness or if you like mental health. It shouldn’t be surprising that so many of us suffer with some form of mental terror; depression, anxiety and sometimes we deal with feelings, thoughts and situations that can’t be described. When I started reading Letting In The Light; I felt a sense of coming home, a feeling of being welcomed into someone’s heart with open arms.

The foreword by Pick Me Up Poetry founder, Webster Chagonda encompasses this feeling so well;

“Remember, darkness will always make way for the day, and wherever
your mind may lead you, I hope these poems become your place of
refuge.”

It’s difficult for me to tell which one of the poems are my favourite; there are pieces of each poem that speak directly to me.

They are all relatable and also somewhat confrontational but quite necessary,

“A fleeting moment of peace

as you cease to wonder when the next red drought will dry out this puddle

And if you won’t have drowned in the depth of your head until then”

girl, sitting, jetty

When I read through the poems, I realised that so many people understand the feelings and circumstances around one topic. I felt safe reading it and saying to myself, “It’s okay to feel this way”

It truly is a stunning body of work with a beautiful use of words, descriptive methods and metaphors. It is almost as if what you’re reading is being carved on your skin. That is how deep the words go.

“Everywhere you walk, you will be a constellation of footsteps”

The anthology sheds light on all the parts of your life that is affected by depression; your mind, body, soul, family, friends and your career an daily life.

“I am ready to recite myself into existence. I am ready to tell anxiety a prophecy even though I sometimes don’t believe”

I want to encourage you to get this book. The words will speak to us all differently and once you get into it, you’ll realise its not just a book you can read once off. You can always go back and remind yourself that you are not alone in your darkness when you feel overwhelmed.

I was bound by the plight of life and could not get away. I was blinded by the pain of this fight and could not see my way but I heard Hope’s gentle whistle and Joy’s hearty squeal, gently fanning the embers of my heart”

tree, nature, wood

Well done to all the poets who contributed their words, feelings and experiences to this book. Thank you for being brave and baring it all on the pages.

Congratulations to the publishers, Chasing Dreams Publishing and everyone who worked to put this amazing body of work together.

I give this book a 10/10!