I did the one thing I’ve always wanted to do but it was also the one thing I was most afraid of doing and guess what? nothing happened. This is what I discovered when I recently published my first book. I’ve been holding on to the idea of being a published author, to have a book out in public and have people read it and now it is out there. I’ve conquered that fear and nothing happened.
There is nothing on the other side of fear; just life moving on swiftly. Children still need to go to school, dinner still has to be cooked, work still has to be done, laundry still has to be folded, the weather changes every other day. The sun rises and the sun sets and through all this, that one thing that you’ve been afraid to do, that one thing, and let’s be honest, not many people care about, is holding you hostage. So what do you do?
You do the one thing you’re afraid of doing and move on. Because in truth, the only one who you are truly afraid of judging you or criticizing you, is you.
We are our own true enemies of progress.
If I think about it and maybe I am only speaking for myself but maybe we are not afraid of doing the thing that we are afraid of doing; publishing the book, releasing the song, traveling to that place or whatever it is that is keeping you hostage. Maybe we are afraid of making ourselves visible, telling and showing the world, “Hey, I’m out here!” because once you are out there, once you release something or do something or say something, there is a certain pressure on you to keep doing it. To keep delivering and what if you can’t deliver again? What then?
But the thing is, you are still you, you can still do it and you can do it again and again. Once you do it the first time, I suspect it gets easier from there. I’m not saying I will never feel fear again or that I won’t be afraid to try new things again, I’m simply saying that once you get on the other side of it, you’ll see it wasn’t so scary after all.
So here is my advice; do the thing you are most afraid of doing. Once you jump off that metaphorical cliff, you’ll realise you were actually just two feet from the ground.
I have decided to set some goals for myself which I’ve dubbed Soul Goals. These are the goals that will feed my soul and my spirit and create inner peace and healing. I think as much as we want external success in terms of our careers and families and financial state, having inner success is much more important and can actually contribute to the external goals and successes. I think there is also less pressure to showcase these soul goals but its equally important that you work on it every single day.
One way I have found to work on it, is to journal; to write down everything about my day. The good and the bad and see where I’ve achieved these special goals.
So here are a few of my personal soul goals. I will probably add to it as time goes on.
Be present in every moment and take in everything around you; the sun, sky, flowers, sounds and smells
Listen more intently
Be more loving
Visit new places
Be more positive
Spend more time in God’s presence
Write and read more poetry
Rest when necessary
Take more pictures and more videos
Take more walks
Appreciate every single day, find the good in every day
Smile more; at loved ones and at strangers
Play more games
Appreciate your own physical self; take care of your health
Love yourself – You are wonderfully and fearfully made
Let go of the guilt
Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and doing things that you enjoy
Stop rushing through every day, walk slower, breath slower
These might seem insignificant when others have bigger goals of buying cars and homes and growing in their careers, which are all amazing and I too have some of those goals but I have felt lately that I have neglected my inner being, my inner child and I’m hoping by working on these soul goals, I will be able to achieve more peace within my spirit and take care of the inner self.
I don’t want to pretend that I am not exhausted or that my body doesn’t feel like it is giving in. I’ve had a very long yearbut, at the same time, a very short year. There have been some disappointments, heartaches, and frustrating moments throughout this year, and it has all come to a head and I don’t want to undermine the fact that it has been overwhelming. I don’t want to fake excitement going into the new year; I don’t want to pretend that I have it all figured out. I am exhausted and I don’t have a solid plan yet. I simply don’t have the energy. Many of us are struggling with the same thing. Still, we have created this culture of having to be so up and ready for the new year. To be excited, make resolutions and goals for the new year, the next phase of our lives, but I’m sure that it is okay to go into the new year in the current phase or state that you’re in. If you are tired, sad, exhausted, frustrated, or feeling a myriad of emotions, there is genuinely no pressure for you to get rid of it before the clock strikes 12 on January 1st. There is no pressure. God will still be there on the other side. He will still be there to help you get through it. Whether that is now or next year, it’s okay to go into the new year feeling like you do.
Just as you enter the new year, give it all to God and leave it all in His hands. He requires us to not lean on our understandingor rushing to plan our lives to a T and write down goals. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discouraging planning your life or your year. If you don’t achieve or haven’t completed all you set out to do, it’s okay.
Don’t carry that disappointment of unachieved goals so heavily that you crucify yourself and feel completely hopeless. There is still hope for those who have reached our limits and are running on empty. I have rested, spent a few days with family, lazed around, laughed, and played games, but I’m still tired. Not all of my exhaustion suddenly disappeared, and not all of my ill feelings have been dealt with, which is fine. I hope you can enter the new year, knowing that whatever you feel, it is okay to feel that way. There is no pressure to do things immediately and hurriedly. There is a quote I love that says;
“I may not know what my future holds but I do know who holds my future” You’ve done your best; now let God do the rest.
Have you ever had someone look at you Like you were the sun? Beautiful and fiery. Passionate and addictive. Our love was fast and hard. Explosive and tender. It erased who we thought we were and made us new. It made us one. It connected us, vessel to vessel. I am reaching out, and I fit perfectly. I think of him, and I no longer feel alone. We are one. I am a part of him, and he is a part of me. Not only through physical intimacy, but our souls, our minds and our hearts embedded onto the blueprint of the other. Although a comfortable pace and routine remain now, the fire still burns. I feel it. I know he does, too. I don’t need him to live and breathe. He breathes life into my spirit. He does not define me. My heart’s love for him is defined by who he is. Knowing he is living and breathing on this planet, even apart, makes me feel safe. It makes me feel that all is right in this world. He is the moon to my stars. The sky to my sun. Magnificent apart But Exceptionally wonderful together.
I miss my mother and I think I’ve missed her the most this year, this is excluding the year she died. I think it’s because so many big things have happened to me and our family during the last 3 years since her death and there is just something about the number threethat brings things together or bringing everything into completion and maybe that’s why I miss her so much this year. More so now that the year is coming to an end. It’s like I’ve experienced a trinity of grief and joy and success and exhaustion to the point where I just want my mother’s embrace but I can’t have it. I can’t go to my mother and release my tension. I can’t have her stroke my head or lay on her lapor hear her voice. These are all things I’ve desperately needed over the last few years and I’ve been deprived and it hurts. It will probably always ache as I continue to grow and evolve as a person.
In the last three years I got married, started a business with my husband, got promoted, performed on two big stages, acted in a short movie, did an interview on radio, performed a poem on live television, cut my hair, gained weight, moved homes three times, started a podcast, joined ministries at church, discussed one of my poems with a group of strangers, opened up about sexual abuse, cried, laughed, screamed, hurt, felt incredible joy and debilitating exhaustion…so much has happened and yet it feels not enough has happened…and all I’ve mostly wanted during all of this was my mother and to be achildagain.
We don’t always realise that we still live with the grief long after we have experienced the loss. It hits us at the most inopportune times and its not something that ever disappears. No one person’s grief experience is the same and its unfair to compare it. The only thing to do is to remember we are all hurting, we are all mourning a loss; whether its a person or an opportunity or a missed conversation. We are all in mourning. I have experienced a labyrinth of emotions. I can’t even describe it as a rollercoaster of emotions because a rollercoaster has a beginning and an end; it has a pattern, despite the highs and lows, you know it will come to a head but what I’ve experienced or what I am experiencing is an endless sea…a never ending melting pot of everything. Don’t get me wrong; I am at peace. It’s just sprinkled with a little grief.
Whether its PTSD, burn out or emotional exhaustion, its been a lot to say the least. I have had to learn how to swim, to keep peddling and pushing against the current and the one thing that has become abundantly clear to me, the whole point of this post, is that I survived. I look back and I see all I achieved through the grace of God and I am grateful. Sometimes we tend to be so hard on ourselves; we put so much pressure on what we must achieve and what we need to do to be successful and we forget to count the small things and as the saying goes; the small things are usually the big things.
I looked back on the last three years and I can genuinely smile, knowing I’ve achieved and done things that I didn’t think I could. It’s been turbulent and chaotic and frustrating and agonizing. It’s been confusing and at times I’ve been left with more questions than answers. I’ve been down on my knees in prayer, I’ve felt the spirit of Godin my most vulnerable state and I’ve cried with the rain and it has all shown me that I’ve lived and that I continue to live
I hope you are able to look back on this year or the last few years of your life and be filled with gratitude and the knowledge that you too have lived.
Do you realize that time never stops? It’s always moving. Sometimes it flutters by like a butterfly And other times it strolls past, in no rush With all at ease. But it is always moving forward. Changing. Even when we don’t. Especially when we don’t. Time keeps moving. It truly waits for no one It doesn’t check or looks back To see if you’re following or keeping up It doesn’t shout back and tells you to hurry up. Time is it’s own master
And you can either be it’s slave Or it’s partner
It feels no pity for you It doesn’t share in your joy when you make it It doesn’t get angry when you ask it to wait or slow down Time is determined It is disciplined It is silent in its dominance It knows nothing of excuses or procrastination It changes days and seasons It moves with purpose and answers to no one Time has no attachments It does not love It does not own It does not desire And in that lies it’s power.
If you believe that you are working and walking in the will of God and if you believe that everything you are doing and experiencing is part of a bigger God-ordained plan for your life, then you must know that nothing is by chance. Everything you’re doing and experiencing; the ladders you are climbing and the opportunities that are coming your way and every door that you walk through, every meeting you attend, every person you meet, every place where you find yourself, it is all part of God’s will and purpose for your life. Nothing is a coincidence. Nothing is by chance. Everything is anointed and should be treated as such. If that is truly what you believe and what you know, then you should take nothing for granted. You should set your mind on things above. You should treat every meeting, every person you come in contact with, every opportunity, and every level of access you acquire as if it is coming directly from above. Directly from God. Because again, if you’re tapped into the vision God has given you and the messages from God, it most likely will come to pass and you need to make sure that you are always prepared. For this reason, you always need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You always need to remember what the root core of everything that you are doing, is. You need to be in the Spirit at all times. If you haven’t finished your mission, why are you asleep? Why are you wasting your own time? Why are you not meditating on the Word or in the Spirit? Why are you playing games? Have you done what God has called you to do? Are you really done? Never mind what everyone else is doing; keep to your business unless God tells you to involve another. Pray over everything. Consult God about everything. We are not merely here to live and then die. We have a purpose and a mission and it’s our responsibility to pursue that.
Everything beautiful is what I desire Walking on the beach, shoes in hand A sunset or sunrise peeking over the horizon Rainy days in a warm library I smell old and lovely books before I even turn their pages Long walks with no destination but everywhere to explore Fields of wildflowers, long stretches of open land And the purest of air I can breath I desire to get away from the hustle and bustle The concrete jungle, if you will I want to create snow angels and see thousands of stars Shine back at me as I lay on fresh-cut grass The life I desire is simple Close but somehow still out of reach It is everything beautiful Mountainous views that seem as if they reach right up to heaven It is almost like it is God’s footstool Everything Beautiful Everything that brings peace, serenity, love and joy That is what my heart desires.
I woke up the other morning, irritated and grumpy because of a small insignificant matter and I ended up taking it out on my family. I wasn’t in control of my emotions, I let it run wild and ruined what could have been a perfectly good morning. It led me to pray and ask God to help me control these feelings I get of annoyance, irritability and anger, especially when its for no good reason. The Holy Spirit prompted me to read Galatians 5, it speaks on the fruits of the Spirit and what our lives should produce when we live by the Spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility and self-control”
That self-control one is tricky for me, especially when it comes to my feelings and reactions – I’m a very emotional person and I can be reactive at times. I get irritated when things don’t happen when and how they are supposed to happen and now and then I can have an angry outburst. I know it’s not pretty but if we lack self-awareness, we’ll never be able to deal with the deeper issues of the problem. When I read Galatians 5 vs 19, it said the following:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins…”
For me, hostility, quarreling and outbursts of anger are what I battle with. Especially at home and in the mornings when we have to get done for the day and things are not happening as fast or as smoothly as I want it to happen. But I’ve realised and maybe you can relate if this is something you also struggle with, that getting angry or irritated won’t solve the problem or make circumstances more ideal. In fact, it might make them worse. It will sow division in your home and everybody will end up being in a bad mood. It certainly is not the way to start or end a day.
So that has been my prayer lately. That God helps me to stay in control of my emotions and teaches me patience or teaches me how to be patient when I experience less than ideal circumstances and that I don’t just get angry or frustrated at anything or anyone over small matters.
Another verse in Galatians which is sort if the core for me is verse 13. It reads as follows;
“Don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one anther in love, for the whole law can be summed up in this one command ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ “
Galatians 5 is full of wisdom and basically teaches us that we should let the Holy Spirit lead us, lead our lives, actions and thoughts. It speaks of how the sinful nature only wants to do evil;
“And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions”
Every morning when you open your eyes, you are entering the battlefield of your mind, in fact, the battle has already started while you were sleeping. When you wake up, that’s when youchooseon which side you are fighting on. Are you on the side of your sinful nature or are you on the side of the Holy Spirit?
Every day is a battle and it’s easier to give in to sin than it is to surrender all we know to God but then we need to ask ourselves, what do we want more and what is worth sacrificing?
Galatians 5 vs 24 ends the passage with the following:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited or provoke one another or be jealous of one another”
So this will be my guide and my prayer and I hope it can be yours as well, with whatever sinful nature you are struggling with. I pray that our lives will be filled and reflect the fruits of the Spirit and that we don’t give in to our sinful actions at the expense of our loved ones.
A little self-awareness and introspection can go a long way. Below is a video of a poem I wrote about the battles we face in our minds.
I still love sad poetry. I love to know that hearts are still able to heal after suffering. It brings me comfort to know that loneliness doesn’t last. I smile when I think Spring comes after Winter, and the sun still rises in the morning. I still love sad poetry. It brings me hope when days are long and nights are cold. I still believe in new beginnings when I read stanzas of tears on a page, and I see broken hearts in the smiles of strangers. I still love sad poetry. I still write sad poetry. It makes me feel, and it makes me think, and it helps me remember the days when I wasn’t sad.