Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Beauty of Perseverance



Perseverance is a major basic principle of life which in my opinion is one of the keys to success. I mean think about it, if you start a project and stumble into a few glitches, then you throw in the towel, at the end of the day what will you achieve? Success comes after a whole lot of commitment, determination, patience, endurance and dedication. What is perseverance? In simple words it just means keep on keeping on.

 Perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving it.  We all have big dreams of what we want to achieve in life, we even set goals that entail what, when we want to obtain results and how to go about it. However, I believe that in every plan one has to execute, God should be the centre of it all. Yes, during the process we might stumble and fall but that does not mean God is not in it, if we had put Him in it, in the first place. They are all lessons God teaches us in life in preparation of what is to come, in preparation of how to handle the success.

 James 1:12 (NIV): Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.







When I say, the beauty of perseverance, I mean what comes after the endurance and commitment. Of course the road wouldn’t be easy, even most of the richest people in this world didn’t have it easy. They had to constantly remind themselves that quitting is not an option, if there are delays then work harder. When you stay steadfast to your dream and goals, that’s when you will reap the benefits and enjoy the beauty of perseverance.   I like how perseverance is described on a premature baby, born before its time, put in an incubator, fed through tubes but fights for survival despite all of that. We all need that determination in our own lives. Situations such as relationships, education, serving in a ministry department, business teaches us a thing or two on perseverance or patience. Let’s take a look at a business, starting one is not easy and striking those major deals but does not mean it is impossible. Another person might be after the same contract you want as well, but hard work and determination topped with prayer will separate your proposal from the rest. Quitting is not an option because someone has an eye on what you want, but rather you show up and you show them. Success is a must.

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV): You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.


Optimism is a characteristic of perseverance in my opinion. Things may go south, but staying optimistic helps one to persevere and keep the eye on the price, knowing good things are yet to come. I also feel like perseverance involves faith as well. Faith that what I have started, I am going to finish victorious no matter the challenges faced along the journey. To keep our hopes and aspirations afloat, we need to be persevering and steadfast so as to reach our maximum potential and success.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Acceptance


What is acceptance? What does it entail? In human psychology it means a person’s assent to the reality of a situation. Recognising a process or situation without attempting to change it or protest it, thus it causes less suffering than struggling vainly against it. Another angle to look at acceptance involves the word ‘ask.’ When we ask, we expect some kind of acceptance for example: asking  for forgiveness , we expect to be forgiven thus accepted in one’s life despite of past events. Asking to join an  organisation or institution, we wait for  acceptance. So acceptance also revolves around finding recognition whether in a family or community. At times people want to be accepted thus   changing who they are in order to show a certain type of person they think is rightfully accepted in their community. However, I am saying why changing who you are so you can be accepted. Rather accept who you are and society will just have to accept you like that.  I mean its really sad how young people tend to pretend to be what they are not so as  to gain acceptance and recognition especially at college, high school even amongst a group of friends. Why would you want to put yourself through so much just to be recognised. We subconsciously ask to be accepted in life through success, marriage, nice houses etc. There is a sublimation drive from society which is the bottom line of most people’s actions towards being accepted in any way possible.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. ‘



Acceptance is the opposite of rejection. In my last blog, I tackled on the issue of rejection and I realised not so many people would want to be at the opposite side of the good things. Because some do not handle rejection well, they spend their  entire lives trying to prove a point that you rejected me once but you shall eventually accept me type of thing. In the end we compromise our standards and principals in the name of acceptance. I have heard of girls or even guys going to lengths just to be accepted by the other, why not stop think a little and say ‘If this is who I am, what I have, what I have done, there are people out there who will accept me as I am. ‘



The first incidence in the bible that shows the issue of acceptance is in Genesis 4 v 7- 8 
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Can you see what the desire for acceptance led to, the first murder case in the bible. Cain was not satisfied with what he had to present before God, and he became jealous of his brother Abel and slew him. 
Now ask yourself why do you want so much to be accepted? Is it because you are not satisfied with your looks? Are not satisfied with the what you currently posses in terms of wealth and property? Are you trying so hard to acquire all these things that it leads you to sin? It is not wrong to desire to look good or have wealth nor it is not wrong, but do not let it posses you so much until it leads you to sin all just to be accepted by society. 

 Another important thing with acceptance is the ability to take in and accept the things you cannot change. I’m not saying one should get over something but rather strive to minimise the significance of past events or what happened and how you are feeling about it. We can’t change death for instance, its something we have to accept that someone beloved to us is gone forever. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t grieve, we should and then allow ourselves to accept that we can’t change death. Acceptance will bring healing and less suffering.

After all this has been said, it is a blessing to know that we are all accepted by God no matter how we look, what we have done through His mercy, grace and great love. 
Romans 14 v 18, “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men."
He forever accepts as long as we come to Him with our own free will.

Friday, 23 March 2018

REJECTION





When the word rejection comes to mind all I think of is NO, I mean it is a no after all. The dictionary definition of rejection is the dismissal or refusal of proposals, ideas, applications etc. In all fairness, I mean who in their right mind would want to be rejected in any way, Nobody! But the hard truth is rejection is real and we can’t run away from it but best learn to process it. So I was thinking and kind of realised that if the size of our immediate social circle was small rejection would be limited right? Because I feel like nowadays due to the media, internet one is connected to a whole bunch of people thus risk of rejection is plenty plus. Though at the same time, isn’t rejection good to some extent?

To be honest, rejection is painful. It hurts so bad sometimes for some people continuous rejection results in depression and a whole lot of emotional stresses. According to Guy Winch, psychologists stated that, ‘The greatest damage rejection causes is usually self -inflicted. Just when one’s self-esteem is hurting, they go and damage it even further.’ Just giving an example most would relate to: you know very well that you asked this certain girl out on a date not once but maybe thrice and she said no, but you keep going back, that’s clearly self-inflicted hurt. Funny thing one continues trying their luck. We experience this because human brains are wired to respond that way. Apparently the pain felt when rejected is the same as physical pain and that is why even the slightest rejection still hurts more than expected since it elicits literal pain.



I have realised there are different ways of rejection; I mean I didn’t know myself. So for starters, there is unspoken rejection and this is just being ignored. I mean one would pour their heart in their personal life or professional life but nothing. No response whatsoever thus you wonder isn’t being told no or you not qualified even better than being ignored. I mean a flat no is still rejection, though better than being ignored but still stings. In most cases, people with low self-esteem suffer rejection deeply and take longer to get over it. Therefore, it is important to build one’s confidence and self-esteem. When you get a no, it’s not the end of the world, rather step back assess, see where you went wrong, identify your weaknesses and attempt again. One cannot know they are pushing their limits if not rejected once in a while. It means you are getting yourself out there, trying and not being too comfortable where you are originally, eventually you will be accepted.

Then there is that rejection that comes with suggestions for improvement. It’s more or less like polite rejection. Let’s say you applied for a certain position at a company, and in their response they note why you didn’t make it, further explain how you can improve for better chances in the future. I mean, let’s be honest, it still stings that you didn’t get the position then but looking at it, in another angle you got to know where and what your weaknesses are.

Basically I am saying, rejection is either good or bad depending on how you decide to look at it. If you let it define you and wallow in it, you will definitely drown.  Acknowledge the emotions rather than convincing yourself that it is no big deal and most importantly one shouldn’t let other people’s opinions define them, after all you are you and your life is yours not someone else’s. If you take rejection in some instances as a positive, it will assist you fix your negatives.

Friday, 9 March 2018

BAGGAGE



What is baggage? In other terms it means bags with your stuff you carry when travelling. But, what if that luggage you carry in your bags is that emotional stress, hate, anger and resentment you live with every day of your life. Won’t it be heavy to keep carrying around!? Won’t the weight be draining and stressful to be weighing down your shoulders?

 Think about it, I mean everybody has baggage from their past life myself included. It might be failed relationships, failed marriages, broken homes just to mention a few. It differs from one person to the next what they carry around deep down in their hearts or what they have experienced that triggers emotional issues.

Baggage is defined as unresolved issues of an emotional nature and as time goes on the emotions become detrimental to one’s life. So, where does this baggage come from? Personally, I have realised that most people tend to carry the negatives drawn from past experiences into future experiences, not only romantic but all kinds of relationship experiences even friendships and family. In doing so, we do not realise that we have already drawn a line of failure for future relationships and what chances of survival do they have, ZERO! After relationships fail, comes low self-esteem and self-blame that my relationships are failing because of who I am or what happened to me before.
One begins to self- question themselves, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ Do I deserve this?’ That inner thinking has to stop. I believe the issue is not the baggage but how it is handled. What am I trying to say? For example from my own personal experiences, I found a genuinely, loving and caring man in my life and just because the last one hurt me, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this one would do the same. It really created a lot of tension and uncertainties and unnecessary fights. But one day, it hit me hard and realised I was only pulling myself backwards and killing whatever good thing coming my way because of letting this ‘baggage’ control my emotions. I made a conscious decision that, I wasn’t going to let this baggage define me or affect my choices and decisions and trust me right now, I am the happiest girl in the world.

“Sometimes the past should be abandoned yes. 
Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage”- Ita Jin

The most important question then would be how I dealt with this baggage of hurt and insecurities. First of all, it wasn’t easy, I mean I didn’t wake up cured but took it one day at a time. The important thing is I was aware of it; I owned it and handled it. Communication is the key and from what I have realised and gone through it really worked out for my life. It takes honesty to share deeply what’s going on. I came across a piece that mentioned that, most believe the “baggage” thinking breaks relationships but in some cases it actually is the lasting force that holds the relationship together. This is through communicating honestly. The intimate sharing of past events from the heart, and the decision to let the past stay in the past and knowing it ended for a reason and of course to achieve the ultimate goal of moving forward. Basically what I am trying to say is, baggage can either break you or make you. If you let it control your life, it will for sure and you won’t even know where the brakes are. But on the other hand something positive can come out of the realisation of your baggage and taking steps to handle it.



According to an author by the name Lila Warnoke there are ways she came up with to deal with baggage and hope they may be useful to someone who is struggling to let go.
1. Write down an honest list of thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that weigh you down
2. Reflect on each item and identify the source of thought or belief e.g. fear of relationships because an ex- partner cheated and hurt you. Acknowledge the painful memories and don’t wallow in them
3. Find at least one positive in each hurtful experience, I mean yes you might have been hurt but it doesn’t mean you have nada happy memories. Decide what you take from those positive experiences
4. Create affirmations to foster change and counteract negative thoughts e.g. I will speak with love, I choose happiness, I chose my future etc.
5. Practice patience and mindfulness because deep rooted habits take time to be changed and you find your identity in places you been hurt or in your scars and wounds.
I Hope this article will speak to someone and help them let go of the past experiences that are haunting their future. Let the past stay in the past and let the future flourish
#Baggageinthetrashbin
#Flourishingfuture

Friday, 9 February 2018

Sex, Drugs and Alcohol



Lets start today's article with the order in title, lets talk about sex first. Sex is one of the most controversial topics in the world. It's a shame to be associated with, people are shy to talk about it in public, however "enjoyed" in secrecy. How contradictory it is? Why is it loved, but yet a shame, disgrace but still enjoyed?

One of the worst sins in the bible is sexual sin, 1 Corinthians 6 v 18 reads "Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." This is considered a bad sin because it affects the body which God lives in.

Well here God is not saying a married man and married woman in the boundary of marriage can not have sex. Yes! they can, it was created for them to enjoy and reproduce. But the sin part enters when sex is abused outside marriage, like adultery, having an affair or unmarrieds indulging in sex. That is what God labels as sin.


Now how can we help the ones caught up in this sin? Can condemnation or finger pointing save them, as we daily remind them of their sin, or actually come to a point where we relate with them, and get to find out what leads them to do that.
 Some people fall into this sin because of peer pressure, they are pressured in a relationship to show their commitment through that act until they actually become addicts and they need strong guidance from someone elderly who might have been through the same challenge, to bring them back.

Some fall into the sex sin because no one has ever told them it is wrong. Their belief of love is sex, so it's hard for them to show their love without any sexual activity involved.

Love is sex to many and when they talk about dating, if no sex is involved it is  simple friendship. It's a mentality that has corrupted our generation, and even young people still in school engage into sex because they associate it with love.

But that is not true, real loves comes from the heart and does not need to be demonstrated through sex. That kind of love is lust disguised as love and it does not last long. We need the church and elders to teach the young generation what real love is and also to teach us that marriage does not constitute of sex alone. Is that the reason to get married?

What is real love and how can one experience it without lusting.


Lack of knowledge and proper guidance leads to people indulging in sexual sin.



Same applies with drugs and alcohol abuse. I will treat them as one for the purpose of this article. To some it starts off as simple fun simply to have an experience, but then it later turns to becoming a monster which appears to be friendly until it eventually destroys them. Drug and substance abuse is common everywhere and  even in the church. Some people want a relationship with God for protection at the same time they want to enjoy that weird experience they get from drugs and alcohol. They do this until they are trapped forever and eventually drop all morals.

For one to overcome sexual sin, drugs and alcohol abuse, the first stage is to change your influences. These are friends, places you hang out or go to that encourage this immoral behavior. Also change what you listen to. It is not an easy decision but start from there by moving away from certain daily influences. You also need a renewal of the mind to understand the real source of happiness Romans 12 vs 2 reads "Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.".


One needs to renew their mind from thinking happiness comes from sex, drug and substance abuse. Happiness comes from God and when you get to know Him and understand His ways, you will discover real happiness that cannot be replaced by sex, drugs and alcohol. They just bring a temporary feeling that lasts when intoxicated, after that one goes back to life's reality and depression kicks in, but God can take away that depression and give you peace Philippians 4 vs 7.

Lets us surrender totally to God, and
Jude 24 reads "To the one who is able to protect you from falling,
        and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence,". Amen! Cry out to Him using this verse and He will keep you from falling, even if you stumble keep crying out He will pick you up.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Bitterness



What is bitterness? Bitterness is the state of mind which wilfully holds on to angry feelings and being resentful resulting in hostility towards others. The Bible in Ephesians 4:31-32 states that:
"Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead be kind and tender-hearted to one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ." (GNB)

I understand that bitterness involves one allowing hurt to grow in their heart, matures and resentment takes root. This can only lead to an unforgiving spirit and negative attitude towards others and mostly the one who is said to have offended or disappointed them. Usually people who are bitter can plot a revenge mission in their heads or even kill someone in their minds hence bitterness should be delt with before it gets to that extent.

People disappoint us every day in so many ways, but holding on to the hurt and resolving to resentment would not improve our quality of life or anything for that matter. The sad truth is that, the one person you resent is probably on a vacation somewhere, enjoying life. They have moved on. Basically, I am saying you are bitter, angry and full of hate but you not doing anyone good but just hurting yourself. I always hear ladies talking about what if a guy hurts you, you can’t just move on. To be honest you can, it only means that person does not deserve you and being bitter will only affect you next relationships.



Bitterness also has a tendency of causing a person to obsess over blaming one’s misery on others. However it has its own cost on a person’s life emotionally, psychologically, socially and even physically. I mean continuous vengeful thoughts day in day out of how you going to get even with that boy or girl or whoever obviously replace good thoughts and prevents you from experiencing the joys of life dwelling on past wrongs inflicted on you.

Correct me if I am wrong, but who would want to be around someone who is distrustful, pessimistic and unhappy? No one! Trust me it’s a lot of work, it’s like making someone else’s drama your drama and that’s draining. People tend to be blinded by bitterness that they forget the role they played in possibly being hurt by another.

There are also circumstances whereby one resents another person because of what they did to their loved ones. For example when a dad abandons his wife and children, the children may grow  bitter and resent him.

When I was researching on the topic of bitterness I bumped into something interesting that i didn’t even know myself. Apparently, bitterness has effects to one’s health and it results in chronic depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, changes in metabolism and immune system function. Then I asked myself, why would I make myself sick because of past hurt which I’m still holding on to? Why not just live a healthy life and cultivate healthy relationships. Yes, you were hurt, angry and disappointed but forgiving that person and yourself and letting go of that anger and hate is the best thing you could ever do for yourself.



So I am going to leave this here and hoping it helps someone out there who is trying to free themselves from bitterness and reap the joys of life and healthy relationships. Below are steps that one can follow to overcome bitterness according to Harley Therapy:

1. Serious re-evaluation; what really happened.
2. Put a stop to that story you been telling people.
3. Take full responsibility of your contribution to what happened
4. Stop spying; especially on social media looking into that person who hurt you, trying to figure out if they are happy or not, if they have moved on and with who. That is self torture.
5. Face up to hidden fears; bitterness as a disguise of fear of change or failure.
6. Forgive and at your own pace.
7. Forgive yourself.
8. Step into NOW
9. Branch out; make new connections, re-connect with others, find new hobbies.
10. Set mini goals for yourself that are achievable.
11. Try seeing things from a new perspective and not to be narrow minded.
12. Seek support especially from people who are genuine.


Above all in every step of the way include prayer and meditation of the word of God so that it helps in your healing and transitioning process.

#SayNoToBitterness!!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Resolutions


Resolutions!

As we begin yet another year, people make life projections of things they want to accomplish throughout the year. Some do live out those projections as they visualised them in their minds. Others unfortunately are unable to live out their goals  due to uncontrolled circumstances, like lack of resources or departing from this earth to only leave a dream hanging in the air.  

Nonetheless, lets make those yearly life projections regardless of the future outcome. These life projections are what we call
"NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS" 

I will compare your life to a ship out at sea. As much as we hoist the sails and allow the wind to give us motion, there has to be a captain who steers the helm and directs it to the final destination.  Do not move in the direction of the wind only, but lets take control of our lives. Plan the direction you are going as you begin the year, steer your life's ship in the course you want it to move in.


So why do we write down our resolutions at the beginning of the year? 
Is it a "cool" thing to do? Should we just do it because it's being talked about? 


Of course, most will agree that resolutions act as a guide to what they want to achieve in that year and how they probably plan to execute the whole process. However, I understand that one only reaps the benefits of noting down resolutions when they actually execute and achieve them. Thus it requires discipline, focus to follow through these journalized resolutions. 


I don't want to lie and say all my past years I journalised my resolutions. Sometimes I probably would forget where I wrote them and what I had written. Trust me, a whole year is a long time and there are probably people out there who would relate to my experience. The year begins, you so excited and the "new year, new beginnings" mantra is recited everywhere. 


Danie, what's the best way to do it? Someone would ask. I say: take out your journal or diary and neatly write your goals down. About three months down the line, revisit and assess progress. Note what you have achieved, how you achieved it, what you did not achieve and investigate why you couldn't and aim to do better in the following quarters. 

Last year I made a decision to actually never forget where I wrote my resolutions. So what I did was, I bought a beautiful journal, jotted down my goals and constantly read them. By year end I had achieved not all but most of my resolutions and I was truly overwhelmed by an amazing feeling of achievement. I mean who wouldn't be proud of themselves. 

Basically I am saying, when all that you had hoped to achieve is a done deal it gives a positive attitude towards your life and grows the zeal to continue working for more and to reach greater heights. May you have a blessed and most desired 2018.
#Plan
#Execute
#Assess