When I saw the 17th of April one word prompt I thought what a word to write a post, the more I thought about it the more I was warming to the idea of writing a post. The word ‘fret’ is sometimes inter changed by the words ‘whinge’ and ‘moan’ which are used by someone who is certainly nothing to be happy about. Collins dictionary’s definition of fret is to worry about the smallest of problems, reinforcing the state of someone who has nothing to be happy about.
I am not a medical doctor nor am I a psychologist, but when someone consistently moans about everything need to be checked out. I am aware that life consists of happy times and challenging times, and to get frustrated with some aspects of life is part of being alive. I guess now and then it is helpful to have a rant about things which frustrates but that must not be a life style. Yes once in a while you may want to have a moan but never allow it to be the norm.
While there are many things which cause us to fret, there are many things to make us celebrate being alive. Recently I had reasons to whinge about, things were not going as well as I would like them to in addition my father died, and everywhere I turned things were just going wrong. I noticed all my conversations were characterized by few moans, I moaned about how politicians in my home land were getting it all wrong as far as governing is concerned. I moaned about the rain for ever falling here in the U.K. I found myself in a state of constant irritation and anxiety. Did my fretting change the state of things? The answer is a resounding NO! so what is the purpose of fretting?
It is spring here and the daffodils are in full bloom and brightening the surroundings as they grow in the wild surely just enjoying their beauty will lift up any spirits which is vital for my well being. Fretting on the other hand can only result in poor health condition which enhance the state of constantly fretting. I resolve to quit fretting wishing me luck.
Life is constantly changing nothing remains the same. One minute a baby is born and is helpless this new little life depends on those loved ones around it to do everything the baby needs for its survival and development. Before we know it that baby becomes a toddler and mummy has trouble changing the diaper because baby no longer can be kept in mummy’s arms the baby has grown. Life is characterized by constant changes and nothing remains the same,
The daily word prompt for the 20th of February 2018 was ‘constant’ a word which describes something which occurs consistently and persistently. That has been how life has been for me. At every phase of my life circumstances have constantly changed i.e new friends new experiences from being single, married then divorced not one part of my life as remained the same.
While all these changes have constantly happened there has remained one CONSTANT which is God’s love for me. I have changed a lot – doubted God’s existence as a result of circumstances at other times I have failed to trust God’s promises trusting my own ability to order my life the way I want and feeling in control. Constantly changing as I did God has consistently loved me unconditionally. For me the only CONSTANT I have known and had is God.
Compromise is an interesting word for a prompt. In my experience compromise has on one hand very positive outcomes yet on the other it has some negative outcomes as well. In a bid to achieve a resolution in a dispute there is a need for compromise by each part to the dispute. Always in a dispute each part may have very strong views about their side of the dispute which they will hold on to. If both parties are serious in resolving their dispute they will each have to give up and compromise their strongly held views for peace’s sake which is a positive out come.
If friendships and marriages are to last each part to the relationship have to compromise on somethings they may each hold dear for the other part’s sake. It may be interests, or things the other person may have enjoyed doing on their own which the other part to the relations may not like but because the two may have been brought together by some reason and really connected compromise may be needed. For such relationships to last each part may need to reach a compromise if they are to develop their relationship with each other. In such a situation compromising will result in good outcomes.
However there are situations where compromise will have negative outcomes this is personal as far as faith is concerned. From my perspective truth can not be compromised as far as faith is concerned where half truths are being told they must be challenged, compromising on the truth will have dire consequences. Justices can not be be compromised doing so will result in people being marginalized the Gospel is about equality for all.The only way to avoid negative outcomes in this instance is not to compromise on my christian values is by challenging half truths especially in this era of post truth, challenge injustice where ever it is in existence.
The daily prompt for Thursday the 25th October was ‘identity’ – which is about those things and characteristics by which I am recognized by like:-
and my driver’s licence which I have to present every time I need to open a bank account or prove that I am the person I claim to be. However my passport and driver’s licence identify me they are external things which do not say about the person I really am.
At other times I am identified by my race, my culture and religion; my sex and my career also tell people who I am. In this era of technology I am identified by either my pin number or voice – here again while all these things prove the person I am as far as I am concerned they still fall short of saying the real person I am inside.
For me identity is about my thoughts and values which influence my lifestyle – how I relate to people and situations. The things I am passionate about that is what I hope people can recognize me by because they reveal the things that make me, me.
The daily prompt for Friday the 18th of August 2017 was ‘solitary’ as I thought about my interpretation of it I decided to use ‘aloneness’ as the tittle of my post. Just reading and thinking about it made me feel that something was not right in my head. the word solitary invoked mixed feelings within me.
Sociologists have instilled in me that every human is a social being meaning that there is an inherent need to want and enjoy friendships and companionship. To seek to be alone can sometimes be viewed as ‘weird’ Yet there are many people who love and enjoy their own company, it is perfectly normal to want to be alone.
Growing up in a big family and having a small house for eight people I always had people around me it was practically not possible at any given time to be alone. It was fun to always my have my parents and my siblings around 24/7, yet deep inside me there was a yearning of wanting to be own my own at times. I could never explain why I needed time own my own it was when I became a teenager that I understood the need to be on my own. I worked out I needed to have a space to process my own thoughts on several issues without being influenced by those around me. The only place I found that peace and quiet was just walking into a church and be quiet, I never used to tell anyone of my church trips even my closest friends because I needed to be quiet.
For me ‘solitary’ is about allowing myself to find myself away from the hustle and bustle of life and find solace in the sound of silence. Now that I live on my own it is possible to walk to solitary places like this one
where I am able to spend some time on my own and connect with my inner self and nature. I enjoy the company of those close to me and my friends but now and then I love being on my own. It is in those solitary moments that I am inspired a lot, I find meaning in the silence.
Triumph is that great feeling of happiness which you have as a result of victory or a major achievement. As I watched both the 2012 and 2016 I saw triumph written all over the faces of those athletes who had won a medal whether it be bronze, silver or gold. As each told their journey to that point of victory I heard stories of sheer determination, and how each one of them had given up things they loved doing in order to achieve what they had set themselves hence the feeling of triumph.
When I saw this daily prompt at first I thought it would not be easy to go anywhere with the prompt, the more I thought about it the more I was drawn to write a post. Most people have aspirations but they never attempt to have a go because of fear of not achieving their dream. The reason they suppress the urge to do try their dream is that people may have told them that they can not do it, or they may have heard people say it can never be done.
To those who against all odds pluck up some courage and give a try and the discover that it is possible to achieve what they may have dreamed of for years are the ones who have moments of triumph because they would have conquered what other people thought can not be conquered. Most of all they will have fought against their own doubts in them selves. The following photograph reflects triumph against all odds:-
This plant is blooming from what seems like a dead thorny plant yet it emerges brightly as if it to say I have I am a victor.
Autumn colours are beautiful, looking at how they change from one shade to the next takes you to a level where you do not realise that autumn has begun in earnest. For some time the pending dark nights and cold evenings are momentarily forgotten as the colours warms one’s heart.
Autumn signals the drawing near of the season of Advent which for me as a believer is all about ‘waiting’ which was the one word prompt for the 19th of October. Advent gives us an opportunity to reflect on the theme of waiting challenging every believer to ask questions like ‘why do we wait’? what it feels like to be someone who waits what happens when we do not wait and why God may want us to get better at waiting.
Waiting is not an easy thing to do. I know the feelings I get when I get birthday or Christmas presents written ‘do not open’ until on your birthday or on Christmas day, the anxiety of wanting to open always makes life very uncomfortable. Waiting is counter cultural especially living as we do in a credit-driven society which urges us to abandon all thought of waiting with adverts like ‘buy now and pay later’ Developments in communication has eroded the notion of waiting further we hear that people feel frustrated if they have to wait for more that 24 hours to receive a reply from an e-mail.
It does seem strange that the church has Advent, which is four weeks dedicated to waiting it would seem as if the church has become alien to the society around it. What seem to have happened is that the anticipation, which looked forward to Christmas has encouraged people to ‘anticipate’ Christmas in another sense, not in the sense of looking forward to but in the sense of ‘bringing it forward and begin celebrations early.
The season of Advent enhances the season and the month of December enabling us to anticipate Christmas properly in the sense of looking forward to it preparing ourselves and becoming ready rather than in the sense of starting early. The vision of Advent lies in waiting; a waiting that rests not in frustration but in stillness; not frenzied anticipation but in embracing of the present. Paula Gooder sums it very well in her book ‘The meaning is in the waiting’ she says, “If we want to appreciate Advent fully we need to re-learn how to wait, to rediscover the art of savouring the future, of staying in the present and of finding meaning in the act of waiting.”
Reflecting on the one word prompt of the 18th of October made me conclude that ‘trust’ for me is a natural trait you are born with. I imagined a baby who from the time s/he is born finds itself in the arms of its parents it can be argued that there will have been a bonding during the nine months it was in its mother’s womb. I guess that time in the womb it feels safe and protected while the mother does everything to make sure it develops as normal as it can be.
Once it is born its livelihood will depend on those around the baby, if the baby is hungry it will natural cry trusting those around will make sure the baby is fed, kept dry and all its needs met. In most cases the baby will grow and be nurtured in this safe environment. Throughout its childhood the child will continue to trust the adults around and has no reason to doubt their care until that trust is betrayed.
I think most of the unfortunate stories we hear of children being abused be it emotionally, mentally or sexually is what destroys that natural trait which the child had until the moment the abuse begin. What is unfortunate is that once that trust has been betrayed the child or young person will always struggle to trust people because of the experience of childhood.
One’s trust may not have been betrayed during childhood or through teenage years, but it may be betrayed as one begins adult it may be through broken promises by those they look up to. The trust may be broken by unfaithful relationships as they begin to date or it may be through parents divorcing. What this does is to scar the person depriving them the enjoyment of loving and healthy relationships because they will be afraid to hurt again.
So my theory is everyone is born with the ability to trust until that trust is betrayed then the ability is lost in some cases for ever. It is everyone’s responsibility not to destroying this natural trait by betraying those who trust us.
The daily one word prompt for the 5th October 2016 was ‘Daring’ first I looked up in the Collins dictionary and this is the definitions I got (i) to be courageous enough to try to do something (ii) to do something risky. Daring is about doing these two actions. I am a person who is passionate about justice, I had to look up the meaning of the word passion and this is what I got: a strong enthusiasm for something. So if I combine the meaning of these two words which reflects what I am about I am left asking myself these questions; if I describe myself as passionate about justice have I been courageous enough to speak out against it? Have I taken any risks to speaking out about it? especially in my native land where injustice is rampant. The answer is a big NO why? I will try to answer this question in this post.
In 1980 Zimbabwe got its independence and great was the celebration as the nation braced itself to start afresh giving every citizen equal opportunities to attain a good standard of life in a new democratic country. Each person worked hard to make the new nation work before we realised things started going wrong five years on slowly the nation was becoming a one party state any one with opposing views to the ruling party was perceived as the enemy of the state. If you dared spoke out about the misrule, corruption and everything which you saw as undemocratic you either disappeared or were arrested and be dealt with in the prison holding cells that when you came out your were a convert of the ruling party.
While I was not happy about the poor governance it remained a very personal issue which I only talked about with very close friends for fear of the consequences if the powers that be knew I was against the way they were ruling. I then made a decision not to take any risks to do what I am passionate about to dare speak out against injustices how self preservation that sounds. I was not prepared to risk my life for the causes that are at the core of my being. Daring to make a difference is a risky business I hope one day I will be courageous enough to challenge all that is unjust in my country.
Still playing catch up with the daily word prompts which I have not written for quite a while now. On the 16th of September 2016 the one word prompt was ‘Fragile’ my mind went quickly to those parcels or boxes which are written ‘handle with care’ advising handlers to know they have to be careful as contents may be broken as they are being moved. I recalled a time in my life when ‘handle with care’ was written all over my face.
Life for most has twist and turns one minute all is going well, pursue your chosen career and you succeed, you get a dream job you excel and you become very confident at that moment you appear to have everything in control. One betrayal every thing come tumbling down you and your world curves in and you then realise you are not in control after all there things you can not stop happening to you it is just how life is.
My life became very fragile when my marriage came to an end, up until then I believed I had everything under control, I was doing so well in my job managing my own life the best I could the best wife I could be until my husband dropped a bombshell letting me know he was no longer in love with me. Emotionally I became fragile, seeing a couple holding hands tore me to pieces and I would break down. Receiving wedding invitations made me cry and any situation which reminded me of the love I had reluctantly lost made me lose it. I became very sensitive an innocent comment would make me so furious concluding it was aimed at criticising me. I was no longer the person I was, that got me thinking.
There is something about giving your heart to someone in love that is wounded when that love is betrayed I am still figuring what it is that leaves one in a state of not being able to function after a relationship breaks down. I guess that is a subject for another post, ‘handle with care’ label is only meant for goods not human beings we should not be fragile when our hearts are broken.