Helpless Love

Only Time knows the true value of Love

The following is a moral story that always pulls all my heartstrings at the same time in beautiful yet indescribable ways. On this special day, the 9th of October 2019, as I look back on the 20 years of being on a spiritual journey; I felt the need to share something of significance. This story is that thing of significance to me.

Once upon a time all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation. According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island. The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.

Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare. Love looked around with hope.

Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could you please take me in your boat?” “No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver. There is no place for you.”

A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.” Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get soiled with your muddy feet.”

Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”

When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about anyone. Love was growing restless and dejected.

Just then somebody called out, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous, but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.

On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge, do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to help?” Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.” “And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered. Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied,

Because only Time knows your true greatness and what you are capable of. Only Love can bring peace and great happiness in this world.”

from the Gurukul

I could write books about the 20 years from 9 October 1999 to date – what a time it had been! The Gurukul ends this story with the following call which I am taking upon myself as padkos for the next many years of growing in love:

The important message is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When we feel important, we forget love. Even in happiness and sorrow we forget love. Only with time do we realize the importance of love. Why wait that long? Why not make love a part of your life today?

I love

Standing too close to an elephant?

Image from pexels.com

The night of the 2nd of September 2019, was like no other night for me as I lay in bed struggling to sleep. Earlier that day, we had received the shattering news that a young woman we were searching and praying for, for over a week, was long dead after being beaten and raped by her murderer whilst collecting a parcel at her local post office. The young woman’s name was Uyinene Mrwetyana . I pray that her name is never forgotten.

She died on the 24th of August – during Women’s Month in our country leaving me and many others asking ourselves if the month means anything at all to some. You see, it is estimated that Uyinene’s senseless killing was among 30 other reported similar cases; all at the hands of fellow human beings in male bodies in South Africa just this August.

Thank God for comedy, because surprisingly, this difficult night where nothing seemed to access my broken heart, I found deep comfort and a sense of awakening in a comedy show on Netflix. The comedian, Dave Chappelle, tells a moving story of a 14 year old boy, named Emmett Louis Till, who was brutally murdered in the early 50s in Mississipi for whistling in appreciation of a lady that came out of a store he and his friends were hanging outside of. The lady happened to have been white at that time in American history.

Official records say that he was murdered after being “accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store”. Coincidentally, Emmett also died in August, on the 28th of August 1955.

Dave, in his dramatic comedian way, describes what was done to Emmett’s body as “hideous”. But then, *and here’s the part, that made me sit up straight*, Chappelle says: “lucky for everybody in America… Emmett’s mother was a fucking gangster“. In all that pain, it is reported that Emmett’s mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket. In Chappelle’s brilliant way of telling the story, he points out that the mother whilst in the very midst of a mother’s worst nightmare, she still had the foresight to think about everybody else as she said:  “Leave my son’s casket open.” …….. “The world needs to see what they did to my baby.”

Coming back to us, in a lot of ways, I feel that there are many South Africans who deserve the “gangster” status right now (some more than others of course). Uyinene’s friends, family and UCT students handled the social media campaign around her disappearance with such excellent vigour that in the period of her disappearance; no-one, of mature age in South Africa, would say they do not know her. I call that gangsterism of note and I want to give a high 5 to all those great South Africans. It is because of your publicity campaign that even President Cyril Ramaphosa called this “the Dark period for SA”. 

Chappelle’s elephant

Justifiably feeling devastated, as I was, about Uyinene’s murder which brought the reality of the plight faced daily by many of our girl children in South Africa too close home; Chappelle woke me up when he suggested that all the emotions I was feeling, justified as I was, may be due to me “standing too close to the elephant”. This is a phrase/phenomenon that he further explains brilliantly as “the analogy that if you stand too close to an elephant, you can’t see the elephant. All you see is its penis-like skin. You gotta step back and give it a better look”.

Following this, he helps us step back from the sight of the bludgeoned body belonging to Emmet Till on display during that highly publicised funeral to look at where African Americans are in America since then or as a result of that. History records that “Till’s murder was seen as a catalyst for the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement” including the Montgomery bus boycott in December that year. It is alluded that our dearest mother, Rosa Parks, might have been moved by the injustice suffered by Till a few months earlier when she refused to move from her chair on that bus. 

Our own elephant?

It may be too soon for us to even want to acknowledge the good that could come from this horrific “dark period” in our country but I am happy to acknowledge that I am consciously standing too close to this elephant because I choose to. It is at this close range to the elephant that I can channel my anger towards positive change – a moral regeneration of some kind, a call for the harshest punishments to the perpetrators of these evil deeds while crying for more decency from the human race in general.

The good news is that I am already aware that the elephant is not just this “penis looking” skin with an eye. Whilst I choose to stand close, I can take breaks and step back to evaluate progress; hopefully, it won’t be too long before we all see and appreciate the beauty of the whole animal in the fruits of our work. May Uyinene Mrwetyana’s death and the many other women never be in vain.

My prayer is for all the loved ones that are impacted even more closely by these heartless killings and/or rapes during this dark period to find comfort in knowing that what they are seeing thorugh the pain and anger is not the whole elephant. The truth as I have come to know it personally is that, indeed, “all things (do) work together for good” and sanity, morality, humaneness and love will rule again in our beautiful South Africa.

Image from http://www.hdfinewallpapers.com

I love.

Can you sleep when the wind blows?

Image from: https://goo.gl/images/m1P6x3

When I saw this picture of a typhoon that hit South Korea many years ago, my own childhood fears of strong winds were evoked (a story for another day). Most importantly, for now, the picture reminded me of a beautiful story I read many years ago. I had received it through chain emails that were most prevalent before the days of social media and I had printed and kept it very close to be for years but had lost it along the way.

Thanks to Google, imagine my joy when I found it again today at http://www.Spiritual-Short-Stories.com

Here is the story:

“Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.

As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters.

He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!” The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.”

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

REFLECTION:

Whenever I read this story, suddenly everything becomes a potential wind that could blow anytime without warning; finances, relationships, health, life.

It gets me to assess myself by asking (emotions aside) if I could sleep when strong winds blew in any area of my life. The real enquiry I make is whether I have done all I know I should do, within my powers, at any of these areas of my life knowing that I have no clue what my tomorrow will bring.

  • If a loved one died, would my tears be solely for the fact that I will miss them or will they be more tears of regret for what I wish I had done with and for them? How much time do I make for people I care for?
  • If I woke up and had no means to make money, would I sleep through that storm or would I be a nervous wreck. How diligent am I with saving for the future?
  • If I died…… Is my will up to date?
  • If the boss wanted that report a week earlier…….
  • If the exam were to be brought forward ……
  • If I were to be asked today what I have done with my gifts …..

This list is endless and daily I strive to answer this question boldly and calmly because one thing for sure is that winds will continue to blow in various ways.

So I start this week with this question:

What steps am I going to take to secure my sleep when the winds blow?

With that, I remain grateful for this life and all reminders to play it big and real knowing that, whilst I may never be fully ready for all “winds”, I can still sleep with a clear conscience that as far as possible, I continue to do my part, daily.

I love ♥️

Get Up and Start (Again)

Most of us – those that tend to “hibernate” in Winter – are right now, on our back foot as we crawl out from the various holes we went into in Winter. Chances are quite a few balls relating to our health plans were dropped resulting in us going a few steps back in various aspects of our dreams.

At times like these, my mind races back to a message in a quote I heard many years ago. This quote always pushes me to get up from any hole I might find myself and reclaim my willpower to pursue my dreams:

The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.

Les Brown

Right now, I realise that it doesn’t matter what I didn’t accomplish yesterday. It doesn’t matter that I sometimes entertain thoughts of defeat and even believe that nothing would ever change.

It matters that I am alive and not one of the statistics that fertilizes the graveyards of the world. So, I choose again and I am pulling myself back onto the saddle. I focus on taking action today towards what is important to me.

W. H. Murray once said:

This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

He finished it off by referencing one of my favourite quotations attributed to Johan Von Goethe:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!.”

img_2467-2.jpg

So, here I start again. I am committed and there is no hesitation because I don’t want to contribute to the riches buried in graveyards. I bring with me the energy of an Enneagram Type 3 personality and the following strengths from my Gallup Strength Finder Assessment Results:

  1. Focus
  2. Positivity
  3. Achiever
  4. Competition
  5. Activator

You better watch this space 🤗

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”

To access the tools referenced above:

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com

https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/home/en-us/cliftonstrengths-how-it-works