Fighting darkness

We have been given amazing minds.
The think, create, care, dream…
but they also overthink, destroy, hate and doubt.

butterfly

I sometimes yearn for the day when nothing will overpower me. I wish I can proclaim that no fear or doubt leaves me stressed or confused anymore.

That I have not achieved, but I have seen how the identification of the daunting items, gives me more power.

In my mind there is a dark chamber where the monsters rule. They rule because I can not see them, and therefore I am even more debilitated by them. I can not fight and overcome what I can not see and what I can not identify an apt weapon for.

But I am changing that.

It takes time. Time we do not always have…or we do not always allocate it correctly.

But a morning of thinking, realising and writing down the things that lurk in my darkness, has set me free from them.

One would think that viewing a monster will make it more powerful.
But in its revelation lies its first fatal punch.

If I know that the reason I am stressed is because I worry about my loved ones, I can challenge that stress with either doing something in my power, or teaching myself (this takes repetition of course) to not take people’s mistakes or choices as my responsibility. The monster of sadness is losing his fight.
If I realise that I am irritable because I am worrying about the future, I can choose what to change in my daily schedule and harness faith (which I embrace as part of my journey) for that which I can’t control. The monster of fear gets its first death-blow.
If I see that I worry about being a good wife or friend, I can assess it realistically, remind myself of what I know to be good and challenge myself to add another achievement or goal to my weekly regimen. The monster of insecurity is driven back, step by step.
If you compare pictures of yourself and realise that you have purpose, but have lost your passion, you can start the journey to discover it (or a different one) once again. The monster of aimlessness will not rule my days anymore!
If you see how your actions bring about conflict or distance with friends or colleagues, you can choose a different action in future situations. The monster of self-pity and isolation dare not touch you!

With unidentified monsters, we simply feel overwhelmed, wishing to rest and sleep. Combined, these monsters can make quite an army. But separately, I know I can fight them off.

With clear pictures of what taunts us, we can break out our weapons of changed thought, changed priorities or changed lifestyles and challenge a monster with opposed thought whenever necessary.

Thinking about a situation turns from devastation to hope; from listlessness to empowerment.

We sometimes just let the jumble of monsters overcome us. We don’t have to.

Our brilliant minds are created to set us free. That is how wonderfully He made us.

Let monsters into the light – call them from the shadows and chase them from your soul.
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Why does this matter?

I’m not even in America. So why does Trump’s win bother me? Maybe his choices will affect my country’s economy. So that is a reason. I do not yet know if it will be for the better or worse though. So for that I can stand and wait.

But why did I just spend an afternoon looking through posts and opinions and memes and articles about people with very little relevance to my life?

It is because I hate what has won. Not who. What.

I hate that arrogance has won.
I hate that lies have won.
I hate that money (turned into power) and manipulation won.

Because that is what I see in his speeches and what I read in his actions.
Proof of this is blatantly visible in his disregards for women’s worth as well as his miss-interpretation of situations to suit his own agenda e.g. telling lies about an Obama speech.

Do I feel sorry for his wife who chooses to stick by such a fool?
No – she chooses that.

Do I want to shun his whole family?
No – I can not disregard the good that comes out of a situation and surely no person is only bad.

Do I think that Hillary was the better choice?
No – no necessarily, because I do not know what lies beneath her crafty surface and she takes a stand for some frightening causes.

But do I weep for the fact that out of 325 000 000 people, it came down to such a frightening choice? Yes!

Surely there are good and honest people who also have the guts and intelligence to lead wisely. How come it is not their faces that are paraded around a nation?

That saddens me: When the good that is within us all (because we were all originally made good by God) is not what is celebrated and is not given a chance to thrive.

Do I fear the future? NO…somehow we (and America) will survive. I just wish I could believe that it would be effortless due to a trustworthy leader, rather than a volatile character. I do not know if God and His principles will be given a chance (as their nation’s slogan says), but I know He can do miraculous things.

I just wish there were more truly Godly leaders. Not holy moley Bible punching hypocrites…simply people who spoke and lived according to what He knows is wise. Because that’s why He gives us morals and guidelines…because He knows what is good for us.

So good luck Trump – may you not run a country into the ground. Good luck America…let’s see what your choice brings.

But now…I shall not forget my own country.

And though everyone around me may feel we are as lost as America, I would like to still stand and proclaim my faith in this country, just as I believe in the possibility of God having an influence in America IF WE LET HIM have an influence.

And this happens through us. Through good people. Through people who live what is right and grab hold of the conviction that we can shine a light and see how darkness tumbles.

And we have many such leaders…and of that I am proud!!!
Are they perfect? No
Are their records blemishless? No

But, oh, I have seen them fight the good fight for the sake of our country and not simply for personal gain.
I wish there were more Zille’s and Leon’s and Maimane’s. (I wish I had their guts and determination some days).
Though they are not saints, I do not doubt these people’s characters that chose to fight for people’s rights. And in South Africa we have given these people power. Power in the form of a position that can have influence.

And of that I am extremely proud.
And that gives me hope for a future even though every newspaper seems glum.

I do not aim at being naive…but hopeful yes!

I do not condemn America or its leader, but I think they chose an interesting ride.

May both the countries survive current leaders.

May we realise the impact of every choice and vote we take.

May we allow Him to lead us in it all.

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That’s just me.

This title was “Mud”…but now it has become “Progress”

Its like pulling yourself up out of the mud.

The sludge of negative thoughts and self-criticism. The draining fight against fear of failure and overcoming challenging events…

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I started this piece months ago and found it today again.

What I am grateful to say is that I’ve done some pulling these past few months.

Gone is the running away from my thoughts. I have learnt that I can come to a stand-still, face them, page through them to see which ones are valid and which ones I should ignore. Some fears exist because of bad past experiences, but pushing THROUGH the thought shows me that there is more light than darkness on the other side. Light in terms of possibilities instead of only the option of failure. The fact that failure doesn’t mean the end…its just part of a process. Pushing through a negative thought and fear, I realise that I am capable to withstand a challenge and that I have more strength than I thought I did.

Why do I write this?

Because, if I can see progress in how I think about life and challenges I want to face and dreams I want to chase, then maybe someone else can too. And sometimes we need confirmation that we can.

Feeling utterly abandoned and frustrated with an unknown future and feelings of inadequacies, I stumble across a hero’s online video, mentioning that miracles and the impossible is where God prefers to work.

If she could survive and stand with a smile on her face, then so can I.

Its going to take a lot of hard work.
butterfly

But I have started breaking through the thoughts holding me back…and thoughts are sometimes stronger than the actual situations.

So let’s keep on going. Mud will not keep me back.