This too shall pass

“This too shall pass”: so many meanings and levels to it; many dynamics and interpretations.

“Shall pass”, as in: be accepted by God and “pass” the test of life.

As in: It shall all end at some point, “pass” away.

As in: It shall all be traveled through / over, like the Drakensberg “Pass”, “Sani Pass” or any mountain “pass”.

Everything “this too” shall be celebrated as it is with “Pass” Over, all shall be taken care of and joyously remembered as the horrid “past” it was, for the purpose of creating gratitude for being saved and taken away from the horror, and for the sake of remembering to take nothing for granted.

As in: shall get a “Pass” book, and be able to step into the kingdom of Heaven, with the “Pass” stamped, with the “Pass” that says you are allowed into this area, you are allowed to enjoy.

As in: A Disneyland “Pass”, the ticket has been paid for, Jesus stepped in and paid for the ticket that offers a pass to Heaven, to joy, to Wonderland, to all that has been created for enjoyment…

“This too shall pass”… This Too, as in all that has happened before has “Passed”; it has achieved progression to the next level, it has “Passed”, lived in the past and survived, just as my ‘now’ shall become ‘passed’ and thus be in the past and I shall ‘too’ survive once again.

FASCINATING. I think that this is the reason that the Bible is a LIVING Word, Good News, The Way to connect to God, and applicable to every human in all their situations. Wherever you are, whoever you are, you can apply, interpret, understand and be part of the journey, the truth and the complexity of God’s awesomeness, God’s great Word Choice and HIS story, history.

This is also where I hum and ah, and sigh, and shake my head at those controlling individuals who stand up and expect The Bible to have one meaning alone for every scripture. Anyone who does that makes me skeptical about their belief system and whether or not it is about God and His glory, or about that man and his desire to have things his way to accommodate his ego. It makes me think that the scientists and people who say it must be black and white, it must be proven to be one way and not another, are missing the plot completely, they don’t ‘get it’. They don’t get it that God is BIGGER, MIGHTIER, SMARTER, SUPERIOR to ALL, and not something / someone who anyone can confine to a piece of paper, a blog, a sermon, a single meaning, a single dynamic. A single “right answer” or “correct way”.

God is a being, not a list of rules, not a concept that can be confined, defined, scribed into a single form or list. Bigger than us, greater than us and so much more awesome than anyone who fills their Instagram page with photos of themselves, believing that they are the only thing on the planet worth photographing. . .

And I like it that way, no, I LOVE it that way. I LOVE that my God is greater, bigger, smarter and more superior to all that is on earth. I LOVE it that it means I have the highest, most challenging goal in the WORLD to aspire to – The Greatest. I can never get there, achieve such greatness or be that incredible, but it means I will ALWAYS, without fail, have a goal to work towards, ALWAYS. I will always have a purpose to serve and a reason to be: “To step up to be a higher version of me.” I can also never be broken by the flaws of man, the brokenness, the lies, the gossip, and the worldly fences that force people into ‘boxes’, because I KNOW that it shall pass, I KNOW that God will reign, will let it end, will show me Disneyland, will open wonders for me beyond human understanding, and offer me peace beyond human understanding, because MY GOD is not human, and does not have human flaws and does not need ANYTHING to BE WHO HE IS… unlike humans, who need so very much…

I pray that all who read this yearn, desire and make the move to step out of the constructs of this limited world and jump into the limitless realms of the perpetual goal and purposeful living of being a higher version of themselves and living in peace beyond human understanding.

 

God or Imagination? My wishful thinking or God’s Will?

“How to catch a Prince” by Rachel Hauck – ‘The Royal Wedding Series’. Page 293:

“He touched his finger to his lower lip, where the buzzing hint of her presence remained. He splashed his face again and tried to rub the buzz from his lip. When he snatched the hand towel from the bar to dry his face, the sensation of her touch had not diminished, but intensified. “Forgiven” . The word strafed his heart.”

I read that – remembering all my wishes over the last plus five years, confused over the buzz of post-kissing itchiness, for a kiss that never happened, on own my lips. How I have also been unable to wash away the burning… “buzzing” – why didn’t I think of that word?

Page 340:

“Esteemed guests… Thank you for being here… when I came home, broken from an intense battle, I felt I wasn’t worthy of her (his bride). So I sent her away… For over five years, she dealt with her pain alone, but through a series of divine events, we came together again… She loved me when I showed her no regard. When I rebuffed and rejected her. She loved me well. She loved me to Jesus, where I finally discovered what it meant to be a man of worth. So I want the whole world to know I love this woman!”

This hasn’t happened to me – but still, I pray for one man often, under my normal prayers my Spirit cries out for him regularly, that he would find God, Jesus’s Crucifix and Page 315 “moment by moment… become the man he’d always longed to be.”

The book ends with the Acknowledgements section… echoing my health problems and challenges and constant blockades to being able to sit and write…:

“I found myself in a physical battle while creatively struggling with this story. Not a good combination. Yet through it all, by God’s grace, I maintained my writing goals until my deadline, climbing to my office every day after a weak night of sleep, facing the page and writing despite my feelings, despite physical weakness.

As I prayed over this book, I felt the Lord would fill the “empty spaces” for each of you, telling you His own unique story to your heart. So ask Him. “Lord, what do you have for me as I read this book?”

God loves story. And He loves to speak to us through every aspect of our lives…”

“Fill the ‘empty spaces’”… bizarre how things unfold. How moments visit me and seem to be pregnant with hidden meaning and Godly presence, and then I look up from the realm of the written, the spaces imbedded books, the TV, DVDs, my imagination and all that seems to shout out about a different story to the one I’m physically living; and I don’t know which is the truth. If I am honest with myself, the quoted-above book screamed truth at me, echoed my 5 years of torment, of not being able to understand, not being able to seal and/or shut away the presence of what, if it wasn’t so ridiculous, if it was a completely different scenario, if it made any realistic sense in anyway, I would term: “Love”. At my sister’s wedding, where I was a bridesmaid, the pastor spoke of God Being Love, of marriage being a replica of that Love, how even when God isn’t physically there, you know He is, you know Love is, you can feel it, sense it, almost touch it. The pastor said that in a marriage of true love, even when the other half is not there physically, their love IS still there, their presence is still there, the Love is always there…

Other moments have happened too, that have reflected similar sentiments in echoing exactly what I am feeling / experiencing; moments that are inexplicably exact echoes of my being, my life and context. All it has served to do is pile on insecurity, being completely unsure, ridiculously doubtful, whilst at the same time, being filled with another force that holds nothing but conviction that it is truth. Conviction that it is God-incidence, part of an incredible story all for God’s Glory… which wavers under: Your wishful thinking dear?

Sitting on this fence – one side my soul and ‘fantasy’, the other side cold, hard, depression-creating ‘reality’. Which side to fall into? My being is tired and aching from 5 years in this position: squatting on a fence. If I fall into reality, it becomes lonely. If I fall into faith, it echoes imaginary, almost ‘crazy’. The few times I have fallen into one half, or the other, I’ve ended up climbing back onto the fence because I miss the other side, because my mind or heart talks me back into being up there to consider again, both sides… each side seemingly jealous of the other, but neither seeming to be able to be lived in at the same time as the other. It makes no sense. Nothing makes sense to me anymore… and The Word resounds within me that I am not ‘home’ on planet earth, that earth is not a place of peace, it is a broken world and a heavenly yearning cannot be content in worldly hells. Does my mind only think that because I have read it? Or do others know something I don’t in that they seem so busy and content and active in what I perceive as such a broken world, where I cannot find ‘contentment’ without buy-ness to ignore my discontent, unless I’m sitting with God, then it is very peaceful and joyous indeed… the cycle ravages me: God, world, God, world, and desire for the best of both, whilst the negative of both slams me in highly inconvenient moments.

I look at the book I have quoted from, I couldn’t stop reading it. I was so engorged and entrenched in it that only the ache of my tired eyes could stop me from devouring it… But it was not a well written or sensible book. It lacked in so many areas and would never reach the hierarchy of the ‘royals’ of prizewinners on the literature list of school or University teaching material. The plot: A woman loved a man and she kept on loving him well, even though he kept on denying his heart for his own selfish reasons. He kept putting his own perspectives into her mind and assuming that they were ‘truth’, when they were so far from it. He pushed through in personal torment, using imaginary perceptions of her thoughts, without (not once) even speaking to her, or asking her to confirm his thoughts and reasonings … Still she carried on loving him, intrinsically unable to stop herself, through the pain and torment and knowing that the man who was rejecting her was the one she was meant to be with…

Me? What “empty spaces” did the story relate to? Many! Maybe why I kept on reading it was because I have a similar bizarre space about someone I once met… over 5 years ago… someone who also out rightly rejected me, three times. Peter and Jesus style. This is where the confusion comes in… I know he must know his mind, himself and what he wants and does not want, who he desires and who he does not desire… As someone who loves him, I need to respect that, it is the Christian thing to do… so why? Why would a Christian book go on sale (From R170 to R35! to fit my budget!) and from picking up the poorly written novel right to the end, I could not stop reading it? I could not stop the pain, the ache, the empathy with the leading lady and the emotions involved. Is it my own thoughts being so strong and deep that they ‘attracted’ this book from the Universe to reflect my thoughts back to me? Nothing to be done, but accept: I’m still ‘working through it’? Or is it the work of God, asking me to keep waiting, to keep loving, to keep letting my subconscious pray for a man I haven’t spoken to in over 5 years? I don’t know… I hate not knowing…

On a very different level, however, if I bring in my realistic thoughts: The leading lady was a beauty pageant winner, an heiress, mountains away from my reality. He was royalty, (nothing like the man I’m just literally stuck on) and all of the story was blatantly FICTIONAL… it makes no sense to me that their interactions, their moments, would resonate with me so very deeply that it would cause my entire being to meet the pain of loss and rejection I experienced over FIVE (even that number is the same as their separation time?!?!) years ago. Am I experiencing the damage created by hope? Is this all simply pathetic effort to think I was loved, may still be loved at the intensity and unconditional level that I experienced in myself? Can such fiction extend into non-fiction at all? Especially as I have never personally experienced such fictional mutual love in any non-fictional scenario? Or is God simply using this experience once again as a parable to show me how much He loves me, so much it aches; so much for all His children that He aches daily for all those He loves who reject Him so?

I know I think too much, I know I ask too many questions, I know that many have told me to just stop thinking and asking, to just ‘accept’; but accept what? How? I look, I see, I am amazed, I am blessed, this I do know and I have many moments in the knowing of these blessings, but then there are other moments, the challenging moments, the questions, the interactions and engagements that keep me pressing on to discover more, know more, be more and not lie dormant, letting all God blessed me with sit unexplored and turning to waste.

This week, a butterfly / moth has entered my classroom and left in 3 different lessons. In all my years of teaching, this has not happened; my God symbol has not flitted into my classroom. I have also recently been gifted with a gold four-leaf clover. I have even encountered his name TWICE in very important God moments recently…

And my mind shouts as me: It’s done, he didn’t feel anything for me. It’s only my imagination fueling this horrible nonsense, stop it! … and I don’t understand why I can’t stop it, why I can’t “change my thoughts”, “attract better people”, “Practice the Law of ‘The Secret’, the ‘Law of Attraction”. It feels like something far greater than me is at work. Still, I don’t understand why; after more than five years, the signs and symbols would intensify instead of fade away… I don’t know if it is God driving it, or my imagination attracting it. I don’t know if it is my own powerful mind keeping me a prisoner to something that happened so quickly, so suddenly and so overwhelmingly, so long ago, or if it is God’s Will, God’s footprints, God’s plan for a grand story, glorifying HIM and HIS perfect eternal planning and timing down to every minute detail…

The latter would be mind-blowing to see the end of; the former would be a rational, realistic course of action and result… So, does my mind really make the decision? Or is God sending me beyond insane-to-the-human-world, because that is where He exists, loving what doesn’t deserve to be loved, giving grace to what believes it is not worth His Grace, holding and keeping everything in the ‘insanity’ (by earthly construct and socialization) of unconditional Love?

All I know is that the heart ache, the pain, the longing, the confusion, the revisiting of what I haven’t been able to go beyond and get out of has been in full, overpowering, soul-wrenching force this last week – and it almost did me in; almost.

Lord, please, bring me to the end of the confusion. Help me stop thinking and just accept You and trust You, not this world. Please Father, please. Thank You Lord. Amen.

Easter Musing…

😉  It’s got me thinking… I love symbolism and deeper meaning. I find it fascinating that “The Crucifix”, a method of incredibly cruel and inhumane torture, which was predicted around 400 years before it was invented and practiced, should come to be a symbol of such peace, joy, purpose, contentment and most of all: Sacrificial Love. How, no matter the hell I go through, no matter the depth and intensity of my hassles and struggles, I too, with God’s Help, will rise again. Will rise above the circumstances; rise above the hurt and pain and challenges to grow into a better, stronger, closer-to-God-than-ever-before human being. “The Crucifix”, brings joy and hope today, after all the pain, trauma and horror that came before it. May this symbol touch your heart and increase your hope; may we all rise again (personally and collectively) to be better, stronger, kinder, more generous and more at peace in our hearts too, after we tackle the tough times, after we say “sorry”, whether we did or did not know what we were doing… Yes, the older I get, the more I have been through, the closer I get to knowing sacrificial love, the more I am beyond eternally grateful that I too can rise again and find rest and peace in the company, protection and provision of Our Father in Heaven. SO MUCH OF AWESOME! May Life and all her complexities continue, and never stop, molding us into higher versions of who we once were… yes, indeed, today has given me a lot to think about:) May you enjoy the holiday and family chocolate time in all the ways that make you know, love and be grateful for the love in your life too. Be blessed and know – YOU ARE LOVED! Happy Happy Easter:)

It’s Actually about LOVE… religion smi-ligion

I recently had conversation with someone who is spending as much time and effort as he possibly can in researching “religions” and proving that “religions” are the biggest, most unhelpful, manly construct in the world, the impression I get anyway. A man who appears in many instances to live in head and information space and thus have an answer for most things, because his IQ is above genius (or so I have been told). Yet I get such a gut feeling that it was a case of his youth being very naturally in tune with God, then he went off course and is now collecting reasons not to believe… but it’s a rather unjustifiable feeling on my part as I barely know the guy … something along the lines of ‘the guy doth protest too much me thinks’. Then today, Easter Sunday, I watch a DVD on how we are fed children’s stories from the Bible when we are younger and how those stories often don’t help our faith when we are adults… hmmm…

The conversation started with discussing how busy life is and how tired everyone is. I mentioned that I had just watched another Andy Stanley DVD where he spoke of the Israelites coming out of Egypt as a slave nation and how they had been slaves 24-7, every day, 366 days a year. Then, when God set them free, He set it in law that they would have to have the 7th day off every week. Telling a 400 year old slave-driven nation that they have to take days off; because rest is important, must have been bizarre to them. The lesson: Trusting God to provide is important.

A third person mentioned that it really is an excellent idea to make sure you have a Sabbath Day every week. The first chap then went on into all the details he knows about Jewish Faith and how they can’t even turn on electricity on their Sabbath, which is true. I have a friend who works in a very fancy Bed & Breakfast and she says it is crazy how much they have to prepare and do beforehand for the Jewish customers. The conversation then went to Greek Orthodox as being the oldest of the Catholic Group. Apparently, there is also an ancient Ethiopian religious group too…

At this I said how awesome it is that God has truly been a constant presence. How amazing that over thousands of years God has remained, despite the influx in technology and the hundreds of generations that have passed. It is quite incredible. My remark then went on to bring about the comment and difference in opinion. His comment: “religion is the biggest source of conflict and war and killings in the world.”

To which I retorted, “No, man’s fear and need for power are the greatest source of conflict, war and killings in the world, not the Love of God. Not God and Love.”

He was vehement, “Killing and War are done in the name of Religion, for religion.”

“No, Killing and War are for man’s Fear and Power. “Religion” is just a label they put on it to justify themselves. It is not of God. Religion is a label.”

He continued, “It is for religion. Religion kills.”

“No, religion does not kill.”

We were interrupted at this point.

Should we have continued, my points would have too: Religion does not kill. Man kills. Man makes up reasons, justifies his selfish actions. Man knows it is wrong. Man knows that he has done something that he should not have done. But man is proud, man will not apologise, man must be ‘right’, and he will find reasons to justify his actions, even if he has to make them up; purely so that he does not have to apologise. Man does not choose God, Man does not choose what is at the heart of ‘religion’ (and most of them are based in the First Testament) THOU SHALT NOT KILL, NOR COVET, NOR PUT ANYTHING ELSE ABOVE GOD. God is LOVE. Thus MAN SHOULD NOT PUT ANYTHING ABOVE LOVE. Love does not kill; it cannot handle hurting another at all. Love abhors killing. Love will do anything to restore relationships. But man kills. Man does not know what true, unconditional, giving, apologising love is. Instead man runs on his own feelings, his own emotions, his own agenda, his desire to “Have More”, to “Get More”, to “Satisfy his bodily desire”, to “Do it himself”, to “Rely on himself”, to “apologise to no-one”, to “Always be in the ‘Right’”, to be and do everything that is contrary to trusting God and walking with God by admitting guilt, by accepting fault, by being true to Love. Why? Because man fears. He fears being ‘outdone’, he fears being ‘meaningless’, he fears ‘being wrong’. He fears ‘embarrassment’, he fears ‘this broken world’, he fears ‘death’, he fears ‘loss’, he fears “condemnation” (which means he hasn’t actually read The Book of the so-called ‘Religion’ that he is practicing and thus does not know that asking for forgiveness is the first and most important step to restoration and reconciliation) and everything else that shows he does not trust God. Jesus said to the lady who was caught committing adultery “I do not condemn you, go and sin no more.” Condemnation, guilt, pride, self-absorption, these are all of Man, not of Love of God.

If you have fear, if you have to kill, if you have to have power and ‘prove you are right’, justify that ‘you were in the right’, then you are not a person of God or “religious label”, you can’t be, because Love desires peace, not “to be ‘better’ than you”. Love desires to give, not “to have more”. Love desires openness, honesty and union, not hate, lies, secrets and separation. Love desires goodness, grace, integrity, humility, kindness, generosity and beauty not war, hurt, pain, power, greed, miserly behaviour, meanness, torture, nastiness and cruelty.

The heart of truth is in Holy Words, interpreted in the light, presence and practice of Holy Actions, or Holy Spirits, Hearts and Minds. Men driven by Lust, Greed, Power, Hurt, Fear and the like are not Holy, thus their interpretation of Holy Words will come out mangled, self-serving and disastrously twisted to make their own purposes met, and not the needs of the masses, of the poor, the down-trodden, the weak, or any of the purposes of LOVE.

No, “Religion”, like “Money”, is experientially defined. Experientially created. It can only have the meaning that an individual assigns to it. Get into FAITH, get into LOVE, get into the Holy Word, the goodness, the Love, then you can define things outside of ego and self. . . but that would take a miracle. That would take an incredible human being. One who does not live in Ego and Self. One who does not Fear or lack Faith, Goodness, Unconditional Love, Wisdom and PEACE. Someone who would say the words “FORGIVE THEM FATHER FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO” as He suffered one of the WORST forms of torture ever created to meet His Death. His Human Death. Then to rise again, eternal. No Ego, No Self. Only LOVE.

Thank-You Lord for Easter. Thank-You for LOVE. Thank-You that You created me for this very Journey, to live out these discoveries, have these conversations, think these thoughts. Thank-You that I do not have to fear anything. That I do not have to fight anyone. That I do not have to prove or justify any wrong actions with lies, deceit and weapons, because all I have to do is say I have sinned, please forgive me, and You hold me in joy and love as MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, keeper of my SOUL, Lover of all of me, happy to help me get up, get better and improve myself after each stumble and each learning curve. Thank-You for opening my eyes and lifting them up to You; and the only thing that is truth: I must Choose – Love or Fear every time. Let me choose Love. Help us all to choose Love, Lord, help us all know the incredible awesomeness of sacrificial LOVE, as You gifted it to us through all Your INCREDIBLE stories. Dear Lord, put me in Your Story, let me be in Your Story too.

The starring role of the story belongs to Jesus; may I do an incredible supporting actress role Lord, in whatever way You have chosen for me. So exciting!

Dear Lord, I pray on this AWESOME weekend of Easter, that You will help those who cannot see, who “do not know what they are doing.” To see, to know, to experience YOU, in YOUR amazing capacity. I pray that YOU will guide all of those who are searching so hard to replace You with “religion”, with money, with “hobbies”, with all the inconsequential “earthly consumerist” things they can find, to realise that they will not find love, hope, goodness, peace, satisfaction, comfort, consolation, contentment or anything of eternal and worthwhile value in anything but YOU. Let them find YOU, Choose YOU and come to KNOW YOU in ALL YOUR AWESOMENESS. I pray these things, I hope and dream of these things, in YOUR Amazing Name Dear Dear Lord. So much Love, Shannan. AMEN!

Stats as at…

Wow… so the years have gone by… guess it had to happen😉 I’m surprised I’ve lasted the haul and haven’t given up in boredom, or in the river of work that perpetually drowns me, like I often do. Still no feedback on those pass-it-on books as to where they all ended up, or if they are still in transit . . .  maybe, one day, I will find out, or see one … Car and flat sagas continue and, sadly, I totally lost interest in the Kindle Book I published, which was what instigated opening the avenue of this site and these blogs in the first place. Funny how somethings just dissolve into one’s history, somewhere far away…

So as things sit today … 36% of my views have happened on Saturdays, which is interesting.

25% of the views this site has had have been at 3pm… although the computer doesn’t tell me which country’s clock that is based on.

I’ve officially made 200 posts and this is 201.

The site has had 4898 views and 2060 visitors… um, I’m guessing the views are flashes through and not actually reading and the visitors actually read something?

This process continues to feed my fascination… one little person can reach everyone in the world… amazing!

Bring on these school holidays! Amen!

Be blessed $

 

The Selfie – we are supposed to transcend it not get stuck there

A Friday night: a thirty-something spinster at home with a DVD, and no desire or energy to move beyond the couch. A tough week gone by, dealing with her ‘past-halfway-to-seventy’ birthday a few days away. Neither contemplation, nor prayer, nor journaling, nor goal-setting or mind-messing (a.k.a. positive thinking) seem to be offering any answers. The seeking process, the being stuck space, the constant feeling of this ‘separation-from-half-of-herself’, the knowing that unconditional love is ‘out there’, is there, but isn’t tangible, only spiritual, is exhausting whilst trying to survive in the tangible, ‘real’, ‘now’ world; this is far from ideal world. Feeling completely exhausted by it all. Who would have thought that the desire to know and figure out and live through the process of transcendence would be so tiring? A constant battle between ‘soul-less’, money-orientated, appearance concerned, insecure individuals and my inner soul’s antithesis thereof. It would seem that the inner battle of conscience and truth versus immorality and zero ethics is as intense as the battles fought on famous battlefields… it’s just that the battle with self to survive in a broken world is not one that is going to end whilst I’m still on this planet… in this life.

I see around me that the ‘physical’ appears so much easier to ‘deal with’ than the ‘spiritual’. Go on a diet, get some exercise, go bed with anyone… from where I’m sitting anyway. So that’s what people focus on, their bodies, maybe their minds too, but seldom their souls. I was introduced to 2 ladies this week and they are convinced that it is all “easy” and all one has to do is wake up in the morning, get out of bed and say: “make it easy”, and poof, magic wand has been waved, and it is easy. Indeed, it must work, because what one tells one’s earthly brain is what one is programming it for, and if I lived in the realm of following my earthly brain, then I too would be able to wake up and make it all about the ‘now’ and ‘easy’ and that would be that. No concerns, no difficulties, just deep breathing and ‘flowing’ through the ‘now’ with ease and grace and no concern for the future as it will be ‘easy’; it has been self-prophesied and created and must be so.

Yet, I have this annoying thing called a ‘soul’, a ‘spirit’, that has a solid concern and dislike for what is going on in the world; which is combined with my chosen belief that friction and challenge mold and grow and mature human beings. The Refiner’s Fire must be lived through. The challenging lessons must be entered into. The truth, the history, the life, must be ‘re-membered’ and efforts must be made to endure, press on, persevere, and find peace at the top of the mountain that should be climbed. Someone, in my opinion, at least one person, needs to be observing, taking themselves into account, watching the growth, seeing the changes, pointing out how it happened, why it happened, what the worth is, with regards to meeting one’s self in the place of wisdom through experience and empathy… Still, my opinion is biased, because I am an observer, I am an ‘out-the-box’ thinker, I am a blogger, I am a writer, a performing artist, a teacher. I need material. I can’t say it’s ‘easy’ and just be in the ‘now’, because then I will have no substance to what I am doing and who I am being. I will be a zombie, going from one moment to the next, without purpose, without observing the whole story or sharing actualities.

Of course, I am my own worst enemy, because of my choice of faith, because of my over-thinking, because of my inability to trust, all thanks to my context and life experiences. I could turn any thought in my mind around to make it do what I like, make it serve me as I like, make the factors support whatever I like and whatever I please. I could place circumstances and factors in a light that ‘works’ for me… but, and here is the rub, what makes me ‘right’? What would make that choice and manipulation of facts to suit myself ‘helpful’? The current reading material in this world that now hosts more dis-ease, hurt, pain, abuse, hate, war, nastiness and the like, than ever before (which I could manipulate in my mind to say – that’s fine, that’s ‘right’, as the population is bigger, so this must be the case, proportionate growth) is all about “ME”, all about the “Selfie”, all about “controlling my thoughts, because I can make the best results, I will sort it out my way”… Really? Fallen, hurt, broken, insecure, vengeful, hating, bitter etc, and ‘I have the answer’, ‘I am right’… How? How can that, in any universe, be a rational and acceptable combination, never mind a direction for an entire society to take? “My way”, “my knowing”, “my truth”, because my mommy loves me… Seriously?

I reckon that I can see one HUGE downfall in this thinking pattern of the 21st century, how can there be 8 billion truths in one space called earth and no conflict? How can there be 8 billion individuals wondering around saying “I am in my now” (“I am taking it easy”, “I am in my space, don’t disturb me”, “I am ok”) and none of those 8 billion bump into each other and create major turmoil? Unless every one of the 8 billion takes their selfish space and sits in their own home, on their own and never encounters another…

Marriage scenario:

“My mother has invited us to dinner; I would really like us to go.”

“No, I’m not going, I don’t like your mother, she doesn’t make my life easy.”

How does that not end up in hating, clashing and a fight? A perpetual turmoil that overflows into everything?

 

Work scenario:

“Please would you assist with this?”

“No, it is not in my job description. I don’t want to, nor do I want to learn to.”

How does that not create frustration, annoyance and bad relations? Never mind limited skills and shortsightedness?

 

Friends scenario:

“My pet passed away, I’m really bleak, please come and help me bury him.”

“No, I don’t do death; it’s not something I want in my space.”

How is that going to build a relationship? How is that going to develop courage and strength of character?

Obviously the scenarios may be real, one may not need an in-law’s negativity, or someone else’s ‘problems’, or to face a fear at a particular time… but to use ‘flow’, and ‘ease’, and ‘me’, as reasons to avoid facing fears, maturing, growing and becoming a better person? It has to result in leaving the earth overloaded with people who have never left childhood being, never left the maturity of a five year old.

‘Adults’ by age; but ‘children’ by brain, will-power, self-control, self-discipline and immaturity. I see this society of selfishness, of arrogance and more brokenness as “me” takes over as one’s ‘god’. My way, my things, my achievements, it was all me… and, through my glasses: ‘it is/was all me’ is completely delusional.

I can write and type because someone taught me, because someone invented writing and technology, because someone else made mistakes before me, because someone else shared their ideas, wrote them down, gave them away, other people worked really really hard to invent things, to build things, to create the infrastructures that I take for granted every day. Other people have to help me with my health, my car, my laptop, growing my groceries, delivering my snail-mail; it is not all about me. It can’t be… yet, I have learners demanding their marks ‘now’, I have ‘adults’ demanding that things be done ‘their way’, I have had major companies completely unconcerned that their products have caused damage to my health, it’s not their problem… they don’t have to sort it out… there are 7999999999 other people in the world, so no ‘one’ person really is that important…

So why are we living in such a contradiction? Selfie – you are important; build your self-esteem – you are loved; have everything ‘easy’ and ‘now’ – you are worth it, you can have it… yet all I have encountered recently as a thirty-something-spinster sitting on her couch watching her DVD, is that I’m not that important in this world. There is no purpose in living for Self. There is no joy in having everything at your fingertips now when there is no-one to share it with… The world is preaching “Self” and creating a very, very lonely world.

I lift up my prayer this morning, that the world, the people who are sucked into ‘self’ will realise that turning to ‘self’ is not the end of the journey. It is the pathway that is supposed to show them how unfulfilling and meaningless ‘self’ is. It is supposed to show the loneliness and isolation of the ‘self’ as ‘god’ in order to get one to step up, out and above that way of thinking and being. Once one realises that ‘self’ is not what should be served; that ‘me, me, me’ is an incredibly lonely place; that fear gets worse when stuck on its own, feeding itself; that the only way to be saved from the isolation of ‘self’ is to be selfless, to serve, to give, to build, to persevere, to take the ‘road less travelled’, sacrifice, compromise, put others above yourself, be kind, be real, be open, be honest, step out of ‘easy’ and into meaningful, step out of ‘comfortable’ and into creating empathy. Leave ‘now’ and see the whole picture. Learn that love of ALL others in ALL circumstances will lead one to be able to peacefully move to maturity, wisdom, emotional intelligence and an intuition that is trained and listened to in order to make living in a broken world an enlightening experience and not just a journey in front of a hand mirror, serving and achieving nothing.

Dreams meet reality, Lady meets disappointment

My dreams were always going on somewhere, unconsciously, “up in the atmosphere, up where the air is clear… come let’s go fly a kite”… based in the wonders of the newly invented Television that arrived in South Africa in about 1975, and I was born in 1980. The speed of technological change in the last 35 years is BEYOND frightening. Especially as it took us 2000 odd years to get to inventing things, then, in a couple of decades, it has spiraled out of control, out of financial sustainability, out of moral and ethical control (this perspective being entirely dependent on the individual’s financial and moral position in life, as we all vary on this).

I have no record of what I dreamt of in my primary school years, other than a few ‘wishes/prayers’ jotted down next to pressed four-leaf clovers. Very simple things, like: ‘be happy’. Get ‘published’. Be ‘healthy’. Be financially stable. It seems that I haven’t quite managed to accomplish even those seemingly ‘simple’ things, which have now entered my awareness as not being so ‘simple’ in a country with a president who makes completely selfish decisions; a world filled with dishonest, money-grubbing people; with sexually consumed individuals who think of little else and even purchase audio visuals of sex because they are so consumed with their sex drives, lack of fulfillment and dissatisfaction; with ‘businessmen’/craftsmen/practitioners who are out to make errors and/or situations worse, so they can make more money; prioritising Television time over family time; pushing responsibility into other people’s courts, so one doesn’t have to be ‘accountable’, one can just pass blame…

In this context, how can my dreams ever be joyfully realised when the background situations are unchanging and things are not as they should be, when people set out to hurt and deprive others on purpose…? I never factored these ‘earthly’ conditions into my mind and Television observations when I was watching Mary Poppins flying with her umbrella…

Although I was very young when real-life reality hit in all its unsettling, perspective altering, life-changing, dream-warping capacities, I was still set into the escapism of Television and reading. Yet, as a pre-teen and then into my teens, I had to rely on the wisdom of those older than me… not knowing or even having the slightest hint of the fact that there may have been very little wisdom applied in actual fact. What was applied was “this is how it was for me, so it will be the same for you”, without the slightest acknowledgement or application of the fact that I was severely different in so many ways to my elders. For example: receiving ‘Mills and Boons’ to read, before I was even of the legal age to practice some of the contents therein, was absurd. Then on the flip side, other elders gave me the likes of Georgette Heyer to read, where the men were all gentlemen and the ladies all damsels, in an era when ladies and gentlemen still lived in full costume and practiced elegant conversation and public etiquette. Either way, the men were portrayed in a similar way: dashing, charming, caring, sexy and desirable. Nowhere was truth ever dealt with, or maybe it was and I never retained that part. No all day golf games with men leaving the club drunk. No men stuck to a sports game on a television set where conversation was virtually illegal. No men working from early hours until late hours. No men with umbilical cords to their cellphones, Ipads, emails and offices. No ‘reality’. Instead I had escaped to stories about gifts of roses, graceful evenings of dancing, card games and musical entertainment, long walks and ‘true love’. In my escape routes, however, there was nothing about the lust, the shag, and the purely physical satisfaction with total fear of anything beyond the surface of bodily function being dealt with. It seems that the eras I read about had no connection to the reality I would have to live with in the near future.

Reading Shakespeare, presented the idea of a love where a man would be articulate with his words, poetical, creating tangible pages to reflect what he felt inside: that she was more lovely and more temperate than a summer’s day; that his love was set in poetry to make it eternal and place it there for all to read. Then the reality hits, no-one can confirm that anything was written by “Shakespeare”. No-one has proof of his handwriting, even his plays were written down post-humusly by the actors who played the roles. Historians don’t even know if it was Shakespeare or another more influential man who came up with them in the first place, nor if Shakespeare was straight or gay, writing for a man or a woman… nothing is known, it is all made up from inference, assumption and calculated guessing…

Then, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with their dancing, the ‘singing in the rain’, the moving, the romance; the building of dreams and ideas around dancing with someone like they do in the movies, was added to the mix of escapism founded notions. The reality – it is a movie. Fred and Ginger probably had moments where they had had enough of each other. Their rehearsal times were probably grueling and it must have taken hours and hours and hours to get that ‘one move’ ‘right’. Yet, as an audience, we just see them ‘getting it right’; and that is not truth, it is a moment of climax, not the journey to get there. ‘Dirty Dancing’: “no-one puts Baby in the corner”, followed by a public announcement of how: “Miss Francis Houseman taught me about who I want to be”. One moment, after one and a half hours of movie, and bam we have the perfect dance. Yet, off stage, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, so I have read, did not get on and he didn’t want to work with her at all. Yet, “I’ve had the time of my life … and I owe it all to you” became the theme song, the theme dream for thousands of women around the world; and it was all based on an act, two actors creating a different story from their truth. What took dozens and dozens of takes to create on film, became a ‘that’s it’, ‘that’s what I want’ moment in the movie for all the lost, lonely, dreaming, hopeful single people in the audience. Their brains downloaded that moment and programmed it to believe it was that simple: A man can love a woman like that; and a woman can love a man like that. Now, in my real-life reality: I’ve experienced men being more nervous, more closed lipped, more unsure, more insecure and more scared than I ever expected them to be. In fact, I’ve been overwhelmed in some circumstances, and beyond confused, at how inaccurate all the movies I was shown have been when placed next to my observations. Although, I must admit, it may be all me, because I hear the learners I teach are scared of me too😉, but they are young girls, not ‘strapping men’.

Then there were the musical films: the Vonn Trapp family, coming through hell singing. Singing as a happy family, finding song in their joy and troubles. Finding love in the midst of turmoil and escaping into the Alps to live on the love they have for each other. Dreams to sing with your family too. Dreams to be that blessed as to have a whole choir in one family; even typing the words now makes me think: “Seriously?”! Yet, there it was, and I know at least one person who rated ‘The Sound of Music’ as her favourite movie of all time. Listening to the stories of the cast years later, it wasn’t all plain sailing, they even shot the film in different locations so that it looked like the gates, the inside house and ballroom, the outside lake and dancing gazebo were all part of one house, they weren’t. As I recall, there was even a problem with the “I am sixteen going on seventeen” dance as Liezel had sprained her ankle…

Then reading Jane Austen and all the romance of Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth; ‘Emma’, ‘Persuasions’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and any of her novels, so much love, with so much insight into relationships and humanity, also added to my unrealistic notions. Yet, when I visited Jane Austen’s last home and learnt about her spinster life, her disease and ailments, her fighting in a male-dominated world and her challenges, I realised that the novels were the dreams, the observations, her self-expression in a fallen world, they weren’t the reality.

The brain takes in what it sees, assimilates it, attaches it to the network of thoughts and makes it part of the internal goings-on of that human being. Somewhat like a computer only using the software that it has been programmed with. Five seconds of seeing something and it becomes a permanent part of that human being; an indestructible part. Yet many people are so blasé about what they see, what they go to, what they take in… whilst absolutely every one of those things will have an effect. Everything becomes permanently lodged inside the eyes that took it in.

I can’t change my childhood intake of poetry, dancing, singing and romantic ‘happy endings’. I also can’t get that to merge with a guy’s intake of pornography, sport and chauvinism. I can’t give up the hope in goodness and love, and I can’t take on society’s ‘masculine’ acceptance of brutality, male dominance and belittling of other human beings due to biology and self-entitlement…

As I look around my school social circle and see how many of us are still spinsters, and it is the majority, it seems to be becoming an accepted social norm, cheaper than marriage and divorce; no, it is not desirable to be alone either; but is it worth giving up all the love of good things to accept such unacceptable things?

Is it better not to have been exposed to the realities that I have seen and thus blindly jump into the legally binding contract of marriage only to learn of those inescapable realities afterwards?

Or is it better to know beforehand that you can’t change him; you can’t force him to give up what he has been brought up on and believes is ‘right’, be it having many girlfriends, smoking/drug/alcohol addiction/reliance, pornography, work addiction and/or the like… and just let him go and be the human being he has chosen to be on his own?

Dreams and reality: Can they ever meet? Has reality kicked out dreams and being ‘better’ altogether? Is reality slowly and completely abolishing hope? What a horrible thought…

Will the cycle of people choosing this broken world over a better way last forever, even with so much knowledge, proof, information and works that show it doesn’t have to be so?

Oh dear Lord, I hope that dreams and heart-yearnings do not end up lost to this degenerating, temporary world… all of those stories, poems and movies had to come from somewhere good… “nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever