FEAR

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                                                   FEAR

According to my personal dictionary, fear is that feeling that comes upon you, overwhelms you and holds you back from doing something you desperately want to do or feel like you should be doing.

It is having a goal you want to achieve; you cannot live with yourself if you choose not to go ahead with it, however, you keep holding back!

I have never understood the concept of fear until now. I always imagined it was something that could be easily wished away with a magic wand perhaps.

Fear holds us in a harder grip as a result of past experiences. We dislike to relive the past, we cannot imagine failing at another attempt, we cannot visualise hitting another road block; we cannot imagine coming face-to-face with yet another barrier that seems immovable.

Fear is however, just a concept in our minds and the first step to overcoming fear is realising it is what it is.  “An idea in my head that was created by the power of my mind”

Once you can get past the notion that it is simply a mind created concept that has been developed as a result of past experiences, assumptions, facts, ideas, etc., you can gradually begin to get yourself out of it.

Do not let fear stop you from being who you are meant to be or achieving that very purpose you set out to accomplish. Picture yourself succeeding at it, and the strength to counter the voice of fear in your head with the positive will be just around the corner.

Jump the hurdle in your mind, push back the brick walls, and say no to fear!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Xoxo

I am divergent!

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I am divergent 2

There is something about the world finding superiority in being able to fit us into neatly defined boxes with tags labelled Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic…

The world then begins to define you through these ingenious set of characteristics that they believe you possess based on the personality type that has been handed to you.

Every action taken is explained by the fact that you are Sanguine or Phlegmatic, even when the behaviour trait does not necessarily fit perfectly into that box. “But oh, that must be the reason he acts so weird they will say; I should have known better”.

Now, it starts to get interesting when the world meets people they cannot fit into any of their well-organised boxes. They try so hard to find a perfect fit and when they find none, they choose to give you one anyway but then, you choose not to follow the known path; you choose to break free from the standard!

The minds already ruled by these set boxes, however, cannot comprehend the divergent nature of your very being.

You are not defined by a particular character or one event but by numerous deviating characters that make you who you are.

You are kind, you are confident yet can be humble, you are brave yet can be timid, you are reserved yet can be fun-loving, you are able to communicate with the most privileged yet the less privileged love you just the same, you are strong yet you have areas of weaknesses, you are outspoken, you can stand up for the rights of others, you are intelligent, you can be loud yet insightful, you can be awkward yet interesting, and you are so much more than the world can take-in.

You are everything you can be and there is still so much more the world is yet to discover about you.

You are divergent, not weird, and you rock!

As we get into a new year, accept who you are, be comfortable in your skin and defy the neatly defined boxes if you must!

I am divergent, I stand for many things, and I do not fit in a box.

Happy New Year!!!

A prisoner of other people’s opinions

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Prison of others

According to the Oxford dictionary, an opinion is defined as a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. It can also be defined as a belief or judgement that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

What jumps out to me in both definitions is the reference to the fact that opinions are not necessarily based on certainty, facts or knowledge but yet, we find that sometimes, we live our lives locked in the prison of other people’s views about us or something we want to do. Every action we intend to take is preceded by a bunch of questions:

  • How will this look?
  • What will people have to say about it?
  • Will they approve?
  • Will the comments be positive or negative?
  • Will people like me or hate me for this?
  • Will they still view me the same way?

And the list goes on…At the end of the day, we find out that we are living our lives based on what others want us to do, and what they expect from us as opposed to what we really want to do and how we really feel.

We are trapped in our own bodies but in the minds of other people.

We have become prisoners of our external environment; we are receivers and not people who shape. Our inner existence is being dictated by the outside world and what it expects from us. We have lost our freedom; we have lost our right to be free! We have lost ourselves to the opinions of others.

We need to learn to be free again, to celebrate our strengths and weakness, to celebrate our loveliness and our awkwardness, to celebrate who we are and who we are trying to be by accepting our current form on the way to who we want to be.

To be really free is to rid ourselves of the chains that have long-held us back and be who we really are without giving it too much thought.

Live life and be you!

Merry Christmas!!!

Keep Moving!!!

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Keep Moving

Many times in life, we find ourselves sitting on really big dreams, great ideas, and life changing desires to change the world. We feel like we have enough energy within us to save planet earth and any other planet out there that needs protection. At least, this is how we start out until reality starts to bite!

superman    right arrow    fallen super man

We begin to face hurdles, the road starts to seem unclear and perhaps, even dark.  We start to doubt our initial zeal, and think, how did I ever even believe I could do that in the first place?

You look around you and maybe everyone else seems to have the ‘oh so perfect and easy life you so dream of’ and maybe at some point, you just want to throw in the towel and say, I give up! Tempting? Oh Yes! But is that really the right decision? Maybe not.

One of the most difficult things in life is being consistent; continuing in the midst of adversity, pushing harder when you are going against the tide, making that extra high jump when you have another hurdle to cross, giving that extra push when you feel like you just cannot go any further, and just simply taking that extra step!!!

In the end, what makes the difference is your staying power.  What differentiates you from the next person is how you were able to overcome that obstacle, and what gives you a story to tell is the journey! Keep moving; don’t stop because you are an overcomer!!!!!

freed superman

My Hebrews Chapter 12…

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The book of Hebrews, Chapter 12 drives home hard truths:

  • Tells me not to lose heart when the Lord rebukes me;
  • Tells me that the Lord disciplines those whom he loves;
  • Tells me that if he chastens me, he deals with me as a son;
  • Tells me to endure hardship as discipline because God is treating me as his child;
  • Tells me that this discipline is for my own good, though painful now, it later produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

In the midst of those situations where it just seems like there is no way out, where help is neither coming from the North, South, East or West, where I feel like I cannot fall any lower and begin to look for help everywhere, wishing my problems will magically go away. I fast and pray, I wait to hear back from God but he seems too far away, his arms seem too short to save me, I don’t even hear him. Where is my Hebrews chapter 12 then? and When I find it, do I find comfort in it? Do I let it speak to me what God is saying? Or is it just another bible chapter in that moment?

It is important for us to note that the purpose of God for our lives is to be sanctified, to be holy just as he is holy and blameless before him in love. God desires for us to be fruitful and to be vessels unto honour. God’s purpose for you is not just to make you happy here on earth, but to ensure that through Jesus Christ, his perfect will is achieved through and in you.

Once we have an understanding that God is not the fairy God mother waiting to wave her wand to make all our wishes come true, we might start to see things differently (might, being the main word here).  We can stop going around with long faces, feeling depressed, and feeling that God doesn’t love us which explains why our whole world seems to be crashing down. A change of perspective is all we need to see things differently.

Now, notice that even the bible doesn’t shy away from warning us that it is indeed a painful process. Nobody enjoys the process but everybody loves and celebrates the outcome. I would use an illustration of a gold bar going through a fiery furnace and coming out all pure and beautiful without impurities but I prefer to use an example closer to home.

Look at your life and examine your Christian walk with God, think back to when you had just given your life to Christ, life seemed like a walk in the park, almost every prayer was answered on time, your faith was unshakable, you always felt God’s presence, and sometimes, you even got answers to your thoughts before you voiced them.

Then gradually, you had to wait a little longer, sometimes the answer didn’t come the way you were expecting it (but it came all the same), things began to happen that made you question God, your faith was shaken, everything you have ever known to be true didn’t work out like that anymore. You were awaken  to the real world. Now, in the midst of this, we are far from pleased because we want things done our way and in our own time but at the end of it all, can you truly look back and say it hasn’t paid off?

Have you noticed how you are less irritable when things don’t go your way, how you are more understanding of people’s situations because you have been there before, how you are more loving to others, humbled by God’s grace and love, joyous and peaceful in the midst of seemingly un-peaceful situations and have learned to stretch your faith?

God’s ultimate purpose and objective is that you might spend eternity with him in his glory and he would stop at nothing to get you there.  He who has started a good work in your life will be faithful to complete it.

Be blessed…

Oh no! There goes my reputation!

character

Reputation seems to be a very big deal for a lot of us and we tend to wear it around like a badge of honour. For some, it has changed the way they see themselves, and for others, they have come to accept it as who they are but, have you ever really stopped to think about where that reputation came from in the first place? Is that really who you are or is that who people think you are?

Whatever the case, why are we always so eager to have people think about us in a certain way?

We often go through life trying to please everyone and desperately wanting them to think about us in a certain way (I will be guessing that at this stage, we haven’t learned that we can never please everyone and we really should not bother trying).
In that process of trying to please people or build a certain reputation, we tend to lose a bit of ourselves as well as a sense of who we really are. We try hard to fit into places that we shouldn’t. We push ourselves on people, we get disappointed, and sometimes, we even tend to feel alone in a crowd.

Let me take you a bit down memory lane, remember in high school when it seemed like the most important things were having a cool reputation and being able to fit in with the “coolest crowd” or the “bubblers”? Remember how fleeting that was? One minute you could be referred to as the coolest and then the very next minute with one action, you could have all that thrown away. Maybe you should also ask yourself how relevant that “oh so cool image” you tried so hard to build is to you today in the real world out there, not so relevant is it?

Your character is the one true thing that can stand the test of time. Spend more time working on your character and less time trying hard to build a reputation because that reputation is as fleeting as the people who give them.
People change and their opinions about you changes too (sometimes, as quickly as the wind changes direction).

Spend time working on your character which reflects your inner strength and see how far it will get you. God is more interested in us building our inner character; patience, humility, kindness, integrity, diligence, perseverance…all that we may bear more fruit.

Be blessed…

It is not by what you can see with your physical eyes

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In the book of 2 Kings 3

When the kings realised they were out of water for themselves and their animals, their first thoughts were as these *paraphrased* “Has God brought us three kings together to die here?”, “Did God know this was going to happen and let us come all the way to die like this?”

After they let their thoughts wander a while, they decided to inquire of the Lord through the prophet Elisha and this is what the Lord said. “I will fill this valley with pools of water: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink”. 

They must have surely thought between themselves and asked how can this be? How is it that we will see no signs of the very things that signify that water will come? You really mean we will hear no roaring thunder, see no clouds, no rain and yet have water?

The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water!

Connecting this lesson to another scripture; the book of Isaiah 43:18-19 reads “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”.

In the bible passages shared above, I believe what God is saying to us is this; I am your ever present help in time of need, I am always here, I change not. Do you not perceive it? I don’t want you standing by the mountain top waiting for the signs of things to come because that is where you miss it; I don’t want you to go by what you see on the outside alone because even that changes.

Believe in me, trust in me, follow me, do as I say, and see the physical manifestation of all I have done for you, and all I have said I will do.

God does not need the events to stack up to make it happen; he does not need it to make sense. All he asks is that you perceive in your spirit and trust him.

Bullies….

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A few days ago, I read an article about a teenager who took her own life because she was being bullied at school.

Now, this is not the first time I have heard about something like this but this time, I decided to write about it.

One of the most unfortunate things that can happen to anyone in life is to be mentally and verbally taunted; knowing you cannot do anything about it, teachers are helpless, the school is helpless and even your parents can’t seem to help you out of that situation.

Now, if you are currently being bullied at school, on Facebook, gym class, on the playground, at work, or wherever, here are a few things you need to know:

  1. MOST BULLIES HAVE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES AND TRY TO TAKE THAT OUT ON YOU: Now listen, this may sound ridiculous because they always seem tough and strong but that is only true because they have a way of getting a larger crowd on their side. Bullies hide their inadequacies and low self-esteem by being mean and rude to other people they feel or “perceive” to be weaker than them. The really cool and strong people don’t feel the need to speak down on other people, belittle them, or make them feel inadequate to assert themselves.Once you realize this, you can tell they are only playing mind games, something which you have now found out.  You now need to decide whether or not you want to keep letting them get to you. I know it is hard but believe me, BULLYING is a mind game.
  2. BELIEVE IN WHO YOU ARE AND WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE REGARDLESS: Life is not fair and you will always meet VERY mean people almost everywhere you go. The best gift you can give to yourself is to “believe in yourself”. Believe in the person that you are and the potential that is within you. The bible says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, there is no other person in the world that is “exactly like you”. The more you learn to believe in yourself and who God says you are, the less concerned you get about what other people think about you. TRY it!!!
  3. IT IS OK TO BE DIFFERENT BUT IT IS NOT AN EASY ROAD: I love to be different, in fact, I don’t like and don’t want to be like everybody else, where is the fun in that? The thing is, people tend to judge what they do not understand; they try to bring down anything that is different from what they know. The fact that you are different, and don’t like the songs the coolest kids like, or you don’t wear the same clothes that they do, does not make you any less of a person. You have simply found yourself and decided to stick to who you are. NEVER let anyone make you feel less of yourself.
  4. YOUR WORLD IS NOT ABOUT TO END: I know sometimes, when you are being bullied, it can feel like your world is about to end and it is never going to get better, but it will. The bullies want you to feel the way you are feeling right now, they want you to “believe” that there is no reason to go on. That is however, the biggest lie ever! There is a much bigger world out there, where the bullies have absolutely no influence; they cannot affect who you are or who you are going to be. There is a world waiting for you out there, waiting for you to discover yourself and show the whole world how marvellous you really are!
  5. YOU CAN GET OUT OF IT: BULLIES rely on fear; they feed on weaknesses; that is their strategy. Once they begin to find out you are not afraid of them, or what they think about you, their attitude towards you will gradually begin to change. This is hard, I know, but you need to stop showing them any sign of weakness for them to feed on. Remember! You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are confident in who you are in God, you are smart, talented and beautiful, and you are the best!
  6. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF YOUR LIFE: Never believe it when anyone says to you things like, “you will never amount to anything”, “you are not smart”, “you are ugly”, “nobody loves you”… You are going to make something out of your life! The only ones who will be left surprised and on the side-lines are the bullies.
  7. FIND A FRIEND YOU CAN RELY ON: Like I mentioned earlier, life can be tough, it is always nice to have someone you can talk to and tell how you really feel; a crying shoulder, a listening ear, someone who will never judge you for who you really are. It can be a brother, sister, friend, cousin, aunt, mother, father. Anyone you can trust!!!
  8. TALK TO GOD: God is the best friend you can have. You can talk to God about every, and anything without the fear of being judged. Pray to God always to strengthen you and give you the wisdom to deal with everyday issues as they arise.

Please feel free to send an email to me at tolukasali@yahoo.com if you need to talk or ask questions

Stay Strong!!!

xoxo

 

 

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Life as we kno…

Life as we know it

We look at life through our little clouded lenses, and what we often see is different from the reality that we face. Step back from that situation and maybe you will change your mind about that decision you are about to make. Quit making life changing decisions looking through skewed lenses. 

Making out time for what really matters

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The drive to succeed in life gets us out of bed most mornings; by the time we open our eyes, we can already think of a Thousand things that need to get done and a Thousand different ways things could have gone the day before.

We have a to-do-list longer than the early morning coffee queue and we cannot wait to get our hands dirty.

We stumble out of bed, mumble a prayer (if we remember to), get into the shower and rush out in 5 minutes or less, and off we go…

The day goes by, just as busy as the day before; endless phone calls, tight deadlines, ticking off the to-do-list, meetings and more meetings…

We soon begin to feel pangs of hunger and suddenly realize we have not had lunch yet – so we grab a bite and off we go again, back to whatever it is that has kept us so busy all day.

The day ends and the cycle continues.

Within these fast paced days, we have probably forgotten to return calls from Mum & Dad, left the kids at school longer than required, not prayed to God, or let’s just say you have mumbled to God all through the week, forgotten birthdays & anniversaries, and probably even failed to show up at the doctor’s office for an appointment.

No matter how busy the days and weeks get, let us learn to make time for the things that really matter. When all is said and done, the only people left in your life are the ones you never made time for. 

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