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Who Is Spending Your Life?

Life, like the contents in a worn oil skin, seeps out daily. Each second mounting to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, the leaking oil running out till the end of time. Life once spent on earth cannot be regained! Every day drawing nearer to the end, wherever that exit be on the earthly journey….

Time is life!

Who is spending your life?  Life is precious, as can be seen when someone is bleeding away and fears escalate of imminent death. Life quantified in time, therefore implies ineffective use of time is ineffective use of life!

If my life is quantised as oil in a jar, what would I use the oil for?

Every life matters, guard your moments, guard your time, guard your life from being misspent! You only live once! True freedom includes freedom from life wasters!

#befreeindeed #bfi #yolo


Warning Signs

Mind your mind

The journey is long, the body weary, there’s a deep longing to get to destination quickly. The body says stop, I need to rest, a thought says keep going, you can do it! The voice of tiredness is disregarded, the urge to carry on allowed to rule, in spite of quieter thoughts that safety limits have been exceeded. Signals disregarded may cause avoidable harm!

The amber light comes on, a thought says just a little more. The light goes red, anxiety increases, fear follows, the risk of significant harm escalates and some parts of body or life gets damaged. Other innocent parties may also come to harm…unfortunately sometimes irreversibly. How far should one stop stretching before it gets harmful?

Keeping an eye on health indicators, helps prevent breakdown, physically, mentally and emotionally. “Mind your mind” is often said, and this will help in minding one’s life! Feeling tired, irritability, excessive eating, headaches, declining productivity may be some signs the body’s battery needs recharging or some oil need topping? Know your capacity, know your limitations!

Warning signs begin to flash when reserves start running low. The body may flash amber before it goes red and comes to a stop! Keep your mind healthy, mind your mind to take good care of your life.

What are your warning signs to stop and refuel?

Trust

The bright sunlight rays danced on her head, slowly forming a beam that lit up her face into a welcoming smile, “my name is trust“. I smiled back politely unable to reply spontaneously. I struggled not to chuckle, tickled by the thought of the strange name! Strange to me, but mine apparently not to her. She had met people from everywhere.

My precious friends, unknown to me, had arranged help for my trip. “Why would anyone name their child trust?” I kept thinking to myself. Trust was focused on her given task, and not as easily distracted as moi! She stretched out her hand across the ditch, offering to help me over, “We have a long journey ahead”. I thanked her, securing my grip in her hand, leaping across to her hug on the other side.

There were many, more ditches ahead, the journey planner had said. Having Trust seemed like a great help, as I was getting tired! She introduced me a few minutes later to her brother, truth, who owned the ‘chalet’ we were to stay in for the next few days. I thought again, his name is strange!

We drove through, wide smooth roads lined with dated palm trees, the fronds shimmering with a homely green. Wide open, tall, sturdy metal gates led us to scores of cheerful looking uniformed guards. I wondered what the gates were made of. I was awestruck by this picture of opulence and authority, mixed with joy and air of peace!

Meeting trust and truth was rousing more excitement! As the last blobs of energy drained from my mind all I could think was trust? truth? Trust truth… till consciousness lost its grip…

The Hose

It jerked back and forth, twisted side to side 
It needed to be still, for the water to flow right
It curled up some more, the direction was lost
It’s contents of no benefit to the needy plants.

The plants kept dying, the garden looked parched
though there was a hose, with water supply. 
And each time the gardener attempted to work 
this hose came alive doing its own thing, frustrating his work.

The hose appeared determined to sabotage the purpose it was designed for,
prancing everywhere, except where it ought
redirecting the water where it ought not go!

Asked by the tap to which it was attached 
“Why dear hose do you fret much so?” 
It replied, “I am trying to help, so cannot be still,
 for fear that a beautiful garden may never, never be.”

The fear in you is destroying the work, 
the master plan may seem to be taking so long.
All that’s required is you be still and calmLet the gardener hold and determine where the water flows.

You fret and twist, you fear and scream, 
apparently determined to do it your way. 
Not knowing the end, you can’t choose the way.
Be still dear hose, let the water flow to plan.

The plants are parched, the garden is bare, 
Lifeless it appears, with no thriving plants.
If you’ll be still the water will flow right
You’ll have the best garden just as the Master planned!

Related: https://youtu.be/rjPFtoBhZlc

My First Friends

Arrival was exciting! Lots of unknown faces and voices chattering joyfully. It was surprising that seeing me could stir so much delight, especially since most of the people were much older. There were a few familiar voices, from conversations in the past months, one voice I recognised had spoken with me daily, night and day before I arrived!

The fussing continued, intensifying for the next few months, lots of fancy presents, plenty of food, encouraging words and offers to help with daily chores in various ways. Wow! This sure was a good place to be. I wasn’t lacking for healthy attention, and got most of it from the two people with me most of the time, especially, mamma, my food supplier! Shhh… she made sure my sleep time was well protected.

The fussing began to dwindle, but not from mamma. She seemed to know what I needed even before I asked. I had no reason to worry, her responses well-timed, she was always accessible and attentive in every way.

So, going on with my journey, I had the main building blocks: faith, hope and love, to cope with varying seasons. Sometimes the weather got real stormy, and I was strengthened by lessons learnt. I would recall, “it’s for a season so don’t be shaken, this will surely come to pass!” There were many other lessons and various nutrients too, that empowered my mind and strengthened my spirit, to help me carry on!

My journey on earth had started with God given carers, the best tour guides for me, who helped me fare well to be strong on my own and be there for others too! Parents are a child’s first friends.

Maturity

The capacity of any individual needs be determined for a specific task, before expectations are made, else disappointment may be i evitable and avoidable pain caused! Age is not a measure of maturity!

A child may excel in one subject and struggle badly in another. Persistent demand on the child to perform better in the apparently weak subject may result in increasing anxiety, with feelings of worthlessness!

Patience and appropriate support matter a lot, noting that every one develops at different paces! Corn kernels don’t all pop to fullness at once and the same heat that pops some may burn others!

Appearance does not determine ability!

Growth is not development! An adult body may house a child’s brain. Expectations beyond that mental capacity, will therefore be a set up for disppointment with risks of low self esteem, burn out or feelings of worthlessness, on the person subjected to undue pressure and risk of harm to others from frustration! Know your child and their respective capacity in various ways, know your clients, know your companions on life’s journey and resist the urge to place demands in excess of capacity.

Know your child!

Pharaoh’s Whip

The familiar is often easier to stick with than venturing into the unknown. Inertia may be likened to mental laziness, seeking to remain in a state of rest, or resisting a change in direction even when heading towards disaster!

It is no different in abusive relationships, as noted through the ages! The Israelites resisting deliverance from Pharaoh yet dying physically and in every way under his leadership, the domestic abuse cycle and toxic relationships. Many stay in toxic situations that suppress their potential to bloom and make the world a better place, just for fear of embracing change.

The external force… Inertia maintains status quo, unless an external force acts on it. The required additional force to move forward, may be an intensified fear of loss, an increased appetite for emotional, financial, or other gain, or an increased awareness of doom or death. The pain you feel are lashes from Pharaoh’s whip reminding you the painful situation is meant to push you forward! Staying may result in more lashes to push you out!

What beautiful dream are you giving up on for fear of making change? Determine your why for overcoming inertia! Keep the why constantly before you, a mood board may be helpful. Our trials may sometimes be the additional force required to push us into being free indeed!

#befreeindeed

Meekness or Weakness

Keeping quiet when being unfairly treated, is not always weakness but may be part of a plan for a better life or greater good.

A king descends from his throne to live as a pauper. For love of a poor peasant girl, he puts pomp, wealth, power and majesty aside, for love’s sake! It was Incomprehensible!

Enduring shame, humiliation and physical torture till he died, was part of the journey, in the unrelenting pursuit of a relationship with the focus of His love! He did not give up till the price was paid for this relationship! He had a plan and his meekness in enduring so much, was not weakness but meekness!

#makeaplan

Focus on greater gain keeps one going through pain. Apparent putting up with abuse and being seemingly foolish may not be weakness but meekness that is required to appropriately address the issue. Thankfully, the King resurrected supernaturally, the peasant girl said “yes” to love and the greatest romance of all time began – Divine Romance! Meekness is not weakness! #divineromance #lovedivine #thekingandI #recklesslove #makeaplan #befreeindeed #eternallife

May the joy of the resurrected King be yours always!

Keep Calm

Various stressors, inevitably compound the Corona pandemic anxiety: uncertainty about the future, bereavements, financial issues, to name a few. Worsening anxiety will not make anything better and rather do more harm, so it helps to be calm as best one can! How can this be done?

Keep CALM!

Catch the thought that is specific to the distressing feeling. It’s usually a phrase or sentence that keeps repeating itself, troubling the mind and rousing fear. Confront it, it’s a bullying thought!


Address the thought. It needs to be labelled. Is it helpful or dreadful? Allowing unhealthy thoughts to stay is like deliberate self harm. Therefore address the thought so you can post it where it belongs, trash can or treasure chest. This is not denying an issue that may need addressing, like a relationship or financial problem, but recognizing and dealing with detrimental thoughts.


Let the thought go if unhealthy or unhelpful. Write it on a piece of paper and put it in the trash can, or on tissue paper and flush it to go where it belongs. Helpful thoughts should be let in to stay and nurture the mind. It may help to write down replacement thoughts. Trash “I am doomed/rubbish…” with “I need help to deal with this.” Extra help may be required to deal with some harmful thoughts, like talking to a friend or getting professional help to put the distress to an end. Remember, stubborn weed often needs extra help to be uprooted!


Make a plan! Failure to plan is planning to fail!What have I found helpful / unhelpful. Think of healthy strategies that you have found helpful and make a list. Listening to healthy music, talking to a friend, exercise… Exercising these strategies regularly strengthen your mind muscles to deal with unhealthy thoughts, like strengthening the immune system. If this happens again, what will I do?

Doing nothing increases the chance of the bird building its nest, hatching its eggs and breeding more birds over one’s head! #keepCALM

#covid19 #keepcalm #mindandsoul #mentalhealth #befreeindeed #emotionalhealth #anxietymanagement #stressmanagement

Coercive Control – Power

Power and contol are the key ingredients in the disaster recipe for domestic abuse. The abuser usually being in a position of authority or having a perception of ownership of the victim or being more powerful than the victim in any way. The abuser is usually preoccupied with feelings of entitlement to control and demand for self gratification, regardless of the detrimental impact to the victim!

BBC News – Coronavirus fears linked to Illinois pair’s murder-suicide
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52192842

https://www.refuge.org.uk

Coercion. A pattern of behaviour to persuade another person to act against his/her wishes, with force, threats, intimidation and manipulation as tools. Lies and anger make the tools effective in controlling the victim as desired by the abuser, including physically, mentally, emotionally and financially until the victim is able to gradually break the web of deceit!

Coercive control is abnormal use of power! Every victim of abuse has the power choose to end the abuse but may need professional help in planning to ensure safety. Escaping an abusive relationship, may put the victim at risk of significant harm, from the abuser’s anger at the loss of control and distress of feeling powerless. A safety plan is protective in an abusive relationship or planning an exit! #MAKEAPLAN #MAP

BBC News – Coronavirus: Domestic abuse victims ‘still allowed to leave home’
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52081280

Coercive Control

Like the Corona virus, you can’t see it, yet it destroys lives and many have died. Like the Corona virus, it needs to be stopped, else it will destroy more lives, young and old, rich and poor and many more will die!

Strategy not energy! Coercive control sucks life strategically: manipulating, intimidating, dominating and controlling with the victims giving in against their desires, confusingly convinced to do what the perpetrator demands! A small chance away from the perpetrator, lets in some light for reflection, “why did I give in?” Sanity is restored, like respite from breathlessness and fever, but short lived till the symptoms overwhelm rational thinking again and the cycle repeats! https://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/

The Corona pandemic has made it more challenging for domestic abuse victims, with no respite from abusers in the home. Those with controlling employers may have a break, though working from home does not disentangle from the powerful tentacles of controlling bosses! Longstanding emotional abuse may be compounded by physical abuse with the pandemic lockdown.                     

BBC News – Coronavirus: I’m in lockdown with my abuser
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52063755

There’s no simple solution for this complex issue, no one size fits all! The need to keep safe is paramount! Beware of coercive control, it’s damage by strategy not energy!

Look out for warning signs in friends and family members. Reach out to support with safety in mind. Encourage engagement with professional help and safety in mind.

#gethelp #keepsafe #pleasekeepsafe