Thursday, 31 August 2017

As Constant As The Wind...

Change.  It is a word we are all familiar with.  It is a condition we have all experienced in some way or another.  It is something most of us resent or resist.  Yet it is the one thing in life which is inevitable.  Every single day, every single minute we are in a process of change.  Seasons change, people change, climates change, political parties change, we are surrounded by change, it is interwoven into the very fabric of our lives.  Most of it is so subtle, the effect of it is only visible ten years down the line, some of it is radical, sudden, catching us by surprise. 
Change is the one constant in Life.  Whether we welcome change with open arms or try to resist it with all our being, every change comes with its joys and its regrets.  We gain something and we lose something, it is like the ocean tide with its high and low tides. 
Change cannot be avoided, all we can alter is how we adapt to it and how we utilize it.  A quote from Richard Bach says it so well:  "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the Master calls the butterfly", it is all about point of view.
Every encounter we have in life, every situation we find ourselves in brings about change in us, but also in those we pass by.  Do we bring about positive change, or do I deposit seeds of destruction? Realizing that we are part of the process of the constant change taking place, helps us understand the responsibility that comes with it.  We will most likely never know what change it is that we have helped create in others, we will never be able to press the "undo" button, therefore it is important that we tread carefully in the lives of others.
Contemplating "change" makes me again realize how precious "now" is.  "Now" is what we have, appreciate it, enjoy it, love it, LIVE it.  It never comes this way again.  That is why I am now going to post this and going to hug my husband who is here NOW!
I leave you with this well known quote from Reinhold Niebuhr:
"God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can'
And the Wisdom to know the difference."

If you flutter by here, please feel free to share some changes you've had to face in your life and what has been the result of it.  I'll be happy to hear from you.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A Little Fragile

Butterflies enchant us with their beauty.  The way they float effortlessly on the breeze captivate our attention.  Butterflies are often depicted in jewelry items, made from delicate silver or exquisite gold.  They are painted in soft pastels or vibrant colours.  They carved from wood or gently formed from clay or porcelain.  It does not matter what they are made from, they remain an object of beauty and they are all a little fragile.
It is a quality we as humans share with these sweet creatures. Fragility.  We are all a little fragile.  On the outside we often seem strong and even a little fierce, but beneath that hardy exterior most of us are fragile to some degree or other.  
However, in this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world we have become insensitive to people's feelings.  We expect them to handle anything that is thrown their way.  Being rude has become the new "funny".  Our so-called "speaking-the-truth" is nothing more than an excuse for being tactless. We disregard people who are sensitive, and view them as being weak.  
Relationships and friendships are fragile, because they are made up out of flawed and fragile people.  Often we take our relationships and our friendships for granted.  We fail to recognize them as precious and not easily replaceable.  In our easily disposable world we think that we can replace any relationship as easily as we can pick a can of beans off the supermarket shelf.  We believe -erroneously- that being in a relationship entitles us to treat our partner or friend with disrespect, selfishness and abuse, whether it be physically, verbally or emotionally.  We believe it is our right to take and give little in return.  
However, I was brought up to value every relationship for its special brand of uniqueness.  One of the things my sister-in-law taught me as a little girl was to keep your friendliness cheap, but your friendship expensive.  It took me a very long time to understand that, but today I still apply that rule to my relationships.   I am friendly towards anybody crossing my path, but quite careful when engaging in any relationship.   However, once I have formed a friendship, I try to be a friend for life.  Even when distance separates me from my friends, I keep them in my heart and prayers.  Every relationship, every friendship I have ever had, has been valuable to me.  I carry their fragrance with me, entangled within my soul. I hold them still dear.  I have learned from them, grown through them and celebrate them.

Every relationship, whether it is romantic, parental or platonic, is built on  five cornerstones.  These are:
Companionship - togetherness, sharing similar interests as well as supporting the other person's interests. Mutual respect and trust are key components of any companionship.
Conversation - Being honest and open with one another.  Telling your friend/s how you feel, but also listening.
Compassion - It goes beyond caring about the other person, it involves being tolerant of their faults, forgiving their mistakes and being sensitive to their issues.
Comedy - Laughter is the best medicine, they say.  Relationships need humour. Being able to laugh at ourselves, each other as well as with one another is essential to our well-being.  Laughter relieves stress.  A smile can reach across a divide.  Humour can strengthen the bonds of a friendship.
Counsel - this is a very valuable part of any relationship. Advice from somebody who has our best interests at heart is valuable beyond measure.  Loving guidance gives us a feeling of security and worth.  

Unfortunately, some relationships are not meant to last.  Some are only seasonal.  People pass through our lives for a brief moment, like a shooting star.  Even these I value, although they often leave me sad.  They leave with a part of me.  I very seldom forge friendships without caring deeply.  My mother taught us to be careful with people's feelings lest we trample their wings, thus I try to tread softly through their lives. I try to be a balm for their hurt and a breeze beneath their fragile wings.  I always try to let the sun into their lives, and to help them to fly away from the shadows. 

Yet, sometimes that is not enough.  Despite one's best efforts, some relationships have a Best Before Date. I never thought so before.  I always believed that if I give my best, if I am the least, tolerant and forgave easily any friendship should last a lifetime. It seems that I was wrong.  Sometimes my wings are also a bit fragile.  I do not handle rejection well.  Then I came across something Celeste Erlach wrote:
"Not all friendships are meant to endure, and that’s OK. As much as I wish I could make everyone happy and be lifelong friends with everyone, it’s not realistic. I’m going to embrace my lifetime relationships. I will encourage my season relationships. And I’m going to be grateful for my reason relationships." )

Thus, today I would like to say thank you to my Lifetime friends, I love you, you are simply amazing, even if we so seldom spend time together, you are always within my heart, my fondest memories.  To my friends of a season, be it Spring, Summer, Winter or Autumn, the scent of you will always linger, you still fill my thoughts with the beauty of your being.  And those of you who passed through my life for a reason, I hope you too met me to fulfill a purpose in your lives.  Be blessed one and all!

Monday, 7 August 2017

More Than Rubies

We, as humans, like to evaluate everything in life.  We learn from birth to attach a certain value to things.  We attach price tags to everything.  We weigh and calculate everything from the physical to the spiritual according to our own and other people's standards. We even equate time with money.  Sadly, we even measure our own self-worth and usually find ourselves unworthy by the world's standards.  We judge ourselves and summarily dismiss ourselves as unworthy.  Discarded and de-valued.

However, when God evaluates us, He considers our value as far above that of rubies.  Rubies in Sanskrit are called Ratnaraj, meaning King of precious stones.  Rubies were worn by royalty and a highly sought after gem. They are valued for their stunning beauty as well as the mystical powers associated with them. They were believed to bestow success, wealth and protection as well as wisdom, and power to the wearer.  Some say that the ruby is the most precious of the twelve stones created by God.  Therefore, when the Lord says that we are more precious than rubies, we are indeed valuable. 

In Proverbs we read that a good wife's value is far more than rubies.  A woman is more valuable than a crown of precious rubies, she is an asset for above material value, priceless.  If the Lord, the Creator of all, the Creator of women, attach such a high value to us, we have no right to judge ourselves by worldly standards and label ourselves as worthless, or as not good enough.  We are good enough, we are precious and it is our duty to raise our daughters as women who acknowledge their own self-worth.  We have to teach our daughters to believe in their own worthiness, to value themselves as precious.  

Let us during this month re-evaluate ourselves through the eyes of our Maker and realize that we have been wonderfully and uniquely created.  We are extraordinary human beings and have so much to contribute to life and to our families.  Let us celebrate the beauty of being a woman.