Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keeping Hope Alive

I've been struggling these past few days...
Struggling to stay focused
Struggling to smile
Struggling to remember the good things in my life

It's just way too easy to have a pity party I find
And this frustrates me no end...
"you have so much to be thankful for"
I find myself saying over and over again
"look around you"
I say as I drive through a predominantly
coloured gang infested...
drug soaked township on my way to work

And it is exactly this dichotomy of my life that frustrates me
The poverty and hopelessness I see around me
leaves me inspired to share my message of hope
but it also drags me down into a dark pit of gloom and self-pity

When I see boys as young as twelve smoke and drink behind a wall
and little girls dance suggestively just a few meters away them
I know what the outcome is going to be
And I pray for those little girls to be able to hold onto their innocence
for just a few more years
just until someone...
a teacher... an older sister... or cousin...
comes along and tells them there is more to life
More to life than smoking
and drinking
and boys
and dancing
and sex

"The children don't want to listen to us"
say my staff at work.
I share my story
and that of my grandmother with them
I'm doing what I can... where I can
In the hope that they will share that message with their children
But apparently pretty words can't compete with the good feelings
drugs and alcohol and sex provide

And my frustration and impatience sends me tumbling into a
deep dark vacuum
What good was my suffering if I cant help others lead a better life?
What purpose did it serve?

I feel a therapy session coming on...

Thank goodness for my support system!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'm finished... and running out of time...

I’m so finished with the intolerance I encounter in my country...
I’m finished with us failing to listen to each other...
Let’s stop being defensive and sensitive about the actions of our previous government.
Let’s face it... we were born into a society that believed white skins were superior to black skins...
We had no choice in the matter and some of us benefited from that whether we bought into that ideology or not.
Let’s acknowledge that the shit happened and let’s listen to the stories being told...
But let us not flash that race card indiscriminately when we should in fact be discussing our prejudice and ignorance about each other’s cultures.
I’m so finished with us fleeing “racist” Cape Town instead of facing and challenging the racism head on.
Why wait until a twitter spat erupts to tell of our traumatic experiences?
Have we learnt nothing from the men and women who stood their ground and fought gallantly for our democratic freedom?

I’m so finished with us taking the easy way out that the cyber world offers us when it comes to our relationships.
I’m finished with being defriended on facebook and blocked on twitter because you feel uncomfortable about something I said.
I see way too many of us doing the exact same thing in relationships... a click on our keyboard is much easier than working at a relationship.
Relationships build communities... communities build a nation.
But with relationships come vulnerability... people get to see our imperfections.
And that scares us.
So we block and defriend people instead of taking the opportunity to embrace our vulnerabilities and grow.
In so doing we miss out on being able to truly engage in our lives, our relationships, our communities and our country from a place of authenticity and a feeling of worthiness.
Without a strong sense of worthiness we are unable to connect and experience a sense of belonging and this has a knock-on effect in all facets of our lives.
I’m finished with us feeling that we are not worthy of love, belonging and joy.

I’m so finished with the taboo that surrounds speaking up against woman and child abuse.
I’m finished with the deafening silence from all the good men in our country who said very little about those 56 272 women who reported being raped in our country last year.
And I’m even more finished with the fact that we have the highest reported cases of rape per capita in the whole wide world.
I’m finished with the publisher who told me that they cannot publish my book because they do not want to become known as the publisher who publishes books about abuse.
And even more...
I’m finished with myself for buying into the taboo and actually waiting for the 16 Days of Activism to roll around so that I can bang on my drum about the abuse that women and children endure in my country.

I’m so finished with being finished in 2012...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We need to slow down in order to keep up

Most of us tend to rush through our days at break-neck speed. We try and cram into our day as much as we can. Doing a lot makes us feel good. And then we find ourselves at the end of the year... looking back and wondering... was it worth it?

I have resolved to slow down this year. To make it about the quality of my life and not the quantity I manage to cram into each day.

And yes... I'm excited about 2012. I even found myself saying that I cannot wait for 2012 to be over so that I can sit back and be proud of myself and thank everybody who helped me reach my goals. But I also want to savour 2012... it's gonna be a good year... and like all good things I want it to linger. I want to take it all in... I want to savour each magic moment.

But old habits die hard... and I will have to relearn stuff I was taught by one of my "teachers" who helped me along this healing journey of mine. She taught me to start my day off with a clear mind.

I find that my mental chatter keeps me distanced from my inner awareness... All that chatter leaves me feeling confused and disorientated. By taking just a few minutes at the beginning of my day to turn within and let go of scattered thoughts... I immediately begin to feel more alert with a stronger sense of awareness of the possibilities and opportunities that present themselves for me to be all I am meant to be during my day.

And so.... on this first day of work in 2012... I hope you too can slow down and enjoy all you are meant to in this life we share.