The Onlooker

onlooker

Oh my! Today will be a great day. A unique beauty, you are.  Slouched, messy hair and oversized clothing; an unusual sight around here. You’re noticeably cozy in your solitude over there. Even with your posture and unkempt outlook, I can tell that you possess fortitude. I am gravitating toward you. Who are you?

At one moment, you’re twirling your hair and staring at something visible only to you. A stare so focused, you could burn right through me. Then, you’re fiddling with your pen, scribbling and scratching; such deep thoughts that your hand can’t seem to keep up with the pen.

Suddenly, disturbed by those scribbles, sadness blankets your face and tears begin to fall. Shortly after, the words become euphonious again and you smirk. You’re splitting your heart open in that book. Simple innocence and beauty are what you’re showing me. With pleasure, I wish to be that pen and know your words. You must be in your element because you’re blind to everything and everyone around you. If you allow me, I could share my deepest thoughts and fears with you. Would you write about them?

Still, inattentive to my existence, you are making my heart race. I begin to approach you and take five steps back. Instead of enabling, this nervousness is consuming all of me. I feel powerless; almost inadequate. Why are you messing with my mind?

You are an enchanting sight with beautiful brokenness. I haven’t seen anything more attractive in a long time. It is exhausting to simply stare at you. Your smirk is alluring but your presence scares me. My only prerogative is to run but you’re not someone I want to forget. This is a scare that I am willing to feel.

Please give me a glance.

With immense anxiety,

Onlooker.

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This thing called Grief

griefChallenges are blessings depending on one’s perception. They allow us to become wiser and improve who we are. There are specific challenges that take us onto unforeseen roads after we have experienced ‘loss’; a word I will use loosely. Some are fortunate to recover in a short time but there are those of us who take many months and even years to notice substantial changes.  Grief is mostly seen as an emotional struggle but like stress, it can become a physical problem. This thing called Grief has an immeasurable magnitude and the power to destroy.

Grief can be felt as an after-effect of many types of losses. Loss of loved ones, relationships, opportunities, hopes, and health. The most subtle loss can cause grief. Although it is an inescapable part of life, it is a unique struggle for everyone due to personality differences, lifestyles, social circles, beliefs and values, and coping skills. Nevertheless, it is a life-changer. Some recover in a few months or less. Some try to ignore and bury it without realizing its presence in their reactions to life. Then, there are those who unintentionally embark on one of the longest personal journeys, and dissolve in it for years; barely identifying themselves and yearning for freedom.

Grief targets every dimension of one’s life. It comprises of many types of emotions; disbelief, denial, regret, confusion, fear, anger, guilt, sadness, more anger, more sadness, and bitterness before stepping into the acceptance zone. When pains recur, we try to stifle them instead of feeling; and so, suppressed emotions continuously resurface from the smallest and most insignificant reminders. Tears come out of nowhere. They flow at unexpected times and lengths, making us question its source which we believe should have dried up. It could be the happiness day in a long time that suddenly changes by a little trigger. Grief robs us of time, energy, relationships, health, and happiness.

This first year of reliving special occasions in a different way seems to be the most difficult. We can hardly see past the overcast skies that follow us day after day. We wish to avoid dealing with emotions. We lose ourselves and place restrictions and timelines for the mess to end. The memories of the scarring incident stay on repeat mode for a long time. In the presence of others, the most difficult hours of grief is when we try to hide the tears that threaten to fall or when we smile and say “I’m okay” because we cannot prevent the tears from falling. Or maybe, we are the type to smile, laugh and pass on our bogus happiness while secretly hiding the pain that is only known to the Man above and the walls that we confine ourselves too.  During this phase, grief makes a monster out of us. We look for convenient distractions and allow ourselves to become self-destructive, inevitably hurting others. We further withdraw from things and people as we become numb; and so, this one pain begins to alert the many unresolved issues that have been buried in us.

We are given lots of remarks or advice that don’t work out as expected. People closest to us are reminded of their vulnerabilities when they look at us, making them angry and hurt because we are hurting. There is nothing they can truly do or say to permanently take away our ill feelings because words and love seem inadequate to fill the massive void.

Then, the worst ends and the happier days arrive. Our existence bounces from calm to overwhelming days. We begin to recognize the person in the mirror a little more. The random breakdowns that leave us gasping for breath decreases. Breathing and body functions begin to regulate.  At last, resurfacing lasts longer. The same wounds heal over and over because every step forward sends us back to the first step.

Next, emotions attached to our grief slowly begin to fade leaving us less exhausted, less afraid, less fragile, less empty and less angry. During this process, we rebuild ourselves by constantly finding new ways to cope and channel the pain into something valuable. We are able to see definite advancement in controlling our thought patterns and attain a sense of self-understanding. Finally, we can see and feel what healing really is in our mind and body. Good and bad memories that brought tears now gives us smiles and laughter. We find ourselves changed, loving more deeply, being more appreciative and paying more attention to the little things in life and the people who have been riding along.

As it runs its final course, we pinpoint past behaviors and darkness easily in others; a gift that allows us to be more compassionate towards them. You see, this thing called grief and the excruciating pain we experienced assists us to become better and more knowledgeable people. Therefore, we cannot underestimate how easy it is for people to find themselves ready to leap off a building, with a bottle of pills waiting to be gulped or researching the easiest and fastest way to have their last breath. We can never look at homeless people, addicts and those with disabilities and pass on the same judgments that we used too.

Grief is daunting, overwhelming and depressing. This transformative process can be such a long walk that appears never-ending because it must run its course to achieve healing. There is no right way to deal with it or control it, but we can find ways to make life more manageable.  We can either win or lose, there is no in-between. For the winners, it is a beautiful devastation. As a result, winners become improved people and more conscious of their capacity and strength. We own a personal story waiting to fall into the ears of those who need to hear it.

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It’s you

it's you

From the instant I laid my eyes on you, I was undeniably struck. There was something about you. Being in your presence makes me feel like I have known you for a long time. Not only do I feel comfort, but I also feel happiness. We must be old, familiar souls. That’s how I justified the earliest moments.
I think that you’re astonishing, compassionate and possibly the kindest person I have ever met. You radiate selflessness. You give to others and do things with so much thought and consideration but forget to include yourself. You wear your big heart on your sleeve; trusting with secret vulnerability. You allow people to show themselves over and over again for fear that you’re misjudging them. You try to look for the best even in the worst of them. I never understood why but it makes you happy.
I applaud your constant strive to improve and develop who you are. You are expressive and fierce with a painful attitude at times but that makes you, you. You demand your worth and have grown confidence and bravery that you aren’t aware of.
I adore your thirst for new experiences and knowledge. Adventures you like to call it. You have passion in your eyes and grace in your smile. You have fallen in love with life even while you fight your untold battles.
I have imprisoned myself in your insatiable curiosity, lust for life and the pleasure you find in the simplest things. You are fun and funny. Did I say that I love your smile and laughter? You are beautiful inside and outside. You don’t see what I do.  You, my dear, you inspire me to be a better person. You and your attributes light up my universe.

I want to give you what you have given to me.

Yours truly,

My heart is yours to keep.

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Under my skin

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I met a sophisticated woman. I don’t know if she was heaven or hell.  She sensed my hidden pain and was intrigued; as though, my darkness excited her. She was beauty, in heart, body, and thoughts. Behind her radiating smile, paralyzing stare, and wittiness, was strength and intelligence. The energy of her presence could have been comforting warmth or a raging fire. She was a strong one, attractively powerful and passionate but broken like me.

What a Queen!

She made me nervous with her charisma and confidence. She didn’t know my details but she knew enough; she paid attention to actions more than my words. Oddly, she was almost on point. This exotic woman came in like lightning with words and the harshness I felt enkindled me. I am uncertain if she brought forward the heat of anger or the heat of truth. How dare she say such words to me! Doesn’t she know who I am!

I considered her words.  Without my permission, she disrupted the silence in my days and nights. What if, there was very little accuracy in her words. Immediately, shut them out.

Again and again, I returned to this woman and her magnetism; although, we knew there would be anger. Each time, with no time to waste, she turned into soothing rain and pampered me with her wicked smile and delicious kisses. She set me ablaze and then embraced me. How dare she challenge the man I am!

What a Bitch!

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Dear Teacher

bloom

Welcome to a new semester.

Behavior is a form of communication. Having a fair understanding of behavior is a significant coping skill in life and in any profession. In particular, classroom behavior can give you unspoken information about a child. As a student myself, people (and kids) do not always remember the academic teachings. Most definitely, they will remember how they felt in the classroom. They will remember the silly moments, smiles, laughter and positive and negative reinforcements. They will remember the way you carry yourself. They remember your facial expressions when your patience is tested and the way your face lights up when they display enthusiasm to learn. The energy you enter the classroom with sets the energy level for the class.

As you begin a new term, as you continue to teach, learn, grow and be challenged remember that you’re helping others build their future as you build your own.

– May you find the energy to entertain and grasp the attention of the most inattentive

– May you find the most patience and determination on gloomy days

– May you find love in each personality

– May you create ingenious ways to include fun and passion in each class as you inspire and cultivate originality and imagination

– May you spark an interest to learn.

– May your passions for life, passing on your knowledge, learning and self-development emanate as you stir hundreds of hearts knowingly and unknowingly.

Requirements for the new term: patience, confidence, organization, willingness to learn, willingness to be challenged, an open-mind, willingness to share infinite smiles, fun and laughter.

Have a great semester!

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Someone’s “Be patient with me”

 

Someone waltimeked in without warning, catching both your eyes and mind.

Someone walked in and started to help you to forget. Forget about the past hurts and about any fear you harbored since those relations.

Someone walked in and shook your ground, creating new memories. There was a connection, unexplained excitement and mystery. There was comfort in their presence and even more in their silence. Suddenly, you forgot why you were afraid in the first place.

Someone walked in and upset your routine. A dead part of your being was suddenly awakened by catalyzed your emotions.

Someone walked in and not only seized your attention but also captivated you with their thoughts, behaviors, beliefs and actions. One to one, in each other’s space, you saw behaviors and habits in its truest form; thus, allowing you to believe that maybe there is a possibility.

Someone walked in with reassuring words and hugs but said “Be patient with me, change doesn’t happen overnight.”

Someone walked into your life and your space, exciting you when it was convenient to them. You were taken to another realm and left there not once, not twice but too many times. Into your life with random visits and empty plans, followed by a disappearing act. Entering and exiting with the song “Be patient with me, change doesn’t happen overnight.”

Someone walked in with hot and cold behaviors setting off confusion, question marks and even a bit of hurt. You were reminded of the past that you did not want to re-live.

Someone walked in but did not communicate or make the necessary efforts to show that it was not a game. You were reminded that half-care and half of a person is not suitable because you love and care wholeheartedly. You were reminded that someone’s walls, confusion in their heart and brain, schedules, stresses and fears have nothing to do with you.

Someone walked in and weeks went by without an apology for their behavior. On a string you were left dangling. Left to question how you got entangled in the first place. Then, you were reminded that words can be sweet but actions are sweeter. You were reminded that you cannot force someone to be what you want. You were reminded of your progress before this magnetism act disturbed your flow. You were reminded that self-respect, self-love and self-worth all go hand in hand. You were reminded that you’re alone but not lonely. You were reminded to embrace the experience and accept the lessons to avoid repetition of your mistakes.

 Someone walked in and left you hanging onto “Be patient with me, change doesn’t happen overnight.” Half of a year went by. How long is “being patient”?

Someone walked in and the other walked out with “I had enough. I deserve better.”

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“I’ll hug you like a man & not a boy!”

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The last time I hugged someone tightly and for more than a minute was two years ago. That embrace was the last of its kind. I was left in a daze with distressing words and teary eyes at an airport. The moment signified the extermination of who I was and set me off on a path of rejuvenation and self-discovery. I began this new journey with well-guarded walls.  It was safe to say that I almost forgot the feeling of a genuine, strong, heartfelt hug until I was asked to be hugged.

“Can I hug you?” He asked in a soft, subtle tone. I was astonished and slightly perturbed because he requested permission to hug me. Words can be unknowingly powerful.

Without warning, he entered my life and reminded me of the power in a single hug. His words and action were almost invigorating. It was therapeutic, powerful and relaxing. My insecurities briefly disappeared. Time froze and his embrace calmed my racing heart. A simple hug brought peace to my mind for a short time; yet, it felt much longer. It was a language that needed no words. Suddenly, there was an instant death of the person I was trying to be. I found myself emotional, vulnerable and able to feel the warmth in his clutch. My suppressed spirit was lifted.

A simple gesture like this surpassed any expectation I had of being hugged by him. There was a healing in his arms, voice, and those bright eyes. It was intoxicating and surreal. Most of all, there was comfort in his silence.

I’ve hugged many but there was something special about his hug. Maybe it was exactly what I needed at that particular time. Maybe it was a self-reminder of the things I shut out. Maybe I needed a distraction from the life I started to create for myself.

This little gesture, a paragon of beauty and care in the world of human affection can change a life. He changed mine by reminding me of how much I have progressed since I set out.

“I’ll hug you like a man and not a boy” and so, he did.

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Authenticity…..do you walk the talk?

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Are you sincere or do you pretend?
Are you loving of yourself and can spot something to love in a stranger?
Are you in touch with your intuition or are you swallowed by a confused mind?
Are you appreciative of one who speaks with truth or one who adds honey and sweet scents to the tip of his tongue?
Are you capable of hearing and accepting the truth without allowing your volcano to blow its top?
Are you impressed with people who are in for the pleasure ride or those who want to experience all of the journey with you?
Are you able to stand alone and enjoy your company?
Are you living your days with satisfaction and passion or stuck in the swamp of accumulating material things?
Are you a survivor without flowery words and recognition from associates on social networks?
Are you worthy of being called a true friend?
Are you a runner from obstacles or do you face them with maturity and an open mind?
Are you capable of seeing value not only in yourself but also in the less fortunate man?
Are you willing to burn the masks that you have been wearing with pride?
Are you prepared to remove ego from the driver’s seat and end this relentless need to impress society?
Are you aligned with the truth of who you are becoming at this point in your life?
Are you able to sense the sincerity in another’s voice, tone, eyes and body language….and can you reflect it?

How much sweeter the journey will be if we can answer these questions with honesty.

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Life’s tragedy

Disappointments are a 20160327_140643 part of life. They come gradually or in the blink of an eye. Some of us place “disappointment” in a treasured box. Some of us gloss over it for a very long time. Some relive it daily. We have all been there at some point in life.  I know, I have been there.

Not knowing how to let go, where to start, or what to do. You can sit for days, months and years nursing your wounds. You can spend the rest of your life torturing yourself. Or you can disperse the ashes and start your new journey. The choice is yours to sit and wait for things to improve, wait for closure, or wait for a miracle. Or you can put an end to the constant replay of disappoint, grieve and move forward. It takes courage, choice, self-respect and knowing your self-worth. Letting go has to be one of the greatest personal struggles that one could face.

I am forever grateful to all those closed doors, betrayals and disappoints. For me the heaviest disappointments stemmed from people. After much analyzing and support, I understand that my expectations led to creating my own disappointment and hurting myself. Do not hold expectations in life. Do not expect people to be good to you because you are good to them. Do not expect people to appreciate you or your efforts because you showed appreciation to them.

My disappointments served as self-empowering vitamins. You see, when I care about something or someone, I give my all. I have been taught to treat others the way I want to be treated even if they don’t deserve it. In the long run, it has always worked in my favour. As disappointing as people turned out, I don’t regret being myself. Why? What goes around comes around. At unexpected times, I reaped the kindness I bestowed onto others. Knowing that I left my mark of authenticity is enough. It fulfilled my role in their path.

Disappointments have taught me to choose myself first because no one will ever fully choose me. Now, I am on an evolved level and I am grateful for those disappointments. I am thankful for the crossed paths because it showed me that I deserve greatness.  A sense of inner peace is worth more than any material item in this lifetime. Personal development is a never-ending job because life always changes and forces us to change. Thus, I am work in progress and so are you. Despite not being where I want to be, I want to share how I arrived at this stage in my journey.

Knowing and accepting the end to a job, friendship, relationship or anything in life is crucial. Not only does it stress you, but also, it affects those around you. Let’s think for a bit. Who matters at this very moment? If you cannot answer the question. Just know that it’s YOU. It’s time to stop being stuck. It is time to move forward. It’s time to discover a new journey and a new life. It’s time to evolve into the best YOU.

Let go of the frustration in your heart and allow new experiences to take over. Let go the ashes of hope, expectations, brokenness, disappointments, bitterness, and anger. Allow those ashes to disperse into the universe. Set them free. Start slowly and scatter a little more each time. Allow yourself to feel the myriad of emotions. See yourself at your weakest and vow to never allow anything or anyone to break you down to this level again. You will grieve but after the winds of grief subsides you are going to emerge into such greatness that you would have never thought possible.   You may never understand it all. You may never understand why this was part of your journey. Just let go little by little. Do it for you.

Learning to bounce back to reality after disappointment is such a wonderful personal achievement. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, I wonder what that reason is but trust the journey, they say. Don’t question, don’t ask why. Trust the journey and everything will fall into place when you least expect it. You are your biggest supporter. You deserve the best. I wish you inner peace and ultimate happiness with yourself.

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