Listen carefully to the toxins

A toxin is an organic poison — it’s made by plants and animals. Toxins make people sick. If your appendix bursts, toxins are released into your blood stream. Also breathing in a toxin like ricin will make you very ill.                                                                                               Toxin definition courtesy of http://www.vocabulary.com

I have since learnt a good lesson. 

I thought to share it with us today. 

In the life I have lived I have come to learn that not everyone will run the race with you. There are those who have no intention to run but will stop you from running. Life.

In the same sphere there are those who will whisper honey into you but secretly connect a poisonous drip into your system. That’s life.

I have learnt to listen to words very carefully and usually let my slow processor digest before I respond. In listening to words I have learnt a number of lessons and I list them below.

1. Listen carefully to what people say to you and about you when they are angry or emotional. It is the real picture of what they think of you. When you hear only derogatory and degrading terms thrown at you in disagreement, listen carefully. That is what that person perceives of you.

2. My English teacher at high school used to tell us that anger is a state of temporary madness. In anger people lose restraint. The same restraint they apply when whispering sweet nothings in the throes of NSFW 18 activities. So to me what you say to me when you are not in control of your emotions portrays the real picture of your perception of me.

3. Toxins are not poisonous if not ingested. I have learnt not to let poisonous people pass their toxins to me. As long as they keep their toxins to their system I am safe. The same way I am safe if I do not let a black mamba bite me and thus inject its venom into me. The mamba can keep on living….. As long as it does not entertain the idea of introducing me to its venom..

4. Toxins are safe in their place. I have learnt to know my place. My place means I will not allow the toxins to come my way. That way I am safe. Smell the toxins but never inhale them.

The next time toxins rain towards you do not listen to reply. Listen to the toxins. They will tell you more about the person and what they perceive of you.

That wisdom will help you decide where to walk and whom to walk with…

#toxicfree

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Are you about to give up?

Everyone hits that patch.  The patch where all goes wrong and none seems willing to help you out, the patch where you fall off the wagon and it runs over you as you try to stagger up. Everyone goes through the catch 22 scenario and when it happens the easiest and most available decision seems to be to give up and die, we are quickened to the Job scenario where the wife, being tired of caring for a sore ridden and impoverished Job, tells him to curse God and die.

Everyone hits the dark painful spot. How you handle the pain determines whether you will beat the darkness or the patch will shroud you. So it is not in the darkness that we meet our demise but in the manner we handle the dark patches of our lives.

Before you give and keel over I urge you to consider the following:

Think of the woman who went into extended labour but did not give up. Think of the sweat rolling down her face and the spasms hitting her muscles. It would have been easier to give up and opt for a still-born but the woman persevered. When the midwives demanded that she push some more she summoned courage and strength that she never knew she had and was rewarded with a bloody bundle howling like there was no tomorrow. That was the woman who gave birth to you and me.

Think of the teacher who never gave up when you did not grasp the concept when the whole class had done. Think of what devastation you would have undergone when they left you behind and laughed derisively at you.

Think of the mentor who put up with your immaturity. I look back today and remember how taxing and cheeky I could be but my big brothers never wrote me off. I look back and see the sea of patience that they stretched to accommodate my mistakes and errors. At times these mistakes of mine were to cost them more than me but they never wrote me off.

Think of the decision maker who could have consigned you to the history bin but chose to allow you a second chance. I have had so many close shaves in my life that would have had me written off had someone somewhere not have exercised the option of granting me a second chance.

So before you give up and give up all your dreams I beg you to think of all those that never gave up on you to be where you are today. Where you stand today might not be where you want to be but I can assure you that you could be in a worse off position if those running with you could have given up on. So when the urge comes, think of the worst that you have already beaten and I can assure you it is better to keep running than sit on the track and let the stampede decimate you.

As the sun rises tomorrow, count your granted lifelines that you have been proffered and keep running, for to give up is to let down a lot of people who have already given a lot for you.

 

 

The buck stops here

After the wonderful weekend retreat and all the exultations, excitement, exploration, messages, prayers etc something still lingers in my soul. Back in my mind I still have the vivid image of a 21year old boy breaking down trying to narrate how painful it is not to have a father active in your life. With every tear that he tried to wipe away I saw inches of layered pain laced with bitterness. I thank God that it was a Christian retreat camp and men were able to rally around the young man and urge him to fight the shadows and be the one to first forgive even if he deems himself the most wronged and hence aggrieved.

This left me thinking. It seems many, if not all of us, have issues. The thorny point is that these issues have found no closure and they continue to rage like a septic wound. Be it an absent father, an uncaring spouse, an abusive boss, a bad neighbor – all that still obtains is that as long as there is no closure, the obtaining matters affect and impede our ability to go forward.

Despite the information high-speed that we are travelling in it is becoming more difficult for us to communicate and barriers are being built even between spouses. Despite that we speak in tongues and pay our tithes religiously we seem to be having no faith even in our nearest of kin (read skin).

One thing with issues is that they may start small but arrogance, pride, anger, malice and vanities blow them into big flames. How many siblings does the reader know of who are not on talking terms because of what someone said about one of them to the other? Has it ever occurred that if one of the two feuding parties (even the aggrieved one) took the initiative to just sms a greeting and enquire on the other’s health this might open the much awaited channel required to help clear these issues?

How many bitter sons and daughters are we raising on the poisonous bile arising from the issues that went unresolved between us and our parents? How many employees or subordinates suffer brunt because of the unresolved issues we have with past brutal employers and bosses? How many spouses suffer pain because we are enacting the pain inflicted on us by the lovers who left us on the altar or jumped beds to be with our best friends? Why should the lack of closure on these matters affect and negatively shape innocent people?

It is my conviction that most of us have issues. Issues that are painful to even think of, issues that seriously hurt and have gone for long without any serious attempt to address. It is my conviction that the more we delay from closure the further we take ourselves from the goal of progress and happiness. It is not possible to move forward when your feet are tied with barbed wire. You will tumble and fall. The same obtains for many of us – we still bind ourselves in the pride and arrogance of saying we are the wronged ones hence we have a right to play dead!!

It is my conviction that sooner than later this generation has to address its issues. I have resolved to clears my grudges diary; I have made up my mind to empty the poisonous bitterness bottle. I have resolved to forgive even those who will wrong me and refuse to acknowledge their error. I have resolved to play my role and be man enough to deal with all my issues than to ghost them onto my children, siblings, workmates etc.

As the sun rises tomorrow, whatever issue is at hand, deal with it decisively. Forgive for no recourse, play your role, love your beloved ones and the topmost benefit will be; more happiness and uncluttered hearts.

I FINALLY DID IT

Today I got to home group late. Late enough to almost be assured I was going to be asked to give the closing prayer when I entered. Late enough to walk into a simmering debate with the Pastor trying to quell, calm, rationalize and stabilize faith and emotions. It appears the group had pointed out how difficult it is to forgive when people hurt us. A senior mother remarked to the Pastor how difficult it is to forgive the woman who stole your husband, happiness, love, joy and at times your health.

But the Pastor was adamant that we ought to FORGIVE as the Lord commanded us to. Everyone pitched in with their non forgivable scenarios done to them and the man of God was on the verge of being swamped. When we thought we had won, he raised his head and clearly stated that in as much as we would want to vaunt our bitter nesses and inability to forgive, the onus is on us to proffer the forgiving hand and move on. 30 minutes pat dismissal time it was still difficult.

But something struck me. It is his last sentence before we left for home. He alluded to the fact that to fail to forgive is akin to harboring an acidic bitterness in our hearts and it is difficult for God to pave a way of light through such darkness. It reminded me of the favorite saying that draws parallels to bitterness being similar to drinking poison and expecting someone else to die!

When I got home, his words really struck me and I finally got it. I picked up the phone and dialed a number I had erased in my phones (but from bitterness it still obtained in my mind). I called the number of a person who hurt me so badly that my faith took a detour. I called a person who cost me so much I cannot quantify in all available terms. I called a person whose pain to me made me at one time to believe that God would forgive me if I took a gun and blew their brains out. I called a person who at their best still saw it good to do me irreparable harm.

I called a person who hurt me so badly it still physically hurts today and most likely will do so till I am interred in the ground barring of course, the occurrence of a miracle.

When they answered I only asked for two minutes and explained that I had come to the realization that my being angry with what they did to me was holding me back and festering an inhibiting bitterness. I told them that despite all the pain, the hurt, the harm, the losses, the humiliation etc I WAS FORGIVING THEM AND THEY WERE NOW FREE TO PURSUE THEIR LIVES WITHOUT THE FEAR OF NQOBILE NCUBE LOOMING OVER THEM AND SEEK REVENGE.

I was met with stunned silence. No slur, no insults, no swearing, no hung up phone. Just silence. 30 seconds later all they could say was ‘THANK YOU’.

When I hung up, a burden lifted. Of course I still bear the physical scars but I have dealt with the bitterness shadow and there is space for more light in my heart.

Tomorrow as the sun rises and as you battle shadows and mountains, pause for a moment and check if the mountains hindering you are not out of bitterness and unforgiving pain. If so, one call, one visit, one sms might heave a mountain away for you. It just did for me.