Monday, 23 July 2012

“My first and last love is... Myself....”

“My first and last love is... Myself....”

©       I choose to be happy
©       To be filled with gratitude
©       To live a life of joy and love and success
©       To enjoy positive personal relationships

What is Self Love?
“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”
Lucille Ball quotes (American radio and motion-picture actress and comedy star, 1911-1989)
 Over the years I have learnt and have come to appreciate myself, now this did not happen overnight. I have found myself consumed with bad relationships (Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Boyfriends). Most of my life, pleasing other people needs came before my own, I thought if their egos are pleased life will be okey dokey!!! . I found myself in numerous relationships for the wrong reasons and ended up settling in ill-fitting ‘partnerships’. This deeply rooted fear and lack of understanding of myself; and those relationships were my whole world; my focus of attention. I would sacrifice my own goals/happiness for other people. And, when those relationships collapsed, so did my sense of self.
Through much introspection, I realized that I didn’t truly love or appreciate myself and had relied on external sources for love and approval. When you do not love yourself and suffer from low self esteem, it is almost impossible to ever reach the potential that you suspect you have.
I decided to change
When I decided to love myself, I accepted that I am responsible for the outcomes that I experience in life and would like myself to shine from living a fulfilling life. I had to overcome my fears of loneliness by finding independence and personal freedom. I decided to take the following few steps:
  • Grow Spiritually. Spend time growing spiritually, and loving yourself becomes automatic. I have become more peaceful, connected, kind, loving and compassionate. A mind that grows more beautiful by the day.
  • Be Truthful To Yourself. Loving yourself requires you to be truthful about your own feelings. If you are happy, acknowledge the joy. If you are sad, acknowledge the sorrow. When you are truthful about your feelings, you do not try to lie to yourself or seek to bury your negative emotions. Instead, acknowledging what you feel provides a good guide to what your thoughts are. And as we all know, thoughts can be changed, so that healing and self growth can take place.
  •  Positive Affirmations Every day. Every morning I wake up with positive affirmations. I recite the following “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.”
  • Express Gratitude. Express gratitude for the person that you are. For instance, cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Also, feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.
  • Look After My Body. It is important that you strengthen yourself with proper nutrition and regular exercise. Your body is a temple and you should treat it with respect, love and care. It has been found that the lack of self love is often the root causes of conditions like eating disorders, obesity or even terminal diseases.

Authentically Me…

"I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay."
Denis2005 Virginia Satir quotes (American Psychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Today, I turn 31

Want to know how I feel about turning 31 today?
I dreaded the idea of turning 31, growing up, I used to think people in their 30’s were really and I mean really old. Now that I’m in my 30's, that perspective has quickly shifted literally flew out of the window (I am not that old or am I???), I still feel like a little kid, except I’m doing my best in playing the part of an adult–trying to fit in with other grown-ups, and subsequently hiding the little kid within.
Having been obsessed with the topic of happiness, love and personal development over the past years (heads cracking, brain tired), I feel like I’m becoming more and more in touch with the mature me, straightforward, and established in love.
I paused and looked at my life and its richness and fullness. I am overwhelmed by the love of my God, my family and friends. I am drenched in acceptance, openness, and the daily beauty of being me, as difficult as it is some days!!! Yeah it’s hard being me at times.
Last year proved some great opportunities and some great loss, worst ever in my life, turning 30, and so many unforeseen challenges!!!! All the while God faithfully stood at my side and upheld me!! Now, however, so much focus has been placed before me…so much clarity and determination.

I may not be where I dreamed I would be but I know I am where God wants me to be.
Jeremiah: 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart.

I love my life and am thankful for every moment of it. I love that God will never ever say, “You’re all done Jabulile. Nothing’ more to learn here.”  I love that birthdays are markers of not only where we came from, but where we are headed…and for those reasons, I love turning 31, finally at peace with my age!!!

My Daily Bread

“The day is ending, our life is one day shorter.Let us look carefully at what we have done.
Let us practice diligently,…Putting our whole heart into the path…Let us live deeply each moment in freedom, So time does not slip away meaninglessly.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Greatest love of all!!!

In her 1985 song, "Greatest Love Of All,"1 Whitney Houston claimed that the greatest love of all was to love yourself: "Learning to love yourself. It is the greatest love of all." However, the Bible has a different idea about what is the greatest love.
According to the Bible, the love of God is described as being great and almost beyond comprehension. God's love is compared to the height of the heavens above the earth and even beyond.

One of the most famous of all is John 3:16 where it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  What other Scriptures declare that God truly loves us in an unconditional way!!! 1 John 4:7-8 says: 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
We are the apple of His eye, He rejoices over us, He sings over us, He abounds in love over us, He has the compassion of a Father over us, He delights over us…and this love is from everlasting to everlasting.  What more solid proof can there be???? God can not lie and God tells us in dozens of Scriptures that He loves those whom he calls His own:
·         Zechariah 2:8b “for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.”
·         Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
·         Jeremiah 32:41 “I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.”
·         Psalm 103:4 “who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
·         Psalm 103:8 “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
·         Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”
·         Psalm 103:17 “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.”
 Am I Deserving of His Love?
 This is an easy one to answer.  No, I am not deserving of His love. Why you ask????
 During Jesus sacrifice at Calvary:  Peter denied Him, the Jews Crucified Him, Judas betrayed Him, the Council illegally tried Him, Pontius Pilate unjustly condemned Him
 What did Jesus do? He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).  When I am at my worst, Jesus is at His best.  When I least deserved grace, His grace is the absolute most.  While I had nothing to show Him to give me mercy, He took everything to show His mercy for me.
God gives me what I least deserve (called grace) and withholds what I do deserve (called mercy). I should be careful to ask God for justice because if He truly gave me justice, I couldn’t stand.
If I think God should give me what we deserve, I would all utterly perish.  Jesus Christ got what He did not deserve so I could receive what I do not deserve.  This is what isn’t fair:  that I did not get what we deserved, while He got what He did not deserve.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that life is fair.  If it was fair, then Jesus would not have died.  He was completely innocent and without sin….yet I am completely guilty and a sinner.  Because it wasn’t fair to Jesus, I can be declared righteous by His atoning work on the cross.
The conclusion is that, no, I am not deserving, but as a child of God I make mistakes and I repent. In a much greater way, God loves me despite my despicable, sinful nature.  That is love that is unconditional – not conditioned – even with my wilful disobedience.

Monday, 9 July 2012

A Very Happy UnBirthday To Me


Today is a week to my unbirthday before I turn 31 years old and I mean to make the most of it. For those of you who don't know, next Monday 16 July, is my birthday. I will be the ripe old age of 31 years old. I was not excited to turn 30 and I'm even less excited to be turning 31. Somehow 30 is a threshold between being "young" and "getting older". And yes, I do finally feel like I am getting older. I don't just drop and roll on the floor playing with nieces. I'm less spontaneous and I feel sort of set in my ways now. I have no idea if I'm losing my zest for life, or if I've just reached a place of "maturity". I started walking and joined l the gym last year  and actually made a habit of going. I haven't lost as much weight as I would've liked, but I am feeling a lot healthier and my stamina is up. I want to enter middle age as gracefully as possible.
This year is nothing special, so I plan on keeping it low key. Really I wish I wasn't having a birthday at all. I'm not really in the mood. You know, like when a big holiday rolls around and you just haven't been able to get into the spirit of the season? It's like that with my birthday this year.

As with most people I'm not looking forward to getting older. I'm happy with where I'm at right now. I can live with the aches and pains that I have now. I have a pretty regular routine and I know what to expect most days. Life is comfortable, like an old shoe. I hope my thirties are long and prosperous. My twenties were not a good time of life for me. I was very depressed.

For my next 9 years I want to have some more real goals. I want to spend quality time with my family. Make me the best me I can be. Including losing weight (again).Hopefully settle and start a family……. I want to continue being a freelance writer, so that I can begin a career changeover that will sustain me as I get older. Hopefully I can derive a little side income, if I get going with that. I want to appreciate each moment of life as if it was my last. There's still plenty of time to be the person I was meant to be and continue to be all the great things that I already am. Life is good.

A week away and I just really dread it. Being 30's had its good points also. My reasons:

·         I am quite confident of myself and what I can do compared to a decade ago.
·         My views are respected by others even if they are wild and outer-space type.
·         I am more to taking care of myself, fitness and all, and
·         I am wiser and more beautiful....... (10 years ago, I could cry over fat bellies and pimples!!! and just worry what others may say, now, to heck with them.)

All that being said, I'm happy that I'm only turning 31 and not 41 So, Thank God, I am 31 years old, healthy, beautiful, sexier inside out and loving life more!!!


Friday, 6 July 2012

Lessons Learned from Granpa

Without a shadow of a doubt, my grandfather is the single most influential person in my life. He was more than just my grandfather. He was my father figure, my mentor, my protection, and I'm proud to say, my friend.

·         Have faith, live a faith-filled life, and know God will take care of the details.

My grandpa was married to his sweetheart for so many years!  He was devoted to her, cared for her, protected her, and was her best friend, soul mate, and truly her knight in shining armor.  She was his caretaker, his confidant, his rock.  The love they shared taught me lesson #2:

·         Believe in true, forever, my heart belongs to you, love.
Anyone who lives close to nine decades is going to be hurt and disappointed at times by those he loves.  In fact, anyone who lives at all will experience this human condition.  How to deal with hurt and disappointment is the next lesson:3
·         Forgive others for pain they caused you.
My grandpa had  three children, a multitude of grandchildren, and a handful of great grandchildren.  Us decedents didn’t always make the best choices, at least not choices my grandpa would have made for themselves.  He flat out blatantly disagreed with some of the choices I made, which brings us to lesson #4:
·         Live a life of acceptance of others for who they are and for the choices they make.
You can still love the person even though you may not love the choice that person has made.  And let that person know you love and accept them. My grandpa worked, and worked hard, for literally all his life.  When he “retired,” he worked on his home. His was an avid sport lover, from boxing, cricket to soccer, his team favourite team Moroka Swallows.  He would often have one game on  television while listening to another on his radio and he could tell you what was going on in both games.
Hence my love for soccer, although I fell in love with Orlando Pirates  My grandpa work ethics taught me lesson #5:
·         Work hard, expect much from yourself, and give much back.
My grandpa used to traveled with my gran to many places and experienced much in their years together.  They loved to travel, to experience, to relax, to take a break from all that hard work they did.  Lesson #6:
·         Travel, relax, experience, take a break to enjoy the beauty of what this life has to offer.
My grandparents lived in the same house for over 50 years.  It served them well.  It’s a nice house, well-built, provided them and their children warmth from the cold, a hearth in which to gather around, a place to call home.  Lesson #7:
·         Be content with what you have and be humbled when God gives you more.
They had a great life together.  They had great pain together.  They grieved their losses, thanked God for their blessings, and lived life to the fullest.  Lesson #8:
·         Pain will heal.  With time and faith, contentment will come.  Life will be good again.
My grandparents had worked for decades at various companies, had many close friends, were deeply adored by their family, fell in love, stayed in love, lived in the same house for forever…all because of something I’ll call lesson #9:
·         Commitment and passion.  Webster’s definition of commitment could very well just say, “Jabu’s Grandparents.”  Be committed to all you do, give it your best shot, go for it with heartfelt passion, and energy, and love.
My grandpa was the sweetest man in the world.  I am forever grateful for his influence on my life, for the way he lived his life, for his examples, and for the life lessons his taught me.  Lesson #10:
·         Be appreciative, show appreciation, tell others that you appreciate them and love them. (Before they die, today in fact!)
I lost my grandpa in 2010 and it still feels like yesterday when I saw him last.  My grandfather was a happy, strict friendly man.  He and my gran were responsible for raising me and two brothers.  He taught us so many values and showed us love every day. 
Although we were adults when he passed, it didn't make the pain and hurt of losing him any less and we talk about him, think about him and miss him everyday.  But I believe in my heart that he can see me from Heaven. 
Although I had wished for him to be here to teach the same teachings to my children!!!

Lesson Learnt from my Granma

They say that only the good die young. My grandma was one of the most special person I have ever known, and probably will ever know.
She was the woman everyone loved; whether they had known her for a second or for years; my gran would touch everybody's heart.
She had an aura about her like no other; she was calming, sensitive, and was courageous and so giving of herself that she would forget about herself.

You see, my grandma gave until she had nothing left to give

She lived every day for everyone else and not a single day for herself.
The day after she died, I remember saying to myself: “If I could be half the woman that she was, I would have accomplished something good.” But in hindsight I have come to realise that perhaps the true accomplishment would be to become the woman who achieves the right balance – a balance between giving of herself and giving to herself.
From a very young age my granma taught me to do unto others as I would have them do unto me; that forgiveness is letting go; and that patience is a virtue.

One could say that these teachings are precisely what my grandma was

She had the utmost patience for everyone, was forever loyal and always forgiving no matter how severe the crime. All admirable and rare qualities in a human being. But where does one draw the line? When do we say to those around us “I love you, but it's time for me now,” or “You know what, it's not okay and I won't let you treat me like that?"

As women, we are genetically engineered with an instinct for nurturing; an instinct for tending to those around us before tending to ourselves

And we give into this instinct all the time, no matter what the consequences and often to our own detriment. Some would call it compromise. But when does making sacrifices for the ones you love become sacrificing yourself? There is a fine line. 

My grandma crossed that line. She sacrificed herself...

...her own happiness and health in her noble and hard attempts to make sure that her family was okay, no matter how they treated her in return. She lived a very happy life, always making others happy.  
When people ask me what killed her I can honestly say that the love she had for her husband despite having her children, grandchildren and great grand kids, she wanted to be with the man she loved and that loved her…. TRUE LOVE

She gave it all away and had nothing left to give back

And it's through stepping back and looking at her life that I have figured out who the woman I want to be is: the woman who values herself as well as those around her.
·         The woman who is grateful for who and what she has in her life; but at the same time does not forget that she has what she has because of the person she is.
·         The woman who takes time to reflect on herself and her achievements.
·         The woman who will not apologise to anyone, even her family, for who she is.
·         The woman who will not change her views and values to accommodate others, but rather be open to adapting to the situation.
·         The woman who looks after herself so that she can look after others. The woman who does not judge, but may disagree. The woman my granny taught me to be. 
When I think back to her funeral I remember how touched I was at the huge turnout; Some who knew her, some who never met her; some who had been in my life for five minutes and some who had been in it for years; some I hadn't seen for years and some I saw the day before; even some I had never met before.
It's moments like these that make you realise you are not alone in the world; that it's not all for nothing; that life has meaning; that there is an abundance of joy to be experienced.

What I learnt from my grandma (her life and her death) is that I am a truly blessed human being

I am surrounded by wonderful people; people who love me, who care for me; people who want the best for me; people who accept me for the woman I am. We all have these people in our lives; they are there, just look for them.
It's because they love us for who we are that it's important to take care of ourselves; they will miss us when we're gone. Realise that, by taking care of you, you are still taking care of them. When you're happy, they're happy.
So go for that massage, take that yoga class, join the gym – look after yourself! Because it's you that they love because you love yourself. Be the woman you’re taught you to be; the woman who is loved and respected because she loves and respects herself.