Do you really love?

Dear Wife and Husband,

I have read your words and listened to all your pain poured out on paper. Though it has been a very short time since you both said, ‘I do’, I am not surprised that troubles have already lined up at your door. Living with family has drama but living with a man or woman, who was once a stranger, is taking drama to another level. After seeing heaven in the eyes of your beloved, it is a shock to the system to wake up to the rude reality that they are human and you are both still on Earth. When you thought of your spouse as a dream, it was all in your head and though you shared those dreams you didn’t really have the same image in mind. Husband your image had straight lines and Wife yours had a fibrous, root like pattern. Husband you thought of goals and accomplishments. Wife you thought of influence, impact and relationships. Both of you had dreams before you married and both of you were very involved in pursuing those dreams. Now you are married but the acceleration towards your personal dreams has not changed nor declined. So as I read your frustrations and words of anger at each other and I see, in summary, what you are both saying to each other is, “It’s either my way or hit the highway!” What makes this so sad is that your dreams are one and the same. You’re both saying the same thing you’re just speaking in tongues. Husband you are speaking Manish and Wife you are speaking Womanish.

As much as you have both coloured your words with sentiments of love and commitment, your final actions do not reflect that unity. Wife has already decided she wants what she wants and is asking Husband for spousal support because it will happen whether he is on board or not. Wife states her growth will be of great benefit to the family in the long run but forgets to ask at what cost to the love and to the relationship, which is currently falling apart. Wife currently does not feel safe and secure and she now wants to take her life into her own hands. Too many words have been said to injure her and her walls of self-preservation are up and they will not come down for anything less than an apology or tenderness that does not pursue sex.

Husband says he has investment plans. He has already started purchasing plots and has a personal vision, though it is very commendable, it cannot be cast in stone and only have a spouse ‘invited’ to get on the bus and take a ride to paradise. Even God requires us to partner with Him for our own salvation. Lest we confess and ask Christ into our heart and allow him to lead us down the path of salvation, we cannot be saved. Rescue comes by repentance, repentance means to turn away from a bad deed and change your behaviour in order to change the outcome of your life. Einstein says it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Even in allowing a cure to heal you, one must dedicate their life to changing behaviour and following a Doctor’s prescribed guideline. Yes Husband, as hard as this may seem to you, your vision must be edited so that your Wife will own it. She is your partner and not your passenger.

Wife you hold a grudge like a weapon over your Husband’s head but it is not working for either of you. So try forgiveness and see where it takes you. You will find in forgiving your husband, you too will be liberated from the tentacles of bitterness. Husband, you look down on your wife as if she is a vindictive immature young girl and yet you seek skills of a woman when it comes to sex and intimacy. Remember intimacy is ‘into-me-see’, if you have her misunderstood then how could you grow close? How can you run if you don’t know how to walk? Husband the greatest act of seduction, is for your wife to feel safe and secure in your embrace and in sharing a life with you. Your Wife must know you will be there for her and never desert her. A woman, during the act of sex, opens herself up, like a flower, and allows a man into her. When she feels taken care of and protected, there is nothing she will not try for love’s sake. But frigidity, discomfort and pain during sex, often comes because of hurt, neglect, injury and verbal/physical abuse. Words of love, praise & kindness spoken to a woman are like raindrops in a desert, they bring life to her. Be careful how you use your words Husband. I know when you are wounded your tongue runs ahead of you but try to rein it in and be the master of your own lips. You too Wife, women speak more words than men, so let those words rain life giving waters into your man. Remember, ‘nature abhors a vacuum’; if you don’t speak kind words to your spouse, someone else will and the sweet rains of a stranger’s kind words will move a thirsty heart. Yes, its takes two baby!

Both of you are so hurt and both of you are at fault. Now, let’s stop the running AT each other and the pursuing personal dreams and partner to make a team. You don’t only have children who are growing and cannot wait for you two to work things out, but you both have a covenant that needs to be honoured and also taken care of. Marriage is a living thing that needs to be nurtured for the benefit of all parties concerned. It will take sacrifice! When you both said, ‘I do’, you actually also said, ‘I don’t’ to any individualistic pursuits or activity that doesn’t have the full support of your spouse. Two cannot walk together unless they agree. Both of your selfishness will do no good. Your children will only know what you show; though they are young they are absorbing all your words and body language like a sponge. Their young brains are developing very fast and you are writing information into their system, which will take a psychologist or psychiatrist years to edit. Please open your eyes to the couple you can be after you both lay down your weapons. You are both bleeding emotionally and it’s not just affecting your health but it’s affecting what both of you are claiming to fight for, your marriage.

Now. Here’s a little exercise. Before you say or do anything to your spouse, please ask your self this (taken from 1 Corinthians 13:3-7, The Message) I have simply replaced the word Love with your names. Do you really love? Are you acting in love?

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Husband/Wife never gives up.
Husband/Wife cares more for others than for self.
Husband/Wife doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Husband/Wife doesn’t strut (boast),
Husband/Wife Doesn’t have a swelled head (not proud or stand on only what they believe is right)
Husband/Wife Doesn’t force itself on others,
Husband/Wife Isn’t always “me first,”
Husband/Wife Doesn’t fly off the handle (easily angered),
Husband/Wife Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others (you did this, you betrayed me, you hurt me)
Husband/Wife Doesn’t revel when others grovel (make them beg and feel nothing or good when they do)
Husband/Wife Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Husband/Wife Puts up with anything,
Husband/Wife Trusts God always,
Husband/Wife Always looks for the best,
Husband/Wife Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

If you are not LOVING in a marriage, you are only HATING. Saying, I LOVE YOU, means nothing if it is not backed up with actions of love. Love-making is not possible without acts of love. Love-making is the final product of deeds of love done throughout the day. If you both lay down your wounded pride and choose to just treat each other with kindness, you will go far as a couple. Scripture commands that husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church, he died for the church (Wife you are very good at using scripture to beat Husband, so don’t use this to have things your way). Scripture also says that the wife ought to submit like the church does to Christ. Love is a two way street, otherwise it’s not love but a parasite and cancer.

Remember if you cannot love each other then you would both be ‘terrible’ parents to your children, and you will make a counsellor very rich in the future and lawyers too. Stop making war and make love by seeking peace and the good of the other. Don’t wait for Husband or Wife to make the first move of love and forgiveness but do it for you and your future. If these lessons are not learned now, you will carry these deadly character traits into every relationship. Change NOW! If you have read this wishing your spouse would understand what is written and not rebuking your own attitude then you have only allowed pride to read this. Read it without thinking about your spouse. Use the words to operate your own heart and character otherwise we will not get anywhere. Even David prayed, “Lord search my heart and if there be an evil way in me lead me into the way everlasting” and Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. Examine your own actions and like Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true,” you cannot hide the truth of your own actions from your self. Let love be the motion that drives all your emotions and though your heart is wounded, lead it into healing and into loving.

As we continue this journey to healing. Remember, learn to listen to each other. If you are listening and thinking of what to say next, then you are deaf to what your spouse is saying and you will make no peace or love. If you keep looking for failure or a way to use their words against them, then you are still not listening but seeking ways to injure your spouse. If you cannot wait for them to shut up, then you cannot move forward. The only way forward is for each person to identify their wrong, own it, seek forgiveness and change. As long as you run away from owning mistakes then you will never trust each other and trust is the glue in any relationship. Remember, communication is to all relationships what blood is to human life. Speak to your spouse not the neighbour or the boys at the pub or the ladies in the office. If you must vent, pray. If praying still doesn’t drain the poison then turn to someone who will not take your side but someone who will speak truth to you. Do not speak to family because they may form a negative attitude toward your spouse and there is a high possibility that you will season your story so that you come out as the victim. At best, speaking to a mature spiritual leader or marriage counsellor is the most advisable thing to do. You need someone who will uphold your marriage and support you in honouring your vows. Having too many voices pulling you and your spouse in different directions is dangerous and that is what will happen when you both turn to friends and relatives. Remember if following another’s advice finally breaks your marriage, you are the one who will be left with the pain. Ultimately this is your battle and it is a battle for your heart and soul. No one comes out of a broken marriage unscathed. Remember, after the dust has settled and you finally see your faults, say sorry. Sorry is a great word when it comes from an honest and humble soul. Sorry is the greatest tool of disarmament. It does not make the speaker weak but instead it builds a bridge to reconciliation. Whatever happens do not give up on your marriage.

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Too little too late?

If divorce is looking like an option, take a breathe and read this and I hope it will give you a reason to keep your commitment.

Author Unknown

I got home one night and, as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I want a divorce.” She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words. Instead, she softly asked me why. I avoided the question, and this made her angry. She threw down the chopsticks and shouted, “You are not a man!” We didn’t talk to each other that night. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage, but I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement stating that she could keep the house, the car, and a 30% share of my company. She glanced at it and tore it to pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy, but I could not take back what I had said. She finally cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see in the first place, and the idea of divorce felt more real now.

I got home very late from work the next day, and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have dinner, I just went straight to bed and fell asleep. In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but requested that for the next month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month, and she didn’t want to disrupt him with a broken marriage. She also asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day, and requested that I now carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning for the month’s duration. I thought she was going crazy, but to make our last days together bearable. I accepted her odd request.

We were both pretty clumsy about it when I carried her out on the first day, but our son was joyfully clapping his hands behind us, singing, “Daddy is holding mommy in his arms!” His words triggered a sense of pain in me. I carried her from the bedroom to the living room, and then to the door. She closed her eyes and softly said, “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded and put her down outside the door.We weren’t as clumsy on the second day. She leaned on my chest, and I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t really looked at this woman for a long time. She was not young anymore. There were fine wrinkles on her face, and her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by, and I suddenly realized that she was getting very thin. One morning it hit me how she was burying so much pain and bitterness in her heart, and without really thinking about it, I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at that moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out!” To him, seeing his father carry his mother out had become an essential part of every morning. My wife gestured to our son to come closer, and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might start changing my mind. I carried her in my arms, and her hand naturally wrapped around my neck. I held her body tightly, just like on our wedding day. On the last day, when I held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step. I knew what I had to do.

I drove to Jane’s place, walked upstairs and said, “I’m sorry, Jane, but I do not want to divorce my wife anymore”. It all became very clear to me. I had carried my wife into our home on our wedding day, and I am to hold her “until death do us apart”. I bought a bouquet of flowers for my wife on my way home, and when the salesgirl asked me what to write on the card, I smiled and said, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart”. I got home, flowers in my hands, and a big smile on my face. But my wife had died in her sleep while I was away. It turns out that she’d been fighting cancer for a few months now, but I was too busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon, but wanted to save me from a negative reaction from our son (in case we push through with the divorce). In the eyes of our son, at least, I would still appear to have been a loving husband.

I carried her out for the last time…The small details of our lives, that I initially thought were boring and unimportant, are what really matters in a relationship; not the mansion, the car, personal property or the money in the bank. These things may create an environment conducive for happiness, but they cannot provide happiness in-and-of themselves. So find time to be your lover’s friend, and to do those little things for each other that build intimacy.Many people do not realize how close they are to success when they give up.

Being a Hero

Last night whilst coming from recording a show on #k24TV, I met a lady stuck on the road because her car had run out of fuel. My hero complex geared in and I had to help. I stopped my car on the side of the road, switched my hazard lights on and reversed back to her because I had driven away before I saw her with my left side mirror. Got to her, did some mechanic analysis and concluded she needed fuel. So I told her to get into her car, keep her hazards on, keep her doors locked and switch off anything that could drain her battery. I took her cellphone number and promised I would return with fuel.

On my way to looking for a petrol station, I called my brother but he was out of town. He is always the one I call when I am in such a situation and he never fails me. My brother, ever protective, thought it was a plan to rob me, but I believed she was genuine and I knew she would be so crushed if I didn’t keep my word. So after talking with my brother, we decided that I ask someone at the petrol station to go with me.

So I got there and asked. The fuel pump attendant said it would not be possible because they couldn’t leave their station but he asked a security team to take me. So I left my car at the petrol station and three men, who I call angels, took me back to the scene of the dejected with their security truck, I felt so safe and so protected.

We fuelled her car and just then her partner showed up. She had called him earlier before I left for fuel but he asked her, “what do you want me to do?” So of course I gave the man, a mouthful, piece of my mind! The three security men, I traveled to the scene with, hovered around me in protection. The lady’s partner apologised, vehemently and asked me if he could pay for the fuel. I told him I didn’t need to be paid but I would appreciate it, if he made a humble donation to my three angels because they had made it all possible.

For every unhelpful man there are three who will be heroes. This may not be a scientific statement and one event isn’t research or empirical data. But I am grateful that I met those men who helped back up my courage and Good Samaritan world view with security. I thank all the good men out there, who lay down their lives to protect and defend women. I pray for you all and celebrate you today!

I am not ignorant of the fact that this story could have had a sad ending because, ‘the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.‘ And my sharing this story is not pride rearing it’s ugly head but I am grateful that I didn’t wait on a hero but took a risk to be one. I didn’t let fear paralyse my human innate need to help. I guess just like Batman finally got Robin; I too found Hero assistants ready to be the wind beneath my wings.

Humanity is still humane and there are deeds of compassion still happening all over the World despite all the wars and rumours of war that we chant about in every News Bulletin. I hope you will change the narrative of human decay and prove that we still ‘give a damn’ about each other.

Love, laugh and live

It’s amazing how depressed, panicky and desperate we often get thinking about the future. Then it comes and it goes and often we wonder why we worried so much. Why do we forget that all that has a beginning also has an ending. Stop living for the moments that may or may not come, instead savour what is already in your present and in your presence. We often fail to see what we already have and only realise it, when it’s gone. STOP. No more, too little, too late. Love, laugh and live. No matter what aches you have; love, laugh and live. It all goes by too quick. Love, laugh and live. Even if all fails and you stand alone in an empty place. Love, laugh and live! It’s up to you. Love, laugh and live!

How I Have Loved You.

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“Oh how I have loved you so!”

Those words took her last breath away. She held his face, she was weak but she mustered the strength to touch him one last time. His face had aged but she saw the lost man she had loved, looking back at her in those old eyes. He was desperate, his eyes were pleading but she could not answer. No more would she pour out herself for him. She was finally finding her rest from the toilsome labour of loving him. She smiled weakly and her eyes fluttered as she fought to keep them open a little longer but the end called and she finally gave into the falling curtain.

He clung to her falling touch and held her hand against his cheek. He felt her palm growing cold and tried to hold on to the memory of her warm touch. She looked warn. She had loved him long and hard. She lay so close to him but he knew she was gone and he would never reach her. If she was in another place it would be a destination he would never deserve to go. She had loved him and he had taken up all her offerings as if he were a god and used them for his glory and pleasure.

There she lay, empty, a shell and the only thing that meant anything, now lay dead with her. His eyes blurred and the sting of dormant almost extinct tears surprised him. He gasped at the shock of a foreign tightness in his chest and was perplexed at the moaning rising from the back of his throat. She was gone. The only one who loved him true. The only one who held nothing back and got only hurt and neglect from him. The only one who stayed when every fan faded. The only one who danced to his music when the stage no longer welcomed his tunes. The only one who still watched his movies when they no longer aroused the numb restless minds of the overly stimulated seeker. The only one who read his words, when words no longer came easily to his abused creative senses.

He lay his brow on her still solid chest. Yes, she had loved him so. And now that she had finally walked away, now he wanted to love her back. He wanted to speak words long left unspoken but her ears would not hear. He wanted to plant those kisses that should have only been for her but her lips were tinged lifeless blue, they would feel no bliss from missed kisses.

“I am so sorry,” He sobbed. He took her stiff hand and placed it on his bowed head, but it slipped away, no longer mechanised by love because the one that loved him was gone. He wanted to shake her awake. She was the one who was supposed to be mourning him. He was never meant to be without her, ever. But he knew, it was loving him that had drained the life out of her. He could not hide from that truth; loving him had made the death of her.

He pulled the satin sheet over her frail body and his hands shook in utter brokenness. He stared at the framed portrait of the beautiful woman looking back at him from the picture on her bedside table and he wished he had left her alone. She should have been the one he left untouched, unstained, uncorrupt by his grasping greedy pleasure. He thought of all the worshipers that fell at his feet and how he had taken and never given anything. What the World wanted came naturally to him. The music, the songs, the words, the scenes and the looks. Nothing he gave required any effort, his genius was his throne and he was king.

But now. There was no music. Yes his fingers could still dance across the keyboard with the greatest of ease but the soul was gone. There was no genius. The throne was empty and the worshipers lay lifeless, drugged into nothingness on the altar of hollow pleasure. He thought he had taken his fill and walked away but he too had been robbed. He too had lost a significant self in him and she was the last drop of all the good that was left in him. He could almost hear the wings of damnation flutter and perch in the tomb of his creativity. What he had once considered his eternal kingdom had an end and as he watched the carers wrap her body gently and carry her away, he knew that her love had preserved his soul and now no one stood between him and the hell of his own making.

“Oh how you loved me so.”

Everyday, he called out to her. He worshiped at her tombstone every night. Longing for the only true thing he had ever known but had never appreciated. He longed to be with her but knew it would never be. Even his imagination would not allow such a pure thing in. The walls of his mind had been so blackened by perversity that it would not conjure any good. He closed his eyes but fluttered them open as phantoms of broken men and women lay littered on paths he had walked not so long ago. The cold decayed breath of Oscar Wilde stalked his heart and permeated his mind, “I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.”

He had written songs that offered him no comfort. He had written scripts that spoke no enlightenment or encouragement. He directed scenes that dripped with deception. And now he realised he had unmade, unstitched his own character until there was nothing left. The pages of his life turned but he was no more. Here he stood not even a mist or a phantom but a shadow. A cold lonely void depiction of all his pride, greed and corruption.

“But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his own soul…”

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
Without moving
To hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your own life
From its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
With yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.

A Woman’s Harbour

She said, “No matter how old we get, as women, we need a safe place where we can fall apart. Sometimes we just want to crumble but not loose a crumb of our confidence. Sometimes we just want to let our flaky resolve breathe but not loose a particle to the wind. Sometimes we just want to know that no matter how we melt that our flow will be safely stored until we become whole again, strong again.”

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I miss her. I am so tired and I need her. She was that place of rest for me. She was my sabbath. She was like coming home, locking the doors to all the World’s demands, stripping the confining tailored garments of feminine flawed sexuality and bathing in scents and senses of acceptance and grace. She was my only safety. The only place where I was not dominated or domesticated, obligated or objectified, conflicted or constricted, oppressed or depressed. She was the meditation that medicated the poisoned well that ought to have quenched my parched identity.

I am tired. Tired and tender from the beatings of debilitating debates of who a woman ought to be and how she ought to strut or waddle. I miss her all knowing shine in her eyes. I miss that serene smile that seemed to silence all the Worldly words wasted on her, because woman was written into her before words could work on her.

“Why are you here?”
I know that is what she would ask, even though she knew why I came.
“Are you here for the mending or for amending?”
Either something was broken in me which needed to be made whole again or I had taken into myself words to define me which needed to be edited with better and a more truthful vocabulary. I often sat staring for hours before I know why I was there. But with her, it was as if our souls communed. Every inhale took her into me and every exhale gave her me. She waited but at the same time she moved and I followed in the stillness, in the silence.

“Am tired.” I finally sigh.
“As you should be.” She says.
“I just want to cry.” I sob.
“Go on then, melt away.”
And the waters flood over and spill unto my cheeks. The room blurs and clears as the tears trace a now familiar path. Soon I start to sniff and snivel. My palms wet from wiping my face. My mind numb from self pity and mutilated confidence.
“What’s wrong with me.” My voice trembles from misery.
“Who said there’s anything wrong with you?” She asks.
“Is being miserable okay?” I demand almost offended.
I feel her turn to me and when our eyes meet, there is no annoyance or offence in her countenance. Only comfort looks back at me.
“Who says your miserable? Tears flow when we hurt, when dirt enters our eyes, when we laugh so intensely we almost burst and when we see an inexplicable love laid out to us for the taking and we know we don’t deserve the gift. And yes we also cry when we need and we know we ought to have but fate or hate won’t give us what is rightfully ours.” She turns and looks into the distance. My eyes move with her and even though she fades, her words echo into my today.

“If you weep because you hurt then seek out the reason for the pain. Hurt often reveals a situation that requires our attention. Attend then to it. If the situation requires remedy then cure it as best you can. Seek forgiveness, for often an unconfessed wrong poisons health. Repair the fracture or break of a relationship for we are relational beings and that’s how we breath. Repent and turn from the deeds of insanity because you cannot do the same thing over and over expecting a different result. So love living with change because change is the only guarantee in life, nothing remains stagnant forever and if by any chance there is anything that does then like still waters it would only breed parasites.”

I think on this, ‘anything stagnant only breeds parasites’. A butterfly lands on her knee. It flutters it’s wings and rests them wide apart. The bright yellow and black look almost gold in the sun light. We both wait. We both listen and receive the message. The wings flap again and carry the messenger away. The wind suddenly moves bringing a host of messengers, each bears it’s own mix of patterns, each caught up in its own dance. In the choreography of the undulating breeze my tears too dry up and my spirit is arrested by simple beauty.

Her voice summons my attention again “If your eyes water from the caress of the wind, then you need only blink and you will be ok. Or squint and let your lashes fulfil the task they were designed to fulfil. Often we are given solutions but we seldom think that easy answers actually work. Like the river, sometimes just take the path of least resistance because there will be waterfalls up ahead so you might as well enjoy the easy paths. Life will give you it’s complicated moments so enjoy the easy questions and simple navigations.”

Suddenly our scene is shrouded in a shadow as the sun rides the clouds. I remember her looking up at such times. I follow her glance and witness the cloud outlined by the shimmer of the disappearing sun; the silver lining. There’s a sudden chill and the branches move to the wind, awakening resting birds that voice their irritation in a chorus of song. I close my eyes and the sound of simple music eases my ache. In this moment I take that which is freely given. In this moment I need not understand in order to accept. The birds don’t care about your opinion, this is not ‘Idols’ and so they sing. The butterfly doesn’t care if its colours and patterns are en vogue, this is not ‘project runway’ and so it displays. The clouds don’t care if they are shapely, this is not ‘your next top model’ and so they glide. The wind doesn’t care if its choreography suits, “So you think you can dance?” The wind animates anything that will allow it. This is me! All nature seems to beam. Your opinion is of no use here, so I too get caught up in its carefree laughter.

Her words flood my moment of bliss. “If you weep out of utter joy. Then let it overflow you, so that others may drink up and find nourishment in the good fruit of your soul. Nothing eradicates dis-ease more easily than the ease of a simple smile. Nothing electrifies the soul more powerfully than mirthful laughter emanating from the deepest joy. When these members visit you, usher them with the deepest gratitude, host them with utmost sincerity and hope that they will last as long as possible for they can be fleeting. Very rarely do you ever desire to wipe tears from such jovial weeping, you almost want to store those tears because they are so rare.”

The sun is out again. And I walk out into the garden. It’s alive and my pieces start to crawl toward each other and my spirit begins to shed its weight. I slip out of the human creations that house my feet and step unto the cool green grass. The blades tickle their way into the parting of my toes as the rest of the commune of green cushion my steps. I am walking on clouds. In this moment I feel blessed. It is as if Earth knows my sorrow and has made arrangements to hold me and comfort me.

Her words concur with my thoughts. “If you weep because you know you have been taken into a harbour to escape a storm, then let your ship find refuge and dock without shame. Rest in the embrace of such a haven and let love do what love does best. Let love serve you. Let love fill your empty store house and replenish your dwindling supply. Let love refuel you and tend to your torn and tattered sails. Let love drain you of waters that almost sank you, for to sea you must return for your voyage is far from over. Let love make you anew, though the tide has dragged you with anchor and all. You will still ride the waves and scale their crests again against all torrential pours. The storm has not revealed your weakness but only introduced you to strength.

To be loved is your underserved favour given in mercy’s palms. Tears that flow from Love’s reception are of deepest pain for they flow from deep wells that tap into the soul. They hurt more than any other but also bless like none other. Savour them for they teach the deepest wisdom and reveal our True Self.”

Suddenly the wind wraps all around me. I close my eyes. Lift my face to the heavens and inhale. The wind circles up my body and swirls in waves around my head. I hear her laugh. She’s also caught up in the rupture of gratitude. The warm splash of sunlight on my face feels like the look of love and acceptance. I matter. Just as I am. In this whole scene of butterfly, sun, wind, clouds, green grass, birds and trees, I too have featured. I saw, I watched, I felt, I heard, I walked, I laughed, I danced and I healed.

“Yes, we weep when in need but needing is like kneading a wound. It only hardens it and creates an ugly scab. Especially when we need out of entitlement. Who says we ought to be pleasing to others? Who says we ought to make everybody happy? Who says anybody exists to make us happy? Who says we ought to be anything less or more than what we already are? Is it meaning you seek? Then live a life that is meaningful to you. Is it truth you seek? Then live with a truth that does no harm to your being or another; to oppress another is to oppress you. Is it love you seek? Then give, scatter love to the four winds and in due time it will return when you need it most. Is it safety you seek? Then be another’s harbour and you will find that as others seek refuge in you, they too in turn become your safety. Tears of need are only wept when we seize to meet a need. Earth is an ecosystem where even dead things fulfil a purpose in their decay. So be you and in doing so, you fulfil a purpose and meet a need. The wound doesn’t mend when the need is met, healing often comes when the body continues in it’s service. Medication is not the only cure but work, exercise, nutrition, laughter and love all play a critical role. So be that which you seek and you will realise you have always had what you sought. “It is in giving that we receive.”

We are often dragged to sorrow when we have expectations that others do not follow. We confine others by our demands to cater to useless fleeting needs. We dominate their role by wanting to comprehend their purpose and though there is wisdom in understanding, what good is knowing if it serves no good or if it offers no peace. As it is written, “But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.” Must you comprehend the rising and falling of the wings of a butterfly to find solace in its flight? Did you need the touch of warmth from the sun before it blessed you with its caress? Some of life’s greatest gifts come by surprise. So do not let lack or unmet expectation reduce you to a fleeting shadow. You are who you are and you can only be what you will to be. So live daily faithful to your destination. Rest in the seasons of rest and bloom in spring. Whatever the minutes bring grow, from both pain or joy and no matter the loss choose love. Labour in love and let compassion be the compass that guides you home. No matter which tears, let them water the garden of your soul and in that quiet place find your rest.”