Thursday, 30 June 2016
Thursday, 2 June 2016
"You set yourself free when you forgive." Great quote and I couldn't have said it better myself.
Have you ever felt so angry, hurt and disappointed that you lie awake at night, tossing and turning? Your heart races, your blood turns hot as it rushes through your veins the moment you hear their name or see them. You muster a frown or look away to prove a point. And, when they are finally out of your sight, you take a deep breath, feeling pleased and satisfied with yourself. You have, indeed, shown them just how displeased you are with them.
But lo and behold, the feeling does not last. It never does. Before long the anger comes rushing back. Your body goes into a frenzy as it slips back into another whirlwind of emotion. Their actions torment you. Their words keep ringing incessantly inside your head, gnawing away at your soul. Your body has become paralysed and you have been robbed of your creativity because all you can focus on is the object of your torment.
You are angry and you are hurting, it is understandable. But, I have news for you. More often than not, the person you are losing sleep over. The one who has dumped rubbish inside your heart and soul forgets all about you the moment they turn their back on you. They go on to lead their lives and on their terms whilst you are left there, broken and paralysed.
Anger can be a necessary emotion at times. If alerts us to what we do not like forces us to reflect and, in some instances, motivates us to make some changes for improvement. But anger, if not well managed, is one of those emotions whose consequences are truly destructive. Anger leads to bitterness and holding on to grudges which are even stronger emotions.
When you are angry and bitter, you develop reckless tendencies. You spew words without thinking and/or make rash decisions. Often times the words uttered in anger are words best kept to oneself. And, we all know that once uttered, words can never be taken back. Some decisions made in anger once acted up cannot be reversed either. The consequences of these too can be far-reaching and leave a lasting dent. A dent that can be impossible to repair.
Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be the most trying thing one can ever do. More so if the person who has hurt you is unrelenting. They won’t acknowledge your pain and/or show the slightest bit of remorse. But holding on to anger or a grudge will not help you either. What you are doing is putting your body under a great deal of strain moving from one emotion to the other. Your body has to try and keep up with all the havoc going on inside of you. But the truth of the matter is it cannot. Sooner or later something will have to give. And, in this case, it is your own health. When you hold on to anger and/or a grudge, you do not hurt the other person. You destroy YOU!
Science informs us that anger as a strong emotion triggers that fight and flight response. The body recognises that something isn't right and it releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to help it along. The gut is compromised as the brain shunts blood away from it and towards the muscles as it positions itself for a physical attack. Your blood pressure rises, your heart rate soars, sweat oozes out of you and your temperature rises. And if this happens long enough your body gives way. Disease creeps in. Headaches, digestion problems, stress which leads to depression, heart attack, stroke; I could go on and on.
So how do you liberate yourself? How do you combat this soul-destroying mission?
The short answer is you forgive. Yes, forgive them wholeheartedly. Exhale and let it all go. You don’t have to shake their hand or give them a friendly peck on the cheek. You don’t even have to let them know that you have made the conscious decision to forgive them. Forgiveness is about YOU, not them.
But, there are more steps you can take too, which are:
1) Recognise and realise that you cannot control someone’s actions, thoughts and behaviour. But, you can control yours.
2) Embrace your feelings and thoughts. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling because you are only human and there is nothing wrong with that.
3) Think positive thoughts about yourself. This boosts your confidence and self-esteem. You will need this to tackle the next stage which is the hardest.
4) Do not give value to hurtful words and actions. By now, they know which button to press and they know you go on a rampage each time they press that button. Why not? You have made it easy for them. You have become too predictable and they are probably being kept entertained at your expense. What you want to do is withdraw their power and you do that by not acknowledging their trivial pursuits. Which ties in with my next point;
5) Modify how you react to things. Turn it around. If it means showing them kindness instead of retaliating, then do so. No mean feat, but doable. That will catch them off-guard and perhaps, just perhaps, it will make them stop to consider the consequences of their actions.
6) Maybe now is the time to work on your negotiating skills. Talk things through and find a common ground if it is something you can agree on.
7) You have a right to say NO to things which leave you feeling resentful. Say what you think and feel, firmly, calmly and clearly. Stand your ground without being aggressive and realise that in life you cannot always avoid conflict. You just got to develop skills to resolve it!
8) Last, but not the least, consider the possibility that you could be wrong about them and their intentions. There are times when people hurt us unintentionally and it is only by approaching them and talking things through that you realise they never meant to hurt us. Sometimes they are not aware of the consequences of their words or actions at all!
As hard as it is, you can do it. It will be hard but recognize that the only person you have any power over is yourself. When you let go of anger and that grudge, you are taking back the reins of your life. They can no longer hurt you because their actions no longer affect you. Do not forget that no one is perfect and people will disappoint you. The most important thing to remember is that you hold the key!
Saturday, 2 April 2016
I saw this picture quote and it jogged something in me. In this modern world where everyone has something to say about everything, including what you should be doing with your life, it is so easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. You may find yourself being bombarded with information and ultimately end up answering to somebody else's calling and not your own. Before you know it, boom, you're chasing a dream that you shouldn't be chasing to begin with. A dream which does not benefit you, grow you or inspire you. The conundrum with that is that when you are not inspired, you will not and cannot inspire other people. This is the surest way of setting yourself up for failure. When you find yourself on such a slippery slope, you may need to take some time to retreat into a cocoon. Take time for silence and dig deep. Pray. Meditate. Do whatever you need to do so that you can have the revelation of where you need to be.
As you go through this process of self-discovery, ask yourself some questions. Who are you? What moves you as a person? What is that you want to achieve? Also, ask yourself where it is that you are headed and how you want to get there. Identify your real talents. List them if you have to. Know your value and your worth.
Half the time we sell ourselves short because we lack understanding of where our real talents lie and how valuable those talents are. We are dragged along and are willing to settle because we are constantly being told what we ought to be doing with our lives by people who do not even know us. No harm in listening to advice and reaching out for help. But, when we are constantly bombarded with advice on how we ought to be doing things a certain way and not taking the time to digest it for ourselves, we lose track and ourselves along the way. When we do not take the time to challenge what is fed to us, scrutinise information and sift, we are left confused and lost. We should be able to do things in the way which is comfortable for us and that which will see us succeeding.
When we take time out and really listen to our inner voice and our heart, we will realise that we may not always have to align ourselves with everybody who comes our way. There are times we may have to be selective and prune away certain associations. You may lose a few friends too and that's okay. If you align yourself with the wrong people you run the risk of deviating from your real purpose. What that means is that you run the risk of having to make a U-turn when you finally realise that you have been chasing somebody else's vision. So if you want to reach your destination then do not allow yourself to be dragged along. To be blown by the wind. Discover your real path and stay on the right road. Pursue your real calling and move at your own comfortable pace. If that means going it alone sometimes, so be it. Because it pays in the long run!
Saturday, 13 February 2016
I for one believe that if you’re going to commit a faux pas, then do it with flair!
Have you ever been in an environment where you felt you were way out of your depth? When everything coming out of your mouth did not seem to resonate with those around you? When they appear savvier and more sophisticated than you are? If like me, you have, then you will know that it can be the most uncomfortable place to be.
Before I get to my point, let me give you a little scenario. You are invited to a part. For argument’s sake, let’s say by your rather ‘posh’ boyfriend or indeed friend. Then you start to socialise. You are introduced to the cream of the society. You discover that everyone around you seem to be well-travelled, well off, and well-educated. You are all speaking English, French, Shona, Ndebele (etc.) but your language is different, if you catch my drift. They are talking about stocks, their latest adventure in the Alps or Mt Everest, what they thought about Toni Morrison’s latest book, their corporate job, their favourite designer. I am sure you can think of many more examples. Then someone asks you a question – ‘What do you do?’ When is your next adventure? Or which countries have your travelled? What/who are you wearing?
So, how do you grace your way through the interaction? How do you remain classy and charming when you know you seem to be way out of your depth? When everyone around you seem to have it going on? Well, here are my suggestions:
1. Always wear a cheerful, welcoming face. Make people want to come over and talk to you.
2. Those oops moments? Laugh them off. Do not take things personally.
3. Being social is about making others feel comfortable around you. People shouldn’t have to tip-toe around you just because you don’t feel confident about yourself. Remain charming and gracious. Embrace other people just as they are. Just be cool.
4. It’s trite but I will say it anyway. Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. If you don’t know something, then you don’t know. No one is going to shoot you for it. Pretending to know while making a fool of yourself will make you look like a complete moron. Which brings me to my next point-
5. Ask questions to show your interest. You will be surprised what you will come out knowing. If people see how genuine you are, they will respect you for it.
6. Given the chance, show/tell them what you know. You may just be surprised by the reaction you get. You may even make new friends. You may not be well-read, not have travelled as much, but there are certain areas of life that you excel in. Highlight those, but not in an imposing manner.
7. Compliment other people. Beware of that green-eyed monster. Enough said!
So there, you have it. If you ever find yourself in a tight spot, know that you have it within you to be classy, graceful, charming and beautiful. Both inside and out. You can still wow them, with the little that you think you know. You just have to know how to work it!
Saturday, 6 February 2016
"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose." L.B Johnson.
What is done is done. No one is perfect. We all have flaws. Some more than others. We flounder. We fall. But it is in the way in which we rise that we are truly defined. As trite as that sounds, it is also very true. If you are like me then you've probably made a mistake or two in your life. You've hurt someone, erred in judgement, allowed a situation to drag on unnecessarily, perhaps taken a wrong turn in your journey. Whatever. Then one day it hits you. You realise what you've done. Perhaps, someone alerts you, gives you a little nudge or a kick in the you know what, to make you realise. To open your eyes. You finally come to your senses and realise the extent of your blunders.You messed up! Maybe by this time you've lost friends, family and all that you care about. Then panic, embarrassment, fear and contrition follow. You beat yourself up for it. It is only natural. No one is immune. And then there are those who won't let you forget it. They play on your weakened emotions, reminding you what a complete fool you've been. How wrong you've been. They thrive on your vulnerability and bring you further and further down into the doldrums. But I am here to tell you that it does not have to be like that.
Take a step back. Take time for silence and reflection. Acknowledge that a mistake(s) was made. Embrace the ugliness of the situation if it is that ugly. It is the season you are in. You may even have to bear the consequences. That's okay. With every action comes consequences. Ride the tide with courage and dignity.
We, as humans are not infallible. We are weak and can easily be influenced. We are prone to be led astray by our thoughts, our feelings or indeed by other forces beyond our comprehension. The consequences we have to bear are what grows us. Contribute to our understanding of self, others and the world around us. This way we become better, stronger and wiser beings. But only if we are willing to learn from our mistakes. To bounce back from this setback. Because that is all it is. A setback, though caused by you. Life doesn't have to end because you're having a bad day, a bad week or month.
So if you've ever made a mistake in your life, done something you shouldn't, said something or made a wrong turn, know that it is okay. What is done is done. You cannot undo your wrongs but you can work/improve to put things right. And if it’s too late to put things right, then deal with the consequences with grace and dignity. But most importantly, realise that you too, just like everyone else, deserve a second chance. To wipe the slate clean. Do not allow anyone or your past wrongs to hold you hostage.
Forgive yourself and move on.
Saturday, 3 October 2015
The long awaited ZIWA Awards are finally here. I will be there celebrating with my beautiful Zimbabwean women. So proud of them. To watch this red carpet event live tune in to http://www.zimbolive.tv Doors open at 5pm! #PROUDZIMBABWEAN