Thursday, 18 June 2015

Turn Your Life Around

‘In a field full of dandelions, it can be hard to see a hundred wishes instead of a thousand weeds.’ 

There's is an old African proverb which says "If there's no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm." If you want to effect change, then you should start with what's inside. Your heart and your mind. Crucial but not always easy for everybody to follow. Especially when life has left us battered and bruised. How do we even begin to process our circumstance and turn our life around?

The moment we are born our environment subjects us to some harsh realities of life. This kind of stimuli, if persistent, conditions us to almost expect adverse outcomes and to maintain a defeatist attitude. It becomes virtually impossible to think positively.
I am reminded of a story of a woman who had devoted all her life to God. She shunned all things evil, and no one could fault any of the things that she did. But this woman’s righteous life did not spare her from grief. She lost a husband who adored her to a horrific accident and her two beautiful children fell off the wagon and left school. One child began dealing drugs, the other got pregnant. To add salt to injury, the woman was later diagnosed with cancer! She considered committing suicide because the God she had served all her life had forsaken her.

 As you can expect the woman went through all the stages of grief. It took months for her to finally come to terms with all that had happened to her. Although she had wanted to give up on God - she didn't. She continued to attend church services and serving the same way she did before she came face to face with adversity. After weeks of fasting and praying and gruelling chemotherapy, doctors told her she was in the clear. Her children returned home and went back to school. 

 This woman’s experiences inspired her to birth a book which inspired many who had gone through the same experiences she had and those who had not. The woman moved around the country holding motivational seminars drawing from her life experiences. She went on a campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and dealing with grief. Before long the woman had raised enough money to open a Youth Support Centre for kids going through a tumultuous time in their lives. Through her experiences, lives were changed and saved.

 Out of all this, the woman got something that money couldn’t buy - satisfaction and fulfilment. She came to realise that although God had allowed awful things to happen to her, there was a higher purpose behind her suffering. Had she continued to wallow in self-pity, blaming everybody and everything, her life wouldn’t have turned out the way it had. Her children would not have learnt great lessons from her, and it would’ve been a complete tragedy.

 So what can you do to turn a negative situation into a positive one:

 1)   Write it all down. Writing is a catharsis when your heart is heavy. Instead of bottling it all in, pour your heart out on a piece of paper. You will also discover some truths about yourself as you put pen to paper. You may get emotional and cry. That is okay. With that comes healing. Isn’t that better than popping pills into your mouth each day? 

 2)  Forgive and let go. Reflect, retreat and learn lessons. There is always something to be gained from every situation that we go through. This way we know not to repeat the same mistakes.

3)   Someone once said ‘Every situation when properly perceived becomes an opportunity.’ Use your negative experiences to build others. Have a dream and set goals. Start a support group, write a motivational blog, or indeed birth a book. This way you will get a sense of purpose in life, and that will spur you on.

4)  The human mind has a tendency to move towards that which occupies it. Therefore, choose to dwell on the positives in your life rather than the negatives. The fact that you are able to read this is in itself a blessing.

5)   Give people and life a chance. So you have lost and been hurt a few times. It happens to the best of us. God never promised a life free of trials. Humans were made to overcome difficult times. You will bounce back and when you do, try again and do it with an open mind.

6)   Care for someone, love, smile, respect, forgive and give to others. The vibe that you send out into the world is the vibe you will receive in return.

7)    No situation in life is permanent. Things change and sometimes for the better. Trust that you too, just like the next person, deserve happiness and peace!

8)   Last but not the least, pray. It is not your job to fight with the Devil, but God’s.

 The message here is simple. When life throws stones at you, grab those stones and build your own castle!

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