From the moment of conception we begin a journey of transition. From a fetus to infancy, childhood, adolescence.. Each stage proposes varies changes and challenges. How often do we think about that first moment when we transitioned from being what would have felt safe in our mothers wombs to being in a new environment; the great unknown was and is a head of us.
Do you remember how much courage it took for you to trust your limbs as you began to crawl or walk? Do you remember the transition time when you went from being safe within your parents care to going to school and spending all that time with strangers. How about the big leap of uncertainty as you stepped into the world of employment or moving out of home or even into a covenant relationship. All the stages of our lives is part of transition. In the journey of life I don't think we often think about how much courage it takes to step out.
Transition is moving from one thing/moment to another and it is the inevitable of life. We move from morning to afternoon and night. How much thought goes into all that takes place in those moments of 24 hours. We all have a measure of faith and we constantly put it into practice, yet we don't think much about it. I recently read a quote by an unknown author that goes like this 'A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings'. Trust is faith in action while courage is taking a step of faith because of trust. The bird trust its wings because it has courage to fly and faith that its wings will carry it. The bird transitions from a position of being held by the branch to being reliant on its wings.
Moments of transition can at times be scary and uncertain. I encourage you to be courageous, that regardless of the stage in your life or the transition that is a head of you, you have made it this far. You have made many transitions and you will make many more. You may not have a clear plan of action or you may even be uncertain of what the future holds. Be certain you can trust God who not only knows your future but knows what the future holds for you. Put your faith in God, He will not let you down, regardless of how life has been, embrace the lessons that have been teaching you to fly/walk and take courage.
I have heard many people over the years say that love is over rated. Some even struggle to define what love is. Many would say love is just an emotion. What about you what does love mean to you?
I believe that passion is a emotion but love is an action. We all strive for love from the moment we are born till we die. When we don't get it; we have a ache deep within our soul. An empty feeling. Many struggle to define love out side of feelings.
So, what is it that we want? Why is love so important to us? Let me try to give you the best definition I have found about what love is. It is found in the Bible, one of the most ancient manuscripts and a book trusted by many. In 1 Corinthians 13 it states that "Love is patient & kind, rejoices in the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes & always perseveres." I would like to draw your attention to the description of each word -
Patient - having or showing the capacity for endurance
Kind - having or showing the desire to do good
Protects - to defend or guard
Trusts - to have confidence or to rely
Hopes - to believe or desire
Perseveres - to maintain or persist with purpose
Rejoices in the Truth - Delights or is glad in honesty & integrity
I encourage you to consider those in your life that you say you love. I know I for one fail many times in loving those in my life in this manner all the time. But, when I love those in my life without expecting anything back in return I don't have to be envious, boast, be proud, dishonour, be self-seeking, get easily angered, keep record of wrongs or delight in evil.
If we can love outside of looking what is in it for us, we can be free because there is no expectation of disappointments. To love in this manner all the time is a hard task, but those who have expierienced this kind of love would say that love has everything to do with our state of being. Keep in mind that we get what we give, not always in the same way or to the same measure.
I have been thinking about the people in my life and the influence they have or had in my life, as well as the influence I have had in their lives. I am grateful for those who have seen my capacity and encouraged me to expand my potential. To those who have stood by me and supported me.
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something. How often do we think about the people in our lives and how they affect us. Having influence on someone is about supporting the person to reach their full potential. Some influences can restrict our potential or hinder our capacity to reach our potential. These are unhealthy influences, if you are experiencing unhealthy influences in your life, it is time to review the people in your life.
Imagine being able to support someone to be all that they can be and not taking the credit for it. The influencer is the supporter, the person being influenced has to do the work. However, together they achieve more, learn more and are able to expand their capacity.
Take a moment to look at the people in your life. What kind of influence are they having in your life, what kind of influence are you having in their life? Do you know your capacity or have you realised your potential? Most often once you reach your capacity, you realise there is more room to grow and your capacity is greater than you ever realised.
When we look at communication we often think about the words that come out of our mouth. How often do you think about your behaviour as a way of vital communication? Have you realised that you say a lot about your self based on how you behave? Do you realise that people make assumptions about you based on how you behave? Do you realise your speak a international language when it comes to how you behave? More people will understand you world wide based on your behaviour than the words you speak? Your body language says more about you than you realise?
Our behaviour comes out of who we have become due to our thought process. How do you express feeling happy, excited, wanting something, sad, frustrated, bored, angry or in pain? Our ability to communicate exactly what we are feeling through words is often difficult and we need the behaviour with the words to make a statement or impact. Also keep in mind that how we behave may not always convey what we are actually feeling. Some individuals make jokes or laugh when they are nervous or scared, while others may just stay still, cry, or display anger. We are all different.
Our behaviour always reveals something of our internal state (what is going on in our mind or heart). It can also say more about us than our words, is your behaviour complimenting your words? Today as you go about your daily activities consider what it is you are communicating about your self to others. Ensure that you smile more than you frown, look up more than you look down, hug a loved one more than crossing your arms, say hello rather than not speaking.
Today, through your behaviour communicate who you are and who you hope to be. Remember you can't change your past, but what you do/say today can and will have an impact on tomorrow and the years ahead. You will often be remembered more for what you have done than what you said. When you say I love you, show it/express it.
As with all things chocolate (especially dark) eaten in moderation can be good for us. Let’s face it we all love to eat some chocolate from time to time and we all have our favourite. It is also such a versatile ingredient, can be eaten on its own, as a dipping sauce, for making a cold or hot drink and my favourite as a quick topping over cakes. Melting chocolate can be an art and can be tricky to begin with. If the temperature is too hot, if it is not stirred or if water gets into it the chocolate can get burnt or even go so hard that it becomes useless.
I think chocolate can be is like a relationship. Just as there are so many varieties of chocolate, one type or kind of chocolate is no better than the other; it’s just that we have our favourites. I have come to realise that just like melting chocolate is an art form so is having a good argument in a relationship. Yes, I did say a good argument. If you are wondering what the difference is between a good and bad argument – well, a good one doesn’t put the other person down for expressing their views. It is inevitable that arguments or disagreements are part of every relationship. We are all different and approach things differently – that is okay.
A couple of key components when melting chocolate is that it should be done on low heat, has to be stirred so that it keeps consistency and it’s important that no water gets into the chocolate. An argument begins because someone just doesn’t agree with another – yes that is fine. It gets touchy when the temperature is turned up and no one is keeping an eye on how hot things are getting. Someone certainly maybe stirring but with the stirring water is added. At this point just as with chocolate it all gets spoilt. The reason why the argument started may have all been forgotten, as now there is a mess to clean up and who is going to do that?
Have you ever considered the word 'because'? How often do you use it and do you use it to give an excuse or do you actually use it to give a valid reason for your decision?
When asked a question & if the answer to the request is 'no' most often people are prone to push for a reason. At this point we often start with 'because', is this because we believe or think that our reasoning should satisfy the other person?
Lets look at a couple of classic phases 'because I said so' or 'because I don't want to or because I don't feel like it'. Are these really valid statements? If we are more prone to speak using these or similar phases how well might the relationships in our life be tracking?
Have we as individuals given the people in our world adequate reason over the years to trust us, as well as our judgements and intelligence in the decision making process, or to believe that we are capable of knowing our limits or do we just use phases as a form of excuses.
If you are reading this, I encourage you from now on to consider the phase that follows 'because'. Giving good reasoning to your decisions especially to the people in your life that matter is important. Solid relationships are built on trust, don't ever let this little word 'because' and the phase that follows be misused.