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Is it really that hard to handle the truth?

In my 36+ years on this earth I have often found myself in many a situation where I’ve needed to tell someone the truth. Most of those times, the truth didn’t want to be heard. But I had to remind myself that even if they didn’t want to hear it, doesn’t mean that it didn’t need to be said.

We all talk about ‘truth’ as if it is something that we all want in our lives. However, I’ve lost count of the times where I’ve heard of individuals who have fallen out with others on account of hearing the truth about themselves. Or I’ve seen families and relationships break-down because the truth wasn’t owned and handled with care. Speaking from my own experience, the inability by others to handle the truth, seriously impaired me from accepting the truth about my own situation. In my case it led to me constantly making it a priority to put my energy and time into trying to force feed the truth to an energy that wasn’t ready or willing to receive it. This was all in the hope that them accepting their truth would fix what lies had broken. But over time, I learned that only my own truth could set me free. Truth cannot change what does not want to accept change.

It can be hard to handle the truth. In fact it’s so hard, that some people spend their whole lives avoiding it. Some people are willing to lose their families, friends, jobs and reputation, if it means that they don’t need to face their own truth.

One thing I’ve learned is that I should never compromise myself and my own truth for the sake of someone else who is unable to handle theirs.

I am now at the start of my 37th chapter. I find myself reflecting on how many people I have had to leave in the past because they were too afraid to handle the truth.

Some people only accept the truth from certain people. If I’m honest, this concept has always baffled me. The truth is the truth, no matter how it is packaged. You may not be ready to hear it, but it’s going to come regardless, because nothing can stop the truth from revealing itself.

What is hidden in the dark, will be revealed in the light.

I understand that for some, this is not fathomable because it’s easier for them to live in doubt and darkness. It can be much more comfortable in that secret and dark place, because there is nothing to harm the facade that you’ve built around yourself.

Believe me, I’ve been there, I’ve lived a life that wasn’t really my own, tried to fool myself into thinking that something other than my true self was more acceptable.

But acceptable to who? The people who revolve their own lives around fakery? The people who don’t even accept me for who I really am anyway?

The older I get, the more comfortable I become with who I am. I’m not going to lie, some days are difficult, especially when I consider the cost of truth, in that I’ve lost many friends as a result of embracing my truth and rejecting their toxic version of my truth.

But I live in hope that my truth that I am finally learning to embrace will attract an enabling truth that will complement my own. Given that we live in a world which revolves around fake news and filters, I’m not sure how long the wait will be, but I’m hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later. Because if truth be told, I would rather live out my next chapter in partnership with a true kindred spirit than alone.

I am open and honest about who I am, anything else just takes up too much energy. As you get older, you realise just how valuable your energy and time is.

In this age of social media it’s very easy to portray a life that isn’t really yours. If that’s what you choose to do, then good luck to you, I don’t judge, I just pray that one day you will find and embrace your true self.

As for me, I am a single mother of 3 very intelligent and talented children, I am a teacher by trade and finally, a wonderful woman who has needs that are currently not being met. But I have faith that there is someone out there who can handle my truth as well as their own.

I have experienced so much in my short life. I have no regrets so far because every challenge has helped me to become the true version of myself that I am today.

I have changed. I am not who I was. Truth brings change and growth. If you knew me then, you don’t know me now. If you wish to get to know the woman that I am now, you know where I am. In the meantime, I will continue to be the amazing woman of truth that I am as I work towards my future goals and aspirations.

Don’t expect anything but the truth from me, if you want something else then I’m not the one.

You can keep running from the truth but it’ll catch up with you in the end.

‘Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.’ (1 Corinthians 13:6, NIV)

#TrueTalk

#IAmWhoIAm

#WhatTruthAreYouRunningFrom

#HandleYourTruth

#YourTruthYourProblem

#StopBlamingOthers

#Accountability

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purpose

Am I really headed in the right direction?

Recently I keep finding myself wondering if I’m where I should be. I question my position in life and wonder if I should have gone about things differently. I find myself doubting the choices that I have made and begin to convince myself that I’ve made too many mistakes to be living right.

I add further insult to injury by focusing too much on how much I’ve lost instead of how much I’ve gained. How far I still have to go instead of how far I’ve actually come.

The irrational thoughts begin to spiral out of control as the nonsense begins to suddenly make sense. I become trapped in my own web of deceit.

It’s so easy to look down on yourself. It’s much harder to shift your perspective and look up to the power and strength that you truly are.

I find myself feeling angry at times without even really knowing why. But it is common knowledge that anger is a symptom of fear.

I realised that my fear stems from the ability to keep comparing myself to others and the inability to recognise the uniqueness that makes me the wonderful, motivated and aspirational woman that I am now.

I believe that the many questions and doubts are signposts towards an uncertainty as a result of straying away from where God needs us to be.

We have to learn to listen to the questions and let the answers that are revealed guide us back to centre.

Often it’s not obvious that we have strayed because where we end up can feel comfortable. But it’s only when we make ourselves uncomfortable that we truly experience real growth and change for the better. We were not built to stay the same forever. We have to let go in order to grow. We have to accept change in order to gain. We have to remain determined and strong in order to hold onto what we need and believe.

Everything that I have done, everything that I have seen, everywhere that I have been is rooted into my journey because it’s the only way that I could learn one of my life’s very important lessons.

I’ve never done anything that God didn’t need me to do. I’ve never seen anything that God didn’t need me to see. I’ve never been anywhere where God didn’t need me to be.

Every joy, every pain, every love, every shame, everything that has chipped away at me has shaped me into the person that I am today.

For this reason I can’t have any regrets. For this reason I have to accept that I am exactly where God needs me to be, seeing exactly what he needs me to see, doing exactly what he needs me to do.

I may not truly understand but it’s not my job to understand. My job is to have faith that in all things, God will bring me through and keep me close to him.

So the next time that you’re questioning why or wondering why not, remember to look within to analyse how much you need to learn about where you are so that you can apply that learning to the next phase. This is not it for you.

You are exactly where you need to be. It will lead you to where you need to go.

Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18 NIV

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purpose

Is this moment better than the worst?

I often wonder about what is to come.

Is it going to get any better?

Is this is it for me?

Is the pain and suffering that I’m experiencing now worth all of the trouble that it’s causing?

Every time that these thoughts come, I think back to previous battles that I didn’t think were worth fighting for, I think of the times when I didn’t think that I was strong enough to overcome. I look back at the times when I was on my knees, crying out to God for his Mercy and Grace which just seemed to never come. I think of all of the people who gave up on me because my pain was too much for them to bear.

I think of the times when I was calling for the light to brighten the darkness that I was trapped in.

I ponder the moments when the spirit of God seemed to just pass me by, when it seemed as if I wasn’t worth saving, when nothing else mattered other than no longer existing.

I think of all of these moments of brokenness. I wonder how I’m still here, still breathing, basking in the joy that fills my soul; the very soul that until recently felt empty, void of any hope, powerless and lost.

I couldn’t have survived all that I’ve been through without the intervention of a higher power. Without the mercy and patience of a power beyond anything I could ever try to imagine.

It’s not something that I find easy to explain, it’s not something I would even expect many to understand. But for the few that do, be encouraged, it does get better. I can testify that even in this moment, what lies ahead really is worth holding out for.

The extraordinary tends not to make much sense to begin with. Instead of wasting energy trying to comprehend that which is holding us together, use the time instead to deepen the connection to it and as the relationship develops, so too will the understanding of it.

I don’t claim to fully overstand every experience that I have faced, but I try to look within each one for the lesson it was trying to teach me. I aim to grasp the authenticity of every interaction that touches my mind, body and spirit.

My aim is to deepen my connection with my inner self so that my outer being can evoke a strength beyond any barrier that might try to bend or break me.

I am a spirit builder, I won’t stop until the foundation is set and that which is built upon it is strong enough to withhold any storm. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working everyday towards the goal.

The light within must shine bright enough to drown out even the darkest shadow.

I have hope that I will get there. My hope keeps me going everyday, even when the past fights to keep me there, in my brokenness and hopelessness. I keep pushing through and continue to press ahead.

I will not surrender. I will not forget how much I have already overcome.

I will breath, I will survive, I will be ok.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God’. (John 14:1)

#SpiritOfTheFittest #LightOverDark

#Yes #IAmInAwe #Love #Power #Might #Spirit #KeepGoing #ItsJustATest #YouWillWin #GodsSpirit

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purpose

Do I have to lose in order for you to win?

We live our lives constantly experiencing imbalances of power.

As a child at school we’re either the bully or the bullied, at work we’re either the employer or the employee and at home we’re either the submissive or the dismissive. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we cannot avoid imbalance. Without this hierarchy there would be no sense of order. Or would there?

If we all started life on a level playing field how might the world look and feel? From the outside, things would seem much fairer, we would all have access to the same things at the same time in exactly the same way. Though I’m not so sure if I would be comfortable being the same as everybody else. For starters, what motivating stories about challenge and how to overcome them, would I be able to pass on to my children and their children?

Privilege is a huge imbalance that often determines the course of somebody’s life. It can either propel someone to greatness or attempt to hold someone back from achieving their true greatness.

If we all had equal access to the tools needed to succeed in life then maybe we might all get what we want out of life. Unfortunately this is not the case, and life as we know it, is very unfair.

However, one thing that I have learned through my lack of privilege is that what I want is not the same as what I need. I wouldn’t know what I needed out of life if I spent most of it getting exactly what I wanted whenever I wanted it. I wouldn’t understand the importance of God’s timing over my timing.

I know what it is to taste, to touch, to smell, to hear, to feel and to see hardship. The privilege of experiencing such hardship propelled me into the greatness that I experience regularly today.

I am still on my journey towards everlasting happiness and success but I also acknowledge the great achievements that have come along the way. I made it through my childhood where I often faced great sadness, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, poverty and lack of opportunity.

I overcame all of those to make it into my 20’s. This era began at my lowest point. Two weeks after my first real encounter with feeling as if I had nothing left to live for, balanced itself out to become one of my highest points when I found out I was pregnant with my first child.

This era also saw a mix of further highs and lows including Marriage, another child, physical and mental abuse, career changes, setbacks, more setbacks and then a revelation that would change the course of my life forever.

At a point where I felt so lost that I thought I would never be found, at a point where I felt that I had so much on my plate at times but no appetite to eat it all; at my lowest point where it felt that l could contribute nothing more to this life, when I felt so unbalanced that the scales of life would never balance in my favour again – I found a new sense of life, I found Jesus.

Now, we may find anything in life that will serve as the one thing to uplift and motivate us. But I was privileged enough to have Him walk me through the last few years of my 20’s into my 30’s.

I am privileged enough to have Him pick me up every-time I break into small broken pieces. And now, in my mid-late 30’s I am learning to stop wanting what I don’t need and to strive for only that which will enrich my spirit and build into my legacy for my children.

He constantly reassures me every time I take a leap of faith.

I never know the outcome but I taste, touch, smell, hear, feel and see the privilege of having the one thing in my life that can overcome any of the challenges that the imbalances of life throws at me.

I don’t feel in competition with others anymore, I don’t pay attention to those who try to discredit me or deny my existence.

I don’t have to lose anymore so that you can win. That is not what imbalance of life is all about. Sometimes in life, we have to experience imbalance in order to understand what it is that we truly need. This allows us to become the best version of ourselves. When life throws you off balance, it’s only a matter of time, patience, determination, logic and faith that will help to re-position you.

If life for you is and always has been easy, then you have not lived and you are not yet the best version of yourself.

My past hardships are some of the secrets to my success. Whilst I would never wish them on anyone else, I have to acknowledge how much they have shaped the person that I am now. They have become the foundations on which I have built my life. I walk all over my hardships every day as a reminder of everything that I have been through and a warning of what I will return to if I allow my focus to shift towards other people and their privilege. Their privilege is their own story and I don’t have the right to pass judgement. Nor do I have the time or the patience to focus on other people’s journey. It is not my job to understand their journey. My own journey is much too exhausting for that.

What is most important about our destination is what we acquire, learn and surround ourselves with on the journey there. It is these things that will ensure that the destination is enjoyable and strong enough to become a legacy for generations to come.

If we can truly understand the importance of our own imbalance then maybe we can start to understand the privilege of having it and the greatness that could potentially come out of it. “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

If your life feels unbalanced right now, have faith that with the right tools and mindset, things will balance themselves out.

You’ve made it this far, what makes you think that you can’t make it even further?

Don’t let the imbalances of life win. You were not born to lose.

“Neither death, nor life, neither angels, nor demons, neither the present, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

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How can you expect your life to change if you don’t change yourself first? 

img_0705I have a habit of keeping things to myself. I now consider it quite a bad habit, because a habit that does me no good is no good to me.
There are many sayings which teach us about the importance of keeping your business to yourself, it’s nothing to do with anybody else! But can the same be said about God’s business? I’m a Christian, not the best by all means, but I try to be the best that I can be. I understand the power of fellowship and I appreciate how God uses other people to speak directly into my situations and to counsel me when I need it and even when I think I don’t. It’s a constant reminder that His power and His spirit is in and around me every challenging step of this amazing way.

And yet I have still spent so many years keeping things to myself. Things that I felt ashamed of, things that I felt that others wouldn’t understand, things that I felt no one else would care about, things that overwhelmed me and convinced me that no one should know for fear of being judged or cast away.

Things have a way of making you feel as if nothing else matters.

The enemy has a way of convincing you to keep things hidden away because what is kept in the dark is to its glory.

But my biggest lesson learned this year was such an eye opener. It helped me to understand why I spent so many years stuck in a vicious cycle of hurt, doubt and inconsistency.

In order to truly experience God’s mercy and Grace we have to be willing to reveal so that He can heal. If we don’t share our problems how we can we expect them to get fixed? God will wait, He’s good at that! Especially when it comes to us stubborn humans like me! We convince ourselves that our healing is unobtainable because we are undeserving. I spent so many years feeling this way. As a result I cut myself off from the very people that I believe God sent my way to help me through my pain. Sometimes our pain is so loud and blinding that it prevents us from obtaining that which God has set out for us.

So I began to reveal so that I could heal. I recognised that I am above my pain because I changed my perspective. My gaze rested on my God given purpose and it revealed exactly what I needed to do.

I stopped wishing and started praying for better days. I started sharing my heart with a few trusted souls and they helped me to work through some of the darkest days of my life.

We were not sent here to get through life alone. Even if it’s just one person in our life, we need to have others in our life that we can rely on.

I understand how traumatic loneliness can be and how damaging it can be to an individual’s mental state, I’ve been there, at times, I’m still there, but I keep believing, keep praying and keep hoping because I know the power and might that it has taken to get me to where I am now.

During this festive season, I am so thankful for all that I am and how far I have come.

I’ve lost so much but gained so much more. I have given up so many times in this past year alone, but by God’s grace and the love and support of a trusted few I have made it and I’m still winning.

If you want your life to change, you have to change yourself first.

I had to change my mindset in order to elevate and experience growth. The kind of growth that will form the foundation of the legacy that I hope to leave behind for my children and their children and generations to come.

In order to be the person that I am now I had to accept that where I was, wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I accepted that doing the same thing in a different way was not going to get me anywhere but stuck where I was.

I had to overcome fear, disappointment, loss, grief and replace them with courage, determination and resilience.

As a result, my children have a mum that they can rely on and I can rely on myself to make the right choices for the right reasons.

Because I changed first, my life changed.

I will walk into 2018 with a stronger body, mind and spirit.

If you want change in your life you have to be willing to change bad habits about yourself first. Only then will you truly experience everlasting and meaningful change.
#YouChangeLifeChange

#BreatheNewLifeIntoYou

#PowerAndSpirit

#GodFirst

#Selflove

#2018

#LegacyBuilding

#I’mAmazing

#GodIsAmazing

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What’s in a name anyway

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Am I gonna make it?

A question that I just asked myself and became quite emotional over.
I suddenly realised that I’m afraid of failing but also afraid of succeeding. Why?
Because failing means that I’ll never make it, but I’m also scared that I won’t have what it takes to succeed which will mean that I’ll keep failing at every attempt.
This fear often puts me off attempting to succeed because I can’t stand the thought of failing.

So the result?

I remain where I am, out of alignment, far removed from my true purpose and on a road to nowhere.

So how do I overcome my fear?

I have a self affirmation that I constantly tell myself;

Do it afraid‘.

I’m a singer, or at least that’s what other people tell me I am.

But I’ve never really found my true voice – or in other words, never really found true confidence in my voice.
I enjoy singing, I know that my voice is ok as other people tell me that it is. But every time I sing I’m afraid because it might not sound that good.

I realised a long time ago that singing actually helped people to accept me as a person.

But I wasn’t accepting myself.

Even down to my name, I hated telling people what my name was. I felt that my name ‘Irene Kush’ was just weird and old fashioned and down right embarrassing.

I got teased a lot when I was at school because of my names. Eventually I began to hate my name and then who I was.
I lost my sense of identity.

When I got married and my surname changed to Aserie, I became a little more comfortable giving my name to people but still not truly happy because I hated my first name.

I could easily just change my name, but I didn’t think I was good enough to fit any other name either. So I became stuck with the name that I was given.

I’ve been ‘doing it afraid’ ever since I was a child. Just telling people my name was an internal battle that I had to overcome. Before I even started a conversation with someone new, I was afraid because I had to get past telling them my name first.

I tried to avoid conversations with people and so became a bit of a recluse.
I spent a lot of time on my own, talked to myself, read lots of books, wrote my own fictitious stories and eventually my own fictitious songs.

I guess that’s one of the reasons why I drink alcohol. It’s amazing how much false confidence a glass of wine or three can give you.

Writing became my way of communicating with people, I could only really open up about issues through my written word as oppose to my spoken word.

But I wanted to write from a more honest and purposeful place. However, I became afraid of revealing the real me through song because I was afraid of being rejected.
Singing was a way of getting people to like me but what if they didn’t like my music or what I had to say?

So what did I do?

I stopped singing and writing.

As a result I became depressed, unhappy and way out of alignment with who I really was. Suddenly I had no way at all of expressing my thoughts and feelings. Now I was internalising everything and too afraid to own my true self worth.

I was unable to cultivate my self worth and keep reminding myself of my self affirmation to just ‘do it afraid’.

But then I asked myself ‘what exactly is it that I want to do and who am I doing it for?’
I didn’t want to be on my death bed before I figured it out. I needed to make a change now.

I first had to learn to accept my name.
What’s in a name anyway?
I realised that I was much more than my name. I was so much more than I had ever imagined myself to be.

I then started writing again. Not for other people but just for me. Not fictitious songs and stories, but I actually started to write out my real story. I knew that I had to write from a place that had the potential to inspire and change lives just like I had managed to do with myself.

I finally realised I was on my way to becoming the woman I was meant to be.

But had I realised all of this too late?

I remember recently when a music producer I had worked with in my teens looked at me during a studio session. He always thought that I had what it takes to be a musical superstar. He looked at me and was shaking his head. He felt that that I should never have stopped the music because by now I would have been a successful artist.

I often wrestle with the notion that it’s too little too late.

But I know that my time will come for me to be exactly who I was sent here to be.

I wasn’t ready then but I’m ready now. It may not be as a musical superstar but whatever plans God has for me, I know I will be the best that I can be.

I will be exactly where I need to be.

In the meantime, I will continue to work on improving me and stepping out in faith towards my destiny.

I am learning everyday not to value what other people say more than what I say.

I am learning to do what I want to do instead of what other people want me to do.

I am working towards having what I want for me instead of having what other people want for me.

I am learning not to let a glass of wine bring out the more confident me.

I’m in my mid thirties and I am in the process of finishing an album that sounds exactly the way I want it to sound. I’ve written a book about the journey to discovering my self worth and I’m getting much closer to being in alignment with who God intended me to be.

I have God given talents and I’m not afraid to use them.

But I also understand that it’s not your gift that guarantees your success it’s how hard you’re willing to work at it.

I’ve worked hard to overcome the challenges that I’ve faced. I’m still working hard to master my worth and skills.

When I look at myself I don’t see what other people see, I’m learning to see myself through my own eyes and to accept and be comfortable with what is revealed.

So am I gonna make it?

I truly believe that I will.

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