The meaning of life

OMG! Seriously?!?

So I officially have a 12-year-old. 😲Where has the time gone and where is it going? Inevitably, to the other side of this world, I would imagine. My firstborn has turned twelve human years and I can’t identify when all this time came and went.

REFLECTION IS NICE BUT LIVING IS BETTER

I am one that reflects, not to be confused with one that dwells, which I’ve been known to do as well on occasion. I am one that reminisce. I am one that has struggled with the byproduct of reflection, looking back and getting caught in the webs of yesterday in my mind. At times, remembering yesterday is good, healthy even, but living for today, especially in the moments that truly matter, is best. How else would you have anything to look back to.

Simply existing won’t do. Flowers exist. The mountains exist. Each with its own importance and purpose but to live life in the moment also has a purpose. Not only does it give meaning to oneself but also builds a lifetime of mental doors to unlock that hold inside memories that uplift, lessons that educate, conquered fears that caution and conceive growth, and so much more. Living in itself is the meaning.

HOW YOUR MOMENTS ARE LIVED

Whether you are one to live out loud, throwing caution to the wind as you live your best life, or you are one to be more subdued in your mannerisms, don’t allow any shyness you may have, or any insecurities you struggle with keep you from living. Be in the moment. Literally laugh out loud! Chase the children without your phone strapped to you like an extra limb!

Taste  your meals and savor each ingredient, and when you work out, feel the tingle as the sweat slides down the nape of your neck on down! Life is only but a moment, it is this moment. Enjoy as much of it as you possibly can, and learn from it as much as you can in a way that suits the person you truly are. In return, if you are granted the next moment, you can live with the full knowledge that if and when you do look back, you’ll have a life full of moments being a lamp to guide you into your next steps. So…In other words, have the cake and eat it too!

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Sincerely, me

An acknowledgement had to be made.

I won’t put you in a list, because how dare I and for whom? I respect you and won’t parade you unless to uplift you.

You are not so bad that you stunt my growth. You allow me to be distinct from others. Those distinctions, those distinctions I grew up to appreciate. Back then, however, they drew the attention of mockers, teasers and abusers.

I don’t think I ever said, I forgive you.

I don’t think I ever said, I forgive me.

I can look deep inside you now. Sometimes I even put you on pedal stool for all to see. I’m perplexed when speaking to people these days; it seems you’re worth so much. Who would’ve thought?

I accept you completely because not only don’t you respect my growth and it’s process, you’ve also impacted it for the better in the light of day.

I accept and appreciate what you put me through. I accept and appreciate you. I accept and appreciate me.

Dearest Flaws,

An upside down letter, which should be read either up or down. Try it and share this post.

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Why did I do that?

Have you ever stolen your own peace?

It had been weeks upon weeks. To be totally transparent, it had been months. I kept myself riding. Why did I do that? The internal roller coaster of emotions went from one extreme to the next. I had my moments of revealing my thoughts and feelings, whatever they may have been at the given time, but those moments were very few. I try to speak up and out. It’s a constant fight being heard only in ones own head. Not just because ears aren’t being used to hear mouths also eventually stop speaking. I have improved but more work needs to be done. Rather, it is continuous work.

Months later and one thing I’ve learned is if you’re constantly reminding yourself you’re not mad anymore, or you’re over it…then you’re not. You’re really just trying to convince yourself. Plain and simple.

But then again, at times, not that plain nor that simple. Sometimes we subconsciously protect ourselves. Our feelings may say, “Danger Danger”, and it is for good reason. Persistent discomfort physically, spiritually, and or mentally definitely requires some kind of looking into.

If it is a case of you truly not being over the negative emotions and the cycle of keeping it in, releasing it all in one breath, and sinking back into your shell of internal fights and arguments, then agony, misery, and hurt feelings will just continue. 

Another thing is, don’t walk around undiagnosed. People are not always as aware as we’d like to make them out to be in our minds. That person you having silent arguments with may not care or they may not know they got you in your feelings. And honestly, either of those two reasons are why the struggle goes on for so long. Tell them your heart’s diagnosis. Figure out if they care or if they were just oblivious to your hurt. Being undercover mad will not get the results you feel you need to move on.

SOMETIMES WE NEED TO DECLUTTER OUR MINDS.

Stop having full-on arguments and fights with people in your mind. Speak your truth no matter what and wait for the response to that truth. Follow up with whatever action that needs to be taken. From a common understanding between you and the other to a mutual parting of ways. Find the outcome that best serves you.

IT’S FOR YOU

Don’t expect an apology because you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. The sharing of your truth is for you. Just how they say forgiveness sets you free and it’s for you not the other person so is the act of sharing your feelings about something that is gnawing at you. Nothing is worse than being alone or even crowded by others and you are silent, having conversations in your head, speaking for the other person as well as yourself. You’ll find yourself responding in your head negatively to anything they say, even if it’s about the weather, but you speak something totally opposite out of politeness and consideration for their feelings. All the while you don’t think they consider your feelings at all. If you don’t consider yourself how can anyone else consider you. Don’t do that! Speak! Speak even when you think the response won’t be what you want. Speak even when you believe you already know what the response will be. Speak! Stop thinking and speak.

Declutter your mind. Live peacefully.

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Thanks for your gratitude & support, truly.  paypal.me/GorettyGordon  

Growing but grown

I’m growing yes but I’m grown…don’t try me!

Don’t assume you can shake my stance in the pool of peace. I don’t accept your flirtatious glance nor your invasion, the abrupt insertion into our lives, my life. The sight of you brings ripples into my pool of peace but I will not be shaken.

I can sense your caos from miles away. No need for me to run. I am growing but I am grown, don’t try me! The answer and all future answers will be, no. No to the unease you permeate, no to the presence of one who pretends in vain to be of stable mind, no to the cringe worthy mindset that should be kept hidden but you have boldly put forth for the world to witness. I am grown and have the ability to be bold as well.

I boldly and peacefully decide you don’t belong in my pool of peace not even on the pebbles and rocks that surround me causing a shift at times in my demeanor. These shifts may be brought on by many other factors. Afterall life does need to happen. But you, you are not worthy of a shift. I won’t entertain you. I am growing so I will not cave to silent pleas of indecisiveness brought on by those parts of me still struggling to grow.

My stance is firmly planted, my mind made up. I am growing but I’m a good 40 grown and you will not invade my pool of peace.

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So I have this habit…

Who understands where I’m coming from when I say this?

I tend to lose myself in circumstance. No matter how good of a circumstance it may or may not be, eventually, this leads to an unpeaceful mind.

I mean, how could we be at peace with ourselves when the hat(s) we choose to wear overtakes us?…

LET’S RATIONALIZE

Our hat is mad cute. Our hat is comfortable and familiar (which doesn’t always mean a good thing but let’s say it is in this case). Our hat may even validate us for a time and elevate our confidence, making us feel all types of statuesqueness.

BUT…

Then comes the day when that very same hat is all we presume others see when they look and interact with us. Our hat starts to become needy and require more and more maintenance, which for whatever reason, we feel takes away from our truest selves.  Our hat begins to feel heavier and heavier, weighing on us.

Some of us wear multiple hats. Mothers, for example, obviously wear multiple hats by default. Bottom line is hats tend to become burdensome. Don’t get it twisted. Children…children are absolutely blessings.

I mean don’t even think of comin’ for my babies point blank periodt! In this conversation of multiple hats and the loss of peace, however, parenting can have its burdensome moments.

Pouring oneself into this or that circumstance can and often does come about from positives. If we’re not careful to do our due diligence and mentally check in with ourselves, we can be overpowered by the hats we choose to wear and the responsibilities that come along with wearing such hats. It’s the responsibilities that the hat represents with which we use as the measurement to judge ourselves and presume others judge us with. The persona, the responsibilities and perceived meaning of that hat, isn’t us, it’s just a hat. You are you, I am me and hats…well hats have the ability to shade our perceptions of ourselves…for as long as we allow.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE MOVED

Relocating to Tanzania is definitely a great circumstance my family and I are blessed to be in. That circumstance  and all it entails when relocating to a new place so far from norm, may cause you to have (it’s almost an absolute) an abundance of hats to try on. Some hats you may have previously worn may stay, some may be tossed never to be worn again, but many may be added, even prior to the move, as in my case.

THE AMOUNT OF HATS

So it seems, one main thing to watch out for is the amount of hats you do choose. Pile on enough hats and your face will be hidden. If your face is hidden, you can’t see. You are lost. There’s no peace in the lost. (and I am specifically thinking of lost in oneself at this time) Think about it as if looking into a mirror. If your face is hidden you can’t even see yourself. I don’t know about you but being lost, really lost, lost to yourself and of course others…because you can’t be lost to yourself and be really present for others; this isn’t a good thing. In fact, it brings on anxiety to say the least.

SEE CLEARLY

It’s okay to shed some hats, even if just for a time, especially if by not doing so causes peacelessness. Don’t overwhelm yourself into a chaotic mind. Whatever it takes to be at peace and to see clearly is always a plus. Losing yourself in circumstance(s)… an absolute negative.

Have a peaceful, priority hat wearing week everyone. 

Make sure you see yourself.

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Thanks for your gratitude & support, truly.  paypal.me/GorettyGordon  

It’s been a while I know…

Outside my window in Arusha

What’s new? What’s not new?

Where should I begin?

No-no, where should I continue?

First an apology to those who’ve supported this blog from the beginning for taking so long to continue in sharing with you this written journey of mine. To those who have just recently come along with me, you are most welcomed. I hope something that I have written or will write will bless you in some way. Whether it be a giggle to a full chuckle, a sense of feeling someone else out there understands and has been where you are or getting the courage to …(fill in the blank) I truly hope I can be instrumental in that for you.

SO…

It’s late in the year 2020, at least at the initial drafting of this post. I find myself living in unfamiliar but oh so familiar surroundings. I am among strangers who are family in some way or another. I eat foods foreign to my tongue but known to my palate. I am embracing the mountains, trees, plants, and animals. I am being kissed regularly on my melanin skin by the dancing rays of the sun. I am home. I am home again. My new home that always has been. I and what is of me now reside in Africa.

https://youtu.be/4ZbpTxGfPls

Tanzania, Africa to be exact and living in the truest sense of the word. My family has grown with our newest addition, Journey Anthony Gordon, having been delivered to us back in late March.

Journey & I at Arusha Lutheran Medical Center

This life continues to amaze. The adventure of a lifetime is life itself.

Arusha, Tanzania : Taking it all in

THE DECISION

The decision to relocate wasn’t difficult. It was quite easy if I’m honest. The heartbreak of leaving those behind held dear was really the most meaningful hurdle to jump over. And the success of jumping that hurdle brought on wonderful progression. Learning not to count on things, adapting to a life without, that part is easiest, especially since Mother Afrika has so much more to offer in exchange. We clutter. We hoard. We believe the more the happier when it comes to unnecessary materials and sometimes certain unnecessary people.

IDENTITY

I am learning so many things even that of things I’ve kept a blind eye to. The American dream for instance stole us and our identity. It even gave us newer misleading identities. Kids with flies on their faces and popped bellies. Massive hunger. I shake my head as I recall all those commercials from back in the day. My identity. Your identity. In some cases we gave some, if not all, of that identity away freely. Like anything else that can corrupt our truest selves, such as the hustle and bustle of forever trying to make it, all be it in vain for the majority minority, living apart from such things, sets ones mind to a more peaceful path. At the root of it all, to have a peaceful life is the goal. There’s something to be said about reclaiming oneself. There’s something to be said about reclaiming oneself multiple times, no matter the manner in which it came to be. My family and I are reclaiming ourselves here on the continent. It feels good to shed.

MY THOUGHT PROCESS ABOUT IT ALL

Perhaps where we got it wrong was believing that the so called American dream was dreamt up by and for us. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with what we believed the dream was meant to be but only what it truly is…an endless cycle of lies wrapped up in pretty truths that gradually erase us by them through us, sucking our life away slowly but surely through the foods we eat, the media we are exposed to, the fear-filled experiences of just being black, etc.. Well, that dream of family, health, wealth, happiness, and abundance is my reality. Now, it’s a working progress, just like me, lol, but its still my reality. My reality is what they attempted to sell but couldn’t and wouldn’t deliver. I am manifesting the dream and what it really was meant to be into my reality.

Does it mean it has to do with the location? I think partially. Does it mean it depends on who is dreaming the dream (or living that dream/reality)? I think partially. Does mean it has to do with the absence of understanding the true dream and what it really entails? I believe partially. There are many reasons behind why the American dream isn’t suitable for blacks long term-and I don’t claim to know them all. That’s just facts, although I’m not knocking my experiences thus far because they have benefited me in many ways.

Will I ever return? I would love to visit my family and friends left behind. That being said I will not subject my children, husband nor myself to poisons to do so. Loving from afar is underrated.

For right now I am indulging in the peace provided by the silent wisdom of the mountain across my window and whispers of secrets spreading by the dancing trees. These trees sway and shout welcome home to me and my children as they hang on strong limbs and branches older than all of us put together. I feel we have been missed. I feel welcomed. I feel a sense of pride for having returned home. Like a child lost in the deep woods, it is daybreak and I have found my way home to Mother Afrika. What’s more I am continuously and intentionally accepting my worthiness during this time. Heck, I am my own breath of fresh air as well. Maybe not always and every second but much more than days past.

What a journey life is and continues to be. Continue to follow this journey with me and feel free to share.

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Thanks for your gratitude & support, truly.  paypal.me/GorettyGordon                                                                                                                  

Crinkled dollar bills

Have you ever seen that person struggling with the vending machine? Their demeanor suggests the day has been too long already and to make it worst the oversized box taunts them through a silent tug of war. Who will win, you wonder as the cold machine spits back out the crinkled dollar bill it refuses to accept. A forced straightening of the currency through the unfolding of the four corners begin to take play. The humming monster spits it back out once again. This time, a deep breath is taken before another forced straightening. It’s obvious this person doesn’t have exact change. You may have it, but you prefer to watch the spectacle, at least for a while longer. So now onto straighten this dollar bill by rubbing it against the corner of the monster box back and forth in a vain attempt to flatten the paper as flat as it can get. No luck. And now a kick. Frustrated, a body is thrown against the machine and then a shake. Watching closely for some sign of movement, the person tries once more. The dollar is placed in the slot. A few seconds pass, which even seemed too long for you, the spectator, and then that provoking sound of a returned dollar bill resonates the hallway. Out of pure frustration, the defeated person shoves the machine once more then turns, leaving behind the stale pastry they so desperately wanted. The vending machine wins again. And as a child who rubs it in once a victory is won, another passerby comes, pulls out a wad of balled up bills, unfolds one of the distorted currencies, places it in the machine’s slot and waits. You watch as the previous, hungry, individual is witness to the cold humming monster box gladly rewarding this new individual with the very snack he sought after.

A chuckle escapes and you quickly cover your mouth. The angry previous individual goes back to the drawing board. Perhaps the vending machine further down the hall will work better. The new individual walks away, happily satisfied. The vending machine continues to hum.

What’s the point?

In life, your goals may not go as planned. There’s a difference between persevering and being stubborn. You will have those that watch and laugh on the sidelines. Don’t be that person. Help if you can or at least go mind your business. (or as I like to put it after getting tired of hearing my kids constantly tell one another to “mind your business,” mind Jesus.) Someone else will be better at what you do. Don’t get angry. Rethink. Regroup. Rework. More importantly…What is yours, is yours. Your outcome is already laid out. Nothing will be just handed unless it was meant to. If something is detrimental for the goals you’ve set to be fulfilled, it shall be attained…in some cases anyway. Some things like the pursuit of The One who gives visions and the ability to acquire provision, that is totally up to you. Seek the Master of all goals, visions, and provisions. You will succeed…for your better.

So, what is your crinkled dollar bill? What are you struggling to make happen? Is it a matter of rethinking, regrouping, reworking, or a matter of going back to the drawing board and going before The One who gave you the vision in the first place…if, of course, the vision was truly from The Most High!? 😉

 

Saying goodbye to February

So February is nearly over and March sits awaiting your arrival. This may bring you some form of joy when looking back at all you’ve already accomplished in such a short time or the anxieties of being behind your plans can cause strain to your otherwise upbeat thinking. Toss those anxieties aside and cling to the thoughts of all things coming together at the right time. 

The best thing you can do before, during and or after crossing off your long list of to-do’s, the things you’ve defeated, mastered and accomplished or even decided against that it would no longer serve a purpose in your overall big plans for your life is this, let go and let God. The past few weeks I’ve decided to close some doors that no longer held a spot in my mind that required nurturing. I may at one time believe this to be my own thoughts and plans but I now know better. Things removed and newness added have shifted my mind and changed my motivations but the fact remains, the melting pot of visions and goals for my life have somehow all been coming together to land me right here, right now. Every decision, even the mistakes, if they can be called such, have reconfirmed my path, straightened whatever was crooked in my thinking and eased my spirit from my own humanistic concerns of making wrong moves and turns. His control, his plans, his visions for my life are being laid out before me.

You know it’s said to write your plans out. Write it and make it plain. Write them down and envision and so forth, yes. However, I also believe this is so we have a means of verification that He is listening. He is there. He is here. And He is in control. I laugh as I write these words today because what He is manifesting in my life is like…It’s like opening a gift meant for you from your parents that were put away unwrapped in the closet where your mom kept all extra gifts to give out through various times of the year for various people, just in case gifts. You believe that particular gift is yours and even prepare to receive it. This birthday passes, that holiday comes and goes. You receive other gifts but not that one. Time passes and you may even forget about that gift after convincing yourself perhaps it wasn’t meant for you after all. Then one year you receive something that is almost like an accessory, a piece that would go great with that gift and it puts a fire under you once again for that one main gift. That gift is what I’m meant to do, to be or become rather. It is me. The accessories are clues, hints, confirmations. What excitement it is to know that even if one clue gets you off course because you can be a little slow to understand from time to time, there are more that will automatically lead you right where you need to be. He will never lead you astray.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

So no, my plans, lists or to-do’s may not have a bunch of checkmarks, and a couple of x’s, however, my path is becoming clearer and clearer. Sigh. Smile. And a jump for joy. Be blessed reader.

Confirmation

It’s more than déjà-vu. Not just a mere coincidence, nor a one-time yay or nay. It isn’t a whim of the “universe”. It’s so much more and when it occurs…you know without a shadow of a doubt, your path is made clear, your next move covered, your feet are lit by a lamp so bright that no blocks before you won’t cause permanent stumbling which can land you flat on your face…defeated. That is if we decide to listen to the obvious responses. What is it? Nothing but absolute confirmation. Yes, wonderful confirmation. Another important part of life which proves all the more that God is listening. Responding.

I’ve had a few run-ins with confirmation, that beautiful push or pull. To be clear-minded, guilt-free, and to sigh deeply due to happiness over a situation where without confirmation you’d be left blind, deaf and perhaps mute is nothing short of a blessing.

There is a specific time, however, that one must also seek confirmation in regards to perhaps a previous confirmation. I’m referring to the end or continuation of that previous confirmation. Often times we hold onto things so tightly because we’ve received the confirmation, the big Yes or no in some cases…in my life from God, that we neglect the fact that confirmation too is only for a time, a period, a season. So when is confirmations’ time up? You may need to pray on that as well. In fact, you should. You can ask yourself many questions, which would honestly be highly based on feelings at that given moment, but think. If God gave you that confirmation, to begin with, shouldn’t he have a say in whether it’s time for a new thing? Of course! Why not continue on a guided path? One that will guarantee a tour guide, The Ultimate Tour Guide, best suited for any experience you may have, equipped for any adventures and detours life may throw your way.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we in approaching God; that if we ask anything to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.

Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

…Reader, speaking from experience…keep your feet lit 😉

 

Fear of being wrong

It falls along the lines of fear of failure, however, in regards to spirituality and peace, it’s much deeper than that.

I’ve struggled with fear of failure before and have come to realize I’ve also struggled with fear of success. What a trap it is to face both of these nonverbal beasts. A trap that allows for nothing to be productive. A trap that grips tighter at one’s arms, legs and mind. Every discouraging thought flooding to the forefront of your mind each time you decide for a brief moment to accomplish something…anything, as if a steel wall was built there for that very purpose. What a trap. A trap that renders you numb to the notion of any attempts to show life. Visions fade. Goals vanish. Tasks are left undone. All this because of some phantom beast or beasts that exist in your mind’s mind to do nothing but delay, stall, procrastinate and halt your progress. Oh, what a trap. I thank Jesus for releasing me of these imperturbable traps.

Fear of failing is one thing, fear of success another, but what about fear of being wrong. Of course, besides the obvious pride that goes into this kind of fear, the thought that you can possibly be wrong about that certain thing can destroy someone’s life and well-being all together in one good swoop. I’ve come across many who have devoted themselves to things out of sheer excitement. These things, sometimes harmful, seem like a sure thing, at the time anyway. That being said it scares me so much for those people who refuse to accept obvious truths no matter how elaborate the proof is, out of fear that there’s that one off chance they may be wrong. I suppose this particular blog is just to say that although I know that I know that I know that Jesus is real, alive and well and all about my good, if by some off chance this was all an elaborate hoax, if the Bible was written by man’s mind, well if the joke is on me and I die and that’s it….

I had an amazing life. Peace, love, purpose…and so so much more…I would have had a blessed life. That being said I fell in love with Jesus and continue to work on my relationship with Him daily…with absolutely NO REGRETS, wrong or not…but, I’m not! 😉 🙂

Isaiah 54:4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated…”

Romans 10:11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”