A quick reflection

As we approach the end of yet another year, I, as I normally do on most days, have taken time out to not only reflect on myself but also to look back at my life journey through 2017.

I no longer makes resolutions at the beginning of the year but instead focus on being a better me daily. I don’t always get it right but if I’ve at least grown in some way or some area of my life then I’ve at least achieved something.

This year, the growth has been in my spiritual life. As a man who grew up always wanting to be right or to have the last word, I’ve learnt the importance of being wrong and acknowledging the same. I’ve learnt the importance of being hurt but confronting it with grace. I’ve learnt the importance of being offended and more importantly, forgiveness.

Death has been on my mind a lot not in the sense of being obsessed with it but rather in the sense of leaving this world with minimal regret. On other words, if called from this Earth, would I be able to honestly say that I did my best to be my best? Did I live my life in a way that would make my Father, my God proud?

I keep thinking of The Lord’s prayer and how I used to take it for granted by merely saying it automatically without really giving thought to every word, every line until the day I stopped at “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If there’s one thing I can confess its that I was never quick to forgive. Sure it’s human nature but it’s exhausting. That very line gave me so much to think about and really got me thinking about little ways I could improve myself, strengthen my faith and be a beacon of love to all around me.

Anyone that knows me will know what a big part of my life my faith is and that I am unashamed of my beliefs. That same faith has taught me the importance of acceptance when necessary and forgiveness. It has taught me the importance of righting wrongs. It has taught me the importance of relationships and lifelong bonds and why it is important to sometimes humble myself, even when right, in order to be able to break down barriers and in turn, speak to the hearts of people.

This realisation has not been easy and at times is still a challenge but, the fact that I’ve overcome and can look past so much is an achievement that I would never have dreamt of years ago. The journey itself has required sacrifice and perseverance but not once did I feel alone. I chose to place my trust in God and I will be the first to admit that there were times whereby I wanted to give up but I’ve seen prayer after prayer answered. I’ve been blessed and with each blessing came the understanding that each would come with its own set of challenges for what’s the point of being blessed continuously if you cannot strengthen yourself to overcome challenges that will prepare you for the greater blessings that lay ahead?

I don’t claim to be perfect. I don’t claim to know everything but one thing I do know is that having grace does wonders to one’s soul. Grace helps you look beyond what is petty and understand that life is too short to waste emotions on issues that subconsciously control you instead of realising that you have the power to control those situations. You just need to accept the fact that it comes down to making a decision.

Rediscover. Reinvent. Reap.

Reinvention. My personal, physical and spiritual theme for the year. It has absolutely nothing to do with resolutions for the year ahead but rather stems from a realisation which came to be as a direct result of being a parent, seeing life through the eyes of a child and embracing my inner child.

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To a child, the world is full of endless possibilities. There is no fear or rather, when fear does manifest itself, a child finds the courage to overcome it. These are traits that we unfortunately lose later in life and I for one have been on a personal journey to reclaim that which was once lost – reinvent myself so to speak.

To say that the past year was an exciting one would be a lie but rather than allow the negativity that was 2016 dictate my future, I’ve instead chosen to take a step back and rediscover some basic elements that used to define me – starting with self-happiness – and ultimately take some advice from my younger self.

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Finding happiness when it feels like your whole world is falling apart is daunting but I love that my faith is strong. I’m not here to shove religion down anyone’s throat but that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my faith or that I’m ashamed of my beliefs. Just as sure as I am that the keys under my fingers are real, keeping God at the centre of all that I am an all that I do has brought nothing but blessings into my life – blessings for which I sometimes do not convey enough gratitude.

I woke up this morning and I was just thankful to be blessed with another day. I’m thankful to be able to wake up next to the same beautiful face every day and remind myself just how lucky I am to have her. I’m thankful to have been chosen to be the father of two remarkable, beautiful and intelligent little angels. I’m thankful that even with life’s challenges, I know, feel, give and receive love. I’m thankful for the gift that is family. I’m thankful for the privilege that is friendship.

You see I came to realise that the more I was thankful for, the better I felt. I’m not being unrealistic. There are still battles to fight, there are still bills to pay, there is still evil in the world but they don’t control my life, I do. I want to be happy and counting my blessings does that. It’s those very same blessings that are my key to success in that I’m so privileged to have a strong support system in my wife and all the motivation in the world in my kids.

This has been anything but an easy journey, especially when I can still see the starting line in my rear-view mirror looking back isn’t some sort of security blanket I’m holding onto but rather a reminder who I was – it’s the finish line, the promise of a better me, the acceptance that I have much potential within myself that pushes me. It’s having a partner, my wife, my best friend, my bae, my strength to always walk beside me and remind me that I’m not alone. It’s having two little people who surprise me with just how much joy they can contain in their tiny little bodies and motivate me to be and do more for them.

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I’m truly a lucky man. I may not have all the riches in the world financially speaking but my life is richer with the wonderful people in it. I was telling my close friends just moments ago, that “…we need to keep that fire burning. Life happens and sometimes we feel down but that’s why we need to surround ourselves with positive and influential people with God at the very centre. They remind us of our potential. They help us find strength when we’re down and remind us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. I know life is tough guys but God loves to be tested and He especially loves to show off when He answers our prayers so let’s not lose faith. Change may not come today or tomorrow but you never know just how close you truly are so as blind as we may be to that, let us not be blind in faith. Keep fighting the good fight.”

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