Tag Archives: love

Who are you?

People will be miserable, they will be selfish,  and they will be arrogant. Yet, if we look closely, we will see that they are telling us who we are.

This morning I went with my mother to the Lab to get my regular blood work done. We met a friendly Guyanese lady who talked who am Iincessantly about her dislike for Sri Lankans. She jokingly gave examples of those she experienced, who she described as  miserable and always fighting among each other. My mother and I noticed her prejudice. Yet, immediately afterwards my mother went to the super market and came back complaining about the selfishness of Chinese shoppers. A Chinese lady, she said, was grabbing up all the discounted Papayas. I am no different, for I have had to battle my own negative stereotypes against what I called ‘arrogant’ African-Americans.

Each time we discriminate against others, we are saying a lot about who we are, and our perceived need to lift ourselves up from beneath others. However, by loving and forgiving others, we can more easily love and forgive ourselves. By seeing their beauty, we can see our own beauty.

The whole world changes when we can see ourselves as more than or above no one, as less than or beneath no one. The whole world changes when we can see ourselves as perfectly imperfect, like everyone.

May You Gain Much From Your Suffering in 2014

Our suffering not only gives us opportunity to find our greatest selves, it gives good the opportunity to find us. However for this to happen, we must embrace our inevitable difficult times.

Today at the YMCA,  I received my greatest gift of 2014 from this mentally challenged young lady, who I see quite often. I saw her for the first time last year, when I caught her staring at me, noticing my obvious limp. I looked back at her and smiled vividly and lovingly. However, the reaction I got almost knocked me off my feet. My beaming  ‘I love you’ smile must have caught her by surprise; for she quickly whipped her whole body around, with a look of tearful horror on her face! I felt compassion, and gently walked away with the same smile plastered on my face. Perhaps it was because of my own disability that I understood her, without really knowing what I was understanding.

Since that day, every time I saw her, I would smile at her as though we were friends. Over time, the look of horror turned to a look of puzzlement to a look of blank interest. Today, I smiled at her again and was greeted with the most brilliant wonderful smile! She was glad to see me!

If I had not gone through my own suffering, I would not have done what I did to get that wonderful blessing from that girl. I would not have been the vehicle to help her find the faith that caused her to express a knowing and confidence in the spirit of love that I was offering.

This year, I hope your inevitable times of suffering tremendously increases your love, understanding and compassion for those who are differently-abled. May you be blessed.

Loving the Cycle You’re In

cycles of lifeThroughout our lifetime, each of us goes through various different cycles. For example, there is the cycle of playing or fun as we see in youth or children, or other cycles such as learning, prosperity, struggle and healing. Many would say that some of these cycles are good and some are bad. I say all cycles are good, and the seemingly bad cycles may in fact be the best times of our lives.

Since my stroke in 2007, I have been going through the cycles of struggle and healing.  Though this journey has often been painful, fearful, lonely and impoverished, it has also been the most beneficial of my life.  I am talking specifically about the amazing spiritual shifts I continuously make.

This past week I realized that in my effort to see things as positive, I was not living my life in full embrace of my financial reality. That is to say, as a result of the stroke, my bank account was depleted. Furthermore, since my work benefits ran out, I was forced to go on government disability, which pretty much puts me below the poverty level. My biggest lesson was in pretending that I was still living a normal middle-class lifestyle. I needed to accept and embrace my reality, in order to escape my own perception of being in a shameful cycle of poverty.

Only recently did I become aware that I no longer needed to pretend or run away from shame. I realized that if it weren’t for my poverty, I would not have worked so hard in the development of creative ways for people to have access to the information, support and inspiration they need to live well and go after what they want most in life.

My hope is that my current cycle of healing will take me through poverty to prosperity. However, while I am still on the journey, I will love the many opportunities it provides to grow myself and the world.

Do you love the cycle you are in?

We All Need Healing

healingWe all need the type of healing that shuts down our demons, and stops us from doing and saying things we often regret.

I gave a former boss a ‘two out of five’ on an evaluation, because I couldn’t stand her. She had a personality that rubbed me the wrong way, but that was no reason to say she stunk at her job. In fact, she was better than me in many areas; and that was theThumbs up smiley problem. She threatened my erroneous ‘I’m the best’ perception of myself. So, Instead of complementing her, by showing my strength in areas where she was weak, such as inter-personal skills, I became the very opposite of the good I choose to be.

I had no idea I was still carrying the hurt that resulted from past experiences. I felt tossed aside due to such experiences as my family’s glorification of my sister’s beauty, my mother’s  expressed dislike of my sometimes extroverted personality, a teacher’s prejudiced remarks, or a boss who overlooked me for a promotion.

Unbeknown to me, my negative experiences were actually offering me the opportunity to ‘be love,’ to be the very best of me.  Today, I am grateful for those situations that caused me to feel defeated and tossed aside. They taught me that the most beautiful, inviting and successful person I could ever be is one who is overcome by a force of love for others and the world.

No matter what bad seems to show up, I invite you to keep shining love on it; for sooner or later you will see the good that waits.

What is the thing in you that needs healing? This could be lack of self-confidence, resentment, inability to forgive, and much more. What do you think would happen when you consistently shine love on it?

Making People Wrong

wrongYesterday, I made some people wrong and I am glad I did it!

It started with my niece. I was in a store and tried on a beautiful pair of brown flats. I liked it, but I did not want to buy it. My niece said “I like it better than the ones you are wearing.”

When she said that, I felt really hurt, and became self-conscious. I was wearing a pair of sandals, which not only does a good job of helping me walk with my disability, I love it. So I told my niece that her comments were hurtful. Unfortunately, my making her wrong only served to make the air between us as thick as mud.

Later that day, I listened as a family friend chastised my unmarried brothers, for not giving my mother any grand kids. Like a ferocious predator, I jumped into the conversation and blasted him for not mentioning what I believe should come before kids, which is marriage or a committed relationship. That brought us into a long discourse of making each other wrong.

As a result of these incidents, I have decided to make people right. The alternative is to make people wrong, which kills off loving conversations and friendships in a world where building strong relationships are essential to personal happiness and successful living.

If I had a do-over with my niece, I would say “I like the shoes too but it’s not feasible for me to buy it right now. With your fashion sense, perhaps you can show me how to make my sandals work better with my wardrobe.”

With individuals like my family friend, I will work on keeping my mouth shut, so I can appreciate the value of what they are saying. If I add anything, it would be to ask a question, such as: “where do you think marriage and commitment fit with having kids.”

I used this more positive way of being today. On my way to the gym, my Mobility driver took me 30 minutes out-of-the-way to drop someone off. In my head, I was drafting the complaint letter I would write to York Region Transit, and I was ready to mouth-off to the driver. Then my heart said ‘make people right’. So I emptied my mind, kept my mouth shut, and gave thanks for my ride. As a result, I had the most uplifting spiritual conversation with the driver.

‘Making people right’ works!

No Courage Needed at Camp on the Rock

cotr2This past week I was at Camp on the Rock, located at Camp Kwasind in Muskoka. I lived in the bushes with some 100 people, most of them children and youth, with a few adults over 35!

Throughout the week, adult after adult commended me on being courageous. Something special was surely happening to me, but in my head, it had nothing to do with courage; for in that place, I was a bush woman, fueled by divine energy, fearless in my country roots!

I limped joyously around the camp, up and down sometimes steep stairs and across the beautifully rugged camp grounds. I raced cane-free to meetings, to camp fire, to worship, to meals, to the beach, and to just about every corner of the camp to chase after the bustling kids assigned to my cabin. Like any able-bodied person, I tired a little, I dragged my feet sometimes, stumbled once or twice, and even staggered drunkenly when I felt lazy and intoxicated from the heat.

A girl from my cabin group, who my co-cabin leader Lizzie (Mighty Leader) and I named Joyful, got me right! She watched me grab one end of the bench we just sat on for lunch, as Mighty Leader grabbed the other end; and together we placed the bench upside down and onto the table. With her curious joy and childish sincerity, Joyful said “You’re strong!” She was right.

I felt strength, but it wasn’t my strength. It was strength wrapped in the love of another much, much, greater than me! That love was in the eyes, arms and heart of Rowena (Arouser of Greatness). She compelled me into the lake, to attempt swimming for the first time since my stroke 6 years ago. When she held on to me, I felt so strong and I could swim!When she let go of me, and my feet could not kick to hold my body up, I felt myself going down beneath the water. Courage could not save me, only the loving arms of Arouser of Greatness; she reminded me that the water had no power over me!

Later, strength again took hold of me as I placed my bottom on the dock, dropped my legs into a canoe, and eased myself into the front, with Joyful sitting behind me and Curt (Extraordinary Leader of Leaders) at the rear.   Extraordinary Leader of Leaders skilfully guided the canoe, which carried us calmly across deep waters to the beautiful little island.

A stranger held out her hand, so I could lift myself out of the canoe and step up onto the dock. I then took the hand of Beautiful (the name Mighty Leader and I gave to another of our campers). Beautiful gave me the additional strength I needed to climb to the peak of the Island. And when it was time to climb back down to the dock, Sarah (Guider of Spirit) reached her hands behind her, so I could hold-on, add my strength to hers, and follow her sure-foot, down the steep path to the dock.

There was no need or place for courage at Immanuel Baptist Church’s Camp on the Rock 2013. It gave divine strength to all it touched, and filled us with overwhelming joy and love.

Laugh and Love Like Crazy Kids

Sschool's outchool’s out. Today instead of one child driving me crazy, I have four attacking me. These awesome rascals  fill me with nonsensical laughter; the kind of laughter that keeps me healing.

In a couple of days I am going on a trip that will exercise my laugh, love and tolerance muscles big time!  No technology allowed! So I won’t be posting a blog again until July 10 or 11. I am off to serve on a youth ministry team at a camp filled with 50 some children and teens. Ahhhhhh! Just kidding.  I am excited to see how God reveals himself in those kids, and even in  me!

I hope you find time to laugh and love like crazy this summer.

When Spirit Spoke

I am writing a series of ebook about how my stroke made me nothing, forced me to be something, and showed me how to change my fortune. I would like to share the trailer from my first ebook, ‘God Talking Out Loud’. I would love to get your feedback.

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God  Talking Out Loud

I was sitting in a wheelchair in the doorway of my hospital room. It could have been sunny, cloudy, or maybe even raining. I don’t remember. All I could think about was the horrible thing God had done to me!

It was the end of May, one month since my stroke. I was physically shattered and mentally crushed. Many people still couldn’t understand me, as my throat muscles for speaking were severely damaged.  I could barely stand-up, much less walk. My right hand was paralyzed. I was completely unable to take care of myself.

‘Why did this happen to me,’ I thought. I was feeling like God tossed me away, and wiped me out, like a worthless penny.

“Who am I?” I spoke out loud, asking the question over and over again.  I knew I was not the healthy, can-do anything, bullet-proof woman, I had pretended to be.

Like the voice that spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, I heard “you are love!” The voice was neither man nor woman. It could only be heard by me; yet it was as real as the air I was breathing.

Perhaps it was the voice of God, or something in or around me that was in touch with God. I know only that it was pushing love to bust loose in me in some way!

Recognizing that I was in a wheelchair, my frail right leg held up on a foot rest, and my paralyzed right hand lying dead on the wheelchair’s tray, my happiness center right brain took charge. With my left hand, I started turning the left wheel of my chair. At the same time, I lifted my left foot up, and began the best one-foot wheelchair-walk ever!

It was as though I bolted out the room, like a Road Runner. I wheeled myself into the hallway, turned right and went directly into the TV lounge, which was right next to my room.

I parked my wheelchair beside a young lady, barely in her thirties, sitting in a wheelchair, watching TV. Her left foot was in a brace and held up by a foot rest. Though her left arm, rested on a tray, and could move a little, it looked as lifeless as she did.

She wore a hopeless look on her face, as though she too had lost faith in God. Normally I would be scared to approach someone so distraught; but this time I was flying high on love.

Maybe she saw the compassion on my face. I don’t know. All I know is that she responded to me with a warm welcoming smile. We talked like friends, though I cannot remember about what. Nothing really mattered, except for the fact that we understood each other’s pain.

That day I went to one patient after another.  Mostly, I listened with compassion to their story, and shared mine. I reminded them that they were not alone, like the voice reminded me.

Though this was great during the day, when night came, I still needed to know what God really wanted from me. What did He want from love?

A few days later, I was waking up from my sleep, when the burning bush-like voice spoke again.

“Share your story with the world!”

I felt as though I had been given a great blessing. I cried deeply, scrunching up my face, releasing no sound, like people do when they don’t want to share their moment. That day I knew my stroke was my contribution to the world, a story of Love!

My brain was injured, my right hand was paralyzed, my thoughts were confused, and my words were jumbled. I was in the perfect place for listening to Spirit, as it began to reveal the way to manifesting and sharing the love and prosperity that had always been with me, with us all.

Did You Know That?

This piece was inspired by my niece, who is going through a difficult time.

Did you know that?

What can I tell you,
that you don’t already know?

I can tell you,
you’re not alone,
but you know that.

I can tell you,
I love you;
but you know that.

I can tell you,
this too will pass;
but you know that.

Can I tell you anything,
that you don’t already know,
some thing that dulls your pain?

I can tell you,
your pain is life’s movement,
to the place you need,
to be the awesome you,
you’re meant to be!

Did you know that?