Tag Archives: love

Eat, Pray, Love

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Some time, within the last year or the one before I wanted to write an article inspired by the movie Eat, Pray, Love. I actually started writing but it lacked flow so I abandoned it. Forgive my powers of recall because I cannot say for a fact what happened to that article because I looked for the title in my archives and could not find it. If I could hazard a guess I would say I modified it and posted it in a different form. Turns out sometimes when you throw some things out (read words) they come back to you. I don’t need to tell you that you should be careful what you throw out.  A friend of mine asked if I felt like I had a slow year and I responded it was a restful year. She thought I was being positive but later when I pondered over it, I realized 2013 for me was Eat, Pray, Love. Fortunately, it was different from the Elizabeth Gilbert version.

Pray tell, what do you do when you think you have met the one and he is missing something that you hold sacred? Answer: you pray. I met a man at the tail end of last year and I thought it was gift from God. I know I know who says such things out loud? Me! As I beheld my gift I wondered why God would give me a gift that I couldn’t grab hold of just yet? Well, simply because He is God and He can. I prayed that God would make it clear if He was giving me this gift and a verse came to mind every good and perfect gift comes from above. What was required of me was to trust God. I trusted that God would remove all doubts that the gift was mine and He confirmed it in his own time. Have you been given a gift and you’re not quite sure if it is yours or you’re not sure what to do with it? Pray! God hears you when you do and if it is within His will to give you something don’t fret He will make it happen. I also prayed for some things and I didn’t quite get them. In between feeling frustrated and sorry for myself, I prayed that God would help me to trust Him. One of those things was a big dream I had. I didn’t get my big dream but my eyes opened to the little dreams I had which came true. Some, I thought were too much to wish for but they came true nonetheless. I also had the privilege of praying for friends and seeing their dreams come true; which is a wonderful blessing. As I go into the New Year I am reminded I should dream and whatever dreams I have I should cast them upon God who loves me and knows which dreams are worth bringing forth and at the right time.

I dreamed a little dream that I would have a cooking club and experiment on exotic dishes I could not even dreamed of. It’s no secret I love to eat but only to the extent that I would like to live to eat another day. I shared my dream with a few friends and together we took some culinary journeys to exotic places. To clarify, exotic in this case means outside of your usual fare. What a fantastic thing it is to share your dream with like minded people. We still haven’t called it cooking club but amongst us we have created food memories to last us a while. From the first All Natural Red Velvet Cake which was alongside the Chocolate Fudge Cake that was unrivalled by anything we had ever had before, to the chicken pasta salad with the amazing Italian dressing, the spinach dip which we couldn’t get enough of, the pineapple carrot cake with the frosting that was too runny and yet so rich and delightful and the sweet and sour chicken that smelled glorious. The beauty of it all was though we used recipes created by others we made our own modifications to suit our different situations.  I learnt that creativity breeds creativity. When you take a step to create something new you might be scared especially if you’re not sure of the outcome but go ahead and create anyway because that’s the only way your creativity will grow. Another highlight for me was also sharing the food we cooked with the people I love. Moreover, I got to experience fine dining and cooking with someone I love which was a dream come true. Of course eating has its hazards when it is over done but my advice is as much as possible if you have to eat (not to live) to really live share it with people you love. Calories shared are calories halved.

What can I say of love? It’s a beautiful thing. It is not hard to see God’s penmanship in some love stories. Is God writing your love story or are you writing it yourself? The difference is God can see the end from the beginning while humans can only see so far. Even so when God is writing you have a role to play. What is your role you ask? Your role is to make choices. You choose to communicate in love when things are great and especially when they are not great, to give without expecting in return, to forgive when you have been hurt, to apologize when you’re on the wrong and even when you’re not sure if you were entirely on the wrong just to bring peace, to make sacrifices to preserve the values you hold dear, to accept the other person as they are and to bring a smile to the other person’s face by doing thoughtful things. You also choose to allow God into your relationship, to ask Him to refill your love supply when it is diminishing and to help you to take the high road, to be the bigger person and all those other things that are not pleasant for your ego but have good returns in the long run. In my year of love I have learnt that love is its own reward. I have also learnt love is more than a feeling, it is a commitment.

Finally, after we eat, pray and love let us not forget to laugh because life would be dull otherwise. I know it sounds simplistic but “a life lived without joy (mirth) is a life less well lived”. Feel free to quote me. Happy 2014 to you!

Friends with food

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I think I am a little vain. I imagine some of my friends’ eye brows furrowing thinking, a little? I wouldn’t blame them. At the moment I am on a default exercise programme. Now before you get excited when I say exercise I mean the kind that will not break a sweat. Don’t get me wrong I love sweating as much as the next guy but if it involves pain I will take the easy way out. My exercise regimen consists of a 30 minute walk 5 days a week. I call it exercise because when I talk about it to people who spend a lot of time in vehicles and chairs, they are impressed, and maybe a little envious or not. If you’re on the other side of the divide and you break real sweat through adrenaline inducing work outs, a one hour walk might make your eyes roll but hey I don’t care. I will keep walking for vain reasons like I’m losing inches. If walking does what jogging could do and with less pain, I will take it. Anyway the vain part of the story stems from what I think about losing inches. What can I say I love it! Every time I talk about it I have this celebratory tone like woohoo! I’m getting smaller! On the surface I am thrilled about being smaller but deep down the thing that makes me do mental cart wheels is I can look at all food sinful, eat it even and enjoy it thoroughly, knowing full well it will not remain with me for too long. For someone who loves food this is like having your cake and eating it too. Allow me to digress a little but I reckon the expression would have made more sense had it been having your cake and ice cream. I keep asking, who is this who thinks cake is for having and not eating. In case you’re wondering; I am whetting your appetites so that I can talk about food.
My favourite scene in Eat, Pray, Love was when Elizabeth was in Italy having Pizza. She was tearing into a pizza and her new found Swedish friend couldn’t shake the guilt off having the indulgence of a large pizza because her pants were getting tighter. Then Elizabeth said we are going to enjoy the pizza and thereafter go shopping for bigger pants. I loved it! I mean really how liberating is it to realise that we shouldn’t be defined by external things. I once had some philosophical moments and I thought we should treat food like we would our friends. It made lots of sense back then, I don’t know if it does now especially since you can’t eat your friends. This is the part where I ask for your indulgence. In my epiphany I thought love your food but don’t depend on it entirely. Food is a necessity, it tastes good (depending) but it is not everything. Do not rely on food to sort out your emotional issues. Of course food especially sweets are amazingly comforting when you are in an emotional funk but the truth is if your friend figured out that you constantly go to them when you have emotional issues they would grow sick of you. Since they are your friend they might react by being passive aggressive and avoiding you. Food may take the passive aggressive route too but it won’t be so forgiving. It will hide in your body as fat and kill you slowly.
It has been said variety is the spice of life. Every once in a while you need to make new friends if only to broaden your experience of humanity. When your experience of humanity is broadened your adaptability increases. Adaptability is essential for survival. Same thing with food you need to try new foods every so often. Your palate needs to experience different tastes so as to make you more adaptable to the environment. You might end up in Cambodia where their food philosophy is apparently ‘bitter is better than sweet’. If someone gives you the opportunity to experience some novel food, you grab that opportunity. You never know where life will take you so even your stomach should be prepared for anything.
Then there are the toxic friends who do you no good. Yeah sure, they are loads of fun but they leave you high and dry. At this point I would like to clarify food includes drinks. You keep saying I don’t want to hang out with X anymore because every time I do trouble bites me in the behind. Foods or drinks with high sugar content fall into this category. When the sugar wears off, you crash and burn. At work there was a kid’s birthday party and there were marshmallows. My colleague and I helped ourselves to the marshmallows and I figured since I don’t enjoy the spongy super sugary taste of marshmallows as is, we should toast them. Personally I think in the case of marshmallows once you go dark you should never have to go back. So we went looking for some fire and well we decided to use the birthday candles to toast the marshmallows. Don’t ask! Anyway so we put our marshmallows on forks and we toasted them and you know the result, some ooey-gooey bundle of goodness. We were so pleased with our genius that we high-fived each other when we were bragging to our colleagues about our treat. Besides the marshmallows we had earlier had some cake with jam spread on it so you can imagine sugar on sugar. At first I was totally high! I mean you should have seen me super charged past 3p.m. Normally, the average person wishes the clock was a horse so you could kick it so it goes faster but then time decides to be a donkey at that time. Later on I was heading to town for a meeting and I ran into traffic and by the time I got out of the matatu I was so mad. I had to calm myself down throughout the entire 15 minute walk to the venue. In spite of my best efforts to calm down I was still the crankiest person at that meeting. Newton wasn’t kidding, what comes up must come down. I won’t even get started on alcohol because everybody knows first high then dry and literally because you need to hydrate afterwards. Toxic friends will drain you so the best thing is to avoid them same goes for food. Toxic food and drink should be avoided. Unfortunately some of us are weaker than others and we can’t entirely avoid these things, one word: moderation.
I always say moderation is key (if you haven’t heard me say it, I’ve said it to myself). There is a programme airing on a local TV station called Slim Possible that follows some women’s weight loss journeys. I know some people are having a blast being mean and criticizing them and I will admit my constant thought is “why let the weight get so out of control only to suffer later?” Honestly I feel sad that someone should have to repent for having a piece of cake during the week. Once, a friend blogged about his culinary creation and posted it on face book and the description was mouth watering to say the least. The funny thing is it sparked a debate on calories and death by heart attack and I contributed to the piece saying food is not the problem, we are. We lack control, we ignore all the signals our bodies send to us telling us to stop and then we blame it on innocent bacon. I mean bacon doesn’t call to you saying come and eat me and even if your mind is playing tricks on you and bacon is beckoning, shake your head, say no and live to enjoy bacon another day. Food is to be enjoyed but if you take advantage of food there are repercussions. Go on enjoy some food with friends today!

Inspirational Love

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This past week there has been a lot of talk about love because of Valentine’s Day. This is how you know how hallowed the day is when I tried to type it in with a small “d” the computer gave me the green grammatical error line, oops sorry Microsoft word. Historically Valentine’s Day has been termed a day of lovers but it is a day of business people too. Next to Christmas nothing puts a smile on business people’s faces quite like Valentine’s. Heck you don’t even need to be a business person; you just need to be enterprising. Since last Tuesday the number of flower and gift vendors has reduced like the liquid in 24 hour lamb. The good thing is the vendors who are left are in it for real love. These are the guys who make life tasty like the liquid left after 24 hour lamb; it is a delightful sauce that makes waiting 24 hours for a meal worth it (I’m not sure many people would agree with this but well…). The point I was trying to make (using all my thousands of words that I need to use in a day) is love should be an everyday thing. It should be expressed as often as there are breaths. A random gift or bouquet of roses or a single stem, a sweet card and a kind word does not require occasion.

The subject of love is fodder for books, music, cinema, TV, conversation in bars, coffee shops, salons and living rooms. I don’t know about you but mi thinks most of these conversations are based on trying to understand what this thing called love is. I cannot say I understand it either but I have a little insight on the kind of love I would like: the inspirational kind. Oh so many years ago there was a movie called The Best Man. The sound track of the movie was called “Best man”. It was sung by Ginuwine, Tyrese, R.L and Case. I must admit I couldn’t remember who sang the song until I googled it but when the song was fresh I would have been weak in the knees if I ever ran into any of these guys (thank God for time and distance). In the song the persona talks of this girl who changes his life for the better. That he was a boy when he met her and he has grown to become a men because of her influence and she has helped him be the best man he can be. I thought the song was golden I mean it’s really sweet that she influenced him for the better. I realized that love should be at the least inspiring many years ago and now I am more convinced of it.

A few weeks ago there was a discussion amongst my youth fellowship on sex and love was invited into the conversation. One guy said the most awe inspiring thing that love means adding value. It means you take a person who was ok when you met them and you love them into a higher level. Sounds good doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to be in love right about now? Have you thought about the people you have ever related with are they so much the better because they encountered you? Let’s start small let’s go to your family. Can your family members say that your good qualities have rubbed off on them? Or did they pick up most of their bad habits from you? Are you adding value to their lives or are you taking them down a notch or ten? So many questions right. Let me let all of us off the hook and stop asking.

Relationships are a two way street. Whatever goes down between two people who are in any kind of relationship is the responsibility of each of the party involved. I would like to hope that you are inspiring the people you relate with but they also have to decide to be inspired. A few months ago I was hanging around this guy who was really interesting and I liked him. I realised that we had something in common a passion for food. Around that time I kept telling myself I was waiting for some perfect opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. When we had a conversation about food and he mentioned he likes to experiment in the kitchen and he actually does, I thought to myself why not me? I haven’t seen the guy in ages but the desire to experiment in the kitchen has stayed with me. I have since cooked for a few friends and family and it was amazing! I want to do this for the rest of my life. People may walk in and out of your life but what you keep with you from these encounters is entirely up to you. Sometimes we get hurt but even when we have been hurt there was some good in that relationship. What was it? Can you figure it out and take it and run with it. The truth is if you choose to hold on to the hurt and the pain then you lost and when you lose so many times you are in danger of feeling like a loser. On the other hand if you can take something that will benefit you in a future relationship then you are so much the better. What can you take you ask? Where do I begin? How about you take those characteristics you found admirable in the person and practice them. Like your ex was a good time keeper you can learn to keep time. I know it sounds silly but maybe your new ability to keep timing will elevate your status and you never know who is watching. Maybe your dad was a lousy husband to your mother but he taught you to be philanthropic, take it and run with it. Your ex was a go getter, borrow a leaf or better yet get that leaf! This person has a great relationship with God, start asking God what you can do to have an awesome relationship like that with Him if not better.  At the end of the day, if you are in any relationship and you choose to inspire the other person and be inspired by the other person then no matter what happens everybody is a winner. Last I checked winning is cool!

Be in love always…

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I have a confession to make- I have sat in a shrink’s chair and been shrunk. At this point I would like to apologize to the inventors of the English language for the blatant abuse of language. I cannot promise I will not do it again. Anyway what I’m saying is I went to a therapist and received therapy. Now all ye who thought I was crazy; your suspicions have been confirmed. I don’t mind though, the best quote I have read in two months said, “What other people think of you is none of your business”. At some point during therapy we delved into relationships. I was (can you believe it) telling the therapist I need a boyfriend, lol! Then she asked why? To which I replied “I think it will add some excitement to my life”. Do believe I am smiling as I write this because I was so young and foolish back then, (this hasn’t changed I am stillJ). Then she went on to teach me a valuable lesson. She taught me that the right attitude is not, “I need some excitement, let me find someone who will bring it my way” or “I need love let me find someone to love me”. She said if your life is not exciting enough when you’re single, it will not become more exciting when you are coupled. If you lack enough love when you are by yourself, no one will give you the love you need. The right attitude therefore is my life is exciting let me share the excitement with someone and I have love, let me share it with someone who has love too.

The idea is wholeness begets wholeness. In any relationship the ideal situation is a whole person joining another whole person. When two whole people get together, they raise each other up in the same way iron sharpens iron.  When a whole person gets together with someone who is half-empty (for lack of a better expression), the whole person will be drained and the other person will be worse off than when they began and it will be disaster all around. Do you remember the movie “Jerry Maguire”? If your memory hasn’t been affected by the pressures of 21st century living you might remember it. If not, take heart you are not entirely to blame. The most famous scene was where (in no particular order) Tom Cruise’s character passionately and emphatically tells Renee Zellweger’s character; “You complete me”. Renee Zellweger’s character says, “You had me at hello”.  The line I have a problem with is “you complete me”. There is no human being who can complete another. Expecting someone to complete you is totally unfair because it is asking the impossible. If ever there was someone who can complete anyone it is God the creator because He knows all about your empty bits best and if you let him he will fill them up.

The other question is how you become someone who has love to share rather than someone in need of love. A simple answer is practice. I recently read the longest article and it talked about women no longer desiring marriage as before. There was a lot to sift through but I found something very useful from it. The writer said we spend so much time worrying about being single we forget that being single does not shut us out from all avenues of expressing love. This got me thinking that indeed we do esteem the romantic relationship too highly that we forget there are other relationships to be had. It is not uncommon to see someone get into a relationship and then months down the line you start to wonder what their face looked like because you really haven’t seen them in months. On the flip side those who are single feel like having a significant other will totally elevate their social life.

What I’m trying to say is if you’re single there is no better time to practice love like the present. Look around you, there are sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews and nieces, and not forgetting friends who could all use you special brand of loving. If it had not occurred to you, I’m telling you now; no one can love another person the way you can. Loving, no doubt require some sacrifice especially in terms of time and resources but whoever said the best things are free, lied. The better than best things or exceptional if you will require sacrifice. The time and energy spent loving other people will translate into a becoming more loveable with a more attractive personality to boot. This is because love begets love. When you love people, people will love you in return and when others see that you’re loveable they will be intrigued if nothing elseJ.

I will finish with a quote from Oscar Wilde. He said, “One should be in love always that is why one should never marry”. The first time I read this quote I only found the first half and I thought “interesting”. Later on I found the whole quote and I thought I disagree with the second part of it. Be that as it may, I think Oscar was on to something. My understanding of this quote is there are no excuses for walking around feeling woiye (read, woe is me) because you are not in a romantic relationship. Instead we should be filled with love for God, ourselves and the people who have been fortunate enough to cross our paths. As the prayer of St Francis of Assissi goes, seek not so much to be understood but to understand and seek not so much to be loved but to love (special emphasis on the love part).

The Art of Pain

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Earlier on this year I kept hearing this song by Adele which I later discovered was named “Rolling in the Deep”. It starts with the lyrics “there’s a fire starting in my heart….” It continues into the chorus which says “We could have had it all, now you gonna wish you never had met me, rolling in the deep, tears are gonna fall rolling in the deep, you held my heart inside your hand, now you gonna wish you never had met me and you played, you played it to the beat yes you played it” (the italicised words are the echo). When I heard this song I was really curious because it has this brutal honesty which is so refreshing. After hearing the song for weeks without knowing its origin I was introduced to Adele.. I was introduced to Adele when Mnet Series sampled her album. She sang this song among many others in her Album 21. The interesting thing about the album 21 is that it is really sad and angry. Most of the songs talk about getting your heart broken and getting past it or just being plain depressed about it. Other songs are nostalgic of a love that is done and dusted while others cling to hope like it is a life line. What can I say, I loved it! The album reinforced what I knew all along; I love sad songs, angry songs, recovering from a bad situation songs because those songs are works of art. Don’t get me wrong I am not cynical. I believe in love and the beauty that comes with it; I really, really do. On the other hand, I believe that life brings with it painful situations and there is no need to gloss over pain. Glossing over pain does not make it go away; the same way bandaging an open wound does not make the wound disappear.
The lesson for today is the art of pain. I will describe situations and give illustrations of songs that best bring out these situations. We sometimes find ourselves in situations where we have been in a relationship and towards the end we realize that the person we were with is not who we thought they were. We feel deceived and it makes us want to set fire to the rain.
Bridge: But there’s a side to you, that I never knew, never knew
All the things you’d say they were never true, never true
All of the games you played, you would always win, always win
Chorus: I set fire to the rain, I watched it pour as I touched your face
Let it burn while I cried
Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name….
(Adele-Set fire to the rain, off the album 21)
This is a terrible situation to be in. Deception is never easy to deal with. The best thing is to learn your lessons and ran with them. The old adage goes, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.
Then there is that time when you have been seeing someone, you have gone on a couple of dates but there is nothing concrete and you are not quite sure where you stand (pun intended). You feel like you are chasing something you can’t catch like you are chasing pavements. The chorus goes:
Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements,
Even if they lead nowhere,
Would it be a waste even if I knew my place, should I keep it there…
Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements,
Even if they lead nowhere
(Adele-Chasing pavements, off the album 21)
In such a situation my advice is don’t get ahead of yourself. If you know your place is friendship keep it there. Accountants will tell you “when in doubt, assume the worst”. A non-cynical way of looking at it is lower your expectations.
Have you been in a situation where the person you fancy is emotionally unavailable? The person could be emotionally unavailable because they are reeling from a past hurt. On the other hand you have been in this situation before where you spent your emotions on someone who was hurting and your heart was broken in the process. This time around you are gun shy and so you think:
Chorus: I won’t let you close enough to hurt me,
I won’t rescue you to just desert me,
I can’t give you the heart you think you’ve given me
So I’m saying goodbye to turning tables….
(Adele-Turning Tables, off the album 21)
What do you do when you’re in a situation where your heart has been battered, your self esteem bruised and your spirit broken? You take your heart and you get out!
Chorus: So I’m taking my heart and getting me out
And love’s something that I wouldn’t want to live without
So I’m taking my heart and I’m getting me out of
My own, my own, my own
I am taking my heart and I’m setting me free
And baby you are just another song to me
And the edge of your sword isn’t sharp enough for me to bleed
(Anna Nalick-Bleed, off the album Wreck of the day)
In the song she says she realised love wasn’t a good enough reason for her to stay. Sometimes people put up with a lot of things in the name of love. They endure physical and psychological abuse among other things but sometimes love isn’t reason enough and the only person who can set you free is yourself.
You might be wondering why the interest in sad, angry songs. In psychology class we learnt that when someone experiences trauma, the first course of therapy is called debriefing. Debriefing involves telling the story of the traumatic experience. Debriefing is one of the ways of processing the pain because as you tell the story of your trauma you re-experience the pain. With every subsequent re-experiencing the pain dissipates. Other ways of processing the pain include: journaling, singing, painting, letter writing etc. Given that not everyone is blessed with the ability to put their pain into words sad, angry songs come in handy. When you hear the words and you identify with them you get to re-experience the pain. With every subsequent re-experiencing the pain lessens and the bitterness dissipates and you heal with time.
Sometimes the pain of losing in love is insurmountable and you feel like you are driving away from the wreck of the day, but there’s someone you can turn to:
Driving away from the wreck of the day,
I am thinking of calling on Jesus,
Love doesn’t hurt so I cannot be falling in love
I am falling to pieces…
(Anna Nalick-Wreck of the day, off the album Wreck of the day)
At the end of the day when you have experienced more pain than you can handle, the one person you can really turn to is Jesus Christ. He is the God of all comfort, he is the friend who sticks closer than a brother and when your esteem has taken a beating he is the lifter up of your head.

Love like Sport.

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Love like Sport..

I wrote this a while back. I hope you will be inspired.

In every sport especially team sports or even individual sports there is always the challenge at the end of the season. There are a series of matches that lead up to a win for a particular team or individual. Every match that leads up to this is characterized by fierce competition amongst the players and the fans are not left behind either. Everyone is rooting for their team and they brag about what an upset their team will cause on the rivals. For the players they have to put in a lot of effort and the coaches work behind the scenes strategizing on how they can win this season. Even though they won last season’s game they still want to win this season. They have to prove that they are really good, that, they were worthy winners. Far be it from anyone to so much as suggest that their win was by some stroke of luck. Yes, some people may argue that luck may occur in a sporting situation, but others will argue luck is a combination of preparation and opportunity. I would like to think the team prepared itself through practice and keeping in form and an opportunity arose during the game and they took it. People may argue a team was lucky last season but the team wants to prove they weren’t lucky but rather they put in their hard work and it paid off and not forgetting that they simply are, the best. What is it about winning in love that makes people so comfortable with their win?

Let’s rewind time to the most coveted job you ever sought after. Remember? The one that you felt was made for you and you couldn’t imagine not getting it. At first you didn’t even believe in yourself enough to think that you could get it. There were all these doubts in your mind, “I’m not good enough”, “There’s someone else who is better qualified than me”, ”What if I don’t impress the panel” among other things. But that did not stop you. You did your research, you prepared for the interview, you prayed and then you got the job. It was the best news ever. But then they put you on probation and there was this implied demand to prove you were worth it. So, yes you won big time but that was just the beginning. The great task is the one that lay ahead. You had to prove yourself. You had to convince the people who hired you that they made the right decision. So you put in your very best effort to work. Punctuality is your middle name, you go the extra mile, you work late and you deliver on time and you are highly self-motivated. And the bosses they take notice. They realize you are a worker worth your salt and they are glad they took the risk and hired you.

Now think about it in the early stages of seeking out a love interest; is it not similar to fighting to excel in a sport and landing a great job? It all starts with interest and liking. You choose to play this sport because you think it’s pretty cool. You want the job because you know you will like it and you will be good at it. You had been observing this guy/girl and liked what you saw, so you make a move. In all scenarios there are no guarantees. When the coach puts the team together, there are no guarantees that everyone will click and form a formidable force to be reckoned with. In the job hunt, you can’t be sure your application will be looked upon with more favour than the next guy despite your great credentials. And with the girl/guy you like there are no guarantees they will like you even after you’ve spent time hanging around them presenting your best self to them. But still you keep at it. You don’t give up easily because an exceptional person such as yourself recognizes a good thing when they see it. Here is the interesting bit, all these take effort, they are costly and might even be painful (occupational hazards) and it is a risk. But still it stops you not. Even when you have been slightly wounded like the interview you went for and you said something you are sure wasn’t clever and you’re sure you blew it. When they call you for the next interview in spite of that you come back fighting. And when you do things that cause the apple of your eye to recoil and you’re sure they will never speak to you again you humble yourself and go back and apologize. You put yourself at their mercy. And in sports it’s the same thing, you lose one of your matches but you believe in yourselves once more and go back for the next game. And all the while there are no guarantees; they hiring manager may not think you are good enough, the object of your affection may decide you are not worth their time and the team you lost to may humiliate you again. But this does not stop you from doing what you have to, get what you want. Now the difference is with good sports men and workers, once they get what they want, they fight harder still to retain it. But for most warriors in love once they get the prize they hang up their spears and get comfortable. What is wrong with this picture?

You saw a good person and you went for them and you got them. Other people did, go for them too but they chose you. You were prepared and you seized the opportunity when it arose. Now why has it not crossed your mind to prove to others and especially to he/she who chose you that they made the right decision? That you weren’t just lucky you earned your place in their life and you deserve to be there. Why don’t you want to prove that you are worth your salt or your weight in gold? What, ever makes the warriors in love think that in winning their mate they have won it all? Whether in sport or a job or love the first win is great but the subsequent wins are what we should aspire to. Because every time I win my love over by my deeds I am increasing my worth in their eyes. I am making for myself a more lasting place in their hearts. Just like in sport with every win the team gains more loyalty from its fans. I would especially like to put this across to married couples or people in relationships; every day is an opportunity to make your partner fall in love with you even more. And in sports people win shiny cups and medals and at work it’s a higher salary, promotions and more perks but in marriage and relationships it is the love and respect of your partner which is priceless. Is it or is it not worth fighting for? What more can I say, if you’re a lover be a champion for your love.

Shrek and Fiona-The real fairy tale

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A couple of weeks ago I was having a sitting with my bible study members and I decided to try out a game I called Social Qs: Questions for great conversation starters. The game was inspired by a New York Times article about how to keep a conversation going at a dinner where not all the guests are well acquainted with each other. One of the questions I asked was “if you could pick a character in a cartoon or animation, who would you like to be?” The answers were diverse, there was the Little Mermaid, Optimus Prime, the chick in Avatar, even Johnny Bravo and when it was my turn I said Fiona in Shrek. People were allowed to ask “why” and other questions. I liked Fiona because I considered her pretty cool especially the Charlie’s Angel’s fight scene. Then I was asked if I would prefer to be Fiona as a princess or as an ogre. Ha! Now that was a hard question but being a bit superficial I decided to go with Fiona as a princess. Then someone pointed out Fiona as a princess was lonely and I thought yes she did find true love as an ogre. So I was in a conundrum, but the conversation terminated at that point. Later on I went home and thought I should have been ok with being Fiona as an ogre because she was truly lovely and cool and she did get her fairy tale ending.

Fast forward to a few days ago and I realized that the story of Shrek and Fiona is as real a fairy tale as there ever was. Women want Prince Charming, that guy who will rescue you from your mundane life, wake you with a kiss, fit some designer slippers on your feet, give you a wedding with a horse and carriage and live with you happily ever after in his palace where you will lack not a thing. And men for years have pretended they don’t buy into that fairy tale vibe but come on! Have you seen Cinderella, Rampunzel, Pocahontas, and Snow White? Those women were gorgeous! Guys agree with me when I say you want the fairy tale princess; a great home maker like Cinderella, hair like Rampunzel, pure heart like Snow White and serenity like Beauty and of course smashing body like Pocahontas who I might add was a bit of a rebel (wink).

But then there is reality. There are no Prince Charmings and gorgeous well behaved Princesses waiting to be woken up by a kiss. But allow me to say this we are all like ogres in some way because no one is perfect. But like in Shrek’s story, we are not beyond redemption. We all still have a shot at love. But there is a catch; you need to be unafraid to admit you are a bit of an ogre. See you can only pretend to be Prince Charming or Cinderella for so long and then you get tired of the facade and there the cookie crumbleth. But if you realise you are an ogre and you admit it to yourself, you just might find another ogre who will love you for who you are. Like Fiona she realised she couldn’t keep hiding who she really was but that did not close the door to love, it opened it.

Fiona did have a choice though she could have settled for the other prince who was a little more easy on the eye but you all remember him he was evil. Who knows what that would have done to Fiona’s heart? That evil could have rubbed off on her. What I can say is the best love you can find is the one that loves you in spite of being a bit of an ogre. The kind of love that goes the extra mile and inspires you to be better everyday and therein you will become truly lovely.