(RIP) Here lies …. a bundle of reactions.

As the last child it’s often impossible to escape the shadows cast by your siblings. Your name becomes obscure as many refer to you as XYZ’s little sister. The chances of people remembering your name are not very high, this is not necessarily because they don’t know it or forget it, rather they have fallen into the habit of seeing your elder ones before they see you, thus their names (your elder ones) come to mind first. I found the spoken and sometimes unspoken expectation to have me mirror the ideals, behaviours and traits of my siblings the most frustrating aspect of this shadowing effect.

I really wanted to escape the canopy effect my siblings had on my life and the opportunity to do so came in the form of university choices. I chose a school many miles from home and although my elder brother had attended the same school he had graduated long enough to dispel all shadowing effects on my life. Physically distancing myself from this phenomenon refereed to as shadowing, to a certain extent did me a world of good. It helped me find myself, to test the strength and bases of my belief, but it also highlighted how intrinsic the values and personality traits I had tried to escape were a part of me.

Perhaps one of the many lessons of growing older is the gradual realization that we are a large picture comprising of different puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces shaped by our varied life experiences, human and cosmic encounters. The best part of the puzzle lies in the fact that different pieces can be moved around to fit the edges of our life or form the core of who we are. Secondly we can afford through due diligence to eliminate and replace certain pieces as we please, however unlike a cardboard puzzle there will always be an imprint of that  piece in our memory. 

puzzle 2.png

Memory, emotions, the mind … I suppose that’s what makes us different from the people who have shaped our lives. This ideology is supported by Karl Rogers and Erickson’s ideologies on human growth and development. Yes we are a sum of everything that happens to and around us, this might be considered by some as our true self’s. However, perhaps our true self’s doesn’t stop at this level but goes further to how we interpret those events and what we do with that interpretation.

If the saying that “we have only 10 percent control over  what happens to us and 90 percent control over how we react” is true, would  it be  safe to assume that people who live in self denial haven’t embraced their true selves? How about those who live life trying to anticipate the moves of others, basing every action or thought on the anticipated moves of another? Are they cautious, manipulative or untrue to self? 

When we anticipate people’s moves and act accordingly aren’t we short changing ourselves from learning who they really are? More importantly aren’t we short changing ourselves, as only life experiences can truly expose the foundations our true ourselves. I am by no means advocating a careless lifestyle or a rude personality. I just find myself wondering if such a cautious life isn’t a limiting and unrealistic one. I question the validity and dependability of principles lived by being a bundle of reaction to for everyone around you.

Isn’t that what we become when everything we do is foreshadowed by our anticipated or pre- planned outcomes. We consistently respond not in the way we really want to but in the way that ensures we have absolute control of the 10 percent which really belongs to others. Sadly I think in doing that we give over control of the 90 percent without knowing.  We hedge ourselves into a corner which never spreads out into a large square, rather like a column we wrap ourselves round in people’s reaction until we become invisible. Often times when that environment becomes stifling we burst open like a house hit by a tornado.

Don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be everything to all men, as each man desires sometime different from everyone each time. I rather be something to some people and accept that I might never be anything to some others. Would it be better to die a bundle of reactions or a bundle of actions?

Outside inwards

I am not afraid to say with a loud voice affliction will not arise a second time.

I am not afraid to condemn every tongue that rises against me.

I am not afraid to decree that if God be for me who shall be against me.

But I am afraid to decree victory is mine as I must fight a battle in order to gain victory. Battles within my own flesh, battles that require discipline. Battles that demand that I concentrate on improving what I have and not envying my neighbors lot.

I am afraid to scream victory is mine for it might come at an expensive price, I price I might be unwilling to pay.

Thus, I will focus on my neighbors, the society, on religion.

I will keep them at bay, I will fight them while the monster within runs amok perhaps no one will notice.


Note: true religion is a lifestyle. A consistent, balanced, not erratic and certainly not a destructive lifestyle.

The nurturant

Like a seamstress fastens patterns

with pins, the nurturant fastens our home

together even when it pricks.

Pins on marri wood cheese platter


A continuation from yesterday:

Three, the belief that religion is a psychological or business tool. Religion as a tool should guide the soul through life’s exploration reining in its reckless ways, strengthening its very core; its humanity. Religion as a tool should not exploit the soul or rape it of its humanity.

I pray a nurturant would guide my soul,

I pray I guide another soul as a nurturant would.

Four, the belief that nature hates the black man and fails to deliver what we ask for. We can’t expect the cosmos to give us what we have not earned. We cannot blame nature for our failure to recognize our solutions due to our impatient and inability to defer gratification. 

I pray a nurturant would guide our country to el dorado,

I pray we gain the insight to embrace a nurturant,

to refining change that starts within.

Our home is not useless, it is misguided by mercenary minds at the hem of affairs. 

Our home is not useless, it needs a nurturant.


Written for TJ Paris haiku challenge – pins.

and the A to Z challenge word for today is nurturant.

 

Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.

Growing up I had no memory of churches having so many fragments; but with time so many divisions started to arise. Protestants, Anglicans, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical ministries, Healing missions you name them, they exist. Even within these sections lie a further division of some sort that has to do with preaching style, dressing styles, and rules that influence people’s general lifestyles. Is that really what the gospel hoped to achieve? I don’t think so.

The level of division with the church became more obvious (to me at least) in Uni, they were so many fellowships and churches to choose from, but I became a bit put off with the way they introduced themselves. It seemed too much like a marketing strategy/campaign.

“Join us because we have a great choir, the best on campus,”

“Join us because we are the cool Christian group in school,”

“Become one of us because we pray and live a conservative lifestyle,”

The worst part was if you didn’t accept the invite some people took it really personal going as far to question your faith, I found that very wrong. Surely the message of Christ is love, unity and oneness, a message that surpasses any particular church, group or denomination. Professing my faith and living for Him daily in words and actions, in open and in secret should outweigh speaking the lingo of a particular denomination, or dressing according to a particular code.

Moving to the UK I found the church plagued by a different set of problems depending on the congregation. In a predominantly white congregation you find the word of God is limited to an extent with regard to how much influence it should have on us, it is only allowed to affect certain lifestyle choices and not others. You also find the socializing accept of the meeting is slightly overemphasised, thus anyone whose culture of socializing doesn’t align might be frowned upon or misunderstood.

On the other-hand in a predominantly black congregation, you find the words of the pastor/visioner/leader to be overemphasised. His/hers interpretation of the Bible is seen as final, people are often made to see things only through the leaders eyes. People are credited importance based on how much of the Christian lingo they speak and whether they speak in the same manner as the leader. You are evaluated on your dressing and lifestyle; the bigger, louder and vibrant the more popular you are. Most times  the leader’s authority cannot be questioned.IMG-20150829-WA0007

On both accounts you find the central message of Christ’s’ love is lost, the welcome and acceptance of people for who they are whilst praying for God to change them is gone. Culture is promoted, leaders are revered, membership matters more than follower-ship and religious façade is celebrated rather than character. Are we following Christ or him/her? Can you question your leader, can you admit his wrong in front of others, do you check what his ideologies are against the word of God? Is he/she open to discussing their guiding values? Are you accountable to God in secret and in truth or to those who you consider members of the same faith. The church is losing its hold because it’s losing sight of its God in totality. It’s either all or nothing.


Romans 12 vs 4-5: “For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

1 Corinthians 1 vs 11 -13: “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptised in the name of Paul?”

Colossians 2 vs 8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ,”