MOMENTS THAT SHAPES US

My daughter, Aninda, wrote the following blog piece.  I want to share it with you as it brings yet another view on the blog: “Be Real” posted last week.

Here is the blog piece Aninda wrote.

“People say that you should live in the moment.  That “Yolo” is of principle.  But no, I disagree.  Not about living in the moment but rather the concept of “Yolo”. 

It’s true we only do live once.  But people are truly so hung up on this fact of making every moment great, every moment spectacular.  Not ever having a bad day, or a chance to cry because they’re so influenced by “Yolo”, that the importance of each moment become distorted with “only living the good life”.

I stand in disagreement to this. 

I do not believe that we should live each moment for the good in it.  I believe that every moment whether good or bad is what shapes us.

It’s not only the times in our life that we are awestruck with the beauty of life that creates us.  It’s rather the times our tears seems like a never ending river.  It’s when there is no sound coming out of your breaking heart as you lie lifeless and shattered against the cold floor of life.

It’s in these moments that our hearts roar and that every part of who we will become is making a deafening sound.

It’s in these moments that our courage of life is built, the moments of brokenness. 

Where fear is our ally and where strength is our clothes that hides our brokenness, yet that gives us power to face the next day.

I do not believe that our hope lies in our defeat. 

It’s there where choices of freedom and of courage is made to stand up.  Because we are not just our triumph and our greatness, we are every shaking part of ourselves.

And we are broken and we are lost.  And that is why every moment changes us and shapes us.  And creates the future that this world needs to rise up in our battle to roar above the greatness.”

Aninda Pieterse

BE REAL

With my daughter’s letter (Perfect even in our imperfection), I started pondering on what being human actually means.

I realized that society transforms us into robots with the notion that we constantly need to be strong. We adapted a survival mode leaving very little space for feelings and emotions.

Not even to mention the rat race which we find ourselves in.  Always busy, always going somewhere, always doing something.  No time to waste on feeling down.  No time to waste on dealing with our emotions.  We just have to endure and keep on going.

Perhaps that is the reason why so many people experience total defeat; even to such an extent where they think suicide is the only option left. 

I also fell victim to the above. Lending a helping hand became my crouch, making my problems and struggles insignificant. The other person always had it much more difficult. This instigated a pattern where I did not share my struggles.

In addition to the above I was married to a man who never allowed me to express my emotions and thoughts. I learned to repress all my emotions into a deep corner where it could never be discovered, or so I thought.

Being left brain dominant and phlegmatic caused me to become a master at repressing my emotions and feelings. Not even the people closest to me was allowed to share in my sorrows.

This seemingly inactive volcano was furiously raging at the bottom until such a time where it could no longer be contained and I could not hide my emotional turmoil anymore.

My first reaction was shame at the thought of losing control. I have always been the strong, content foundation in the lives of my children. 

Little did I know how important this breakdown was for the healing journey my children found themselves on. 

To them I did not seem weak. My breakdown was a sign that I was real and human after all. Not a robot functioning on autopilot, but a woman with a heart filled with pain and sorrow. It showed them that being perfect is not always that perfect but sometimes also “broken, beaten and full of chaos”. 

Without trying or realizing, I taught them one of the biggest lessons ever. Being perfect was actually being real. Real about your struggles. Real about your fears. Real about your emotions. Real about your doubt and uncertainties.

Being real helps people to relate and find the courage to work through their own struggles and emotions. They find hope in your journey through your storms and this gives them the courage to face their own struggles. 

We do not need perfect people with perfect lives or perfect control over their lives. We need real people to show us how to find the path in our desert.  We need real people who have walked the walk.  We need real people to bring us to the oasis were we can find healing for our broken hearts.

We need real people we can relate too…

Belinda Pieterse

PERFECT EVEN IN OUR IMPERFECTION

My daughter, Aninda, wrote the letter that I am going to post today. 

Her letter truly left me without words, a knob in my throat and eyes filled with tears.

I never realized how the people in my life read my tears and sobbing, especially when I tried to hide them.  Even bigger was my amazement to see what my daughter has learnt from my “brokenness”, as she calls it.

Our very being has a tremendous influence on the significant people in our lives.  Let me rephrase.  Especially when we think no one is watching, we can be sure that our actions and whole being scream at their loudest, leaving an everlasting impression.

I never realized the magnitude of the above statement until my daughter wrote me the letter posted below.

I hope that it will inspire you to leave a positive impact on the people around you.  Life is a gift, make in meaningful, leave a legacy.

My Dear Mother

I am writing this letter to you to let you know what and how I feel.  These past few months I admit I am not the best behaved or the “best” person I could be.  Even though all this is happening and maybe in a sense you feel I lost my true self, I am here to tell you that I’m starting to find myself in being lost.  We have had the conversation about my perfection issue and although you don’t always realise I do feel imperfect because of you.  Now before you take that in a negative way may I shed some light on this perfection?

Through these past few years I have been taught more what life and love is about than I did my entire life.  You, in a state of brokenness, showed me what perfection is and how one should strive for it.  Although I distorted perfection, only now has it become clear to me that perfection isn’t all I made it out to be.

These years of being beautifully broken I find your shattered heart still screaming rejoice.  You in all your ways taught me that perfection is to stand up for what’s right even if you stand alone. That a perfect life is not measured in the people around you but in the moment’s life is still good.  A perfect life is not one where you pray standing up in worship, but where you’re weak on your knees sobbing at His feet.

See perfection never was perfect.  Perfection was broken, beaten and full of chaos.  Where people became perfect in our moments of fear.  Where love shone through and taught us that our broken lives are covered in Perfect Love.

This all is what I only realised now.  That you being your perfect self, I felt me being my imperfect self was lost. 

Yet now, sitting here I realise that your imperfections scream perfection.  Your weakness and doubt only made you more human than before. And I realise that God never asked us to be anything more than human.

So you taught me that by being broken, crying and well, lost, is part of being human.  And we living as humans, full of our imperfection and faults, is the closest to perfection we can come.

We accept the bad, the good and all in between by not having this image obtained to us. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Rock ‘n Roll, sex and drugs for life.  I am simply suggesting that we strive to a life like Jesus but that how we get there is just part of our imperfect journey becoming perfect.

                Aninda Pieterse

CAN WE AS ORDINARY PEOPLE HAVE SIGNIFICANT LIVES?

Ordinary people; that is how we see ourselves.  And thus we belief that we are restricted to ordinary lives. Waking up at 6:00 am, going to work, returning home, attending to the children and household chores. Doing what needs to be done to get through the day without too much hustle.  This is how the majority of people on planet earth see their lives. Just plain, ordinary, everyday lives… With no real adventure, not even to mention the hope of a meaningful life…

But let me tell you a story about ordinary people who made my life extraordinary, without them even realizing it.

When I was separated from my x-husband, my children and I had nowhere to go and although none of us dared to utter those words, we did not have much hope for the left for the future. Stranded without a home and finances our prospects looked bleak and emotionally we barely managed to hold on to our sanity. Torn from the inside out, with our hearts broken and vulnerable to such an extent that I believed there was no hope left or any chance for repair.

However, ordinary people stepped in and without them knowing they gave us hope and they tended to our wounds, slowly healing our broken hearts and bringing us back to a point of restoration.

How you may ask?  By doing the seemingly simple, ordinary, “worthless” things such as giving a room to stay in, placing a hand on your shoulder, sending a text message just asking how you are doing, taking you for coffee, washing your car, bringing you your favourite chocolate, etc., etc., etc...  The list is never ending.

But what these ordinary people did not recognise was that with each seemingly simple, ordinary, “worthless” action they succeeded to restore a little bit of hope and faith in our hearts.  And even more importantly they rebuilt our view of ourselves; we were worthy to be cared for, we were worthy to be noticed, we were worthy to be treated like human beings, we were worthy…

Never did a “but why” or “how could you” past the border of their lips. Not once did we feel judged, our actions questioned or condemned, not once. The only thing these ordinary people showed was acceptance, compassion, concern and love. They showed it in their ordinary ways during their ordinary day to day lives. But it meant the world to us and was the vessel which carried us through the storms and tribulations.

And with this first blog which I am writing, I want to bring tribute to all the ordinary people who, with their ordinary actions built a vessel for my children and me to carry us safely to the shore of restoration and healing.  I believe that each one of you know who you are and I trust that you will see the value you spread where ever your footsteps fall.

And to the rest of you who are reading this blog, I want to encourage you to keep on doing your seemingly simple, ordinary, “worthless” deeds. You might never know the impact it has on the people around you, but be sure they will know…

Do not underestimate the meaning and value your seemingly simple, ordinary and “worthless” actions have. Nothing can compare to the effect it has and no money can replace the significance it can bring to the lives of the broken hearted.

Not all of us can be motivational speakers, standing on the stage using it as the platform from which we transform the lives of people.  But I believe that every single person is a platform in his/her own way, touching the lives of those we encounter on a daily basis. 

Furthermore I believe that the ordinary people, with kind, loving and compassionate hearts are often the backbone of society.  Bringing hope for a brighter and better future to those around them.  I know the ordinary people in the lives of my children and in my life did just that.  They brought hope when all hope was lost. They shined like beacons on the stormy sea which guided us through the thunder and rain, bringing us a glimpse of hope on the horizon.

Thank you to our beacons of hope... Thank you that you touched our broken hearts with your seemingly simple, ordinary, “worthless” deeds.  Thank you that you are ordinary people filled with love and compassion.  Thank you for just being you…

Everything we do leaves an impression and will touch the heart of those around us.  Be sure that the impression is positive and that your touch will also bring worth and healing to a world so desperately in need of hope…

In conclusion, the seemingly simple, ordinary, “worthless” deeds, coming from the loving and compassionate hearts of ordinary people, has the ability to bring significant value and meaning to those around them and ultimately transforming an ordinary life into a life of significance.

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