On Jealousy…

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves” – William Penn.

In my culture, jealousy and envy are seen as collaborating sisters who can bring forth the tides of hell. Home entrances are decked out with eye shaped blue ceramics to shield the inhabitants from “the evil eye,” the eyes of the jealous and envious.

In the West, the two are differentiated: the former is seen as a natural product of love, and the latter is perceived as malicious. Those who are jealous feel this way against their better judgment and have good intentions, but those who are envious are guilty of consciously wishing failure and loss upon others. In the East, this differentiation is ignored because jealousy and envy are both expected to bring bad luck. Whether or not the bad luck is intentionally generated is irrelevant.

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On Purpose…

When someone asks you who you are or what matters to you, do you tend to respond with an explanation about what you do?

Our jobs quickly come to define us, but there is so much more to us than that.

If you have chosen a career that aligns with your purpose, what you do will be in line with who you are. Congratulations. Your condition is rare. If the two do not align, you are not alone, and you need to read this!

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On Our Helpers…

Wherever you stand in your life today, someone else helped you acquire your blessings.

“I don’t have any blessings!”

“Nobody helped me, I did it all myself!”

“Not all of us have a daddy or mama to turn to!”

“You can be so naive, Marian.”

Someone I respect very highly once told me… “credit is due where credit is deserved.” So… who are we discrediting when we pump out our chests arrogantly, stick our noses in the air and proclaim that we have nobody to thank for anything?

It is not I who is naive. We cannot take full credit for our successes and achievements while simultaneously blaming others for our setbacks and failures.

In order to help you, someone does not have to write you a cheque or pay off your student loans for you. You can do that yourself. Help comes in many forms, and we sometimes don’t even recognize it as help because it’s painful.

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On Pain…

We all have pain.

We have all survived something. That’s the nature of life.

It’s easy, of course, to look at other people and imagine that they have no pain at all. The Instagram highlight reel is absolute perfection, so we assume everything else must be perfect too. If we have learned anything from the double-shock of losing Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in one week, however, it is that we could not be further from the truth.

We all have pain.

Not one to indulge in celebrity culture, I was quite taken aback by how much Bourdain’s choice to die caught me off guard. I haven’t been able to write as consistently because I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreak. How can someone so incredible, with such an abundance of God-given gifts, who brings such light to the world, be so overwhelmed by darkness behind closed doors?

Why did he have to go like this?

We all have pain.

Let me share a few personal stories…

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On White Dollars & Black Days…

When you plant a seed in your garden, it takes weeks before you see a hint of green. You water the soil every day and sometimes question yourself, unsure if there’s a pulse in the dirt.

And then the stem peaks its head and you finally know that your time was worth investing.

When you decide to have a baby, do you expect to be holding the precious little one in your hands by tomorrow afternoon? No. You toil for months in the creation process.

We all understand these two facts to be true. There is no way to rush a plant into growing or a child into being. So why is it that we expect to become wealthy overnight? Why is it that, when we meet someone wealthy, we assume that Lady Luck smiled down on them more than the rest of us?

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On Self-Care…

My dad once asked me to solve a riddle on the drive home from school.

“If you were a mother of two, and you could only bring home one loaf of bread every night, how would you split it?” he asked.

“DUH! In two!” I responded, eager to show him how selfless I would be.

He stuck his finger up off the steering wheel in his tell-tale way.

“Wrong?” I asked.

“Wrong! If you split it in two, you won’t be able to eat, and you will starve to death!” he explained.

“And there won’t be anyone left to bring my kids any bread at all!” I realized in awe.

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

That’s all I have to share today.

And remember… we design our own luck!

M.

On Pebbles and Diamonds…

Find me a millennial who has not been swept away by the tide of 21st Century apathy, and you will have found a diamond in the rough. My generation is not the only one subject to this affliction of carelessness, but it is certainly quite common for us to fall between the cracks.

Why is that?

I remember a time when my peers were voicing out their dreams and hopes for the world to anyone who would listen, singing on rooftops and distributing access to makeshift poetry websites, chanting in the street for freedom from hunger, freedom from genocide, freedom from apartheid, and love, love, love! I was one of them.

What happened?

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