Sunday, February 27, 2005

So Ham - I Am

I am a woman; I possess the strong touch and resilience to manage and protect all that I have and hold dear to me.
I am a professional: Responsibility and dedication makes me an asset to my company.
I am a friend: With the strength and the compassion to embrace, listen and advise the people that accompany me in my life.
I am a sister: The source of love and understanding and the person to count on when no one else can help.
I am the colleague, I am the nurse, I am the daughter, I am the lover, the fighter, the leader, the helper, the cousin, the politician, the lawyer, the singer… I am all that I want to be…
I simply am.

I love the ocean. I too am an ocean of things, the strong, wide and mighty ocean. When the life of storms and winds touch me, I toss and turn but I survive. I am a crucial part of life, motherly enough to nourish and grow that which lives from me and mighty enough to destroy that what gets in my way. When all else is past and forgotten, I will exist, even if it’s only in the heart of those that I touched. My love, like my water is ceaseless, not even in times of drought will I completely disappear. I am as inconstant as the moon… my tides differ with its pull yet, in the same way, I carry a dependable consistency as its cycles…

When coming across such a personality, you know immediately that they are indestructible, that life, the world and society can never break the core of that person’s soul. With time, you watch that person overcome hurt, heartbreak, disappointment, frustration, wounds and every kind of damage possible to the human being’s soul. They seem to bounce back from every defeat, from every loss and every failure. We admire them and eventually recognise them in our own mirrors.

I am the sea of all seas and I began with one drop of water, a stream that flowed into a river that survived evaporation to grow into the vast strength that is me… the ocean. I am but one drop of water.

What does a soldier do when the war is over? What is the use of walls when they no longer serve their purpose, when there is no need to defend and fight? Life is a constant battle to those who fight it, yet who do we really fight against if not ourselves?
When you no longer need to protect or defend yourself, do you take the time to heal? Do you cry all the tears that you couldn’t afford to cry during battle? Do you scream the words you felt when you got hurt? Do your hold yourself; comfort yourself for all those times that your soul needed it? Do you push people away when they try to heal your wounds for you?
When do you let go your sword, lay down your weapon and let your guard down? You who have fought and conquered your space, your personality and your freedom, have you learnt to enjoy and live that gain? My fellow survivors, when all is fought and won, do you know how to live what you’ve survived?
The world does not change for the growth of an individual; the individual grows with the changes of the world. When we change our thoughts and attitude, we learn the things we already know.

I no longer see life as a battlefield, instead I see at as a dance floor where people dance out their dreams, their hopes and their expectations. The Deejay does not always play my favourite songs; every now and then my feet will hurt and ache; sometimes I feel more alone and other times too crowded. At times I am surrounded by people dancing, other times no one wants to dance with me. My partner may not always understand my rhythm or I his, one of us or both of us may step on each other’s toes and yet… I’ll keep on dancing. I will always love dancing, I will not allow myself to stop feeling the music and I choose not to sit out of any dance. If you choose to step out, you may loose the opportunity to dance the perfect dance. Eventually every evening comes to an end and the only memories you remember in the morning are those of how well you danced that night. That moment, that perfect move, the sway and that turn makes every other hard, difficult, painful and awkward moment worthwhile.

It is impossible to win without having known what it is to lose.
It is impossible to walk without knowing what it is to fall.
It is impossible to be right without knowing what it is to be wrong.
It is impossible to live without knowing what it is to really live.

I am a human being that makes mistakes, learns and grows. I am too proud to admit my fears, too scared to show my weaknesses, too stubborn to acknowledge flaws and doubt. Does admitting that I’m afraid really make me any less courageous or brave than I am?
I am a woman: that longs for all things soft and beautiful, dreams and hopes and prays. That wants for the love and strength found in her lover’s arms and the love and dependency of a child’s embrace.
I am a friend: needing to share my thoughts and ideas, seeking encouragement to advance with my projects.
I am the sister: who cherishes each loving hug and gesture as the building blocks to my heart’s happiness.
I am the fire, I am the water, I am the air, I am the earth, the seductress, the teacher, the child, the doctor, the partner, the writer, the dancer, the moonlight, the sunshine…
I simply am.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Why Me?

Because you’re alive!!!
My father once told me that I must accept my share of responsibility for everything that may or may not happen in my life. This means that each time you make a decision or adapt a certain attitude; you must be prepared to deal with the consequences!

Why do they pick on me?… have you ever tried standing up for yourself?
Why am I always the one getting the crappy jobs?... Have you ever said no? When are you going to start looking for a better job?
Why does everything I do go wrong?... Why are you always repeating the same mistakes when you know that they get you now where?
Why am I the constant door mat?... When are you going to stop allowing people to take advantage of you?
Why does nobody love me?... Have you taken the time to love someone, to give of yourself and open yourself up to be loved?

When are you going to stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop blaming things on someone else and take responsibility for your actions?
Is it that people enjoy being fortune’s fools? Perhaps they love being slaves to destiny and take pleasure out of playing the victims.
This generation may be more technologically advanced, more educated and self supportive but they know less about responsibility and survival. Honour, truth, courage, introspection and taking responsibility for one’s thoughts and actions: This is what is needed to take control of yourself and your life. Fail to learn these concepts and you will forever live under your mother’s skirts! How are you ever going to achieve independence?

There was a party and everyone was invited. Good friends, best friends and new friends alike were told to bring their good humour and festive spirit to celebrate. They came from near and far, no one missed the party… all except for her. She wasn’t invited. Being a friendly and social person, she simply could not understand how she had been overlooked! Thoughts of hatred and hurt went through her mind. Maybe someone had poisoned everyone against her, maybe they didn’t like her or maybe the host had meant to send her an invitation but it had gotten lost in the mail.
What she think of or remember, was the fact that she’d never so much invited the host of the party to a cup of coffee. That neither the host nor their common friends had ever been invited to any of her social gatherings and that since she’d not once made any attempt to bond with neither the host nor the common acquaintances.
Yet, she’s the victim of an evil conspiracy by people that simply didn’t remember that she existed when sending out the invitations…

If you don’t do something about it, it’s your fault.

Almost everything that goes either right or wrong in our lives is be traced back to us. Although fate cannot be altered, destiny is determined by the attitude we decide to take. If we allow ourselves to believe that our lives depend on someone else’s decisions then we become their slaves. What is the use in blaming others for the decisions they’ve made, they are merely living their lives the way that best agrees with them; shouldn’t you be doing the same? What is the use in blaming the destination if it is your own two feet that took you there, your eyes that read the map and your mind that processed direction?

True Freedom and Independence can only be earned, once you take full responsibility for your attitude and actions.

This will take introspection, this may involve admitting to negative thoughts and wrong attitudes and this may mean you’ll have to be a stronger person. No longer can you blame your sorrows on life and its inhabitants… from now on, all your losses and successes will solely depend on you. It’s a high price, but one that is rewarded with the kind of freedom that can only be earned and not bought.

Be bold, be brave, be true… And let Faith be your companion on your road through happiness.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Palm Study

Being serenaded by a drunk soccer player that didn’t know how to take no for an answer, I had the choice of either putting up with his feeble attempts for the rest of the night or using an ancient tactic used by women when trying to get rid of unwanted attention: I grabbed onto the arm of my nearest male friend and told the soccer player that my man didn’t like the attention he was giving me. Of course this is a fool proof plan, two minutes later he was drunker than before and making out with a blonde that was quite happy to be receiving the lip service he was giving her. The guy I’d grabbed onto though, wasn’t exactly one of my closest friends however he was quite amused by my predicament and told me he’d felt honoured that it was his arm that I’d grabbed onto… so I decided not to tell him that it was because his was the closest at that moment when my hips were being grabbed by that annoying head of soccer balls! It was either grab onto his arm or do a very embarrassing back kick and turn around slap… I decided that alternative to violence was the best choice.

This is usually the part where things to wrong and you figure out that the arm you grabbed onto is even more annoying and unwelcome than the arm that had been around your hips. However, this wasn’t the case, instead I got latched to someone who had more than just your average interesting conversation.

Did you know that someone who has no olfactory has a more acute sense of taste and vision? I was intrigued to discover that a man that cannot smell your perfume can still taste it by a kiss to your wrist… or anywhere else where you may have applied it.
But before I concluded that I was once again was being serenaded to, my friend with a cute lisp directed the conversation to books, a subject that could get me going for hours. We share some of the same views on books by our favourite author: Paulo Coelho. I laughed at myself when I realized that I was on library talk at a party where people around me were so drunk that they decided to attempt to tongue kiss the poor owner’s dog! Scanning the room around me I spotted that not to far away was an unwanted admirer of mine, and decided this was the safest spot.

It was at my house; right after I’d rubbed some baby oil on his calloused hands that he took my hands into his own to examine them. I told them they were small but quite capable but he was more interested in reading the lines. I thought I heard violins once again until I realized he actually knew what he was talking about.
The left hand is your destiny and your right hand is your present… what you’re currently doing. The line going down your hand is your lifeline and the one across that one is your success. The one above is your love life line.
I was thrilled to hear that I’d die an old granny with a youthful spirit and that although I’d never be rich, I’d always have a means to support myself. A social being with many friend but who liked her solitude told me that he obviously had some research done, either on myself or on palm reading. However, it was when he got to the love line that he ruffled my feathers.
“Geez! Look at all the guys in your life!”
I couldn’t help but start laughing: “Where? Where?! Show me, I can’t see them!”
“Well… you see all these lines in your hands? These are the guys that keep trying to get into your life, but you see how none of them get into the solid line? Well that’s because you probably don’t let them in”
“I’m probably another one of those to get out the door right?” I laughed along with him but I couldn’t help the knot in my throat, it wasn’t too long after that he too walked out my door.

I spend the rest of the day staring at my hands. They say that the map of our bodies is drawn at our feet and the map of our souls on our hands. I suddenly wish that I’d studied a little less reflexology and a little more on palm reading. Are all the secrets of my soul in my hands?… metaphorically speaking or not, it scares me to think that someone can read me from looking at my hand. I wondered if my acupuncturist had seen the same when he asked me to show him my hands, I’ll be sure to ask him when I see him again next month.

Would you feel comfortable with your destiny in your hands? If someone looked into their lines and told you what the future awaited you, would you become a believer? I suddenly wondered about all these people that use a million and one methods to tell you your fortune… I wondered how accurate they could possibly be. Can we change the lines in our lives and hands? Can I suddenly change all those little lines into one solid line? Whilst fate may belong to God, my destiny still belongs to me and I choose to choose my path regardless of what may be written for me. Maybe I’m stubborn, or maybe I just know what I’m capable of and of what I want out of life… I wonder if that’s written in my hands too… if it is, it must be near a round circle that resembles a Sun.

The issue however, isn’t on whether palm reading is right or wrong, accurate or false… after all, it is such an oxymoron that it could apply to almost everybody. To me the question still lies on whether one chooses to accept the fate that life writes out for him? I am grateful for someone who can tell me where I am, for often I’m not sure on which ground I stand. It takes someone who can look into my soul to lead me to the answer, a good friend who knows my name. However, I have always been of the belief that whilst there is fate that you cannot escape, destiny is the attitude in which you choose to live… something that belongs only to how. How you choose to live it, will determine the shapes and lines that others shall see upon your hands.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Dear Scorpio...

At the risk of your anger at once again sharing my feelings with the world, I once again jeopardize our “cease of fire” to tell you what’s been on my mind since the last time we’ve spoken.
When we were kids you said that I was stupid for wanting to be invisible, you chided me for having a low self-confidence and taught me in your own way to lift my chin up high. We said we’d never be like the other people, that we’d always maintain our honesty and sincerity no matter what… I still keep to that promise, do you?
It seems like a lifetime ago but I still remember, I still remember you.
I wish that I had a part time job as an angel, the kind where I could be invisible while checking up on people the people I love to make sure that they’re okay. Then I could see how you’re doing, I could make sure that you’re happy. It would be my opportunity to see you smile again, to look at those all knowing eyes of yours x-raying everything around you.
You won’t see me and we won’t have to say anything to each other… I’ll just feel relieved to see that you’re okay and if you aren’t, I’ll stay by your side. Even though you can’t see me, you’ll know that something that loves you is there beside you.

In the three years that separates us from the time we last saw each other, the thought of you ever so often invades my mind… at moments when I least expect it. I wonder at those times if you think of me too, somewhere deep down… I know you do.
At times I think that I’ve said everything that there is to be said between us, but I’m always left with the feeling that there’s something missing, even though I never know exactly what it is. You’d tease me if I told you this, you’ve always been very good at putting things behind you… or not? I often wondered about your thoughts when your eyes looked into the distance. I often wondered about that cold wall you put up.

Have you ever had one of those dreams in which things are so real that you can feel the touch and smell the scent of everything that surrounds you?
I was in your old flat last night. I looked for you in your bedroom. I saw your candles, your fish tank with your shark, your guitar standing next to the speaker and your bed just as I expected it: made, everything neat and in its place. When I couldn’t find you I began to panic, I wanted to see you so badly! When I walked out I heard you breathing from your parent’s bedroom. Imagining that you were sleeping, I suddenly felt sixteen again as my courage failed me to open the door. Afraid that you might know I was standing there, I ran to the sitting room and put my head out the window taking deep breaths as I found my consciousness. I’m dreaming! It finally hit me that I was dreaming! The flat, the flat that once was my parent’s across the wall, and the driveway on which you taught me how to roller-skate… none of it was real. I realized I was dreaming and that anything I said… or did… would mean nothing when I woke up. I smiled at myself with immense amount of pleasure as I realized that this was my chance to let my imagination and desires have free reign… no guilt or responsibilities to worry about! Suddenly I was no longer sixteen… flashback to twenty two, the age where I have the courage of my convictions!
I smiled as I tried deciding to what exactly I was going to do with you… so I marched back to the bedroom repeating to myself that this was just a dream… and not just any dream, a dream where I had full control and I knew it!
The bed was empty, you were gone. Slightly relieved that it had only been slept on by one person I laughed as I thought to myself “Had to be too good to be true!”
That’s when I heard you in the shower… all I had to do is turn around to the bathroom just across the bedroom.
I stared at the door knob once again reminding myself that I was simply dreaming, that no harm would come from acting out my imagination… and yet I feared you! I feared those penetrating eyes of yours, your sharp words… most of all I feared your rejection.
That’s when you opened the door from the other side. I took in a deep breath and decided not to point out your lack of attire since you didn’t seem too bothered about it either.
The smile on your face and the look in your eyes told me that there weren’t going to be sharp words or rejection and that it was my turn to make a move.
This was crazy!!! Where on earth did my imagination get all of this? Not that it wasn’t a pretty picture… oh I enjoyed what I was looking at!
The problem is that I was too conscious to make the move my hormones wanted me to make… It just felt wrong.
“I must be dreaming” I said, hoping that either you faded away or that I once again found my courage to taste the lips that gave me my first real kiss.
“I think we both are”
For a moment there, it wasn’t your face I saw… it was the face of someone else, someone I’m not quite ready to face yet.
Stepping into the space between us, you took me into your arms and gave me one of those hugs that had always made me feel as if everything was suddenly right in the world.
Mind you… I still swore at myself for not taking full advantage of the naked man hugging me! You’d think I’d be a tad more courageous in my own dreams!

A call to your parents put my mind to rest about your wellbeing. I would’ve preferred to call your directly, but we both know that we no longer have space for the other in our lives. The past is no longer welcome in the present.
Is this the year in which you finally marry her? I hope so, I liked her when I met her and she seems to adore you. Your brother once expressed to me his desire for me to be there; at your wedding… we both know that won’t happen. Though, I’ll be there in spirit. I’ll think of you as you pledge your heart and life to someone else and only you will see me sitting in the back rows of the church smiling, wishing you eternal love and happiness.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that we’ll see each other again someday. By then we’ll be old, who knows…maybe with children or grandchildren. Will it be then that we finally say the unsaid words? I look forward to that day. Who knows, maybe our children or grandchildren can become best friends like we did. Maybe they can do things better. I know we won’t make the same mistakes our parents did when it comes to our children’s lives and their relationship.

Macy Gray and Metallica songs still remind me of you… I’m still trying. I know I pretended not to understand when you played me that song. Even though I knew you were telling me something I was too afraid that you’d tell me that I was wrong if I asked you. I wish we could both see what we’ve both become after all this time. You’ll always be a part of me as the man who defined who I am today.
Until we meet again, I wish you joy, peace and above all… love, the kind I’ve always wanted for you and me.

Love Always,

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Reaching Out...

When cleaning out my mailbox, my first step is to delete all unwanted spam, I then delete the repeated e-mails, the virus warnings and then end off deleting all those “you’re heartless if you don’t forward this” e-mails. Spam is a waste of time; there is no need to see the same e-mail twice; viruses are taken care of by my antivirus and all those signed lists that I keep forwarding never seem to make any positive change. I then proceed to read whatever e-mails are left after the filtering.

My favourite e-mails are those with video clips. Today I received one that influenced me to write this particular entry. It started off with a little girl with beautiful blonde hair who was anxiously waiting for the arrival of someone. She then sees through a window that the person had arrived and she ran into the bathroom, shocking the viewer by cutting her beautiful hair. When the door finally opens, we realize the reason why: the person she’d been waiting for was bold. The thin figure and pale complexion makes us realize that his hairless state was due to Cancer.

Support and understanding

We often demand it but how often do we give it? These children, these sick people… they could be any one of us. They have the same dreams, desires and thoughts. The difference between us and them is a body, the fact that ours are healthy and theirs are ill. We who feel injusticed by the world. We who work and complain often feel that these people are not our responsibility and turn a blind eye so that we’re not haunted by our guilt. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s that we have our own load to carry.

What can I do? Little insignificant me? What power do I possess to make the slightest bit of difference in the world? I barely survive in my own battles let alone bare the time to reach out any kind of support to someone else. Financially things look pretty bad! I had my insurance to pay off, had that visit to the doctor and he sent me off to the pharmacy and I still had to fork out some extra cash to buy some birthday presents. Time is of the essence, I can’t fit in volunteer work into my schedule and what kind of a hypocrite would I be if I only appeared once a month to someone who needs constant support?!

What difference did a little girl cutting her hair make to someone who had lost all of theirs? What do a smile, a kind word and a motivational talk mean to you? Is that Euro, that Rand, that Dollar… or even that penny, going to make such a big hole in your pocket? Isn’t that the price that you more or less pay for a cup of coffee? Isn’t a cup of coffee worth sacrificing to aid someone in such a health threat? How many visits to the doctor does someone like that have to make and how much more mind and body altering medication does he have to take in order to simply survive? How do you know that it won’t be you losing your hair next? Every cancer victim led a life like yours and mine before feeling ill and helpless.
We might not be able to give a full time commitment to someone who is sick but how much sacrifice does a visit really? And even a visit once a month could mean the difference between fighting a disease and giving up.

United Nations, Help organizations… they don’t just appear out of thin air. Just like it takes an individual to build up a company, it takes an individual with a change of attitude and the will to make a difference, to help people that without help and support cannot survive! They also have income paying job, families and twenty four hours in their day. The difference between me and them is that they choose to make the effort to make that difference.

Small actions come a long way, that leftover doggy bag with that slice of pizza that you just couldn’t finish could represent a special dinner to someone that has none (and a couple of extra calories that you don’t need). Even that time you took to give that piece of advice can mean the world to the ears that hears it. No matter how little your contribution, your helping hand and good intentions make the difference.

My objective with this column has always been to share and to make a positive difference. I’ve strived never to impose my opinions or advertise other people’s ideas However; I consider the following information, another opportunity to make a difference:

Emily Lee Novak is one of Sunshine’s Column’s readers. She is running the 26,2 mile marathon o the 5th of June in order to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. She is a regular person just like you and me who wants to make a difference to people who could one day be you or me. Her goal is to raise $4,106.82 and she could really use our helping hand. One less cup of caffeine may even do you some good. You can check out Emily’s project at the following link:

It is impossible for one man to change the world… but it takes that one man to make a difference.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Armed and Dangerous

I confess!!!
I did it! I shot the little bugger!!!... And I used his own bow and arrow against him!
I’d love to circle my hands over the neck of the Greek moron who invented Cupid and Valentines Day! It’s that time of the year again when you’re officially allowed to walk around with idiotic smirk on your face whilst purchasing expensive gifts so that some poor shmuck knows you love them…

But don’t get me wrong… I’m not anti-Valentines… in fact I’m all for it! While the rest of the world walks around intoxicated by the commercialized disease, Sunshine has her fun:

Being dragged along by my colleagues into stores that are stuffed with heart and teddy bear trinkets… while my colleagues search for that perfect gift for their significant other… I search for my victim! It never takes too long as the feeble and lost are everywhere! I pinned my first victim at the stuffed animal department realising that his particular dilemma was in choosing to either buy the cute fluffy teddy bear with the red heart in the middle or buying the cute stuffed dog with the red heart in the middle. To put the poor fellow out of his misery, I decided to offer my expert advice!

Cupid’s helper (That’s me!): I see you’re having a little trouble picking the right stuffed animal to buy for your girlfriend.
Mr. Infected by Valentines: You can say that again! So hey! What would you pick if it were for you?
Cupid’s helper: The rabbit
(Constrained silence as he doesn’t realise that the absence of a rabbit was meant as a joke… stifling my desperate urge to burst out laughing, I clear my throat and continue)
Cupid’s helper: I’m kidding (followed by Mr. Infected by Valentines sigh of relief!)
So what does your girlfriend like? Is she a dog lover?
Mr. Infected by Valentines: I don’t think so; she’s got two cats at home.
Suddenly as if he was struck by lightening, I saw the light bulb go on in his head as he thanked me for my help, dropped both animals, grabbed a stuffed cat with a red heart in the middle and made his way towards the counter.

Not quite done with my fun… I got closer to another shopper who was obviously more concerned with his budget than the gift, on observing the teddy that he was buying he remarked to himself: “I’m sure she won’t need a bigger one than this”
To that remark, I simply couldn’t resist saying! “Well, you know what they say about size!”
I didn’t stick around long enough to see whether or not he bought a bigger bear but before I left he was examining the larger specimens!

People are such suckers on Valentines Day! I have to admit; perhaps the only good use to Valentines is finally managing to coax him\her on getting you that special present or to go out to that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try out!

Of course this is a time in which you can release your creative ideas… heart shaped handcuffs, silk boxers, a bow tie… and I even saw an original booklet with interesting vouchers:
“This voucher entitles you to a foot massage”
“This voucher entitles you to a dinner at a fancy restaurant”
“This voucher entitles you to sex in the backseat of the car”… they get spicier after that.
You have to admit! It’s one hell of an interesting way to spice up a long-time relationship! My only qualm is: Why wait until Valentine’s Day! Isn’t lover’s day everyday? Why pick a day on which you know everyone else is doing it too? (No pun intended)
Besides the fact that the whole day has been commercialized, it forces certain behaviour between couples that otherwise is supposed to come naturally! Why on earth are you going to wait until February the 14th to tell someone you love them? Isn’t it something that comes spontaneously?
My theory about Valentines: It’s an international conspiracy by the commercial market to get people to spend large amounts money on things they’ll only use for one day and look like goofballs while doing it!

I decided to refresh my memory on a little on the brat responsible for all this: Cupid, Eros, Amor, the Archer of Love… he has more than one name and only one mission: to create havoc! We’re talking about a little blind kid with arrows! How on earth can he guarantee a good aim?! Plus you can’t tell me that he’s not responsible for confused homosexuals! A menace to society, his mother Aphrodite was the love Goddess responsible for the Trojan War and his most notorious brothers are Chaos (Yes people, this is why love and turmoil go hand in hand) and Anteros (God responsible for the Gay population). Now I know you’re not supposed to judge a guy by his family but did you know that incest was rumoured between himself and his mother?
Who was the drunk that put this little dude on love duty?!! Alright, so he’s supposed to be the best-looking guy on the planet, and yes he looks harmless enough… but so does a baby with a bazooka!
His victims are either shot with a golden arrow with dove feathers or a leaden arrow with owl feathers. The golden provokes the lovey-dovey tingly feeling that makes us look as drunk-like fools. The other is the sobering effect when you realise that the person you bought all that expensive stuff for was shot by the lead arrow, and is indifferent to all your efforts.

But even Valentine’s Day is a question of perspective: how you see it and how you react to it. This year I’ve had the benefit of watching a two courageous hearts use this particular day to proclaim their hidden feelings. Couples are renewing their sentiments and many are using the day as an excuse to spice up their love. And even though Valentine’s Day should be everyday between people that love each other, I guess that the fact that everyone else is walking around with a lovesick goofball face, makes it easier for you to do the same. The world lacks love, so how could anyone possibly condemn a day in which we’re all allowed to express the heart’s most pure and natural feeling? This year, I once again content myself watching other people act like shmucks, though deep down my desire for them is that the “loving feeling” lasts them all year through.

Newsflash:… Being the son of Aphrodite and Ares makes Cupid a God which means that both him and love are immortal (yep people they cannot die)… so I guess I didn’t kill the little guy after all! This means that those of you also avoiding getting caught by the love disease… watch out for Cupid! The little brat is alive, armed and dangerous!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Pinned By The Needle

My Acupuncture treatment continues... and for a second time I found myself in Dr. Miracle’s room of healing. Knowing what to expect, I took an extra pair of stockings and a warm shirt hoping to feel just a little more comfortable this time around. I had hoped that on this visit, my aura would be the picture of health and that progress would be highly noted. However, I knew from my heavy heart and disturbing thoughts that I was nowhere near the shape of wellbeing that I wished to be. Guilt flooded my thoughts as I imagined him telling me that progression was mostly up to me and that healthy thoughts depended on my strength of mind. I considered once again running from failure.

It’s strange how some people have the ability to infect you with confidence and reassurance the minute that they walk into your presence. My memory reminded me of a promise; of a South African doctor who assured me that he could fix what I thought was irreparable as long as I didn’t give up on him or myself. Closing my eyes, I opened my heart and my soul to the forces of energy that worked under my blind eyes. I envisioned myself as the carrier of light, a being filled with so much light that it radiated far and beyond what the eye could see. I smiled when I realized that this being is a star, the sun and the person the lives within me. Letting go of fears and doubts I let the light shine within me and found the confidence that my worries often overshadow.

Did I leave my body? I couldn’t have, for I felt my presence there all the time. I felt my healer’s hands and the touch left on my skin. Yet I felt like I was on a completely different plain than I had been on the first time around. Twisted, touched and healed… I felt myself being molded by something bigger than I am… and felt the incredible urge to weep when it was all over. The second time is supposed to be harder than the first.

“Why am I shaking?”

Dr. Miracle looked at me the way I fear to be seen by others: as fragile. Told that it was best not to know what it was that had been removed from my soul, I chose to accept the fact that perhaps I was just a little afraid and that something’s are best not known… at least not for now. It occurred to me that most of my hurts and ego are caused by my own hand and I apologized to my higher being for harming it the way I have through time and lifetimes. I once again wished for the opportunity to have past life regressions believing that it would be an incredible opportunity to better understand myself.

Doc decided that a specifically placed injection would help me calm down and I couldn’t help laughing at myself as I felt more human and female than I’d ever felt before. I have a hard time trusting my soul to the hands of another human being, but it comforts me so when I’m reminded that the good doctor is merely the carrier and messenger of the higher power and that God sent him to heal my soul. So often, have I too been the vessel of a higher message. And yet, besides that knowledge, I trust not just the doctor but the man before me. Speaking to him is like speaking to someone doesn’t need many words to understand.

After you get used to the people around you speaking a different language, your own language sounds foreign to your ears. What joy it is when someone speaks to you from the same level of knowledge. It’s that feeling of exhilaration when you meet someone from your home town in a foreign land, someone who knows your foundations and speaks to you in your language. This is how I feel at each visit to Dr. Pins and Needles. He makes me want to stop time and stay forever and I wonder about the things that he sees and does not tell me. My nature wills me to reach out and reciprocate some of the healing and comfort that he’s given me although my conscience prevents me from doing so. When I’m there, I feel like there is no other place on earth that I’d rather be. Things become so clear and my spirit feels safe. When I look into his eyes, I feel that I’m looking into a whole different world, which is both familiar and strange to me. How good would it be to reach out and touch his hand, enter his mind and read the thoughts I cannot begin to fathom. This must be how the student feels before his master and how a patient feels before his doctor. After the healing I could not have attained on my own, I promised myself to treat my soul with better care so that I too can help others reach a higher level of health.

“Why did it take you so long to come see me?”. Gee, I dunno either doc! We both know you’re a busy man yet it’s perhaps because I thought you might send me to a shrink if I ran into your office screaming: “prick me with something quick before I go insane!” How do you respond to someone who knows about the pain you’ve been going through?

The Surgeon of souls told me that he’d removed the thoughts that were haunting me and the weight upon my shoulders. At first I thought it was impossible, he couldn’t possibly know the pressure and stress I was under and that it was impossible to remove these elements from my being at the present time. However after placing his hands on my head as if literally pulling them out my mind, I was amazed at how thoughts that I’d struggled against for so long, somehow just let go of my conscious. When leaving his office I began to fear their return wondering if I’d have to come back to him when they once again announced their takeover. Yet… there has been no sign of them since and the pressure once felt has been replaced with an indescribable sense of relief. I went to bed a girl and woke up a woman, ready to face the world with regenerated energy.

Is this healing of soul all really in my mind? And if so… isn’t that what I need to heal in order to be in perfect health? Whatever the methods you choose to heal your body and soul, make sure they work for you. No one can argue that your body is directly connected to your mind and that one cannot work without the other. If your mind is ill, your body will react. Find what it is that keeps the two together, be it a sport, a hobby or even yoga. Hold onto whatever keeps you healthy in both mind and spirit. I once again recommend acupuncture, even to those who are afraid of needles. In the least of cases
it will make you aware of your body and help you to once again make the connection with your soul.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Hours - Dedicated to My Readers

Has is ever occurred to you that everything is just a question of time? When you’re waiting or anticipating for that moment that your heart desires, time is personified and becomes either a friend or a foe that stands between you and that moment. Unpredictable and without warning, time waits for no one and has a hand in everybody’s lives. Recently, I’ve once again felt like a puppet whose strings are pulled by fate, dancing to the tune of time and defined by the passing hours.
Have you ever timed your day? Starting with that quiet time in the morning when all is still and the day seems new? Your head is neither full nor empty and you have the ability to create whatever mood you wish to wear for the day. The tick tocking of your alarm clock speeds up time and suddenly it seems you don’t have enough of it. So much to do, so little time to do it in, it feels like time runs away with you and your only wish is for it to stop so that you can catch up.
It’s when you finally lose yourself in haste that time decides to stop, allowing you to hear yourself breathe and feel the beat of your heart. Sometimes it happens at the bus stop when I get the chance to look around me and connect to the strange faces. Most of the times, it’s just before I go to bed and say my prayers. It is that hour when I question my existence.

What do you do when you’re not thinking? When you’re not planning for something and getting ready for somewhere? What do you say to time when it’s the only company standing beside you?

In the hours that kept me with time, I pondered about the moments gone by and remembered a book by Tennessee Williams called the Glass Menagerie. Having to study it for my 10th Grade English Literature paper there was a passage that he wrote that has forever been engraved in the back of my mind: We are all sentenced to solitary confinement in our own skins for life.
In the book that could never and will never be erased from my memory, Williams introduces us to four Characters: Amanda Wingfield, a dreamer who thinks if she can only marry her daughter than her life would finally fall into place. Tom Wingfield is the main character and the mirror of the author, a brother who feels trapped by the world and feels responsible for the life of his crippled sister. Laura is the shy sister who never learnt to come out her shell, who lives in a world of glass fantasies represented by her glass menagerie of animals. Her world breaks the day Jim O’Conner comes to call, he is Tom’s colleague and Laura’s secret crush from high school and although he is Mr. Perfect, he shatters all of their dreams by kissing Laura and then telling her that he likes her but already has a fiancé. What I most loved about this book, is the way I could see myself in all four Characters. As Amanda, I too have believed that if I can only get that one desire, everything else becomes easy. I too am guilty of breaking someone’s fantasy of love as Jim broke Laura’s and I’ve felt the crushing pain of rejection and of my world breaking with shattered dreams. Then there is the guilt, the frustration and incompetence that Tom feels towards the people he loves. On one shoulder weighs my responsibility to others whilst on the other shoulder weighs my responsibility to my own life.

Time is the longest distance between two places.

In Michael Cunningham’s book “The Hours”, he shows how our time becomes somebody else’s time too. How what we do defines the moments in other people’s lives and how vulnerable we truly are to destiny and fate. Cunningham is perhaps the first author to steal the strength of time when he defined the hours:
“We throw parties; we abandon our families to live alone; we struggle to write books (and columns) that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, and our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do and then we sleep – it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re fortunate, by time itself. Then there’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and even they perhaps know) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others far darker and more difficult.

Success and failure are equally disastrous.

Whilst once again searching for meaning in my life, I took the time I had to search for comfort in my Bible and in a book called “A course for miracles”. I tried to explain to myself and to my acupuncturist why my soul felt lost when it seemed that I had all the right answers at my fingertips. It then occurred to me that my answers were in time and in the hours that possessed me. There are the hours for joy, for bliss, for confusion… a time to think, a time to worry, a time to smile, a time to laugh and a time to cry… and then there are all the hours in between.

Yesterday is gone and will not pass me again, tomorrow never comes and all I truly have is today and this moment. On this particular hour, I am neither happy nor sad, nor worried. I simply am.
Staring at my computer screen, I write and read everything I’ve written and ask myself after all this harsh truth, what comfort I have to offer my readers? To those that read and bleed with me and spend their hours questioning their decisions and clutching their pillows… searching for the very essence of love and happiness around them. I imagine random faces that read my column and begin their e-mails with “I know what you mean” “I feel exactly the same way” or “Was that me that you wrote about”.
Yes, it is to you I write, it is about you and about me and about any human being that has the courage to feel what life shares with its experiences. I write what I feel in hopes to prove Tennessee Williams wrong when he says we live in solitary confinement. For if you can feel with me for even just a moment, then my every hour’s desire becomes well spent. I recently considered concluding Sunshine’s Column. A particular entry had spoken too loud and too real to a specific person and I decided that perhaps my column carries too much responsibility for a learning spirit as myself. However, time showed me that the particular entry has served its purpose and had healed instead of hurt the reader in question. Instead, I was thanked for my words and asked to continue to share them with those that need to read them.

My friends: accept the fact that you cannot change the world and the system you live in; that the future never comes and that you have everything and everyone you need to be loved and happy. This happiness is set in moments found in the hours that pass you by. Do not let them pass you. Your presence in this life is compulsory and your absence will upset the balance of life. Your every hour is a page in history however insignificant it may seem. Your every thought, word and action has the power to define someone else’s reality and reflects on the course of time. We are all learning the secrets and meanings of life and in the meantime all we can do is our best according to what is right by our hearts. I wish Virginia Woolf knew the impact that her writing would have on her readers, perhaps it would have kept her from suicide. Yet how would she have known in her present, what her future would bring?

My mission I know, has once again been accomplished. Someone, somewhere reading this is smiling and is filled with hope. Knowing that he/she possesses the ability to make a difference. And so I too have made a difference and completed my purpose for the day, tomorrow is another day with the same mission and once again I will try to make the most of my hours.

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the (wo)man who wrote it. – Tennessee Williams
And therefore there will always be the sun and the column that shares the experiences worth reading about – Sunshine.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Food For Thought

Forbidden thoughts have been on everyone’s minds as I received an amazing amount of e-mails commenting on this particular entry. Touching a sensitive nerve, I realized that almost everyone is secretly torturing themselves with thoughts that are unwanted by their brains. They define what is good for them and expect their soul to comply and when it doesn’t they begin to think that there is something wrong with their system.

What I expressed in my recent entry was the belief that to think the thoughts that are forbidden by our minds is as natural as smiling or sighing. That even though we can program our heads, we can never program our hearts.

This isn’t to say that the heart doesn’t already know what head tells it, it is to say that the heart takes longer to accept what is almost immediately registered by your mind.

Think back to all the hardest decisions in your life: ending a relationship, moving away, changing your lifestyle. All decisions that have been properly computed into your mind’s system and agreed on by your heart… and yet, we have doubts and struggle to move on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we hold on to our past, it means that our hearts treasure the good in the old and have difficulty in letting go.

That old teddy, that meaningful conversation, the unforgettable kiss and that lover that no longer occupies a space in your heart or in your bed… may still roam in the hidden files of your thoughts. The thoughts you don’t want to be thinking or remembering, those that you have labeled as “forbidden”.

Yet we think them, we replay them and modify them to suit our heart’s desires. Our heart seems to know no failure, it hopes and holds faith and hangs on to everything that is good about someone or a situation. Compared to a child, our hearts are the part of us that is innocent, willing things to be different and therefore does not let of people, things and situations which it believes still hold hope of love and happiness. It might even know deep down the truth of change, and yet its hope dies slowly. This hope is what haunts our dreams and thoughts, and so we punish ourselves for not being able to erase them from our system.

Worried that I might encourage obsession, I thought twice about publishing that first entry and three times about publishing this sequel. It is hard to write to strangers whose state of mind you know nothing about. What you take from my message depends on your perspective. However, what I’d like to define is the difference held between obsession and maturity. Obsessive is the person who holds onto the past using it as an excuse to not look onto the future and mature is the person who recognizes his thoughts, accepts them for what they are and has the strength not to act upon them. This mature person patiently knows to give his/her heart time to accept what it already knows.