LIVE! love! continue….

To dare…..to live like there is no other day. To love like there is no other purpose, and to continue…….with everything like you are supposed to

THE EARLY SIGNS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This weekend, I listened and followed the story of the lady who was shot dead by her husband in Buruburu. It broke me for many reasons. First, nobody should go through any form of violence. It is not right. I was talking with my friend about the whole situation. See, my friend, a mother of three little boys is a victim of domestic violence. The good news is that she finally got the courage to leave, and looking back, she says that the man would have killed her had she stayed even a day longer. Please, if you are going through domestic violence, stand up, pack up and leave. I cannot say it enough. The signs are always all over, but we always ignore them.

We choose to justify things: “I must have pissed him off….he hits me because he is jealous, and he is jealous because he loves me….”
please, stop….please, leave, please….before you die.

abuse

Some of the signs of domestic violence include:

Narcissism and alienation:
Most violent people have intense narcissism which may be hidden, but if you are keen enough, you will see it. It could be how he always wants things to go his way, and how he never gives you a chance to express yourself. You are nothing but an object that he uses to satisfy his narcissism.

Most abusers always make sure that they convince you to cut links with friends and family. They want to choose for you your friends, and even prefer when you have nobody around you. They want you to depend on them emotionally, financially, physically, and in all aspects of your life so that they can suppress you.

“I don’t want to see you interacting with those people, they are not good for you.” they say.

the truth is, they are afraid of you getting empowered and deciding to leave.

meme

Stalking to no end:
How they monitor your every move, hovering near you like an albatross – sitting, waiting, watching…so close! They wants to know how you spend every ticking second. When your phone beeps, they linger , taking in every conversation as if it is their own….
They demands for your passwords and make you feel guilty when you do not want to share personal details of your life.

My friend says that a few months before she walked out her marriage, her ex-husband would pace up and down the path she used from work, waiting to catch her. She would find him walking up and down, with a hood on his head, just stalking her like a creepy thug.
“When did it start….?” I asked:
“A long while back. But I used to think it is cute, and that he does not want to lose me….”
Then he started demanding for explanations on every single move she made.

stalk

Putting you down with toxic words:
Domestic violence doesn’t restrict itself to the fists and punches. Sometimes it is in the words that crush your soul and shatter your self esteem.
“You are a bad mother. Your people are useless. You are so stupid. You are nothing without me.”
“He really makes me feel bad.” My friend told me over and over.
Some words permeate the air and tattoo themselves in the heart such that you have to battle your self esteem to find yourself long after the relationship is over.

Please, tower above it and walk away from the toxic relationship…..

words

The fists. The blows. The punches.

You have probably heard of the cliché, if he hits you once, he will do it again. Hey, do not let anyone hit you. Never allow someone to cause you harm for the sake of love. That is not how love is supposed to be. That is abuse. Do not stay hoping they will change. They never do….

They hit you, over and over,…you stay, miserable and sad. Do not stay for the children. No child should ever be brought up in an abusive home. They are the ones who suffer the most. The trauma of your parent falling upon receiving blows crushes the children, and causes them pain that they do not deserve.

Please, leave for your children.

child

It never helps when you stay for the kids. They wish you could leave….

kid

The constant lies and excuses:
An abuser will lie:
“I will change. Don’t leave me. I don’t know what got to me. I do it because I love you. I will be kinder, better and gentler. Give me another chance.

Sadly, we fall into these many lies, hoping that they will keep their words, and the love will grow better.
They promise to help you chase your dreams and be the person you want them to be.

And then the blows rain again…followed by a series of apologies and more lies.

Over and over…until they kill you.

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 1 Comment

WHERE I COME FROM………..

I come from Kisumu city…
…the town of my upbringing. Of scorching sun, and a thousand dozen stars upon the skyline where I made several wishes, telling God many things, chief among them being that I wanted big big things…some of which have happened.
….where my mother fried golden fish and sold them to give us education and a brilliant future. Where I first tasted marshmallows and the sticky dates that my friend used to carry to school….

fish 2

I come from my mama’s womb….

she who bore me, and four other beautiful siblings. My sisters and my brother.  The one who taught us the value of good music, good morals, and choosing our battles, long before we grew up. The one who loved us before we took our first breathes and the one who loves us still…
My mama, the home maker, the fish monger, the profound singer, the cake baker who always wears dangling earrings that stream down her neck….the smiler, the one with a gap between her teeth…..that is where I come from.

The one who  continually whispers the name of the Lord in our lives, even when we feel God is in a far far distance!
pray
I come from powerful books….
Life altering, browning pages of words that flowed and transported me to different places. Books that were layered with deep imagery and delicious vocabulary that melted me and made me shiver. I come from Wahome Mutai’s “Whispers’ column at the Sunday Nation, A thousand splendid suns, I know why the caged bird sings, The Kite Runner, Chinua Achebe’s proverbs and other succulent books.

books
I come from Brokenness:

Of a broken body, tears flowing and knees bending. I come from hundreds of broken Ha-lle-luyas muttered from a place deep within me.

I come from cancer, of disease incapacitating, of surgeries that scared the hell or of me. I come from a series of healing….of searching for God’s arm, falling on my knees over and over.

I come from sighs, of scattered pieces of me that I am learning to gather. I come from growth, of self, and walking away from several things. I come from my own liberation, of learning how to let go and accept that I am whole only if I accept that I am broken.

I come from tears falling, heart mending, and learning over and over…..

broken

I come from immense LOVE!
The unequivocal  and so so so remarkably great love. The love that rains hard, the one thatcannot be stopped. Love that surrounds me and drowns me. The love that assures me that whatever happens, I will never be alone.

The love of my beloved, he who walks with a huge part of me! Mwaah, the love of my siblings, the foundation upon which I grow, the love of my friends, who make me smile and embrace who I am.  The love of my whole family, and their presence in most things that I do. The ones who nudge me oh so often towards the direction of my dreams.

The love of God, the one who RESTORES. The love of my mama, the one who taught me all I know about class and grace.

I come from a past, the things that made me who I am today…..and I am walking towards my new future.

I cannot wait for 2015.
It will be my year great promise….. a year of CLAIMING things that I have always wanted to do, It is my year of focus, and shutting out the noise. I cannot wait!
Hooooray…..to many more…of where I come from!

Categories: I AM, LIVE! love! continue.... | 9 Comments

HERE’S FOR THE LOVE OF WELL BEING

If you want to live a satisfactory life, then it is time for you to do some self evaluation to determine the things that are holding you back. Most people do not realize that they have the power to control their lives and that they have a button to their own happiness. If only we could internalize the things that we need to stop doing…

1. Stop giving negative people a chance in your life:

The people who speak negativity into your life. Those who put you down and focus on what you are doing wrong…the ones who are keen on identifying what is wrong with your life. They do that because you allow them. It is about time you kick out all the negative people out and flow with those who bring out the best in you. Ignore those who dim your light until they realize how irrelevant they are in your existence.

neg

2. Stop dwelling in the past:
You may have made several mistakes in your past. Things may have gone wrong and left you undone. But it is now time to move on  and grasp the present and the future. There is no time to wallow in the past and cry about how you wish things were different. Time keeps moving…tic-toc…the past is gone. It is time for a new beginning. Start yours now.

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

(Photo credits: Frankiejohnblogspot)
3. Stop comparing yourself with other people:

So what if other people have done things that are still elusive to you? So what if you seem to be a bit behind. Embrace the fact that everyone of us is coming from a unique background. The things you have battled, other people have not. There are things that you have achieved, that they haven’t. So stop looking at other people  with the thought that they have it all. Take flight…your own flight and be happy with your life choices.

stop it
4.Stop depending on other  people to give you purpose and happiness in life:

Take charge of your own happiness. Live. Love. Laugh. Continue….
Do not keep pegging your enjoyment of life on  your relationship, or friendship. Be you….and think about the things that you love. Do them, regardless of who wants to do them with you. When you start enjoying yourself without relying on others, then you will find life’s beautiful purpose. Drink coffee, listen to music, dance, sleep… be happy!

happy

5. Stop complaining and whining about how unfair life is:
So what if you have not had things easy? True, you have struggled in relationships, you have sunk into financial problems, you have wallowed in hopelessness, you have cried the whole night when the world was asleep, you have stared into blackness and wondered if you will rise from  it….but that is not your definition. Your struggles are not who you are! Complaining and whining about how hard life is will not change anything.  Learn, and live!

complain

6. Stop holding grudges:
People will hurt you, people will shock you by doing things you didn’t expect them to. Even those closest to you will do things that will uproot the trust you had in them. However, holding a grudge doesn’t help you. It only enslaves you by keeping you on a leash, hoping that something bad will happen to those you are holding a grudge on. Let go! It doesn’t mean that you start trusting them again. No, all it means is that you stop making them relevant in your life…..it frees you and allows you to focus on other important things. Oy! with the bitterness already!

go
7. Stop trying to run away from your issues:
Sometimes it seems easier to ignore stuff and bury yourself in the proverbial sand. Sadly, it doesn’t change a thing. If you have messed up, acknowledge it, and work towards your rising! Do not try to distract yourself with other things, in the hope that things will work themselves out. No, you have to take control and align things for yourself.

congtrol
8. Stop ignoring your own needs:
It is okay to love other people and to prioritize their needs. However, you should never abandon yourself completely as you try to take care of someone else. People will call you selfish, but in real sense, they are the ones who are selfish. For them to expect you to immerse yourself in  helping them figure out how their lives should be, while yours is in a standstill. So, take some time off , take care of yourself….

care2

9.Stop being too careful to avoid making mistakes.
Perfection is boring!  Dare to do the thin gs that scare you the most. Set up a financial goal higher than you think you can. Apply for that job that everyone else thinks you can’t get. Bid for something that shakes your frame. Think of yourself as the best. Trust me, mistakes are the best part of success. They teach you things you didn’t know about yourself. So, STOP second guessing yourself. Just jump in…..take a leap and see how it unfolds.

goldfish jumping out of the water

10. Stop being so ungrateful:
Are you waiting for something BIG to happen in your life for you to start being grateful? Your breakthrough perhaps? That is not how it is done. Look around you…you will see immense beauty, some of which are your own creation. Think about your family, the things that make you happy, the journey you have walked to be where you are today! Aren’t you grateful for life? For the a thousand possibilities ahead of you? For the fact that you are who you are!

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 2 Comments

I AM A BELIEVER

“I love everything about the world: how this life goes, GOOD & WRONG… I believe in things that you may nOt understand, I may cry but am nOt afraid!!!”
― Ashley M. Fierro

1.I believe that each one of us has a story ~ all of us are made up of blocks and blocks of words. We are our past experiences, our mistakes, our attempts to rise, over and over. I believe that our stories are forces that push us forward even when everything crumbles around us. I believe in telling my stories and refusing to be silenced. Because when everything else fades and we perish…the only thing that remains is our stories…the ones we told, the ones people will tell about us, and the ones that we were too scared to reveal. We are fragments of words, pieced together by our existence

2 I believe in the God of restoration. The God who is able to pick our ruins and help us build something beautiful. I believe in the God of love, He who is able to listen to even the deepest of our soulful cries. I believe in the God of healing…He who nurses broken hearts, He who heals diseases, He who fondles over the tearful hearts of the bereaved and make them whole.

3.I believe in hearty laughter. Of finding light in darkness and seeing cracks of humor where it hides. I believe in light talk, in being teased and teasing. I believe in light talk, in being teased and teasing. I believe that lingering laughter is the best gift you can give to someone you love

 

laugh2

4.I believe that pain is for purpose. That every single tear we shed, is an ultimate lesson. Every painful experience, makes us appreciate life better….every painful toil is for us to find a radiant place someday. Every pain is a lesson. Even if only that someday we will be able to hold down someone who is going through what we went through and tell them: “You know, I have been there, and I have to tell you, the sun will come out somehow.”

5.I believe that writing is therapy. Taking out a blank piece of paper and pouring your soul is the best form of release. I cherish it.

6.I believe in learning to choose your battles and acknowledging that some battles are beneath you is not a sign of weakness but great strength. I believe in knowing what matters and what doesn’t, and drawing the line without forgetting. I believe in identifying that which is important in your life, and ignoring the ones that are not. Life is too brief and sweet to chase things that don’t matter

battle

 

7.I believe that family is the backbone of my success.

8.I believe in resurrections. Not so much of the body but of the soul. I believe that a dead dream can come to life, I believe that a cold dead heart can be healed and nursed to life. I believe that a mourning person can slowly resurrect and see the beauty of life. I believe. 

9.I believe that words are mighty and they cut like a sharp sword. I believe in watching what I tell the people I care about. I believe in the immortality of the spoken and written word. I believe that friendships and relationships can be shattered by the utterance of the wrong phrase. I believe in thinking through my words, and even though sometimes I fail, I still believe that words are lethal. 

10.I believe in friendship that tumbles over the barriers of time and distance and stays true for years till death.

 

friendship002

11.I believe that abuse is not restricted to being beaten ~ I believe that making someone feel inferior, making someone feel worthless, deliberately degrading someone, and making them question their worth ~ that is abuse.

12.I believe that every single person we experience in our lives, whether good or bad…they are a cause in our existence. There is no coincident. There is no accident. Every single person you know in your life, is there for a reason. You just need to look through it.

13.I believe that no matter how hopeless and dark the situation in life is….somehow, the sun still comes out. You may be buried in stress to see it, but it still cracks through and penetrates the deep darkness.

14. I believe in doing good for my own. Doing bad for my own too. 

 

15. I believe that life has no ending. Just constant new beginnings~because I am a believer.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 2 Comments

THE WORLD SPINS MADLY ON

For Claris….
Never forgotten.
Still…we are still!

 

It has been days…it has been months….a year gone.

Clarita….

It has been people who loved you embracing new realities. It has been days and days of trying….

To move on….

It has been a moment of you here, and then you are GONE.

One time eyelids open…the next, shut to eternity.

Sometimes, it feels like a millisecond…you laughing, updating your facebook, status you living, you loving….and then the silence.

Claris!

You still linger in our thoughts, fragments of you remained here with us….your smile, your voice, your children….and then the scary reality.
You are gone….!

I still remember calling your sister the day that you died. I still remember the ocean of tears, and the deep darkness that engulfed me….i still remember how your demise slapped me with the reality of my own mortality.

We still think of you…often than we care to admit. We still think of your boys…the kids you left behind. We still remember your loved ones weeping, reality sinking, sorrow dawning….

Today we are here…..and then tomorrow, like a candle put out, you are GONE.

Sometimes I close my eyes and think about what you would have become…sometimes I wonder if you are able to look down here and see your sons’ future breaking into a million uncertainties; in your absence.

Clarita…..

I wonder if you have met God….and if it is true that angels welcome people when their souls exit this earth…..i wonder….Claris, if God rewarded you for all those painful days you held on in that hospital bed. All those painful surgeries. All those days when your heart held on…fragment by fragment….one painful second after another.

A flower plucked ~ unbuded.

The physical pain you went through…the tears….the surgeries….I hope the angels received you with a hug! And acknowledged that you are a real fighter.

 

Clarita

I wonder if you cried when you met the one who sits above….and asked Him why our immortality above is pegged on our own fragile mortality down here.

I wonder if you look down and smile…at the milestones you covered when you were here….I wonder if you count days since you left, like we do down here.  I wonder if you look down on your children and blow maternal love on them everyday that they wake.

Claris…..
Just your body.

Never your SOUL….NEVER!
Just your body gone….but NOT the SOUL….you are eternally present.

We screamed and prayed from the deepest place within us….a bottomless core that we didn’t know existed.
We fell on our knees….
We surrendered.
We sought God….
We still do…
And He showed His face….
And showed us who He is….

Clarita….He is who He says He is….

Haiyaye….mami…Just your body. Not your soul.
Always remembered. ….Rockabye Nyar’kendu.

It shall be well down here….It shall be well.
The world spins madly on….

C.L.A.I.T.A!

I lay motionless in bed
I thought of you and where you’d gone
and let the world spin madly on………
………I let the day go by
I always say goodbye
I watch the stars from my window sill
The whole world is moving and I’m standing still…………………………
 

 

 

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 9 Comments

YOU KILL GOD!

  Hey, you Christians who judge, you who have appointed yourselves high places and you stand and look down on others who you feel are sinners…you feel you are too great for those who are not ‘born again’.
You sneer, you shake your head, you click when they speak;  when they ‘sin’, when they cry…when they bare yourselves to you, you don the attire of self righteousness and tell them off —

let me ask you…………………….

Which God do you serve?

hyp

 

To you who talk on and on about other people’s life choices, behind their backs, to those  who care to listen. 

You shred their reputation, their names…you point out their sins, you laugh, you even conclude that they are cursed because maybe they don’t pray enough. You have bitter judgment and the audacity to shun —

Yeah, you feel like you are the ones who have internalized God and everyone else is lesser……

 

Have you met God?

God

 

Yes, you carry yourself in a proud manner. In church, you want everyone to see you….

How you dress; how you strut to the altar to talk about your ‘god’, you look down upon others who you feel haven’t been blessed like you…and in suggestive language, you imply that they are lesser than you. You bite them with your fangs of self righteousness. You struggle to separate yourself from many people, because you feel like they will contaminated your faith……..

 

….well, you are polluting God!

self-righteousness

 

Oh, and that barrier and wall that you create between yourself and the people you feel are not good enough. You label them with your stereotypes….they don’t attend church as frequently as you do, so they will not go to heaven like you…they don’t go to the church that you attend, so they probably are in the wrong place….your church is the best, you are the ones who will be in the front linee at the gates of heaven. No need to give audience to someone who goes to another church. No. your church is the one. Perfection. Puuuh! 

 

…….You do not seek God…
you are after your own selfishness………

 

 

selfy

 

 

If your religion pushes you to force your definitions and opinions into others without knowing when to stop, if it makes you resent those who refuse to be swayed by your line of thought. If you become volatile and angry when someone disagrees with you along religious thoughts….and any discussion about God always leaves you with intense anger, then you should review which God you are holding with value.

 

assembly

 

 

And those who continually talk about the Lord of provision. The Lord who Gives…who gives and gives. Material wealth…..gold, cars, good cars, good houses, money. You fall on your knees, and chant the novena….to the Lord who GIVES. All you need from God is stuff that He should be giving. You cry when you lack material things and yell Kumbaya asking God to descend and give you….yet you continually omit the Grace and Love that God has surrounded you with. You ignore the gift of life, of parenthood, of inner peace, of laughter, of joy that He has given you in abundance. You shift all your focus on the things that you lack…..

…………You hurt God

bless

 

 

Yeah, and those who shake and shout in rage at the sins of others…those who point out what others are doing….ahhh, my friend ye you neglect your own! You constantly talk about God’s truth…you have mastered the rules, the Bible from Genesis to revelation…you quote bible verses and somehow you become a small god, by always telling people what they should do…..yet you forget that you are also as mortal as they. You are no better than a ‘kafiri’

 

You exclude and wish that those who struggle with their choices be eliminated from the face of the earth. You condemn openly people who have made what you consider wrong choices in life, to you, Christianity should just be presented with bitterness and you scare fragile souls with a message of gnashed teeth, and you forget oh so cleverly to mention the God of second chances…..

 

aha

…………………..you portray your faith with so much lies and hypocrisy. It stinks to high heavens. Fuuuuh!

You who refuse to respect and honor the religion of another…

You who define God in your own biased perception and try to force your god upon others….

You who sing ad nauseam about the ways of the Lord, yet you walk a different lane….

What you try to do is to kill God.
You kill God.

You murderer of the most High!

 

goddy

 ( For  Ronny who has continually opened my perspective to things that we once elusive to me)

 

 

 

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 3 Comments

DARING DESIDERATA – BE HAPPY

 Let go of resentment.

I know, maybe the past has been too painful for you, maybe the ghosts of how things happened still pop its head and put you down and maybe someone hurt you so bad, that you doubt if you will ever be able to forgive them fully. Well, its about time that you let go, and I know, letting go is not easy, especially if the hurt was so big…but you don’t need to completely close the book and throw it out, no…just turn a new page of the book and begin a new chapter.

Do not let the pain linger for too long. I have been hurt by so many people, but the trick is to always let go of the resentment. Sometimes what replaces the resentment may be a form of indifference, but I try as much as I can to let go of negative feelings and hatred that resentment brings. And in the process, I get my sanity, and a ray of sunshine.

Cut out the negative.

This year, I decided to make a deliberate effort to cut out people who bring negative energy into my life. It was a hard decision to make, given that some of them were people that I had known for a long time, but it was about time. I got tired of  exposing myself to people who would go behind my bag and shred me; I got kinda fed up of people who did nothing in trying to raise me, people whose focus was only them, and they couldn’t care less what I was going through.  I realized that it would be very hard for me to surge forward and sore if I am always pinned down by so much negativity and people who felt like my life revolved around them…so I cut the strings, and I refused to look back. And sincerely, I have been able to create a form of positive space that has enabled me to grow. I made a deliberate effort to not participate in battles that wouldn’t benefit me in any way…and in my walking out of the negative, I have been able to smile more. Try it. Shut the door on negative energy.

Lessen the expectations

There was a time in my life when I got a high level of joy from getting validation of people who I thought mattered. So I did all I could to please people, I felt bad saying No to people asking for favors, and in turn, I expected them to be good to me.

And often, I got disappointed…

Because the people who I thought would be there for me, frankly didn’t give a shit about my emotions and feelings. So for a long while, I walked with a heavy heart, with a series of brokenness that I so desperately wanted to get rid of. And God knows that I tried, but my expectations were never met. So I made a resolution to lower my expectations to a point where I could not be shattered to many pieces. And it worked.

Mind your own business.

People have often called me snobbish, and self centered, because I try all I can to distance myself from how people live their lives. Really, unless I consider you a personal friend, then chances are, I couldn’t care less how you live your life. A while back, I used to bother so much about  what people are doing, what they have. The insides of their lives, but not anymore. I realized that I need to walk my own path, live my own life without having to explain to anyone the choices that I have made. My ultimate goal was to LIVE and be HAPPY. And then all the insecurities I have always had, of how people view me just kinda lifted and vanished, and I started focusing on ME. I shut out the noises of the world and made laughter my goal…and so far, so good. I am minding my own business, at least I try. I never bother on what others are doing with their lives. If our fates clash, so be it, but in no way am I making a point of poking my nose into what drama is cooking in another person’s life. It is tedious and childish.

Desiderata

desiderata_by_striveforpeace

 

 

 

Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 9 Comments

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