Celebrating my birthday and finishing strong!

This morning started off a bit emotionally for me as I reflected upon the last 39 years of my life and how far I have come. And I was so full. So full of tears, prayerful intentions and infinite gratitude for this precious life of mine that I can love so deeply.

I remember my last few birthdays not being so enjoyable as I was ailing each time with one illness or another. I appreciate my vitality and well-being so much more today because of this.

So I must say: Thank You God that I can now appreciate the light because of all the darkness that I was blessed to journey through. Thank You God for the infinite love and support that comes to me from multiple avenues and directions. Thank You God for the people and resources that become readily available as soon as I set an intention to positively shift my life. Thank You God for helping me expand my capacity to not only love others, but to love myself first as the beautiful light that you created me to be. I know that these words alone are not enough to thank You for all of this and much more. They will never be because You are just that AMAZING and GREAT, dear God!

12 years later, I’m still in awe of the best gift I ever received from God on my birthday, my daughter Reyah. She is my life, comfort, joy and everything! I feel blessed to share my birthday with her! And of course, the best thing about my daughter growing up is that we often get called sisters! Anything that makes me seem younger, I will gladly receive that!! 😉

Today, I am savoring our shared birthday and this delicious life!!

FarahReyah

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Simple is undeniably beautiful!


Enjoyed exercising my creativity muscle last night with my daughter, Reyah while we created a Valentine’s Day box for her last elementary school party. As I watch her blossom into the soulful being she is divinely meant to be, I am reminded that putting creativity into action can be so fulfilling and gratifying. While helping her out last night, my inner voice kept uttering to me, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just enjoy the process of creating.” As a recovering perfectionist, I realize that letting go of perfection doesn’t have to be as difficult of a process as I sometimes think it can be. The box is not perfect but it is simple and beautiful as Reyah declared it to be. I love it when what we envision actually manifests in our reality simply with inspired action! And then I remembered suddenly the Christmas gift Reyah gave me last year which was a trinket box with the words “Simple is Beautiful”. Oh, what a sweet memory to have resurfaced! Cherishing this moment of bonding I had with Reyah. It’s such a joy when she teaches me all the delightful ways I can spiritually grow as a mother. Our children can really be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be! 💜

(BTW, empty Kleenex boxes sure do come in handy! 😉)

   
 

Thoughtful Thursday: Life is too short

Clouds with heart shape

Life is too short. I often personally have to remind myself of how unpredictable life can be and sometimes, the reminders are so naturally manifested as I’m going about my day. We never know what will happen from this moment to the next. All it takes is a second for our world to turn inside out. All the plans for the future that we make in life to feel like we are somehow in control may never be accomplished. All the dreams we wish to fulfill may be left unrealized. We may be surrounded by our loved ones in this very moment and in an instant they may vanish from our lives. Yet how often do we tell our loved ones what they mean to us and how grateful we are for them? How often do we willingly forgive those people that have betrayed or hurt us at some point in our life? How often do we remember that our loved ones will not remain in our lives forever? People have an innate tendency to take life and the people in our life for granted. We may lash out in anger and express some harsh remarks to someone we love over a trivial situation or even stop talking to them. And we may think that tomorrow we will apologize or reconcile with them. But we forget that tomorrow is not promised and it may be too late to make amends.

So while we are still living our life, let us…

…never stop saying “I love you” to those that are near and dear to us and most importantly, show them how important they are or how much we love them.

…never stop saying “thank you” to those people that are truly blessings in our life.

…not lose sight of all the people that we have encountered in our life and be grateful for the lessons that we have learned from all of them.

…appreciate the people in our life for who they are as well as for the time we have spent together with them even if they are not around as much.

…forgive those that have wronged us and put all those unpleasant memories behind us.

…rekindle bonds that have been severed before it’s too late to say “I’m sorry”.

…enjoy every moment and live every day as if was our last.

And remember, we often don’t realize the value of someone until we lose them. A moment now spent cherishing those around us, loving and forgiving them can make a difference in our own life. This thing called life is just that it goes by so quickly and tomorrow may not be ours to see. All we really have is this moment to express our love so why not start now?

Thoughtful Thursday: A Leap of Faith

In every facet of my life, I encounter fear. It gets the best of me.

As of late, I have been paralyzed with the fear of losing a dear friendship. This is a profoundly divine friendship with my big brother whom I visited daily and with whom I exchanged many thought-provoking conversations in the recent past. These everyday exchanges became somewhat of a normal routine for me and sometimes the only moments of solace that I would actually get to experience. Last month, I chose to leave the company for which we both worked. The thought of not being able to see my brother day after day was beyond disturbing but it was a truth that sooner or later I would need to accept. I feared that our friendship would soon dissipate if I did not do everything in my control to nurture it.

Control. This can get the best of me, too.

In my desire to control and maintain an atmosphere of our friendship similar to what it was like prior to my parting, I became irritated and perturbed when my methods of trying to connect with my brother failed.  As a result, I began to doubt my trust in him. My faith wavered when I noticed that our friendship was not continuing the way I would have hoped for it to. In the very few conversations I had with him over the last several weeks, I acted out of fear and anger as I sensed that he did not view the need for growing our friendship through my lens. And there I was, too weak and weary to even focus on my faith in God that he would make things right.

Last Sunday when my brother and I finally connected on the phone, he asked me to take what I would call a gigantic leap of faith – a leap that would mean fully accepting, believing and trusting that he cares about me and our friendship without having to demonstrate or prove it constantly. And that everything will all fall into its own place if there is faith. All I could think was this:

He was asking for too much. And NO way was I going to do that. How could I carry on patiently without knowing that he was okay? How could I be okay with not hearing from him daily when that is what I was accustomed to for so long? 

This was going to be a difficult leap and one that was way out of my comfort zone. Not knowing daily how my brother was doing or what was troubling him and not hearing his voice would require a tremendous amount of patience and courage on my part. I was just not ready for that leap; I was not ready to let go. As always, he was very considerate and did not impose any of his notions upon me. He gave me some time to think about whether or not I can take this leap. And he would still be content if I just could not.

At that point, I was in a state of utter confusion and deep introspection. Though I absolutely knew that taking this leap was the best course of action for the growth of our friendship, I questioned any faith that I had in myself. Did I value and love this friendship enough to take such a huge leap? Was there another life lesson to be learned from taking this leap? I could only pray to God diligently and ask him to lead my way.

Over the last few days as I pondered the choice to take the leap or not, I happened to attend one of the most unique and inspirational sessions presented by Cherie Cross on accepting and appreciating human differences as well as our own humanness. The key messages that I learned from this particular session were that people are not out to get you, that you should express your love to the people in your life and believe that they are doing the best with what they can and finally, that what they do or don’t do is NOT PERSONAL; it’s just their style!

Cherie ended the session with a very touching excerpt from Og Mandino’s book called The Greatest Salesman in the World:

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men and until I master this art I will remain no more than a peddler in the market place. I will make love my greatest weapon and none on whom I call can defend against its force.

My reasoning they may counter; my speech they may distrust; my apparel they may disapprove; my face they may reject and even my bargains may cause them suspicion; yet my love will melt all hearts liken to the sun whose rays soften the coldest clay.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

And how will I act? I will love all manners of men for each has qualities to be admired even though they be hidden. With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built around their hearts and in its place will I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

And how will I confront each whom I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened. And who is there who will say nay to my goods when his heart feels my love?

I will greet this day with love, and I will suc­ceed.

Interestingly enough, just when Cherie stated the last line of this excerpt, I received a text message from my brother stating “I have faith that you will make it work.” I could not stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. There are no coincidences in life, but rather signs that God has a way of revealing in the right place and at the right time, in His own time. My only thoughts at that moment were that I must let go of the fear that I have about our precious friendship dissolving and surrender to God’s love.

Love is a four-letter word but one so powerful that when offered with the goodness of your heart, it can change the world. I must act out of love for my brother and not in anger, desperation or a need to be right. It is NOT important for me to be right, but rather to get it right – to shower unconditional love in this friendship that will take it a long way, to be understanding of situations that warrant it, to refrain from taking his actions or inactions personally, to be forgiving when mistakes are made or when plans change and to completely trust him knowing that although he may not be able tend to my desires continually, that he really DOES care.

I presume that God is calling me to jump with all my heart and all my strength, and to have faith that He is already there on the other side waiting to catch me; that He will come through for me in the end.

So I eagerly wait to tell my brother this: “I, too, have faith that I will make it work.”

Missing Your Smile

Smile

Today, I celebrate a very special day — my big brother’s birthday. I haven’t seen my brother in almost a month now. Oftentimes, I long to see him and hear his voice. My heart misses his angelic smile dearly and I hope that he will enjoy this poem that I have written especially for him.

Missing your smile

I miss that smile,
The smile that only you can speak,
The smile that is so special and unique,
The smile that I will always seek.

I miss that smile,
The smile that was unspoken yet it would inspire,
The smile that illuminated my dismal days when I was in the mire,
The smile that is simply divine and the one I deeply admire.

I miss that smile,
The smile that even without you around, I still see,
The smile that expressed how proud you were of me,
The smile that always greeted me with glee.

I miss that smile, my big brother’s gracious smile,
The smile that would make my troubled heart soften,
The smile that I do not get to see often,
The smile that will never be forgotten.

My Beautiful Life

Yesterday, I sat in utter disbelief — dazed and very sad as my friend’s 34-year old brother was laid to rest. Although he was not someone I knew very closely, he was still someone whom I saw mature along with me and my friends. My heart hurts beyond measure for my friend and her family — for the parents who are saddened to have outlived their son, for the young wife who has been in a complete state of shock of losing her soul mate and for the sister who lost her one and only sibling.

During the funeral service, I pondered deeply about all the relationships I have in my life — one of a sister and what it would be like if I lost my brother or sister, one of a wife and what it would be like if I lost my husband, one of a mother and what it would be like if I lost my child whom I bore for nine months. While I mulled over this, tears quietly slipped down my cheeks. I realized then that my loved ones and my relationships with them are vital to my being and that my life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Losing someone to death is one of the most difficult things to cope with no matter how young or old the deceased may be and no matter how long you knew the person. When I lost my grandfather very unexpectedly two weeks before my high school graduation, I was devastated and my sorrows were immense. I found it very tough to walk on my graduation day because I knew how much my grandfather wanted to see his oldest grandchild succeed in this endeavor. Even 15 years after his death, I still mourn while wishing to visit him more often at his grave and wonder what it would be like to have him around, for him to know what I have accomplished, for him to see all the roles I now play in my life.

I really do live a beautiful life but most of the time, I don’t acknowledge it nearly enough. I gripe and whine profusely at times. I find myself wishing that my life would be different and that some people around me would change. What I don’t often remember is that the people in my life, the personal relationships that I have cultivated are my reason for being, my true essence. These are the gifts that I have been bestowed. It is through such tragic events that I’m reminded to make a much more conscious effort to appreciate the life that God has given me because at any given moment it could end.

My Brother, My Angel

Many years ago, I took great pleasure in writing poetry to express my deepest desires and emotions about people who were very dear to me. Today, on this special day — my big brother’s birthday — I have once again renewed my desire to write poetry. I firmly believe that God brought my big brother into my life as my angel when I was struggling and in dire need of “the wisdom to know the difference”. My brother has been the most sincere and thoughtful friend for which a little sister can ask. He explains life to me like no one else has ever done before. I pray that may he have the bestest of the best happiness in the many, many more years to come. Here is a poem for my big brother who is truly a special blessing, one that I hope will always remain with me. 
 
My Brother, My Angel
 
My dear and precious brother,
You’re so much more than words can say.
You mean still more and more to me
With each and every passing day.
 
You are my hero, my angel,
My savior and much more,
My God-sent blessing
That I very much adore.
 
It was you who believed in me
When I had lost all hope.
During my troubled and turbulent times,
It was you who helped me cope.
 
I feel so very fortunate
That I have you to talk to and laugh with.
You are a true friend, my confidant
Whom I trust and can find comfort with.
 
I can always count on you for support,
You know just when I need you the most.
You are one whom I will forever
Keep in my heart very, very close.
 
Though I haven’t known you for very long
As you aren’t my brother by nature of birth.
I could not have chosen a better brother,
You really are the best one on earth.
 
If God gave me a real brother, then I may not have found you.
With you, I can sense a very serene connection.
Some of your greatest virtues that I admire
Are the rare qualities of caring and compassion.
 
My life would surely be bare
Without your extraordinary presence.
My dear and precious brother,
YOU are the light that truly makes a difference.