Ode To The Journey (Believe, Belong, Become)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by bespokekenya

I got this title from one of my favorite classical pieces and also one of the greatest works of music in the world by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

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The Journey, Believe, Belong, Become, for the four years I have been in this university I have never understood this till recently. This is a family, the people who are members are so proud of it and I see it in peoples profiles on twitter and Facebook. I wondered why they are so into it and so I started attending to see what the hype was all about. The experience was astounding. It is a place where young people meet to profess their faith and learn how to live walking along a righteous path.it is a religious group but yet has the air of a concert, it is a place where people say things, make jokes and sing and encourage and still maintain the bond of a family and a close family at that, almost everybody knows the other people in the place, I thought I would feel out of place because nobody knew me but was I wrong, even strangers high five you and talk to you as if you have been lifelong friends.

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I went to a camp (my 1st one ever) and it was so much fun. The fun was in that I got to play games, something I haven’t done since I was a kid. It reminded me that I am not as young as I used to be, now every part of my body hurts, I’m like some geriatric man who complains when he walks too much. I can either resign myself to never doing anything physical again…or I can get more exercise. My mum seems to think I should do more exercise since she is worried about my health and the risk of heart conditions. Anyway,that’s not the point.

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In this camp I went with a group of people who I have always thought never existed. I was a member of a 6 person team and we chose TIMBUKTU as the name of our team, to go with this awesome name we had an equally awesome dance which I couldn’t do very well because I have two left feet and the rhythm of an elephant. My team members were, BRIAN, NICHOLAS, FAITH, BILLUPS AND BRENDA. I am violating the rules of grammar and capitalizing their names because these people very probably changed my life.

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 These were people who listened to everything you said no matter how trivial, they gave you their undivided attention when you spoke, they never judged you no matter what you said or how your past life has been. I can honestly say I have never come across a more understanding and inspiring group of people. I’m used to the kind of people who boo you and heckle when you say something they don’t like….they also seemingly have a wide array of choice insults to choose from when they decide to insult you….which is almost a daily occurrence. So you can understand my hesitation to say anything at that camp.

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But as I went on, I gradually realized that these were not judgmental people and so when my turn came to talk, boy did I talk. I opened up to a group of strangers and told them things I have never told anybody, It was like the floodgates had opened, bits of information even I didn’t know I could say in public came spewing out and they still listened earnestly. At the end of my tirade there were so many words of encouragement I seriously felt overwhelmed. Here were people who do not even know my 2nd name paying attention to me and caring more than people I had known for years.

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I also learnt that every one of us has a story, I talked a lot but I also listened. Sometimes I used to think that only old people had something worthwhile to say about life because they had lived it. But boy was I wrong. This was a group of my age mates and they told me things I needed to hear

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One thing I was told is that, people only look at you according to how you look at yourself. If you think you are a failure then other people will latch on to that and everybody will think you a failure. I remember once 3 years ago a lady who was a friend of mine told me, you are a cute guy but you have the ugliest dental formula. This really got to me, I had always felt self-conscious about the spaces between my front teeth and that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, I always covered my mouth when I was laughing and avoided smiling in photos because I believed I had ugly teeth.id like to say that with time it all went away but in reality I still avoid smiling in photos and I laugh with my mouth hidden.

So my team members told me that if what physical deformity you have never caused you to lack friends, then it was not a problem, and I thought about it. Nobody ever came to me and told me, you have messed up teeth so being friends with you is kind of impossible. Matter of fact, I’ve got some people who like the spaces and so I decided, why concentrate on the negative, if one person says something affirmative and a thousand say something negative, I think it’s more prudent to concentrate on the positive.

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Another issue was doing what makes you happy. In recent times, we are all doing things to ensure we get jobs or earn a lot of money, but very few of us do what actually makes us happy. I was told that no matter what you do, do it because you love doing it, God will cater to the finances, leave everything to Him. Here another problem arose, not many people know exactly what they want to do. I was one of these people until this year when I realized that I want to do anything that helps me understand society or people in general, which is why sociology appeals to me so much, so dropping economics didn’t make sense to a lot of people, still doesn’t, problem is the constant nagging question, what will you do with sociology, this cannot help, but I choose to leave that up to God, He had a plan for me, He knew why He sent me here and I will trust Him that He will show me the way.

I also learnt that life is too short for you to do things you don’t like, or things that try to influence people’s opinions of you.in my view, do whatever you want, don’t worry about detractors, they will always be there. Do you and leave everybody else to their devices.

The kind of friends you keep also affect who you are as a person. All we do sometimes is try to get peoples validation and these people don’t even matter as much as we they do. Real friends help you grow and never put you down. I realized that I needed to find friends that are going to encourage me and help me become a better version of myself.

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The people in my group in themselves had very inspiring stories, Brian changing himself to a person who could be a role model, Brenda going through so much for one so young and still keeping the faith and managing to put a smile on her and other people’s faces, Faith taking peoples negativity and turning it to positivity, Nicholas fighting temptations that we succumb to every day, Billups being so talented and focused on a dream that he has. I felt so honored to have heard these peoples stories and hope that I too may achieve the change I want in myself.to be honest I hate the person I have become in the last few years, I want to be a person who can be emulated, I want to live in such a way that should death come today, me and people who know me will not be worried because they will know that I am in heaven.

However living a righteous life is not easy, sinning is incredibly simple, but staying away from sin and other temptations is a herculean task.im I perfect? No. I’m I trying to be perfect? No even the Bible says no one is perfect but I will make sure that though I am not perfect, I will try my level best to live up to what is expected from me both by fellow man and by God.

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We do not know how far the ripples of our decisions go, people may not know when they impact you in any way but I’m sure that one day they will see your achievements and remember that they knew you one day. So all in the journey is a safe asylum for all, keep doing what you do you are all blessed and may you continue to inspire this  and future generations. Bonne continuation, mes amities.

I may fall off the band wagon a few times but I am determined, to walk a straight path headed towards the only place that matters. Keep praying for me.

À la prochaine

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Get Right: 10 Celebrity Women Who Are Known To Have Good Box

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2013 by bespokekenya

Bossip

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The 9 Circles of hell on earth(my view) part 3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2013 by bespokekenya

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8 Fraud

“I thought love was real but it’s nothing but an illusion.” The incorruptible has become corrupted, the faithful has lost her faith, and the true innocent has given way to the sins of man, like all before her.

 

This can begin with the sale of the sexual relationship, and on to the sale of Church and State; now, the very money is itself corrupted, every affirmation has become perjury and every identity a lie, so that every aspect of social interaction has been progressively destroyed

The fraudulent – those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil, these are the people who live by falsely representing the matter by words or conduct, this includes;

 Those who use the passions of others to drive them to do their bidding, like people who lie to others that they love them to reach a specific goal like sex.

Those who ask for payment to give blessings or who pay to receive a position in the church.an act known as simony. This is indicative of the degeneration of religion in recent times where even the church glorifies money more than God.

Corrupt politicians, Hypocrites, alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers, and impostors these all fall under the same category according to me because they use lies and tricks to get money or power. Politicians especially are not people who gave false advice, but people who used their position to advise others to engage in fraud

In the poem, Sorcerers, astrologers, and false prophets here have their heads twisted around on their bodies backward, so that they “found it necessary to walk backward, / because they could not see ahead of them.” While referring primarily to attempts to see into the future by forbidden means, this also symbolizes the twisted nature of magic in general

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9 Treachery

“I will never forgive what you have done”

“You are a warrior of a weak and dying god a god who is the true evil. If you knew the true nature of God, you too would rebel”

Betrayal is very rampant in a lot of places. The traitors are distinguished from the “merely” fraudulent in that their acts involve betraying a special relationship of some kind. Judas betrayed Jesus in perhaps the most despicable act in history though it did lend an ounce of credibility to Jesus as the son of God after his resurrection.i have personally betrayed some of my friends in one way or another.

 In the poem, this is where Lucifer resides.it also has circles These rounds correspond, in order of seriousness, to betrayal of family ties, betrayal of community ties, betrayal of guests, and betrayal of liege lords. In contrast to the popular image of Hell as fiery, the traitors are frozen in a lake of ice, with each group encased in ice to progressively greater depth.

now that I’m done,what was this post about? just what i thought is wrong with the world based on a beautiful piece of literature.

à la prochaine

The 9 Circles of hell on earth(my view) part 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2013 by bespokekenya

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3 Gluttony

“Gluttons, what they shouldn’t satisfy in life in death they shall be denied for eternity”.

This doesn’t only represent overindulgence in food but also in other elements. Gluttony is the over indulgence and over consumption of food, drink or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste. Basically it’s wanting more and more of something you already have in adequate amounts to wasteful levels.

We all have different areas of our lives where we are gluttons in. whether its money, clothes, women, men, sex. There are so many things we have a voracious appetite for and we would over indulge to satisfy. If we all got content with what we had and not try to acquire more of it for waste, I tend to believe the world would be a much better place. Human wants are infinite but we have very finite human needs.

There is a very fine line between a want and a need and we constantly play Russian roulette with it. Human needs can be physiological (body functions) ,security, shelter, education, health care love/belonging.

In the poem, the gluttons lie sightless and heedless of their neighbors, symbolizing the cold, selfish, and empty sensuality of their lives. Just as lust has revealed its true nature in the winds of the previous circle, here the slush reveals the true nature of sensuality which includes overindulgence.

4 Greed

“All the earths treasure cannot give relief to these souls. What a mockery is made of the brief battle of possessions that make so short a life.”

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It’s like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of material possession. This is one of the 7 deadly sins since it leads to people taking things from those who really need them to satisfy their own selfish wants. This includes governments, churches and many other religions, leading to me wondering, is it really worth it owning the world and leaving a tarnished image or as moralists would say, losing your soul?

In the poem, those whose attitude toward material goods deviated from the appropriate mean are punished here. They include the avaricious or miserly (including many “clergymen, and popes and cardinals”),who hoarded possessions, and the prodigal, who squandered them. The contrast between these two groups leads Virgil to discourse on the nature of Fortune, who raises nations to greatness, and later plunges them into poverty, as she shifts “those empty goods from nation unto nation, clan to clan.”

5 Anger

“Do not dwell in the past details. Angry souls know no end to their fury.”

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It is only human that we are sometimes prone to anger. I suppose It is how you channel that anger that really makes a difference, it is a timeless story where one does something and claims they were not thinking straight because they were angry. Never saying or acting out of anger serves well to deter bad life decisions and acts that you will probably regret.

In the poem, this reflects the fact that souls in Hell are eternally fixed in the state they have chosen, but allegorically, it reflects Dante’s beginning awareness of his own sin. An angel sent from Heaven secures entry for the poets, opening the gate by touching it with a wand, and rebukes those who opposed Dante. Allegorically, this reveals the fact that the poem is beginning to deal with sins that philosophy and humanism cannot fully understand.

6 Heresy

The damned can foresee the future but cannot see the present.

In the poem, Heretics, such as those who say “the soul dies with the body” are trapped in flaming tombs. In response to a question from Dante about the “prophecy” he has received, Farinata explains that what the souls in Hell know of life on earth comes from seeing the future, not from any observation of the present. Consequently, when “the portal of the future has been shut, “it will no longer be possible for them to know anything.

7  Violence

“The pain you endure purifies you, forever bound, like a shadow of time, unforgotten.”

There is a common saying that, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… well except polio. It is true that adversity only serves to make us stronger so whatever you go through serves to strengthen your resolve.

Violence as a concept is well known throughout history. Many of the civilizations were brought about by conquests and the same brought many civilizations down……except the Mayans who were probably kidnapped by aliens. However, all through history there have been a lot of people claiming that they were waging war for God; these are those who commit sin in the name of God. God doesn’t condone any violence. Recently the Al Qaeda and the Al Shabaab have been wreaking havoc on the world in the name of waging holy war against the unbelievers,this is wrong since even the Quran doesn’t condone violence.

In the poem,This ring houses the violent against people and property, the violent against God and the suicides.  Dante learns that suicides, unique among the dead, will not be corporally resurrected after the final judgment since they gave away their bodies through suicide; instead they will maintain their bushy form, with their own corpses hanging from the thorny limbs. The other residents of this ring are the profligates, who destroyed their lives by destroying money and property. They are perpetually chased and mauled by ferocious dogs. The destruction wrought upon the wood by the profligates’ flight and punishment as they crash through the undergrowth causes further suffering to the suicides, who cannot move out of the way

Final part coming next

 

The 9 Circles of hell on earth(my view)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2013 by bespokekenya

ImageThis post is based on my personal interpretation of Dante Alighieri’s poem the divine comedy more commonly known as Dante’s inferno. This is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin

Lately in the world there are more damned than the blessed according to me, Charon boat has grown to encompass the increase of the damned souls (Charon  is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead). There is not only suffering in hell but also pleasures that our human selves cannot fathom, otherwise how do you explain the hedonistic way of life we all so earnestly pursue? Whether we admit it or not, we all want a luxury filled life, we want to enjoy the best things that life has to offer and for that we are willing to do a lot. Atheists argue that if there is a God why does he let all the bad things in the world happen? Well, in my view He has also given us free will so what we do is up to us…but that’s neither here nor there.

Before entering Hell completely, Dante and his guide see the Uncommitted, souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil. These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores, their punishment to eternally pursue Self-interest. A lot of people do this, they do not think of themselves as good or bad, but they do nothing to change the status quo, is life worth living if you do not do anything that makes life better for someone else other that yourself?

Personally, I do a lot of things that do not help others but try to assuage my conscience by saying that I do not have a lot of resources to make someone else’s life better. In the immortal words of Jay Z, ‘I cannot help the poor if I’m one of them so I’ll get rich and give back that’s a win win’

So here is my personal view of the nine concentric circles reflecting hell.

1 Limbo

Here reside those who have nothing to show for what they believe, you lack hope for something greater than the rational mind can come up with. You do not know what to do with your life and you are content with mediocrity, you do not have a life plan and you sway wherever the winds take you.

These people are what’s wrong with society, if it were up to me, id encourage you to wake up and in whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.

Recently a friend of mine said some very inspirational words that I am going to shamelessly plagiarize “I chose to be celibate yesterday. I decided to stay without allowing any form of mediocrity in my life. I decided not to give failure a chance in my life. I decided not to look at my circumstances but to be thankful. I decided that should I meet that man again I shall be worthy of his attention. I decided to be a canvas and let He who has a plan for me be the artist.” That can be found on his blog post here.

This quote captures this perfectly

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven adn earth will pause to say, here a great street sweeper who did his job well lived.”

In the poem those who reside here are the unbaptized and the virtuous pagans, who, though not sinful, did not accept Christ. It includes poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan; the Amazon queen Penthesilea; the mathematician Euclid; the scientist Pedanius, Dioscorides; the statesman Cicero; the first doctor Hippocrates; the philosophers Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Averroes; the historical figures Lucretia, Lucius , Junius Brutus, and Julius Caesar

 All of those condemned for active, deliberately willed sin are judged to one of the lower eight circles by the serpentine Minos

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2 Lust

The devil introduced sin but man cultivated it and spread it like a disease. Man is good, but the earth is another form of hell and man its demons. This is because all the atrocities in the world are committed by men. However there is no rest for the wicked because. You cannot hide from memory or sin.

Who among us hasn’t been tempted and more often than not succumbed to the great need for carnal pleasure. I am no saint to this either I have fallen victim to this but I’ve tried to resist and promised to hold out and control my inner desires (this is me saying I’m very celibate for the foreseeable future.) this is because I can attribute the failure of all my relationships to sex as can many other people…this will be explained more in the next post.

Unfortunately this is one area where even the purest of souls can be corrupted .This is one of the greatest sins admonished even in the bible. 1 Corinthians 6; 12-20.The gist of it is that, flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against himself.

The Qur’an claims that Allah rewards those who restrain themselves from carrying out their lusts:

But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode. S. 79:40-41 Hilali-Khan

The Muslim scripture further attests that Allah does not command indecency:

And when they commit a Fahisha (evil deed, going round the Ka’bah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: “We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it.” Say: “Nay, Allah never commands of Fahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not? S. 7:28 Hilali-Khan

In the poem, These souls are blown back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm, without rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly

The English poet John Keats, in his sonnet “On a Dream,” imagines what Dante does not give us, the point of view of one of the souls here:

… But to that second circle of sad hell,
Where ‘mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

Part 2 coming up next

How To Deal With A Grieving Friend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by bespokekenya

When someone is grieving, he or she needs the love and support of friends more than ever. But often, these friends don’t know how to give that love and support at such an awkward, strange time. Here are some guidelines:

Just listen. When someone you know is dealing with death, you may feel like you need to say something, like there’s some piece of advice or wisdom that will make everything better. In reality, there isn’t anything you can say that will magically make your friend stop hurting, but you CAN help by listening. By giving your friend a chance to let out his or her thoughts and feelings, you’re helping him or her move through the grieving process. When you listen, keep an open mind and a closed mouth. Don’t judge or offer opinions; just accept anything he or she has to say.

Offer a hug. Offering a hug, or just putting your arm around a friend who is grieving, can work wonders. Girls are usually more comfortable with this than guys, but even guys should know that touch — even a hand on the back — can be a powerful way to say, “I’m here for you.” However, try to make sure that your friend is comfortable with this. Everybody grieves differently, and some people may not be ready for the emotion that contact can bring.

Just be there. Sometimes a friend who is dealing with loss isn’t ready to talk yet, but you can help just by being there. He or she will be glad that friends are standing by to offer support and acceptance. If your friend would prefer to be alone with his or her grief for a while, try saying something like, “That’s cool. I know you need space right now. But remember that I’m here for you when you need someone to talk to, or just hang out with.”

Keep being a friend. If your friend has lost someone, his or her life has changed in major ways. He or she will need to hold onto the things that HAVEN’T changed, like your friendship. It may become really important to keep doing all the things you did together before, whether it’s playing video games, shopping at the mall, shooting baskets, or watching movies. On the other hand, your friend may not be ready to jump back into normal activities and need more time alone. Either way, accept what’s going on, try not to “walk on eggshells,” and keep being the person your friend knows and loves.

Here are a few things NOT to do when your friend is grieving:

Don’t give pep talks. If a friend is upset because he missed a foul shot in basketball, it’s okay to say, “Hey, don’t feel bad, you’ll get the next one!” But if someone is upset about losing a loved one, he probably doesn’t want to hear things like, “You’ve got to get over it,” or “You’ll feel better soon.” Grief is difficult, complicated, and can last a long time. Accept that you can’t make everything all right by coming up with an encouraging phrase.

Don’t try to “rescue” your friend. You can offer support, a shoulder to cry on, and an understanding ear, but you can’t single-handedly make your friend’s grief go away. Your friend is going to have to work through the pain at his or her own pace, and there’s nothing you can do or say to change that.

Don’t act like you know just how your friend feels. Unless you have dealt with the death of a loved one, you can’t fully understand everything your friend is going through. Saying something like, “I know exactly how you feel. My dog died last year,” might just make her feel more isolated from you, and maybe even angry. Accept that you can’t know what’s going on inside his or her head.

Don’t act like your friend is made of glass. If a friend just lost his dad, you might feel like you shouldn’t talk about your own dad around him, so you might exclude him from conversations or whisper so he can’t hear you. This is just going to make your friend feel different and excluded, when this is probably the last thing he wants to feel. Be sensitive about what you may be talking about, but know that the less you try to “shield” this person from what goes on in everyday life, the more comfortable he’ll be

My Take on Death

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 14, 2013 by bespokekenya

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I’ve never given much thought to how I would die but dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go.Whatever deity may lead my life, dear Lord  don’t let me die tonight, but if I shall before I wake I accept my fate. It’s been a good run, I did what I did and my heart was in the right place. Whatever happens Lord, don’t pass me by, sometimes I don’t know what you want, but you know what I want from you

This has been the hardest week of my life, first I lost my grandmother then two days later I lost my uncle. For that one week my one and only objective was making sure I was there for my mum. The problem with death is that it doesn’t give a warning or something. What hurt most was that I hadn’t seen her in some months, I had always been saying I’ll go see her but school and other frivolous stuff kept me busy, she left without me saying something meaningful to her since I always assumed id see her again.

It’s hard to believe that she will not see our kids running around but I prefer trying to look at the positives, she did live a full life saw three generations of our family and that was a real blessing.at her burial I learnt that I have a thousand relatives that I dot even know but they all seem to know me, so I decided to get to know my relatives, since family is all that you can count on during trying times.

Losing my grandmother made me realize the brevity of human life, it made me realize that one moment you could be there just fine then the next you aren’t, it also made me begin thinking a lot about how I live. I’ve always been a pretty gregarious I laugh a lot and I make those around me happy, I’m pretty good at comforting but it’s made me wonder, who comforts me. I have never lost a relative before so this was especially hard for me, that plus the fact that I am very close to my mother and seeing her hurting makes me die a bit inside. During this time, the only non-family members who were there for me can be counted on one hand and this coming from a man with so many friends is saying something.

My take on the matter was that sometimes we go through adversity so that we can realize our strengths and who we can rely on, this makes me realize that I have very few friends I can count on, and I don’t know whether I need to improve my friend picking system or just improve my existing friends.

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After death you look at everything as a gift

 My girlfriend and I are breaking up … Wow. I got to experience having a girlfriend!

My car needs an expensive repair … Amazing. I get to experience owning and driving a car!

My business isn’t making money yet … Incredible. I get to live the journey of creating something from nothing, perhaps even watch it rise and fall and never turn a profit no matter how hard I try. What an experience!

My mom is sick … I emerged from that body; what a miracle that I now get to participate in taking care of it!

It’s one thing to know intellectually that life is a gift, that there’s only this present moment, that we should be grateful for everything

You never know what comes first: tomorrow or your death.

Steve Jobs famously asked himself every morning, “Do I feel good about what I’m going to do today? Do I like who I am?” He lived with constant awareness that death was always lurking and would someday knock on his door, which eventually it did … and it took him before even WE were ready to let him go.

When we relax into the awareness that each moment, painful or delightful, is just part of this improbable existence, beauty and gratitude blossom in our lives in ways we had never experienced before. We get to see everything, every triumph, tragedy and traffic ticket, as a gift. We even start to oddly appreciate even the bad moments.

That doesn’t mean we make them last longer than they need to, but we no longer resist their presence in our lives as we used to. We no longer suffer as deeply as we would before, because we now walk with more awareness that this painful experience is just evidence that we’re still alive, that it has a gift for us, even if it’s difficult to see … and like everything else – our lives included – it will pass.

What’s one challenging aspect of your life today that might be completely transformed by noticing it’s a miracle you’re even alive to experience it at all. Learn to enjoy life people, it only happens once.