A few things i have come to understand

As I journey down the coast, I find that I spend vast amounts of time in my own head, a scary place I am sure. Totally absorbed and wrapped up in my own thoughts.. Often hours will go by and I realise that I can no longer account for the time, nor can I recall the scenery. I guess some would call it a form of meditation. These long hours of introspection have led me to a few conclusions.

Often you hear the expression “I am just killing time”. This is not murder as you are not killing someone else’s time. You are in fact killing your own time. If we consider that we have a limited time to live our lives on this earth, roughly 840 months, than we must concede that it is a form of suicide. We cannot afford to waste our lives, yet so many of us do.

There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like this. “If man is at peace with himself, then he can be at peace with his family. If at peace with his family and each other, they can be at peace with their neighbours, if at peace with the neighbours than at peace with the village. If at piece with the village than at peace with the country. If at peace with country than at peace with the world. If at peace with the world than man can be at peace with himself”. We are all interconnected and dependant on one another. So how does one be at peace with one’s self?.

First I guess we have to stop betraying ourselves. We all grow up with dreams and ambitions of what we want in life and where we are going. All to often we end up in the rat race of trying to make a living and getting by. Our dreams get put on hold and we get trapped in this maize called life. We in effect betray ourselves and we substitute our meaning for life for a means to live. How do you change it?, first you need to own it. You put yourself there. We can choose to be the victim or not, so take accountability for your situation.

We often feel the need to always be right, we lose sight of what is right. Humans place the boundaries on themselves and for many of us, hang on to the past. We blame the past for what we have become and use it as a reason not to move forward. We need to let the past go, it’s happened, it can’t be changed. The past defines who we become, but it is a journey not a destination. Let it go and learn from it. To often we fear to do as we have a fear to fail. We may try 100 times and not succeed, but we have not failed yet. If we choose to learn and try again we will move forward. We only fail the second we choose to blame someone or something else for our predicament.

Ego, this is the millstone that drags us down, the poison that sucks away your breath. We need to kill it, it serves no function. It is the reason why we always want to be right, the reason why we always want to win. Do we need to win every time or be right every time?. Wars start because each side thinks its right. Each side then tries to win in order to justify that they are right. We cannot win a war, it is an oxymoron. The reality is both sides lose, one side just looses more than the other.

We often cite the rules, or values as a reason for our behaviour when it suits us. So how do you live by rules without compromise?. Make them our rules. Nearly all things in this world can be taken from you. Wealth, possession, family, work, identity and health. We think that because there are rules and law that these things are safe guarded. This is only true if those that have the power choose to obey those rules. What cannot be taken, and must be freely given are our values, our morals and our integrity. If we set these as our rule base then we have power over how it affects us. If we choose high standards and values that are just, then it is easy to follow the rules as our standards are higher than those surrounding us.

Do not judge others as the labels we give them affect how we treat them and therefore how they treat us. We all want the same fundamental things in life, health, happiness, family and a place to carry out these dreams. Everyone is on a journey, no journey more important than another, no journey less important than another. If we have not walked a mile in their shoes, how can we pass judgement on how they tread. Do what you say and say what you do. When it comes down to the wire, all we have left is the strength of our word. Keep your promises and your word will carry you many more miles.

We trap ourselves between vision for what we want and the reality of where we are. Margaret Thatcher once said “To stand in the middle of the road is most dangerous as we get knocked over from traffic in both directions”. Make the choice and then move in that direction. Pay forward the good deeds, not because we want to be recognised for them, but because they make us feel better in ourselves. Walking the coast has taught me humility, as many things would not be possible without the kindness and assistance of others. In this life we can be spectators, players or commentators. Become the player as in this role you become dynamic. You see the game of life unfold and change accordingly.

This is the only life we have, we are only visiting once. When we leave, it is no good saying “I wish!”. You are here now, make it happen. We have the ability within ourselves to slow down, take a good look and recognise what needs to change. We have an even greater ability to take a deep breath, dig deep and forge ahead.

Own your life, learn from and let go the past, live in the present and the future you want will unfold. Keep focus on the vision you have created, accept the reality of where you are. Keep your word and pay forward the good deeds, be humble and do not judge others. We live this life in order to be happy and feel good. Happiness is something we create, not something we find. Every encounter we have with others leaves an impression, so it makes sense to leave a Rembrandt behind and not graffiti. If you are happy with who you are, and who you have become, then you will be at peace with yourself.

Who made me reflect these things,? The millionaire who said he would give it all up to do what I am doing, but confessed he was not brave enough. The Muslim gentleman who had almost nothing but was prepared to share what he had with a stranger. The abalone poacher who asked me to join him for lunch while he shared his story. The Jewish lady who invited me in for Shabbat. The old coloured fisherman who invited me to join him for a beer while he talked of his youth. The despondent activist who took it on himself to fight the establishment regardless of the consequence. The countless people who have invited me to stay a night. The diamond poacher who shared his meal with me. The waitress who slipped me a hundred rand to help me on my journey, The man who drove 100 km plus to bring me a meal. In short each and every person I have met of all different faith’s, background, culture and race.

Someone asked me, “If you could live your life over without changing a thing, if you had to relive every tragedy and hardship again without changing one second. Would you?”. I had to think about it for a while but my answer was,”yes”. My past with every tragedy is what moulded me, it gave me my values and formed my character. I am comfortable with who I am and what I have become. If I changed one part of it, I would no longer be me.

Land-rover likes to say “One life, live it”

I say “One life, own it, then live it”.

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