Tag Archives: Love

Positivity, how it can harm and how it can help you.

Positivity has become fashionable. And as somebody who’s never taken to the EMO culture, I’m glad. But as with everything else, there’s a healthy and unhealthy approach to positivity. And as positivity focused as I am, I can also be annoyed by some of the mantras circulating on social media and among friends.

 

Positivity is harmful when you take it too literally. When you block out the hurt and sadness that comes with living by trying to shake it off with mantras like “Oh well, I’m grateful to have the gift of life”, or something equally Pollyanna like, you’re not really dealing with the negative things that come your way and that’s not healthy.

 

Imagine a dinner plate. Initially it’s clean. Then you eat fish, the next day you have pork, the next day lentils and then chicken and so on. And you don’t clean the plate between meals other than sprinkling some water on it. Though the plate is physically okay to eat from, the residue from the earlier meals will be there and eventually as you eat from the plate and never wash it, all sort of disgusting organisms might start building their own dinner plate colony.

 

By always smiling and reciting positive mantras, your mind will end up as grimy as that dinner plate. And eventually the positivity will turn on you and you might have a mental breakdown which it might take both time and professional help to recover from.

 

Let’s go back to the dinner plate. Say now that you do clean it after every meal. You’ve taken time to clear any traces of the previous meal away and the plate is as good as new. That is also how you should treat your mind. It won’t be a guarantee against long term depression, but by going through your negative experiences and dealing with them in a way that works for you, will be helpful in keeping a good mental hygiene. Everything will probably be ok and improve tomorrow, but get the hurt out so that you start off with a clean slate.

 

And what about when it won’t be ok? How do you use positivity towards someone who is terminally ill in respectful manner that’s not gonna infuriate them? I’m no psychologist, but I’ve experienced enough terminal illness with close family members that I have an idea. It’s not something that will be deemed positive in the traditional sense.. But if you think that being there by a terminally ill loved one who more than anything wants you by their side isn’t a good thing, though sad, then isn’t that a form of positivity? And as what to say to them, stay away from “It’ll be fine”; unless they believe in an afterlife that you know they’re keen on getting too. , I think the safest thing is to say “I’m here, I’m not going anywhere and I’m letting you know. It’s up to you what you wanna do with that information.”

 

Positivity isn’t just about good visible results and happy endings. Positivity is about love, self-belief, living in the now, being comfortable with yourself and your emotions, being a good friend and those moments and experiences that keep you moving forward. It is also about cleaning out the old and making space for the new.

 

Positivity is a powerful and constructive tool that can make life more bearable. But be mindful, which is another annoyingly trendy word, of how you manifest it. There’s nothing wrong with mantras. But for your own sake, it’s better to use mantras that you can live by and stand for. But I think mantras are very personal and in my experience it’s better to project positivity onto someone else by actions rather than just than mantras.

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Self-improvement lesson 7. Loving yourself will drastically improve everything

Knowing this has also been fundamental in changing my personal wellbeing. There is no way of escaping it though. Other people can make you feel good for a while, but unless you feel good within yourself, that feeling is not gonna last.

 

I personally believe that not loving oneself is the reason many relationships fail. People enter into relationships thinking it’s going to fix them. That if they can just be loved, they will love themselves. I think we’ve all been there at some point. I know I have. But for me, that’s never worked. If you don’t love yourself, and as a result of that have a low self-image, leaning emotionally on one other person to help you fix that is not only going to push that person away, but it’s going to drain their energy and make you feel even worse for having that effect on them.

 

Having said this though, we all need to be loved. Love from others boosts, encourages and can even improve us. But we need to stand on our own emotionally to truly benefit from what somebody’s love for us can do. And giving back to somebody what they are giving us is such a precious gift. do. And in order to give love, we need to have self-love.

 

If you have spent your life beating yourself up over practically everything, it’s not gonna be easy to just start loving yourself overnight. But start with the little things. Most of us talk to ourselves in our head or out loud. Sometimes subconsciously. The first step I suggest you take towards self-love is to listen to your inner voice. What does it sound like? What would you like it to sound like? Think about who you go to for advice when you’ve messed up for others or yourself and why you go to that person. Try to adjust that inner voice to fit with your ideal advisor. Make it even better if you can.

 

When you manage to talk yourself through mistakes you’ve made or upcoming challenges in a constructive and soothing way rather than telling yourself what an awful and incompetent person you are, you are on your way. If you’re already doing that, then that’s amazing. I am getting there.

 

Love yourself. Because though it won’t solve all of your life problems, it will lighten the burden of life and make you feel so much better. You deserved to be loved by you.

Love letter to my future husband

I don’t know who he might be yet, but this is for him.

Lucky me. I’m married to you. My best friend. I thought I’d never ever find someone like you. I’ve kissed many I thought were princes who only turned out to be frogs. But you were different.

We never started out as lovers… We were friends. I even used to talk to you about other girls and other relationships. And you advised me when I had man problems. Then one day, it just happened. It’s hard to say exactly when. Maybe after having sat up nights in a row talking about everything and nothing. Or maybe it was when we were jamming together. It doesn’t matter. It happened and my best friend became my boyfriend, fiancé and husband.

I love you because you allow me to be who I am. You confide in me, coming to me with dilemmas from your working life, or your friendships. My opinions matter to you as yours matter to me.

I love you, because you never make me feel alienated or lonely. Sure. We both have busy lives due to the careers we chose. But you always set aside time for us. And you keep my happiness and wellbeing a high priority, which makes doing the same for you so easy and enjoyable.

I love you, because you don’t strive for me to become an obedient and submissive wife and baby making machine. You see me as your ally, and equal. You understand how important my career is to me and I know that when the babies do come, you will be helping me out as much as you possibly can. You’ll be a great dad our children will be proud of.

I don’t like arguing with you. But I love how I feel that on the few occasions it happens I am safe in the knowledge that we’ll make up quickly. Either by one of us making the other laugh by cracking a stupid joke, or offering to do something the other will appreciate. (You have become excellent at brewing my tea by the way.)

I love you because with you, my world is a better world and I am a better person. You bring out the best in me and you accept the things about me that I dislike but cannot change.

As cheesy as it is, I’ll quote John Legend when I say that what I love about you are “your perfect imperfections”.

Lucky me. I have you.

Hands on not required. On faith healings and disability.

Today, I’d like to talk about a topic which I am feeling strongly about. Faith healings and healers.

Being a Christian has been mostly a positive experience for me. Through my faith, I have gained an inner strength, joy and peace I did not have when I wasn’t saved. But the bit I find hard when it comes to my faith, is interacting with Christian strangers. I especially hate joining a new church.

Why?

Because often within the first hour of me being in a church, some well meaning, but clueless person walks up to me and offers prayers of healing. “Being disabled was never part of God’s plan”, or “You should pray for the spirit of blindness to leave you in Jesus name!”

I used to get beyond furious when people like that approached me and if I could, I’d get a rude comment in there, or just turn my back on them.

I still get angry, but as I am maturing, I realise that me turning my back on those ignorant people won’t teach them a thing. In stead, I try reasoning with them in the most Jesus like language I can think of such as “Would you give a rich man a million dollars?” or Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning” or simply, “I realise eye sight is practical for many reasons, but I don’t understand how, apart from that my life would improve.”

Some get it. Most don’t. And as a result, I only feel comfortable in churches where people pay me no attention, where I have a friend I can escape with after the service or a church where people know and accept me for who I am.

I know many disabled people of any faith share my opinions. Religious people and I don’t call myself religious by the way, are trying so hard to be compassionate that what they actually end up doing is talking to you like you are some kind of inferior being. They try to comfort us with stories of so and so who lives in a remote village in a country on the other side of the world that got healed. I’ve also heard of the blind man in Scotland who got healed and is now a bus driver. Seriously, wouldn’t he do something a bit more high flying than driving a bus if he got his sight back?

I don’t think these stories are true at all. Do I believe faith miracles can happen? Yes I do. But I find it strange that they only happen in remote places and that there’s no news of them otherwise. Wouldn’t someone who suddenly become sighted or hearing be on the news? I certainly would speak quite publicly about it as I simply wouldn’t be able to keep it from the world. I also think they are exaggerated. One woman in the church I used to go to in London, asked me after pointing out that I’d be a more complete human being if I could see that she got healed from sight loss. I asked her how this could be, and it turned out she’d had cataract or glaucoma, can’t remember, and but that whatever she had got removed by surgery and that now she could see again. I heard of a lame that suddenly started walking. But on asking questions, this was a person who learned this with the help of physio.

These can be called miracles or healings in their own right, but it’s not the kind of laying hands on healing these religious people keep talking about. And healing can also be a mental process. For example, there are people who claim to have lost pain in their bodies by having had hands laid on them, but often, these are the results of believing it will work and then, as a result, they feel better after such a healing meeting.

Fake faith healers unfortunately exists. The greatest example of someone like that is Benny Hin who has been exposed in the media for trickery in making people believe they’ve been healed. And those faith healers are clever. They make those who wish for healing write down their prayer request along with their names and financial details on little cards. Then, the Faith healer’s right hand man or woman communicates with them through a walky-talky device giving out people’s names which the healer then communicates in the audience. “Is there a p, Peter J, I feel a name starting with J, Johnson, Jackson?” AT this point, poor Peter Jackson jumps up, goes to the stage and gets a prayer of healing. He really wants to believe that he’s healed of whichever affliction he suffers from. He doesn’t want to disappoint the healer with a bad result and it would also destroy the great shows those kinds of healing meetings are. So he’ll claim that “Yes I am healed” to which the fake healer responds” In the name of Jesus! He has been healed in the name of Jesus! Glory be to God Almighty for an evil demon has left him” or something very similar.

These people are dangerous. Darren Brown once made a programme about fake faith healers where he got a normal man to pose as one. In the program, we heard of people thinking they had been healed from for example cancer and then stopped taking their medication and treatment. They died of course. Darren Brown successfully put up a service for the fake faith healer and at the point the healers normally ask for donations, this man gave a speech warning the audience of fake healers.

I have also been made to feel awful because I refused healing. A pastor at my London church right out told me I wasn’t brave enough to want to see, or had enough faith. If I was meant to be healed, his faith would have been sufficient according to the bible. So I went up and asked for healing, reluctantly and it was awful.

The worst time though, was at my friend’s mother’s wake. After commemorating her life with worship and a sermon, I went up to the pastor to ask for prayers for my own mum who was in the terminal stage of cancer. I wanted to pray for her peace and for no pain. However, on seeing that I was blind, he turned the attention to me. I may have needed prayers in regards to keeping strong through the difficult times, but none for my sight. I left feeling nothing but disrespect for someone who thought a healthy person’s eye sight was more important than a cancer patient’s well being.

Christianity is simple. So simple that many of us, me included fail to grasp the simplicity of it. Love. Simply love. Loving means accepting people for who they are and not try to change them. If you truly love, you won’t go up to that new wheelchair kid in church assuming they want healing. For by being who you are created to be, you fill some sort of roll in the world. I believe in the resurrection, and when that happens, I will no longer be blind. It will be wonderful, but for now, I am who I am. I have found my place in the world and in Christ and through being blind, I have been given a perspective on things which I believe has made me into a better person. I thank God for the blindness just because of this. Not having a certain physical ability, does not mean you’re not a perfectly healthy and strong human being who doesn’t have a lot to give.

So to you lovers of healing, you’ll do a lot more good and cause more healing in a disabled person’s life by including them in the church. Let your first question b if they’d want another doughnut or what they thought of the service rather than asking if they feel incomplete. If a disabled person wants faith healing, they’ll go to the appropriate person. Someone they trust.

Blindness, dating, romance and how to attract blind people.

Through the years, I’ve had my fair share of questions about blind people in relation to dating and romance and so I’m going to write a post addressing some of the most common questions both me and a lot of my fellow blindies have received. I hope it solves a few mysteries for you sighted people out there.

A very common phrase people like to use if they don’t know me very well and we’re talking about who’s good looking and who isn’t is “I guess you’ll just have to go by personality.” Yes and no. Obviously when you’re blind, you’re gonna have to have a certain knowledge about people without seeing them, but you don’t necessarily get those from interacting so much with them. Hearing someone’s voice, observing what they are talking about or perhaps get an idea of their physique by holding an arm or shaking hands as well as their voice can be enough to know that you fancy them. Smell is also important.” I’m sorry Mr Fit body Soft voice, but you aint showered in ages, or you don’t use any interesting aftershave or cream to make you smell interesting.” So going away from personality, which obviously is important whether sighted or blind, physique, good smell and nice voice are things a blind person will go on to determine whether they like you or not.

I’ve also had sighted men ask how they can attract a blind woman. Blind women are the same as any women out there, so there’s no one answer to that question. But like sighted women, blind women appreciate a man making an effort with their looks. She may not be able to see your ketchup spotted t-shirt, mismatched trainers or that pen mark on your right thigh, but if she somehow gets to hear about it from a friend who happened to see you on a date, she won’t likely be impressed with you. So making the same effort as you would with a sighted woman is essential. Smell nice too. No need to use the entire bottle of Hugo Boss, but enough that she may want to come closer to smell you a little more?

As for women attracting blind men, the same rule goes with the looks. Ladies, if you’d use make-up dating a sighted person, do it for the blind man too. My experience with blind men is also that they like it when you wear something which shows off your shape a little. I may be generalizing, but seeing as we’ve had to rely on feel to get a good impression of things, feeling up places which perhaps should be avoided on the first few dates isn’t necessary to feel the shape of someone’s body and determine whether you’ll like it or not. A hug or holding an arm reveals more than you may think. We pay more attention, without actually paying attention to the fact that we pay attention.

Another experience I have with blind men, is that if he is a normal functioning and independent man with good social circle and job, do not mother him to any larger extent than you would mother a sighted man  We women tend to mother men a little too much sometimes, and I know my blind male friends claim sighted women can be a little to over the top.

I have also heard, and I can very well believe this, if a blind man’s sighted friends say that his girlfriend is ugly the blindy well may break up with you. I don’t know if the same goes for women, but I have never broken up with anyone because of the way they look and neither have I believed, have my blind girlfriends.

So in short, if you are trying to attract a blind person, or just want to know the answers to those questions, the answer is, do exactly what you would do if the object of your fancy could see. Not just in terms of behaviour, but also in taking care of your look. It’s got to do with respect more than anything.

Finally, if a person is blind, what’s better. Blind or sighted partner?

Being with someone sighted is a hell of a lot more practical than being with someone who is blind or even at times partially sighted. However, aside from the practicality of sight, being with a sight impaired person has some advantages too. Flirting with a blind man for me at least, is a whole different thing to flirting with someone sighted. A blind/partially sighted man knows what it means to be visually impaired and understand me on my terms in ways the majority of sighted people wouldn’t do unless they knew lots of VI people or have it naturally within them to understand those things, but the latter is rare. I for example, don’t automatically understand what being deaf must be like, because I don’t know a lot of deaf people, so I find myself asking similar questions to what a sighted person would ask me and in flirting situations, that can be a bit of a turn off at times.

I find it hard to be with sighted men because I personally haven’t met a sighted man who would allow me to go about my daily life and business in the way my blind boyfriends or exes have done. They never feel funny about me preparing their dinner for example, whilst the sighted dates I’ve had made sure I never lifted a finger when they were around.

There is a reason a lot of VI people end up together and I believe that a big part of that reason has to do with common ground, understanding and acceptance. Having said that, couples in which one is sighted and one blind or partially sighted do exist, though unfortunately they tend to be in the minority and it tends to be sighted women with blind or partially sighted men.

But really, there is no better or worse. If you find the person who loves you and is ready to take you on your terms and let you be who you are, visual acuity doesn’t matter at all.

Blind, partial or sighted, your comments would be appreciated on this.

Update: Since I wrote this post, I have been very fortunate to find love myself. I have shared
My own romance story
here.