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Here I am

Dec 25, 2016


It takes courage to be real. It takes self-assurance, a knowing that you belong in this world with your own uniqueness and gifts. No other can make you wrong about you being real and authentic. But we get lost and confused, distracted by so many opinions and expectations of others. We forget who we are. And when that happens, we hurt. We blame others for that hurt, but it is our own separation from self that causes the pain.

We are afraid to be ourselves. We are afraid to be that vulnerable and ‘show all our cards’. It is much safer to keep our preciousness hidden away, and project into the real world not our real selves but what we think is an acceptable version of ourselves, an image of ourselves.

Facebook thrives on this concept. The term ‘Facebook Wall’ is a perfect name for that what describes the wall protecting our humanness. On this wall we can create our own persona, we can make ourselves into anyone we want. We can allow others to see us how we want to be seen, share only parts of ourselves that we feel comfortable with.

Connecting and connections on social media are not real connections. It creates distance, gives a false sense of security, it distorts our human inter-connectedness. There is no privacy but yet we can stay anonymous. If connections on social media is all we have left, we are isolated and disconnected from the real world.

Don’t rely on social media for real connection. Nothing replaces communicating directly, face to face, with another human. I am afraid we are starting to forget how to let ourselves be seen by others in real life. I am especially concerned about the younger generation who seems to be glued to their phones. They don’t get much chance to learn how to really connect anymore.

Now I am not promoting to expose yourself on social media. On the contrary. I am also not saying you can’t share and connect through social media. There is a lot of happy, uplifting and supporting information that can do a lot of people a lot of good. Just don’t confuse social media connectedness with the real, life version of connecting with another human.

I use social media too. To share what I am passionate about, trying to keep it real, with the hope and intention to inspire and uplift. What makes it real for me is that I am sharing an experience I am having in my life. I am just another human being, trying to make sense of life sharing my experiences so others can experience through me when it resonates with them.

Words and information do not teach, experiences do. We all learn by experience. Information does not change your mind, we change through experience and inhabiting a different truth. We are dynamic and fluid. We are not static. If we fail to learn and expand from our experiences and fail to inhabit a new truth as we go through life, we will feel stuck and not feel fully alive.

We resign to a self that lives in the past.

This Christmas turned out to not go as planned at all.
There is deep sadness about losing loved ones and letting go of people that are dear and near to my heart. But the dominating feelings are hope and love for myself, finding a new truth about myself. I experienced pain. But the pain is not caused by my circumstances. It hurts because I let myself be separated from myself. I got lost and confused and then I remembered who I really am. I remember my mom’s unshakable joy and generosity, in such an innocent way that it touched everyone's hearts. I remembered my own innocence.

I remembered my joy and happiness when I was completely surrendering to life, no doubts about myself or my well-being. When I said out loud to the world: HERE I AM.

I dare you this Christmas to say to the world: Here I Am. Make it your own. Take your life back. Start your engines, and get ready for 2017. Enjoy the ride, believe in your dreams, believe in yourself.

I know I am real and true to myself when I am in love with life, in love with the world, and I can’t help but love my fellow human beings. What others do with that is not my concern.

It takes courage to stay real. It is my intention to continue to be as real as I can be. Keep spreading joy. What makes us happy the most is when we lighten up others. Their happiness is our happiness.

The Ubuntu philosophy says it all: “I am what I am because of who we all are”.

“Africans have a thing called Ubuntu. It is about the essence of being human, it is part of the gift that Africa will give the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of another. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”

-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu—

It is my wish for all of you to have the courage and the wisdom to find the essence of your humanness and be yourself.

Because that is what will bring true well-being, and that is how you can bring well-being to others too.

Merry Christmas and have a daring 2017

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