Truth Will Out

Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear. – Mahatma Gandhi 

I love the truth. I have always been a straight talker and I like it when people can be straight with me. This is because I like everything that I do or say to come from a place of authenticity. I want it to be real and relevant. When people are real with you you can start to see from their perspective, although you never fully can. Isn’t it great when you’re on the same page as someone and you just understand each other? And doesn’t it feel terrible when you try to convey a message and it is taken the wrong way, when what you intend for good turns out to hurt the other person through misunderstanding? 

It is a part of life to misunderstand one another because we all perceive the world around us entirely different. What I think is wrong might not be for others and we never know the whole story or can truly see from someone’s point of view. All we can do is give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they will do the same with us. Ugh.. it takes so much effort but it’s essential to maintain relationships and if you care about someone enough, you will do it. 

Relationships can be huge, complicated and difficult things sometimes. I have been learning a lot recently about what it means to truly love someone; looking over the hurt they cause you, forgiving them even when it’s hard, making the extra effort to prefer them and to be there for them, especially in the more difficult times. As well as giving them the truth even if it might hurt. I know I always prefer the truth from my friends so long as it is thought through and genuine.

Truth can hurt sometimes (Dare I say most times), that’s real, but relationships not built on truth are shallow at best. They need a structure of honestly to withstand the waves when they come (And they will). Lies only delude – even if in short you build someone up on lies the end result will be them falling further then ever. Loving someone looks at building them up, so even if the truth will initially hurt, telling it like it is will make the difference. Having said this make sure you are encouraging and empathetic with it.

A quick after thought – 

If you want good relationships with people consider giving them the real you. BE REAL and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, again the end will not justify the means.

The joy in acceptance, when you stand bare before someone and they don’t turn away. Obviously, in this vulnerability we can experience the pain of rejection. Trusting people can be hard, and you need to be wise in how much you share with certain people and this is where discernment is needed. But like the saying goes ‘The truth will set you free’. Try it, be true to yourself – don’t let others dictate your focus, of what you ‘should’ be doing, which passions you ‘should’ have. Look inside yourself and discover what is true to who you are, because let me tell you something – You are a unique individual. It’s true that there is no-one like you.

Let me also add that we all lie to ourselves at times, we all tell ourselves that we are not good enough or that we can’t do certain things. Believe, that your potential is extraordinary and stand in that truth.

Another great quote to leave you with – 

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. – Winston Churchill 

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A pleasant hospital trip

I was recently hospitalized, in fact it was over 2 weeks ago now, but i felt the need to write about something that struck me as important.  Let me start by saying that i am not broken and the injury is not too serious, although it could have been very easily. Long embarrassing story short, went i through a window and cut my arms up pretty bad. Although not deep enough to cause permanent damage i do now have some tasty scars (i take comfort from being told they are sexy). Anyway, with medicine as it is today I was comfortably asleep for this endeavour and woke up in a hospital bed with minimal pain. Awesome!

Not one of the best experiences of my life but in all honesty it was quite insightful. I was completely cared and given a nice design on my arms (see below for some pictures of it freshly stitched) and all of this was covered by the NHS (Thank you Scotland)

While I was in hospital I found I had a lot of time on my hands so I spent most of it talking to staff and patients. From the staff I learned the long hours and dedication that goes into caring for the public also of the abuse that they sometimes receive for doing their job. My doctor told me later that he was wary of coming to see me as he thought I may be drunk. Very sad to know that these people that dedicate their lives to saving lives and studying to be better at it are treated like this. We take the service they provide for granted, and I was touched by everything that they did to make me feel comfortable.

There was times when I felt scared of what could happen, if there would be permanent damage or not, have I shredded my muscles and how long could it take to heal? Will I be able to do a handstand again?! It made me think of all the people that go through worse things, people that are facing cancer or have been disabled by some accident. I noticed some people like this that were clearly terrified. Some would die soon, some were going through a lot of pain and some would never again be able to do the things that they love in life. I counted myself lucky. I also have no end of gratitude for the surgeons, doctors and nurses that put their life into helping others and comforting others. Some of the things nurses have to do.. it ain’t pretty. But how glorious it is in it’s own right. The man that was in the bed ahead of me had fallen one day and shattered his shoulder and hip. He can’t move and life is agony. These nurses worked round the clock for this man, doing everything for him. They never failed to ask him how he was or to chat to him about life, to make sure he was as comfortable as possible. They comforted him as if he was a relative, their own grandfather, and I don’t doublt they do the same to others. Some of those patients need that. They get the physical treatment but they need the emotional comfort as well and I am humbled by their effort to do so.

I made a point to personally thank all the staff I could and let them know what it meant to me, to be so well provided for in my hour of need. Their tired eyes and smiles tell a lot of the grind but there is great determination as well. Now I’m not saying that all nurses and all doctors are like this but the ones that are deserve our respect and our appreciation, anything less is wrong and actual abuse of these people is disgusting.

This is where I have been most inspired this month.

Also here are some lovely pictures for those interested. ❤

Stitches 1                  stitches 2

More than a holiday

Going and working in a developing country is one of the best things I have ever done. I would not be the same today if it wasn’t for the time I spent in Mexico and Cambodia. A collective 7 months has had the most profound affect on my life and I would not trade that time for any other in my life. I want to try and share parts of these experiences I had with you in the hope that you would consider doing something like this, not necessarily travelling to the third-world, but even reaching out to those you see struggling around you. Now I hope I don’t seem like I am trying to promote any ‘good works’ that I’ve done because in the scheme of things I believe the people I met did more for me then I did for them… I first went to Mexico in the summer of 2011, at this time I was not in a good place in my life. I had just finished high school and had not achieved anything near my potential, I just didn’t care. I heard about the organization I was to work for through my parents and they had heard about it through friends at their church. I was presented with an opportunity to go to Mexico, paid for by my parents (They are the most awesome people), and to me at the time it seemed a way to travel, party and get away from the constraints of my family. Also I had nothing better to do and it was all paid for sooo why would I not go? As it turned out I was working with OneLifeOneChance a Christian organization that build houses for the poor people of San Quintin, Baja, Mexico. I quickly learned it would be no joy ride and as I arrived I was promptly set about raising my tent in the pitch dark. I remember that first day because the grounds keeper and all out handy man came with a torch and his son to help me, I soon became good friends with Isaias and his son Jafet and also the rest of their family. Anyway this summer, while at first frustrating me, became one of the best times of my life. Each week we would build a house in 4 days or less with a church group that came down from Canada or the States. I would help through the construction day but also as a all around helper at the camp grounds when we got back. (We all stayed in a huge fenced off plot of land that doubled as a camp for kids). Working like that, with purpose and for people that were with us, family’s that have nothing getting a huge step up in their quality of living. Seeing them and the joy that we could bring them, and being part of a team were everyone is loving being able to make a difference to these people. It was amazing and it was eye opening. That first summer there changed my perspective on everything. It was also the summer that I accepted Jesus as God and as someone that I could follow and learn how to live my life from, and let me say I have learned a lot since.

(Some of these pictures are from a Daycare centre that we went to)

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I have never felt so alive as when I have been giving to those that don’t get, and helping those that can’t help themselves.

  • “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

I know a lot of people take a stand against Christianity these days for a great number of things Christians have done in the name of God or some of the supposed stances we take on sensitive issues but really we are all human and are all going to make mistakes. I have learned so much from Christians and the bible over the years and it has improved my life and my character, I see no bad that has come of it. Regardless of whether God exists I think everyone should read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) from the bible which is the stories and teachings of Jesus. it has a lot to teach us about compassion and kindness, amongst a whole lot of other things. It doesn’t matter if your a Christian or even believe in God, if you believe in trying to make this world a better place, I recommend reading the life of Jesus. But anyway I digress… My trip to Cambodia was much the same but so different at the same time. I travelled to 3 different villages and taught English classes for the majority of the time and led kids groups.. as well as a bunch of other things. Most of the work I did here was with kids and it breaks your heart because you know so many of them are being abused or neglected, there is a lot of child trafficking that goes on in Cambodia and it’s terrible to think about but a sad reality. It’s not all negative though -I have never met kids with such resilience and potential, and such a desire to live and play and be free. And there are people banding together to help them and create safe environments for them to just be kids. I got to be part of this. I got to make a difference, even if it was to just a few that difference still matters to them and it matters to me. You know how Tesco says ‘every little helps’ well it’s true in so much more than just saving money on groceries! I can’t stop now and in fact it’s part of my travelling mandate, to try and help a little where ever I go and maybe eventually it will become a lot.

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Teaching English is very relaxing.

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The beautiful people I went to Cambodia with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to try and convey to you how rewarding experiences like I had can be but really there are no words to express the impact. This has been my inspiration for 3 years and it will drive me further to be all I can be so I can help those that never got the chance. Thanks for reading, please share this if you found it even mildly intriguing. 🙂

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Crazy kids from Cambodia.

Just Awesome

Simply put I would like everything I do in this world to be awesome. Let me be the first to say I think this is expecting to much from myself. But wow, really.. I want to be at the top of the class, singing the anthem on the field with all eyes on me. Well maybe not all eyes on me but I want to be recognized and respected. I would love to influential and a pusher, an encourager, a realist and a friend all in one. I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me and I want that all within the next couple of weeks… Well again let me be the first to say – I may be expecting to much.

Sure, o.k people will say “Don’t set your expectations too high, don’t aim too high lest you fall to the ground, crash and burn.” Maybe they won’t be this dramatic but the point is that if we don’t set our goals high and if we don’t aim to the skies then we are setting our goals low, or at a mediocre level. Have you really ever dreamed like –

“YES! I know what I want in LIFE!! It is to succeed at a mediocre level!!

Noo.. C’mon no one wants that, we may initially want that but only so that we can reach farther and climb higher onto the next level. We all want to be the big shots or influential people, our specific goals may vary considerable but in general we all have the desire to succeed, and to succeed at a high level. What ever it is that turns you on (yes I did use that phrase) if you believe in yourself and you set your mind on that one thing, sure you can do it! But it might take everything you have to do it. So right of the bat its important to know what really gets you exited, what you can’t live without, what is deeply fulfilling for you. But of course priorities do change over time so what is important to us know probably will not be down the road. I have heard countless stories of people who have really made it big or come to the top of their game, making all the decisions only to discover that they lost some of their compassion along the way or that they lost sight of what is really important to them. Then it takes something tragic or dramatic in their lives to make them realize what they should have been paying attention to and they need to change drastically, all of that power and possibly fame counts for nothing then. So make sure you know what it is that is important in your life, and this should change, in fact expect it to change. People come and go and you yourself change but if you are always aware of what matters to you then you won’t be inclined to neglect it. I like to make a habit of reflection, from the stand point of gratitude this is also important. To know what’s going on in your life is crucial in my opinion and to appreciate the things that you have is also a worthwhile endeavour. I find it brings you back more into the moment to moment of life and helps us to notice all the little things or the people we disregard regularly. These fresh perspectives are fantastic and help me to re-evaluate frequently, it is also a great way to stimulate your imagination and creativity.

How do we really know if we enjoy what we are doing until we take a step back and look?

There are two main points I am trying to make here (and some smaller thoughts thrown in)  the first of which is to aim high, but first of all make sure it’s to something worth it, and make sure it doesn’t become your life. Don’t put all your eggs in your ‘work’ basket because then you are missing out on such huge parts of life. A lot of us want that promotion and want to be leading others but do we consider what that takes? What that demands from us? Make sure you are ready to pay the cost of ‘getting there’ before you put all your effort into the journey.

My second point is that by aiming high we set a standard to ourselves, we become in competition with ourselves. No one else can set that standard or should even come on to your scale. You are your own competition and only you can leave behind your former self to reach ever higher. But that takes dedication, it takes discipline and it takes believing that you can get there, and you can get there but YOU have to believe it. People can say great things about you but until you believe them they mean nothing. The same goes for insults and people who try to tear you down, something which is more likely to happen as there are a lot of people who don’t mind brining you down in order to claw their way up. But that only works if you take it on board and believe it for yourself, otherwise there is no power there. You are the master of your mind and you allow things to affect you.

Now will it be the good stuff or the bad?

I hope this post has been at least thought provoking for you and I appreciate all feed-back, but please remember I am looking for constructive replies anything spiteful or rude will be deleted. Thanks for taking the time to read this. 🙂

Jay.

Picture is of a house build in Mexico – not really relevant but it is a good picture. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA