Big revelations in little moments

It is amazing how a profound revelation in relation to our own indifference, can just waltz into our being at the least eventful moment, challenging our well thought out version of ourselves. A bit of a mouthful I know, but in sharing this reflection, I wanted to take care to accentuate the power of these profound moments in words and how much we need them to help us live in love without prejudice.

Years ago, when the bus was my car, I used to observe this one particular lady and her three kids getting on or off the bus on my way to work. For whatever reason, there was constantly an issue with her oyster card. It then always seemed like the children were at odds with each other and the mother equally at odds with the children. This made for an interesting bus journey but I tell you what; I immediately judged her and her children.

Then over time, I saw her and the kids together less. I observed a shift. The company she kept seemed questionable. Her appearance became more dishevelled and the hustle became key. As my eyes opened to the situation, my judgement grew.

Finally, I no longer saw her with the kids. I saw her alone, homeless on the street. And my viewpoint was dim. Full judgement applied:  I criticise her being, her loss, her faults and what I presumed to know of her. As a mother, my heart went out to the kids, but not her. I would not offer kindness.

Then recently I sat in my car, taking in my surroundings and as I looked up; I met a flash of lady’s face draping across my memory. And then it came to me; that much needed profound realisation. I had no right to judge her and never once in judging her did I pray for her.

Because we presume to know a person, and by this definition cast judgement on them, does not mean we get to forever label, treat indifferently or regard them as unworthy. For we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is shamefully to have judged her but was so easily done. As I sat in my car, I felt a deep sadness at my lack of empathy and kindness.

As people of faith, we fall so short at times in our endeavour to be like Christ. Fortunate for us, He is a big forgiver of sins. So I sought His forgiveness and I prayed over that lady and her kids, as its never too late to pray or correct a wrong. Even if I never see her again, I know my prayer has power and God can do more than I can.

Where has your judgement led you astray or blinded your love and gracious towards others? if so, how can you take positive steps to change this, now or in the future?

Actions you may consider:

  • Pray for the person or situation
  • Offer up a kind gesture
  • Clear the air in a positive environment
  • Commit to reflecting on and paying attention to your thoughts and how they affect your actions.

Negativity as a catalyst for change

“You will never amount to anything”

beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity. (1)

I was a child running around causing havoc only as I would. My tongue was fierce and I was a feisty little madam. I had respect for authority, but I also deeply believed I had a right to readily challenge it. And trust me growing up in the Caribbean that was unheard of. You did what you were told even if, it was the most ridiculous  reasoning you ever heard.

Well intended statements such as “don’t sweep at night” “you think you bright (meaning to say clever) and “don’t question me” was a part of our everyday language. Even now, I often wonder why we continue to spew these words. I know culture is a big part of it, but surely it’s time we changed it?

Context over, here’s what I want to lay down.

One day I had obviously done something upsetting to my aunt but rather amusing to me. I don’t exactly remember what. I suppose you could say my mind fixated on the response rather than the action. And in her annoyance she yelled “you will amount to nothing, you will just get pregnant before time”

That statement is forever edged in my memory and yes subconsciously I still hold on to it. Not because I buy into the negativity it so clearly depicted, but because at the age of 9, I learned my first lesson about identity and self-worth. I heard her words, they became the air around me for about one minute.

I knew the weight of that statement, having heard it said a thousand times in my short little life. It was common and in some ways normal to speak that over girls who exhibited any form of behaviour not consistent with “staying in line with the rules”

You want to know what I did. I reclaimed the air in the room. I rebuked that negativity over me and I vowed to “show them”. Them, being all those who have and would cast down words of negativity on me or put limits of the design of my life. I used that statement to; propel me, challenge me, to find the spirit of resilience in me.

That statement of negativity was a catalyst for change in my life. I am proud of who I, and I strive to live accountable only to myself and my faith. It’s easy to use negativity to control, conform oppress, hide and there are those who only seem to survive by breaking others down

The long and short is, that, for some reason there is more negativity in the world than positive and for obviously reasons it’s harder to control another person’s words or actions. So, that leaves you and your response to it.

Will you allow another’s negativity to break you or will you use it as a catalyst for change in your own life?

Love Camille xx