See Their Own Light

Are you ready to go deep?

Link to full post: https://kalvinfive.com/2020/05/03/lets-go-the-beach-were-diving/

See you!

Remembering Good Things

One of the most amazing abilities that we have is the capacity to remember. Remembering allows us to reconnect with experiences that have already happened, and relive them again. To engage with past sights, sounds, smells, and feelings again are empowering. It enables us to see things in a new light and may remind us of the goodness of life if you know where to look.

I have been missing so many things lately. So right now, journey with me as I take you through some experiences I’m grateful for, that made my life worth living.

Steak! Excuse my camera skills!

Good Food

It was a special day. After sending pictures of food and searching for restaurant recommendations I and my friends ended up having lunch in a nearby steakhouse. Eating something luxurious always brightens up days where stress consumes you. A kind server came to our table with a polite “What can I get you?” We would always order the cheapest item on the menu but this time, we decided on getting our choice prime cuts. “Medium rare please! With a side of rice.”

Our eyes lit up as the steak arrives at our table on a hot platter. You should’ve seen it! It was so glorious, deserving of applause. We took pictures of it – immortalizing the mouth-watering beauty in social media. The steak was cooked to perfection. We squeezed lemon on it, sliced it, revealing an immaculate gradient of pink, and excitedly took it close to our mouths with a fork. A rush of joy went over us as we had our first perfect bite.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Amazing Coffee

I always enjoyed breathing in the air every time I enter my go-to cafe. The smell of freshly roasted coffee invades me with so much positive energy. “How’s it going?” greets my friend at the bar before taking my order. I would always get myself a hot strong blend and sit at my favorite nook, slowly sipping away at my cup. 

Drinking coffee is not complete without my friends. Time quickly passes by as we hang out and have conversations that won’t seem to end, pausing only to fuel it more with coffee. With every sip, a slightly different taste unfolds as the coffee reveals its characteristic blend. We get to the bottom of our cups, but the conversation goes on. “Should we get another cup?”

Adventure under the sun 🙂

Genuine Warmth

The sky was the perfect shade of blue and the sun radiated a friendly warmth as my friend and I walked through a grassy field. Our laughter would sometimes mingle with the gentle breeze of air. There were deep sighs of gratitude as we took in the views of the distant mountains and cornfields. We walked on dirt roads having cows and chickens as our companions.

It was almost high noon and the sun was already scorching, so we took shelter under a tree, and ate the bread we took from the breakfast table. As we sat there we couldn’t help but be thankful. It’s not every day that we get to experience something like this where you can just be. Life is good and everything is enough. 

Reliving Good Memories

Our memories are treasures. Make your heart remember the good things it has experienced. When times get rough and when the road ahead gets dark, open up your treasure, and remind yourself that everything will be better soon. 

What is your favorite uplifting memory that you’ll dive into today?


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Creating Spaces for Connection

Many people would not believe me if I told them that I’m an introvert. If I didn’t know myself well enough I wouldn’t believe it either! Haha! How is that dude who can speak energetically on stage, strike random conversations with strangers, and sing with total abandon be an introvert? I know, I’m surprised myself!

From grade school going to high school I was well-known for being that gentle, quiet, and sometimes quirky kid in the corner. It was the perfect place where I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. Speaking in front of the class terrified me so much that I would involuntarily shake in my seat (It’s a miracle I didn’t pee my pants!). I only have select friends growing up so when they’re off to somewhere else I’m left with my rich inner world to keep me company. Being alone does not bother me much. My weekend activities would usually rotate around reading books, playing video games, and building amazing chair forts. Being alone is great because you can just be yourself around yourself without worry.

“Aww, you’re so shy! Do you want cake?” or “Vin, meet Mark, you can be friends with him!” were some of the things that the friends and colleagues of my parents would say to me when I was a kid to get me out of my shell. Did I get some of that cake? OH YES, I DID! – Was I able to make friends with Mark? Only for a while.

Getting to know myself was easier for me than letting my walls down and giving others an opportunity to get to know me. I craved something deeper. I didn’t realize back then that the more I kept to myself, the more isolated I became, and loneliness would get to me as I am always stuck in my head. My teachers warned my parents that my behavior could be an early sign of depression. I didn’t know how to make sense of that back then. Connecting with others was a real struggle for me.

Vulnerability

Life loses its meaning without other people.

As human beings, we are not only rational beings but emotional ones as well. We become fully alive when we have shared experiences with each other and being able to experience feelings such as pain, joy, sadness, grief, hope, and love are some of life’s greatest gifts. Death could mean being void of all these things.

Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. True connection with others will not happen if you want to remain hidden. Coming out of your hiding place can be terrifying because it makes you vulnerable to whatever you’re hiding from and telling them the truth of where you are – “I’m here! I’m scared but I’m here! I’m here!”

Vulnerability is not a weakness. Brené Brown, in her book Daring Greatly says “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness… Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.” The more we share, the more we connect, in reverse, the more we withhold ourselves from others, the more we disconnect.

The journey of unhiding was difficult for me. To let other people in and at the same time giving them a part of yourself, being vulnerable in sharing my story. The most challenging part about it was finding the right safe people to share it with. The path of vulnerability led me to find a home in a community whose members has the capacity to be patient with me when I’m in hiding, meet me where I am and even run after me when I’ve gone away, accept my flaws as they are, and love me fully especially at times when I don’t feel worthy of love.

They would listen not only to the perfect version of my story that I have carefully crafted to hide behind but also to the unedited, raw, and messy story of my struggle. I was provided with a free space where I can recreate myself, make mistakes, and breathe until I can finally stand on my own. It took many years of hard work but whatever disconnect I was in, turned into multiple lines of connection I didn’t expect to have.

Create a Space

I was at a wedding reception when my phone rang in my pocket. I immediately went outside the banquet hall to receive a call that would shake up my life.

“Hello Kalvin, the leaders have been discerning this at length” ate Kathy (we dearly call her “ate” /ah-te/ – older sister) said, “We’d like to invite you to be part of the core as the Connect Ministry Head.”

“What? Connect Ministry? Me? Are you serious?” I replied in disbelief, thinking it was a joke as I heard her laugh at my reaction at the other end of the line. After getting over the initial moment of shock, I told her I needed to think about it.

I said yes. Even if I felt like I wasn’t the right fit, and even if I didn’t see myself functioning properly in that role, I went for it because I trusted the people who saw it in me. From being the disconnected one who found a safe place, a home; Now, I’m the one trying to bring people home, making a room for them, and creating a free space where they can nest in and grow.

Creating space can be hard work, it takes a sincere welcoming heart, an openness to change, and eyes that see beyond imperfection. Starting out can be a little uncomfortable as you allow others to become fully alive by being themselves even if it gets gross and stinky sometimes. Letting people take their garbage out by helping them tell their stories and share their experiences. Sharing your space is a great gift especially when you finally see them begin to stand on their own.

When you create a space for someone, oftentimes, they will create a space for you too. Sometimes people will just pass by and some special few will make a home there forever. The hardest but necessary thing when letting people in is to accept and know that there will come a time that you will have to let them go so they can grow. If we hold on for too long or too tight we end up imprisoning them rather than creating a free space for them to live. The same applies for you too.

 Connect

We are all invited to create spaces for connection. The world we’re living in now is in so much disconnect even if there are so many advances in social media where the attempts at bridging gaps ends up building more gaps. There’s a current trend where many people are content to be in hiding afraid of wanting to be found or seen because they don’t want to be labelled soft, different, weak.

The world needs you, the real you. The world needs your story of struggle, joy, sadness, grief, hope, and love – this is what makes us human, this is what makes us strong and it binds us together. Are you in hiding? Are you searching for a safe space? Or are you the one leading people home? We are all invited to create spaces for connection so we can fully live. 

 

 

 

For my first post, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to:

“Forest lady / editor / friend forever” for believing in me more than I believed in myself.

“Friend wearing a scratched silver watch” for giving me the right amount of nudge to get me started.

Art (c) Grant Snider [http://www.incidentalcomics.com/]

 

You’re welcome to stay in my space. Stay tuned for more!


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