The Women in My Life

(True story, biographical.)

“How do you know you’re at peace?” I asked my mother once, in my teens. She told me “when your masculine and feminine stop fighting each other, when you stop fighting yourself, that’s when you’ll find peace.” So I asked, “which side should I be then? Which one wins?” My mother smiled and said “figure it out.”

I watched, trying ever so hard to understand how my mother could be so at peace despite everything she had been through as a mother. Then I looked at both her sisters, and realised they’re made of that same metal that makes my mother who she is. Naturally, it made sense to get to know my parents’ siblings better so that I could better understand them…

In the last two years, I’ve learned that mother’s younger sister has been doing remote work from home for almost as long as I’ve been alive! What my generation aspires to do, she’s already an expert. Last month, I discovered that mother’s older sister is one of the first women who ever wore trousers as work attire in corporate London, back in the early 80’s. When she told me this, it hadn’t even occurred to me that there was a specific “skirt / dress only” dress code.

“We were supposed to only wear skirts to work,” my aunt told me, “but skirts can get very uncomfortable, you know. So one day I put on a pair of trousers because it was more comfortable. Next thing you know, other women start doing it too. Eventually, it just became accepted in our company (Ernst and Young).”

I reflected, and pondered: it stood to reason that the strength came from my grandma. With R20 (USD 1.50) in her pocket, my grandma moved the family of ten (five went ahead, I was told, the other five came later) to the city in the 1960s during the apartheid in South Africa. As a family, they never let the Apartheid become a factor hindering them from just living their lives. When survival is your main focus, and it slowly seeps into the “norm”, you learn to embrace the better parts of life.

My grandparents always opened their homes, always welcomed those in need. Though they didn’t have much, they gave what they could: love, shelter, and a hot cup of tea. They didn’t discriminate who came through the doors. They were loving, but they were tough.

To the kids, they were very disciplined, from what I was told. Swearing warranted washing your mouths out with soap, dishes had to be cleaned immediately after dinner. Beds had to be made and tucked in completely, without an angle sticking out anywhere (although, I was recently informed that bed-making was my great grandmother’s rule). Disciplined, but always out of love. They knew that as long as the kids were disciplined enough to later be self-disciplined, then they would be able to take care of themselves.

They were right. And so it continued in the family line. I see it in my mother, I see it in how she is with our family. I know it comes from her family, that strength, that unity, that togetherness. The way she always did her best to stay strong for all of us when we were all falling apart; when we’re at our worst, she’s always the one motivating us, holding us up, comforting us and letting us know that “it’s okay not to be okay, as long as you get up again when you’re ready.”

My mother is the strongest woman I have experienced. She taught me everything I know and more, at least by providing the platforms where I, too, could become self-disciplined and self-motivated. I am where I am (literally) because yes, she birthed me, but also because she is the one woman who has always, always been there for me, through thick and thin. The one who has lifted me when I was down, but humbled me when I was arrogant. The one who can fight me when I need it, and calm me down when I diverge.

I am strong because my mother is strong. She is strong because the women in her life are strong.

So how do I know that I am at peace?

Because my masculine energy and my feminine energy are no longer at war.

I am a person, a human. A human with strength, both inner and outer; a person with emotions, both aggressive and passive. A human with weaknesses, both external and internal; a person with flaws, both on the outside and on the inside. A human with motivation, both physical and emotional; a person with compassion, both expressed and empathised. I am not perfect, but I am balanced, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

Balanced, and equal.

Within myself.

Peace
Mikavelli

My Story: On Love and Fear

Only LOVE can overcome FEAR.
~Mikavelli~

Personal story:

As a child, I saw how fearful my peers were of studying; they preferred electronics and video games. I didn’t. I was drawn to the smell of fresh books and the unmarked innocence of new notepads. I fell in love with reading and writing, two parts of me that incidentally not many around me appreciated, nor had the patience to enjoy.

But I fell in love nonetheless, with characters, with planets, with words, with knowledge…I fell in love with the unencumbered infinity of time, space, experience. A place where there were no boundaries…

Life progressed, and innocence became a thing of the past as I slowly learned of the atrocities of which humans were capable; humans, this species I was indoctrinated to treat with respect. It was a respect I’d felt “they” hadn’t earned. Humans, the self-destructive, entitled, greedy evils destroying what was once beautiful: the planet, the lands, the seas, the people of the world…

Love had been overridden by competition, by aggression, by the anarchy that losing one’s innocence had allowed.

I learned, instead, to fight: to fight for what is right, what is true. To fight for justice. I fought for those who fought for me, and against those who detested me. I fought, until I realized that I had become exactly what I had been fighting against: FEAR. I had become… fear.

In fighting the fear, I realized that I was only fighting myself. And that the only victory was LOVE. I had to love myself. I had to overcome fear with so much love that I feared how much I could love — myself as well as others. I surrendered to my “self”, to the love that overcame fear.

The love of “self” does not mean to be in love with yourself.
It is in the wording: the love…of self…
self’s love, not self love.

So what if…just what if…we allowed someone to love us that exact same way…?

Love yourself, but let yourself be loved too.

Peace,

Mik

Life is Like A Stream

Growing up, my mother always taught me that our “life path” is like a stream, ever flowing, moving forward. We are to follow the path wherever it leads, even if it means warding off spiders, swinging through branches, climbing over rocks, and swimming through rapids. As we grow, we gather knowledge, experience, friends, lovers, challenges, hardships and what not.

Who and what we gather are like pebbles and rocks: some have rare jewels in them, others have unique minerals. If we carry every rock with us, we will become burdened. Over time, however, I’ve learned never to disregard or throw aside the pebbles, instead, place them gently in the stream and along the path so that you may come back when the time is ready. These pebbles can filter the stream and offer clarity of thought, they can be molded into gems later on in time. But always know where your treasure lie, and follow the path. If we stay on the path, we will never lose ourselves.

If we do stray from the path, we must always know how to find our ways back. Leaving clues and signs for ourselves to explore the great wide world, still knowing how to return to the path that leads us to where we need to be. To what our brains, our minds, our bodies, and our souls fundamentally desire.

Following your “life path” means going with what you know, deep down inside you, to be true to yourself. If you feel compelled to be explore and experiment, do what will get you there. If you were meant to create and construct, build as much foundation as possible. If you were born to reflect and express, learn as much as possible, meet as many as possible.

So often we find ourselves to be

Searching for what we already have
Pretending to be who we already are
Trying to undo what’s already been done
Unbecoming whatever it was we became

What what if, just what if, we’d chosen not to change. Instead of forcing growth we could just stay the same. So much of life is letting things fall into place. What if I told you, life is not a game?

Journey on and be free, know where your roots are, know how to find your stream, know where your buried treasures lay. And do what needs to be done at whatever cost (within reason), because always, always, you can come back.

Let us be each others’ boulders, the rocks we lay by the stream.

Love and peace,

Mikavelli

Merging Worlds

There are some whose worlds come together and complement each other as they merge and formulate new worlds in the making. The worlds intertwine with the commonality of foundations, where there is acceptance of differences, where there is an understanding that each individual world has its specialty.

There are others, however, whose worlds come together and collide, not in the magical, chemical way where passion goes both ways. No, the collision where all that’s left is destruction. Where all that’s left is ash and decay. When you walk past a land that was once beautiful, once solid, once secure, only to see it for what it has become. A fragment of history, a world that was once reality.

One can have multiple worlds: family, friends, work, academics, romance, and so forth — it does eventually become a constant shuffle of juggling the compartmentalization of each world. It’s knowing when to take breaks, when to go “all in”; when to rush, when to pace; when to love, when to fear…

Have you ever revisited old worlds that you’ve destroyed? Ever tread your history as if it were a biographical museum of your selves — past and present?

I have.

When you sift through the debris of the destruction from your past,
You slowly rediscover enough raw material to recreate worlds that last.

Life is an unending journey of transforming worlds: of gathering the necessary tools to construct actual worlds within worlds, to reclaim land that was never ours to claim, to build, create, and shape. It is knowing when to let go and when to push through, when it’s acceptable to rest, and when you’re just being complacent in the excuses made for laziness. When to walk away, when to confront; when to build and rebuild, or when to ditch and destroy.

Every now and then, worlds change. They change internally when one learns from experience, and externally when one strives to make an environmental difference to physical habitats. Worlds can change with the flux of the world, and ones response to the flux.

But as worlds come together, as different entities meet at a metaphorical crossroads in the middle of the universe, it results in:
a) embrace the new worlds and let yours expand or,
b) defend your world to the death by keeping out every one who tries to be a part of it.

Each of us come from a world where things work differently, where we’re taught to perceive things differently, and where we, despite how much similarity may be drilled through convention, cannot fight the unique and individual design of our DNAs. Our whole lifetime will be a journey of figuring out the roles of our worlds in the world; there is no one right answer. There are so many ways to do what’s “right”, why restrict it to the one thing you were taught from that one world you were in before it expanded?

We are what we are
We are what we choose to be
We are what we merge
We are…

Peace!
Mikavelli

as-we-sift-through