"A mind may be likened unto a garden which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild, but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will bring forth."~ Allen
OK. So maybe I shouldn't be getting ready to say what I am about to say, but then again I am the girl who got expelled from eleventh grade for defending someones honor...with a knife...at school. Don't worry, no one got hurt, I just developed one hell of a crazy reputation for being, well, crazy.
I have kept my big mouth quiet on this matter for as long as I can and I here I go about to stir up some ruckus and defend someone, or a lot of someones honor again. Let me just go ahead and take out my earrings and take my shoes off in case this 'bout to get ugly and I step on some toes.
This post is dedicated to all those people I see on a daily basis who complain about this island and its people and its problems. And perhaps I have been there on occasion, and if so, for that I am deeply sorry. But, how dare you. How dare you speak ill of people who welcome you into their home and onto their beautiful island with such hospitality and kindness that it blows this former east coast girl away. That above all the other negative poison I hear daily angers me. You are no better than any other person that walks this Earth, and if you think so, may you have a very humbling experience real soon.
If you are a military member or the spouse of one, you knew what you were signing up for when you joined this club and if you're here and don't like it, I think you should drop to your knees right now and thank God that you are here instead of Afghanistan or some otherwise equally awful place. It's January, get your ungrateful ass out of bed and take a walk on the beach, look at that beautiful water, say to yourself "It's January, and it's eighty degrees and I'm wearing shorts."Be thankful that while all of your other friends on Facebook are complaining about single digit weather, you're drinking out of a coconut, about to throw another shrimp on the barbie.
Maybe it's because I've moved over 30 times that I've learned (the hard way) never to have expectations of a place before I meet it. I left one of the biggest cities in the US, where I had access to just about every amenity you could imagine at my fingertips and I came to this tiny island hoping only for new experiences and with an open mind. Yes, I miss Trader Joe's and Starbucks too, but if that's all we focus on then that's what we allow to grow in our mind.
And grow those thoughts will. Those seeds of negativity will take root, grow stronger and blossom into more poisonous thoughts until you're mind is overrun with them. A mind really is like a garden and we are the gardeners of our minds. So please, grab those thoughts by the root and yank them out, throwing them as far away as you can. And in the big hole that they leave behind, plant some positive seeds. I am experiencing a new place on the other side of the world, something that most people only dream of doing. I am living in a place who's people have a rich cultural heritage that I have an opportunity to learn about and then share with others in the world when my time here is done. I am a guest in this house, I will treat it and the people who it belongs to with respect. Let's say that last one again, cuz it bears repeating. I am a guest in this house, I will treat it and the people who it belongs to with respect. I will lie in the sand, warm water lapping my toes, a plumeria in my hand, and I will be grateful for ALL things.
My friends, while I'm sure I have offended and even pissed off some of you, it's a risk worth taking because if you will only let what I'm saying sink into your hearts, I know you will find that you could be happy even in a shoebox. If you are new to my blog, I won't rehash everything I have experienced in the past five years, but I will tell you that there was devastating event after devastating event. Soul-crushing things happened but because of my steadfast belief that God will work all things together for the good of those that love Him and my conscious effort to remain focused on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable*, I was knocked down at times but never out. I have been able to remain joyful and hopeful because of the practice of this gardening of my mind.
All righty then, I will now put my soap box back in its home under my bed. I love you all (mean it!) and good night.
ED NOTE: Since many people comment on my blog from Facebook (who makes it much easier to comment than blogger...eh hem) I have decided to upload the comments as photos and add them to each post. Please feel free to add your thoughts, opinions, verbal scourging, etc to this dialogue. If anyone knows a better way of doing this, please let me know.