....Inspired beyond boundaries

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hope

Hope keeps the heart alive

On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States of America. By that victory, he also became the first African elected to the White House.

Before the election, the young senator wrote the best selling book titled: “The audacity of Hope”. It was an intriguing book that showcased the American dream and the possibility of achieving these lofty dreams.

That same sentiment has always kept some individuals strong, even in the face of daunting challenges. A few days ago, I shared my sentiment concerning the tenacity of Arsenal FC fans.

I tweeted: “Sometimes you got to praise the courage and resilience of Arsenal fans. Season after season, that constant heartbreaking experience never weigh them down. I draw inspiration from them and this week I’ll be writing an article dedicated to all Arsenal fans. You deserve all the Love”

Funny enough, the football season started on a very beautiful note for the London side, as they clinched both the FA Cup and the Community shield. An ecstatic Mikel Arteta was over the moon as he savored two trophies in his new managerial career at Arsenal.

The mood among Arsenal fans was even made merrier with the litany of signings in the summer transfer window. In came the likes of Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian, Runar Alex Runarsson, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares, and Dani Ceballos.

The hope of a good run in the new season was high. Defense, midfield, and attack had been fortified. Unai Emery had been shown the exit door and Mikel Arteta was given a warm reception.

Everything was put in motion to ensure Arsenal brings back the glory years, and the FA Cup and Community shield triumph was an appetizer to the ever-loyal Arsenal faithful.

Fast forward to week 12 of the 2020/2021 English Premier League season, and Arsenal are rooted in the 15th position in the EPL Log after an embarrassing 1-0 loss at home to Burnley. It was not the first time they were losing at home this season.

Sundays’ loss to Burnley was Arsenal’s 4th consecutive home defeat at home this season. The initial hope that came with Mikel Arteta’s coming and the new signings have fizzled out. The alarm bell has started ringing, as rumors have started going around about the possibility of looking for a new manager.

It has indeed been a turbulent time for Arsenal supporters, as they have endured years of pain. The pain of going from season to season without a major trophy can be so devastating, but the ever-resilient gunner fans have always stood behind the club and players.

The audacity of hope can be seen in the play, as they keep dreaming about some positive moment. Unfortunately, someone jokingly tweeted about Arsenal’s trophyless run after Diego Maradona died recently. “Did you know that Diego Maradona died without seeing arsenal winning the champions league, he lived for 60 years

It was a rather embarrassing fact, that highlight the long wait for Joy among the Arsenal fans. Indeed, things have not gone according to plan this season, and confidence is at an all-time low among players.

Mesut Ozil

There have been fingers pointing at the ill-treatment meted out to Mesut Özil as been responsible for Arsenals dismal display so far. Indeed, the creative midfielder has been frozen from Arsenals first team since March 2020.

He remains Arsenal’s most creative midfielder and there is already a clamor for his recall to the team. The possibility of Mesut linking up with the squad in January is high, even as pressure keeps mounting on Mikel Arteta.

Lack of goals

Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Eddie Nketiah have been used as Arsenal’s main striking options this season, but their goal return has been dismal. Aubameyang has played 12 premier league matches this season and has scored just 2 goals.

Alexandre Lacazette has played 8 matches and made 2 substitute appearances this season with 3 goals to show. Eddie Nketiah has started 1 premier league match and made 9 substitute appearances and has just 1 goal to his name. Unfortunately, goals can only come when chances are created. Sadly, creativity is absent in the middle of the pack.

The manager

Questions have been raised about the ability of Arteta to steer Arsenal from the murky water of despondency into a top 4 team that they are used to. As an assistant to Pep Guardiola, he was never faced with these sorts of challenges.

Experience at the top level may be lacking. How to rightly utilize players at his disposal is another challenge. How he handles the Mesut Ozil situation will further show his capacity as a manager. Technically, he still has few things to learn in the game, but helping Arsenal to a respectful finish seems to be the agenda for now.

The agony of hope

Watching Mikel Arteta’s post-match interview after the Burnley defeat was heart-rendering. He was pensive and almost in tears. I could imagine the pain and turmoil inside of him. He didn’t look too hopeful, just like millions of Arsenal fans who have already resigned themselves to whatever comes their way.

Arsenal’s next four games will be crucial

The next four games for Arsenal have assumed a more significant dimension considering the situation of the club. They play Southampton at home, Everton away and Manchester City in the EFL Cup Quarterfinal. They then welcome Chelsea at home on boxing day in a must-win game. If they drop points in three EPL games, they may be swimming in the murky waters of relegation.

The audacity of hope may eventually give way to the pain of resignation. It’s a lonely world out there and even in this festive season, let’s keep sending love and light to all Arsenal fans. They are the real heroes in this unique chapter of the club’s unenviable transition.

Accept yourself

Accept yourself the way you are

Accept yourself the way you are. It’s easier said than done, but  I love what Brennan Manning said: “When we accept ourselves for what we are, we decrease our hunger for power or the acceptance of others because our self-intimacy reinforces our inner sense of security. We are no longer preoccupied with being powerful or popular. We no longer fear criticism because we accept the reality of our human limitations. Once integrated, we are less often plagued with the desire to please others because simply being true to ourselves brings lasting peace. We are grateful for life and we deeply appreciate and love ourselves.”

The question is: Do you stand up for yourself when others discourage you? Have you given yourself the benefit of doubt in a difficult or confusing time? Is there the tendency to love yourself for who you are and not what others want you to be? Do you only cheer yourself on when you feel positive or accomplish external goals? These questions might sound odd after all, don’t we all accept ourselves as a regular part of living our daily lives?

Self-acceptance according to Merriam Webster dictionary is the act or state of understanding and recognizing one’s abilities and limitations. It is that ability to accept yourself as you are instead of how you wish you were or how you wish others perceived you. It can also mean the feeling of satisfaction with yourself despite your weaknesses and regardless of your past choices and behaviors.

Self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you accept what you are and will do nothing to change and improve. It does not mean accepting your life and fate as it is. Don’t you say to yourself that” this is what I am, I accept myself as I am? I accept my character, failings, mistakes, fate, and this how it is and I can do nothing about it. I cannot improve myself.”

Knowing yourself allows you to see what you can do to improve yourself and your life. Self-acceptance means that you see your mistakes, accept and acknowledge your present position, and then look for better ways to improve. This implies that you understand and accept your character and habits, stop comparing yourself and achievement to others, and acknowledging your skills or lack of them.

Note that acknowledging your good and bad habits and traits of character can alleviate feelings of anger, regret, dissatisfaction, bitterness, unhappiness, or resentment but it is not an excuse for staying as you are. You are you and that is something that is never going to change.

When you learn to accept yourself and work towards the best version of yourself that you can be, you set yourself up for a life that has an abundance of happiness and progress. Spend some time with yourself by engaging in enjoyable activities so that you can bond with yourself and fall in love with that person.

If you don’t love yourself you will never find the courage to dream. You will eventually lose valuable relationships and you will become dull and lifeless.

If what you are doing now is not working for you, then it is time to do things differently, to change the way you look at yourself. Time to stop the judgment and like yourself more.

Are you going through a financial crisis? Love yourself! Are you experiencing heartbreak at the moment? Love yourself!! Do you feel like giving up? Love yourself!!! Has life dealt you heavy blows and you can’t seem to get back up? Love yourself!!!! Are you separated from your spouse? Love yourself!!!  Learn to see your mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities.

My top 7 inspirational quotes for success

My top 7 inspirational quotes for success

Inspirational quotes are a great way to start your day. I love reading and listening to inspirational quotes about success because it helps to build up my self-confidence.

There are quite a lot of them in my archive, but today, I’ll be sharing my top 7 inspirational quotes. Here is hoping you love them.

Mohammed Ali

Formerly known as Cassius Clay, he was one of the greatest boxers that ever lived. Enigmatic, boisterous, and always willing to share the secrets of his success.
“I run on the roads, long before I dance under the lights. I hated every minute of my training, but I said: Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion”…. Mohammed Ali

Mother Teresa

A roman catholic nun who was renowned for her philanthropic works among the poor and vulnerable.
Be happy at the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” ― Mother Teresa

Maya Angelou

American poet and civil rights activist who passionately defended the rights of vulnerable women.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”… Maya Angelou

Muniba Mazari

She is known as the iron lady of Pakistan. Survived a horrific car accident that left her paralyzed. She has become an inspirational figure to millions worldwide.

You are the Hero of your own life story and heroes never give up.” Muniba Mazari

Martin Luther King Jr

American civil right activist who was very vocal in the fight against black marginalization and racism. He was part of the American Civil rights Movement.

If you can’t fly then run if you can’t run then walk if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”… Martin Luther King Jr

Mahatma Gandhi

An inspirational figure who transformed the life of Indian people with his selfless service and devotion to humanity.

If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

Helen Keller

An American Author who made history as the first deaf and blind to earn a bachelor of Arts Degree. She was a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Life

Life is a beautiful journey

Life sometimes gives us some beautiful memories and some not too pleasant memories. Like a journey, life is full of a few bumps and stops. These stops sometimes may seem difficult to bear, especially if they come so suddenly.

Some few days ago, I saw twitter a post that touched me so deeply. It was from a Manchester City fan called Andy. It wasn’t one of the most beautiful messages one would have loved to go through with a smile.

Andy had been going through some difficult health challenges and he had already been placed on some chemotherapy sessions. Unfortunately, things weren’t going according to plans. His condition wasn’t improving as he had expected.

Lots of you have asked how l am, which I’m grateful, so I feel I should give an update about my health the doctors have said my body cannot take anymore chemo it’s not strong enough so it’s time for nature to take its cause they reckon I have about 6 months, so I will enjoy it”

It took me quite a while to send him a message of encouragement. It was a tough task trying to encourage someone who had a few months to live. Not the most pleasant task I must confess, but Andy’s positive disposition made all the difference.

Iranian Conjoined twins Ladan and Laleh Bijani had always dreamed about living separate lives even when they were born as conjoined twins. They wanted freedom. They wanted to explore the beautiful things life had in store.

In 2003, they both agreed to have unprecedented surgery to separate their heads. They were 29, and the risk at that age was massive. It was a 50-50 chance of survival, but they were ready to take the risk.

A day before the surgery, Ladan said: “We’ve never been as confident as we are now. We are prepared by all means to embrace the risk and walk into the operation room”. Unfortunately, they never made it out of the Raffles Hospital in Singapore. The bleeding from the 12 hours surgery couldn’t be stopped.

Ladan died first, while Laleh died 53 hours after the procedure began. It was a sad moment for the entire nation of Iran. There was hope, that the operation would be successful. They wanted to experience the beauty of life as separate individuals, but they could barely enjoy it for fewer 48 hours.

The journey was brief, uneventful, and in the end, though they were separated. They never lived to enjoy the joy of separation. When I first read the story of Ladan and Laleh Bijani, I felt so heartbroken and it took me a while to get myself together.

Life may seem unfair to some, but when we look deeply at the privilege and beauty life brings into our heart, it makes the journey worthwhile. Some may argue about the pain of seeing their loved one die prematurely. I’ve had the painful experience of losing brothers, sisters, uncles, my Dad, and my mum.

These events may shake up the faint-hearted, but yet we must realize there the need to appreciate each moment life brings our way. Don’t let the difficulties you face defeat you. Don’t let life break your spirit.

We live each day with absolute hope that tomorrow will be better than today. We don’t wait for our future but create a beautiful future filled with all we ever desired from life. Each new day brings renewed hope and renewed strength.

Our paths in life may not be the easiest. The journey may not be the smoothest. But we must keep praying for the courage to move on and never look back in regret.

Love comes to those who still hope

Love comes to those who still hope

Juliet Smith spent fifteen years in a relationship that ultimately wasn’t right for her. She was stuck in it and couldn’t move out of it due to fear of the unknown. It hit her hard one day that she had to let it go. Alone in her home, she fell on the floor in tears, grieving and feeling the sting of fear that she will never find someone else that will love her; she will be alone for the rest of her life.

But she found the courage to get up, change her life and started doing things that gave her confidence, joy, and love and that was when she met her husband and they got married some months later.

No matter how long you’ve been hurt in the past, you probably still wonder when your soul mate will walk into your life. Why? Humans were wired to love. We were born to connect with others and share a deep emotional and physical bond. Love can hurt but it is also important for our well being.

Even if your life experiences have always ended up with more sad than happy moments. So discouraging, that you keep wondering about the possibility of finding love. There are always countless reasons to hang in there. Just because you had a failed relationship doesn’t mean that this will repeat infinitely into the future.

It is difficult to maintain a positive mindset after you go through a traumatic experience like a breakup. You can still find the courage to change all the negativity and bring some positivity in your life. With a positive mindset you can get over your hurt and be successful with someone who truly deserves you.

The first step to attract someone who will love you is to cultivate that within yourself. You cannot expect others to love you if you don’t even feel that way towards yourself. Just because a partner has ended a relationship does not mean you are unlovable or unworthy of their love. Rather than focusing on what you did wrong, focus instead on what you can do to make yourself feel better.

Efforts are never wasted even when it leads to disappointing results. It can make you wiser, better, stronger, and even happier in the long run. When things get tough and you are losing your head, be patient, and keep going.

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