All posts by Thando Tshabalala

About Thando Tshabalala

South Africa, for the first time since the dawn of democracy in 1994 has seen tremendous political instability that has translated into poor economic outlook and a looming junk status rating from the ratings agencies. My country’s political turmoil is calling me to act and affect change in the most meaningful way I know how. I have worked in the local government space for the past eight years of my life and have seen too many discrepancies against the poor, irregular spending, corruption and fraud. I have also seen great politicians that put their hearts on line every day for betterment of their communities. I want to introduce New Church views into everyday lives of my fellow country men and women. The New Church way makes a great deal of sense to me—not only because I was born and bred in the New Church: enjoying the writings and the doctrines all my life; but because I sincerely Believe. Working in government has allowed me an understanding that personal development is the only way to real economic and spiritual freedom. Real conversations about the current economic conditions in South Africa cannot and should not take place within government structures only. It is going to take really special people to affect change in South Africa, true patriots that really care about the future and the economy of our country.

The Space In-Between

What becomes of the feelings that manifest in between the sifting and sorting of decisions? I wonder about the activity and energies inside our brains when decisions particularly emotional ones are being processed and ultimately filtered down into the right one at that particular time. Not to dive deep into psychology; There comes a time in our lives when we’ve elevated ourselves enough to be granted opportunities. The one side of the opportunity can be success; while the other side can be failure or fear. The power to choose one way or the other rests solely with us. This article is focusing on that middle ground—the space between the unknown or not yet discovered success, and the overwhelming fear of failure presented by that opportunity. 

We know this because our emotions communicates this dilemma explicitly; when we explore the upside of the opportunity it feels amazing, inspiring and joyful. However; when we explore the downside of the opportunity, if we have the guts to go there, it feels terrible. Surely there are lobbying elements, beyond us (both physically and spiritually) that present us with emotions and thoughts for one way or the other when we exercise critical thinking in decision making. 

Continue reading The Space In-Between

The End

I have been fascinated lately by the concept of “The End.” It is unclear to me how far that really is; or if it even exists?

As eternal beings we understand that life has no end; we move from one realm of existence, into another. We live in a series of beginnings, yet somehow our finite minds forces us to see ‘the end’ of it all. We plan our lives accordingly so we can be compliant to the unwritten rule that for every beginning; there must be an end.

Today I challenge this concept, I want to shift that perspective to help people see that an end is really a beginning for a greater purpose. I have graduated a few times in my life in many things: academia, marriage and divorce, motherhood, country women at all levels of government, and spirituality. With every graduation I believed that I had reached the end, only to discover a new beginning awaiting me on the other side of the story.

My life journey has taught me that ‘The End’ comes with excruciating pain that I must overcome to get to my new beginning. All of my graduations came with hard, focused and persistent work that required more power than I had on my own. I always had to leverage on my trusted relationship with my God to carry me through. Sometimes the pain was too real that I thought it would end me. It was in that TRUST where I could see that there really was no end; but a new beginning for a better, wiser and stronger me – every time.

The intangible trust has always pulled me through “The End.” It helped me learn about the world at a level that was deeper than most people; knowing and accepting that there has to be more out there. It was about listening to my inner self, about knowing when I had fallen short of my own potential. It continues to be about understanding and taking responsibility for my own successes and failures; it is really about knowing the truth about myself. The truth that I belong to an eternal God who has no beginning and no end; but is the beginning and the end.

The Intangible lesson—Trust can be taught

We speak about trust all our lives in our different relationships with people; and I’ve heard it a million times that “trust must be earned;” but never have I heard that trust can be taught. Trust is a feeling just like loyalty and love—it is intangible, so yes, it can be learnt. Trust in the Almighty and His Word is the first step to realising that just like Him we are eternal beings; we have no end, only beginnings.

I cannot believe how naïve I have been, looking outside of myself for the answers that were always inside of me. Thank you, God, for the clarity! For the alignment within me: my heart, head and hands now move in unison. My purpose is clear, all of my endings were bringing me closer to my life’s agenda. ‘The End’ of everything in my life was always awakening the best beginning for me. I am ready; let the next phase of my truth begin.

Blessing in Disguise?

Editors’ note: The congregation in Diepkloof, South Africa has been through a very difficult past few years. A significant amount of conflict with, unexpected decisions and strange behaviour by the former pastor lead to a lot of hurt. But as the article describes, the congregation has recently come back home to their church in many ways.

When tragedy strikes, such as life usually designs, one often wonders about the ‘blessing in disguise’ of it all. We know that God is with us every step of the way, and often cry out loud to His intervention – His Divine Intervention. Meanwhile, we hold on tightly to our faith and pray that our good works will see us through.

My congregation has survived a storm that was never anticipated in the history of the General Church. Our pastor took all of us to the darkest corners of our spirits to show us his truth; that he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the ultimate god for our church. Such darkness could never be seen in the light, nor by the naked eyes, for years we have been nurtured and schooled about the New Church doctrines by a man who never truly ‘got it.’

This revelation shook the General Church to its core when even the bishop was tested as he attempted to end the lunacy that had become cancerous; we were all tested! The church in South Africa and the world over became hostage and was held to ransom by God’s own chosen shepherd. Moving through that situation was like dragging a very heavy metal object through clay soil with the fear that at any moment we will run out of strength and get stuck.

It is now the year of our Lord 2018, five years later, and we have finally broken free of ‘our false god.’ We have survived the humiliation witnessed by the community we were sent to minister the New Church doctrines to. We have survived being erased and evicted from the only church and ministry that gave life to us in many more ways than one. And we’ve repeatedly won every legal court case that our former beloved minister took us through as he tried us through the High court of the land.

This article is actually about the question: so, what was that for?
Continue reading Blessing in Disguise?

Emerging Consciousness

Deep in the night in the privacy of my sheets I confessed—I really don’t know anything. This would become the theme for my life in 2017. There was a growing comfort inside of me in the understanding that I am not in charge of anything. Just weeks into acknowledging the state of my unconsciousness I would be woken up rather abruptly by a couple of suits at my work activating their positional power to rescind the offer they made to pay for my Masters of Business Administration qualification—at one of the most prestigious Business Schools in South Africa. It was stated in their subsidized Education policy that they will support the development of their employees to give rise to a competent human capital that can tactically and strategically bring real time transformation to the lives of ordinary South Africans. What the policy forgot to relay was that there was an invisible quota to the amount that can be used to subsidize transformation; and only sub-standard institutions will get preference. There in the boardroom I put on my business brain and was ready to debate and poke holes into their bureaucratic ways. Critically engaging made-up minds allows for greater opportunity of forced consciousness in one’s own biases. I refer to this type of consciousness as the light that glows when truth meets ignorance.

I did not get to the glow immediately, first there was a storm; a raging tear storm that filled my aching reality. The obvious solution was to drop out of school. How was I going to cover tuition, books and the global study tour without my development agenda partner? This was an ultimate betrayal; for a woman that has survived life’s most hurtful surprises before now; this pain was fresh… like the road less travelled. I sensed a new way of thinking creeping into my alertness, like the dimness of my light forcing its way into life—I felt a warm glow of light emerging into my consciousness. This new light was forcefully announced to me through the pain that accompanied the possibility of dropping out. I began to look beyond the teary storm and the choking pain for a solution. Then I remembered! I don’t know anything. Continue reading Emerging Consciousness