Courage

With the summer solstice coming up this weekend, this week for me has been all about closure!

I believe that being open and honest with the people we hold dear to our hearts is the most important action we possess. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us and I would hate to leave this world with words unsaid. Therefore I find it essential that those around me know just how I feel about them. Whether it be a simple reminder to my best friend that I love her or coming clean to someone about feelings you’ve had cooped up inside, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the satisfaction you feel knowing that you have said all that you needed to say.

Whether these feelings are reciprocated is irrelevant. I can rest easy knowing that when I lay my head down at night, I have left nothing unsaid. It can be a little too much for some people, but that’s on them. I would rather put it all on the table, than to look back and hold regrets for the words I couldn’t find the courage to speak. I am no coward!

Life is all about taking risks and I think it is better to have taken a risk and face rejection that to spend the rest of our lives wondering if things would have been different had we only spoken our mind.

Don’t be afraid of the possibility of reaching a dead-end.

Instead, think of it as a fork in the road. It’s life’s way of telling you that you need to take a different path, a better path, your destined path.

Be courageous in the face of uncertainty, using the actions of others as your compass rather than your validation.

A Little Help From My Friends

It’s amazing how lonely a big city can be. Perhaps its enormity reminds me of just how small I am in the scheme of it all. I try to start everyday on a positive note, but some days despite my best efforts, I just can’t shake the funk.

Today was one of those days…

I know that I have so much to be thankful for and I know in my heart that everything will work out in the end, but the journey can be all-consuming at times.

I find myself impatience for what is to come and melancholy about my current state of reality. There are a lot of things in my life that are currently up in the air and sometimes it feels like I will never quite be able to grasp them.

As a result, it becomes very lonely in my head and my heart. Will my dreams of success in life and love ever become a true reality or will I always be in a state of unrest and unknowing?

And the unknowing is the worse part of it all.

I know that life is a struggle and not every day will be filled with positive energy. Everyone has those days where it seems like you are fighting just to breath, the world around you is crumbling at your feet and you are powerless to stop it.

But it’s how you choose to deal with these lows that determines whether the outcome will be positive or negative.

I reasoned that my somber feeling today was most likely due to feeling lonely and a bit homesick. I am miles away from almost everyone closest to me and I miss them all immensely. It’s not that I don’t like to be alone, because it’s quite the opposite, I love my alone time. However, I miss having the option to spend time with the most important people in my life.

I strongly believe that each connection we make with someone is part of a greater plan. Those we choose to share our lives with are meant to be in our lives for one reason or another. So, it only makes sense that although I am excited about my current venture, I am deeply missing their presence in my everyday life.

I reached out to my friends today and they reminded me of my strength and the inner light that always carries me through. It’s amazing how those close to you know exactly what to say to lift you up. We get so caught up in the moment we are experiencing that we start to lose our momentum towards the final goal.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who see in me what I am too blind to see in myself. Thank you for reminding me that I am still the strong and powerful person I always have been and that this is just a fleeting negative moment. You give me peace in knowing that no matter what happens, I will always be loved.

All my love 🙂

Don’t Take Things Personally

One of the hardest things in this life is not knowing where you stand with someone.

Especially if you know exactly where they stand with you.

After reading The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, I have been making a conscious effort to make these new agreements with myself that he says will change my life. My favorite of the four is “Don’t take things personally”. For me, this is also by far the most challenging.

For many years, I have taken everything personally. The words of others shoot directly to my heart. I internalize them as absolute truth. In many cases, this is my biggest mistake.

The truth is people are inherently selfish and unintentionally self involved. The actions of others are a reflection of themselves and no one else. Therefore nothing they say or do should be taken personally.

It’s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, but once you do I would imagine the feeling to be freeing!

For example, in love we would hold no expectations, allowing us to appreciate the moments we shared without worry of what will or will not manifest. There would be no fear of rejection, because we would know in our heart that should our love not be returned, it is not our fault. It is nothing we have done or not done well enough. The feelings of others are beyond our control.

When we fall for someone (especially when we don’t plan to) we become vulnerable to their actions before we have a chance to rationalize how it will feel if they don’t join us in the fall. Our need for acceptance and reciprocation become all-consuming. Each day that passes is a struggle to keep it cool for fear of making the wrong move. We want so badly to tell them just how we feel, but instead we let this fear hold us back.

I don’t know about you, but for me loving someone is beyond terrifying. I have been hurt so many times before that just the idea of going through that again makes my stomach turn. In the beginning it’s always great! Like that moment I wrote about on Insane Roots yesterday; A twinkle of Ecstasy with a Hint of Fear!

But knowing how it will feel if it doesn’t work out brings warnings for extreme caution. No one wants to be the one to put themselves out there. Myself included.

If we were to learn not to take things personally, we may have an easier time of finding the courage to be the one who takes the first step to say “I miss you” or “I’m thinking of you”. If we received an undesired response and didn’t take it personally, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much. We wouldn’t think of it as rejection, but rather divine intervention that we were embarking on the wrong path.

When you think of it this way, the actions of others serve as your compass. Leading you to your final destination. When we reach a dead-end, we can be excited for the journey ahead and thankful that time has been kind to save us from drowning in something that was not meant to be.

If we are impeccable with our word, don’t make assumptions and act out of love and kindness, then there is no need to take things personally because we know we are always doing our best to be true and honest.

I’m sure you can see why this is my favorite and the most challenging of Ruiz’s agreements for me.

If I am being honest, I may have grasped the concept, but acting on it is an entirely different thing!

Oh well, we all have to start somewhere 🙂

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Humanly Flawed

Well, here I am again, fighting the dawn.

I have given up on the prospect of sleep, at least until I sort out the million and one thoughts that are racing through my head.

I have spent so much of my life in a state of worry that I don’t think I know how to function any other way. I worry myself into a frenzy whenever my mind has a chance to wander.  It’s like I’m fighting against my own insecurities and they are winning. Refusing to allow myself to relish in the moment and appreciate the many blessings in my life.

I am taking away my own joy. Talk about self destructive right?!

So what do I do to change this?

I have spent the last six months on an emotional journey of self discovery. I know I have come a long way, but there is obviously a lot more healing that needs to take place. The fact that I can identify what I am doing as I am doing it is a start I guess…

I realized today that although I have forgiven those in my past who have caused me pain, I have yet to forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the process. I still punish myself with my own words of unworthiness and inferiority. This needs to stop.

I have made mistakes and done things that I am not necessarily proud of, but it is time to move past this. It is time to allow myself to be happy without the worry that something will go wrong. And in the event that things do not turn out in my favor, I need to internalize the fact that the actions of others are not the reflection of me.

There are some things that are just not in my power to change.

What is in my power however is the ability to do the best that I can in any given situation. I am not perfect. I am humanly flawed. Cursed by the depth of my passions.

I am vulnerable, but I am strong.

In the midst of this constant need for worry, I must remind myself to find contentment in the notion that everything will be as it should be in the end.

Finding Bliss

“Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. You no longer rule your behavior according to what others may think about you. You are no longer responsible for anyone’s opinion…

Imagine living without fear of loving and not being loved. You are no longer afraid to be rejected, and you don’t have the need to be accepted. You can say “I love you” with no shame or justification. You can walk in the world with your heart completely open, and not be afraid to be hurt. ” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Wouldn’t this be wonderful? I don’t know about you, but the very idea of opening up to someone is terrifying to me. I have been hurt so many times that it is hard not to allow my actions to be ruled by fear. Especially the fear of rejection. I am the type of person that when I love someone, I am all in. When I give another person my heart, I give them all of my heart. I believe very strongly that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so it is very important to me that those close to me know how much I value them.

Sounds like I’m on the right track doesn’t it? You would think so, but sadly this kindness has been taken advantage of many times before. As a result, the words “I love you” don’t come so easily to me anymore. Out of fear of rejection, I hold back my feelings, bite my tongue and stay in the safe zone.  This may prevent me from being hurt, but it will also prevent me from being free.

Ruiz tells us that it is possible to overcome this fear and live in a state of bliss. A state that he calls “the dream of heaven”.

And how do we find this state of bliss?

By changing the agreements we have unconsciously made with ourselves that we are supposed to be or not be a certain way. By letting go of our insecurities and loving ourselves for all that we are.  Only then can we be free from our hindering emotions that lead us in the wrong direction.

“The only reason you are happy is because you chose to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering. Maybe we cannot escape from the destiny of the human, but we have a  choice: to suffer, or to love and be happy.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Catching My Breath

Well life sure knocked me on my ass this weekend. I thought I had it all figured out. I had a plan for my future and everything was slowly falling in to place. Sure, there were certain aspects of my life that were missing, but I had come to terms with the possibility that it may always be this way.

And, without notice, everything changed.

It happened so fast, I can barely catch my breath. My head is swimming, my heart is pounding and my body still trembles as I replay the best moments of my life over an over in my mind.

I built these walls around my heart for fear of letting anyone in again and just when I thought the fortress was secure, he walked in. Call it fate or divine intervention, whatever it is, I am completely terrified of it. I swore to myself I would never again let someone change my plans. I fought the idea of falling for days, but then it occurred to me, what if he is the plan? Do I stick to my convictions and risk missing out on something wonderful? Or do I take a leap of faith and risk being hurt?

No one can foresee the future, so sometimes you just have to jump in head first and hope you can remember how to swim.

Do You Ask Yourself the Tough Questions?

Have you ever felt as though you were living your life for everyone else? Has there ever been a time when you stopped to explore the reasoning behind the decisions you’ve made and who they most benefited? Have you been living for you…or just to please everyone else?
These are the moments when I suddenly feel lost and out of touch with who I am. A moment amidst depression and reflection of how much of my life is already over.

Oh how much I used to dream of a future and now I find myself planning for it instead.
Wondrous dreams have been faded by the reality of time and I find myself feeling hopeless.

No sense living like this…Sad Life.

So, instead…

I ask myself the hard questions! I put myself on the spot just as I fear someone else will.

I ask…

Wait a minute, who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I going? When am I going to snap out of it and how come I lost myself again?

I begin to remember after digging through the thick sheet of disappointment I spread upon myself that I used to know who I was and I miss that person!

I mistake confidence for arrogance sometimes and I have to remind myself that it is okay to say you are good at something without being full of yourself or snotty.

It’s a wonderful reminder that you are special, you have a purpose, but you’ll only achieve it if you have confidence in yourself!