The Season of Self-denial

The Mount of Temptation photo by Photo by Snowscat on Unsplash

It’s the season of Lent for Catholics around the world. What an irony because as I’m writing this post, the song that plays in the background is “Constant Craving” by K.D. Lang.

I have taken on fasting from social media and Netflix during these 40 days for the past years. But unfortunately, I have failed to use those freed-up hours in ways that would have strengthened my faith and deepened my relationship with God. So I made sure I re-purpose the hours wisely this time around.

The Phone Call

Days before, a friend of mine called and asked, “What is Lent about?” So, to make sure I mentioned everything, I looked up the internet, and a couple of words struck me: self-denial.

Obviously, these words escaped me before. “Now I have to figure out how to make this happen in my life,” was all I could say.

“Be careful what you ask for,” he teased.

True enough, opportunities came one after another; I only had to say, “Yes.” From giving up minor indulgences to dropping a day’s plan for someone, it’s always a question of, “Is this what You need me from me right now?”

Starting each day goes like, “The plan is to not have a plan“, which is a bit challenging for semi-control freaks like me.

I can testify, though, that we cannot out-give the Universe. Going out there and creating a direct impact on someone’s life made me feel joyful and fulfilled. It’s always been my desire. 

The Thought

As I was exercising self-denial, I wondered, “How did I ever forget about how good this feels?”

You see, I used to do these things, and then at some point, I stopped.

Was it due to fear of rejection?

A feeling of not giving enough? 

The experience of being used or taken advantage of?

Or perhaps, exhaustion from it all?

If one or all of the above is true, how do I deal with it?

Then I recalled one conversation I had with my mom. She said you can do and accomplish anything you want. But what makes the difference is the intention behind those acts.

Hitting a Chord

I believe my mom is right.

We can manifest many things in life, but none of it would give us joy and a sense of meaning if our intention is wrong, to begin with.  

sundaewrites

You might say the rightness or wrongness of an intention in most cases is relative, and that’s true. So a guiding rule can be “what sits right with you.” Because at the very core, I believe we are wired for good, wired to create and impact something good.  

The weight of a task is also directly linked to the nature of our intention.  

A friend and I talked about this last time and figured when we are motivated by the desire

  • to please;
  • to be recognized;
  • or be rewarded; 

A task feels heavier on our shoulders. But if we change it a bit and do something just because,

  • we are capable;
  • we care; or
  • it improves other people’s quality of life;
  • it represents better stewardship of resources; 
  • it makes other’s jobs more manageable;

The so-called task feels light and easy. Suddenly, our core becomes attuned to something greater, higher, and powerful, and we just flow.

Lent or not, I hope you think about your guiding intentions today. It doesn’t just fuel your actions but also determines the quality of impact you leave on other people’s lives.

Trusting you…

On Getting What You Want

The subtle mistake is coming from a place of lack.

Getting what you want or achieving your goals is like chasing happiness. It becomes elusive when you run after it.

But when you start with “knowing and believing that you already have it”, it becomes possible to create. Think about a seed finally realizing its capacity to grow into a tree.

Framing our wants positively is important too.

I still hear most people unconsciously focusing on what they don’t want.

“I don’t want to die with a mountain of debt.”

‘I don’t want to lose my job.”

“I don’t want to be alone.”

These may sound harmless but if you don’t want this or that, what do you want?

To be financially independent?

To be so good in your job?

To be supportive and nourishing in your relationships?

When you use statements that clarify what you want, it turns into something you can act on. You are moving towards something instead of running away from something. Remember, where your focus goes, your energy flows.

ACT. This is the most obvious clue to translate your desires into reality.

Things don’t magically appear in front of us. 

Goals don’t materialize overnight.

When we focus on our big goals, most of us either get lost in daydreaming or think, “Who am I kidding? This isn’t possible at all!”  

Well, self-fulfilling prophecies like that could work, just not in your favor.

Break it into pieces. That’s how we can tackle a goal we perceive to be huge.

Think about one thing that you can do today that supports your goal. Using the above examples you could:

  1. Think of an expense you can cut down or eliminate, then add that available money to pay off debts.
  2. Learn something that relates to your role and practice it.
  3. Put your phone down. Listen and be present when a loved one talks to you.

These may seem like small steps, but if you look closer, as you do them you’re already becoming the person you desired you would. The journey IS the destination.

Lastly, celebrate your wins, even the small ones.

Include each win on your “Wins-List” or write about it in your journal.

Why? Because these are your trophies. They are proof and reminders that if you did it once, you can do it again. You can replicate your wins.

Most people ignore daily achievements, but it’s the daily things that get you to where you want to be. As you go along, your confidence grows. You become more willing and able to take further shots in life.

When celebrating your wins, remember to include your “squad” or “people” too. They could be your loved ones, teammates, or friends.

There’s something so satisfying when you share victories with people who fully support you.

How?

  • It gives room for positive reinforcements;
  • It gives an opportunity to acknowledge, and thank the people who’ve been with you the whole way through. 

Trust above helps you today. Create a wonderful life.

How To Breeze Through Your Day Weightlessly

Admit it.  If you’re living in the city or working in a fast-paced environment, it’s normal to end the day feeling exhausted.  Yet when you reach home, there are household chores to finish, priorities that need to be invested in like relationships, personal growth, and side hustles. You need to have ounces of energy left to do these things before you hit the sack.

Truth is, in this day and age, when computers and electronic advances were meant to make things easier and faster, people are feeling more overwhelmed.  We get too much information and too many distractions so we get comfortable with getting things done in an instant-  instant messages, instant food, instant report, etc.  While these are all good, we often times overlook the essential, the basics, the natural, the simple and the quiet.

I am living in this environment too and through time I have learned the value of slowing down. And by that I mean slowing down:

*the pace–  focusing on what’s important

*the heartbeat– letting go of temper outbursts

*the talk– taking more time to listen and get into real, meaningful conversations

*the automatic defenses– to proact and not react

In the process, I have learned and practiced four maneuvers which allowed me to breeze through the day with ease and with a subdued feeling of being weightless. You can try them and see how it’ll give you more freedom- in mind, body, and soul.

1) Stop Complaining

Being a bystander won’t really accomplish you anything. You are not contributing and often disposed to either being critical or indifferent.  Why not become part of a solution or be a champion of change? What if instead of bashing or blaming, you choose to help or fix things?  We can all be more useful to the world by being more helpful and being more caring.

2) Focus and Let Go

You need to focus on things that you can actually do something about, and let go of those that you cannot control. At every point in our lives, we need not know or figure out all the answers before we act or do something. Else, you’d be stuck and end up seeing opportunities pass you by. Letting go also means you need to take calculated risks. Only the person who risks in life is truly free. (taken from a famous poem).

3) Forgive

It’s okay to fail if you do it “leaning” forward.  Take one step at a time. For each step, even if you fall to the ground, take the lesson with you. Important things are, you grow and you keep growing.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, so you don’t get too hard on other people too. When you are more accepting and forgiving of yourself, you become more accepting and forgiving towards others.

4) Restart

Each day is a new day. Don’t compete with anyone. Just be better than how you were yesterday.  The thing of the past, is actually what it is. Today is another chance, and privilege to write another page in the story of your life.  It’s a blank canvas. You can do anything. But fulfill something that you can really be proud of at the end of the day.

Life is short. We already know this but we keep living our lives as if our days are not numbered. So choose wisely and decide now how you want this journey to unfold. At the end of this race, you want to look back and feel glad about what you have accomplished.  Make sure that what you do today, will someday make you feel proud.

“Dear future self, wherever and whenever, I want you to be pleased and really delighted when you think of me”.

Question:

Are you practicing a habit that helps you go through life with ease and more peace? What are those occasions that these habits helped you? I’d love to hear your story. Comment here.

When Life Reshapes Your Plan

You go about your daily tasks, work on projects, plan for upcoming weeks, you have resolutions to keep, deadlines to meet, dreams to realize and boom!  You get pulled out, uprooted, redirected.  Suddenly plans collapse and you’re in the middle of the whole wreckage.

Twists and turns, that’s how life surprises us. How do you respond to it?  You get bogged down, discouraged, frustrated and then what? What happens next when life stops you in your tracks?

You pause.  Take it all in. Step back. Recognize what life is trying to tell you.  Understand what God is trying to tell you.

The process won’t be easy. The answers won’t be crystal clear right there and then.  The right thing to do is to do the next right thing.

You don’t have to figure out the answers all the time.  You don’t even have to understand why things happened the way they did.  Acceptance is the key and an action is the only thing that will take you forward.

Many of us are stuck with indecision. We don’t give ourselves a deadline as if we all have the time in the world.  Before we know it, we’ve stayed too long on a flat stationary surface while everybody else is moving forward and moving up.

Many of us are too comfortable staying comfortable.  We resist too much. We refuse to change.  We only welcome surprises that we like and hoped for, not the surprises that pull us back.

Our response to circumstances is quite telling of who we are in terms of character and how much we believe that there’s an external force beyond us, far larger and deeper than our human grasp.

When interruptions take place in our lives, we need to examine our heart and where does it lean on. Our plans are not God’s plans. You aways have to believe that there’s a reason and that reason is always for your own good.

Walls we have strongly built sometimes need to be broken down so we don’t rely on them more than we ought to. We need to rely on the One who gave us the strength to build those walls in the first place.  People, possessions, fame, power and fortune are not eternal trophies.  We will lose some, we will gain some, lose all, gain more.  Our total dependence on something finite, on another human being or even on ourselves has its drawback.   When the supply runs out, the luster’s gone, the person dies, gets sick or grows old, then you know it all stops there.

So what makes an earthly person, eternal?  We focus on exactly that— the eternal.  So that when your plans get disrupted, recalled or overhauled, you have the eyes to see beyond that. It’s easier to let go because you trust the One who knows it best.

God for all that He is, is always with you and will always be with you.  It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do or need to accomplish, what you have to let go or surrender.  If it is His will for you and your life, obey.  Let Him surprise you. Let Him take care of the things you’re worried about. Let God take the wheel.  When you do, you will never lose your way.

James, Amelia and True North

Photo by Rushina Morrison on Unsplash

Too often, we fall into an all-or-nothing cycle with our habits.

The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you can’t do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all.”

James Clear

This is by far the biggest, most relevant motivation I got this year.  

Why I’m like most people.

I struggle with motivation and discipline too. There are days when I get stuck and I can’t seem to find a way through. So I just stop and abandon things until I wake up one day wanting to pick them up again. 

That has always been the cycle. The only task I consistently show up to, is well, anything that relates to my day job. I’ve got to eat and pay bills. Apparently, that’s enough motivation to get myself to pull up a chair, open my computer and tick off tasks on my list soon as I get them done. But when it comes to personal things that I claim I’m passionate about, it’s always a journey through peaks and valleys.

Partially, I can justify my actions. When you write, you have to take a pause sometimes and allow real life to catch up. This is especially true when you draw inspiration from actual experiences you either went through alone, with others, or by people you get to talk to some days. So for the past 3 weeks, I did just that, live life and create experiences I can write about.

The Trade-Off

I sold the last piece of musical instrument I had. What gave me comfort is finding a home for these instruments in people I know will use and treasure them like I once did.

So goodbye my “Amelia”, my Ed-Sheeran signature divide.  

I must admit, life without music is dull. Listening to songs is entertaining but creating or producing pieces is pure joy. The week after I sold my guitar, a friend and I have covered two songs using karaoke music. Then the following week, I couldn’t help but buy myself a Ukelele. It’s fun to learn, it’s cheap, I can carry it around and play it anywhere, (even inside a food court)! It doesn’t attract unnecessary attention, which I like.

Days after, we covered “Emmylou” of First Aid Kit, the Ukelele is finding its way to my heart.

Back To Writing

After a 3-week hiatus I know I needed to go back to writing. Thinking about it while I was in the shower was already making me feel excited. Like music, writing, if it were a place, is my true north. Or, let me say it the other way. True north is anywhere I get to be alone with music and writing. Both activities settle my heart like no other. I know right between the notes and words my soul breathes like I’m fully alive. If only I could do these things forever without having to worry about putting food on the table.  

This is not to say I detest my job. In fact, I love it because it allows me to do the things that I love to do. I work to get paid to do the other things that inspire me to create and contribute to the art side of the world.

So James Clear, if you ever get to read this, thank you for the encouragement. Even if I do miss some days without writing or doing music, it doesn’t mean I need to abandon these interests. After all, these are two of the few things that make my heart beat, like I’m fully human.

As I find comfort in James’s words, I hope you find the grace and humility too, to pick up where you left off and finish what you started. Don’t even think you’re doing it for somebody. 

Do it for you. 

Do it because you want to. 

Do it because it’s important to you.

Are You Becoming A Dinosaur?

When I stepped into a new role I felt scared. 

After 10 years of doing something that I’ve become comfortable with, changing the status quo was far from my plan. I had to find excuses and talk myself out of an opportunity that was presented to me. But who was I fooling? It wasn’t a case of no-escaping-it kind of a deal. I could just say no but the fact of the matter was, I didn’t have anything better to do.

Getting old has certainly made me feel less courageous. I wanted things to be more steady, predictable, and convenient. Getting cozy with a routine felt like snacking on chips and a bottle of coca-cola on a lazy afternoon. Worry and stress-free. Who wouldn’t want that kind of life?

But alas, the world is changing at a speed faster than a decade ago. We are seeing the dawn of the fourth generation of the industrial revolution, the age of the digital revolution. If we don’t evolve along with it, we will become like dinosaurs on the verge of extinction. 

I believe there would still be human characteristics that cannot be replaced by robotics and artificial intelligence. Think about compassion, empathy, creativity, and human touch for instance. But it doesn’t change the fact that as humans, we need to be continuously learning to catch up and remain useful in the future. 

A casual conversation with friends over breakfast brought things into perspective. 

We all prefer an easy life. 

But who would survive without a little bit of struggle? We weren’t given bread but a seed to plant on the soil. We need some difficulties in life to thrive and grow.

We ought to use our hands, our feet, our brain, our heart (even), and flex those muscles. You know what I mean. Moving and growing is what it means to be truly alive.

Then there is fear

Almost everybody on planet earth is experiencing fear in some way. Some of us are just better at handling it. My favorite mentor would always say these two statements: 

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

“Fake it until you BE it”.

But it’s easier said than done.

What scares us are things that we don’t know.  

We are scared of trying a new job, moving to a new city, getting that degree, saying yes to marriage, having kids, speaking in front of other people, the list goes on and on.

We are terrified about what other people would think if we failed, or say the wrong thing, or mess things up. Unfortunately, it’s only when we fail that we get to know better and do better.

Lastly, we quit before we even start.

As we grew older, we forgot how exciting it feels to dream and to chase a dream. 

We forgot how freeing it can be to embrace life, to get wet in the rain, to play, and get our hands dirty. We forgot how it is to laugh our hearts out, to have fun, and not take ourselves seriously. Painful but, we got old, insecure, and boring.

We have to nip it in the bud and awareness is a good place to start. 

God-willing I want to stay on planet earth much longer and still find ways to contribute. I don’t have superpowers to save the world but at least I’d like to put myself to good use. After all, I believe our lives have a purpose. If we are allowed to participate in this life, why don’t we? I encourage all of us not to count what we’ve already done but what we can still do. We are alive right now, aren’t we? If that’s a yes, let’s start acting like it.

The Musings, the Wisdom, and the Silence

Sometimes I wish I’m smart, more driven, and as creative as the people I admire.

“Well, you can’t. You can never be like them but, you can be you”.

And that’s enough?

“Of course, you wouldn’t know any other way. You can’t be somebody you’re not and other people can’t be you”.

Why is that?

“We’re built differently. Our uniqueness makes us special”.

Sometimes I wonder what it’ll be like to have, you know, that kind of life. 

“Stop wondering. You can live yours, right here, right now”.

Why does the grass always look greener on the other side?

“You only see the grass. Not the person who waters them, the commitment he has the efforts he does. If you had wanted the grass you’re standing on to be greener, you would have watered them already”.

The older I get, the less risk I take. Why do you think that is?

“Maybe because you believe you have so much to lose? But the fact is, if you’ve invested in yourself, you can regain what you lost. You can rebuild them, recreate them”.

Why do I sometimes fear the future?

“Because you focus too much on what could go wrong, instead of what could go right”.

Do I need to keep on doing the things that I do?

“It depends. If you believe in them, then yes, if you don’t, then what’s the point”?

The years that I made mistakes. Did I waste my time then?

“Nothing is ever wasted. Bad experiences teach us something. Good experiences inspire us to do something”. 

How do I navigate my way through life?

“Picture climbing up the stairs. You don’t need to see the peak, but you’d see enough to make it to the next step. So just do that and help people as you go along. At one point, you would be needing some help too”.

Climbing. Doesn’t that sound taxing and boring?

“Everything important is worth our effort and our time. You get to enjoy the sceneries too as you climb up. You can take a breather, a pause”. 

Okay, so how can I make the most of the climb?

“Take only what you need. The more it is that you carry, the harder the climb. That burden is unnecessary”.

What if I fall?

“You climb back up again”.

I stop when I reach the top. Right?

“Makes sense but who knows. Maybe there is no top. Maybe the stairs are all there is”. 

So when does our journey end?

“When our time is up”.

Okay, I better resume mine then.

“You should. But like I said. You can always pause and appreciate things as you go along. Acknowledge that you might not see them again, and that’s okay. You can still take them with you, in your memory, in your heart. Those things, along with your experiences, will shape you and equip you”.  

Any last words?

“Your true north. Just follow that. Don’t be swayed by anyone else. You own your journey”.

I bade the stranger goodbye.

Surely I’d catch him again somewhere down the road. If not, somebody else will show up. They always do. I have stopped wondering where they come from or how the universe gets to know who or what I need at a particular time.

I think that’s just God’s providence.

As I walk, I’ve never experienced so much stillness, so much peace.

Things became simple again, bright and hopeful.

The future felt like a thousand years away and all I can recognize is this moment.

I’ll never trade this feeling for anything else. I wish it stays forever.

But who knows.

So I’m loosening my grip.

I’m enjoying this moment as long as it lasts.

Silence.

It’s teaching me a lot.

We Did Our Best While We Were At It

Just like that. A light bulb moment.  

I watched a short interview of Bjorn, Agnetha, and Benny on youtube, three of a four-member Swedish pop group called ABBA. They were really big in the seventies and eighties and have earned awards, die-hard fans, and tributes from artists especially in the West. To most of us, they are a legend.

I grew up listening to ABBA’s music among others. I remember back in grade school, Chiquitita, one of their popular songs was my winning piece in a singing contest. I didn’t follow much of their story but knew they broke up in the early eighties after 10 good, solid, successful years in the music industry. As lights went off, the members thought, “That’s it”, and resigned to the idea of being forgotten after a couple more years.

Fast forward years later, and here we are still remembering them. Hearing their songs on the radio would make any fan say, “Oh I love this song, I wonder what’s up with the ABBA these days”. That same thought led me to a few articles and videos which satisfied my curiosity. Turns out, all four are still pursuing music on different levels, and are still humbled by the love and respect they’re continuously getting from fans all over the world. But there’s no denying that all of them have moved on.

I wish we could say the same thing. “We did our best while we were at it”.

Too often though we are too caught up with the next big thing.

You’ve heard it often.

Children can’t wait until they become teenagers.

Teenagers can’t wait ‘till they become young adults.

Young adults can’t wait ‘till they have families and build successful careers.

Adults can’t wait until they retire.

To me, it seems like we’re always trying to escape. Never content of where we are, never appreciative of the phase nor the season we’re in. If we could only be fully present and just give our best.

Mind you, it doesn’t stop there. This “wanting to be” drives our “wanting to have” too.

The bigger house, shinier car, more expensive clothes, sophisticated gadgets, fancier vacations, you name it. Inherently there’s nothing wrong with wanting more. It’s the motive behind it. As we become aware of what’s happening in the world, I hope we’re beginning to realize that getting more or getting somewhere doesn’t necessarily make you happier.

What’s Missing

Contentment.  

Appreciation.

To bloom where you’re planted.

To give every ounce of energy and wits to whatever work you have in your hands at this very moment.

Doing that would spare us regret. Not needing to look back as we wonder what could have been or should have been.

You will no longer wish to have done better because you already did.

You will no longer have the desire to go back and enjoy something one last time, because you lived that moment with contagious vigor and passion.

Your heart will no longer ache for something more dashing or luxurious because you’re making the most of what you have, it serves its purpose, and you revel in it to your heart’s content.

“I did my best today. I have loved and lived like it’s the last time. I made Somebody up there proud”.  

If you can say that tonight as you go to bed, I think there’s no other time nor place you wish you’d rather be. Why? Because right there, at that moment, is where and when you’d be the happiest. You did your best while you were at it. And if the sun graces you with another day, you know you can get up and move forward, not occupied nor attached to anything of the past or the future, rather, you’ll find yourself basking joyfully in the glory of the present.

Owning Your Story

On Christmas eve last year, I was still working till about 10 in the evening. I know what you’re thinking. Mind you, it’s not the job. There have been few things here and there that we’re put on hold ‘till 24th because I was on leave for a day. But what made it a long night for work was simply because I chose to. 

You see, I could have decided to pick up the rest of the things the week after, but I didn’t. Choice indeed shapes the kind of experiences we get in life. Here are a couple of things I began to reflect on.

We reap the consequences of the things we put up with.

Take for example the way people treat us. When somebody disrespects you as a human being or disrespects your time, for instance, it’s worth asking yourself:  

Am I contributing to this experience? 

Have I shown him disrespect? 

Have I not made a request for us to respect each other’s time?

Am I experiencing this from this person alone? If yes, this whole thing might not be about me but about him.

Can I change something around this?

Put in reverse, we might have to take a look at how we treat ourselves too. Do we tolerate our laziness, our lack of motivation, our lack of commitment, our being irresponsible, or us not learning lessons from our past mistakes? What are the instances when we might have disrespected ourselves and failed to hold ourselves high up the moral curve? 

How we treat others is reflective of how we treat ourselves. 

The way we show up to the external world around us gives a glimpse of how we show up in our inner world.

We get what we give.

I always believe in the power of intentionality. It’s ideal but not as easy as we think.  

Say you are intentional about designing a balanced life. There are several routes you can go with this, but it all starts with defining what for you is a “balanced life”.

For every person, priorities are circumstance-specific. Meaning, they get arranged according to where we are right now in our life. A student will have different priorities than a wife who just had a baby. Someone whose health is failing might have a different priority than somebody who got his first job. We can never compare and we can never judge how a person designs his own life.

There’s the catch though. I mentioned “design”. You see we have to actively participate in our own story. If we give out crap, we will surely get crap. When we do something good, there’s a big possibility it’s gonna come around like that too. Yes, in reality, bad things happen to good people. But even in that, I believe something good could still come out of it. At least that’s what I’ve seen in my own life.  

Life is what we make it.

There’s really not much we can do about things beyond our control. My faith is in what we can do, to things that are within our control. There’s no point complaining about our experiences and our circumstances. We can choose to stay stuck with what’s undesirable in our life or find ways to move forward. 

So how does this circle back to my Christmas eve story? Well, yes I finished work late but I slept soundly like a baby and enjoyed the 25th without wishing I was somewhere else doing something else.

Choice. It is really powerful. 

We can be pushed around if we allow to.

We can define boundaries if need be.

We can drift through life and not make a call, or,

We can exercise the inner muscle of being intentional and design our life like “We own our own story”. 

Because truth is, we do.

Where There Is Discontent

The sweet, strong, aroma of brewed coffee at six in the morning.  

The feel of winter breeze. 

The sweet melodies the birds make.

The warmth of my pink sweater and green pajamas.

Contentment.  

Where does it come from? 

How can one have it?

These are sort of the questions you kind of ponder on in the quiet hours of the day.

Insights from a friend or a loved one would prove invaluable. But processing your thoughts and emotions is a big deal especially if you look at areas of your life where there is discontent.

Personally, at first, I thought I’m good. I’m sorted. I don’t have any complaints. I’m taking responsibility. I’ve chosen pains I wanted to endure. I’m living up to the choices I made.

But I took another hard look at my life and lives of people I know and saw it. Like bubbles surfacing on deep waters.

Excessiveness.

Obsession.

Possessiveness.

Sometimes discontentment tries to hide behind those three things.  Talk about excessive eating, partying, social media, commitments, entertainment, or sleep. It can be on the edge of obsession. Too much desire for power, money, accolades, fame, and validation, or perhaps possessiveness when it comes to love and relationships.

Where there is overindulgence, addiction or unhealthy desire for something, there is discontentment lurking in the deepest part of us. It’s insidious. It creeps through areas of our life unknowingly, and to be able to overcome it, I believe we need to heal. 

As I look at areas of my life where unhealthy excessiveness is present, I realize it’s rooted in some deep childhood hurt. A wound that’s still open, likely ignored, or worse, denied.

I think it’s the same for all people. We all walk around like we’re rock solid and strong when most of the time we are but fragile, broken beings. We go out there with our shields up. Unbeknown to everybody and even to ourselves, that we are hurting people, and keep hurting ourselves, because that little child in us, is hurt, in pain and still needs to heal. Our failure or neglect to attend to that wound just allowed it to bleed out as it does so until now.

How do we heal?

Few things come to mind.  

We can either change the past or change our perception of it.  

Most of mistakes in the past cannot be undone. So the only way to accept it is change the way we see it. We can’t attach ourselves to a perception that doesn’t help us become better human beings. It’s counter-progressive.  

Grace is helpful too. It translates to acknowledging our past, forgiving ourselves and other people who we believe may have wronged us, regardless if they ask. We didn’t know better then and so did they. Grace sometimes means knowing the past may have left us some scars, and that’s okay. We’re okay and we will be okay.

Finally, acceptance. To me this means, recognizing the hurt as a part of my past. But, it doesn’t have to define my present. We are capable of change, of evolving as the people around us are. We just need to give ourselves that chance, that permission, to rise and become a new and better person.  

Have you recognized some discontentment in your life? You are not alone. We are all a work in progress. Why don’t we go back to the root of it all and help ourselves to heal? It won’t happen overnight but progress is possible if we show up for ourselves day by day.