Being surrounded by some of my oldest and dearest friends this past week was a beautiful reminder of who, and more importantly how, I am. What started as a trip to California for a baby shower turned into seemingly short, rich days of soulful talks, spurts of laughter, quiet tears, and humble presence. There are certain people in life who never really change in the way they relate to you. No matter how much time passes or how much life changes, you have and continue to see them for exactly who they are – in their unique essence – beautiful flaws and all. You don’t expect more or less of them, and over time, you begin to acknowledge and even flourish in your own humanity. This pure awareness, trust, and acceptance that is nurtured with time and care allows you to see yourself reflected in those you love. It affirms our oneness.
Our conversations bounced back and forth between theories of consciousness, the process of self discovery, and preparation for an upcoming birth. At some points my head spun as I watched the dichotomy of one friend searching for the answers to life while the other calmly awaited the unknown. I felt the need to rescue and prevent heartache. I felt the desire to share in an experience I couldn’t possibly know. Thankfully we made time to meditate each day, and it gave me the space to observe my current situation and reflect on how I arrived here. It filled me with gratitude for past lessons and reaffirmed my current mantras. My thoughts are as follows.
- Self Worth – we are all worthy of love, most importantly self love. You can’t be a martyr for others by giving up your worth in the name of doing what you believe is right. It’s a disservice to you and others. I had to learn the hard way, and repeatedly, that holding my tongue in place of having difficult conversations is an easy cop out, but it always comes back to bite you in the butt. At the same time, I have to constantly understand the role I play and take responsibility for what I can control – my thoughts, actions, and reactions. It requires a willingness to look deep within, recognize your shortcomings, and choose to accept yourself fully.
- Detachment – we all judge; it’s human nature. We judge others left and right, but even worse, we judge ourselves incessantly. What we don’t recognized is that it’s a choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slipped into the story of “I’m not good enough.” It’s been conditioned in me, almost hardwired through time, experience, and repetition. When I first realized this, I thought I could break free from it. Then something would happen, and it would rear it’s ugly head. Over time, I have learned that I must do the hard work, that there are no shortcuts. It may be in my human nature to be confronted with this story, but it’s my choice to rise above it. And with the right tools – meditation, affirmation, writing, yoga, etc. – I’m continually learning to recognize it and let it go. As they say, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”
- Trust – when we come from a place of lack, we sink into constant desire, want and need; it leaves us constantly seeking and unfulfilled. It gives us a false sense of control and a distorted image of happiness. However, when we choose to believe in our innate goodness and connect to our power, our faith can help us manifest our highest intentions. I still struggle with my own expectations and impatience. I wanted to get married sooner, but when it happened, it was the exact perfect time and circumstance. I was shocked to lose my job, but it finally allowed me to happen upon the perfect role and company for me. You can only do so much. Sometimes you just have to surrender and trust the universe will provide.
- Creativity – I will dedicate time each day for creativity with no expectation of outcome. I will write for pure pleasure, regardless of who will see and how they respond.
- Flow – I will be patient and surrender to the current of life. Rather than forcing, trying to take control, and digging my heels in, I will relax into each situation.
- Joy – It occurred to me that both of my friends have the middle name Joy. If that’s not a sign, what is? I choose joy in each and every moment. I choose to see my inherent goodness and the good in others. I choose to find gratitude daily. I choose to create joy in all of my connections.