Freedom isn’t about being reckless or heartless.
Freedom is letting go of everything that weighs heavy on your soul.
Freedom is opening your eyes to new experiences and ways of knowing.
Freedom is about not allowing failure or struggle to discourage you.
Freedom is being comfortable with your own thoughts, with your actions, with you.
Freedom is the ability to find happiness in a broken world.
Lake Tahoe after the sunrise.
As I spend the next few weeks sketching out a rough game plan for my future, I plan to write more. There is just too many dreams to dream, things to do, places to see, and goals to accomplish. I love spontaneity, but I am definitely a firm believe in plans. Dreams cannot become realities if we don’t even attempt to pursue them in some logical sequence. Plans change, but that’s what makes them beautiful. The future is big. It scares me. I’m uncertain about where I will go and what I will do and who will be there with me. Nonetheless, I’m dreaming and planning, but most importantly – pursuing. With all the choices, technicalities, issues, and conflicts that arise, I am constantly reminding myself of these words:
“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better.
What if they are a little coarse,
and you may get your coat soiled or torn?
What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled
in the dirt once or twice.
Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m constantly surrounded by people, and this tends to inhibit my ability to think clearly about things I want to think about. So, today, I had dinner with myself.
I sat in the balcony with my favorite Italian pasta dish from a small restaurant down the street.
I faced San Francisco and the setting sun.
The beauty of it all overwhelmed me.
It was chilly and bright and quiet –
The cool wind kept me company and drew me back to reality every time my mind drifted too far.
And I liked it.
I realized that lately I have become so critical of myself.
I have let failures fracture my self-esteem and confidence.
I have let stressful situations and insecurities break my convictions in the beauties of life.
My little date with myself and my thoughts made me love myself more.
It made me sure of who I am and what I want to do.
It made me forgive myself and others –
It gave me the opportunity to fall in love with my life again.
Life is not easy. I think we all learn that very quickly in the process of growing up.
But oh my God, it is so beautiful –
And I’ve spent too long doubting, criticizing, over-analyzing everything.
I’m at peace – with the world, with my struggles, with the hurdles I must jump to get to where I need to be.
I’m giving everything I care for one hundred percent of my effort,
But I’m setting higher standards for the way I treat myself.
I don’t like reflecting on my days, weeks, or years. I have realized that the reason I dislike reminiscing is because I remember so little. This realization makes me sad, because I know I have had such wonderful experiences, I have met extraordinary people, and I have made memories with family and friends. I am filled with great sorrow – as I cannot seem to remember so many things that have filled my days, my life, my heart. The good and the bad both disappear from my memory. I sit and I wonder, but I remain clueless.
Lost. That’s how I feel. I feel like life has tricked me into happiness and tricked me into anguish, but has not granted my brain the permission to access the memories.
I feel like time has left me with the recollection of experienced emotions, but has deprived me of any sort of context.
This involuntary dismissal of the past has taught me a very important lesson:
All success and all failure is temporary.
All joy and all sorrow is passing.
Time is finite and opportunity is limitless.
So do what you need to do and do it for you,
And later, when you cannot recall exactly what happened,
You’ll know that you were truly happy.
And I don’t know if you know that I miss you.
I miss my summer visits, when we’d eat brunch just you and I.
I miss our late night conversations, over milk and pie.
I miss you laughing at my fear of bugs and spiders.
I miss your stupid dog – you know, the one who would growl and show me his perfect teeth.
I miss you teaching me to ride your horse.
I miss the way you hid my bike so nobody else would take it.
I miss your big, calloused hands waving in the air telling me stories of the past.
I miss your radiant smile, and how your blue blue eyes shined when you spoke.
I miss the way you said goodbye – so kind, so gentle, so quiet, yet so full of love.
If anybody has taught me what it is to love, without having to say “I love you,” it was you.
We all felt so much love, even through the distance.
We all felt important, exciting, intelligent, and good enough in that house you built,
We all feel blessed, to have had such an amazing, strong, brave, and wise man in our lives.
Thank you, Grandpa, for making my life better
Thank you for teaching me to seek happiness, even when life is bitter.
I miss you, Grandpa. You were and always will be my hero. <3
Rest in peace.
You were made in the image of a beautiful God. Your value, beauty, and worth does not come from your personal achievements. You were created by the perfect Creator, and nothing you do will ever make you less than wonderful.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14 NIV
You are good enough, regardless of what you have done and failed to do. You are beautiful, regardless of society’s standards. You are valuable, you are loved, you are forgiven.
You Are Valuable (myjournalofpraise.wordpress.com)
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius
I came across this quote on Tumblr – a website I love, but one that has never encouraged me to write. I sat alone in my cold, dark room thinking about forgiveness and revenge. I have always been a proponent of forgiving, learning, and moving on. But this idea of “revenge” has always sparked some curiosity in my being. Growing up, I was always told to not seek revenge, because it leads to a cycle of injury and retaliation. Nonetheless, a little voice in my head still occasionally screams “Get him back! You can do this and this and this….They’ll know exactly how you feel. Ohh, you can teach them!” Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. We’re only human. But there’s a reason that society and most religions teach forgiveness – because it is what we need to live with ourselves and others in a world that is constantly pushing us to our limits.
Revenge is not a solution. It doesn’t make anybody feel good in the long run. It fractures friendships, breaks hearts, and paves the way to feelings of guilt, depression, and pain. Revenge is a symbol of the lack of self-control, and it arises out of our inability to accept the fact that everybody makes mistakes.
“To err is human, to forgive – divine.” – Alexander Pope
So I encourage you, dear reader, to forgive. Not to pretend that nothing is wrong, not to hug the person that has hurt you, not to forget. I encourage you to forgive – because that’s the only way to save yourself from being hurt by the same betrayal more than once. Forgiveness is the only way to move on – with peace, serenity, and self-confidence. Forgiveness is the only way out of painful thoughts and situations – it frees your mind and stitches up the tears within your heart. Forgiveness provides us with the ability to think clearly – to make rational choices about what comes next.
“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.” ~ C.S. Lewis