I want to tell you what I believe.
I believe in spirituality, not organized religion. I believe that God, a higher power, whatever you want to call him, is taking care of me. I believe that my guardian angels are looking out for me and guiding me. I believe in healing. I believe in reincarnation. I believe that I have lived, many, many lifetimes before, and that after this lifetime here on Earth I will live again. I believe in kindness. I believe in love. I believe in the importance of honesty, of transparency. I believe we are sent here to learn. I believe that what we come here to learn is first and foremost to love ourselves unconditionally – so that we can also learn to love others, who are a part of us, just as we are part of them. I believe in the power of forgiveness, of the importance of gratitude, as the only way of ever being happy – not in the distant future but every day.
This is what I believe.
You choose where to be.
You choose how to act.
You choose what to say.
You choose whether to go or stay.
You choose whom to be with.
You choose what to concentrate on.
You choose what to believe.
You choose what behaviors to take in reaction to different stimuli.
You choose what to say to yourself about the circumstances you find yourself in.
For the past 10 days I’ve been following this free meditation program set up by Oprah and Deepak Chopra (love them). Most days I feel that my mind wanders away from the mantra, yet I believe I am starting to see and feel real benefits. For those who haven’t tried (and you should) it is just a great way to step outside of yourself a bit. Relax and listen to your thoughts, which helps you realize what your inner chatter is saying to yourself every day, whether good or bad.
It is a reminder, telling you that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, to treat yourself with respect and actually say nice things to yourself for once. To ease the grip on the demands we put on ourselves every day. To just be. By treating yourself kindly you have greater confidence in your self, and you even believe that your dreams may not be that silly. That they are worth pursuing. That you are capable of achieving whatever it is that you want.
These are themes that I write about here continually. But that is because you have to remind yourself repeatedly, for it is so easy to forget. Be yourself. Breathe. The world is not going to end.
There’s this thing I do. I wait. I for that thing to happen which will make me happy. I will be happy when … my hair grows longer, when I get a tan, when I grow 10 cm, when I get older, when I become a grown up, when I lose 3 kilos, when I get in shape, when I meet the man of my dreams, when I get my dream job.
I’m sure that you have a list of your own. But what are we really waiting for? And why do we believe that we will be happy when this or that happens, or at that certain point in the future? What is really so bad about who we are right now? Why do we not choose to be happy – now?
It is up to us. It is up to us to stop telling ourselves that we are not good enough as we are today. I am though. I forget, but I know I am. Are you?
Has anyone ever been mean to you without reason? Of course they have. How did you react? Did you feel mad at them for treating you that way? Decide that they were assholes? Did you ever go as far as to wonder why they behaved that way towards you to begin with?
It’s difficult to understand why people do the things they do, after all we can’t read each other’s minds. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that we all see the world from a single viewpoint; our own. We don’t know why that person said or did something to hurt us. All we see is our hurt. What we don’t see is theirs.
Hurt people hurt people. I have come to believe that not a single person intends to hurt another; they hurt because they hurt. What we have to remember is that what they said or did has nothing to do with us. They can’t make us feel bad about ourselves; only we can do that. We must remember that the way they treat us has more to do with them than it does with us.
This applies to all manners of behavior, not just the bad. All my life I’ve been quiet. I guess some people have wondered about that. Others will just have accepted that for what it is; a shy girl is not the weirdest thing in the world. What they forget is that we don’t happen; we are made. I was not born to be shy. But I was bullied. And my dad drank. And I learned quickly that the easiest way to get hurt was to express my opinions and my feelings which my bully, and my dad – looking to punish himself by hurting me – would then use against me. It wasn’t a great leap to stop talking as the only way to defend myself. No opinions = nothing to make fun of. The smaller I was, the less there was to object to.
Quick learner I was. Unfortunately it takes so much longer to unlearn than to learn, at least in this aspect. To unlearn, and be able to trust like an innocent child again. To find the courage to say what I think without fearing I’ll get hurt. I’m still working on it. But at least I am doing so. And I won’t be quiet, not ever again.
I’ve been sick, awfully sick, for the past five days and in between feeling sorry for myself and acting like a five-year-old I’ve wondered why. Why do I need to be sick for five days straight, stuck in my tiny room, lying in bed, with no-one’s company except for my own? I’ve seized to believe in coincidences; that this alone time has been forced on me must have been intended as some kind of wake up call.
I woke this morning thinking that I might just be getting better. I managed a trip to the store. The sun was shining, brightening my mood. When I came back home I felt different. I started watching Eat, Pray, Love. I paused the movie after five minutes to write. I realized that I have been so worried about getting a job as a manager, someone in charge, that I didn’t stop to think if I actually wanted to become one.
Now I think that’s where the anxiety I’ve been experiencing these last weeks was coming from; that I was forcing myself to become something I did not want to be. Do I really want to have a stressful job, to what, be able to say that I am successful? Or do I want to live my life, on my own terms, accomplishing my goals without feeling suffocated because I’m chasing someone else’s dream?
I remember when I read Eat, Pray, Love for the first time. It was as if Elizabeth Gilbert had climbed into my head and written her book from there. Everything she wrote felt familiar, though I can hardly say we have much in common, except for seeing the world in a similar light. I admire her for the way she lives her life, unapologetically. Looking at her I can see how I could dream my life into existence. I can stop chasing after plan B and focus my attention on plan A instead. Stop acting like this is what I want. Be honest with myself about what it is that I want. Go from there.
Who knows? I might even write my book one day.