This past year has been full of changes, struggles and soul searching. It was quite possibly the best year of my life. And, here’s why:
I’ve learned to forgive …
I’ve forgiven myself for not being the perfect wife.
I’ve forgiven myself for not being the perfect friend.
I’ve forgiven myself for not being the perfect neighbor.
I’ve forgiven myself for not being the perfect hostess.
I’ve forgiven myself for not being the perfect guest.
I’ve forgiven myself for not saying the perfect thing.
I’ve forgiven myself for not having the perfect body.
I’ve forgiven myself for not having perfect hair or skin.
I’ve forgiven myself for not having perfect jewelry or clothes.
I’ve forgiven myself for not having a perfect lifestyle.
I’ve forgiven myself for not being liked by everyone.
I’ve forgiven myself for not liking everyone.
I’ve forgiven myself for making mistakes … lots of them.
I’ve forgiven myself for having an opinion.
I’ve forgiven myself for openly expressing those opinions.
I’ve forgiven myself for being passionate.
I’ve forgiven myself for being unpredictable, scattered, and spontaneous.
I’ve forgiven myself for wanting to engage in deep and meaningful conversations with others.
I’ve forgiven myself for wanting to engage in silly and meaningless conversation with others.
I’ve forgiven myself for being self-introspective, ideological, and actually believing I have a purpose in this world.
I’ve forgiven myself for not knowing exactly what my purpose is in this world.
I’ve forgiven myself for making life-altering changes to discover my purpose in this world.
I’ve forgiven myself for searching for symbolism in everyday events… it fuels my passion and excitement in life.
I’ve forgiven myself for trusting and acting upon my instincts.
I’ve forgiven myself for wanting to live a meaningful life.
I’ve forgiven myself for expressing my hopes, dreams and passions.
I’ve forgiven myself for being honest and true to myself.
I’ve forgiven myself for showing others my true and honest self.
I’ve forgiven myself for enjoying this journey in life and not knowing where it will take me… but, knowing it will be great.
I’ve forgiven myself for not doing all of the above sooner.
I’ve forgiven myself. ***
I’ve forgiven myself for being imperfect.
I’ve accepted myself for all that I am, for all that I believe, and for all of my imperfections.
I’ve embraced being a perfectly imperfect and unique individual … and I will no longer apologize for that.
It’s so liberating to know and accept exactly who I am and to finally listen to and trust myself. I’m free from the gut-wrenching worry and notion that I have to live my life in order to please others. I’m no longer reliant upon anyone else or anything to prove my worthiness.
Finally, I embrace my mistakes and fumbles and see them as growing pains… not death sentences.
I’ve learned that my weaknesses are also my best assets: intuitive; quirky; expressive; awkward; passionate; compassionate; unique; opinionated; silly; introspective.
This newly found liberty has allowed me to open myself up to many wonderful new people and experiences. I’ve formed new open, honest, and meaningful friendships that I could not have possibly had if I was not honest with myself. No doubt they would still have been my friends, as they are amazing women, but, if I wasn’t honest with myself, I would not have built the deep connections I now have with them.
In fact, it all started about two years ago, when I kept having re-occurring dreams. The dream was of us (my family of three) living in a new home where we were completely happy. In the dreams, this place felt like a Utopia and it was very euphoric.
I acted upon my instinct. The place we had called home for 10 years no longer felt like home. It was time for us to move on and find our hearts in a new place. So, I urged my husband to agree on searching for a new home. Shortly after our search began, we found a house we loved in a place we could call home. So, we ended up right around the corner from where I grew up as a teenager. It is a place of beauty and a place I have always found strength in during hard times. Once we moved into our house, the feeling of being home was real and immediate.
Although we found our true home, and I met wonderful new friends… something still didn’t feel authentic. I knew it was my career. It no longer suited me, my lifestyle, or, my passion for doing something more meaningful.
I took a leap of faith and quit my job. It was not ideal … it was a sacrifice of losing some income. However, I did not feel guilt … and I have never questioned my decision. That’s a sign that it was the right choice.
Through all of these great changes, no longer do I constantly look back and feel utter remorse over my mistakes…no longer do I constantly replay every social interaction while desperately searching my memory for something I said or did that could have been frowned upon by others.
Now, I’m eager to move forward and take on life’s joys and battles, armored in my own self-knowledge and worthiness.
January 2017 marks the last year of my life as a thirty-something. I am not scared, sad or apprehensive that I am leaving another decade of my life. Instead, I am comforted, ecstatic and empowered knowing that I’ll be entering my forties with confidence and knowledge of exactly who I am … eagerly waiting to find out what I can do.
*** (Please note I have not forgiven myself for not being the perfect mother. I am constantly questioning if I’m a perfect parent for my son or if I could have done something better to make him more confident, successful or happy. I’m not sure, but… is that part of being a mother? I may need to write a separate post on that, as that is a constant worry for me. I love my boy sooo much!!).
Remember the old Depeche Mode Song, “Enjoy the Silence”? I do. I loved it growing up. I’ve recently recalled the lyrics and found a parallel between them and a lesson I’m in the midst of learning.
Words like violence.
Break the silence .
Come crashing in, into my little world…
This is not necessarily a new concept for me.
Long before 24 hr news, internet, Facebook, smart phones and all other things social media, I spent my free time writing in my journal, taking walks and listening to my inner thoughts . I was in tune with my natural self and felt at peace.
That was many, many years ago.
Fast forward to just a few months ago…
Painful to me,
Pierce right through me…
My daily life was inundated with passive-aggressive work emails, negative news feeds, Facebook rants, cell phone texts and honking cars during rush hour. I topped it off by turning on the radio the moment I got in the car and the television right when I got home.
I felt toxic … like there was a dark, sticky substance within that was sucking the life out of me.
I became cynical, flat, tired and worn out by negative energy. I felt stuck. I had determined that this was just being an adult … jaded. I convinced myself that hopefulness and positivity equaled youthful naivety, and that those things were long gone for me.
All those toxic feelings were starting to take a toll and I felt depressed.
All I ever wanted,
All I ever needed,
Is here, in my arms…
I am blessed with a beautiful family and friends that love me. I live in a free country where I can express myself and do anything I want to pursue my dreams.
So, if I have everything I could need or want, why was I feeling this overwhelming sadness? I knew I needed a change.
Shortly after I decided to quit my job, I began running outside more. I remembered how much I enjoy running or walking outside in nature and letting my thoughts roam. Then, as I came home, I stopped turning on the television. I had more time to reflect on my life and all the good things around me.
I started to feel happy again.
I felt free! I had clarity and found hope and peace again. I felt less stressed, light, positive, confident and happy.
This new feeling of lightness and happiness opened my heart back up to welcome new positive people in my life. I was able to stop thinking about myself and focus on others. I started sharing these positive and peaceful vibes.
Words are very unnecessary…
They can only do harm.
It’s so easy to surrender to the constant chatter around us. I think our intentions are good when we become a part of social media. However, one negative post can spread quickly and tarnish that innocence.
It’s hard not to listen to that negativity. I’ve noticed some unassuming people even start partaking in it. I’m always shocked by this. On the flip side, I think lots of people follow the old adage of “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all”. They may not say anything back, but, they heard what was said. Even if the negative remarks were not directed to them personally, there’s a great chance it insulted their beliefs.
Gradually, our inner peace is drowned out by the background noise … and, in turn, our souls fade into the background.
… Enjoy the Silence.
Turning on the television, logging into Facebook, constantly checking the news or having my cell phone on me at all times is the problem.
I control what I listen to and what I read.
I’m slowly learning that I can enjoy today’s social media driven society by choosing how often I partake in it and who and what I want to follow.
I’m also learning that controlling the amount of time I spend listening to all this modern noise allows me to re-connect with my true self.
Simply put … Enjoy the Silence.
As I’m trying to discover my natural talents, I thought of an analogy that seems very fitting: Finding our true selves is like going on an archaeological dig into our own history.
You know there’s history and truth buried beneath the sands of time; but, like a true archaeological dig, it takes passion, time, and focus to recover relics from the past.
There needs to be a reason or passion, to dig up the past. In my case, it’s knowing that I have talents that I have not used in many years. My dig is to uncover and define what those talents are and learn how I can use them to fulfill this passion I have for living a meaningful life.
Tracing back to our memories is like creating the map to locate an archaeological site and we can find where our true selves are buried.
As we begin digging, artifacts take shape in in the form of pictures, awards, letters, medals, home movies and year books.
Once we have unearthed all the layers of dust formed over the years, we can identify the most valuable artifacts of our past, and piece them together with memories and the emotions they provoke.
As we piece the puzzle together, we begin to find commonality between the forgotten things or attributes we once loved and those that we currently cherish.
We then realize what we thought was buried in the past is actually still a part of us today. However, with fresh eyes, we can unearth our truth and use that as our guide to prospering in the future. Much like how discovering forgotten history can shed light on how we have evolved into what we are as a society today.
By unearthing our own past, we find our truth.
This is a gallery of some of the artifacts I recently dug up from old boxes that were stored away for years. Each one tells a story of my history.
I frequently get lost in my own thoughts and most often times contemplate life, it’s purpose and how we, as living beings, are all connected in this universe.
Recently, I began trusting my gut feelings, which led me to take action and make changes to live a meaningful life.
Leading up to this realization, I was losing a piece of myself every day as I logged into work at my corporate job. My efforts and energy were being wasted and, too often, went without thanks. In the back of my mind, I knew I could be ‘replaced’ by anyone at anytime. Why was I giving myself up to a corporation, where I really wanted to give myself to my family and my own life? It seemed wasteful. At that point, I began to listen to a mantra I kept repeating to myself, which was: “I am so much more than this!”
So, I left my corporate life of 15 years to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Now I’m dedicating my time to identifying my natural talents and learning how to use them to lead a happier, fulfilling and more meaningful life.
At this point in my journey, my gut instinct is telling me to write about this adventure and share it with others. I hope that this blog sparks a desire to for readers to start their own path to self-discovery.
I truly believe that we can all make a positive impact on the world if we just look within ourselves and discover our unique abilities to help others realize theirs … all while silencing outside noise and using our inside voice.