As children we are taught to be anything, to do anything. “You can achieve it all,” my mother used to tell me, but society tells a different narrative. Plastered on the front cover of each and every magazine are near-perfect specimens of the human race. “5 Tips for better abs,” “This Seasons Best and Worst Dressed,” “Top 25 Most Beautiful Women!” We, specifically women, are constantly inundated with reminders that we are not enough. Under the subterfuge of the “American Dream” and “reaching our potential” we are quietly reminded that we must always look and behave a certain way. That in order to be accepted as women, we must check this box, fit this image, shop at this store. While this poses a problem to every woman, we are also unconsciously forcing young girls to grow up with this type of harmful cultural programming.
How do you cope when the betrayal wasn’t intentional? When you never meant to harm anybody? When you are the one who betrayed the person closest to you, your best friend, your sister? We all make mistakes, sure, but are there some that can’t be overlooked or forgiven?
To grow we must experience new things, immerse ourselves in new situations and step out of the very place we feel most comfortable. But, what about when the growing is that of an inner matter? One that directly affects the very behaviors central to our daily life. The subconscious ones; our instinctual reactions to people, places and situations. How do we heal when certain things feel as if they bring out the very worst parts of us?
Light my soul on fire
Twist my hair and toughen my feet
The planet has each blessing we seek
In order to have, we first must search
Learn wisdom from the Mother
It lies within the Earth.
Moving is weird. And hard. That’s the thing that nobody tells you: after the dust has settled and your Netflix has been setup; life in a new place is strange. There will be periods of great joy and overwhelming uncertainty. Even knowing you made the right decision, the best decision, you will still ache for what is comfortable. The past. That is always safe because we have been there, we know how it plays out. It is the future we have to guess at. Will I find a great job, will I make new friends, where is the closest Starbucks? These are all questions I found myself asking the first few weeks in our new apartment. Five months in and I am happy to report that there are seven within a 5 mile radius.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Not only for the one who forgives, but for the people whom we share the forgiveness. At the end of every minute we are all coexisting on this planet; we make mistakes and sometimes hurt others. When we forgive we heal and so do they, in some small way. Everything on the other side of forgiveness is love. Everything on the other side of forgiveness is peace.
Traveling is the third true love of my life (behind reading and eating). My sister, best friend and I spent two glorious weeks roaming from one old as fuck Italian city to the next, watching the sunrise, drinking way too much Syrah and almost getting left on a train. OK that last one was just me. I have yet to find a place, though, that holds me captivated the same way Italy does. Every city I love more than the one before and I think I have fallen in love with every person who speaks Italian, the language is pure magic.
I love feeling exuberant, passionate, creative, loved, free.
Over the last few days I have really come to understand the power of how we feel. I have known for a while that thoughts and words contain unlimited power, but could only slightly grasp how powerful it was to feel things. Our mood sets the tone for how we behave, how we speak and what we think. That is not to say though, that we shouldn’t be constantly monitoring our thoughts and words to ensure they align with who we say we want to be.
Thinking critically about our life, decisions, behaviors, and relationships is an important part in the process of growth. “True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress.” I came across this quote on Instagram, as life would have it, and it struck a chord in me. If we are not mindful observers of our own lives how will anything ever be different? Taking responsibility for our actions is true power.
Break your own heart:
– relive the past through the rosiest glasses (preferably red)
-replay only the highlight reel (like Instagram, but for memories)
-reread every last bit of correspondence (including emails, voicemails and subtext of course)