So many of us are desiring to finally "make it" on our journey in this World. To finally end any struggling, and to live a life that we perceive to be perfect. No one is exempt from everyday challenges and the obstacles that accompany them. Yes, though we have this in common, every struggle is personalized. We all have our own battles to conquer and our own "demons" to fight. The thing that many of us have failed to realize is that this is all a part of life. We've all been there, or exist there presently; waiting on this "perfect moment" to finally live, to reveal ourselves to the World, and to begin enjoy life. In this waiting stage, we formulate the thought that we will soon dwell in enjoyment and peace, but only once we "make it". What exactly is meant by "make it"? From my observances and personal encounters, I've concluded to "make it" means to have achieved an ideal "perfection" in the realms of love, finance, physicality, health, and social life. If we all await this perfection before we begin to enjoy life, deem ourselves worthy, or go after certain desires, then what are we doing while in this waiting stage? Existing in a waiting stage can be dangerous. To dwell "patiently" in stagnation and fear is no move for those who desire to move ahead significantly.
Everyone has a dream or dreams, goals they wish to accomplish and visions they wish to see come into Fruition, and oh how lovely and inspiring it is! I believe that the greatest tragedy and only failure in life is the very neglect and supression of these things. We all were put on the Earth to add our own unique touch to it, not to just live and survive, but to thrive and succeed. But what is it that causes the failure or neglect of our greatest ambitions, hopes, dreams and visions? It is the spirit of what we'll call today "dream stoppers".
With so many accomplishments, big and small, I had begun to think about just where I've come from in my journey. Though I have quite a way to go, I have certainly come very far. Just like anyone else, I have met with so many challenges in my past.
Thinking of things that I have previously encountered while on this journey really puts me into even deeper reflection. With deep reflection, I can recall that while in the midst of past encounters, I did not always have the confidence that things would be just fine, but of course, they were and I made it through.
Upon such reflection, I would normally find myself thinking: "wow. I've been through so much". And though this is true, I find that such a thought brings me into a mindset that welcomes feelings of regret, remorse, and sometimes bitterness. Allow me to explain. When reflecting on the past and what has been endured, it is not very constructive to accompany those thoughts with regret, remorse, and bitterness, for it defeats the whole purpose of learning our lessons, and leaving all that we've encountered just where it is, in the past. This is a major reason why many of us experience a cycle of old feelings, pain, thoughts, and attitudes. We think of the past and all that we have previously endured as something we've been through, rather than overcame.
By identifying with our past encounters and struggles as something we've "been through", we play the victim, and therefore become helpless, hopeless, and less optimistic about facing the future. But, what if we instead played the conqueror? Just by changing the way we see and speak about our previous struggles, we can change our position from victim to conqueror.
In present day, I try to never think about myself as having "been through" so much. I instead realize with full confidence that I've overcome so much.When we think of ourselves as having been through so much, we grow tired, feel cheated, used, abused, and unlucky. On the other hand, when we realize how much we've overcome, we can truly begin to reflect on our strength, our favor, how much we've learned, and how far we've come. Instead of focusing on our victimization, we must focus on our victories, and resurface our true strength into our awareness.
Change the way you look at your journey. Everything was brought to each of us for reasons that coincide with our journey, and we would have never been brought to it if we could not see our way through it and become better after experiencing it. Be a conqueror.
By: Saudia M.
"When you're sure of yourself, there is no need to bring others down in order to feel worthy. Putting your "confidence" in the same sentence as someone else's "flaws" reveals your ignorance and insecurity. Think before speaking."
The above statement was just a thought that I've held practically all day and decided to share today in "Bedtime Briefings" and on many of my social networking sites. It is, of course, a reflective thought stemming from experience, this experience being ongoing behavior that I frequently witness. Many people today want so badly to prove their "confidence" that they see it necessary to attempt to diminish someone else's in order to see their own as greater. This is what I have deemed to be "false confidence". False confidence is a portrayal of self love and esteem that can only exist when it destroys or defaces any real confidence in its presence that may seem threatening. The thing about real, true confidence is that it is gained when a person sees their worth and greatness despite anything outside of themselves. There are no determining factors in real confidence that deals with another person's confidence, comparison of another individual, or prevalence over another individual. Confidence, in its authenticity, exists when found through self observation, appreciation, and remembrance of greatness.
Change doesn't occur from the outside first; it first begins on the inside. Though I know this, I sometimes stumble off track of this knowledge and take the path which is perceived to be easier, and that is trying to change things from the outside first. However, it is a known fact that when we know better, then we are responsible for doing better, and are actively challenged by life to do better. As a matter of fact, I like to think of those life challenges as "tests".
In school, you may recall being given some sort of big test or final. This test would determine your matriculation within the educational system. In my experiences, I have concluded that life works just the same. Life, however, renders more pop-quizzes and surprise tests than school (unbelievable, right?).
Four words: "You're better than that". four simple words, yet a powerful reminder to myself, and four words that I have found myself saying a bit more often, and I'm sure many others could (or should) relate. As we move through this life, it is all too easy to be consumed by what surrounds us and to allow certain situations to make us into something lower than what we are truly worth. The longer we settle into a certain mindset, situation, and lifestyle, the more we become accustomed to and comfortable with it, and before we know it, we're consumed. A lot of us are so much better than what we choose to awaken to, but comfort keeps this reality hidden and locked away.
This "digital age" definitely has its perks. 40 years ago, there was no way to instantly communicate with others far away, chat live via screen with friends, place all of your questions in a digital search box, or communicate your thoughts via a blog. The digital/social media and networking era is extremely helpful in speeding up the process of communication, sharing thoughts creatively, and discovering the depths of nearly anything through research. We can count on past generations to remind us of how "good" we've got it when it comes to social media as compared to "back in their day".What does the overload of social media do to us as a society? Quite certainly, too much of anything is never a good thing. I've become content with catching up with friends new and old via Facebook, and was a bit of a straggler when it came to Twitter and Instagram, yet nevertheless, they are now full-blown in my social media sector. Just when I think these three particular sites have set the bar when it comes to sharing and communicating, others always seem to surface. At this point, I begin to wonder: "what is the point?".
Certainly, these sites are spectacular concepts for profit for their creators, and it is nice for users to be able to have variety for their social media outlets. However, is it possible that we can become lost, covered, and compressed in social media as we try to keep up with these trends? Of course. How on Earth do we manage to keep up with it all, and more interestingly, why do we view it to be so necessary? I've noticed that many of social media's faithful users rely on such for communication, expression, and connection, with limited dependency on other non-social media outlets for communication, expression, and connection. It's safe to say that many people who have become obsessed with social media sites and outlets have allowed it to dwindle old fashion conversation and communication, and confrontation. It is too often that I am invited to partake in New forms of social media just to communicate, or to be almost forced to hold a conversation through social media, or to be subject to outsiders believing that my full personality & details of my life can be discovered through my social media profiles.
There is definitely Too much damn social media! Well, not really, but there is too much dependency on social media when it comes to communication. Full blown communication is not solely accessible through social media. There is an intimacy lost and a connection which can be misconstrued when communication is left at the hands of social media. Seeing such a dependency on and obsession with social media, it will be quite interesting to see the state of human emotion, expression, and communication in the far future. Nevertheless, I will hope for the best.
My challenge to you? Become more aware. Intentionally work on communicating better with people who are in your physical reality. Unplug from other people's lives, opinions, and agendas that are spread across social media. You can, and you'll be happy you did!
By: Saudia M.
"You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive."
I've always been a pretty compassionate individual when it comes to others. Why is this? It is because I understand the importance of love, loyalty, and service; meaning that it has always been in me to offer these elements to others genuinely. I feel that we are here to give and receive in a way that will allow us to improve ourselves and others in the process. As we all know, society is not always appreciative of this process, nor do many in society see the beauty and value in such a process. With the passing of moments, which have allowed me to grow wiser and stronger, I have become enlightened to the fact that there are people who are not appreciative of such compassion. It is evident that there are people who would much rather abuse those favors and take wrongful advantage of them. But why is this? Though I am not a person to take someone's kindness for weakness or to take wrongful advantage of the favors extended to me, I can apply observation and experience in formulating a theory as to why this is so. Many people who take someone's kindness for weakness or takes wrongful advantage of the favors extended unto them do this because they are not familiar with such compassion. Let's be honest, a great amount of people have not had their eyes opened to the fact that there are positive people, things, and moments in this world. When your eyes, ears, and experiences are constantly polluted with negativity, it is difficult to become receptive to positivity and it is therefore rejected when presented to you, and of course, a popular societal behavior is to reject anything unfamiliar. Another reason that many are not familiar with true, genuine compassion is because they've never shown this behavior towards themselves, and yes, it is possible to be compassionate with self. How can we possibly miss out on compassion with ourselves? Many are so unaware of their rushed, worried, and stressful lifestyles which give way to extreme self-criticism, self-hatred, self-neglect, and self-worth issues. This is why it is necessary to embrace selfishness. Yes, selfishness.
We are often taught to be "selfless", and of course because this is a popular belief system, we are afraid to challenge this concept and it becomes taboo to even question. However, could it be that the concept of "selflessness" has been misinterpreted? Could it be that the misinterpretation of selflessness indeed causes the destructive behaviors of self-criticism, self-hatred, self-neglect, and self-worth that we often fall victim to? If you ask the average person who strictly believes in selflessness as a way of life what it truly means, they will more than likely interpret it to be a "give, give, give and never receive" characteristic. However, what truly is selflessness? Despite the various popular misconceptions of selflessness which causes people to act as pushovers and act in self-neglect, true selflessness deals with sincerity, genuine action, and acting in love freely out of desire and morale without expectation of recognition.
Many also view a "selfish" person as someone who "takes, takes, takes and never gives". However, what truly is selfishness? Selfishness is a form of love. Yes, love. Selfishness, is not taking and never giving, nor is it taking advantage of others as many may think. Selfishness, a parallel of selflessness, deals with spending time with yourself, loving yourself, giving to yourself, and taking care of yourself. When this form of love and compassion is shown to self, an appreciation is formed. Once an appreciation is formed, it is then that it becomes easier and more enjoyable to give this form a love and compassion to others in an act of selflessness.
A balance is needed in true selflessness and selfishness. When the two are equally embraced, one is able to teach others how they are to be treated, to delve into relaxation, to love themselves in a deeper way, to give freely without any other motive than to genuinely be of service to someone in need with love, care, and compassion. We tend to feel the need to embrace either what is "good", or what is "bad", as if to choose sides, when truly "good", and "bad" are actually misconceptions that give way to imbalance within, thus the imbalance of love for self and for others. There is a saying that states, "who can you help if you can't help yourself?" This quote speaks volumes, therefore, do not be afraid of true selfishness. You should try it sometimes!
By: Saudia M.