“Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore. What is for you will never pass you.”

Some days, life has a funny way of surprising me with mysterious messages that are quite on point with what’s going on in my life. A former classmate (an intuitive healer) has Facebook Live videos every now and then. I don’t know what prodded me to watch her online, but it was a good thing I did. Her topic was how do you know if you’re on the right path. Basically, her idea was that if you feel a sense of relief upon deciding on that path, then it is the right path.

Honestly, no matter how educated you get, no one teaches you how to know when you’re doing the right thing for yourself or not. Sure, there are many people who’ll tell you what to do, but they’re not particularly concerned with what’s right for you. They’re just spouting off socially acceptable “right” advice.

Which leads me now to the message that stuck with me after watching the video.

“Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore. What is for you will never pass you.”

 
I was like, “whoa!” when I heard that. I get it. How can you get started on your path if you keep lugging around baggage from the past? Those things will keep holding you back, preventing you from moving on to a better and brighter future. If you’ve been feeling stuck, then unstuck yourself. If what you have now doesn’t serve you any good, then chances are, those things are what’s holding you back. Let those damn things go.

Regarding the second line of that quote, it’s a test of your faith – whatever will be, will be. There’s no need to worry. There’s no need to be afraid. Whatever you want – be it a person, a relationship, a situation – it will find its way to you if it’s meant for you. Even better, it will never pass you by. The opportunity will see you, say hi to you and wait for you to grab it. I like that.

 

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Is my heart open to God’s surprises?

Thanks to technology, I watched Pope Francis celebrate Easter Mass early today. His homily was supposedly unscripted, which is impressive to do on such an important religious occasion. This struck a chord in me:

“The surprises of God put us on the path, they put us on our journey without waiting.

Is my heart open to God’s surprises? Am I able to go with great haste or do I hang back and say, well I’ll check it out tomorrow? What is the surprise saying to me?”

Having an open heart sounds easier said than done. Opening your heart is a scary thing to do because you don’t know what other people will do to you. Openness requires trust – trusting others to treat us well and be worthy of our trust. Those things aren’t guaranteed when you open your heart.

I think most of us live our lives guarding our hearts for various reasons. Maybe people have disappointed and hurt us before. Maybe it’s easier to close your heart than to get hurt again. Maybe being vulnerable is just a tad too difficult to deal with.

But Pope Francis asked the right question. If our hearts are closed, then we wouldn’t be about to hear what God is trying to tell us. If we can’t hear what He’s trying to tell us, then we can’t even get started on our respective journeys. We’re all basically puttering around in busy-ness that leads nowhere.

That closed heart

We all know someone who has a closed heart. I’ve been contemplating about this for awhile now because I’ve got a friend or two or three who seem to have closed themselves off to the love that they deserve. I find it sad because they’re really good eggs.

I don’t even know how to get the conversation started. I know what I want to tell them: After what you’ve been through, maybe you’re afraid of trusting people. You’ve been hurt and disappointed. You’ve placed your faith in the wrong situations and the wrong people.

But anything past that? I’m not quite sure what to say.

The thing is, love doesn’t get any easier as you grow older. It doesn’t get less complicated. It doesn’t get less confusing. It just is, the way it is.

I love these people really and truly, and I know vulnerability is a journey they have to take on their own without my prodding and pushing.

My path is my own

Set some goals.

Sometime last year, I stumbled upon that quote and it struck such a strong chord with me. It was a perfect reminder that sometimes it’s best to stay quiet about what’s going on with my life. No need to be an open book. I can choose which pages are made public.

For the longest time, I felt stuck in a rut. Better yet, I felt like a hamster on a wheel – running and running but not really heading anywhere. Career-wise, I was climbing up corporate ladders that I wasn’t even interested in, no thanks to highly toxic work environments. I got trapped in short-term band-aid solutions because I was worried about bills, but the solutions solved nothing. I was overworked, underpaid, unappreciated. Worse, I was sick so often from the stress. Eventually, I had to face my own fears to figure out a good solution. What I was doing was not sustainable. This quote haunted me.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Unknown

It’s not easy focusing that spotlight on yourself and asking the tough questions.

What the hell was I doing to myself? How can I expect others to value me as a person when I keep accepting situations that devalue me? It was wrong on so many levels. Why was I allowing fear to get the better of me? I deserve so much better.

I got tired of feeling disappointed and hopeless, so I ended up ready to look for better things. It’s really that simple.

I started making baby steps to change things around.

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” ~ George Burns

What’s funny (or sad, depends on how you look at it) is when I hear people who were surprised by my decisions. Like it blindsided them. But they just have no idea what’s going on in my life.

I tend to overshare my plans with other people because I value their insight. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll take their advice and run with it. But during my soul-searching, I had to admit to myself that sometimes, the more others know, the less gets accomplished. Which really isn’t good for the long-term. Too many cooks spoil the broth indeed. There are far too many opinions to weigh, plus there are usually more naysayers than supporters.

What’s even sadder is there are those who seem to think that I don’t think things through when deciding. It’s like they assume I go through life on a wing and a prayer. Or that my decisions depend on how my interest in something waxes and wanes. So whatever decision I come up with is met with resistance. “How sure are you about this?” “Are you really doing this?” If they really knew me, they’d realize how long it takes for me to do my information gathering so I can decide on the best course of action.

I get it too, you see, the fear they feel. Because it’s not a decision that they will do themselves. But questioning my decision is really undermining my own decision-making, as if at my current age, I’m still totally incapable of figuring out what’s good for me and what’s not. I’ve already made many major decisions in my life! I know that I have to do what’s right for me. It’s easy to throw platitudes and advice when you’ve never walked a mile in someone’s shoes…my shoes. At some point, it just becomes banal and inane to listen to people who’ve never even experienced what I’m going through.

Not everyone needs to know my every step, my every plan, my every decision though.

My path is my own. While it might seem similar to someone else’s, it never is because I started my journey from a different place altogether and I’m heading in a different direction as well. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of how I’m living my life. None at all. Others can talk all they want about me, but that’s just the way life is. People talk about other people.

Only I can gain mastery of my own life. If I don’t take the reins and I allow others to do so, then I never learn at all. I cannot, for the life of me, allow others to be a master of my life! At the end of the day, what really matters is what I want to do. After all, I’m the one who will live with my choices.