I am all that I can be – right here, right now, in this moment.
I will not judge myself by anyone elses’ standards or ideals. I am enough.
Everything I need is already inside me – the ability to open my heart to love, to live with compassion and understanding, and to practice forgiveness.
My mistakes and toughest challenges have taught me more than any classroom has, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
I give myself permission to be happy and to always honour my feelings, needs and desires.
Recently I have been feeling particularly thankful and grateful for my family, even more so than usual. I go through phases, as I’m sure everyone does, where I get so caught up in the daily routine of life and its’ various challenges – the stresses, the worries and the injustices – that I begin to grow somewhat disconnected from my family and the valuable role they play in my life.
I have always been very family orientated. My family mean everything to me and I treasure quality time I get to spend with them, which sadly, is not too often these days, as we live 10,000 miles apart – them in Scotland and me in Cambodia.
This year has brought one of the biggest challenges in my life so far – learning to forgive. That’s not to say I had not already experienced the virtues of forgiveness before, more so, I had to re-learn the power of forgiveness again.
As always, life is a work in progress and so are the learning curves that come with it. This year has served me with several excellent reminders that the Universe will always test us to keep us focused on what we have learned. If we slip and do not practice what we have successfully overcome, we can trust that somewhere down the line a repeat challenge will ultimately present itself to us again.
The most important relationships in our lives are the ones which force us to become better people. These relationships don’t quietly ask us to be stronger than we believe we are, or politely request that we practice more patience and understanding than we think is even possible, nor do they gently nudge us to deal with painful emotions and experiences which have been burning holes in our hearts for years.
The most important relationships in our lives give us the gift of recognising that the strength we once thought was beyond our capacity has been inside us the whole time. They teach us how to choose to take the time to listen and really hear what is being said, not what we think is being said. They guide us to a place where we have no choice but to face our biggest fears head on, whilst building our confidence and faith in our own ability to overcome these personal challenges.
The term ‘seeing through rose-tinted glasses’ refers to when we only see the nice, pleasant parts of something, or when we see things better than they actually are. This term can be used in reference to life in general, a job, a relationship or even a person.
Most of us wear rose-tinted glasses at some time or another. It’s quite natural and very human. Think about role-models, for example. Many of us have someone we look up to, someone who we hold in high regard and have a huge level of respect for. Whilst I believe it can be very healthy and positive to draw inspiration from people we admire, we have to be very careful not to idolise them. If this happens, relationships can quickly become unbalanced.
If our admiration and respect for others transforms into unrealistic expectations, not allowing any room for weakness or struggle, we have started seeing them through rose-tinted glasses.
Several recent events have forced me to think about how and why we give and receive apologies.
A month ago I received an apology from a friend who I felt had deeply hurt me and let me down. I had all but accepted the friendship was irreparably damaged, given the preceding troublesome months, until I learned the true value of forgiveness and what an apology really means.
My first reaction upon hearing her words “I’m so sorry”, was relief and appreciation. Not because I had been awaiting the apology, but because I felt my friend was acknowledging and respecting the hurt which I had been through in those months.
We all know this feeling. It is typically rooted in your stomach and at best is experienced as a mild uneasiness and at worst can induce anxiety and panic. This feeling has a sliding scale of intensity depending on what we are facing, but for the most part, this feeling is pretty uncomfortable.
This is what happens when we step out of our comfort zone. When it comes down to it, it’s all about interpretation. Those butterflies in your stomach are either your encouraging friends or your doubting enemies.
I am the first to acknowledge that I am not at the start of the line when it comes to facing my fears. Everyone has fears and it is perfectly natural to want to shy away from confronting them. It’s not a fault, it’s just our heads’ way of telling us that there is a perceived risk involved.