Much of the pain and suffering we experience throughout life are really the result of our thoughts. Our minds are powerful. They create, shape and rearrange our world. There are so many different ways to live, but the storyline we follow as individuals ultimately derives from the narratives we tell ourselves in our own heads. Take care of yourself by taking care of what you tell yourself. Turn your shadows into friends, your pain into purpose, and your failures into teachers. Accept what has already passed and have faith in what will be. Trust the timing of the universe and trust yourself. Once you believe in your own self-worth, everything will begin falling into place. The truth is already out there, and has been waiting within you to be found. You have purpose, value, meaning, love and courage and goodness in you. You are whole, worthy, peaceful, joyful and balanced, just as you are. You are already enough. Nothing more is needed. You just have to believe it to be true.
Progress: ‘the forward or onward movement towards a destination.’
We can never be perfect. Our lives will always be a work in progress. And progress takes time. Life brings innumerable challenges. Some are minor setbacks that we manage to overcome without too much difficulty. Other challenges we face feel more like mountains, rising up before us like almighty, unconquerable beasts. They fill us with a sense of dread and offer no easy path around or through them. We tremble inside at the mere thought of the climb, fearing we will end up scathed or exhausted. We might not even know where to place our first step.
Remember that these worries and fears are natural. Throughout our lifetimes we will all encounter things that cause us to grapple with difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions, which might threaten to overwhelm us. Be gentle with yourself. A mountain can only be climbed one step at a time. Each step is as important as the last, and the next one to come. If you don’t know where to start, ask someone for help. Not every challenge can be conquered on our own. Sometimes we just need a bit of encouragement and advice to set us on our way.
As you start your climb, be mindful that there may be times where you find yourself feeling tired, despondent or hopeless. Don’t be discouraged by this. Progress is rarely straightforward and linear. We may need pause, step back, reroute or double back on ourselves. It’s not easy finding a way into new things. Part of the conditions of change, transformation and growth is that they challenge us. We cannot hope for things to be different without accepting that ‘difference’ also means loss and letting go. When we move onwards, we inevitably leave things behind us.
Understandably this can bring up painful feelings, and in the face of change and the unknown we may get a strong urge to turn back and retreat. Remember to be compassionate to the part of you that feels scared and vulnerable, and that it takes courage and strength to do what you’re doing. No matter which point of the mountain you happen to find yourself at, take time to appreciate and reward yourself for being exactly where you are. In choosing to keep going you are choosing your self-worth, your value, your unique talents and capabilities, and your potential. In other words, you are choosing yourself.
Never forget that you are worth your own investment. Those doubts you harbour in your mind are not your truth. You are singularly wonderful and forever irreplaceable, and nothing can ever take this away from you. Your existence matters, and in the very act of choosing to live, you are making progress. Day by day, and step by step, your mountain will start to become the making of you.
There are things that I need to do with my existence. I have been waiting far too long to come alive. For so long I was knocking at the door and no one answered. I was left outside in the cold. Alone, afraid and hopeless. But now I realise. I have the key. I must open the door for myself. No one can do it for me. Now is the time. No more knocking. I am arriving. I am letting myself in.
Your pain is more than just pain; it is also your courage and strength, for you are
enduring it. Your torments and fears are the foundation of your growth and
transformation. From your challenges your bravery and resilience are borne. What is
unbearable now will bring you clarity and light. What feels too dark to cope with will be
your guiding star. You have more wonder and beauty in you than you dare to see. You
are stronger, braver, more determined and more brilliant than you can possibly
conceive of in this present moment. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
Fear holds us back. Fear prohibits growth. Fear is limiting, constrictive, damaging. It is often irrational. It does not need reason to exist. It does not care what is wrong or right. Fear is the adversary of freedom, comfort and safety. Fear has no compassion. It offers no sanctuary. Fear is the asylum of the mind. It breeds suspicion and dread. Fear feeds on light. Fear is dark. Fear silences life. Fear makes us small. Fear is our inner self, alone and cowering. Reach out inside yourself. Find that part of you, sitting scared. The part that fear keeps cold and shaking. Hold its hand. Keep it close. For fear cannot fight love. Fear feels it and flees from it: the warmth and hope is its enemy. So hold yourself. Close. Closer. Closer still. Hold yourself above worry. Above time. Above earthly concerns. Above thinking. Up here fear has no place. Fear cannot live in light. Fear knows it cannot survive. And suddenly fear becomes itself: running scared, before your eyes. And suddenly- Look! There goes fear. Fleeing for its life. Off into the distance, shrinking.
I am the moon’s daughter; unknown,
naked, shy, half-awake, idling, white, blind.
I dwell alone, in the cratered wasteland
of the psyche. I search for myself;
the eternal, a sense of something lost
perhaps never there at all. Perhaps
here all along. My spirit is pale, waiting
for me to arrive. It rests longingly
at each cardinal point; reaching, curling
circling, enclosing. Hoping to meet me,
It is there waiting, in every direction
and yet to be found in none.