Some moments in life make us feel what being alive truly means, in a very powerful way, in all our cells… In such moments, when I stop and take a deep breath, look inwards and then around me, at the sky; the feelings of gratefulness, love and serenity wash over my soul, and make me realize that only this moment exists, and I’m fully present, fully “here”…
This quote by the ancient Greek poet Homer was written on a notebook I bought two years ago – a light blue, thin notebook with sea shells on it. It struck a chord deep within and I always came back to it, especially when I got lost in thought over the future, over the next ‘destination’, over the to-do lists. It always brought me back to ‘this moment’, the moment I was in, and helped me realize that this is all that I have, and all that I ever need.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This quote by Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl, the author of one of the most deeply touching, illuminating and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, never ceases to give me goosebumps.
We all have the innate power within, no matter whether we realize it or not, to connect with our inner core wisdom instead of getting caught in the web of our Ego, to respond with our heartfelt, genuine feelings and thoughts instead of reacting with our habitual defensive patterns and primitive coping mechanisms, to hold space for ourselves and embrace our vulnerability even in the most challenging situations, instead of wearing our armour and denying our humanness and resisting our pain, while unconsciously making it much bigger.
Our fears aren’t monsters that we need to protect ourselves from by pulling the blanket over our heads as we used to do when we were little – they indeed have dark sides, but what in this vast universe doesn’t?
When they come to visit us, we may tightly shut the door to prevent them from entering, and start thinking that we’ve escaped them, that we’re free now. But what we may not realize is that we’ve shut the door not only to them but also to other emotions, other feelings that would’ve soon come to bring us light and peace and freedom… When we close that door, we in fact take away our freedom with our own hands that turn the key.
Instead, if we could try to connect with the wisdom we hold by looking within, and choose to take a step towards our painful emotions, even though the ground beneath our feet may tremble at the beginning, we will slowly begin to realize that with each step it becomes stronger. With each step that we take, with our strength, courage and confidence growing inside…
Someone who has made a huge impact on my life once told me “There are no mistakes in life. In my world, we label them “fascinating.” Every moment in life is a teachable moment, if you’re open…” Those words really stayed with me and I thought about what they meant quite deeply. As someone who used to try and avoid making mistakes, I’ve come to realize that nearly all the turning points, life changing experiences, unforgettable lessons of my life were in some way related to those “mistakes”.