Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.
Letting go of the past
It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.
Following your heart
Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.
Stop beating yourself up about things that have been and gone. We all make mistakes. The past is dead, so why do we keep bringing it back to life in the present? Why do we keep carrying it on our backs, only to suffer under the weight? We cannot change anything. Nor should we regret anything. Everything is a learning curve; even steps backwards are actually steps forward. Stop living in the past and work on being a better you in the moment you’ve got.
You owe it to yourself, the world, the power that created you, to live. That means doing your best, expressing gratitude, enjoying yourself, letting go of what hurts you, focusing on the moment, spreading the love, challenging your fears, being yourself. It looks different for everyone but it’s guided by the same principles. Don’t live half-heartedly. Live passionately, enthusiastically, sincerely, generously, and to the fullest.
It’s tempting to lock away our past, our sorrows, our mistakes. But we shouldn’t hang onto them like a burden. We shouldn’t be ashamed of them at all. If we try to bury them too far, they begin to pollute us from the inside and eventually overpower us. But if we slowly set them free, let them go or accept them for what they are, we can be free too. They’ll no longer define us, but guide us. They can serve more purpose than we realise.
We have a tendency to over complicate our lives. We overanalyse and misinterpret our own and other people’s feelings, opinions, words, actions, and behaviours. We obsessively compare ourselves to others and the expectations of our culture. We hang onto the past to bring ourselves down. But all it leads to is heartache and insecurity. Life can be simpler, if we let go of the chains we’re carrying around. Sometimes it’s just seeing the best in people, seeing the best in yourself, and seeing the best in the world. Sometimes it’s just living life the way that makes you happy. Simple.
Great expectations are hard to shake. But sometimes we have to face the fact that we cannot live up to them and we cannot expect the world to either. We will never be a perfect person. We will never erase the past. Nothing worth having will come easily. Life will never go according to plan. We shouldn’t have to live by these expectations. And that’s not to say that we shouldn’t strive to be our best selves and create our ideal world, but don’t make it burdensome and suffocating. Otherwise we end up too much like a lead ballon, stranded on the ground when we should be floating up above.
We often mistakenly associate acts of courage with great leaders and heroes. We often forget that courage lies within each of us. Courage doesn’t need to be on a large scale. We don’t have to put our life in the balance to be courageous. And we don’t need to be strong all the time to be courageous. No, courage can simply be admitting how you feel. Courage can be refusing to live by other people’s rules. Courage can be letting go or holding on. Courage can be choosing not to give up. Courage can be realising that you are your own hero. And that courage within will most likely nurture someone else’s courage too. Don’t be afraid of yourself, who you are and how you feel. Own it.