A Deeper Look Within…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “beauty”. When I think of beauty, I automatically think of nature. I think of the original state of a forest or the ocean. It just is and we find it beautiful. It made me think about how that relates to us. We also have an “original state of beauty”. An eternal form which is essentially beautiful. It exists deep within. Under the skin, before the make up, the masks, the clothes and the jewelry. It’s much deeper. You can see its shimmer sometimes through the eyes, the windows of the soul. You can see it sometimes in a smile. You can feel it in an embrace. I wrote this poem to help you remember. Remember how beautiful you are.    

 

Look at you.

Wow.

Just look at you.

You’ve made sadness an artist and gave your face away as a canvas and he has done a masterpiece with it.

The thing is… you’ve forgotten who you are and now you believe you are his work of art.

But sweetheart, I am here to tell you that you are not.

Take your pieces back. Reclaim yourself.

I see through it… all that bullshit you call real.

I see the raw, fierce beauty that lives underneath all that paint.

I see it wanting to be seen.

I see it.

I see you.

And you are fucking exquisite.

How you manage to will yourself asleep to play the part of the devil’s muse everyday I will never know.

Without speaking, you’re asking if it’s okay for you to fall.

Down, all the way.

Knees melting from the impact, flesh meeting earth, to revert back to your chemical composition.

Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium. You’re all there and there is nothing more than this.

Nothing else.

You’re tired of trying to convince yourself that there is.

You can’t take a second more of pretending, of trying, of smiling, of nodding, gossiping and comparing.

You want out of the contract you signed with blood the minute you were born.

You want to be at peace. You need to be at peace.

I respect and worship the power in your grit.

Do you know your worth, love?

Do you know your truth, love?

Because it knows you.

And it is waiting, just waiting for you.


There, in the silence, in the tender moments.
When you get tired of carrying all that weight,
When you think no one is watching and you let it go.
You take it off and slip into the subtle version of you.
That being of truth that knows your vastness,
Your expansiveness, your reach.


You are the answer to every question you’ve ever had.

Why are you living so shallow?

What keeps you so scared?

Why is it so easy to be so little when you have everything coursing through you?

Tell me. Talk to me. Spill your secrets.

I want to love you.

All that means is that I want to be who I am around you.

I want you to meet me here.

To stand firmly on honest ground.

To say who you are out loud.

I am Love.
I am Joy.
I am Bliss.
I am Beauty.

Say each one out loud and soak into it.

You know it’s true.

I feel it in you.

Don’t look away for validation.

You don’t even need to believe me,

All you have to do is remember.

You beautiful goddess creature, just remember where you came from.

Dim the lights and close your eyes and let yourself fly.

Go wherever you want to go, away from the drama, from the roles.

Away from the mundane, from the everyday.

In the silence, let the truth speak.

Let your heart tell you what you came here to do.

You crave to be something the world has never seen.

So ask yourself honestly…

What’s stopping you?

 

 

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Happy Diwali!

Technically, this was 2 days ago. Luckily, I celebrate things forever 🙂

Dear All, Diwali is one of my favorite festivals. It symbolizes the victory of Ram (Light) over Ravan (Darkness). We each wage this war within us constantly between our most luminous parts and our shadow selves. I’m sharing a poem I recited here with you to remind you that no matter how much darkness surrounds you, how much you think you hold you are also always a carrier of light.

Shine on,

Dolly

xoxo ❤

 

A Wake for my Weaknesses

 

“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”
Corazon Aquino
I am always first to admit when I make a mistake. I have no pride holding me back from recognizing that I am flawed. After all, I am human. But I am also divine. And I am now learning how to live from this divine nature within me…
For me this hasn’t been easy since I am someone prone to playing the victim role. There is always something or someone else to blame for what is happening to me…
I come from a line of toxic family beliefs: “money is the best indicator of success, vulnerability is a sign of weakness, honesty is cowardice, love is meaningless, time for leisure is laziness, etc etc”
For a long time, all I remember is how much I criticized myself for not meeting these standards. How well I put myself down, oh boy, I should’ve won some kind of prize. I didn’t appreciate any of my qualities. I always focused on what I didn’t have or what I was missing or what I had in excess.
It wasn’t until I discovered meditation that my old story and belief patterns were able to melt away and I could fall into the truth of who I am.
How you perceive yourself creates the filter, the lens through which you see everything… your entire world. How you see others is a reflection of how you see yourself. So if you see yourself as unworthy, you are going to seek worthiness in places and people…. and that just isn’t healthy. Trust me, I know.
But when we see ourselves as beings of energy, of love, of peace, beauty and bliss…. we allow ourselves to shine and we give permission to the other person to do so as well.
I now follow a specific spiritual path. Practicing Raja Yoga meditation, dedicating myself to serving others, having a focus of self-study and personal growth in order to be an example through my dharna. Being a part of a spiritual family and transcending the human form to become who we once were: Shaktis. This practice is my life and this is where the inspiration for my article comes from.

This path brings you face to face with the best and the worst in you. Your old story comes up and claws into you trying to hold on for dear life. This old story contains all our weakness and vices. All our sins and crimes.

It is not enough to just recognize them. The objective is to leave them behind. To destroy that which no longer serves you so you can make room for the light. To say it’s an emotional roller-coaster is an understatement. Fear  will appear like a knight in shining armor convinced that is has come to save you!
What I’ve found is that we can’t focus on our weaknesses, but rather our strengths. The stronger we are, the stronger the opposition. In order to stop identifying ourselves with our weaknesses we need to start to identify with our strengths, our innate qualities, our virtues, our powers. The more we connect with the wholeness that we are, the more we close the door to our faults. 
I have recently buried three very important weaknesses in my life. Each one of us knows who our monsters are and what they look like. These are mine. Thank you all for coming to their funeral:

My doubts


You are like this grey cloud in my head. Literally inside. And not only do you rain down on me, you constantly pass judgment! You are the birthplace of my confusion, my insecurity and my lack of decision-making.

You are the reason I always second guess myself. Why I don’t have trust or faith.

Where did you come from? Sometimes you feel like a lost boy. I wish I could get you home.

Sometimes you disguise yourself as intelligence (rational or emotional). But the truth is that I always see through you. I know you but I let you take over anyway. You always make it seem like I have more to lose than to gain. But I have clarity now, I have love and I have light. I have power. You feel smaller now, but you’re still there… surviving.

Maybe if you let go, it will liberate you. Maybe at the bottom of that abyss is your home, who knows?

I think you should go. I don’t need you anymore. Thank you for our time. You really forced me to fight hard against you so… thank you. But really, you can go now. I’ll be just fine without you.


My guilt


You’re like a husband I never had.

That old ball & chain.

I’ve dragged you around for as long as I can remember.

I sometimes think I was born with you.

But what good have you done me?

You come to me as self-pity and I wallow in you.

I used to consider you my conscience.

You’d be the one to tell me what was right and what was wrong.

But to you, everything I wanted was wrong.

You told me I was selfish. You even told me to stop wanting things. That I could live without having anything. That I had to learn to appreciate what I had. That there was happiness and reward in sacrifice. That by following you, I was being humble and noble.

What kind of bias conscience are you? My whole life I felt remorse for not doing or being what others wanted me to be and you… oh, you had a party with that. Every time I was about to make a decision for myself and my happiness, I envisioned how it would impact others and boom! You exploded like a supernova in my heart. Why couldn’t I just want what others wanted me to want for myself? You made me hate that I was different. What is so wrong with wanting to live life just for me? Why is it my duty, my obligation to fulfill all the expectations put on me? Last time I checked, I wasn’t a fairy. So why do you keep suffocating me? How can I fly with your weight holding my soul down like gravity? I don’t know how to get rid of you yet, but for now I’ve learned a neat trick. I learned that I can reverse you. Instead of feeling you when I let others down, I will only feel you when I let myself down. You will only haunt me when I am not being true to myself. To my beliefs. You will also have a companion from now on. Her name is compassion.


My fears


I have carried you around for so long. You’ve become like an old friend that’s no good for me yet one I choose over others who are more worthy.

You keep me in the dark, and the hardest part is that I know the light. I’ve seen it. I recognize it. But you make it seem out of reach for me.

How long do you intend on keeping me prisoner?

You take the joy out of life. You blind me. Turn me into something I’m not.

You make me ugly and small. I’m tired of waiting for you to release me. I kept thinking that if I grew up, matured, and deepened my knowledge in spirituality that you would let me go. But NO. Here you are.

Gate keeper of my happiness and freedom.

I now realize that it was never your responsibility to release me.

I had to release YOU.

I had the power all along.

But I know you. You’re going to try to come back to me. That’s alright. I’ll never forget whose boss again.

You are not my friend. You don’t keep me safe. You keep me locked in a cage.

I’m letting you go. I’ll take the risk of being hurt or rejected or unloved or defeated.

Whatever comes my way, I’ll face it. My happiness is worth the risk.

My freedom is worth fearlessness.

Open Up & Expand

We all have cargo. We all come carrying stories on our shoulders. We all come burdened with raw emotions we have not been able to leave behind.

We are all heavy in our own way.

We keep so much inside the universe that we are, afraid of being misunderstood, criticized or judged. We are afraid of losing… of hurting… of being hurt.

Who can we tell all our secrets to? Who can we trust? Who will listen without judgement?

We have been taught to bottle up our feelings. We have been educated to believe that sharing our deepest emotions is a sign of weakness.

What are you hiding? What are you not telling? What are you ashamed of? What are you afraid of? What is YOUR truth?

Own it… and share it with someone you love today. Let’s change how we communicate.

Let’s never have an empty conversation again. Let’s never bring up the weather. Let “small talk” cease to exist. Let’s get real. Let’s go deep. Within ourselves and our relations with others. I believe we are all here to relate. So let’s do that.

Let go of your fear, your anger, your shame and make room for the love, for the beauty.

Unburden yourself. Lift the weight. Shake the heavy off.

Be Yourself.

 

Be unapologetically you.

Look… Listen…

We live in a world of contrast. Of duality. Of division. Of perception. Of perspective. Of difference. Of illusion…

We focus on the little things. After all, these are often the big things in our life. We focus on our family, friends, work, our belongings, our dreams. Each one of us has a bubble we can fit our whole life into. Everything and everyone we know.

Isn’t it funny, however, that even though we focus on what we can see, on what’s right in front of us… sometimes… we miss it altogether?

The big picture.

The raw beauty that always surrounds us. The energy. The connectivity. The LOVE.

We prioritize possessions over experiences.

We think tomorrow is promised.

We take the act of breathing for granted.

We take our very existance… for granted.

When was the last time you thought of yourself as more than just your name, age, nationality, profession, gender or status…

When was the last time you contemplated yourself as a universe, within a universe, within a universe?

Who are you? What are you? Why are you here?

When was the last time you had a conversation with the real you?

Speak up, soul.

Speak loud.

This body is here to listen.

More Secrets…

I’m loving the response from my FOBS post. Guess what? Elephant Journal has agreed to publish it! Yeey me!

And in continuing on this journey of full disclosure and openness & to celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to share something very near and dear to my heart to me.

rumi-1

Did you guys know I write poetry?

In fact, last year my poems were published in a book! (seriously!)

So I would like to share with you all a little bit of the mini Rumi in me 🙂

Holding on to Letting Go

The Search

The Fire of Life

These are the last few poems I’ve writter for this awesome movement of women writing spiritual poetry. I have a ton of others ones that have yet to see the light of day.

What’s your secret talent?

Let me know!

 

I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

our-deepest-fear-is-not-that-we-are-inadequate-our-deepest-fear-is-that-we-are-powerful-beyond-measure

All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

fabulous

I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

,

Wake Up, Speak Up. {The Pain of Healing}

Life.

There are billions of metaphors about life.

Life is like a roller-coaster, like a tree, like a balloon, like a ship, like a winter coat, like a pet, like a Madonna song, like a mountain, like a river, like a bird and so on and so forth.

Today, life is like a war. You go in with an ideal, hoping to fight for something, praying you get it on your way out.

Usually, death is an uncertainty. We live in blissful ignorance about our expiration date. I don’t know if I have 5 hours, 5 days or 50 years left.

Some of us do know. It’s just the kind of hand we’ve been dealt. There are still incurable diseases out there. Huntington’s disease, Coronary Artery disease, COPD, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc. These diseases are death sentences.

Then there is something more subtle at play. An area I believe we don’t spend enough attention focusing on: Mental Illnesses. This includes anxiety disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and depression. Diseases like this can cause the victim to take their own life.

According to a report by PBS, More than 54 million (or nearly one in five) Americans have a mental disorder in any given year. The risk of suicide makes untreated manic-depressive illness more fatal than heart disease and some forms of cancer.

I guess you don’t really take notice of certain things until they hit home for you.

On the 12 of March, 2015 one of my best friends tried to commit suicide. After 10 days of being in the ICU with burns covering 90% of her body, she passed away.

lety

My full of life, happy go lucky, dancing, dreaming, valedictorian, kick ass doctor friend chose to end her life.

Why? An acute postpartum depression that went unnoticed, among other things.

She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in October. Add depression on to a preexisting struggle with OCD. You get a recipe for suicide.

For years she’s been struggling with OCD. I don’t think I ever understood the gravity of her problem. She always seemed to have it all together. When she told me she wanted to become a doctor after having studied two years of civil engineering I laughed because I knew that she would be terrific at it. When she told me she was taking flamenco and reiki classes because she didn’t plan to be a doctor forever I nodded and kept telling her “if there’s anyone capable of doing anything, it’s you”. I truly believed that. Lety was one of those people that inspired you. Her lightness and enthusiasm reminded you what being human was all about. She was someone you’d look up to. Today, I rummage through all the memories we built over the 17 years that I knew her. We went to high school together. She was always voted most pretty, most intelligent, most likable, most likely to succeed. There was no one in that school that didn’t love her. She had a soul that would shine right out of her eyes.

But she was secretly at war. At war with her mind. I know what it’s like, I’m always fighting to stay in control of my mind so I know what it’s like to be dragged down the rabbit hole against your will.

These last few months when she told me what was going on, I tried to help her. I shared any and every kind of knowledge I had with her. From Buddhist spiritual practices to Hindu rituals. From self-help to consciousness books. The power of our thoughts create our reality, our perception dictates what we see as true. I believe this. I tried to help her to see that. I tried every day for four months. Last month, for five days, I stopped. I took a break. She wasn’t budging. I needed to recharge. I dropped the ball. And now she’s dead. Now I will never get a chance to speak to her again.

And I have to say, it’s the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced.

I haven’t been taking her death as gracefully as I should, knowing all I know.

There’s this remorse, this guilt that eats at me. I didn’t take her suicide talk seriously. I’ve always seen her as a logical and strong woman. I never thought anything like this would happen to her.

Which is why I’m writing today. After the incident, several people around me came forward to let me know that i’m not alone. I was shocked to find out that there were so many people that had suffered similar situations and they only realized the gravity of the issue after it was too late.

self harm

Today, I want to encourage you, whoever is reading, to speak up.

Mental illness is a disease of the mind. We lose sovereignty over the organ that makes us who we are.

If you suspect or know someone suffering from a mental illness, do something about it. Do something as if they had a cut and they were bleeding out right in front of you.

The absence of physical symptoms makes it hard sometimes to recognize or understand the pain that a victim of mental illness suffers but believe me, they are very much suffering.

If you are someone who is struggling with a mental illness, speak up. Tell someone. Seek help. You’d be surprised at the love, support and understanding you can find from a stranger. It is not too late for you because you are still alive and you can make the choice to stay that way.

And finally, if you have lost someone to an illness and are grieving like me, then, let it out. Take your time to make your peace. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t tell yourself its okay when its not.

A lot of people have been giving me unsolicited advice. Advice like “it’s a part of life, it will pass, time will heal” I’m not saying its wrong, its just something I’m not ready to hear right now. The death of my friend has shook me down to my core.

Poetry is my current outlet for getting out all my pent up emotions. The advice I got stirred a rage in me I had to get out.

She knows me. I’m not one to reply with a fine, thanks.

She knows I am a hurricane that shakes the honest awake.

When i’m not okay, i’m not fucking okay.

And it’s okay to not be fucking okay.

Its okay to say you’re not fucking okay.

“A little bit.” I say. “Im worn out.”

“Why?” she asks.

It’s hard to say.

“Just how I feel” I reply.

“It’ll pass” she asserts.

It’ll pass.

Let me tell you about a few things that will pass.

An airplane passes the Atlantic to arrive in Europe, Troy is always frightened it will fall out of the sky.

Easter passes every year, Maria is scared she won’t get enough chocolates.

Children worry about passing their exams.

My mother prays she lives to pass 80.

There are few things that when they pass you can get over without much distress.

Missing an appointment, being misunderstood, not having a cent to your name.

However, they are other things that we must respect,

And we must understand, even if we don’t.

Things that we cannot take lightly.

My best friend is dead.

She died.

She took her life.

That is not light.

There is nothing light in my life right now.

Only heavy.

So please, dear God, allow me to be worn out and worn down.

Allow me to speak it.

To share it.

And recognize my scars.

Let them be for the time being.

For I also know that time will play a tune

And eventually make it all alright again.

But don’t minimize this pain,

This howling grief inside my bones.

It is the only companion I have.

The only truth I hold.

I pray for a world, for a future where a broken heart is treated just as gently as a broken arm.

Where we don’t need bravery to stand up and say to someone else “I’m not okay”

A future where our health plan includes mental sick days.

None of us are really, truly okay. We’re all just trying our best.

Falling down and getting back up again.

Let’s be more compassionate.

More honest.

More open.

You never know, you could save a life that way. It could be your own.

The Secret to Second Chances

And if you were to ask me
After all that we’ve been through
Still believe in magic
Oh yes I do
Of course I do

Allow me to share a story.

Girl meets girl.

They talked for hours on end. Laughter, secrets, hopes and dreams were shared.

There was this closeness. This familiarity. This complicity.

Like they’ve known each other forever.

They were high on each other, they were accomplices exploring each others universes,

sharing optimism and revered glances.

Their language was kindness, trust and truth.

It was glorified sexy on all fronts.

Some might even dare call it Love.

–  –  –

Then something happened. A darkness crept in.

It began to stain their sacred space. Things that were not meant were said.

Lies became the new truth.

At that time, it was hard to figure out what was happening. You could only stand by the shore watching everything as it crumbled.

In the silence, in the loneliness, the truth revealed itself to her: Fear.

Fear was the monster eating her alive. It was a hungry beast preying on her weaknesses and faults. It broke them apart.

In the sadness, in the regret, another truth revealed itself: “I never wanted this to end.”

The girl confronted the beast head on and though she was left with some bruises, she felt less pain in her heart.

“I love you” she yelled as loud as she possibly could.

“Please forgive me, I beg you.” But no one was there to listen.

Her lover’s heart had grown as cold as winter.

But the girl insisted.

“Please. Give me another chance. I love you.” She repeated and repeated.

Finally a voice answered.

“I’m sorry, I’ve shut down in order to not get hurt again. It was very sad. It broke my soul… So I’ve shut down.

The girl felt herself wanting to shut down too to avoid feeling the pain and the guilt but without fear, this was hard for her to do.

“That’s okay.” she said quietly.

“I’ll be patient. I’ll wait for you to give me another chance.” she said retreating to lay in wait for her love.

–  –  –

They say love conquers all. I’d like to believe that false steps are included in that list.

Imagine a baseball game with only one strike to hit the ball. To get it right.

Imagine a football match made up of a single half.

Imagine our education system without makeup tests.

Imagine hating your mother for the rest of your life because she forgot to get you what you asked.

Imagine an unforgiving lover, unable to let go of the past.

When someone we love has hurt us, betrayed us or let us down it’s painstakingly difficult to offer them (or even someone else) a second chance in the fear of suffering through the same mistake twice.

However, life is made up of second chances. The universe allows it. There is room for it, for with mistakes comes growth and with growth comes change.

So why is it so hard sometimes to give the ones we love a second chance?

Did they hurt us? Yes

Do they deserve our forgiveness? Absolutely.

I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t made a mistake. To err is human. It’s a part of the process. It’s a part of life itself. So why do we find it so difficult to forgive? To move on?

Why do we hold on so desperately to the mistakes as if they were some kind of armor we needed to accumulate to pass to the next round?

This is not a game.

If you’ve ever loved with all your heart and you’ve been wronged, I’m sure you’ve felt the pain. This is the repercussion, the consequence of growing. Hurt.

Sometimes we hurt our own selves and most times we hurt others as well.

There are so many casualties caught up in the crossfire.

What do we do? How do we cope?

How can we move on?

How do we let go?

It’s funny because everyone thinks they know what needs to be done. 10 years ago I didn’t know that forgiving someone had actually nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.

I didn’t know how awful it would be when the expectations you lay on somebody just came crashing down.

I didn’t know how much I could be hurt and more importantly, how much I could hurt. It’s then that I also discovered how much I could love and be loved.

second chance

In my humble opinion, here are 3 steps you must be willing to take in order to offer a second chance:

  1.  Forgiveness

This is primordial and probably the hardest step. Without forgiveness, no matter how great the relationship may be in the present there will always be this cloud of resentment lingering over you. True forgiveness is divine. It comes when you are ready to differentiate between the person and the mistake they’ve committed. By forgiving the person you are letting go of the past, of criticism, of judgment and disappointment. It takes a compassionate and strong heart to truly bestow forgiveness.

  1. Communication

Because a level of trust was destroyed, it is important to build it up again. Some people believe that once trust is lost, it can never be regained. I adamantly deny this reasoning. It takes work and consistent effort but it is not impossible and not without merit. An open line of communication is essential when rebuilding a relationship. You can and you should share what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling on a regular basis, even if what you have to say isn’t that positive, even when In doubt, even if with a whisper or on a post it note. No matter what it is, if you’re thinking it or feeling it, it’s important.

  1. Courage

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” – Brene Brown

Here’s the tricky part. You have to be willing to open up your heart. Your whole heart.

All. Over. Again.

You need to dare. To dream. To place your bet. To take the risk of being hurt again. Yes, I said it. Take the f*cking risk. To trust your humongous, forgiving heart into the abyss. Trust what you’re feeling and hold on to it. There is no running, no hiding, no shirking. Don’t you worry for your heart is made for this. It wants to be let out. It wants to be free. It wants to be put into everything you do… because it’s you.

Second chances aren’t for everyone. They are for the bold hearted. The big hearted. The true hearted. A true second chance needs to feel a lot like the first one. It can be a beautiful thing, your relationship could transform into a much deeper and stronger one. Each situation is unique and only you know if it’s worth another chance.

Here’s to second chances, or better yet, starting over.