The War Inside Us (and The Lessons We Learn While Doing Battle)

If something no longer serves you, or brings you great joy, then let it go. Do all things with integrity and thoughtfulness. But do the things that make your soul soar. Be brave. Make the change. Life is way too short to be doing the things we believe we should vs the things we love.

There’s an internal battle that we all fight. Between what we feel (sometimes irrational), what we know (learnt behaviours) and the truth. Some of us are better versed in the art of putting our own demons to rest, while the rest of us – and I fall into this category – are still learning.

Whether it was getting older, losing friends, making new ones, becoming a mama, or just getting caught in the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s one or the other. And maybe it is all of the above. But regardless of why, the last few years have taught me a few things about myself. Some of it great, like that I have some real grit when I need it. That I am at heart, a problem-solver. And some of it not so pretty, like being reactive instead of responsive. Taking thing personally. Being overcome by anxiety. There is a power in taking ownership of who we are, flaws an’ all, and loving ourselves through the journey of being better. Better humans. Better partners. Better parents. Better children. Just better. So by writing down some of these things I’ve learnt, I hope to use them to remember this, and I hope it helps me to be better.

  1. It hurts like hell to lose a friend. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much fight you have in you, to try make things right, there comes a time that we should rather say goodbye graciously (and gratefully) and move forward in love. As in life, friendships too, have seasons. Some friendships are stronger for it and some are beautiful in that they only bloom for that season. Close the chapter and when you think back on all the happy times, do so with joy.
  2. You can make new friends out of the most unexpected people. We change, we grow and we see things from a different perspective. We grow to respect people who we previously felt we had little in common with. We find ourselves looking to these people with admiration and love. Whether it is our children, or our circumstances that first bring us together, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who relate. People we can call on. And people that teach us to view things from a different angle. This is a gift that I embrace with both arms and a happy heart.
  3. Some friends are more than friends. They are our soul mates. Our anchors. Our multipliers of joy and shoulders to cry on. There are friends who we may not see in a year, but the distance between us is nothing at all, because they are always connected and always present. Nurture these friendships because they are one of life’s great rewards.
  4. It’s ok to change your mind. Just because when you were five, you loved bovril toast dipped in ice-cream, doesn’t mean that’s something you have to love your whole life through. As our realities change, so do we. We adapt. We re-assess. We create. And sometimes we start again. It’s ok to change your career. It’s ok to get a new hobby. It’s ok to love someone new. If something no longer serves you, or brings you great joy, then let it go. Do all things with integrity and thoughtfulness. But do the things that make your soul soar. Be brave. Make the change. Life is way too short to be doing the things we believe we should vs the things we love.
  5. We are fragile. But we are infinitely stronger than we feel. If this pandemic has shown us anything (repeatedly), it is that human beings are a fragile species. We have had to accept that though we truly do not have control over everything, the human spirit gives us infinite strength. Strength the keep fighting. Strength to keep loving. Strength to grieve. Strength to pick up the pieces, again and again and to NEVER give up. No matter how this pandemic has affected you, be it financially, emotionally or physically, just know that we do truly posses a great strength inside of us. The strength to survive. The strength to smile through the tears. And the strength to be exceptional. So when you wake up tomorrow, give yourself a high-five and go out and kick some ass!
  6. Children are our wisest teachers (if we allow them to be). We will never see ourselves as clearly as we do through the eyes of a child. They teach us to believe in miracles again. To view the world in wonder and to feel the magic in the every-day moments. They make you believe in yourself and in the goodness of humanity. They turn your world upside down and shake up your priorities in a way that feels like it was always meant to be. We are surrounded by great teachers – all they ask of us, is that we come play.
  7. There is peace in acceptance. In truly letting go. Of allowing things to unfold as they will. Of relinquishing control and trusting that all is as it should be. Embracing that it is not your job to fix (read control) everything, and that just because something is not done the way you would do it, doesn’t make it wrong. Maybe it’s even better? Anxiety is a bitch and if we let her – she will wreak havoc on our mental health. So breathe in, exhale, and really, truly, let go of that which you can’t control.
  8. We are all connected. No one can truly live a life separate from others. Even when we were locked up in our houses we were all connected. Whether we connect physically, emotionally or spiritually, there is a domino effect that is triggered by our actions. We can choose to spread dissent and hatred. To foster fear. Or, we can choose to spread love, joy, hope and happiness. Make sure your domino effect is one you can be proud of.
  9. Love is not enough. But it sure makes life worth living. If you are lucky enough to have found ‘your person’ or your people, be it your lover, your bestie, your child, your tribe, hold on to them with everything you’ve got. Make sure you tell them every day how much you love them. Show them what they mean to you. Make that phone call. Send that message. Don’t live with the regret of wishing you had done more once they are gone.
  10. Life is beautiful. And tragic. It is exuberance and tragedy. It will build you up and break you down. It will crack you open and make you feel things so fiercely you will barely be able to breathe. And it will soothe you and wipe away your tears. It will reveal the that the essence of humanity is good. We just need to believe to see it.

What has life shown you? I’d love to hear the lessons from your perspective.

With love and light,

Tash

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