What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part Three)

december

3. Tolerance and understanding.

As some of you may know, I am a slightly strong-headed individual… I’m sensitive, take things too personally; I’m open and very honest with what I’m feeling and at times I can come off as a little harsh to those around me.

There’s a difference that I’ve learned recently between assertiveness and aggression. Assertiveness is when you are confident in your decisions without being combative. I am positive and self-assured; yet, I’m particularly aggressive when it comes to voicing my opinions and feelings. My annoyance for those around me has only increased in recent years –even those that are not directly affecting me. If another’s opinions are directly in contrast with my own, I take it personally –I feel that their judgments are aimed straight at me. It’s thoughtless and rash to react in this way and I’ve come to recognize that.

As with any experience, I aim to look for the meaning and the lesson behind it. Of course it can be very difficult to look past infuriating moments to get to the core of its message. For example, in my office, it is quite common for openly racist, sexist, and elitist remarks to fly around constantly each day. It has become a very harsh environment to be exposed to.

I am of Mexican ethnicity and I have never caught on to learning Spanish. When racist comments are made regarding Mexican people, I make a point to remind them who I am. However, their dismissive responses are always, “We know, but you’re not that kind of Mexican,” or “You’re not really Mexican.”

There have been discussions expressing their opinions of impoverished, poor people –they believe that their financial standing is merely fault of their own and that they are lazy.

There have even been appalling statements made to the extent that any woman that claims she was raped is simply lying.

While all of this is discussed in front of me, I sit there, shocked and disgusted, attempting to keep my mouth shut. I know that voicing my difference of opinion will only cause friction and possible combative arguments. I realize that I alone may not be able to change their minds. The cost of speaking up is too high.

There is a reason why I am so passionate about what I believe in. When there are certain injustices in the world and the notion, “Someone should do something about this,” pops into our minds, we are meant to be that someone.

I understand my purpose, yet I am still frustrated with this anger that I feel when these comments arise. Tolerance and understanding is a lesson that I am currently being presented with. It is an open-ended understanding that I have not yet acquired and it could take my whole lifetime for me to comprehend. What am I meant to learn from these unpleasant people?

I’ve been pondering my moral dilemma for a few days and decided to ask a well-intentioned friend for his opinion. He said:

“You don’t have to be tolerant of their views but to get past the anger towards these people, an effort should be made to understand them instead. When we can recognize why another thinks a certain way, we don’t have to agree with them, but we can at least have consideration for where they’re coming from.”

I feel that his response was expressed perfectly! Our opinions, our beliefs, our emotions –they are each uniquely our own. We are shaped and molded by our personal experiences. Learning and growing to understand the distinct differences of others is the first step towards empathy. We do not have to agree with everyone. However, it would better ourselves and those around us –our communities, our states, our nations, and our world –to make an effort to understand each other. Acknowledgement of another’s struggles could be the missing key that is needed to expand our empathy and compassion–at the very least, it could diminish the anger that we feel towards others.

©MoniqueAdrianne

What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part Two)

The following is part two of four parts in a series that I will be posting over the next few days.

These are my own personal lessons that I learned in 2014; hopefully you can take something from them as well. <3

What lessons did you learn in 2014? Let me know in the comments below! :)

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2. Let it go.

*starts singing Frozen song*

All Disney references aside…this year was very significant for me. Through a very difficult experience, I found another layer of forgiveness. I realized that I needed to stop holding onto things that no longer served their purpose in my life.

I believe that forgiveness and letting go is one of the most trying lessons that one can experience –sometimes others are never able to accept it. We’re only human –when we get hurt, our instinct is to close up like a shell and what hurts us is etched into our minds and hearts. Most of the time, remembering that pain leads us to clenching onto even more of our anger, fears, and other negativities. Our obligation to ourselves is to release these harmful reactions.

There was a very distressing event that I had experienced towards the end of 2013. I don’t think I’ve ever been more hurt or as angry as I became over it. It’s been a very tough process going through the repercussions including post-traumatic stress. Not only this, but the pain and hurt I feel towards the people involved as well as those that turned their backs on me continue to be heart wrenching. I still want to cry as I simply reflect. I feel it now in my heart –the tightening of my muscles as I still grasp onto the little bits and pieces of anger and misery that are remaining.

Letting go is in no way a simple practice –it’s a continuing and infinite progression. Memories spark emotions which lead to going through the process all over again –but it’s as if our weight gets lighter and lighter –chipping away until all we have left is the mere lesson that we were meant to acquire. No agony comes without meaning or depth –why do you think these emotions are so strong and overwhelming?

For a very long time, I continued to contemplate: what good would come from what happened? Over and over again there were still no answers. The only thing that began to make sense was my perspective in retrospect of the situation. The more I let go of my negative emotions, the clearer and less foggy the occurrence and the lesson behind it became.

Letting go and forgiving those that have hurt us is a tricky road but it is needed. We really cannot move forward if we are carrying all of the rocks and stones of the past –it’s just not possible. How can we embrace a loving and positive future when our hands and arms are full of animosity?

©MoniqueAdrianne

Let Your Love Light Up the World

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Let your love light up someone’s day.
Share as much love as possible each and every day with as many people that you can. Let it overflow through your fingertips; let your love be filled with so much positive energy and intent, that it powerfully changes and shifts those around you.
Remember how much of an unstoppable force you are. Change the world around you with love, passion, positivity, and intention. <3

©MoniqueAdrianne

Duty of the Artist

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When I first started my website, I created a business plan. In this plan, I depicted my purpose, my mission statement….even my friend helped me incorporate all types of questions to reflect on. What are my readers’ needs? How do they assess the world around them? What are their desires? And most importantly, what do I want them to take from my writings?
Over the past year, I have strived to inspire, spark passion, & incite you to ask questions about yourselves…I’ve given advice & shared my stories & experiences with you.
I certainly do NOT know all of the answers. However, I am clear in my understanding of what my purpose here in this life is –I am meant to be a messenger. I do my best to share each lesson that I’ve learned, & in turn, I hope that it helps & aids you in each of your journeys.
I aspire to be a catalyst for your inspiration & passion; I do my best to encourage your self-realization & I always have my words come from a balanced, positive, loving, & gentle place within myself. Through what I write, I become more self-aware & continue to learn more about myself & the world around me.
I thank each & every one of you for your many kind words, your support & your love, & most of all, your consideration & awareness for what I attempt to express. This has become such an incredible, healing, & creative outlet for me & I hope to continue to motivate & encourage you in all of your endeavors. <3 :)

©MoniqueAdrianne

Step 101: Fulfilling Your Dream

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Your dreams shouldn’t debilitate and incapacitate you. After years and years of working towards realizing and completing your goals, shouldn’t we be willing to sprint towards the finish line when we’re within earshot of them? Dreams shouldn’t be feared when we’re so close to achieving them. But sometimes they can be –they can be really scary and frightening because we’ve struggled all this way. What if it’s not everything that you hoped it would be? What if you don’t think you deserve it? What will you do afterwards?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, is in my collection of favorite books (I highly suggest it!!). Within it, one of the lessons that are taught is this: “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them.”

When we have worked so hard and long towards reaching our dreams, sometimes when we see it within our grasp, we tend to let it go because we don’t feel that it’s ours to attain. But it is! It is YOUR dream after all, isn’t it?

Over the past 10 years, I’ve struggled with finishing school –I’ve been taking classes to transfer to a 4 year college. Life hit me with one situation after another –some veered me off course, but others sent me back to where I needed to be. I’m SO CLOSE to transferring to a 4 year –I’m within grasp of it; and now to be completely honest, I’m freaking out quite a bit over here.

We have our ups and downs with our dreams for exactly this reason –it’s a test to see if we REALLY and TRULY want it. Are we willing to work towards it? Are we going to put in the effort it takes to get to where we want to be? Dreams are dreams for a reason –they’re a journey of time, patience, passion, and dedication. Fulfilling a dream shouldn’t be the frightening part but maybe the conclusion and ending of that dream is what is truly terrifying –having to find a new one.

Having myself so close to where I want to be is just….overwhelming. I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’m happy. I’m despondent and distressed. And I’m stunned and dazed. I have self-sabotaged myself SO much over this and I’ve realized that it’s not for the reasons that I had once thought. It’s because I’m afraid of what comes after this –it’s the unknown part. But that’s okay! I don’t think we can truly and fully experience life without having that little bit of fear –it’s when we tell ourselves to let our faith in our dreams be bigger than our fears –that’s how we endure and attain our dreams; that’s how we push ourselves into the unknown –to go and find a new dream.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

<3 :)

©MoniqueAdrianne

Good Morning Beautiful

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She whispered, “Good morning beautiful,” to the freshly dew-kissed air. She looked on with wonder as the ice crystals high above in the troposphere danced with the sun, and the colors of the spectrum. They chased after her, begging to be seen through the dust speckled windows. <3

©MoniqueAdrianne

October

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Dearest October,
Hello my love, how I have missed you….your soft golden light, your spicy scent of foliage and cooking in the air. Please be good to me and my loved ones. I promise that I will celebrate your presence with heaps of baking, and with as many sweater layers, socks, and boots that I can while under your California autumn sun. Please share yourself with the winter air and rain so that my nose and head do not learn to loathe your harsh, warm winds. I know you are just doing your job -to break away the pieces left behind so that in 6 months from now, new seeds can come back to life. I will embrace all that you offer and all that you express.
Love always,
Monique
<3

©MoniqueAdrianne