"What do you love?"
Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to answer. As I rounded up the “right” words to say, vague ideas popped in my head based on my qualifications and my own random expectations. However, I knew that I needed a new answer that would actually reflect the unique design of the spirit in me. While I attempted to figure out my own mind and motivations, I realized that identifying what I love was only a small part of getting back in touch with who I am. In the process of discovering both the big picture and the everyday elements that activate my appreciation and excitement, I came across a new inquiry: Am I honoring what I love everyday?
In the midst of unemployment, transition, and ambiguous goals; I began to grow depressed and isolated. But the beauty of silence is that we can finally hear. Nobody talks about the periods of their lives that aren’t busy and "productive," especially in the U.S. So, naturally, shame was my motivator for desperately applying for jobs in an attempt to return to my comfortable level of noise. Not to mention the instinctive cringe I felt anytime someone asked about what I'm doing these days. The funny thing is that there are so many things I have wanted to accomplish for years, but time was the excuse for pushing them off until later.
After losing my patience and completely breaking down, I finally faced the fact that I had made some impulsive decisions that only replaced my instability with compromise. I had to recognize the true meaning of love to realize that the things that bring me joy and the things that break my heart are actually good because they're an overflow of the Spirit in me. Honoring what I love had to begin with honoring myself, my intuition, and the faith that I’ve been given. But, the best part is that I’m not just talking about that “one futuristic, idealistic dream.” It’s about honoring the things that I love everyday. When tomorrow is not guaranteed, how is my bravery and vitality being activated daily?
Throughout this time of stillness, I’ve had the time to explore the things that I say I love with a more open approach than I have taken in a while. I've studied languages, read books, gone on adventures, watched the sunrise and the sunset, written and shared my thoughts, developed original ideas and actually acted on them, enjoyed the uncertainty of days that aren't planned out by the minute, and I have learned from people. Allowing myself to rest within the freedom of time was uncomfortable and daunting, but it has revealed something that I will fight to hold onto forever: I have value as an individual apart from what I do; and I am worth giving time, patience, and grace to as I live my life everyday.
That is the background of how I got to this place today. What do I love? Well, a lot of things as you’ll read in my first blog post! But at the top of that list is sharing moments with people. I realized that I often shy away from connecting with people because of my inability to be interrupted in a "business culture," and more so because of my own fear of rejection. So, during these precious moments of quiet, I have decided to take action in order to grow in my capacity for love by spending time really getting to know people: their strengths, their daily acts of courage, their passions, their unique insights, and their love for the world around them. I have realized that I am the best me when I see people the way they were intended to be.
My pastor made a point recently that has influenced the starting point of this project: You’ll never be able to communicate to others that they matter, until you believe that you matter. So, starting with me, I’m going to write one blog post a month covering 12 different individuals; because we are needed by this world, filled with purpose, and we are beautifully unique and connected.