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The Window and the Soul

When I look out the window, I simply see what lies outside. I don’t look for something in particular, I just observe and perceive what is before my eyes. I see my surroundings without judgment. I take note whether it is sunny outside or rainy. I may see a person, or an animal. I see freely. I don’t overanalyze.

However, when I look inside the window, I am looking for something. I may not even know exactly what I am looking for, but I know I am looking for something. I see with preconceptions because I am searching to see something I’ve already envisioned in my mind. I may be looking in for a dress to buy window shopping. I may be looking in to see if I want to eat inside this restaurant. I may be looking in the window to buy a puppy.

When I am looking in the window, I am analyzing, judging. When I am looking out the window I am seeing, perceiving.

What do we see when we meet one another? Are we looking inside the soul as we look inside the window, or do we look outside the soul to understand who this person is and simply see without judgment, just as we look outside the window?

When we look inside the soul of another, we look for the qualities that we want to see. We look for the qualities that our minds have already influenced us to find. We look, ready to judge based on the things that we are looking to see.

Yet, we forget to look outside the soul first to truly understand. What can we see outside the soul that makes this person who they are? What does this person’s background, experiences, tell us about the inside? What can we see freely, and objectively before we judge what is on the inside?

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THE FUTURE’S NOT A PLAN

When we think about the future, we tend to think of it as a plan. We like to think that everything that happens in the future is a certain result of the plans we made in the past. When we make a plan, we hope that it will play out in our future and we become frustrated if it doesn’t. Alot of times we blame ourselves, or others, some of us may even blame a higher power for why our plans didn’t turn out the way we envisioned them. If we aren’t following some type of plan, we often feel lost and confused.

So why do we think plans give us certainty and security? Why do we insist that we have this kind of control over our lives? Often, we rely on plans because plans are easier to follow than blind faith. Blind faith makes us feel afraid, uncertain, and doubtful. Blind faith makes us feel embarrassment when things don’t go our way and others laugh at or mock us. Blind faith has no certain direction for our goals. We tend to associate blind faith with lack of preparedness, ignorance, or incompetence

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Although it is true that plans are necessary and can be used to guide us, it is not the plan, but our faith that creates the future. Faith is stronger than any plan. When the plan is destroyed, altered, or abandoned, our faith is what keeps us on the path to a better future. Our faith will continue to prevail even when the plan is destroyed. Our faith is what inspires us to make a new plan, when our original plan is altered. Our faith is what makes us flexible, adaptable, resilient, and creative in pursuing our plan.

Sometimes you can plan for sunshine, and it will rain. The plan becomes broken, impossible. However, faith helps us to create the sunshine despite the rain. Faith blindly searches for an answer, and continues on into the darkness. Sometimes our faith can even make the plan bigger, or better.

Our plans may not always survive the future, but our faith will. So next time you make a plan, and the plan either changes, or falls through do not cling to the plan but cling to your faith. Allow your faith to inspire you to take the leap into the unknown, the leap that you maybe never wrote down on paper. Let your faith take you to the place, or to the person, that you never saw coming. Let your faith invite the fear into your life that maybe your plan purposely avoided. Let your faith take you on the messy trail called life. The trail that doesn’t always follow an order, a numbered list, or a beginning page, and an ending page. Follow the trail that bends, twists, starts over, changes order, the trail that seems chaotic and scary, but was actually made uniquely for you.

Remember, it’s not your plan that creates your future, but your faith. Your future is forged by all the moments of your past that went off script from the plan. All the moments when you relied on your faith to fill in the blanks.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com
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Can the Bars That Lock Us In, Serve to Free Us?

Sometimes I wonder, do limits free us? Do the same bars that bind us, free us? Does adversity free us?

I’ve thought about it more now, than ever as I am locked in during covid 19. Social distancing has made many of us feel alone, trapped. We may feel that we lost our sense of purpose. We are no longer free to go where we want to go or do what we want to do. We are a society that has been forced to pause.

Some days I feel a strange similarity to my idea of prison, or being locked in a cage like an animal at the zoo. I feel as though I’m missing out on many experiences I thought were just guaranteed. I feel alot of loss, disappointment.

However, at the same time, I am beginning to realize that there is freedom that exists in captivity, freedom of the soul. The world can bind us. Limits can bind us. People can bind us. Adversity, suffering, circumstance can all bind us. However, only we can bind our own souls. While many of us have lost our freedoms during this time, we have also gained a sense of freedom. Many of the experiences or material things that we thought we couldn’t live without have been taken from us. Though, in a sense, that is freeing. I feel free from believing that I couldn’t survive without some of the things I had to give up during quarantine. I feel free in knowing that I am capable of finding a way to survive these unprecedented time.

The fears that I had when this pandemic started are no longer fears because like everyone, I have already learned to adapt. There is a sense of freedom in knowing that I can overcome this kind of disruption and adversity.

You see, when bad things happen to us, even the most slight inconvenience, we often feel trapped. We see the obstacles in front of us as bars, limiting us from our happiness and denying us our freedom to overcome. This is how we begin to experience feelings of hopelessness. We search everywhere for the key to our freedom, everywhere except within our own souls.

Next time you find yourself trapped within the world’s bars, rely on the soul as the only key that can free you. The soul can convince the mind to break, or concede. The soul can also convince the mind to transcend the limits surrounding it, and free the heart of its anxiety and fear.

I am bound, but my heart is not bound. I am bound, but my mind is not bound. I am bound, but my soul is not bound.

Only I, am the master of my own freedom. If I free my heart, mind, and soul from the negativity of this world, I can find peace. When I find peace, my spirit transcends forward. Forward, is part of my journey. Forward, is where I always need to go. Forward, will lead me to my destination, even when that destination is unclear.

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She is More Than An Athlete

To the little girl putting her jersey on for the first time….

As you tie your hair up into your ponytail, before your very first game think about what brought you here….

Somewhere within your heart you discovered a love to compete…

A love for the adrenaline rush that comes when you dig deep inside yourself, deeper than you ever knew you could dig

An appreciation for that feeling when you gave it your all, but still came up short

A drive to keep working and working, through that last minute, last quarter, last mile, without giving up

The courage to continue stepping up to take that buzzer shot, or stepping back into that batter’s box, despite how many times you have failed before

The leadership to hold your teammates accountable, and to train with discipline, touching every line on every suicide

The optimism to keep competing, and giving effort, even when the game isn’t going your way

The humility to recognize that the team always comes first, before any individual

The confidence to embrace that feeling of pressure, and break free from fear of failure

The passion to risk it all, and empty your tank for something you love

When you head out to compete today, keep in mind that you are about to embark on a journey that will transform you…

Do not worry about the glory or the destination, instead allow the journey to shake you, challenge you, and in time, help you to break all the limits holding you back, so that you can one day discover the graceful, and powerful woman you truly are

Short Thoughts

Lonely is the Wolf

The wolf leads the pack. The wolf is strong, quiet, purposeful, vigilant. The wolf swiftly walks, through the woods, carefully. The wolf does not make his presence known to others in the forest. The wolf awaits his time to show his power. The wolf is sure to lead when it is necessary.

However, the wolf is lonely. He waits in the dark. He lurks in the shadows. He trains to lead the pack when no one is watching. The wolf longs to be a part of the pack, yet he chooses to stand alone. Through his loneliness, leadership blossoms. He learns to walk alone, watch his own back, fetch his own prey. He learns to keep his mind strong and sharp when he walks in fear, through the darkness. The wolf learns to hide his cries. The wolf learns to listen to the cries of others in the forest. The wolf listens to the sound of the wind. He looks to the stars in the sky.

Soon, the wolf grows strong. He does not fear being lonely. He does not doubt who he is. The wolf listens to others, but is not easily swayed. The wolf knows what it feels like to be hidden away in the shadows, and what it feels like to shine in the light. The wolf is ready to lead the pack.

Some doubt him. Some question him. Some wonder how he can lead the pack when he arose from the shadows. The wolf pays no mind to the chatter because the wolf knows better. The wolf has nothing to prove. He proved himself in the shadows. He looks to the stars. He takes a deep breath, and he trudges on, ahead of the pack. “How can he have so much courage,” some say?

The wolf replies, “I have courage because I learned my own way. I walked through the woods, every path, every turn. Alone, and afraid, I was forced to learn. Some of you told me what to do, or who I should be, but I knew who I was, like the roots of a tree. Some days were hard, some days I cried, but when I was most afraid I looked to the sky. The stars shined bright, and I followed the way. That is how I survived each day. Now I am strong. Now I am steady. All leaders must walk alone before they are ready.”

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The Mask of Unity

Why did it take putting on the same mask for us to start looking more deeply at each other, beyond our differences, to try to understand who we really are?

Before covid 19 we were all different individuals, striving to express and shape ourselves according to our own values…

We were wearing a mask, an invisible one made of our own desires, dreams, unique backgrounds, and perspectives …

We didn’t see our mask on others though, back then … instead, we maybe saw people we disagreed with, thought differently from us, people we maybe thought we knew better than, people we thought we’d never need…

Our invisible masks covered our eyes too, maybe even our hearts…stopped us from actually seeing the real people we encountered each day…

We didn’t see their struggles, their hardships, their sacrifices…Maybe we just didn’t care enough to look beyond our masks at the souls around us…

Our masks blinded us to the co-worker whose mother passed away, or the truck driver working long hours to feed his family, or to the person who seemed like they had a perfect life, but behind their smile was suffering a great pain…

Our invisible mask prevented us from looking beyond the surface of others, and into the core of who others are…

Then suddenly, we had to put on these real masks, tangible ones….

They forced us to first look more deeply at ourselves, but then to look more deeply at others facing the same adversity…

We started looking beyond surface level things like money, beauty, power, status and we started to see souls…

We started looking beyond different ideas, opinions, mistakes, in others and we started to see the cores of individuals, especially in times of crisis…

Each individuals’ unique story began to make sense to us…some are different yes, some are very different. Some hold opposite views, values.Some come from completely different backgrounds but at the core, the real core, the deep, deep part of the soul that requires us to look well beyond the invisible mask of ordinary life-WE ARE THE SAME.

We are human. We are one team. We feel love. We feel pain. We all seek to experience the most out of life.

In times of adversity and suffering we come together. We have the same hopes. We seek the same love. We all wake up breathing, ready to fight for those we love, and our life… ❤️

So when the day comes, and we take off our covid 19 mask I hope we will remember who we are. I hope we will remember that despite our different paths, privileges, struggles, we have a common core. A core that will always unite us together when the going gets tough, and uplift one another when we need it most. A core that unites us strong, despite our different feelings, opinions, or journeys. A core that prevails over all hardships, a core that is founded in love 💗