People have two choices on how to move on after a major crisis: bitterness or acceptance. In the midst of true tragedy, be it a grievous loss or a natural disaster, we hardly have the time for self-reflection.
The shock wears off. Suddenly regret and relief hit us in an eerie way.
How do we move past the fork of bitterness and acceptance? If we are not careful to fully grieve the loss of a friendship or a loved one, a seeping hardness begins to envelop our hearts. At first we hardly notice we’re less sympathetic to the homeless child on the street, or we tune out the problems of a close friend. We write it off as a bad day. We’re just trying to survive right?
Eventually, (and this WILL happen) there will be a last straw. Someone betrays you, and you lash out like an alligator. Self-control flies out the window, along with good sense and rational thought. You find yourself worked up and angry.
Because when you had a lot of little choices to become a person who accepts life with grace, you chose to accept bitterness. That seed planted well. Your fruit is outrage.
I am not claiming that anger is not a necessary feeling, I am just letting you know that the roots of bitterness are deep. Eventually, all roots make their way to the tip of a tree, and to the fruit. You serve that fruit to all you know. Bitterness eventually spoils the relationships around you.
Here are some of the symptoms; you may find yourself yelling or picking on your boyfriend. Maybe even badmouthing your boss? You may want to search your pretty little heart for the root that you may not have known has settled in deep.
For more information look into this verse from the Bible: Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Can't Afford to Travel? Be A Tourist in Your Own Town!
Five dollars and some change got my friend Maejae and I into the downtown flower market here in LA. We rode the Metro and the Bus. We got a $4 dollar coffee, and paid a dollar to get into the wonderful world of strange flowers: The LA Flower Mart.
If you’re broke, I encourage you to find out if you have free or inexpensive activities to fill your mind with magic. I like to photo document my trips to remind myself that boredom is a character trait. Often, I just need to keep my eyes open.
Being a tourist takes some getting used to, but after a while you stop caring. Look at the outcome, some of my favorite photos came from a $10 day.
All women have wings some have roots, many have both. If you have a list of countries to visit from when you were small, you may have wings.
Conversely, if you have already planned your wedding from that same age, you might have roots. If you know you want that “one day,” you may have caught the infectious disease: Wanderlust.
If you’re on the fence, I’d like to gently push you with some reasons to travel after graduation.
5. EXPAND YOUR MIND: Living under strict schedules and inflexibility can help some women thrive, but for the Creative Wanderers, more often than not, they become confined to their mind. New experiences like the Pompeii Volcano in Italy remind us to step outside of ourselves. These people were just living their lives—though scandalous even for our societies’ standards—and suddenly they were no more. Expand your mind, because today could be your last experience.
4. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS: After a trip to a new horizon, like an orphanage in Mexico, a person changes for the better. When we travel to see the devastation in the world, it reminds us that we as the most wealthy nation need to help others. Don’t feel bad if you don’t seem to care now, but after you visit a country in need, you will never forget. Your horizon and priorities will change.
3. EXPAND YOUR SKILL SET: Writing and sketching are a skill, not just a talent. One of the most genuinely inspiring times in my life to write, read, and sketch was out on the road. The long transportation rides proved ample time to hone some skills that take time and discipline to master. Why not draw a castle you toured in the South of Ireland. I have cherished my skills I learned while abroad, for instance, I can set dance, and it’s a party hit.
2. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK: It’s about who you know. Many study abroad to travel and not study with the intention of breaking out of their immediate circle. My experience is that you meet some of your best friends, doing what you love most. A program called www.couchsurfing.org helped my friend and I travel Italy and Greece on the cheap, but now we have 7 new friends and places to stay if we return. Your network is not only a career term, it should be a life goal.
1. EXPAND YOUR WORLD VIEW: Try and figure out what you think or believe. Since you’ve been under the reign and rule of your parents or school for so long, it’s time to figure out what you believe. Visiting the Sacre Coeur in Paris and Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona reminded me as a young impressionable thing, that I needed to figure out mortality. I knew I was alive. But traveling was the one way my brain could grasp eternity.
The world is smaller and larger than you think. Go ahead, expand your network, skill set, horizon, and mind, but travel to remember that you are not just here, but here for a purpose.
I have had the opportunity to speak with women, young and old, whom believe that they have no purpose or hope. While I think they are crazy, possessing skills and wisdom that is unique to who they are, they believe they’ve missed out on something.
This conversation has happened so frequently, I am starting to realize it’s an epidemic.
Why do we let our minds float away to the greener grass? Are we mere sheep? Is it our only desire and purpose to worry about the future and regret the past?
I’d like to ask this question, is there something more to life than the pursuit of happiness?
Often I think about how empty a life is when our main goal is to serve ourselves. Women, especially, are relational people. When everything in our culture is telling us that there is more out there, we forget what we have.
A counsellor once told me, the opposite of depression is gratefulness.
I challenge you to write down 10 things that you have that you know others don’t. Then, when you are finished with that list, make a conscious decision to make those things better. I will give you mine as an example. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
1. Clean Water
3. Parents who are still together
4. Siblings - 3 Brothers!
5. A HS and College education and a job
6. At least 10 close friends
7. A true faith
8. An imagination
9. A desire to help others
10. The means to eat every day
If you still don’t feel grateful, read about what Charity:Water is up to… They have identified that most of the world has dirty water to drink. If nothing else, be thankful for water.
by E. E. Cummings
maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach(to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea