I am going to continue to use the journal prompts from this website, because I really enjoy them, and they make me think about a variety of topics. Today’s prompt is: “If you could offer yourself one piece of advice for the next month, what would it be?” I have a couple of bits of advice for myself for this next couple of months of summer. As a teacher, I really use the summer to unwind, regroup, and heal before starting again in August.
First piece of advice: Live in the moment. No, really live in the moment.
Living in the moment doesn’t mean that you can’t plan, it doesn’t mean that you can’t look forward to other things or back to previous times. What living in the moment means is treating each moment with respect and gratitude. Living in the moment is listening to learn; living in the moment is recognizing the beauty if your current situation; living in the moment is seizing opportunities to make a difference in the life or lives who are right in front of you.
Second piece of advise: Be open to whatever comes your way. If what comes your way turns out not to be for you, that’s okay, but don’t send things away without really considering them.
If you had told me a year ago I would be where I am today, I would have laughed in your face. Sober, vegan, moderately happy, attending a church and a Bible study, regularly going to therapy and having days that are more happy (content, joyful, okay) than sad (angry, depressed, anxious), running again, setting healthy boundaries, and knowing when to say yes and when to say no. For real, a year ago I would have just belly laughed. But if you seize what comes your way, you may find that the unexpected leads to something you never imagined could happen for you. And that something may be the absolute best thing.
Third piece of advice: Live by a consistent ethic. Living by a consistent ethic doesn’t make you better than anyone; I don’t feel better than others, but I can look at myself at the end of the day and feel good about the choices I make.
Most people don’t know that I am pro-life. They don’t know this because I don’t really talk about it much. I am pro-life in a way that is consistent for me: I do not believe in taking any type of life, unless absolutely necessary, and even then, is it really necessary? My pro-life status extends even throughout species, as I am vegan, as I try to use organic products, and as I don’t kill insects. And it extends throughout humanity, as I don’t believe in the death penalty, as I don’t think abortion should have to be a thing because I think we should provide services to eradicate the necessity of it, as I am not a fan of firearms because I’ve never been in a situation where a gun would’ve made me feel any safer, and since I don’t eat animals, I don’t need to hunt, and as I try to love the person who is in front of me.
Last piece of advice for today: Love and grace and truth and more love and more grace.
When I think about how many times in my life loving someone, giving grace to someone, being honest with someone has hurt me, I don’t come up with many examples, if any at all. When I think about how many times being hateful, spiteful, condemnatory, and dishonest with someone has come back to hurt me, I have countless examples. I firmly believe that how we treat other people is, at the end of the day, how we treat ourselves. What we sow, we reap.
I guess summer is time for slowing down, for thinking deeply, for meeting myself in the mirror every morning, and reflecting on who I want to be and who I really am. What piece of advice do you have for yourself? What piece of advice do you have for me?