Joe's Journey to Life

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 29 Dec 2016, 17:35

Day 203 - Self-Forgiveness on Courage and Fear


It is often seen or defined as the absence of fear or resistances. But in reality, I would say that courage is more about who you are, and how you direct yourself especially while fear and resistance is still within you.

I will open this up within and as the self-forgiveness to follow.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to separate myself from courage because I have come to believe that courage is something that is outside of me, that I must reach for, that I must work toward, that looks and feels a certain way – and within this I forgive myself that I have not accepted or allowed myself to live the awareness and understanding until now that courage is not about removing fear or becoming more than fear – because that is still just a game of polarity – of wanting to be ‘more than’ something in order to feel secure and strong – and so this is not a real transcendence of fear, but a suppression in another form.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in the pattern of wanting to wait until I feel confident enough to live a point of courage – within this not seeing until now that courage means you move and direct yourself even while you still have fears and anxieties – because the fears and anxieties are not evil, are not separate – they are a part of who we have accepted and allowed within ourselves, and they exist because a part of ourselves has identified ourselves with it. Therefore, courage is not about eliminating or suppressing the fear. Courage is to stand in the face of what we fear most and embrace it so that we stop making the fear something scary, something outside, something clawing to get to us while we are the ones constantly pushing it away – even though we are the ones creating it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge fear and want to suppress fear or want to become superior to fear in order to not face fear – and within all of this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to disempower myself in relation to fear.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to separate myself from courage within believing that if there is something that I fear, then it means I am not ready or able to handle it or address it or direct it, and therefore would wait and let things ‘happen’ and escalate to greater points of consequence for myself and others and out of that greater consequence, only then do I trust myself and move but with a starting point of consequence rather than self-direction.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to separate myself from courage within projecting and anticipating a fear so much that I believe it is already here, already real, and within this to not live courage in a way where I remain here, stable, and trust myself to act accordingly without projecting my fears onto others in my life – because I see, realize, and understand that when I try to prevent something or deal with something that I fear from a starting point of wanting to not face it – I actually end up creating it more and creating a greater consequence due to who I allowed myself to be in relation to the fear.

Therefore, I commit myself to stand within and as courage in the following ways.
I commit myself to stand within and as courage in relation to things that I fear and resist to look at and be self-honest about by breathing, grounding myself, and trusting that no matter what I have the tool of self-forgiveness to release myself of any experiences of guilt, remorse, regret, or self-blame, and that any fear or resistance I experience now does not define me, and therefore I can move myself even within a point of fear to a point of self-stability.

I commit myself to stand within and as courage in relation to fearing having to do or face something that I, within self-honesty, see that I must do/face. In these moments I move myself within the point of self-honesty because I see, realize, and understand that self-honesty will always come through whether or not I fear it or try to suppress it, and if I do try to suppress it the consequences only become greater due to who I allowed myself to be in relation to self-honesty – where I tried to make untrue what was true, and tried to represent things in ways that serve my self-interest instead of what is best for all, and that is not a position that I would like myself or anyone to be in.

I commit myself to stand within and as courage in relation to trying to prevent or ‘anticipate’ fear where I want to try and already prepare for the experience of something that I fear happening and will want to either push it forward so that I can ‘get it over with faster’, or want start changing my behavior and projecting onto other people what I fear will happen as though it is already here by slowing down, supporting myself with writing and self-forgiveness, and standing within and as courage by working with what is actually, practically here in each moment instead of what I project in my mind – because I see, realize, and understand that when I try to push a point of fear in order to get it over with, or when I try start to project a fear onto other people as though it is real, I diminish myself and my self-trust because I am actually making the statement that “This fear is more real than me and my ability to stand as courage”.

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 31 Dec 2016, 21:05

Day 205 New Year's Self Forgiveness on Looking Past Disagreements

It has been a year of tumult. A year of changes, upheavals, and falling outs. It has been a year of goodbyes and relationships that struck upon differences that could not be reconciled.

It has been a year of having to let go - not only of other people, but of parts of ourselves.
But what I take from all of this - is that yes there have been mistakes made. Yes, there have been falling outs. Yes, there have been times when our ideologies have differed and our points of view were incompatible, but at the end of it all we are still HERE, on this planet, and our fates are undeniably intertwined.

I forgive myself for judging people who I have let go of due to differences in opinion, in ideology, in core beliefs, in worldviews - Because I see, realize, and understand that their perspectives are valid to them, in the context of who they are, and the same is true for myself. And therefore, I do not hold any grudges against a person simply because our perspectives are not aligned.

I commit myself to look past the disagreements, the conflicts, the moments where things became personal and nasty and we for a moment lost sight of who we really are - and to instead bring myself to a point of being able to fully stand in their shoes - not to prove them wrong or try to fix them or get them back on "my side", but to honor and regard first and foremost the life that they are - the "spirit" and life force that is within them which is the same spirit and life force that is within me - a being who is making sense of the world and making decisions as best they can with where they are at - just like me.

Within this, I hold no grudge or animosity to those who I have disagreed with, nor toward those who disagreed with me. I look beyond these superficial divides of opinion and ideology to the fact that what suffers is not the loss of a partnership, a friendship, or a comrade – but the persistence of the illusion of our separation.

And therefore no matter how much we disagree or whether or not our disagreements drive us apart - what will always and forever unify us is that we are here, in this world, in this reality, together, equally wanting to do the best as how we have defined it - and within that, there are no enemies, no rivals - only differences in perspective and conflicts that arise from the illusion of our separation - an illusion made real by our acceptance, but an illusion that can easily be dismissed in favor of clarity.

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 08 Jan 2017, 09:35

Day 206 Knowing the Path and Walking the Path

Knowing the Path and Walking the Path

There is a scene from the movie “The Matrix” where Neo consults an oracle to find out if he is “The One” that is meant to save humanity. What I love about this scene between Neo and the oracle is that if you pay very close attention – the oracle isn’t the one who tells Neo the bad news. It was Neo who says “I’m not The One” and then the oracle accepts and validates his statement. “I am not The One” is the path that Neo accepts for himself – to him that is his point of self-honesty in that moment. Later, Morpheus tells Neo that “Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did, that there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”.

Why am I bringing this up? Because so many times in life we can get ourselves stuck in our own beliefs and we fight so hard for the “path” we know ourselves to be on – even if that path is one that is limiting, compromising, or hurtful to ourselves and others. But the thing that we often miss is that the path we are on, no matter how ‘right’ or ‘correct’ it feels, and no matter how ‘true’ it rings within us – is still a path that we have the option of walking or not walking.

There will be of course some things in life that may be unavoidable. But even then we have the ability to decide who we are and how we will meet the challenges – and this is the key that changes everything. A person who sees consequence coming and resigns his fate to it will end up bitter and disempowered and feel that he is a victim to fate and circumstance while blaming the world for its lack of compassion, while on the other hand a person who accepts personal responsibility and seeks to understand their role in creating the consequences that come will not only be able and willing to meet those consequences, but will be able to grow and expand from the experience and come through the other side empowered. (More on this in the interview "Facing the Question of Who I Am" on EQAFE)

I will open up the point more in the self-forgiveness to follow.

Knowing the Path

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist and fear the fact that I am able to see the future that I am creating for myself and that nothing is actually hidden if I am willing to look deeply into who I am and what I am participating in and how that will accumulate and manifest as events in my own life, and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abdicate until now my responsibility in deciding whether or not the future that I see is unfolding before me is one that I am willing to accept the consequences for. (For more on this, see "Your Moment, Your Choice")

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to dismiss and ignore the ‘path’ that I am able to see myself creating when I look at all of the things I am participating in within my mind and the living actions that I am repeating each day and to instead want some greater, unseen, mysterious force to be in charge of my life and my fate – so that I can easily point the finger at the outside world and not have to accept my own responsibility for all of the thoughts, words, and deeds that I myself, of my own will and volition participated in and in so doing fully accepted without question all of the consequence to follow.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to deny the fact that my path is already decided within all of the things that I accept and allow without question – including the way that I will act and behave if certain things happen or fail to happen in my life, and how I will react when certain triggers activate – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that being self-honest with the path that I have already designed as set forth for myself would be like giving in to limitation when in actuality being self-honest with the path that I created and accepted within me is the first step towards being able to make the decision of whether to walk that path or not – because if I do not question the path I myself created to get to know how and why I set it up this way and continue to accept it throughout my life, then my ‘life’ will simply be the playing out of that design and I will convince myself that there was nothing I could have done about the life that is ‘happening to me’ when in fact we always have the power of making a decision to stop and go in a different direction, though this decision can only be made when we realize that the option exists for us to not define ourselves by the path we believe we must stick to – the path we have defined ourselves by up until this point.

Therefore, I commit myself to dare to look at the path that I have been walking – where practically speaking this means I look at the decisions I feel are ‘right’ and especially the ones that keep me in a comfort zone of patterns that I have been living throughout my life, and in those moments of resistance when I want to step into the familiar ground of the path that I had defined myself by and had always walked without question, to stand within that point of resistance and question why it is that I feel I cannot choose a different path and walk in a direction of my choosing rather than walk in a direction of familiarity and automation.

When and as I see or notice myself in such moments where the path before me is rolled out and ready for me to step into – for example when an event happens in my life and I already want to automatically go into reactions and behaviors that I have associated to that event, I stop and I breathe, and I give myself the power of decision. I live and ‘invoke’ the awareness that “there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” and within this I direct myself within clarity, decision, and authority so that if I decide to continue with the path, I do so empowered and responsible and if I decide the path is no longer what is best for all, then I empower myself to walk a different path.

Walking the Path

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not until now realize that just because I have trusted so much of my “self” over the years to make decisions based on thoughts, feelings, reactions, fears, anxieties, and resistances and that it has so far kept me alive, it doesn’t mean that who I am and what I am capable of becoming is limited or defined by those sets of choices.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust forces other than and outside of myself when it comes to decisions and what is best and what path I should follow and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that my fears, emotions, resistances, and anxieties know what is best for me more than I know what is best for me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not until now question why I have defined myself and what I am capable of through my thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, and anxieties when those things are not real and only exist through the energy I give them by accepting and allowing them within me in my thoughts, and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to only be able to see and consider the things I can feel and relate to within my mind and not see or realize the creative potential to find solutions that my limited definitions of self would not have been able to consider.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to trust my thoughts, feelings, emotions, reactions, fears, and anxieties as the path that I walk – where I will always confine myself to my experiences and comfort zones because I fear “losing” the limited definition of myself that exists within those boundaries and within this to not see or realize until now how much more there is to who I am and what I am capable of outside of those self-imposed boundaries and how in fact I do not lose anything or diminish but rather expand and become more empowered when I let go of my limitations and stand as what remains when I drop my fear.

I commit myself to live the realization and understanding that “there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” by letting go of the fear of getting lost when I go off of the path I have known and trusted.

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 24 Feb 2017, 08:03

Getting Self-Honest with Relationships (And Why I Am Not Good at Them

When you are someone that grew up with a difficult, unstable, or perhaps in some ways abusive childhood in which your primary caregiver is someone who instills in you fear, insecurity, doubt, pain, or any similarly negative experience, then chances are you are someone like myself who has a difficult time creating, maintaining, and fostering healthy intimate relationships.

The old cliché image of a patient sitting in a therapist’s office comes to mind here.

Patient: “Doctor, I have trouble with getting into and staying in healthy relationships”.

Doctor: “Hmm… interesting. Tell me about your relationship with your mother.”

It was only recently that I began to take a more serious and less sarcastic look at the connection between mothers and sons – and how this primary relationship can become the bedrock and foundation upon which all future intimate relationships with female partners would be built upon.

We understand now that the first 7 years of a child’s life are a critically important time in which the child begins building the framework for their future, often times establishing in these early years the habits, principles, and overall worldview that they will later embody into adult life. (See the series “Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race” for details)

But what happens when during those first 7 years, a child’s life is one of instability and emotional distress? How does this influence that child’s development in terms of their self confidence, their worldview, and their ability to communicate and establish intimacy with others? May I present to you Exhibit A: Yours truly.
Our First Love?

One of the most important relationships that we have is the relationship with our primary caregiver. This relationship sets the tone for what it means to relate to another human being. It sets the starting point of what to expect and defines to rules of how to communicate your needs and have your needs met. But more importantly it sets the foundation for whether or not we regard others as being trustworthy, dependable people and whether we should develop ways to reach out to them, or whether we need to develop protections and evasive defenses to protect ourselves from perceived hostility.

My mother was someone who would be very emotional. Her tempers would be erratic, unpredictable, and very intense especially to the eyes of a young child. I remember living day to day in fear of her next outburst which could come without notice, and how she would express her anger and frustration toward me in a way where I would not understand why she was angry, why I was being yelled at or regarded as though I had done something wrong, and never understanding what I was or was not supposed to do – because often it was not about me at all, but rather things that she was going through in her own personal life that she did not have the tools or the awareness to work through, and so would spill over to the next closest target – which happened to be her son.

Unfortunately this was during a time in which there wasn’t as much public awareness in regards to physical child abuse. And as part of the traditional Chinese culture, my mother would not hesitate to use physical beating as a means of “teaching a lesson” even if the lesson itself was more an outlet for her anger than for my education.

Aside from the physical abuse and erratic bursts of anger there was the verbal abuse – which came in the form of my mother telling me things like she wishes I was never born, that I was a “stupid pig”, and various similar statements that don’t quite translate directly into English but you can guess the feel of it.

The point here is not to blame my mother – I am giving context here so that I can explain the design of me as a person who grew up under those conditions and the various ways that I developed as means of protection towards what I felt was a hostile environment.
Insecure Attachment

Growing up, what began to become a repeating cycle in me were thoughts of anger and feeling powerless towards my mother – and what made the experience more intense was the fact that I felt that I was not allowed to express my anger or frustrations while she had free reign to become angry and yell and beat me. As a young child, we are fully at the mercy of our caregiver – we are without defense from physical harm from the ones who we depend on for protection.

And so began the process of me developing the defensiveness, timidness, and insecurity that would become my method of coping – but would also become part of the challenge I would face in my future intimate relationships.

Feeling unloved and that there must be something wrong with me – feeling that no matter what, the female that I am most intimately close with will abuse me or abandon me or take advantage of my trust while still being the only source for support and comfort is not an easy thing to process as an adult – let alone as a child.

So what would happen in my future intimate relationships would be the very same defensive mechanisms I used to cope with my mother would come up – where I would find myself playing out the same trauma, the same fear, the same insecurity and inferiority that eventually snuffs out whatever spark originally brought about a new relationship in my life.

While in a relationship, at the back of my mind would come the same thought patterns like a record stuck on repeat:

“I am not good enough. She is going to leave me for someone else.”

“I cannot measure up. She deserves someone better.”

“I don’t know why she is settling for me. She will never be happy for me. I can never be enough for her.”

And to add on top of that, would be an element of constantly imagining and projecting the worst case scenarios and reading into every little thing to see if my fears were in any way valid. If my partner spends some time with an ex I go into a tailspin and wonder she she isn’t creating a distance between herself and him. Or if she does not want to be physically intimate with me all of the time then that must mean she is tired of me and wants me gone and is already thinking about leaving me.

Suffice to say, these patterns make it nigh impossible to sustain or foster openness, trust, intimacy, sharing, or giving my partner the space that she needs when I am constantly in a state of fear of loss and needing constant reassurance – which by the way is a major turn off in a relationship especially when it comes to the male.

The funny thing is – we don’t often get what we deserve. But we very often get what we expect. Each of us deserve to have a supportive and nurturing intimate partnership with someone. But if we constantly expect for things to not work out, then we find ways to make that expectation true.

Understanding the System

The good news is – for anyone thinking this is a post about giving up on creating a stable relationship or how we cannot overcome our past – that the condition of insecure attachment is NOT permanent, nor is it unchangeable.

Being able to understand how we have set ourselves up this way is the first step. If we cannot be self-honest with our relationship patterns and the story we have been telling ourselves about our self-worth, then how can we expect to develop a relationship with someone else?

We do not have to continue reliving the same traumas of our past. And we do not have to keep waiting for relationships to come about in order to face those traumas.

While our primary caregivers do play a vital part in how we will create the relationships of our future, there is one more relationship that is even more important. And that is the relationship we have with ourselves – with our fears, our insecurities, our judgments, and our defenses.

We can learn to give ourselves the things we perceive we need and can only obtain from others. We can stop the cycle of compromising ourselves, our values, in order to please someone else enough that they will not leave us and manifest our own fear of loss and fear of loneliness. We can develop ourselves to become whole and abundant instead of desperate and broken. We can transform the relationships we create with others if we are willing to transform the relationship we are creating with ourselves.

How exactly does that work?

Developing self-awareness and self-honesty through writing and the tool of self-forgiveness. This is not about getting ourselves to “feel better” when we lose a relationship so that we can create another one just like it. This is not about “transcending” relationships and never going into another one again. This is about getting to the core of why those of us who struggle with creating lasting intimate relationships tend to create the same situations over and over – and to release those unresolved traumas of our own past so that we can be free to truly create the future we want instead of recreating the past we still haven’t let go of.

That is exactly what I am doing now – and that is what I will continue sharing.

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 05 Jul 2017, 05:25

Going Viral for a Cause and Why That Might Not Be What You Want

Many people dream of going viral for various reasons. But is going viral really what you need? Why have there been so many viral social movements but so little real change in the world?

Video embedded on blog

If you enjoy my work and the perspectives I share, please upvote, share, and check out my patreon page- Your support keeps me going!

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joe kou
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Re: Joe's Journey to Life

Postby joe kou » 14 Dec 2017, 19:45

What. A. Year. Period. (A Forgiveness Checklist for Clearing Your Palette for the Year to Come) ... ar-to-come

It has been a year of unexpected ups and downs. It has been a year of a few goodbyes and unpleasant choices as much as it has been a year of new opportunities and fresh beginnings. It has been a year of having to make adjustments to ourselves and our lives in ways we could not have predicted.

Sometimes we get lost in the shuffle of things - of personal life, of finances, of things beyond our personal control, and of things we could have or should have done. Sometimes we suppress the better part of ourselves and who we can be - in order to survive, to fit in, to get by, or to get adjusted to a new environment. And sometimes it feels as if we had to struggle and fight for very little in return.

All of this can lead to a building sense of bitterness about our lives and about the world and the people in it. We can become cynical and less understanding of others as we ourselves become more concerned with our own goals and aspirations - even if our goals and aspirations are altruistic (Why won't people let me save the world?).

But as the year draws to a close and the dust begins to settle from the tumult - it is a good time for us to revisit and re-affirm a few practical principles and clear our palette for the year to come. A time to rinse out the taste of bitterness that may have crept in over time and ready ourselves for a brand new course.

Forgiving Self and Others - A Year End Cleansing

Have things fallen through? Have the changes in life been such that you have had to change or entirely let go of projects and plans and dreams you have had for a long time?

Let us forgive ourselves for the bitterness and the emotional attachments and disappointments, and forgive the resentments we harbor toward others. You know - the times where we gave them the cold shoulder, or deliberately did not respond to their texts, or secretly stopped supporting them in their personal developments, or the times when they had an idea and we immediately shot them down out of spite. Because all of that says more about who we are than it does about them, and it is time to change the tune we've been singing if we want a different result.

Have people you once trusted, relied on, or depended on changed or moved on in a way that left you feeling betrayed, abandoned, or dismissed?

Let's forgive ourselves for the blame, the victimization, and the emotional turmoil we have been allowing inside that has been preventing us from understanding, learning, growing, and moving on with a sense of appreciation instead of powerlessness - and realize it was never in fact about the other person(s) or what they did to us that caused us to not be able to move forward.

For a refresher on practical self-forgiveness and sounding, or more details on how the victimization and feeling of abandonment is something we create ourselves and can cause more damage to us than those we blame, listen to this recording: Atlanteans: Abandoned

Have you been feeling frustrated about the amount of work you have put in to a project, and how much of your money, time, and labor you have invested only to see minimal returns? Have you ever found yourself angry at people who seem to have it all but could not be bothered to contribute or support you?

Let us forgive ourselves for the feeling of powerlessness and frustration of not reaching people the way we would have liked to, or not having the kind of reception from others we were hoping for.

Oh - and while we're at it, let's forgive the moments where we started to become irritated with the people we are trying to reach. You know - the times where we justified making ourselves feel better, more superior, and victimized ourselves while secretly still entertaining thoughts such as:

Nobody else cares as much as I do. Look at what they spend their money and time on - those heathens!
People are caught up in such pointless, trivial things when they could instead be supporting me and what I do. Those fools!
I'm busting my back/hump/balls but nobody else is pitching in. Everyone else is in it for themselves - how dare they!

These may seem like very logical, well reasoned statements when we're already feeling like we've been struggling and going uphill with little or no support from the people around us - or when our own fears and insecurities start to fray and tear at our self-confidence and we begin to doubt our own ability to pull through. It is so very easy to start looking at all the ways others are not measuring up when that is the only lens through which we view ourselves and thus the world. BUT! When was the last time we genuinely tried to get to know and understand where everyone else is at in their lives and what they are already going through day to day - that we are totally missing and not taking into consideration because we've been so focused on our own projects and our own agendas? Have people really just been lazy and inconsiderate, or could it be they've been going through their own personal struggles and life changes and instead of looking at how we can better understand and relate to them, we focused only on why they weren't understanding or relating to us?

Looking back, are there people we have been in a way disregarding because we've been so caught up in what they could do for us? Have we been dismissing their problems, their struggles, their fears and worries because we for a moment lost sight of what connects us and focused more on the problems that separate us from each other? This too, can be changed as we head into the coming year - and we may be surprised to find the number of people who have been feeling the same way as we have been if we're willing to reach out a hand instead of point the finger.

Have you been feeling like you've been putting up with life and it's various challenges and not having much time to really be the authentic and genuine self you know yourself to be? Have you been feeling like you've been less than your ideal self whether it is in terms of your own personal life, or your relationships with others?

I don't know about everyone else but I definitely fall into this category. So if you can relate why don't you join me in forgiving this point? Here - we can do it together, RIGHT NOW, LIVE! Feel free to read along or add more of your own.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that the "better" parts of me - the aspects of me that I know to be strong, confident, generous, caring, genuine, and competent are somehow gone, missing, absent, or "dead" when in reality they will forever be a part of who I am able to be in any moment - and have only been suppressed and held back during the times when I allow myself to sink into my emotions and doubts and fears.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that because things have been challenging and certain weaknesses of my character have been coming up more prominently, that somehow that means I must be less, or that I am somehow unworthy, or that all of the work and time and devotion I have put into supporting myself and developing my self honesty has been for "nothing". I realize that in life we must often face moments of change - and in these moments we may need time to adjust, to learn, and to grow and in such moments it can feel like we are powerless or directionless and alone - especially when we fear to let go of the things that we have become attached to, or when we must venture out of our established comfort zones - and that it is okay to allow ourselves to not know what to expect or how well we will do in a new situation.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear change - not only when it comes to people in my life, my environment, my work, my career, or my interests - but also when it comes to changes in who I am and my perspectives in life.

I forgive myself that I have not seen or realized until now that who we are - our authentic and genuine selves - can mature and change over time, and that this change does not necessarily have to mean the end of something or the death of something but rather a transformation - a change. And that sometimes we may not understand the pains and trials and tribulations we go through but if we are able to embrace change and be open to looking at ourselves and others through new eyes - we will see that the best of ourselves is never gone - and neither is the best in others who have in their own way also changed, moved on, and transformed.

And thus I commit myself to understand, to forgive, and to realize that my utmost potential is something that grows, matures, and changes along with me and that sometimes we can become lost, bitter, spiteful, and afraid when it seems like everything is .... well.... changing. Therefore when I see or notice myself diminishing, isolating myself, or becoming less patient and more resistant toward others - I remind myself that this is an opportunity for change and for growth.

Instead of becoming angry at plans and projects falling apart, I commit myself to look at what I can learn from the process and how I can expand and change from it instead of insisting on having everything going my way.

Instead of feeling betrayed, abandoned, or dismissed by people who leave my life or decide to go in a direction that I cannot follow, I will instead give space for that person to grow and expand in the way that they see is best for them because that is what I would like for myself as well - and in honoring this growing and changing in another I also honor my own ability to grow and change - and therefore do not need to stay in the experience of feeling abandoned or discarded or betrayed because it is an opportunity for me to change instead of trying to hold on to something that I may have already outgrown.

Instead of becoming angry and disappointed with people who do not support me or agree with me in the projects and endeavors I am a part of, or when I notice myself blaming others for not being aware enough, not caring enough, not relating enough - I stop and first look at why I am reacting to them in this way if my goal is to reach them, communicate with them, and work with them - and from here I allow myself to drop my own expectations and value judgments so that I can really and truly get to know what people are going through, what they struggle with, what they give priority to, and how we can better understand, relate to, and support each other instead of me immediately judging them for not caring.

And instead of waiting and pacing and wondering where my confidence, my generosity, my care, my integrity, my courage, my will to be and express the best of myself has gone - I remind myself that it is and always has been right here and it was only that I for a moment lost sight of myself, lost touch with myself, lost connection with myself - and that the very things I have been feeling I lack are waiting and ready as soon as I am ready to be self-honest with me and stop participating in the thoughts, patterns, and behaviors that do not reflect the best version of myself.

And with that - I hope that you found some clarity and stability to help settle any lingering bitterness that may have accumulated over this year. I have no idea what do expect from the year to come - but I know that through the difficulties and challenges and the moments of doubt and pain I have come through the other side stronger, wiser, and even better equipped to face CHANGE - and I hope that the same applies for you.

For those unfamiliar with how to really connect to and establish self-honesty or what it means to be the best possible version of yourself - please check out the Desteni I Process that introduces you to the same tools that I still use daily to stabilize myself and has time and time again proven to be an invaluable tool in my life.

Feel free to contact me for any questions on self-forgiveness, what it means to be a Destonian, or about perspectives on life in general.

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