May 22, 2014

The Trick is to Keep Breathing

"Let go... How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? From relationships long gone, old grudges to regrets, to all the 'could've' and 'should've' to dead relationships you still hang on to... Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change."

- Steve Maraboli
One thing I find baffling is that in all my years of education, I find no one ever taught me how to let go and how to master the art of losing gracefully. Add that to my competitive nature, losing something is often a source of anxiety for me. In a culture that puts emphasis on hanging on (no matter how hard it gets) and on winning and achieving, I find that it would be hard to contradict what we have been programmed to think and discuss such a sad and dire topic. Unfortunately perhaps what our educators fail to recognize is that there is a fine line that separates letting go from giving up and that some times, we need to accept that there are things that cannot matter how hard we try. The sad reality is there always comes a point when we know things are over and that they will never get back to how they were. Unfortunately, being programmed to keep holding on, most of the time, what we find the hardest thing is having to let go of our suffering. Perhaps out of a fear of that which is not familiar, that which is unknown... suffering seems like a better choice. These are the facts: there are things we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn and people we can't live without but have to let go. The sad reality in life is that we win some but more often, we end up losing some...and that's okay too... as long as we keep going.

It's almost been 10 years since I graduated from college. I learned a lot and the knowledge of having a college education is indeed an enriching experience which is why I always say education is important. However, as I went through life, I've realized that I am almost always blown away by how much we can also learn simply by living and experiencing. All in all, as the educational moments outside a learning institution compile, I find myself recognizing that aside from the textbook stuff, there is also importance in being willing to accept and assess my life and my experiences. Also, I find that sharing a lesson that you consider valuable increases the value of that lesson and it certainly widens the scope of its reach... at the very least, it is a good practice of connectedness. After all, the reality is so much of life is what we make of it and to be in the position to gain and maintain autonomy and control over the meaning of your experiences and existence is a privilege that we have to be grateful for. Surely, it will be our loss to squander that gift away. As with all gifts, we find that it commands a certain responsibility and if we don't learn to be responsible, we're simply letting our days unfold without any consciousness or presence or will. We will have highs and we will have lows- that is how the cycle of life works and if throughout this cycle, you end up finding worthiness in the lows, then you will likely enjoy a greater passion of the ride in this roller coaster called life, and since we are mortals and have a finite amount of time... the fact is- we might as well make the most of it.




First off, let's all be honest here because honesty is a prize in its own and it is liberating and empowering especially when we harness it and use it as a medium through which we can channel our thoughts and exert our opinions. Simply speaking honestly is easy... but living honestly tends to make it easier to truly understand ourselves which is the first step in achieving what one wants. It involves determining what one needs and of course, letting the best and truest version of ourselves shine forth. We may lose opportunities but that beats the hell out of highlighting the value of truthfulness. If you don't already know how, because by some chance you have been lucky enough to win in almost everything in life, allow me to tell you: learn to lose with humility and grace. In other words (as contradictory as it is): Lose like a winner. Confidence is not contingent with victory... it is independent from it and it is engrained how one chooses to deal with a loss. Taking in a loss like a champion doesn't mean one is delusional- it reveals one's confidence and self-acceptance- a sure footedness that I appreciate in people who are comfortable enough to know themselves. Losing gracefully is humbling because you will be able to see what you can gain from a specific experience. It is a far more honorable, impressive and respectable shade to paint yourself in gracefully losing rather than in behaving like a sore loser. More so, I think it teaches a person to win in the same manner. It is good to be in a competitive atmosphere but there is a big difference between losing like a winner and losing like a loser. And of course, as is with human nature, if you lose to someone who ends up rubbing their victory in your face (as if losing wasn't already hard enough,) having dignity intact despite your loss will only end up making them look like a fool and there is a certain satisfaction I assure you that you can gain from that. 

Moving forward, there are moments when it will be surprisingly easy to avoid that slow melancholic immersion into self-pity. Losing something, after all, is not something you throw a party for and celebrate. This is why it is important to learn to accept disappointment because it is inevitable.  Learn to keep it confined in its territory because when you let it spill over to areas it does not belong, you will find yourself wallowing instead of focusing on something positive. I have learned to become an optimist and despite my experiences, I know that surely, you cannot lose in ever aspect of your life. Life, as cruel as it has proven to be, isn't like that. The very nature of self-pity is that you allow yourself to let yourself sink into it, which only ends in making you crippled and deflated. Sure, there will be times when it serves its purposes so we also need self-pity and some things will be absolutely overwhelming and unbearable and beyond our control and try as we must, it is impossible to escape its grasp. But learn to keep disappointment and self-pity in check because many times, going into the "woe is me" route is self-indulgent, unproductive and actually avoidable. Just learn to discern which is which.

Lastly, maintaining a level-head and conducting  further inspection of a dire situation will actually reveal that it is actually totally manageable. Often it is when we are the point of entry of a crisis, problem or injury that is most overwhelming, painful and startling. The beginning of knowing there will be inevitable pain after losing something is when we react mentally, emotionally, mentally- we are placed in a situation of the so called "flight or fight" response- and when we encounter the unwelcome, unexpected and unpleasant: we freak the hell out. But remember that things are not usually as bad as they seem. 

We should try to carry the value of experiencing loss- be it in a competition, a material thing or a person- as we encounter moments in our life that a scary, daunting, terrible and scarring. These moments and events may put us in a standstill, unable to move and as down and worthless as humanely possible, but we have to adjust to them, we become more comfortable and calm in spite of losing. In the end, remember: 

Life isn't supposed to be an all or nothing battle between misery and bliss. Life isn't supposed to be a battle at all. And when it comes to happiness, well, sometimes life is just okay, sometimes it's comfortable, sometimes wonderful, sometimes boring, sometimes unpleasant.When your day's not perfect, it's not a failure or a terrible loss. It's just another day.

  Mesh and Neoprene Two-Piece Bikini: TRIANGL Swimwear

Leather Cap: +RUCKUS x HALVES Clothing

Stacked Hamsa Beaded Bracelets: Therapy

Stacked Braided Multi-Color Set with Anchor Watch: Shopaholic and Hubby

Canvas Chain Sling Bag: Prada

Tribal Print IKAT Scarf: A'postrophe

Net Graterized Skater Skirt: Iconoclast Line

Mirrorized Sunglasses: High Five Brands

PS: more photos from my Labor Day Beach Vacation Soon! I missed blogging so much! Take care doll!

xx, JL

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