Knowing Your Happy Place

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It has been exactly three weeks since I’ve posted here. This is interesting for me to talk about, since I’ve posted pretty regularly (usually once a week), since the beginning of the new year. To be honest, I began to worry about when I would post and what it would be about when I reached the two week point and hadn’t been inspired to talk about anything specific. That’s the thing about my site; I won’t ever post about anything I’m not passionate about or things that I believe won’t add value to the people around me. It took until this morning for me to realize that it was okay I hadn’t posted anything in awhile, and to reflect on why I hadn’t done so, and move forward.

The truth is, the last few weeks, I began feeling like I didn’t know who I was. I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself (my beliefs, values etc), was acting differently, and even began treating the people around me differently than I normally would. The part that was shocking to me, was that I recognized it the whole way through but felt like I couldn’t bounce back. I felt powerless in my own thoughts.

Has this ever happened to you?

As someone who typically is aware of who they are and how they treat others, the last few weeks really threw me for a loop as I began trying to understand what was going on with me. And while I thought about a lot- my relationships, certain situations, good things, bad things (and everything in between), I finally reached the point where I told myself to calm down and relax.

The last few days, I went on a trip with friends to Florida and had the opportunity to clear my head. I had no idea how much I would appreciate this time away, until I was there and had an overwhelming feeling of relief. As I lay under the palms trees and the warm sun on the beach, I can tell you that I literally did not have a care in the world. I was in my happy place, and nothing before those moments or the future moments to come mattered. And I think this is what it all comes down to. In the times where you need to be reminded of who you are, who you want to be and what’s important to you, can you recognize what your “happy place” (or people, memories, values) are and know yourself well enough to go there?

I was reminded today and in writing this now that my website is one of my happy places and that I’m grateful I have it as a way to connect with so many of you. Not a day goes by where I don’t interact with someone about something they saw on the site, or hear how it has inspired them in one way or another.

What these last three weeks have taught me is to recognize my happy places regularly, go to them when needed and be appreciative for what they provide. What are your happy places? And when was the last time you went there?

Go to your place and get some air,

Xo Aurora

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Forgiving… And The Ability To Let It Go.

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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

There is no need to sugarcoat this. The word forgiveness is something that brings up a lot of emotion for me, as it does the same for many I have spoken with about the subject. To forgive someone can be hard, as well as asking someone we hurt to give us forgiveness. In thinking about this lately, I ask why is it so hard to give and grant forgiveness?

So let’s break this down: Ego, Insecurity and Fear. Why is it so hard to ask to be forgiven? Or, in other words, offer an apology. The first stop would be to identify what’s getting in the way. Ego… feeling that you don’t need to apologize, or are better than the situation. Insecurity… are you insecure about the situation?… Afraid to open up or be viewed as vulnerable/in the wrong? Or, fear, do you think that the issue is so severe that apologizing wouldn’t do any good and isn’t worth the shot?

I can tell you that I’ve at one point or another felt all of these ways in my life, and I’ll give you the advice that I eventually made my way to: Get Over Yourself. When you identify what it is exactly that’s getting in the way, the answer should never be something that involves YOU and your insecurities, drawbacks, worries, etc. When you care about a person or situation, your intent needs to be around making things right, regardless of how you’re perceived or viewed by others and how hard you need to swallow your pride.

Bringing me to 2. Why is it hard for us to forgive those who have hurt us? Well, this breaks into an A & B category: Has the person apologized and you’re unwilling to accept the apology and forgive them, or have they not extended an apology and you’re holding resentment because of it? A. We all have needed forgiveness in our life. Accept apologies and allow yourself and the other person to move forward. Forgiving breaks the chains of anger and resentment, even when it’s not easy. B. The HARDEST time to forgive someone is when they’ve hurt you (no matter how severely), but are unwilling to apologize, or do not recognize that they need to be forgiven. These are the most important times we need to let it go. You cannot change the way people think or their ability to be accountable for what they say and do. As Smedes says, you need to set the prisoner free… In forgiving at this moment, you’re doing that- for yourself.

My stance on forgiveness is this: in times during my life where I have done wrong by others, I’ve learned that it’s always better for both parties when you own up to the wrong you’ve done and clear the air when necessary. This doesn’t mean the person will accept your apology, but at least you will know you’ve done the right thing and can move forward from the situation. Whether you are the one giving or receiving forgiveness, I challenge you to let go; you can’t move forward without doing so.

“Learn from mistakes, admit when you’re wrong and apologize when it’s due. Forgiveness isn’t the problem… people are sometimes too proud or stubborn to ask for it”

Forgive, for yourself.

Sparkle on, Aurora