I haven’t been writing on this blog for a while because I’ve been very busy recently with uni, work and everything in between.
Somewhere in all the business and rush of life, I realise that I am not being present but looking forward to the future rushing towards me or the past that does not serve me, yet something I cannot let go of. And when things aren’t great and I feel bad, the one thing I return to is gratitude, to be grateful for all that I have with purpose – with purpose of feeling genuine sincerity for my gratitude that is cultivated from the ritual of giving gratitude. When we shift our focus for all the things we can be grateful for, all the blessings, even small things in our lives, we relieve ourselves of much of the negativity that we are feeling and we feel much better. It is profound.
Recently it occurred to me that everything I have learnt about myself, about the world this past year; is exactly how my father (I’d called my dad daddy or baba in Mandarin or he’d refer to himself as father) lived – what he lived for. In this difficult year I realised the importance of relationships with others – how you interact with people, how you make them feel by the words you use and your actions you show. I have become more aware of my own actions and the actions of others, and just being able to notice peoples’ behaviours is so profound, very interesting indeed. I realised that kindness towards others does not mean weakness but it makes you a strong person who is not afraid to give to others without expecting to receive, and makes you strong enough to be vulnerable and real with others, which is how my dad was and I could not understand this when I was younger. It’s been three years since my dad passed away, things have been hard and things have gotten better with time but grief never really leaves your heart. Every day I understand my dad more and more, as I have grown older, and I agree with everything he did – the values he lived by (values now I live by), which is funny because my dad said I was stubborn and did not listen to him but argued all the time.
I think life teaches us many lessons, some of which we don’t even realise we do not know, many of which are painful, but from it comes growth – great, transformational growth that only the individual can understand because it is so personally profound. So every day try to focus on the things you do want in your life, give thanks for all the things you do have, and everything will be alright in the end (and if it’s not then it’s not the end, as the famous Les Brown says).
And happiness – happiness (or fulfilment you could say) is the most important thing. After all, all that we do is to make us feel a certain way and most of the time it’s happy. Spend more time doing the things you love, spend more time with friends and family you love, and less time stressing over things that don’t really matter at the end of the day, in the big scheme of things. Happiness is the journey, and the destination – the destination will be wonderful too.