Aspire For Happiness and Love As Strengths; Be Vulnerable Too

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Amsterdam — July 2019

Currently, amidst this global pandemic (and truthfully for a few months now) I have been thinking deep into my own self-critique. This has not been healthy and I am done drowning, escaping, hiding, and being dishonest with myself and with others.

Yes, I have read hundreds of books thinking that would help. Maybe it has and maybe I have also been drowning in all of that information in the middle of very little action or application of that knowledge into potential power.

I thought yoga, meditation, and weight training would fix it all and would let me love myself. In some ways, it has but not to the extent to which I am aware that it permanently could.

At the time, I didn’t realize the way I was going about all of this was wrong and possibly perpetuating a lifelong pattern of abandoning the important parts of myself that somehow along the way I deemed to be inadequate.

That story wasn’t serving anyone any good nor was it helping me, where I came from, past conditions, or unfulfilling habits.

To be completely honest with you, I am not perfect. And the older I get, the more I realize that my parents aren’t perfect either. And quite frankly, no one is perfect. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes. However, this is me talking freely to myself and about myself. We all have to learn these lessons at some point. If not, well then…

My weaknesses stem from a multitude of factors whether it be hereditary, the genes I was passed down by from my parents, from my parents-parents, or from the environments I have chosen to put myself in. I hope my parents don't kill me for this one so here we go anyways.

My mom has always had fear, stress, anxiety, worry, lack, but above all else, love for me. My dad has battled depression, alcoholism, substance abuse, addictive personality traits, and a less than loving communication style with me. However, despite all of those things, we still love and respect each other.

The point I am hoping to make amidst this life lesson is those are all things that I need less of in my life. What I am gaining more of is a sense of grounding, peacefulness, abundance, gratitude, self-actualization, sobriety, less addictive-personality traits, more communication, more energy, enthusiasm, joy, happiness, love, compassion, empathy, care, and kindness towards others.

The truth is, no amount of pushing shit down a dark hole, suppression, stoic-ness, or skeletons in my closet will lead to a sense of adequacy or a life of long-term fulfillment. The parts I want to abandon, the things I don’t like about myself — are generally created and manifested in response to shame and mostly, for me, fear.

They have developed to protect me, to bring me comfort, but in lieu of that, have stuck around me entirely too long and have created unfavorable patterns.

Recently for me, those patterns have become stronger and have negatively affected me and directly affected my relationship with my partner of three years.

It won’t be until I learn how to greet myself with love, joy, enthusiasm, kindness, openness, patience, and a sickening curiosity that I will start to free myself from my old ways of being and my old ways of thinking.

A fixed-mindset isn’t going to serve anyone, only a growth-mindset will. And I am in the process of recapturing and rebuilding mine.

If I face my insecurities head-on, my fears will subside. Only in learning how to be self-aware and self-compassionate will my life’s path become clear.

This process is just starting for me, and maybe it’s one that will never be done. But every day I can discover more of what it means t feel and be free is a day well spent.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day… Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears — could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” — Jim Valvano

In feeling more liveliness and my love for life that I lost touch with temporarily, I will trust myself more, I will be kinder to myself and others, and I will dig deeper in order to be more specific.

My life’s work is to embrace self-development, change, and growth via self-realization. Maybe I don’t know what that looks and feels like yet but it's okay.

I must free myself of social-expectations, societal-expectations, and fear.

I want to help others but I am aware that I must help myself first. This is the time, calling, and situation to do so. I am learning its safe to be vulnerable with myself and others, to be loving with myself and others, and to bring my joys and passions into existence for myself and others.

When I am able to believe in myself more than anyone believes in me, I am going to be on my way. I must, and I can, do this more frequently! I am not going to confuse confidence with delusion.

I am going to be my biggest fan and, most importantly, my most honest critic.

I hope wherever you are in the world, you are enjoying your day and night. Stay happy and stay healthy.

My Very Best,

Donovan E. Vogel

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Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness

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