Of all the gifts I could give you, I choose to give the ones I needed when I was in my darkest moments. You see, we all walk different paths, but there is one tragedy that all of us share: the struggle to be ourselves in a world that wants us to be anything but ourselves.
Here is the gift of understanding when you are in a roomful of people looking right past the pain inside of you.
Here is the gift of me too when you feel that you are the only one who thinks and feels the way you do.
Here is the gift of kindness when the world bundles up its heartlessness and throws it at you.
Here is the gift of love when you feel that the only love you deserve is that which others believe you are worthy of.
May these gifts light up your way when darkness overtakes your path. May these gifts allow your true self to emanate from within so that you may be your own light.
You Are the Sun
For them to see you shine, you must stay far away, for you are just like the sun; when you’re too close, your light makes them blind. And when you’re too far, they seek you. So let them seek you. They’re getting your light regardless, but appreciating your presence is different from recognizing your existence. If they don’t appreciate your presence, they may never even recognize your absence.
Respect the freedom that you were born with but that you’ve denied yourself. Break free from the power that power has over you and believe in your own beliefs.
Rest Your Heart
Your heart is precious, so take care of it. It may be able to forgive unconditionally, but don’t exhaust it by surrounding yourself with those who constantly do you wrong. It may have an infinite capacity for patience, but don’t exhaust it by surrounding yourself with those who don’t value your time.
Think of Me Too
If you want me to listen to you, respect that I can hear. If you want me to speak to you, respect that I have a voice. If you want me to look at you, respect my ability to see. Do you know how to do that? Listen to me when I talk, talk to me when you hear me, and look at me when I look at you. Share with me not only your sadness but also your happiness. If I can bear hours of your sadness, believe me, it’s because I would like to see days of your happiness. Depend on me if you respect that I am worthy of your trust. Open your heart to me if you respect that I am worthy of your love.
Let the Mask Fall Off
I appreciate a genuine effort over a fake attempt to gain my trust. The clouds overtake the sky for a little while, but the sun always strikes through.
Stay True to Yourself
Don’t worry about what people think of you or about the way they try to make you feel. If people want to see you as a good person, they will. If people want to see you as a bad person, absolutely nothing you do will stop them. Ironically, the more you try to show them your good intentions, the more reason you give them to knock you down. Keep your head up high and be confident in what you do. Be confident in your intentions and keep your eyes ahead instead of wasting your time on those who want to drag you back. Because you can’t change people’s views, you have to believe that true change for yourself comes from within you, not from anyone else.
Don’t break a bird’s wings and then tell it to fly. Don’t break a heart and then tell it to love. Don’t break a soul and then tell it to be happy. Don’t see the worst in a person and expect them to see the best in you. Don’t judge people and expect them to stand by your side. Don’t play with fire and expect to stay perfectly safe. Life is about giving and taking. You cannot expect to give bad and receive good. You cannot expect to give good and receive bad. Does it happen? Yes, but don’t make that an excuse for you to keep doing what you know is wrong. Don’t blame life for what you do.
Whatever you do, do it with purpose. Being focused is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to be proud of. When you know what you are doing and have a clear vision of where you are going, you will not need to chase opportunities. Opportunities will seek you. Happiness will chase you. And, instead of being a choice, you will be the one choosing.
Own my heart with your respect. Free me from your deceit. Captivate me with your honesty. Rid me of your uncertainty. Challenge me with your thoughts. Enslave me with your genuineness. Impress me with your spontaneity. Treat me right, and I will treat you better. Keep me away from what I don’t deserve, and I will bring you closer to what you deserve. Respect me. Be honest with me. I will give you nothing but multiples of that in return.
Be considerate of others before you expect them to be considerate of you. Don’t freeze time and isolate events in the desire to give yourself the right to blame others for not treating you with whatever you define as right. In the grand scheme of things, it is probably your perception that needs to change. Think before you speak, and reap what you sow. Don’t ever seek refuge only in people, for if you do, they will fail you sooner or later. But if you seek refuge in and forgiveness from a power much greater than yourself, you will not be turned away, and your eyes will be opened to the right right.
Don’t rely on others to make your life better. You may seem like a puzzle piece that fits nicely into their plans at one point, but what happens if they change their minds? So be it. You have a mind to lead you by logic and a heart to lead you by reason. You choose your fate by taking responsibility and by taking the lead in your life. Don’t make yourself part of others’ plans. Make your own plan and be part of it.
An Ironic Reward for a Beautiful Heart
Beautiful hearts are hard to find, and to reward them when we do find them, we convince ourselves that they’re too good for us. What a reward. Instead of holding on to them, we pull ourselves away. We push them away. We forget that the beauty of their hearts comes from their ability to love and from their willingness to liberate those whose hearts have caged themselves in the past.
I can point you toward the sky, but I can’t make you reach for the stars. I can show you the moon, but I can’t make you feel its beauty or appreciate its light. I can show you the pathways that you can take, but I can’t make you walk down them. I can extend my hand to help you, but I can’t make you hold it. I can tell you the truth, but I can’t make you believe it. I can tell you how I feel, but I can’t make you care.
If you think that education only takes place in an institution, think again. As long as you breathe, your mind, your heart, and your soul are seeking knowledge, so respond to them and nurture their needs. Ask questions and keep your life dynamic. Knowledge is not necessarily confined to a specific subject area. Knowledge is what drives your life and makes it meaningful. So, unless the institution you’re referring to is the institution of life, education does not confine itself to the limits of any institution. It extends its wings into every aspect of your life. So, what are you waiting for? Start flying.
Take the Lead
You choose how your life is going to be. Don’t let anyone make decisions for you unless they’ve got your head on their neck and your heart in their chest. Be a leader. A leader of your own life. And don’t get yourself to a point where you realize that you are on a road that is not your own. And, no, leadership does not mean that you have to be popular or have people following you. Being a leader is about leading your own mind’s logic and leading your heart’s reason. Be cognizant of the decisions that your mind and heart make, and your life will be much more meaningful and rewarding.
You can draw a path for your life and have all of your goals set. You can change yourself as much as possible and change things around you just to reach those goals. Here’s the catch. Never underestimate the power of fate. It can knock down the highest of goals that seem guaranteed in your life. Plan, yes, and decide, yes, but be prepared for plans not to work. If they don’t work despite your hardest efforts, there must be a reason. You may not be able to see the reason at the time, but you will one day, maybe even years later. Did your efforts go to waste? If you don’t learn from them, then yes, they did go to waste. Even after changing yourself and your surroundings for the sake of reaching that one goal, you may realize that it was waiting for you at the place where you started, when you were the true you who did not need to change or be changed. Change for yourself, not just for a goal.