My [redacted] Journey

A teacher's search for inner peace.


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“Where’s your happiness now?”


May 26, 2015

Dear Readers,

Recently, I had a falling out with a friend.  Sunshine (not her real name) had been a lifelong friend.  She was the person I turned to for help every time I fell.  And believe you me, I fell more than a dozen times in as many years.  She was my rock, my steady friend, my sunshine.  However, I have since come to realize that she was my friend only when I was down and out; once I was able to stand on my own two feet, Sunshine’s friendship would disappear.

Over the years, I have told Sunshine my deepest, darkest fears, my most outlandish aspirations, and every little thing that makes me tick.  I was under the misguided assumption that she would hold my secrets close to her heart, just as I did to hers.  Sadly, I was mistaken.  I will never make that mistake again.

Over the past three years, and with Sunshine’s help, I have found my happiness.  It is through no small feat that I am able to look at myself in the mirror and smile.  I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.  I have come a long way.  Conversely, I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed at how low I sank in recent years.  I had just come to a point in my life where I had forgiven myself my past mistakes.  In other words, I was happy.

On the outside, I appear really put together.  I’m independent, smart, tough, and sometimes even funny.  Very few people know that on the inside I am more than a little unsteady.  In fact, I am a scared little girl on the inside.  Sunshine was one of the few people who knew of my insecurities.  She was also the last person I thought would exploit those insecurities.  But not only did she exploit those insecurities, she chewed them up and spit them back into my face like so many before her, that I was this close to believing all of the vile things she said to me and about me.  Little did she know that I would take a piece of advice she recently gave me, and use it to keep my wits about me, whereas usually, I would crumple.

In the past few months, I had begun to confide in Sunshine how very happy I was.  Sometimes, unable to contain how happy I was, a smile would break across my face and a giggle would escape from my lips.  I could be as giddy as a schoolgirl.  My happiness came from a place that I believe few people I know have ever experienced.  I had survived an almost certain death; not only survived, but walked away from.  After shaking my head in disbelief for a couple of months, I have accepted that I survived because I have so much more to give.  This realization was the catalyst for my happiness.  So, of course I was giddy!  I mean, who wouldn’t be, right?  And I almost let it all slip away because of a few well-placed barbs spewed from a would-be friend.

After a vile and disgusting exchange of words from both myself and Sunshine, she left me with these words, “Where’s your happiness now?”  It almost shook me to my core.  But now, I have an answer for her:

My happiness resides in a place no one can touch.  My happiness belongs to me and me alone, so that only I can make myself unhappy.  My happiness is with me when I wake up in the morning and with me when I close my eyes at night.  My happiness is knowing that not only am I a good person, but that I am a person worthy of being loved.  My happiness is knowing that I am highly blessed and Divinely favored.  My happiness is right here, right where it belongs.

Sunshine once told me that I needed to get rid of all of the people in my life who were toxic.  And although it will create a hole in my heart, I fear I must take her advice.  Goodbye Sunshine, I wish you well.  Peace, ~v.

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She Talks to Angels


January 1, 2015

Dear Readers,

Her name was Jane and she was my childhood friend.  We would play school together with all of my stuffed animals.  Jane played the principal, my stuffed animals were the students, and I was always the teacher.  Jane played the principal because she didn’t like to have to stay in the classroom (my bedroom).  Jane would sit off to my left and mostly just observe.  Once in awhile she would admonish me that I was being too hard on this student or that student.  And she would never talk to me whenever one of my brothers or sisters would come into the bedroom where we were playing.

By the time I was about nine or ten years old, I had stopped talking to Jane because after all, she was imaginary.  However, I never forgot about her and I am convinced that she never forgot about me.  Certain things would happen in my life and I knew they were going to happen before they would actually happen.  This did seem somewhat weird to me, but I would just chalk it up to being a self-fulfilled prophecy.  Then came the car accident.

For years I believed I would be involved in a car accident but I knew I would survive.  I knew this because Jane had told me once a long time ago.  I would say to myself, “I know I’m going to be involved in a car accident one day, I just don’t know how I know.”  Shades of Jane would flash through my head and I would just as quickly wave them away.  I might have told a few people throughout my life about my sense of being in a car accident, but I hardly believed how I knew I certainly didn’t expect anyone else to believe me.  Then came the car accident.

After my accident, and while it was still fresh in my mind, I wrote down my thoughts here and here and here.  I have done quite a bit of soul-searching and quite a bit of praying.  Now, I may not know everything, but I do know two things:

First – It is  my life’s purpose to be of service to others.

Second – Jane was, is, and always will be my guardian angel.

Yes, I talk to angels.  Peace, ~v.


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Happiness? Yes, Please


August 31, 2014

Dear Readers,

I am just about caught up on my A to Z Challenge. Today is the letter “H.” After today, I will be posting a letter a week every Tuesday, beginning with September 2 and the letter “I.” Now, however, on to Happiness…

Lest you get the wrong idea, dear Readers, I absolutely loved my time in the Middle East. As I previously stated, I fell in love with the people, the culture, even the language. I was never so happy as when I was in Abu Dhabi.  Okay, so a few things I had difficulty understanding. However, I never had any difficulty accepting those things.  What I had trouble accepting, was that I had happiness.

I have never wanted to travel.  Although I am grateful for having been blessed to be a world traveler (even just for a short time), it was never on my bucket list.  So why I decided to go teach in the Middle East is something I’m still trying to piece together.  It really is a combination thing:  a little bit of this, of that, and that.  I do know that things within me, or about me changed.  For example, I believe and accept that happiness is a choice.  I know, who didn’t know that, right?  But how many of us accept that?  Well, I’m certainly not going to start calling people out, but…

I certainly didn’t want to accept it.  I didn’t want to take the responsibility for my own happiness, certainly not when there were so many external factions I could blame.  We, dear Readers, I can and do accept that I choose happiness.  And, I choose to be happy.  That may not seem like a big deal.  However, had you known me 6 months before I left the U.S., you would know what an almost miracle it is to even see me function as an adult, much less accepting truths I had all but forgotten existed.

I do not want to dwell, but, I also do  not want to gloss over this point:  I choose happiness.  What took root in the U.S., grew in the U.A.E., and subsequently, had time to flower in Guam.  I just threw some of you for a loop, right?  In March 2013, during spring break at Amrah Bint, I flew to Guam to visit my daughter and son-in-law.  I am not going to bore you with any more blah, blah, blah.  I am just going to introduce a visual of my Happiness from my days in Guam, March 2013.  Please, enjoy, I did.  Peace, ~v.

http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/h-words/


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Zen and Compatible Habits


I'm happy.

I’m happy.

December 24, 2013Dear Readers,

Even when it seemed that I had nothing to be thankful for this past year, I still gave thanks.  Maybe I’m onto something.  I don’t know about you, but giving thanks for what I have and who I am, always makes me feel better about my life.  Life is much too short.  You should be grateful.

I am grateful.  Subsequently, I am happy.

Perhaps you cannot see my connection between being grateful and being happy.  Recently, I discovered that my state of being grateful, creates my state of being happy.  Everything looks a little brighter, as my endorphins kick in.  Granted, sometimes being grateful is most difficult.  Not only do I hang around ungrateful 13 year-olds all day, I am ignored more times than not by the adults.   And, although some days I can only focus on the negative, I have been trying to make my morning meditation session a habit.  Not only does my morning session get me ready for my day, it gives me a peaceful moment I can draw upon during the hectic days.  That, is how I have turned my mindset to positive and decided to be a happier, more grateful individual.

Peace, ~v.