May: a month in review.

Processing, one moment please.

Holy cow. So much stuff happened this month. For starters, I graduated from college. I’m not going to go off into a whole separate rant about that, but I’m beyond excited to be out of school. I also wrote 1000 words (almost) every day and recorded my dreams for the whole entire month. Both of these were very, very successful challenges and I am very proud of myself. But on top of that, I forgave this month. And this was by far the most challenging and most meaningful accomplishment I had. Honestly, this is one of the things I’m most proud of in my entire life, and it was way harder than any discrete math class I took in college (cough 160 cough).

You might be wondering why? Why is forgiveness so important, so meaningful to you Grace? It’s because forgiveness = freedom. If you don’t hold a heavy story from your past inside of you, it might be kind of hard to understand just how much these stories drag us down. But unfortunately, a lot of us do have these stories and know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s not just in certain situations or at certain times, it’s this pervasive, unsettled feeling that always weighs you down, even when you don’t notice it.

I think the last straw for me was realizing that holding so much negativity inside of me, whether justified or not, affects the energy I put out into the world. Or more specifically, the energy I pass on to my friends. I don’t know what I did to deserve such amazing friends, but I really believe I have the best friends in the world. They are always there for me, through everything and have such good ~vibes~. Now I know people always talk about “vibes” jokingly, but I actually do believe that who we are deep down and the (conscious and unconscious) beliefs that we hold affect the way we carry ourselves and consequently the energy we put out into the world. My friends have some pretty incredible energy and when I realized that on some level my negative energy was undoubtedly affecting my friends, I was saddened. Now when I say all of this, it might make me seem really negative, but I’m actually really positive in general. But I think it’s a really worthy pursuit to work on the way you influence the world and so if there is something I can do to remove even .01% negativity from my energy every single day, then I’m sold.

And obviously, this wasn’t the only reason; this was merely what tipped the balance for me. I wanted to forgive for mostly selfish reasons. I don’t like how I feel when I hold onto negativity, and being alone with my thoughts during quarantine definitely magnified these feelings for me. I wanted to forgive so I could gain back all of the energy I had tied up holding onto grudges. I also wanted to take back power over my life. This is probably one of the only times in my life I’ll have no real responsibilities and don’t have obligations to any person. I’m entirely in control of my life, which at first was utterly terrifying, but now is profoundly freeing. I’m not destined to repeat the past; I’m not tied to anyone else’s way of life. I can do whatever I want and I have control. Now clearly, I can’t control fate but you all know that amor fati has been my day 1 principle, so I consider fate a really good friend. You know the one who always tells you how it is, even when it’s not what you want to hear? Yeah, fate is that friend… Because originally, I had planned to spend my time post-graduation travelling in Indonesia, maybe writing a little, but mostly just exploring. Instead, fate granted me this incredible opportunity to face my past and truly turn over a new leaf, just in time for my first foray with the real world. I am so freaking grateful for this time in lockdown; words cannot explain the profound impact this time has had and will continue to have on my life.

Why, you might ask? (I love this question if you can’t tell.) Because I now have this deep sense of peace at my core. This feeling of being profoundly at ease. Now this might seem like nothing, but it is everything. I think the craziest part of this feeling, the craziest part of this whole entire process of forgiveness, is that I feel more confident and secure in myself now as a result. You see when we aren’t forgiving, we are abstracting away some parts of our lives and blaming other people for them. Reasons aside, this lack of absolute control (over my reactions) weakened my confidence in myself, and I didn’t even realize it. That’s not to say that I’m not a confident person, because at times I’m most definitely overconfident. When I say I have more confidence now, I mean a deeper sense of confidence, a sense of trust. Before I don’t think I ever trusted myself completely. In stressful times, I would turn to my friends to reassure me, and while there’s nothing wrong with doing so, there’s something so incredibly powerful about having the ability to reassure yourself. To look at yourself and say “everything is going to be ok” and to feel that deeply, even when you’re your worst… Insane, truly insane.

Because as much as I love all of my friends, I’m stuck with me every day, for the rest of my life. And as a result, the relationship that I have with myself is going to affect every day, for the rest of my life. So while it may not seem like a lot, improving your relationship with yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do. Even just 1%. If everything was just 1% better for the rest of your life, that’s a heck of a lot better. But what if you can do better? What if you fall in love with the idea of being stuck with yourself every day, for the rest of your life? What if you fall in love with all of your weaknesses and all of your hardships, the way you would for anyone else that you love? What if you fall in love with yourself, all of you, now and forever? What happens then?

I can’t tell you the answer, but let’s go find out.