Making a Choice out of Love, Not Fear.

pink and purple misty heart love

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been afraid to do what I truly wanted to do, and what I truly felt was best for myself. A large part of this fear was based around the need I felt to mitigate and avoid conflict. It was always easier to go along with what others wanted for me than to assert myself, until it would become more harmful to myself and my well-being to stay quiet, and I would be forced to finally speak up.

There have been times when I’ve been able to overcome this life-long behavioural pattern. Starting this blog was one of those points. I have always wanted this site to be a platform for expressing myself openly and honestly, with nothing hidden out of shame or fear. I wanted my writing to bring reassurance to others, through shared experience, that they are not alone in their struggles, and that there is always hope, always room to move forward, always room to build joy.

Sometimes things happen in life that lead us back to old behaviour patterns we’ve done our best to overcome. This is what happened to me in the last couple of months. One thing or another occurred, and I found myself falling back into that need to mitigate conflict at all costs. My choices were based on fear.

Unfortunately, this pattern has had spillover effects on my blog. The need to avoid conflict led to a decrease in the open honest discussion which this site was founded upon.

Out of this situation arose two things:

A heavy desire to take a prolonged break from this blog, in order to reassess and solidify what direction I wanted to take things in (along with giving my tired mind a much needed break from the considerable behind-the-scenes time commitment this blog requires).

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The overwhelming fear that if I took this break, there would be awful consequences. My blog is relatively new. My readership would abandon me. It would be like starting over from scratch. All of my hard work and long hours in the last five months would be for nothing.

So I continued on with my regular posting schedule while secretly being disappointed with the quality of my work, and the draining effect it was having (compounded by the continued original struggles with fear in the rest of my life) on my mental, emotional, and in turn physical, well-being.

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Then yesterday, this popped up in my twitter feed:

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and reminded me of this:

Fear Choice vs. Love Choice. Which will you choose? – by Alexandra Franzen

and I knew then what I needed to do.

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I need some time to step back from regular posting. Time to simplify. Reorganize. So that I can focus more on the work involved in becoming as healthy as possible. So that I can come back and forge ahead in a more clear and powerful direction.

I am choosing to make a choice out of love, not fear.

I am trusting that at least some of the people who have stuck with me through these last few months will continue to do so. That in fact, some of these people will not only stick by me through this hiatus, but will be excited to see what comes out on the other side of it.

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So here’s the plan:

The length of this hiatus is undetermined. I would like to leave it at approximately one month, but ultimately I am going to do what is best for me, and for my ability to produce a quality site which is in line with my passions and my beliefs. If this means taking a little longer, I’m going to take a little longer.

I will still be active on Twitter, and to a slightly lesser extent, my other social media sites. I’ll still be around. I will be sure to update you on my blog’s status, as well as any other projects I’ll be undertaking. You can still talk to me. And I’ll still see your work. I need to take a step back, but I also want to maintain the connections I’ve built and grown to cherish.

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So thank you, all of you, for your continued understanding and support.

May you always choose love for yourself so that you may follow what’s in your heart, and may there always be amazing people like Alexandra Franzen to remind us of the path we deserve to walk.

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With love, always and forever,

Rei Signature

The Diversity of Human Experience

green and blue texture map of the world art

This line of thinking, on the complexity of life, and of human experience, has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been occasionally sifting back through old journal entries and came across one from almost a year ago that mirrors what I’ve been thinking about now.

Here’s an excerpt for you:

Human experience is so vast, and so diverse, that we as individuals will only ever be able to experience, comprehend, and participate in the tiniest fraction of it. Look around you in awe, and accept that you may not understand things fully, and you may not know what’s best. 

It is impossible to ever fully understand another person’s life. You are not them. This is not an excuse to make assumptions, it’s a reason to acknowledge that they have their reasons for behaving the way they do. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to like it. But you do have the capacity to refrain from judging them, and to be compassionate above all. We may not be perfect, any of us, but we have the ability to care. 

It’s my guess that everyone has felt at some point that they were judged unfairly because the other person made assumptions and didn’t take into consideration that they didn’t know and understand everything about your situation. What it’s like to be you. What it’s really like to experience your life as you live it.

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I am not always perfect at “practicing what I preach.” But keeping this philosophy as a core belief is so very important to me. It reminds me that I need to listen, to try to understand before acting, and that it’s important to acknowledge other people and their agency in making their own decisions for their own lives.

Do you have any thoughts and experiences in regard to this way of viewing the world? Please share, I would love to hear them.

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With love always,

Rei Signature

Things I Love Thursday: Kinder Surprise & Kumquats

orange kumquats on blue background

February is proving to be a bit difficult on my immune system (as January was). I’m still sick at the moment, so I ask for a bit of patience with posts in the next few days. That being said, I’m still doing my best to enjoy the little things (and big things) in life.

Here were a few of my favourite things from the past week:

  • Kinder Surprise toys.
  • Scented candles.
  • The best cat toys are often the cheapest: hair elastics (clarification, I wouldn’t let my cat have them when she was a kitten because she’d eat things like that, but she’s allowed now that she’s older because I can trust her to only play with them).
  • Daria marathons.
  • Kumquats.
  • My laptop continuing to function despite the occasional problem and the fact that it’s starting to get a bit older (as far as laptops are considered). *knock on wood*
  • The realization that I’ve finally found an amazing therapist.
  • Checking out what books strangers are reading on the train.
  • Being up early enough to watch the sun rise.
  • The feeling of the city early in the morning (a mix of subdued feelings and determination).

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What made you smile this week?

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With Love,

Rei Signature