Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"At all times your world is a projection of yourself. Expansion of self to universal awareness is enlightenment."

I was completely struck by this quote when I first saw it. This quote epitomizes how ultimately, each one of us chooses the world we live in. Sure, bad things happen to good people and we often come across difficult circumstances. It's our job to accept those uncontrollable situations, and to refuse to let them dictate how we view each moment and each day. Letting them dictate your life results in living in fear instead of love.

If you live your life in fear, you let your daily insecurities and daily obstacles define your life and who you are. Instead, we all need to work on living with love. This means that you work to live every moment being the most authentic self that you can be. This means living life fully vulnerable and open, determined to make the most out of every situation. Of course, there will be some days where this is nearly impossible and it'll be a struggle to even get out of bed. All that matters is that you face every day trying your best. By being your best, most authentic self, you are doing everything that you can in each moment. If you do this, you can confidently accept the fact that YOU are enough. Everything that's meant to be WILL fall into place the way it needs to because you're living your life guided by love and gratitude for every moment.

Originally, I had planned to study abroad this semester in Australia. I was so excited to get out of the South Bend winter and explore a part of the world that I had only ever dreamed about. However, last semester, I decided that it would be best to withdraw and stay close to home so that I could spend time with my family while my dad underwent treatment for his cancer. I realized that one day, I may regret going abroad and being away from my family during this time, but that I would never regret the precious times spent with my dad if I stayed at Notre Dame. 

Although the decision basically made itself, it was still a huge disappointment. With this horrible, freezing weather and the additional hardship of two of my best friends abroad, this semester could be the worst, most depressing one yet. However, I refuse to let these situations dictate how I live my life. I'm determined find the little things each day to help me remain happy. Instead of focusing on all the adventures I could be having, I remember that I'm still here with some of the greatest friends, and that I have the absolute best time with them. Also, I challenge myself to meditate every morning and work out every day to stay centered and healthy. 

Inevitably, there have been days where I feel like giving up and where I wish my life could be different. I accept these feelings when they come, knowing that they will pass and that I deserve to let myself feel them. The goal is not to be happy 100% of the time, but to simply accept each moment when it comes and try my best to remain my greatest self no matter what comes my way.