Together, We Can Find Peace

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This morning, I stumbled upon an old email that I had written to my father. It brought back a flood of memories and inspired me to write this blog today.

In 2012, my life was heading in a downward spiral. Not only did I NOT feel any love or motivation for life, I also lacked love and motivation for myself.

To make a long story very brief, this diary was started during a critical time.

I had changed the trajectory of my life and decided to teach ESL abroad. This brought some much needed excitement to my very mundane, uninspired life.

Now, that I have given some context- Today, I stumbled upon an old email that I had written to my father. It spoke of my current situation at that time:

“The mortgage won’t be getting paid.

Foreclosure is the only option I have.

I chose to move to Indonesia because I wanted to commit suicide.

I chose to move and save my life…

So what if I lose my home and good credit standing.”

I had been suffering for so long. I was ignorant about so many things. I didn’t realize that we all have a purpose on Earth. We’re all here to do something bigger than ourselves.

What I am trying to say is, and I am talking to you – Person that feels worthless, person that feels hopeless, person that feels like you don’t deserve to live, person that feels like there is no reason to live and you’re just another face in the crowd, person who is bored out of his/her mind, person that’s wondering why you’re here… please let me tell you:

You are an individual. Unique. There is only one you.

Don’t give up hope. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

If you find yourself dreading waking up in the morning. If you find yourself actively participating in reckless behaviors in hopes that you don’t live to see another day-

Remember, you’re not alone. Life is hard. How do we move forward? We put one foot in front of the other. One…Two…

You have a life purpose. You may not realize it now but you do. What’s your hobby? What do you love to do? If you could, what would you do for the rest of your life and not mind doing it for free?

For example, I love to write and draw! However, instead of just writing my own thoughts down and drawing simple, pretty pictures, I expanded my love for writing and drawing to writing/illustrating Positive Character Books for children. Therefore, not only am I doing what I love, I am HELPING someone else in the process.

That’s the key. Help yourself, while in turn helping others.

Helping is the ultimate display of love. When we help others, we are showing them love!

If you’re feeling down and out, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Going All In

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Life is strange. With its highs and lows. The laughs and and the cries.

I think an adequate comparison to the life I want to describe would be to compare a seed to the human.

The seed of a rose, nestled deep inside the Earth; there’s so much potential. Will it grow and blossom into a beautiful rose, realizing its full potential – or not? All of the sun’s glory radiates upon the soil -penetrating it and nourishing her. And with faith and courage, the seed sprouts and pushes its way out of the soil, embracing and drinking in the light of the sun. Its warmth. Feeling the wind for the first time. Everything is louder above ground, brighter, busier. The little seedling continues to grow, continues to form, then finally blossoming into an intriguing beautiful, captivating rose.

I believe the human animal is similar. We start off as a seed, so much potential. Just making it out of the womb is a feat in itself. Born into the world -Here we go!

There’s a light that shines on each of us. As we are all individuals -regardless of what anyone else says, there is no one to replace us – we’re one of a kind.

As we grow up, and become adults, we have a choice – we can follow the light that radiates inside of us, or we can turn away from it in fear.

I need to talk about the shame and fear that I feel.

In the USA, where I am from, I feel like I have been reduced as a human. I feel like, I haven’t been allowed to be myself.

Taught to feel shame about so many things -by so many different influences:

-commercials, ads, posters, loved ones, friends, enemies, myself-

All of these influences have made me feel like I don’t deserve to be better, don’t deserve to be myself, don’t deserve to be confident. Taught that I’m not good enough just the way I am.

I’m tired of cowering and being afraid of what others think about me. Molding myself into the social norms.

I was never accepted when I sold myself out for social norms, so I’ve decided to try something new.

I once heard a quote from Lisa Nichols that went something like this:

By being your true self – you are helping to give someone else the air that they need to breathe.

I’m ready to go all in. Come join me.

 

~Leslie

Update About My New Adventures

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It’s amazing how things change…

It feels like just a few months ago I was in Busan, South Korea teaching ESL, eating gimbap and hiking in the mountains. In actuality, It’s been almost 2 years since I moved from South Korea to California to be with my then fiance’ and now husband.

Life is a grand adventure. Sometimes the adventure is fun, scary, crazy, hectic, chaotic, boring, surprising and everything else in between. However, that’s precisely what an adventure is; something unpredictable.

I left Virginia in 2013 to embark on a new chapter of my life: teaching ESL in Indonesia. With that journey, my entire world was flipped upside down and forced me to do a lot of self-reflection. I spent a lot of time alone. It was a transformational time in my life.

In Indonesia, I hit my rock bottom and learned how to dust myself off and pick myself back up.

In Indonesia, I also learned how to meditate, teach young children, self-reflect, be humble, quit drinking, stopped partying, tried out vegetarianism, experimented with veganism, and became celibate.

Indonesia was a whirlwind of an experience. I’d love to share the whole story with you one day.

***Before I posted another pretty picture of a flower or mountain range, I felt it was best to let you know about this new adventure in my life. The journey of a new family.

I got married to the man I love, changed my last name, and now, we’re expecting our first child. Her name’s Rose.

I’m scared, elated, overwhelmed, and everything else…

I’ve decided to embark on the adventure that motherhood brings. With all of its joys, struggles, heartaches, and laughs, here I go… into a place I’ve never been before.

And Rose, She will be loved. Her mother and father are excited for her arrival. There’s so much to teach her. There’s so much for her to teach us.

In this life, if we’re lucky, we wake up to another day, and within the new, we have the opportunity to be better than we were the previous day. This is my understanding of it. We fall, we get back up. Our only choice is to keep moving forward. The saying goes, fall down 8 times pick yourself up 9. Keep moving forward. I believe that quitting isn’t an option…life can be excruciating for us all at times… but it can also be beyond amazing if you allow it.

So, I’m ready for the beyond amazing adventure…and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the experiences with you along the way.

Thanks for reading.

Love, Leslie

 

 

 

 

“You can do what you want and no one should be able to break you down into nothingness.” ~Dad

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Dear Dad,

I have been thinking about you and wanted to write you this letter.

On more than one occasion, I called you on the phone to let you know about an injustice that had been done to me.  I called you with the intention to weep, feel sorry for myself and have someone console me. But you didn’t let me feel sorry for myself, you gave me words of encouragement and reminded me to hold my head up high!

You stopped me in my tracks and in your own way said, don’t let them do that to you!

You gave me words that lifted me up.

When the world has knocked me down to my knees, you seem to always know what to say to help me pick myself back up.

You allow me to tell you about my dreams and you listen with a wise ear.

You’ve helped me to interpret my dreams.

After telling you about my most recent dream, you said that it was about my Independence and I agree.

You don’t know this, but when you were talking, I was taking notes.

You offered me your wisdom and I gladly accepted. I would like to quote some of the things you said:

~ Don’t allow yourself to be swallowed up by those in power.

~ There is a stigma of successful failure.

~ Faith in belief in something with a purpose.

~ When we tell each other the truth, we are actually saying, ‘I want the best for you.’

~Make sure you look at what you’re doing and ask the question, ‘Is this who I am?’

~ Does this bring out the Purity in you?

~Be resilient, persistent. So many of extraordinary character were challenged to the utmost.

~ You’re inviting and people will see that. Be a ray of sunshine.

~ You can do what you want and no one should be able to break it down into nothingness!

Dad, do you know how you lift me up and breathe life back into me when I’m suffering? Do you know how much I revere you, appreciate you, am grateful for you, love to hear your voice, love to see you, love you?

What I’m trying to say is, I am grateful for you. Thank you for being in my life and helping me. You shine a light for me on the path ahead. I need that light, it guides me and makes the road less traveled a little easier to traverse.

I love you.

Love, your Daddy’s Girl, Leslie