What is a real "awakening"? As I have been on this quest to "find myself" the past few months -- to become my best version of myself through mediation, education and separation -- I realize that I'm not the only one looking for fulfillment. I have become more open about my choices, about sharing the knowledge I have learned and giving advice to those I love. I have stopped choosing to rush through life, letting myself take time to reflect, surrounding myself with those who bring me up, and resisting the temptation to get in my own way. And yet I don't think that I'm 100 percent just yet.
Since I started writing this blog series, a lot of people have told me they have similar issues. Forgiving yourself and others, walking away from people who are no longer aligned with your values and priorities, and sorting through information and excess to figure out what makes the most sense are all problems that my friends are dealing with, too. I think that we're all more similar than we think, and at the end of the day, the main thing that all humans share is the need and the hunger for love and for passion. This first comes from loving yourself, and once you know the love you deserve, next comes the understanding of the love you feel for the people and the things in your life that drive you.
As someone who says "I love you" to a lot of people and who is driven by passion, I have started to think of all the times love and passion have led me the wrong way. I have let myself be duped into taking wrong paths by wrong people because I have convinced myself that my "passion" for these things or people is enough to make it work. There was a time when I was scared to let myself be vulnerable (trying to keep myself protected from being hurt again), and now I realize that's not living -- that's fear. At the end of the day, hate is not the opposite of love. Hate is love gone wrong, but it is not the opposite. Fear is the opposite of love. Fear of the unknown, fear of paths not taken, fear of letting go and of starting anew.
I started realizing that vulnerability is powerful and crucial, but so is guarding your heart. This is a necessary balance. When you are ready for love, it is not about a person or a place or time; it is about you accepting that you are ready and putting it out into the world. Not being afraid to demand what you deserve, to go after what's yours -- love and passion should not be driving you, but they should be the fuel that is allowing you to drive. Vulnerability -- to the right people at the right time, to those who deserve your trust and openness -- helps you get to a place of passion.
I think a lot of people settle. They settle for relationships that don't quite fit but are easy, for jobs that are seemingly suitable but make them miserable, for friends who are just enough to have fun with. I will not settle. I will not settle for a life, person or position that is less than ordinary, that isn't filled with love, passion and trust. This is probably the most vulnerable I have been in my writing, and as I head off to India for the week with no phone, no computer, completely disconnected for the next eight days, I hope to become more connected to myself. As we all are, I'm on a journey for love -- and I now know that this is just the beginning.
For more by Amanda Slavin, click here.
For more on becoming fearless, click here.