Our lives are often affected by not only the voices we hear around us and by the voices we hear within us. Over the last ten years I have made a conscious effort to improve the person that I am. But change has come slowly, first by breaking down the barriers of self-hatred; then by learning to love the flawed individual that I am. Still there are self-destructive behaviors that I have left to correct. But through study and desperation, I discovered the path of mindfulness, mostly through the teachings of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
While I do not embrace all Buddhist beliefs, I do embrace the thought that we should live in the here and now. That we should listen to our pain compassionately and that we should live a balanced and reflective life. Still throughout my existence the belief that I’ll never be good enough, still haunts me. So while some areas of my life benefit from the practice of mindfulness. Other areas of my life, most the physical side, are still slowly falling apart.
It is this part of my life that has brought me where I am today. Where I embrace my limitations and deal with them as they come. My recovery from congestive heart failure will never be 100 percent. But through understanding my self-worth and the gifts have been given, I can continue my journey to become my best self.
I often feel like I don’t adequately explain my experiences. My family and friends feel like I play down the things I’ve gone through. But truth be told I am very aware of my condition and my limitations. It’s just that I don’t let my limitations define me, at least in a sense I don’t let those things bind me. I may never run a marathon or sell a best-selling book. But I know who I am, and isn’t that the greatest gift you can ever give yourself?
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FD Thornton, Jr
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