Come As You Are

Come my friends,

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world,

For my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset.

And though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven,

That which we are, we are! One equal temper of heroic hearts.

Made weak by time and fate, but strong, in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson –

Choose Yourself

Really, it is about focus.

It is about what our mind focuses on, be it a thought, a picture, a situation, a person…

What is your mind focusing on, now? The day job that you hate? The cute guy that just broke your heart?

Really, really, just for a moment, let’s realize and acknowledge what is our point of focus, now. And, from there, ask ourselves : HOW DOES FOCUSING ON THIS PARTICULAR THING MAKE ME FEEL?

Do I feel motivated and energized? Do I feel inspired and confident? Do I feel worry and lost? Do I feel angry and abandoned?

Really, think about this : we have the choice, the freedom to put our attention, our focus, where it will best serve us, in each and every moment. Let’s not let ourselves drift away into the fog of our daily life, preys of suggestions and conditioning coming from our environment. Let’s put an end to the autopilot version of ourselves. Let’s enjoy and be grateful for the gift, the honor, of being in charge of steering the boat of our life.

Let’s choose who we are. Now.

Open Letter to Sven

My Dear Sven,

Although I am writing you this letter, I will keep it for myself since you’ve forbidden me to send you “heartfelt messages”.

Really, to love you or, better, finding beauty in loving you still, means for me to lay down my life for you. It means letting go of all egoic sense of myself, it means forgetting about all painful memories, it means to die as the person I once thought I was.

It means also to be born again. “To be born again of the Spirit”, as the Master would say; a Spirit strong, joyful, beautiful and flawless.

That is the true blessing. That is the meaning of the words of Christ Jesus when he says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

This is the meaning of his answer to Peter asking, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus says to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

He meant, “Forgive as long as there is something to forgive”. For there will come a time when there is nothing left to forgive, when all that is behold is God (Good), perfection.

I wanted to thank you because, perhaps, unknowingly, you’ve taught me selfless love (or forgiveness). This has brought peace and joy to my heart and I feel grateful for that. I feel really grateful to live and to grow.

Some may think that to forgive means to become a doormat, accepting the intolerable while remaining the witness of someone’s seeming wrongs and flaws. Some believe that to forgive is to be weak.

Truly. It is not so.

To forgive is not to remain passive. To forgive implies a giving; to “give-for” what seems to be, something else.

It is to give for hate, love.
It is to give for indifference, care.
It is to give for lack, abundance.
It is to give for sadness, joy.
It is to give for doubt, certainty.

Indeed, for-giveness is the most powerful “weapon” in the world. The person that can forgive “seventy times seven” has no fear. That person lives in a complete state of acceptance. Herein lies true power.

I really believe that the teachings of Christ Jesus are showing us the way to peace and harmony. We need not be afraid of what others may think of us. Just hearing the words “God”, “Bible” and “Jesus” makes people run away, for some reason.  They would not run away, I am sure, if they knew that in those teachings lies the answer to all of their apparent problems and challenges.

One cannot live a life of joy and fulfillment without knowing the meaning of for-giveness because, at some point in our lives, we will all need to for-give someone and, above all, we will all need to find someone to for-give us.

With love,

Christina

Be Still My Heart

Be still my heart
© Christina You

Waiting – by John Burroughs

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

Stars, Boats and a Childlike Heart

Kids Block Party
Flood Party © Christina You

Last night, I stuck a pack of glowing stars on my bedroom ceiling. And since it’s a pretty high ceiling, I had to jump on the bed while doing it, handling each star one by one. I tried to draw few constellations here and there but didn’t do justice to our Big Dipper, to which I apologized. Overall, the whole exercise felt great. I caught myself smiling as each little piece was finding its place in the sky. With the lights off, as I returned to bed, I couldn’t stop starring at my ‘shining friends’. I fell asleep giggling, knowing that the sparkles will not fade until the sun rises the next morning. Those tiny things that can revive a childlike heart…

It reminded me of the first time I encountered the sea. By that I mean the very first time I went on a boat and sailed. It was in Brittany with my 5th grade classmates. The instructors had put us by group of three, and we had to navigate in a catamaran in order to win ‘the race’. Each kid had to wear a tough, bright orange life-jacket over a tight black wetsuit, all covered with sea salt. I remember feeling cold, ugly and itchy, wondering how I would make it to the end of the day without being able to scratch or pee when I felt like so. Seen from above, the scene must have been epic: dozens of little red dots dancing back and forth over big white squares dancing back and forth over the sea.

Launching the boat was the easiest part. Once on the water, my task was to steer the ship. From my seat I would listen to the confusion coming from every corners, each kid yelling his strategy to the other. There was something exhilarating about not knowing how we would reach the end of the line. Luckily, after innumerable attempts, my team and I eventually figured out how the machine could, given a good wind, march at a reasonable pace. I would never forget the way my fingers on the helm seemed to put our engine into motion. Stirring the winds on my vehicle, I was the Christopher Columbus of a brand-new world. The sense of freedom and dominion that sprung in my chest, that day, is still indescribable. All that I knew, by that time, was that I would sail until the day I die.

Indeed, the experience felt delightful, even after the mast of the sail hit my forehead and knocked me down for the rest of the contest. And though my team lost the race, I had won a place among the mightiest pirates of the ages. It was then easy to forgive myself for this unfortunate error of navigation for I had seen the blue covering the horizon, as far as my eyes could behold. I had given myself to the sea, to the point of unconsciousness, and the sea had given a part of itself to me.

I felt both content and dizzy when we reached the ground. The school nurse, who welcomed us, wanted to make sure I was okay. I told her I was sad it was over and wished we could go back immediately. She looked at me, puzzled, and rubbed some balm on my swollen forehead. I was sent to bed after that. That night, I dreamt that I was the captain of a vessel made of wood and of sails so tall they could reach the stars.

These stars are now covering my bedroom ceiling and remind me of the child I once was, of the dreams I once dreamt and will never forget.

One day, I promise, I’ll be me.