Grin and bear it

Over the past few weeks, I have taken several kinds of vaccine shots to protect myself from contracting a wide variety of exotic diseases that I could potentially be exposed to, during my trip to the Ivory Coast next month.
Nevertheless, no amount of vaccination can increase your immunity to heartache and emotional hurt. Which I have had plenty of for the past two days; during which I have been continuously tested on my capacity to create my own defence and prevention mechanism to overcome emotional diseases.
As you may recall, I had enrolled for an intensive kizomba class a while ago, having vowed to get out of my comfort zone and to learn something new by the time of my 30th birthday. Of course, I assumed dance would be a fun and interactive way to meet new people and to feel more independent and more self-confident. I was excited to start doing something alone, for myself, when I got an e-mail reading something along the lines of: “This course prioritises people with partners, since you have enrolled alone, we cannot accept your application.”
I must confess that I did not take that very well, having spent my whole last evening sobbing and thinking very poorly of my social status as a single woman at the age of 30, and my incapacity to have a partner – be it even for a few hours of a dance class a week.
To add insult to injury, I found myself having to understand that sometimes, even the people closest to our heart can say or do hurtful things. Whether they do it intentionally or not, knowingly or not, we end up in situations where we are faced with two choices: feel misheard, misunderstood or misrepresented or rather calling the bluff and confronting people with their actions and words, to see if it adds up or not.
Finally, I also received a blast from the past, a surprise call from someone whom I had asked to respect me enough as to not contact me, unless they had something significant to say or a positive and enriching contribution to make to my existence. I doubt that was the case, because the phone call ended abruptly after a quick exchange of pleasantries.
I realised that the Universe has an interesting way of teaching us lessons, of shaking the unrealistic expectations to the core, of crumbling all connections built on superficial and dishonest grounds. Furthermore, it sends us ugly, distorted, unpleasant mirrors, so that we can see the ugly within and be able to remove it, like a disease that you heal from with the right treatment.
And what better medication for our soul, than some good old self-loving? I have decided that the people who want me around, have to put in the effort and investment of building meaningful, honest, straightforward, heart-warming, mind-boggling and soul-lifting connections with me, because I care enough to do the same.

I have decided that I love myself enough to not allow people to play me for a fool, to take advantage of my clean and honest feelings and intentions and taint them with their fears or hesitations, to make me feel out of place with their lies, just because they want to preserve a fake impression of strength or integrity.
A Romanian proverb says, “Water flows, rocks remain”. The closest equivalent that comes to mind is “reason, season or lifetime people”. That is to say, the people and experiences that have a weight and meaning will always linger with us, whereas the ones that are superficial and even harmful to our karmic journey will get washed away by the stream of life. I understand that my decision to walk a path of mindfulness and love might result in having very few travel companions. Gladly, the Universe will be there to strain the positive from the negative and will always make sure that I get my fair share of providential fortune, even when I may fail to see that at first.
As of now, I am walking on sunshine. Alone. Confidently, for I know that my wonderful tribe is walking right beside me, my brave and strong ancestors right behind me, whereas my heart guides me like a blessed lighthouse, towards those decisions, circumstances, situations and people that will make my life a continuous journey through Heaven on Earth.
Today, a group of wonderful women shared a most unpleasant experience with me, of a man trying to belittle them and make them feel inappropriate for simply conversing and laughing at a table next to his, in the cafeteria. My natural reaction to this unjustified absurdity was to laugh, which was welcome as a very positive and empowering attitude, for that would have defied this man’s smallness and put him in his rightful place. It reminded me of the Boggart-Banishing Spell of Harry Potter, a charm that turns one’s fear into something humorous and ridiculous, taking away its ability to terrorise.
Therefore, my fellow friend, I urge you to take yourself, your disappointments and your challenges less seriously, to poke fun and take the bright side of all that is being thrown your way, because, in the end, keeping a positive attitude and a fierce, fearless demeanour when faced with difficulties is the biggest proof of strength and self-love.


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