That’s it! A new beginning. I’m starting afresh. I’ve tried blogging intermittently for years and yet, never succeeded in persevering. You might wonder why I’m taking a new stab at it … I guess it’s a calling, an urge, a vital need! Actually, all these past experiences, all these failed blogs, videos, etc., have led me to this blog… Lessons learned the hard way brought me here today in 2022. Here I am!
It took me lots of time to start writing again. Friends summoned me to back to it, I myself would sometimes wonder why I was simply not capable anymore, and my unhappiness constantly reminded me of how side-tracked I was.
There are so many reasons that kept me from pursuing my dreams and yet I somehow kept fantasizing and hoping. I sometimes basked in the mirage of the life I dreamed of, but took no action in making it happen … I knew it, yet I didn’t feel ready to jump.
This downtime allowed me to realize that two main factors were keeping me from my calling! I’m telling you. Here are two big ones and I’m humbly sharing them with you: self-love and persistent focus on the outcome more than on the content.
Let me explain. In my previous attempts to create my own blogs, videos, etc., I always focused on the end result. The image of the outcome often took on many forms. First and foremost was revenue. Indeed, I dreamed of making money from my blogs and videos. I followed many bloggers or vloggers and secretly envied their lavish lifestyle. I’d try to make myself believe that I only wanted to write and make money to pay my bills, but I was dreaming of the house in LA, the cars, the lifestyle, etc.
My craving for huge revenues came in a more subtle form: the need for recognition! Yes, I needed approval for my content, my ideas, my purchases, etc. I’d do anything for acknowledgement. My vision was not to create out of a free-spirited mind but from a strong desire for approval.
From whence this thirst for approval? From my deep-set feeling that approval was a form of love! In fact, when you don’t truly love yourself and measure self-love through other people’s eyes, you are set for failure. I needed so badly to be loved, I was craving it more than I wanted to admit it! The reality was I had no self-esteem and no self-love. One criticism, one bad comment, was enough to throw me into deep doubt. Doubt itself would gnaw at me and would trigger anxiety and fear. Why? Because I feared the abandonment, the judgment, and the loss of other people’s love. Those were detrimental to me since I didn’t have that self-love to begin with.
These two big factors conditioned everything I did or wrote. I wasn’t writing to create; I was writing to seek approval. I wasn’t writing what I truly felt the need to share, but what I thought might attract and please. I was prostituting my ideas to seek income and love. For those same reasons, everything became a justification not to write: weight gain, home decor, etc.
After a huge crisis in my life and convictions, I decided to wipe the slate clean in 2017. I put everything into question! My life choices, my vocation, my identity, etc. So in 2019 I officially stepped away from the Catholic priesthood and tried to reshape my life. To be honest, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. I went from being praised as a young priest, to being judged and cast aside in other ventures. I went from having security for my future to being left with no security at all.
I soon realized that my own insecurities were imprisoning me. I often blamed situations, people, contexts for my bouts of discouragement. Anyone or anything became a good reason for me not to focus on what I truly wanted: to write! In fact, I was secretly worshipping the walls and bars of my own prison cell. I wanted out and sought freedom, but always in compliance with other people’s expectations. I feared rejection as if it were the goddess of evil, and stubbornly resisted cultivating the tools that would allow me to escape this situation.
I guess I needed to hit rock bottom to change my mindset! I needed to sacrifice everything I had become in order to please others; only now do I realize that others will never fill the void created by my lack of self-love. I needed to put my dreams aside to realize that without them, I’m an empty shell with no direction.
So, as I confessed at the beginning of my text, here I am. Here I am with a few lessons up my sleeve. At this point, I have no search for approval! Here I am with a strong desire to share my journey as simple as it is to enable others to believe in themselves and find love where it truly resides … in their own heart.
Yes, in their own heart, because I strongly believe that it is where it all lies buried! It’s a lifetime journey, a true pilgrimage to shift from seeking outside, to seeking inside … but also from seeking inside the mind to finding inside the heart.
There is a Hindu legend that speaks highly of this pilgrimage. It states that man once abused his divinity. As a punishment, the gods sought to hide his divinity from him where it could not be found. They thought of hiding it deep in the earth, but they knew that humans would dig into the earth and find it. They thought of sinking it in the deepest ocean but knew humans would learn to dive into the ocean and find it. They thought of hiding it at the top of the highest mountain but knew humans would eventually climb every mountain and find it. So finally, the gods decided to hide it deep in the human heart, because they knew that humans would look everywhere except inside their hearts.
Here starts this journey that I will share with you … please be my guest!