The Things I No Longer Do

And why I stopped.

  1. Talk to my God like He’s remote, unloving or ominous. He is not the god of dimly-lit shrines, forbidding intermediaries or blood oaths taken at midnight. He is closer than my skin, more in love with me than I can be with myself and more open than the sky.
  2. Compare myself with other people. Each person has their own lane, they decide their own pace and set their own goals. I will not reduce life to a miserable contest.
  3. Fight emotions. I am not made of stone. If happiness wants to overflow, I allow it. If tears well up, I let them fall.
  4. Hold grudges. What good does an unforgiving spirit do, and whose soul has vengeance helped?
  5. Complain without trying to define a course of corrective action. Only a helpless child is allowed to whine and do nothing. Everyone else must follow up with an attempt to rectify their situation.
  6. Feel ashamed of my flaws or apologise for shortcomings I cannot do anything about. You will accept that I am human and a work-in-progress or you will walk away.
  7. Measure other people with my yardstick. I have no right to hold anyone to my lofty standards of ‘perfection’, standards I myself often fall short of.
  8. Beat myself up about the past. I am not composed of (or described by) yesterday’s mistakes. Instead, I thrive on today’s small victories and the hope for a glorious future.
  9. Fight darkness with darkness. Evil will never truly cancel itself out, only evolve into a greater evil.
  10. Rest only when I’m tired. If I pause to catch a breath before I am worn-out, I may never be worn-out.
  11. Live in the future so much that I do nothing in the present. The vision of tomorrow can only be realised if I work it out today.
  12. Nurse the fear of failing or allow it paralyse me. Failure will always be a possibility, but so will success. This is the nature of life. I do not know what the outcome of my efforts will be, but by doing nothing I guarantee neither.
  13. Hold back on kindness. What was I made for, if not to carry love like a torch in the dark and ignite every heart I touch?
  14. Hide from living and say no to everything that may take me out of my comfort zone. In ten years, I don’t want to wish I had gone out more, participated more or reached out more often.
  15. Give in to despair. I have faith, I have friends, I have family and even if all of these fail, God will not.