The Things I No Longer Do
And why I stopped.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fight emotions. I am not made of stone. If happiness wants to overflow, I allow it. If tears well up, I let them fall.
- Hold grudges. What good does an unforgiving spirit do, and whose soul has vengeance helped?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fight darkness with darkness. Evil will never truly cancel itself out, only evolve into a greater evil.
- Rest only when I’m tired. If I pause to catch a breath before I am worn-out, I may never be worn-out.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Give in to despair. I have faith, I have friends, I have family and even if all of these fail, God will not.