what is a soul mate?

October 12, 2010 | filed under consider this, rewritable words | 3 Comments 

“people think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants.
but a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back,
the person who brings you to your own attention so that you can change your life.
a true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet,
because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.
but to live with a soul mate forever? nah. too painful.
soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”

– richard from texas, eat pray love

I wonder if this is a good start.

Challenge: Find the good in where you are

April 5, 2009 | filed under challenge, thoughts | 4 Comments 


Right now, I live in San Antonio. Been here for about seven months and can’t say that it’s been the most exciting time of my life. I can say that it’s been a very therapeutic time for me. Not too long ago, I realized that everywhere I’ve lived has served a different purpose for me, acted as a sort of theme, if you will. I was raised in St. Louis, which served as the framework for my understanding of the world. In Chicago, I really grew into my own. Became more of that which I already was. I moved to New York and really began to understand my work ethic. If I care, I’m all in. If I don’t, I’m pretty much out. The second time I was in Chicago was the most broke and probably depressing time of my life. I realized that I needed to make some changes. When I moved to California, I began to make some of those changes. Insights about my family structure of my childhood, or the lack thereof, became clear to me. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Philadelphia and the overarching theme of that period was love. L-O-V-E. As is the case with many relationships, my beau at the time served as a mirror for me, allowing me to see myself as I was and decide which changes I wanted to make. My time in Texas has been very introspective. Not a lot of activity, but necessarily so. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to grow the way I have in this time if I were in a city that really had my attention. So, yes, I’ve been ‘stranded’ on the West side of San Antonio, but I’m better because of my relatively dull evenings and weekends indoors.

Operating with the understanding of why I’m in Texas, in terms of the larger theme of healing, has been incredibly helpful. I no longer hate being here or think I made a mistake in moving here. Very often, we condemn parts of our lives because we don’t understand their purposes.  Everything can be used.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Meaning is never inherent; it’s always created.  Find the value in the experiences you’ve had and the experiences you’re having right now.  If you haven’t done this already, it will change the way you understand your world.

Find the good.

Sweat Equity

March 19, 2009 | filed under consider this, moment of truth, pay attention | 5 Comments 

mistakes are an important part of life.

Last week, my colleague and I took a handful of students down to San Juan, Texas to work with Proyecto Azteca, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income families living in rural colonia communities along the Texas/Mexico border get adequate housing. Similar to Habitat For Humanity‘s model, the families have to help in the construction of their homes. It’s called sweat equity. The idea is that if the families want the houses, they will put in some work in order to have them and that they’ll take more pride in the house once it’s constructed because they helped build it. This pride will translate into them taking care of the house and paying off the low-interest loan (in some cases, no-interest loan).

At the same time last week, I was mulling over my life and some of the mistakes I’ve made. Now, really, calling them mistakes is just one way to look at them. I could call them lessons because I’ve learned a great deal from my mistakes but I found myself wishing that I didn’t have to learn certain things the hard way.

After a few minutes of my pity party, something occurred to me. You have to put your own sweat equity into your life. Some lessons will have to be learned the hard way so you really get it. It’s your job to grow, expand, progress…shape yourself into the person you want to be. It’s definitely not easy, but it is certainly worth it. So-called mistakes help us to clarify who we’re being, what we’re doing and how we want to be in the future. Mistakes are tools. We should use them, not lament over them.

Choose to see whatever you’ve been regretting as a guidepost to who you’d like to become and change accordingly.