Tiger animal medicine can symbolize the ability to trust yourself.
It can also represent confidence, strength, and willpower.
Trust and confidence go hand in hand to me.
Trusting yourself is crucial when painting (and living).
It used to take me days or many hours to finish paintings – making slow & cautious movements, being sometimes paralyzed in fear of messing up. It feels good to recognize where I have finally begun to let this go.
I trust my intuition & ability more now.
I also trust that ‘mess ups’ add more depth to the painting & more learning
– just as in life, these add more experience, depth, & wisdom to a person.
That’s not to say that building this trust in myself did not take time.
I am not perfect or the prime example of purity.
Many times, I have acted on selfish, spontenous desires that have caused harm to others and to myself.
After these moments, others have lost trust in me and I have lost trust in myself.
I am not proud of these actions and feel awful for the hurt and pain I caused others in those times.
However, what I wish for myself and for all others in this life is
And it is said that the clearest path to this is
Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves.
Some (and myself included) are afraid that forgiveness is saying that it is ‘okay’ that the person or persons did such actions that caused pain.
I am not saying that.
It is definitely NOT okay to do outright selfish actions that cause harm to others.
No matter what rationalizations or excuses the person may have to defend themselves with.
Part of radical forgiveness is first taking radical responsibility.
Of course, there is also the spiritual belief that one cannot be the cause of another’s pain, because it is that person’s belief that is causing them to feel hurt.
But when I person physically abuses another, how can this belief really stand up?
When one has a black eye or broken bone from the actions of another, can the abused person just really believe that the other did not cause such pain?
If one was sexually abused by a person and then that caused a myriad of heartache, self-hatred, fear, insecurity, & physical illness to that person for the majority of their life – how can a person just change their belief that the person did not cause all of this?
I understand that in these moments and other situations, it may feel hard or next to impossible to forgive another person.
But does it really do more good to condemn that person to a lifetime of being an untrustworthy, evil person?
In the past, I thought yes. Now, I do not believe so.
Of course, I hope those that have acted in reckless, selfish ways and caused harm to others will feel shame & guilt in their hearts. But not forever. Only long enough so that they will never do those hurtful things again & truly commit to a path of change & virtuous living.
I believe everyone has a chance to truly change themselves & choose a new path in life.
As Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
It is said in A Course in Miracles that there is no evil, only insanity.
Once a person can release the thoughts & beliefs that would allow them to commit such actions against another & start feeling genuine love for others & themselves – that is when change is possible.
Once they fully realize that anything they do to others they are doing to themselves, as we are all so intricately connected – that is when they will choose new actions.
So the real question is…
When is the ‘right’ time to practice forgiveness & to open yourself to rebuilding trust with a person that has broken your trust?
That, I do not have an answer for. Perhaps there is no right answer. It is all dependent on the persons and actions involved. I guess that is something that only you can feel within your own heart.
Trust can take years to build and be lost in a moment.
Yet, trust can only be rebuilt by living.
By giving the person an opportunity to do things that give you trust in them.
It doesn’t have to be big leaps of faith. It can just be baby steps at first.
When opening up to trusting another again, it takes courage.
To make yourself vulnerable again without certainty of what will happen is scary.
As Brene Brown says, ”Vulnerability is strength.”
Yet, it is also wise to take precautions and set whatever boundaries for you to feel safe as you make the baby steps to opening up.
And the other person should be understanding and not make you feel bad for having these.
If you find that you are paralyzed in fear of not trusting yourself due to your past mistakes, I hope you can take baby steps to change this within yourself.
Mucky water can only be cleaned by purifying it.
And mucky water does not clean itself by staying stagnant in the same thoughts, beliefs, & projections from yourself & others.
It is cleaned by being allowed to FLOW.
When it is given the freedom to move & choose virtue over vice.
Allowing a new flow pattern or path to be rebuilt within the self.
Give yourself the opportunity to move through the world always thinking of how your little and big decisions are affecting the whole. Do as little as possible to be reckless.
Mistakes can be forgiven, but it is a lot wiser to avoid making them if possible.
But don’t allow the fear of making the wrong misstep keep you stagnant, paralyzed, or in a cage of your own making.
The past is to be learned from.
It is not there to allow the world to identify who you are as a person.
You have the ability to choose who you are with your present thoughts, speech, & actions.
Which, in turn, shapes your future.
I am no expert. The only thing I know is I know nothing.
Maybe I shouldn’t be the one making suggestions.
I am simply learning more every day through my own human life experience.
Trust, confidence, virtuous action, & forgiveness are all just things that I am actively working towards each day in myself.
I trust that if I think, speak, & act with pure intentions & in accordance with the person I want to be – the more my present & future will look different than my past.
This is just what has been going on in my brain today.
And even if no one reads it, it makes me feel better to get it out of my brain and into the world.
My intention and motive in writing this is to ground down my thoughts and share them – because who knows, maybe this will be helpful to someone out there.
Thank you for witnessing me. 🙏🏼