Healer | Teacher | Friend

It is necessary to come back to the present moment in order to touch life in a deep way.

—Thich Nhat Hanh (via thecalminside)

Discourse On Love by Sister Te Nghiem

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce.

You look for reasons it is not doing well.

It may need [organic] fertilizer, or more water, or less sun.

You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person.

But if we know how to take care of them, they will
grow well, like the lettuce. 
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.

That is my experience.
No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding.
If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can 
love, and the situation will change.

—Thich Nhat Hanh (via smallandtinyhomeideas)

Watering Seeds of Joy

Currently my life is in complete transition and normally this would cause endless amounts of anxiety to manifest in me but this time around it’s different. My current practice is to stay with what is currently unfolding before my very eyes. What is currently unfolding is I’ve just came off a month retreat at a Buddhist monastery to pack up my entire life and move away from New York City back to my home state of Texas. The amount of awareness I have cultivated over the last month to prepare me for this moment is no doubt already coming in handy. I moved away to the big city to follow my dreams and to allow space for deep wounds in my family to start to heal. The space has been a success and now I must journey back home to continue to heal these wounds. 

The fact of the matter is I usually have been very vague and/or completely cryptic when it comes to talking about what I’ve lived through already in my 28 short years alive on this earth. For the first time in my life I feel completely comfortable and open talking about my journey up until now. The facts are I am a survivor of years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse, extreme bullying, drug addiction, and several chronic illnesses (no doubt manifested due to childhood trauma). 

To those who are reading this and who may have been involved in said abuse this is my letter to you:

I love you. I forgive you. I want you to know that you can stop feeling bad about what you’ve done to me and others. I want you to know that you too can forgive your oppressors and forgive yourself. I want you to know that you are completely lovable and needed on this earth. I want you to know that you can take steps to heal these deep wounds that caused you to act in ways unimaginable to the human mind. I want you to know that when you make that choice to heal, the world supports you. I want you to know that I understand that your suffering is an inheritance from your ancestors and that it wasn’t your fault. I want you to know that what you did to me and others, has made me stronger, has made me who I am today, and has given me a chance to be of use in this world. 

You may have thought that your abuse brought me down, but it only built me up. It showed me how to become strong. It showed me how to take refuge in myself. It showed me how to love myself completely even though trauma and victimization. It showed me how to love you, because you did not know what you were doing. It showed me how to heal. It showed me that love is the strongest power in life, and can heal all wounds. It showed me how to forgive and reconcile for the sake of all future and past generations. Your abuse gave me purpose in this life. Your abuse gave me a reason to reach out a hand to others. Those others screaming for help. Those others who are me, just like you are me. We are the same. 

My dear enemy, I love you, my friend, my teacher. 

On retreat a very wise nun shared this quote with me:

"Purity does not mean having never been subjected to trauma or abuse. Purity is the process of purification. It is a moment to moment choice. When you choose to heal, in that moment you are pure."

So in this moment and every moment going forward I choose to heal. In this moment I am pure. I no longer choose to live in darkness or stigma about my life experiences. I no longer choose to harbor hurtful thoughts about myself or my abusers. I release all harm and violence that lives within me. I forgive myself. I reconcile with myself, I love myself. I am pure.

We all have seeds of violence and harm within us. But we can choose to water the seeds of joy and forgiveness. Which do you choose? 


Admont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery located on the Enns River in the town of Admont, Austria. It is the oldest remaining monastery in Styria and contains the largest monastic library in the world. The abbey is known for its Baroque architecture, art, and manuscripts. 

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