So, today, I will do something I don’t like doing; I will preach. I usually try to refrain from preaching, as I don’t find myself to be that arrogant. I also refrain from telling people what to do, because I don’t like it when people tell me what to do. Yet, today, I will preach. I am doing so with a solid deal of pride, and I am doing in good conscience. Once again, whatever I preach here today is open for interpretation, therefore there will be many interpretations and that’s just fine. That’s how the world is and that’s how the world works. I’ll jump right in.

There are 4 things that matter the most in my not-so humble opinion: health, family, relationships, and peace in one’s heart.

  1. Health. I literally do not have anything to say about this matter. It is so self-explanatory that even grazing the subject, is a pure insult to our collective intelligence. Yet, I feel compelled to say a few words about this subject. When your health fails you, I guarantee you, the rest of your being, meaning the mental, the psychological and the emotional sides will follow. Nothing is possible without a good and if possible, a solid health. If your health holds up, you will have made the first step towards being well mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. They say a broken spirit is the worst thing that could happen to someone, and there is a whole lot of merit to that saying, I swear. But having a frail health, going in and out of hospitals, having a debilitating disease, one that leaves you paralyzed, crippled or in a vegetative state, well, I don’t care how strong your spirit is, it will fall apart. Take care of your body. It isn’t that complicated. I am preaching even if I don’t follow my health sermon that much. Exercise more often, eat more vegetables and more fruits, consume less sugar and salt, drink more water and seriously that’s about it. You don’t need to run a marathon or to be a CrossFit champion to be healthy. Walking an hour per day is extremely efficient. Being healthy is an active process. So be active, or don’t, that’s up to you! It’s your fucking health and your fucking life you know…
  2. Family. The very definition of who I am is based on my family. Anthropologically speaking, the family is the pillar of society. Family shapes who we are, for better or worse. I personally am nothing without my family. I don’t know what I would do without them. I do not know who I would be today if I didn’t grow up surrounded by my family. My parents, my brothers, my grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins. They are everything to me. I don’t always get along with everybody, but I would do anything for them. Nothing matters more to me than preserving the family bond. Family is about DNA but in my case, family is more than that. I grew up with my family. We were never strangers. They know me and I know them. They protect me. They care for me. They love me. They are there for me. They support me. They call me on my shit, which I greatly appreciate. Family is everything and I can only wish you to get along with your family. I wish you to be there for them, to protect them, to cherish them, to love them and to tell them that you love them. Creating a strong bond and living it, to the fullest, is essential to a person’s equilibrium and wellbeing. Protect and love your family. Be there for them. Help them. Be worthy of their love and commitment.
  3. Relationships. It could be any relationship. It could be friendship, professional and/or romantic. A person is never complete without functioning and fulfilling relationships. No one needs perfect relationships, and I don’t know if you heard, they don’t exist. Human beings are social beings; we need others to function, to exist, to thrive. We need to love and to be loved. We need help and we need to be of service. Yes, we need friends, we need colleagues, we need one or multiple partners, whatever makes you happy. Human beings need to sustain relationships. We need to make them work. Sure, all relationships go through peaks and valleys. And we must do whatever we can to sustain them. Some relationships are meant to wither and die, like flowers do. Others are meant to thrive. Yet, it takes two to tango. If you are lucky, as I have been and still am, to have an amazing and unbelievable support group around you, cherish it, and never take it for granted. The people who show up to laugh with you and who also show up to lend a helping hand or to offer a shoulder to cry on, those people are the real ones. Cherish them, protect them and be worthy of their love, their respect, and their appreciation.
  4. Peace in your heart. I have been on a personal journey. I have been trying to figure out who I am since I was born but I would say, the journey took a definitive turn about 12-13 years ago. I remember being fiery, an asshole, arrogant at times, loud, a bit of a liar and a manipulator. Despite those glaring flaws, I also was a good-natured young man, meaning I never intended to hurt anybody, but I did a few times. I was that way because I didn’t have peace in my heart. I was dealing with my own demons. I was wrestling with my shortcomings, failures, defeats, shame, insecurities, and a certain feeling of unworthiness, which hadn’t reached an alarming threshold, thank the Gods. Things are much better today. I still deal with the occasional nuisance. I ain’t perfect and what would I do with perfection anyway while I live in an imperfect world? I have found peace in my heart, for the most part. I don’t wrestle with myself as much anymore. Through a bit of therapy and a prolonged and still active personal quest, I have eliminated the things that don’t matter in my life. I have stopped worrying about things that don’t concern me and things I cannot fix. I have put aside people and things that weren’t bringing any added value to my life. I don’t much care what the outside world thinks of me. I have cut off childhood friends and embraced new ones. I have healed on so many levels. I don’t fight with people anymore. I only fight to defend myself and others. I don’t capitulate to bullies. I don’t shut up when something is wrong and I feel at ease because I choose those fights, because they mean something to me. Yes, as paradoxical as it sounds, one can be at peace while fighting, because in their heart, they are fighting the good fight. Finding peace in one’s heart is an active process, not a passive one. You must do a few things if you want to find peace. Moreover, I know the peace I have today might very well disappear tomorrow. It could, in a blink of an eye. That means I will have to adapt again to a new hypothetical situation. But I have adapted many a times so far, and I am still standing, what could ever stop me from adapting again? As I told you, I am aware of how many things I cannot and will never control. I haven’t mastered myself; I simply am trying to understand myself better and live a life I choose to live. I wish you to find that peace through your own journey, through your own healing, through your own values and lifestyle, it doesn’t matter! Find peace in your heart your way! I truly wish you find that peace. Nothing feels as sweet as inner peace. And nothing is as useless, distracting, and unimportant as other people’s opinions of you, especially those who don’t know you. Never waste a minute thinking about them and find peace in your heart.

All 4 subjects need actions, not mere words, to stay alive and to thrive. Everything on this list needs actions to be sustained. So, since I am being preachy today, I would like to ask something of you; do whatever you can to live fully and sustain those 4 subjects that matter way more than we think. They matter so much because they are part of life. If one of those subjects is going south, your whole being could follow. Health, family, relationships, and peace in one’s heart. Nothing will ever be more precious.  

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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