Amid the pandemic, one looks to the journey thus far and all its realizations within, all working towards change and the best self yet.
At the beginning of this pandemic I had flown from Manila back to New York after a two week holiday, little did I know I would be back in the Philippines a month later when stores and office buildings would be closing and boarding up as civil unrest broke out in the US where cases were on the rise. I returned to New York in the fall after a few months in Asia, but then left my job later on in the winter of 2020 as I made the decision to return home to take care of my mental health due to the stresses of the pandemic. And so began this journey of realization.
Coming home this time around allowed me to stop running away and to face myself. I knew then and still know now that it’s something I have to constantly do in order to keep myself in check and on track. Quarantine was the push or even shove I needed to become the person I wanted to be for me, my community, and hopefully the world. I saw a post online that read, “You wouldn’t be the person you’ve become if it wasn’t for this pandemic,” and there is truth to this. It fast tracked my progress into becoming the person I was looking to become; I was looking for change.
Through learning more about myself, I learned more about people. I learned about my triggers, and more about patience and control. I never really listened to what I wanted for me and spent a lot of my teen years and early twenties trying on different hats, and exploring (which should never stop!) but a large part of me was running away from the self.
At that time there had been many things I didn’t know or had been avoiding. After college I learned that a life that is lived is one that is learned from—it is existential. There is so much to be discovered within the universe of the self. In healing the inner child, in remembering the self, one could pinpoint where one stems from. Yet maybe there is not one point, for an individual could stem from more than a single moment or place. I was constantly changing and when I came home I got too worried about whether or not I’d still “fit in.”
I didn’t really give myself time to stop and slow down, to think or feel. I got too caught up with the drama and the partying; I got too caught up with life and never truly listened to what I really wanted. At the end of the day, I understood that humans are to be conscious and sacred beings, learning, evolving, and ever so expansive. I realized that I was in charge of my own life and it was up to me to live it on my terms, home was within the self. I decided that I matter and no one can take that away from me.
Forgiving and being kind to oneself
In forgiving the self we embrace all of our flaws and mistakes. We learn to be at peace with ourselves, our relationships, and with the environment. I had to forgive myself to move forward, for all my kalokohan, my insecurities, and the times I’ve hurt people I care about. I had to own up to my mistakes and accept that they will always be a part of me and my journey, but they don’t have to define me.
I learned to be better for myself, before anyone else, and this time I’ve had both personal losses and triumphs. I had to learn to forgive myself for being jaded and unforgiving, because I learned about choice and in learning about your relationships you realise that everything is a choice. You realize that in this journey of life, we all move at different rates and cannot compare the progression of one’s life with another nor should we assume that one’s struggle is more or less than the next.
We must be compassionate and understanding, yet constructive of ourselves before we can do it for others. While it is important for us to respect people’s space, we too must learn to set healthy boundaries for us. I read somewhere that you manifest more by letting go than you do by holding on—and the truth is that you are the only person standing in the way of yourself, and of change. Eventually, I understood that when the wise tell you, “Everything in good time.” They really mean everything in good time, and patience without action doesn’t pay off.
Onwards and upwards in the journey
As I am on the road to turning 25 in April, I am still continuing to do inner work, and even if at times I feel like I still don’t know what I’m doing, this is the most secure I’ve felt about myself.
What I want for young people to know is that it’s okay to dream, but know the steps you need to get there.
Ask questions and be fearless, but not reckless.
Have respect for the self, the planet, and others.
Stay humble, a lot of bad energies will try and dim your light, but know that your light will guide you as the light is always there.
Trust your gut—it’s usually trying to tell you something.
There is strength in intuition and it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
Life is what you make it, but it too can be hard and difficult.
Don’t be a jerk, period. You will never know what other people are going through as we are all going through something.
Coming to terms with your shadow self is a bumpy road, but nonetheless rewarding. I highly recommend therapy and/or healing, or even just to talk things out!
As I pack up my life here at home to continue my journey in New York and the rest of the world, I, too, continue to unpack my thoughts and feelings. Let us be brave and bold as we shed our skin together. To be present, through hell and in glory, but to not lose one’s sense of self or connection to the world around them. Together, let us explore what it means to be human, a concept that has not been fully realized, because to be human is to be multidimensional and faceted. Together, let us claim ourselves.
Attached below is a playlist that I put together over the past year, representative of a journey towards a change in consciousness,and I would like to share it with you.
Miko is a young New York-based Filipino artist currently working in fashion. He is a goal-oriented dreamer who believes in spirituality and the idea of human transcendence into 5th dimensional consciousness, the authentic self. A lover of the universe and all that is nature. An advocate of self-discovery and exploration through fashion, writing, and the arts.
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