June brings many exciting and fun filled activities like pool parties, family BBQ’s, summer holidays and more. One party that will be getting my RSVP is the celebration of Pride Month. I write this to you with the intent not to push any political views or opinions down your throat but to ignite your thinking – especially when it comes to the power of reflection. If you are a believer of true love, inner strength, liberation, and equality for all, than I hope my words shine the brightest light on your day.
You see I am a man that believes reflection is one of our greatest tools. It can get us through the rough patches of life and make us see the gratitude and growth within ourselves. Whenever I am faced with a challenging moment, I find a place of silence in my house, meditate on my thoughts, and think about the bigger picture at hand. What can I learn from? What worked in the past? How have I grown? What can I do to be better? Reflection and gratitude are the names of my game.
Recently, as the early days of June rolled around, I sat on my bed in a state of reflection that led to a mix of emotions. From compassion, thankfulness, happiness and some genuine tears. I was reminded that the one-year anniversary of the marriage equality ruling is just a few weeks away. For me, it meant looking back and honoring the history of the fight for equality and the brave LGBT leaders of our past and present. The ones who started a movement so that young people like myself could live in a country where I can love who I want, be who I am, and celebrate the simple fact that love is love.
This point of reflection was even more significant about a month ago as my fiancé Nick proposed to me! We made it a point to digest not just our own history as a couple but acknowledge our country’s long road to marriage equality and the true freedom fighters that got us there. To all the people who marched, used their voices, set an example, and continued to speak up in the name of love – we salute you. To the politicians who pioneered the revolution of love for equality across our country – we are so deeply grateful.
This beautiful moment reminded me of how helpful reflection can be whether you are celebrating something wonderful or dealing with a life challenge. Taking time to breathe and filter back on where you are now, where you have been, and who helped you along the way will always guide you to gratitude. Our greatest and most historic world leaders all have a unique story of self-growth, struggle, and heartache. The most substantial and most meaningful moments in life never come easy. There have and always will be deep learning takeaways from life’s most monumental times in history. Please don’t forget that.
I encourage you to use your mind as a tool and reflect on your own history. You should do this when life has presented you with the most joyous of moments but also when you are in need of direction and guidance. The powerful magnetic energy between reflection and gratitude is your key to opening up your thoughts and bringing out the root of your happiness. We’ve all heard that putting life into perspective helps us make healthier decisions. That is most certainly true, but it is much more than that. It is about taking accountability and acknowledging to yourself that you have not gotten from point A to point B alone, nor has it been smooth sailing from start to finish. Own your story and the journey you have been on. Find thankfulness for what you learned, what you overcame, who was there, and what pure goodness you are presently surrounded by.
Seeing the rays of light through moments of reflection is what it is all about. Your own history happened for a reason, it is up to you to go back through your previous chapters and remind yourself how lucky you are and what you have learned along the way.
Whether you will be celebrating Pride Month or not, my wish for you is to take pride in your own self, take time to reflect on your own journey and find compassion and respect for the people around you.
Our own individual stories may be unique, and our pages may tell a different tale, but the one word that should keep us all united is love. There is no greater emotion than the love you have for yourself and the love you share with someone else.
Continue to create memories, build on gratitude, and embrace the power of love.