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Alba Iulia
Monday, March 8, 2021

What sets your soul on fire?

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Raine Cabral-Laysico
Raine Cabral-Laysico
For comments or feedback, email Raine at rainecabral@gmail.com.

As I write this, our young cousin Ysabel celebrated her 18th birthday as well as our cousin Graces.

I was privileged enough to be invited as one of Ysabel’s 18 candles via Zoom. We had the virtual celebration and part of my birthday wish for her was to find that one thing that truly sets her soul on fire.

Let me say that again with the complete quote:

‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire – St Catherine of Siena’

This got me thinking.

With the overwhelming reality of the pandemic, have we found avenues by which we express ourselves, our passions, our purpose?

How are we coping with the stresses of not being able to physically connect with others? That our world got narrowed down to the four corners of our home. When being outside is highly regimented (masks, an hour only for exercise, one person per household can do the groceries and a whole heap more) and the laws designed to keep us safe also stifle us. 

Before you take this as a protest to the lockdown, let me state that I support the lockdown wholeheartedly. However, in the words of John Donne- No man is an island. Social interaction is valuable to us as human beings. Our desire to connect and be part of something bigger than ourselves.

For the most part, I don’t mind the lockdown at all. I have found things to keep me busy and occupied. Previous readers already know that I work full time, study law full time as well as look after my three-year-old. So, keeping busy and being productive aren’t a concern. 

What is, however, is balancing my time and carving out a time in my day wherein I could simply be. Free from the noise and expectation of those around me; to be honest, the only way I can do that these days is if I schedule in me time.

A time wherein I take a purposeful step back and practice mindfulness. Evaluating where I am emotionally and spiritually. If my mind is cluttered with doubts and thoughts, I look for ways to make it serene and focused. Our biggest enemy is often ourselves. 

After that moment of calm, I focus on my lists. I list the things I am grateful for. I look at the positives in my life and train my brain to choose happiness rather than be bogged down by the negatives. That’s not to say that I have my head in the sand when it comes to failures and mistakes. No, that’s never the case. I am aware of my own shortcomings. However, I don’t dwell on them. I use this as an opportunity to improve. Every day is an opportunity to be a better version of myself. 

And have I become who God wants me to be? Not yet. 

I am still refining myself and making sure that I am the best version of myself. Aiming for progress and not perfection. Strolling to the beat of my own drum- not comparing myself to others. 

This coupled with faith and prayer is a way for me to build my mental defenses against my personal demons of fear and inadequacy.

I am always thankful for my parents for raising me to be aware of my own limitations but also confident in my ability to overcome; thankful to my family by blood and circumstance who are there for me through the highs and the lows. 

What about you? Have you found what it is that sets your soul on fire?

(For comments or feedback, email rainecabral@gmail.com)

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