Be Selfish — Forgive

TERESA QUEIRÓS

PHOTO | TERESA QUEIRÓS | ♡ HER WORK

Forgiveness always benefits you more than it benefits the person who hurt you. To forgive is to be free. If you don’t have it in you to be magnanimous, be selfish— forgive. 

The day is perfect. The sun shines warmly, good things happen all around, yet in the midst of pure delight, you feel nothing but a sharp pain coming from a tiny splinter lodged in your finger. The dang splinter is nothing in the grand scheme of things, your friends are laughing, the sun is shining— what is a splinter in the light of life. But how can you enjoy life when the gnawing pain imbibes your focus?

Unforgiveness is a splinter in the soul. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the original offense was. Once the thing gets lodged inside of you, it produces a gnawing pain.

The pain from a splinter is not the issue. In fact, the pain is healthy. It alarms you that something is wrong. There is a foreign object stuck in your flesh, and you must drop everything to pull it out before it causes serious issues. The soul splinter is just the same. Offense gets lodged inside of your heart, and you must remove it before it causes further damage.

If you keep a serious splinter inside of your body long enough, the risk is gangrene; it becomes life-threatening. When unforgiveness is left inside of your heart, expect all sorts of havoc. It’s a deadlock that holds you to the past, you can’t move forward in the relationship with the person that caused the offense, and it takes a toll on other relationships as well. In your desire to seek revenge or to hold them hostage with your refusal to forgive, you destroy your present happiness to prove something to the past.

How do You Remove a Splinter?

It’s gonna hurt, baby. When removing a splinter, expect pain. But suck it up, deal with it, and as soon as the thing is out, you will forget it completely. The body has an astounding ability to forget even the severest of pain as soon as the issue is solved and healing sets into motion.

For sure, to forgive a person can hurt like hell, after all, the forces of hell are bent on keeping you in a state slavery to the past, to the pain. To attain and maintain freedom is a constant battle, never a resting place. You have to fight to free yourself from anything that gains mastery over you. The grudges hurts, and pains that you cling to, have direct mastery over you.

The only way to break the bond that ties you to the person who hurt you is to is to forgive them. You only need to do it one time, but at the moment you must forgive genuinely and completely. This action seems like benevolence towards another, but in reality, forgiveness benefits you more than it can ever benefit anyone else. When you forgive you free your own soul.

If you don’t have it in you to be magnanimous— be selfish! Drop everything and make things right for yourself. Call those who offended, write them, repent of your part, forgive them for their part, and feel the splinter no more.

As soon as the thing gets done, the healing process begins. Eventually, you will forget the pain. You will be able to laugh with your friends, and delight in the shining sun as if nothing ever happened.

Forgiveness Doesn’t Erase Responsibility

As a side note, forgiveness doesn’t wipe out consequences. Legal or financial responsibilities still lay on whoever wreaked havoc. But it’s so much more pleasant to take care of wretched business when you are emotionally free of pain, bitterness, and the maddening desire for revenge.

Life is Like Tango: You Make Mistakes and Move Till You Tango Out of Them

PHOTO | EDWIN TSE | ♡ HIS WORK

Life is like tango, you get all tangled up, you make mistakes, but you tango on until you tango out of them. Then comes a moment when you look around and notice that you are no longer tangled and the mistakes are in the dust behind you.

I haven’t seen the sunrise for a long time, but sunsets are my thing. Florida has a beautiful sky. The sky shoots further than the eyes can see with no hills or mountains cutting into the skyscape. But it’s not just how it stretches. The color scheme gets striking. Every day the sky shifts, fluorescent pinks, luminescent blues, and splashes of piercing orange often burn up above creating a natural ever-shifting abstract work of art.

I’m stretched out in the sand with my head propped against a sand dune watching the sun go down. My birthday is coming up and I reminisce about my past year. What did I do? What did I learn? Who did I meet? I muse over a whole years-worth of personal growth and all of my blunders.

Move Forward

This year was forgiving when it came to mistakes. In fact, it taught me that mistakes are nothing to get hung up over. They are a necessary part of life especially when they are honest blunders (not failed schemes). They happen. Sometimes the result of foolish decisions, but often simply because living requires taking chances.

I got tangled up here and there and when I focused on detangling myself, the thing turned into quicksand, it sucked me in deeper and deeper. At some point this year I pinned a phrase to my wall, “move forward.”

I saw those words every day and the concept finally took root. When I found that I am digging myself deeper into something, I forced myself to look ahead instead of staring into. Just move forward. I never really knew what it meant to go forward in the moments when I needed to most, but that was the goal. Then, no matter how obscure it got to go forward, I went on, until at some point I looked around and could not even remember the original hangup.

Life is Like Tango

After all, life is like tango, you get all tangled up, you make mistakes, but you tango on until you tango yourself out of them. The key is to never stop inside of a mistake because as soon as you do, the thing gets sealed and labeled as a mistake. That is where the story ends, but keep going and the mistake becomes part of the journey. So no matter what happens, tango on— the sun will rise, the sun will set, and life will open up to you.

Music Therapy: Classical Music for Health

PHOTO TERESA QUEIRÓS | ♡ HER WORK

Classical music is not just ear-deep, it has a profound effect on your nervous system. The intricate structures of timeless melodies will actually improve your health while all you do, is listen. 

Ever wonder why classical music shows no sign of withdrawing from concert halls, despite its age? There are many reasons, but one of them goes deeper than your ears to improve your health.

Those intricately structured movements of sound have a profound therapeutic effect on your nerves, helping to restore your nervous system on a subconscious level. That calm you feel during a Beethoven concert is no coincidence. Your body is in therapy mode.

Most people can’t escape to a natural haven to rejuvenate their minds and relax their nervous system, yet having time to reorganize mentally on a regular basis is a must for overall health.  When people ignore this fact for too long, they get frazzled, nervous, and ill.

The beauty of classical music is that no matter where you are, you can synthesize your nerves, rest your brain, and relax your body– no environment change needed. Throw on some headphones, turn up the Chopin

, and drop in for therapy.

Not All Sounds Are Therapeutic

City noises and various incoherent sounds of everyday life are not just annoying they disturb the nervous system, and it’s important to find a way to balance the adverse effects of negative sounds.

A sound is not just ear– deep. A loud noise makes us jump.  A scratchy high-pitched voice, makes us cringe. It is said that a pleasant voice multiplies friends— it lures.  Have you noticed that when you jump, or cringe, or find yourself lured into someone’s tale, your physical reaction is not a conscious choice, but rather a subconscious response? Our bodies react to sound as much as our minds respond to words. It has to do with the complex way that soundwaves penetrate the nervous system.

It may take some digging to find classical music you genuinely enjoy, but it’s well worth the effort to have a few go-to compositions on hand for moments when you’re in freak-out mode. After all, music beats meds, instead of reaching for the Advil turn up the Albinoni and you will feel so much better. Trust me. My current favorites are Chopin’s Melody of Paradise and Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D-Minor

A Woman Who Wears No Perfume Has No Future

TERESA QUEIRÓS_MARTINA

PHOTO | TERESA QUEIRÓS | ♡ MARTINA

“A woman who wears no perfume has no future.” Coco Chanel

I’m in Portland, about to meet someone at Irving Street Kitchen. I walk up to the, SW Park and Mill streetcar station and step aside to wait. A man stands several feet up and to the left, doing what everyone else is doing here, waiting for the streetcar.

It’s a beautiful day, sunny with an occasional light breeze blowing strands of hair into my face. Luckily, I’m not late and have nothing more important to do than to enjoy the moment. I relish the soft bursts of wind.

The man to the side of me slightly turns his head. He doesn’t turn enough to look at me, just turns it my direction. A few moments later he does the same thing. The wind blows, and his head turns, yet again.

I take a few steps back hoping to get out of his peripheral vision. But then again, a slight puff of wind, and his head turns, this time further back in an odd neck cramping manner.

He doesn’t make any effort to make eye contact or to say anything. His head just turns every now-and-then while he keeps waiting for his streetcar. He’s well dressed, clutching a distressed, brown leather messenger bag with one hand, and looks like a person who has places to go, and people to meet.

I hear the rumble of the streetcar coming our way. It’s the green line; I’m waiting for the red.

The streetcar stops, the door slides open, the rest of the passengers rush on, but instead of walking towards the door, this man turns back and steps in my direction.

By now, I’m beyond curious to see what this one’s all about; I watch him as he approaches me.

“I don’t know what perfume you’re wearing, but it smells amazing!” he says.

Not waiting for a response, he swings around, walks towards the streetcar, moves up the steps, the door shuts— he whizzes off.

I should have known what this was all about.  The breeze kept blowing my fragrance his way. I was wearing Chance by Coco Chanel (the green one). Not even my best scent, but still, a fragrance is a fragrance and Chanel knew what she meant when she said, “a woman who wears no perfume— has no future.”

Glide Through Europe with 7 Travel Tips

IMG_20140903_233424

Photo: Vadim Izoita

Everyone I know is traveling. I am too, although not via trains, planes, and automobiles, vicariously through them.  The sad thing with this kind of traveling is that my collection of travel advice is as idle as my unpacked suitcase. I would love to share it with you, perhaps you can make better use of it?

7 Travel Tips To Help You Glide Through Europe

My best tips came from, Mr. Basil Moutsatsos, my Greek Humanities teacher from way back. Since I’m not using them right now, maybe you can benefit from this brilliant travel advice:

  1. Always carry water and toilet paper. Lock bags and do not store anything in those little outside compartments of your luggage, they are pickpocket territory.  Watch your belongings closely.
  2. When searching for good quality food at good prices in a city such as Venice, look around until you spot an elderly woman confidently marching somewhere.  Follow her at a distance, if she enters a restaurant — go there!  Venerable local women may be trusted in this matter for two reasons: they do not eat bad food and they do not waste their money. 
  3. Do not dress like a tourist, leave the khaki shorts and binoculars at home, they are red flags for bulls.
  4. When traveling through beautiful, antiquated cities do not worry about getting lost.  Getting lost on the wrong side of Austria may open up a whole world of unmarked fineries to relish.  Do not waste the entire trip staring into a travel manual; look up, wander and stumble into things.
  5. When in France check if the person you wish to speak with knows English before offending him or her with amateur French. The French prize beauty and eloquence above all things and butchered French is neither beautiful nor eloquent.  They prefer to butcher your language rather than suffer the abuse of their own and as a guest— comply.
  6. If there is a language barrier, repeating the same phrase louder and louder with each repetition will not enhance communication, use hand gestures or consult Google.  Yelling at people in strange tongues is bad foreign relations.
  7. Do not point.  Do not stare and never ever climb public monuments—

Travel Away

Now that you have these morsels of travel advice, I hope you can put them to use. Happy traveling!