Wednesday, May 18, 2011



By Ana Maria Duarte

I have a wonderful life. I am kind, sociable, and easygoing. I work hard to meet my challenges. Also, in my life, I have learned the importance of being in control. There are positive and negative aspects in our lives, but everyone has the power to face any situation. In fact, the key to success is to have a positive attitude, to have our purpose clear , and to sacrifice. For this reason, I consider that writing about three of the most important aspects in my life is interesting. They are my spirituality, my self determination, and my calmness. Many people misunderstand what to be spiritual means. Also, there are people who confuse spirituality with religion. It is important for people to keep in mind that it is possible to learn how to control ourselves, and have the determination to do whatever we want.

One of the most important aspects in my life is my calmness. It permits me not to make horrible mistakes. I have learned how to be calmed in terrible situations. For example, one day, my baby boy threw a toilet paper into the toilet cup, but I just stood in front of the bathroom, and very calmly, I observed the mess. However, that does not mean I am always calmed. Sometimes, I get annoyed or mad. In fact, I learned that getting mad does not let me think clearly. As a consequence, I can do things that later, I can regret. In addition, calmness is the virtue in which I have the ability to control myself. For me, it is really important to practice it because it keeps me from causing damage to others. Moreover, calmness does not let me act badly while I argue or complain with family, friends, or others. This is a great virtue that people can develop to have a better life style.

Going to church every Sunday, praying every day, doing yoga, meditating or belonging to a religious group does not make me spiritual. I can be a spiritual person when I love myself and others. Besides, I am a spiritual person when I care about animals, nature, and the planet because I know we all live in a single world. There are religious people who are anything, but kind. There are some religious people that are extremely judgmental and righteous, but they are not spiritual. I do not confuse spirituality with religion. As a result, I can be both, religious and spiritual. That is possible when I am operating from my heart, not from my mind. So, my thoughts are kind, and many people can see kindness in my eyes. Surely, I do my best to let kindness be my guiding light. I try to practice kindness toward myself, others, animals, and this beautiful planet that is our home.

My self determination makes me powerful to make decisions without the influence of others. In fact, I can determine what is good or bad for me. Actually, I have learned that life is sacrifice. For example, I have to quit some things to obtain others or stop to live and easy life to work hard to get important things. In addition, I cannot get things by myself without any effort. There are two strong points in my personality. First, I do not give up easily. I fight hard to achieve my goals. So, if I fail any challenge, it is because it was impossible, not because I did not try. Certainly, nobody has to tell me what to do. I am free to make my own decisions, but sometimes, it is good to consider other people´s opinions. However, many times I feel I want to quit what I do, but something strong stops me. Then, I realize I have to fight to meet my challenges. Therefore, I do not let anybody steal my dreams because I have gotten the power to make them come true.

Finally, living a happy life means loving myself, and others. For me loving all the things that have to do with nature, animals, and all kinds of living things, is spiritual. I have the power in my hands to determine what kind of person I want to be. Nobody can decide for me, but some times it is good to consider other opinions. Calmness is the ability or virtue to control myself in front of bad situations. That is why, I practice calmness because it guaranties me I will be successful in life. As a result, I never forget to be humble and have clear goals in life.

San Francisco de Macoris 2011

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