July 8, 2013

The Hardest Question of My Life. ~ Arianne Olegario

I always thought that it was the achievement of every milestone I set up for myself.

At age 21, I had planned everything to the tee. I even had it documented in that notebook of mine; identifying each milestone in my life—each governed by standards and structures dictated by society.

This was my list by 21 and most of it I have completed by the age of 25:

  1. So, graduate on time—check.
  2. Find a high paying job—check.
  3. Get married by 25—check.
  4. Have kids by 28—no check.

As I reached those goals, I wanted more.

I set up standards again. Not only do I want a high-paying job, I want a job that gives me a salary higher than my age. It was that addiction to always be beyond the “milestones” I placed myself; I worked my ass off.

I got married at 25, right on schedule but couldn’t get pregnant as planned. It became my breaking point; when you’ve bent over multiple times in hopes that you’ll be getting your target. I over-bent and I broke along with that marriage, which was all part of a milestone I have put up.

I compensated with other things—with work; being on top to ease that lack—that hole of not having children.

I became paranoid with my husband; I could not contain that feeling of inadequacy because I could not reach my milestones as planned.

Not being able to cope with failing to meet my own milestones changed my life.

I was surrounded by drama, discontentment and sadness within myself and those around me. I had nothing—I left my job and my husband threw me out of our apartment; it was the crux.

I am nothing now.

All I worked for all these years just gone in an instant. Years of achievementsdown the drain.

With nothing, my only choice was to look straight at myself.

I had to see my life for what it is—to ask who am I now that I do not have anything—anything external.

I had to dig deep within myself, to just listen beyond my self-disappointment and tears to hear that tiny little voice inside of me telling me that everything is going to be alright.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror saying, “I love you, Arianne, I love you.”

It was so hard for me to do this; I choked every time I said it. I could not say it because I considered myself a failure. A failure does not deserve love.

Then I hear that tiny voice again saying, “Arianne, it is alright to forgive yourself for being a ‘failure.’ It is perfectly alright. I love you.”

It was the biggest relief in my life to know that I could forgive myself and that I deserve love amidst all the failures.

I never realized there was this quiet voice strong and confident inside patiently waiting for me to listen. I had always listened to that strong voice that dictated everything—that wanted everything at par with the milestones. That voice served as the guide that led me towards drama, discontentment and sadness.

Listening to this tiny voice opened me up to so many things, so many breakthroughs and so many realizations; the greatest of which is knowing who I am. It is not my job nor a relationship that will validate my existence.

It is that deep realization of my wholeness that everything in this world is valid including my good and bad sides, my achievements and failures and my light and shadow.



Arianne Olegario is a senior dynamic meditation coach for Inner Dance currently circling around Asia as she continues to know more about herself. Her motto is that “I no longer want to change the world, I only want to know myself because the world is perfect beautiful.”


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Assistant Ed.: Stephanie Sefton/Ed: Bryonie Wise


{Photo: Reem Eng via Pinterest}

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