Have you ever been lost but not worried about finding your way back?
Have you walked into complete darkness trusting your instincts with the certitude of a safe terrain?
Deep in our heart, we trust our decisions because they represent the balance of life experiences, a recipe that can be perfected thanks to the right combination of elements.
When I am in the lab preparing a solution, I think about how life combines some of these aspects. I have to ensure that I don’t make the same mistakes by always checking and re-checking my work conditions. I have to follow these steps:
(1) wearing personal protective equipment (because safety is number one priority).
(2) select unexpired chemicals.
(3) guarantee the cleanliness of glassware and the counter.
(4) verify that I use a calibrated balance.
(5) confirm the correct use of other equipment and elements.
(6) keep my eyes open for any potential contamination.
Careful selection of elements is combined with trial and error calculations because if we miss any aspect of it, chemistry does not forgive mistakes.
When we believe that we have everything figured out, we discover that life continues teaching us lessons. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is not that we are not confident about walking into a new situation or a new relationship. It is because we don’t know all the answers and when we are faced with the unexpected, we fail to recognize what is happening. When we perfect our technique, we remind ourselves that we have to be present by collecting our thoughts and look at any situation objectively.
I want to tell you a story about self-awareness because I failed to cover the two aspects of it. The first one involved my ability to understand my personality including my strengths, weaknesses, and emotions. And, the second aspect was to understand how other people viewed me – their attitude, response, and perspective in any relationship.
When I think about love, the love of my parents comes to mind, they loved each other so much, the first love that I had ever received. However, my Mom passed away when I was 11 and my Dad was forced to fill a new role. I never saw his pain and grief because he distanced himself to recover from our loss. Did I ever ask about his feelings? I did not. I failed – I failed to understand. Years passed and my Dad found someone else to share his life with, and again, I failed – I failed to understand why.
It was not easy. It took me a long time to decipher that the recipe for love resided within me. I had to learn many lessons through the years (experiment after experiment). I had to embrace heartache, listen attentively, learn from it, fail for it and revisit my Dad’s situation in order to relate. I was very selfish. Self-awareness is about discovering and correcting yourself.
Love does not make sense until something else happens in life. Cherish your memories and keep the good ones close to your heart.