My brain never stops working. I can’t shut it off. This week, I purposely took a break from it all and stayed at my place of refuge for a few nights. I needed to catch up with an old friend, sit at a bar, pollute my lungs a little bit, and take a moment for myself. Times like those are a necessity in my life. They allow me to take stock and plan.

I live by plans and goals. That’s just how I do things. Sometimes, I allow my heart to get carried away too far – but times like these allow me to pull back and regroup.

It was great having some quiet time, although I didn’t get to write at all.  I’d been feeling quite introspective lately, so I had to wrap it up in a summit with myself. In between vegging out on Forensic Files and working on presentations, I was able to find clarity. The questions that were bogging me down – the stress, the difficulties, the elation of success, the people in my life. There is such diversity all around me – it was time to take stock of things and ensure that I take things in perspective.

This week, I realized much about humanity.

About people’s actions and motivations, the need to belong and the struggle to survive.

I’d been beset with so much kindness in many different forms: A supervisor who encourages and trusts, a friend whose love withstands time and distance, a daughter who loves me like a best friend, an enigmatic group of people who treat me as their equal, an important offer to do good in the world, a family who calls me home at the end of every difficult day. These things ground me, help me weather the inevitable balance that grief and sadness bring to the table. When the shoe is on the other foot, when you’re the insider and not the outsider – it’s easy to forget adversity. That’s why it takes extra effort to remember the times when you weren’t who you are or what you wanted to be. Putting things in perspective helps to grant you an understanding of why people do what they do. Why there’s hurt and anger, jealousy and despair.

These past two weeks, I’d been so focused on the pain that someone had caused me, it took this time away to fill my heart with enough gratitude to let it go. When you take the good that is given you and bestow it upon others, the heavy veil of resentment lifts away and you are freed.

Easier said than done, of course. But next time you are wallowing in sorrow over something that you can’t control – think of the good things. Think of the kind humans who have raised you up and taken you with them, and leave those other ones behind.