Dear thrivers,              

Welcome to your inner journey! 

I'm Justine, a painfully self-aware old soul.

 

I'm just another human being who has thrived under the harshness of the human conditions, just like the other billions of people before and after me.

 

I am now simply doing my best to live truthfully. 

My purpose in life is clear and simple: to make things a little less wrong than I had previously found it.

More than two decades ago, I lost a big chunk of my childhood between the ages of 10 to 13 years old from bullying, gang involvement, rehab imprisonment, and street life in the Philippines. 

 

Prior to this, my birth was already marked by instability and uncertainty. I attended 8 different primary schools and lived in 7 different homes before the age of 13.

 

I thought a chaotic life was the norm and a common reality.

 

Where I grew up, domestic abuse, rape, gang violence, murder, poverty and toxic interactions are the air that people breathe everyday. When I moved back to Canada at the age of 13, and saw the innocence of children my age, I immediately began to feel deeply ashamed of my past. 

 

So, for the next 16 years of my life, shame and hate drove me.

I pretended to be "good" and "perfect."

 

I figured my past wouldn't eventually matter the more I perfected myself on the outside and toughened myself on the inside.

 

My armor finally broke in 2015 after the breakdown of an 11-year relationship and a short-lived marriage.

That year was the beginning of my life.

 

I still see myself as an infant just beginning to walk and talk, feel my vulnerability, relate to others and the world.

 

I missed the wind when it had swept me under my feet,

The sensations that came from the cold water as it had traveled down my throat on hot summer days,

The cues from a lover whose deep gazes I never understood,

The warm hugs from family members who just missed me,

 

But most of all, I missed out on me.

 

I made the wrong decisions year after year.

I lived mindlessly, cowardly, tragically out of blinded misery.

 

So, I picked up the shattered puzzle pieces of my life, and put myself back together painfully, meticulously, and beautifully.

It is the year 2018. I am writing this with an optimistic eye on the future.

 

We, humans, are still in our infancy. The world has become disconnected --- disconnected from themselves, from others, the world, and the fragility of our shared existence.

 

Life as we know it today can still be defined in polarities: life/death, joy/suffering, happiness/sorrow, hope/despair.

 

Death can happen at any moment. Nothing is timeless, permanent and infinite, except only for who we could be.

 

This is our shared reality.

 

I'm sharing my story within this context of our shared reality. Perhaps someone, somewhere out there near and far, could use a little light in times of darkness in their journey.

Let today be the start of your journey.

Pick up the puzzle pieces.

Transcend the human condition.

Manifest your true inner reality.

With love and truth,

Justine

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© 2019 Thrive from Pain | Justine Cabrera