But the greatest of these is love

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This weekend, I had the honour of witnessing two of my best friends getting married. It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to both because of the setting in a vineyard, the beautifully decorated venue, the awesome sparkly dress I got to wear as a bridesmaid, and the beauty of the bride, but also because of what the entire wedding did inside of me.

I have previously written about knowing what you want in life and how your core values help you find your way. Being at this wedding I was reminded of the importance of having goals and knowing where you’re going.

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While bouncing off not-so-descrete flirty text messages (literaly on that same day) I witnessed a love, that went beyond physical attraction and lust. It was, and is, a love that sees into the depths of the hearts, and loves every part of the other person – both the good and the bad. It’s a love that says “I choose you” not “I want you”. Those two things are very different. Let me explain:

I want you

To be completely honest, I am easily fascinated by guys. It’s not hard for me to get a guy stuck in my head and wonder if he likes me or not. It’s easy for me to be fascinated by a guy because he makes me laugh, makes me comfortable, or inspires me in some way – or just because he’s cute. It’s easy to form relationships with people that work when you stay on the surface level in intimacy and connection (I’m not talking about the physical intimacy, but that of the heart). You can feel a strong attraction, and maybe even love for someone without really knowing them. You can want them; want to hang out with them; want to be in a relationship with them; even want to spend the rest of your life with them.

But want is not enough. Because what happens when what you wanted isn’t there anymore? What happens when your partner falls into depression and isn’t the person you fell in love with? What happens when you’re at the edge of your finances, and you struggle with paying your bills? What happens when you experience deep crisis? What happens when you get bored?

If want is the foundation of your relationship, there won’t be a lot to hang on to, when the object of your wanting or lust slips away or changes.

I choose you

Choosing someone is far more valuable than wanting someone. When you know the depths of a person, and both in spite of and because of that choose someone. That’s when you know there is something strong in the making. When the relationship is built on a foundation that says: “I choose you no matter what happens and even if my wanting lessens for a time” you don’t depend on fleeting feelings and emotions that come and go.

Watching my two friends getting married stirred in my heart what I already knew – that that is what I want. The contrast of the looks in their eyes and the blue light from the screen on my phone made it all too clear what holds true value.

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Time to slay some lies

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A few years ago I went across the ocean to spend the next two years of my life at a bible school. Those years were the best of my life and I would never give them back for anything. I learned so many things and made friends and memories for life.

During my time there, I remember e-mailing with a friend back home, telling him about some of my experiences. I told him that one thing I’d learned was how many lies I’d believed my entire life. His excitement level didn’t exactly match mine. He responded with worry and concern and probably thought that I had become part of a cult and was being brain washed – I now realize that I probably should have done a better job explaining myself at the time.

What I was trying to communicate through my e-mails was, that I had become aware of how many lies we believe about ourselves and the people around us. How many girls do you know who truly believe that they are ugly when they are actually the most beautiful the world has ever seen? Or fathers who believe that they would win the “worst father of the year”-award while their children are the most loved ones?

Most of us believe things about ourselves that aren’t true, but that somehow snuck in on us and got stuck in our heads.

What we tell ourselves about ourselves and others determine how we respond to the world. So let’s get some things straight and slay some of those fat lies we believe:

1. I’m not qualified to do that

Well, guess what. As soon as you feel qualified to do what you’re doing, it’s time to move on. It’s healthy to be stretched and challenged and not feeling qualified gives you a drive to learn and become better. Being in a position that you don’t feel qualified to be in is actually the best place to be, so just go for it and have fun!

2. My worth is measured in the approval of others

No. Just, no!

Your worth does not have anything to do with anyone else. Just the fact that you exist makes you incredibly valuable. Nothing that anyone does to you or tells you will ever change that fact.

3. I’m a failure

I have somehow managed to believe it several times myself, but that doesn’t make it anymore true. The truth is, you are not a failure. You may experience failure but you are not a failure. The difference is huge and lies in the fact, that you always have the power to correct your wrongs and try again. Sometimes it’s more difficult than others, but it’s always possible. You can always get back up and try again. You may need som help, but it’s never impossible.

The list goes on and on and is different for everyone. Keep an eye out for the lies that you believe about yourself and remind yourself what the truth is.

 

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What do you (really) want? Thoughts on core values

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The other day I found myself at an event for Business School students (how I ended up there is a longer story, since I’m not one myself) listening to peers sharing what was on their minds and what they’d learned through their studies and work experiences. In a TEDtalk like setup they went over the art of seduction, share economy, procrastination and so on. The topics were many and with great attention I was listening to their ideas as a thought struck me.

“What do I really want?”

It’s not the first time I’ve ever thought about this – to be honest, I’ve given this topic a LOT of thought – but as the students were sharing about how everything you do is basically manipulation, or seduction if you will, and how to avoid procrastination when really you should be studying for your exams, I couldn’t help digging a little deeper in my heart.

This is the point where most blog posts would start talking about how life is not about a fancy career or a well-paying job. They’re right, but that’s not the point I want to make here. What struck me was that there are so many opportunities that could take you where you want to go. The roads to Rome are many and I could get to where I want in an endless number of ways. But how do I want to get there? Which road to I want to take?

Do I want to manipulate my way to the top and then call it seduction – or even marketing, or do I want to pave the way with integrity and honesty? How do I know which road to take? The answer:

My core values

My core values determine how I see the world and how I respond to it. Knowing who I am and what I stand for is what will get me safe to my destination. Knowing what I value I will know what choices to make and what alleys to avoid. It will not keep me from making mistakes and failing, but it will help me correct my mistakes and get back on the right path. That way, my core values work as my compass in everything I do. If I suddenly discover that what I’m doing is conflicting with my core values, I better reevaluate why I’m doing it.

So, what are my core values? I believe that there are many, and they probably change over time, as I get wiser, and discover them. I recently found this list of core values that I wrote a few years ago:

I will always treat others with honour and respect

I will live my life with integrity

I will not compromise my beliefs

I will never stop learning

I will always stay positive

I will not let fear rule me

I value me

God loves me

I realised how I have been neglecting some of them, which is why it’s so important to return to them and remind yourself what you actually believe and start cultivating the ones that have fallen in the background.

So, what do I really want? I want to get to Rome the right way, not compromising my core values and who I am. That does by no means mean that I don’t fall short and mess up, but I will always strive to stay true to myself.

What are your core values?

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Should we be worried or am I just getting too old?

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Today, I was filling in for a teacher in cooking class. I was teaching the 7th grade how to cook red curry, make their own ice cream AND baked bananas. It was delicious, and thankfully I had a recipe to follow… I’m the worst with cooking.

Without anyone getting hurt, we managed to successfully cook the entire meal, and it was delicious! As the students sat around their tables waiting for the curry to cook, I sat back and observed them. I let my eyes fall on each one of them and I noticed how they interacted with each other; and suddenly something started worrying me. I saw how 10 kids at the beginning of their teenage years all pulled out their phones as soon as they weren’t entertained anymore. They sat around their tables next to each other, but few had eye contact and if they cared to talk to each other it was about something that went on on their phones.

I remember when I was 13 and took that same class. I went to a small school, so we had to commute to the bigger one and borrow their facilities. We spent the entire bus ride making jokes and laughing with each other. While cooking we would make pranks and we would spend the time connecting and growing closer as friends. At the end of class we would sit down and share the meal while looking into each others’ eyes knowing that we accomplished this together.

This is not what I saw today. In stead, I saw kids who nearly only interacted with each other when needed, because the virtual world was far more interesting.

What worried me even more was when I saw what was on the screens they were all looking at. One of the girls who had, like every one else, pulled out her phone was showing her friends who she had matched with on Tinder. From a distance I took a sneak peak on her screen, and it wasn’t few matches that appeared. And the list of ongoing conversations with the guys was no shorter. At the age of 13 she was already more interested in guys she doesn’t even know but from an app used by grown ups to find hook ups, than the friends right next to her. It was disturbing to me to see how the dynamics have shifted since I was that age. I am no saint myself in the whole online/offline debate at all, but has this come too far?

I sometimes wonder what would happen if we decided to go offline for an entire week. Or less controversial, banned all phones from school premises and forces the kids to talk to one another. I wonder if they experience the same sense of community that I did with my class mates. I wonder if they develop the same social skills and will they be able to interact with other people and show genuine interest in them? Will they be able to stay focused on one task for a longer period of time or even hold conversation with one person and really listen to what they are saying? Do I have a reason to be worried or am I just getting old?

Let me know what you think.

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marts 31, 2016 · 17:50

Who said Oslo was boring?

I have always been told – by nearly every Norwegian – not to go to Oslo because it was boring. They lied!!

Apparently, Oslo has a billion coffee lovers, so the coffee shops with – do I dare say it – amazingly good coffee (!) is on every street corner. I especially fell in love with PUST kaffebar.

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Everywhere you turn, there is some creative detail, that you didn’t expect like a train station turned into a mall, a giant chandelier hanging down between two buildings, and if you venture into the Grünerløkka area you walk into a completely different world full of creative expressions. It’s definitely worth a visit!

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Big News

I have som big news to share with you! My good friend, Andreas, and I have decided to open our very own webshop with beautiful posters and cards designed by ourselves. We have spent all weekend in Oslo – which I realised that I love! Everyone should come here!! – creating our website and making new products.

Who knew that you could spend an entire day figuring out exactly how mailchimp works? My eyes are sore from looking at my screen and my head is spinning from learning so many new things, but it’s all worth it when you see what’s coming for you. I’m so excited!

For now, here’s a sneak peak for some of the things we’re working on.

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I can’t wait to show you the finished product!

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Life of a traveller

It’s been waaaay too long since I travelled last, but school and work make it hard to have the time. I declare that I some day will have a job, that let’s me travel all the time! (fingers crossed)

This week I finally made it possible to go somewhere as my good friend Øivind married his lovely Aud in Stavanger, Norway. I HAD to come celebrate with them! They were so beautiful!

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Also, go to Blue Bird Kaffebar in Stavanger if you ever find yourself in the city. It’s such a cute place with really great coffee.

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The calm before the storm

I need to learn how to say “no”. But I haven’t learned yet and this week is proof of that. Working from morning to night everyday on a billion different projects – all super exciting, I’ll give you that – tears on the energy levels. So a day like this having an hour at a coffee shop in between meetings is golden. Feeling the sun almost warming my skin (let’s not get carried away, it is Danish weather we’re talking about) and collecting my thoughts is something I’ll always cherish. 

  

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Taking it slow 

  

Sometimes happiness is found in a coffee mug. Especially on a Sunday morning with the tunes of Asgeir playing in the background. Remember to breathe and be in the moment. Feel how you’re feeling and allow yourself to be yourself. Don’t rush, have a cup of coffee and let the world make sense again. 

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