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Embracing Peace and Happiness: A Journey of Self-Discovery by the Ocean


Yesterday, after strolling on the seaside for a little over an hour, it dispelled all the tiredness from my sleepless night. I definitely plan to do this more often while I can. Three things I love doing most each day are reading, writing, and walking on the beach. I am truly thankful for all of this now!

While walking, I made several phone calls to my old friends and dear auntie in Vietnam. Some friends go back decades, while others were once a constant presence in my life. Although we are no longer together, I still love and care for them, always wishing them well.

I video called my auntie and showed her the beautiful sunset on the ocean. She was amazed. She has become my closest kin in Vietnam, someone I can easily pick up the phone and talk to. Last week, she mentioned feeling sad because she couldn’t access her Facebook account to see my posts. She's my number one fan! Knowing my online posts bring joy and inspiration to others truly makes me happy.

By 5:20 p.m., the sky was getting dark, so I asked my aunt to end the call, wanting to say a few grateful prayers to the ocean again. Looking around, there was no one but me and the ocean. As usual, I prayed for my family and for a safe return home with Mom as planned. I didn’t pray for anything else but peace and health.

Peace and health are worth more than anything else on earth. Without them, you have nothing. I don’t take what I have for granted because there was a time when I didn’t find them within myself. I had gone through internal conflict and self-criticism. I wasn't happy with my looks. I hated everything! Negative thoughts ran through my head like a broken record. I endured many years of turmoil and self-doubt until one day I said to myself, "Enough!" I had to break free from this madness.

Slowly, I learned to be kind to myself. I learned to accept who I was. I learned to forgive and understand others more. I learned to be in nature more. I learned to stop comparing myself to others. I learned to give more than receive. I learned that beauty is not in the clothes I wear, the makeup on my face, or the expensive jewelry I possess. Beauty resides in a kind and compassionate heart.

Happiness is a choice, and it’s never too far to reach. It’s within you. No one can bring you peace or happiness but yourself. May this new season bring warmth to your heart and love to your soul. May your health improve and your family filled with joy. May you find peace within always. ♥️

Crystal H. Vo

November 28, 2023

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