Lessons I've Learned from Water || Reflection on Core Values and the Importance of Community

Lessons I've Learned from Water || Reflection on Core Values and the Importance of Community

Did you know that Tagalog came from the word “taga-ilog”, which can be translated to “river people” or “people from the river”? I’ve always felt such a deep connection to the ocean. 

Now that I’ve found myself living further away from the ocean (at least the comfortably swimmable areas of the ocean), I’ve noticed that I’m reflecting upon the lessons that I’ve learned from the water and have felt called to urge folks to do the same: 

Lesson One: We are all connected.

Community is what sustains us; we’re able to learn from each other and support one another because we all share the same gift of life. Division and lenses of oppressions are learned behaviors, so we need to unlearn those practices as we have the responsibility to ensure all people are in safe and empowered spaces. 

How has your community supported you? How can your community better support you?


Lesson Two: We possess the same powers as water; we can either choose to destroy, or we can choose to heal. 

There are usually two types of people: those who fear the ocean, and those who have an unconditional love for it. I don’t blame the people who are scared of the powers that the ocean possesses; there is so much undiscovered territory, and water is known to cause damage to long-standing cities and communities. 

I’d like to think that my actions and words hold the same power. I try to think about if the things I do or say harm those around me, or if they elevate and embrace those around me. Growing up, I brought destructive waves of harm and inconsideration, but now I try to balance when I channel powerful waves and when I just need to simply ebb and flow. 

Do you think you're creating more spaces of destruction or spaces of healing? 

Lesson Three: Trust in the flow of life; eventually, all waves settle. 

Sometimes life will swallow us whole, but we will eventually end up back on the shore.  

What motivates you through life's rough patches? 

Lesson Four: Sometimes you need to exert strength and skill in order to survive, other times you just need to float, be gentle, and breathe. 

I’m trying to be better about leaning into the softness that life has to offer. I think resilience in the form of hard work is what’s expected when life just seems to constantly weigh us down, but sometimes the best thing we can do is simply exist and be kind to ourselves. 

How are you being gentle with yourself and those around you? 

Lesson Five: Life forms and flows everywhere. 

Just because we can’t always see life and energy, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. We need to make sure we're treating ourselves, others, and environments with respect - especially because where there's life, there's hope. 

We also need to remember that while we are powerful beings, we need to practice humility. Have you ever went exploring in the ocean and found yourself face to face with a creature five times your size?

What can you do to ensure that the living things around you are treated with the same respect as your best friend?

Lesson Six: What you share with the world may return to you and the ones you love.

This includes the good, the bad, and everything in between. One time, I lost my glasses in the ocean and the ocean graciously returned them to me on shore. Another time, I lost a bracelet, but the ocean must have found someone who needed it more than I did. 

Our words, thoughts, and especially our actions all have their way of making it back to us. In some cases, the consequences of our actions are placed on our siblings, parents, community members, etc.

What are you sharing with the world to ensure that you’re not inflicting pain on those around you? 

What forces of nature call to you, and why? Which of these lessons resonate with you the most? We would love to hear your stories and experiences via email at mia@perfectlypinay.com or Instagram @perfectlypinay 

Back to blog