Now I see the greatest secret to making the best person:
To grow in the open air,
and to sleep
with the earth.
Learning curves. Like the sea lapping against the shoreline, what is constant in each of our live are the ups and downs. There are dreamy highs, during which we float in blessings that waft to us with ease. And then, there are dark and dreadful lows that come in storms, sometimes coming without warning and attacking with injustice, or sometimes because we’ve lost our footing.
We fall down sometimes. And it can be difficult to not abandon our paths, search for a way out, and view out low points as failures.
What’s interesting to me is that, from these challenges we label as hideous failures, we often find our greatest victories. Yes, confronting our own painful experiences and struggles is distressing. But, we don’t remind ourselves that good can arise from pain solely to ease that discomfort. Good things truly come from overcoming hardships, and – we can and do overcome them.
We are quick to allow our missteps to linger in our minds and even become part of our own definitions of who we are. But, no one walks without stumbling now and then. The more we force ourselves into perfect moulds that never falter, we realize that we cannot always please everyone and ourselves simultaneously.
For this reason, it is exceedingly important to embrace the person we truly are. This is much more difficult when we have lost touch with our identities, because we are also tasked with the intricate game of discovering what it means to be genuine.
Living authentically is an experiment of trial and error. So, it is essential to find strength in pain, to view stumbling blocks as learning opportunities.
We are, after all, unfinished masterpieces in progress.
I used to go around fearful, not only of exposing my true self, but to even understand what that meant. It is a risk, to live authentically. Today, I still go around apologetic and shameful of various opinions and beliefs, likes and dislikes. Too positive, too inspired, over-dressed, over-educated – is there really such a thing?
Many of us go to great lengths to avoid feeling vulnerable. There is simply more on the line when we are taking the risk to follow our paths exactly. We are overwhelmed by the uncertainty of being our true selves, and we deem living authentically as more risky than living concealed by the burka of societal expectations and judgements.
Uncertainty is really the meat-and-potatoes of vulnerability. We can use these feelings of discomfort as beacons to guide us inward, instead of to numb us and freeze us immobile. Then, we will reach the springboard of our authentic selves. Then, we can take the risk to experience who we are as a whole person. Maybe that’s what it would take for humans to stop condemning others and themselves.
Negativity. Oh woe is me. How could I believe my actions would cause a shift into joy and happiness?
We human beings are always in motion. Moving one place to another. Changing positions. Sometimes, we must move slowly, gliding in a direction. We can shift from one place to another that we find more comfortable, more prosperous. We can ride a wave of negativity, protecting ourselves by feeling it and never taking the wave with us.
To harvest the positive, we must accept change and move when appropriate. We make adaptions to help grow within ourselves, sending energy to the world around us and believing it can bring us positivity.
We are only a part of something much larger, after all.
By simply walking along, we can cause a change in the air so that a fallen leaf may float somewhere it may never have gone otherwise. Much like we are affected by forces in the universe over which we have no more control than the floating leaf. We need to understand this movement of the universe, stop fighting against it and start moving with it.
I instantly could not tell where it ended and I began. I closed myself so delicately. I grow tired of the endless whispers in my ear. That those inconvenient and encumbering human needs only plague me, that they must be hidden and denied.
I am no victim though. Forget that – we are victimized enough! What’s even more exhausting is the idea that this could swallow me, define me. The sheer energy coursing through my veins with that thought is enough to light a small Christmas tree.
I forge ahead with all my
weight weapons, throwing all the truths I can find at myself. And still sometimes my voice doesn’t reach me. I grow frustrated because I cannot wait to be free. And I tell myself that I’m nearly there. Today is the day I will wake up, reach for my toothbrush, look in the mirror and fall back through it.
This road is not a straight and steady path. So I will grow tired, but I will not lay down. Each day I will not expect miraculous endings – I will dare to challenge myself.