For a while there, I was stuck. Stuck in a state where I felt like I was rowing against the current and I had to keep rowing just to remain in one place. This often happens in life, but it’s important for these phases not to last, otherwise you forget what it’s like to move ahead.
Now, through a mysterious combination of unexpected synchronicity, calculated timing and unexplainable magic, the wheels of the machine I’m feeding (or that’s feeding me?) have started spinning again. I’m no longer stuck. And I realise that all these months, while I was carefully placing my pawns on the chessboard of my life, ruminating on what I was hoping would come, looking back and thinking of all the mistakes I’d made along the way, I had the conviction but not the faith that things would truly move forward again for me. My experience had taught me that, eventually, I would feel better about my life and the world around me again. But I couldn’t feel it, hence I could not truly believe it. Instead, I felt great sadness, I had a sentiment of failure, of doubt as to what I was supposed to do next. Fortunately, my mind was telling me that sooner or later, I would feel well again – or at the very least better about myself, my choices, my luck or lack thereof throughout my life.
And now here I am, seeing everything I’ve got and most importantly myself in a different (albeit not new) light. Once again, at long last, I like what I see. It’s imperfect, it’s flawed, it’s uneven, but this picture of myself and my life looks so much better than it did a couple of months ago. So what has changed? I have faced some of the demons that were lurking in the dark corners of my mind. And I have finally reached that point when the time and effort I’ve invested into some projects, both personal and professional, has started bearing fruit. Small and unripe as that fruit may be, it’s there. But more than my concrete situation, it’s my perception of it that has changed. I now think back on all the messages I’ve received over the years saying we must “focus on what we have rather than what we lack”, that we should “practice gratitude”, that we must “always keep a positive attitude”.
Although I can agree with the idea that your perception creates your reality, the assumption that follows is that you can control this perception. This I believe to be erroneous. What we’ve lost in this new wave of ‘self-improvement, self-empowerment, defining our own reality, being in charge of our own happiness, being the master of our own destiny’… is space to just BE. Be sad or disappointed or passive or angry when we need to be. I often fail to just take life as it comes, without trying to alter it, to make it the beautiful, fulfilling, charming life I had in mind.
Fortunately, circumstances in life, such as the passing of time or support from our loved ones, can help us have faith in the fact that we will indeed find our way towards our goal, whatever it may be. And our dear friends and family are also wise to remind us that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, even for extended periods of time. And it’s important to experience each phase in our lives fully, in order to move on and reach the next step.
This transitional phase I write of is where I am now. Neither the ‘before’ nor the ‘after’ will be simple, but the important thing is that I am once again convinced I am on my own path. The right path for me. And I’ll try to be more patient with myself and with Life next time I’m feeling down – without right away thinking of anyone’s expectations. Especially my own. Success and joyfull bliss can wait. I won’t get them without first taking the time to swallow the dirt and fight (or embrace) the demons around.
I’ll definitely try to “take it easy” and “take it as it comes” as the song goes.
(Title: quoted from The Doors’ “take it as it comes” by J. Morrison)