“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” and I think. We all need to learn to love ourselves more.
We’ve all had those moments, the strong sense that we don’t deserve happiness nor kindness. Irrational thoughts, sadness run through our minds in overdrive. We believe that the divine doesn’t think we are deserving of an sustained happiness. We have moments of happiness, only to lose it again with a lamentable moment the next. The undesirable nights where our thoughts are too loud for us. They say sleeping will make it all go away, but that’s working on the assumption that we would be able to sleep. We’ve all had those moments. I am thankful that my moments weren’t prolonged, that in retrospect, my low wasn’t that low after all.
It shouldn’t have to take a movie to remind or to educate us on how our mind functions. I am glad that my revelations were not from a movie that only came out when I was through 21 years of my life. Sadly, though, some people only arrive at this same place after years of meandering. They meander because they were so fixated on taking a continuous, never stopping train ride to arrive at their destination. The truth is, this isn’t life. It is never a single predictable journey and happiness isn’t a destination.
Sometimes, we reach our destinations faster when we get off the train and take alternative routes.The unstopping ride may not be the smoothest nor the fastest. Our trials are placed in our lives through metaphorical train breakdowns, through road/track closures. Ignoring these oppressive structures and adamantly staying on board the train is not the only way to get to the next stop. Sometimes, it is through that shared frustration of waiting with friends, the slivers of goodwill, the conversations, or even the different scenery and pace, that adds value to your existence in that precise moment.
Persevering is not the same as doggedly pursuing a lost cause. The notion that persistence and hard work may triumph above all is a fairytale notion and something we should stop teaching our children. We should teach them that while perseverance is important, sometimes giving up is necessary. Sometimes, we have to pick our battles. The fight against oppressive structures or the persistent clinging on to the slight chance that things may change will be wearisome so we have to make sure we can fight the long fight. Not every battle has a winner. Not every battle is meant for fighting. Not every battle can be fought by us.
Another feeling we like to bring to the forefront is loneliness. The common gripe that ‘nobody will understand’, ‘nobody tries to understand’, ‘nobody is here with me’. but why should there be? It is so selfish, to attribute your loneliness and your inability to love yourself, to external factors, to people who have no obligation. Let’s face it. We could all have that one person who is unwavering and steadfastly holding on to us. Yet, we will still lament our loneliness.
Loneliness is never measured by the number of people around us who open themselves to us. Loneliness is measured by the number of people we don’t open ourselves to.
It is never a random person’s duty to ‘open you up’. Why should you expect them to take the first step, if you are the one who needs that first step?
Of course, there are bad days and there are good days. I wanted to be optimistic and write that there will always be a silver lining in every situation. I still believe that there is. However, when caught in a bad situation, we may not always have that clarity to ascribe the above, to ourselves.
The pieces fall onto the ground, the dust envelops us and we are transfixed with the horror and awe of this spectacle. It was beyond us at that point to see that it was beautiful in its shattered state. It was beyond us to have found the silver lining then. It was beyond us, to have known that years later, it wasn’t complete anyway to have been broken.
So, it’s okay.
It’s okay to rage, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to retreat, it’s okay to hold on to the pieces and think about their better days and it’s okay for the world to know you’re hurting. It’s okay to lash out at people who are reaching out for you.
It’s not okay for it to be permanent.
We’ve spent 9 months forming, building ourselves up, and more months learning, unlearning, growing. It is unthinkable that for all our generative abilities, we’d let ourselves crumble. It is unthinkable that our days of loving have taught us nothing about loving ourselves. It is unthinkable that our days of being loved have taught us nothing about how deserving we are of kindness from ourselves. It is unthinkable that our days of seeing the beauty of others have taught us nothing of looking within. The beauty of the world exists in its dualities. When something is good, surely it can be bad. When something is bad, surely there is good that can come out of it.
You have the agency. The only one who can save you, is you. The only person you have to save yourself from, is still you.
When the walk along this road gets tiring, take a break. Catch a breather and bask in the gloriousness (or heat) of the sun. Then continue walking.
You have to walk.
This is dedicated to my friends who are struggling, & who have always known that I would not regale them with consolations nor kind untruths, but who still come to me anyway believing in my brand of metaphorical slaps to their faces. I love you all and there are always people here for you.
[image credit : Oleg Oprisco Fine Art Photography, retrieved from Berlin-Artparasites]