Learn to Dance in the Rain

I saw this quote recently and it coincided with some hard truths I stumbled upon. Lately, I have felt immobile by regret, discontent and a feeling of utter dissatisfaction with the state of my life. I know a part of this was burn out but it was also a malignant feeling of seeming never to truly be making progress in any area of my life. It came from a sudden attack of feeling stuck in life and realising that I was not blameless in this. I realise that the time has come for me to admit and accept some hard truths and this episode of discontent has revealed some true gems that have birthed great discomfort for me.

Some Hard Truths:

  1. The hand that wields the sword is more dangerous than the sword itself: I am pretty sure that you have heard some version of this before. However, for me, it has come to mean that I am not blameless in the state of dissatisfaction and discontent I am experiencing now. I have continued to make the same mistakes expecting a different result because of how earnest I am about experiencing change. I am earnest but my actions have done more harm than good. I need to take accountability in this regard.
  2. Do not wait on something outside yourself or your environment to make you feel complete or happy: Again I am sure that some of you have heard this before. But we need to recognise the truth of it. I have lived in denial of this. When you look beyond where you currently are and think that things will get better when you leave where you currently are then you will always be miserable there. I have to find the good in and learn how to be content again where I am.
  3. Do not make excuses because they trip you up and keep you grounded in the same place: It is so easy to blame everything on others or circumstances. Do not make excuses take action and own up to your part in whatever has gone wrong.
  4. Big things happen from small moments and actions: I have to stop resting on great expectations with Bollywood productions. Just do the small things and let go of those big plans.
  5. You control the journey you will experience in life: It is so easy at times to blame others for where you are at a certain point in your life. “If you did not have to do this for her”, or “If you did not have to go there for him” are thoughts that can hide the fact that you made decisions whether based on desire or out of a sense of duty, fear or guilt. It does not matter, you chose to help, to give and to be where you now regret you have been, what you have done and how much of you and your resources you have given.
  6. Make things right as soon as possible whether or not the fault is yours: It is a lot harder said than done but having peace of mind demand this is done. So whether we want to or not peace comes from making peace.
  7. It’s not that you cannot find time to pursue your dreams, it is that you have not made time for them: I have wasted so much time doing truly meaningless things time I could have spent working on those things that aligned with my goals and vision for my life. I now have to work on being disciplined and pursue my dreams actively.
  8. Lack of fear and self-confidence stunts you, not what others say or do: At some point we have to decide to move forward in spite of it all even our own limited view of our abilities.
  9. Don’t wait on the approval of others: We often turn to friends and family to get validation or a word of advice about something important t o us. However, learn to be more confidence in your ability to make the right decision. I have realised also that what I want more than sound advice is to place the final decision on someone else. So now I need to practice making the decisions that need to be made without expecting others to tell me what I should do.
  10. Your ideas wont wait on you to manifest, when you put them off they eventually find another more capable source: With this I will be simple, your great idea is your great idea until someone else makes them come alive. Then they become a wish never fulfilled.
  11. No one is limited or needs more than who they are: It has become so easy to compare yourself with others, without even realising it. Then one day it all comes to a head and you realise you have been making a list of all your shortcomings and they now overwhelm you: “What have I done, achieved in this life so far? Nothing”.
  12. Self-help books do not produce change in your life, only your thoughts and actions can: I have read a couple of self-help books and while in the moment they were great they were not this miracle text that delivered on results the way I erroneously felt they would. I now realise that they can help toa degree but I have to do the work, show up and make the time to work on improving areas of my life that need the work.

I know that as with anything else truly being accountable is the best way to learn from those truths highlighted above. But in a world that seems to change so rapidly nowadays we need to stop and pay attention, then take action.

Forgive Me

Forgive Me

Forgive Me 
for making you chase waterfalls
the wift of what could have been
the dust of my essences
as I float a drift
lost to you and you to me.

Forgive me
as I swerve 
any which way
I have no say
I must bend to the wind.

Forgive me
for being sick
of the ugliness of life
for earth's sweet relief I will pray.

Forgive me
for the dim smile
I promise to come back
from my woeful lacking.

Forgive me
I will soon be 
like the sea free to flow freely.

When Self-Help Becomes Trendy.

It is fascinating and quite horrifying to realise that things are not always what they appear to be. It is also embarrassing that you have been doped by by your own imagination and not facts. I use to think that self help books were the answer to solving many of my problems. But I guess by now you know, where I am headed. They did not work.

First of all, I was under the misconception that once I started reading them, I would be so motivated that things would somehow click into place. I would develop a better mindset and start feeling great about life! Never happened. Why, you may ask? No amount of advice or reading is going to take you to where you want to be. If all you do is sit around and think of all the things you want to accomplish and read a million and one books about how to do the same thing, then you’ll be dreaming forever.

Essentially at some point in all this reading, you have to take action. In all these challenges of writing all the things you want to do or accomplish, you have to get up and do.

Also, I realise now that some of those advice had nothing to do with my reality and so were not applicable to me. I was looking externally at a solution that never matched my problem. I got so caught up in the thought of making a change that I kept tripping up myself.

Wow! I made a vision board or I wrote down some goals, let me take a nap, that was hard work after all.

Then, next years comes around and the plan is still there. Well at least I had a plan, but this is no comfort at all. You have a plan that was based on someone else’s because it seemed like a good idea, not because it really was a solution to your problems. So in the end I continued on my quest to find the next book or video that would be the one and the only thing I ended up with is a collection that I need a home library for. By the way, I love books, just not those that remind me that I have failed at yet another attempt at succeeding!

I know what to do and I know how to go about getting it done, but strangely I was hoping if I stalled long enough there would be a miracle that would take the decision out of my hand, and that is the escape that those self-help books offered, an escape from making the tough, unpleasant and unpopular decisions.

Then, there is the fallout when you realise that you have not made the kinds of gains you thought you would, when the example of what success is is not in your reality. Then you realise that the after images fed to you by these books and videos never really guaranteed it would be the same for you. I realise now that I was more invested in someone else’s reality and not my own. Maybe the author or that personality made it, became a success but did I stop to think if that was for me or if I even wanted their success. After all, a certain concept of success has been ingrained in many persons that have no bearing on their passions or personalities. Being a certain kind of success had me running to get it from a book, from a video and from images readily available.

So what is left when all else fails? Where to turn when success cannot be found in the self-help trend? Well, because of this pandemic I have had to deal with health challenges that have made me a bit paranoid and the struggle to practice mental wellness a daily event. It has forced me to look within and to realise that I can only be happy if I am brutally honest with myself about what I have not gotten right and work in incremental stages (baby steps ) to improve. It also means accepting that there are dreams that were never mine to dream and therefore finding pursuits that really matter. My success is knowing that I take care of my physical and mental health, that I recognise that everything that happens to me after this is within my control. It is in knowing that no person can tell me what my future will be, because God has placed me squarely in the driver’s seat and He is my instructor.