Do What is Right. Do what is right they say. What does that take? It takes a road less trodden One less friend to be your partner in crime to run and play with all day. It takes growing up being mature being responsible for the role your play. It takes moving forward resolute. It means leaving everything and everyone to find your way. It takes lots of tears to wash you and make you new. It means a baptism of fire and a living water that you can glide on to your destination.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
Be Blessed! Be blessed: with friends that love you all of you so you can be true to you. Be blessed: with a body that functions even with the aches and pain there is still a peace inside that takes that rain and make you sane. Be blessed: that you can be content with just enough even with the fluff and all the no sense stuff. Be blessed: a favour bestowed even when you feel low because you already know the best is yet to come. Be blessed, and so it goes row after row and feel those rupples overflow...
Shame of Pride I hang my head in shame a shame milady. Beaten by the truth. Pride. The deadlest of all sins. Hubris leads me to my nemesis. No it's not a good thing I now fear looking within my very soul is in the balance waiting at the gallows. I must pull it back and cage this monster that sits atop my head. Who is greater than God? No man! Today I will learn that i am not. To think otherwise will set you down low. Instead I must cling to my shipwrecked raft drifting praying to be saved. I must be saved from drowining. I have not choice with Pride I carry the shame of Icarus.
A New Dawn Tremulously tentativly cautiously hope appears beaten back by the lean years. Unsupported by strong roots it still shoots strong in heart a stubborn will survival an unsung skill. Hope marches on, running jumping higher refusing to die.
“Escape to Last Man Peak” by Jean D’Costa was a novel I read when I was in first form at St. Jago High School. I was riveted, captivated and enthralled by the adventure related in this work of fiction. So much did this novel leave a mark on me that even today years old I still remember the story. In our present situation, I see a lot of similarities between what happened in the book and the crisis that we face today:
The book chronicles the adventures of ten orphans, who lost their caretaker Miss Brown (Matron), to a deadly pneumonia virus (referred to as the “sickness”). After the pneumonia outbreak, the country was plunged into a state of emergency, as the disease raged through the country claiming many lives… the children began to plan their escape.
I am sure that there are many who would gladly abandon the chaos and uncertainties of their present situation to escape to a place they felt was safer and more hopeful. However, it was not easy for these children. They faced many perils, many dangerous adults who tried to use them for their own gain. Yet, they persevered and made it to the safe haven of Last Man Peak. But along the way they were almost kidnapped, shot at and had to outsmart a notorious gang in one of the towns they journeyed through. They also met persons without whose help, they could not have made it. Persons who opened their homes and fed them and gave their some sound advice. In all of the many exciting encounters they children embodied the spirit of resilience and hope. Never being deterred by the many obstacles they faced they pushed on until they reached their destination.
That story of escape and resilience in the face of great obstacles is one I have carried with me in my own journey. Our journey in this life is not just physical, but also mental and spiritual and though we may take different routes we all must take these journeys. Once these children reached Last Man Peak, the physical journey ended for them but the work had just began. In the course of things now we need to claim our own journey and be ready to work ten times harder than we ever did to secure the peace we seek. We must embrace the truth that making our journey will be difficult but necessary. Those children never deviated from their course and were never defeated by their challenges, and we must be the same.
What does living well mean?
I heard someone, fabulously wealthy, say they started as a vendor, sleeping on the concrete floor to living in a mansion. He ended that rags to riches anecdote by saying that having gone through that experience he, had to live well. This was said in the context of him displaying his fabulously expensive possessions and giving a glimpse into his fabulously “envious” lifestyle. However, when he said, ” I’ve got to live well”, I wondered what he meant by that.
Is living well, living a fabulously wealthy lifestyle? Does one have to have a rags to riches story to tell while sitting in a finger designed custom made fluffy chair. According to Ulifeline.com, living well involves, physical and mental good health, having self-identity, having healthy relationships and being aware of your career path and work at it. However, I was not satisfied with this because I felt, that maybe not everyone who think they are living well would agree with this formula. So I checked another source.
According to Kate swaffer in her article that deals with the issue of living with dementia, living well in the medical sense means being free of disease, but for her living well is about living with hope. This differs greatly from the focus in ULifeline, mainly because the contexts presented in each differ.
On the other hand, bcliving.ca views living well as going even further than the two aforementioned articles. For them living well must take into consideration the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual characteristics of a person’s life. As we speak about spiritual, just a connection here to the catalyst of this entire article. The fabulously rich man who indicated that he does not want to be limited, references the book of Genesis in the Bible – no exact chapter or verse, but I think he is referencing Genesis 1:28 – as a reason to have dominion over everything. So for him having wealth is about having shoes that have never been worn hanging out in his closet rent free and material things that can be viewed like an art piece in a museum.
I realized at the end of my considerations that the concept of living well differs based on who you ask. The only conclusion is that we each have to figure it out for ourselves. When we say we want to live well, what does that mean to us?