<a href=”http://doubleconvex.com/“>Image courtesy of Debashis Talukdar | DoubleConvex.com</a>.
I´m not a fan of motivational literature and things like that. Yet, when I decided to write this I had some sort of need, well it was more of a terrible craving of words that could give my mood a push. I think that on a general basis, self-help literature has bombarded society with shallow advice just to make us feel good instantly. I repeat, in general. Well, when I wrote these words I also wanted to feel good instantly.
This is not a self-help post (I strongly hope not). This post is about words trying to expose a very common human state of mind. This is about words pretending, in the simplest way, to give a nice push to the mood of the reader.
This is a dessert, a craving that is necessary to satiate every once in a while. Hopefully this restlessness, if you feel it too, will be satisfied with my words.
Life is an unfair bitch. Well sometimes it seems like it is. Sometimes it seems like everything is going well. Everything seems stable, a tailwind with full sails. But the wind, like life, like people, can be ruthless and unexpected.
Nothing is stable or static. A voracious gust comes unannounced and out of nowhere bam! your little sailboat or your great titan of the ocean is in trouble. I don´t mean the little troubles of life, the ones you can easily get out of. I am talking about those whirlpools that enclose us in a vicious circle of blackness and unforgivable tidal waves.
So here I am. Here we are, in the middle of an infernal and hungry whirl. There´s no way out. Claustrophobia. Extreme fear. Indescribable panic. Loneliness. All of these emotions hug you so hard that it makes your bones hurt. The cold snatches the tears out of your guts. And one doesn´t know what to do. What to do? But the ocean is alive and it´s not going to stop because of you. The ocean is not going to stop because of anyone. The loneliness, the devastation starts getting hold of you; it becomes a part of your environment and soon a part of your soul.
I must confess now (because the brutal and raw honesty terrifies me but I rather face it than hide behind false perfection and neatness) that my brain, like many millions on this planet, is different. It is not better or worse, it´s just different. It needs external help to function the correct way. In a natural way my brain isn´t able to produce certain chemicals that let it keep a stable state of mind. In other words my brain is a depressive one. I require a low dose of medication that make up for that lack of chemicals produced naturally by my body.
So I´ve learnt how to sail these waters often. Now less than before. But the ocean doesn´t forgive, judge or discriminate. The ocean is ruthless when it has to be. Yet it doesn´t matter how many times you are found on this agitated sea, the body always reacts in the same way: paralysis. This emotional paralysis, this paralysis of the mind, of the brain, squeezes the soul till it dries it out, and with a frail and dry soul the wind destroys it and blows it away.
I haven´t written any words of hope yet, I know. Please bear with me, hope is coming. But first I want to make sure I´m giving you a clear panorama.
Inside the storm, as a fundamental part of the fury of the ocean the waters seem to be calming down. It seems the waves apologize to you for being so rude and inconsiderate. You will notice the ocean never apologizes to anyone or anything. The waves are what they are and it hurts to accept that fact. The pain of this state of consciousness combines itself with a change in the atmosphere and it is imperceptible and it touches you. The moment you feel it you are already a part of it.
This change lets you break through the paralysis. It gives you the opportunity to watch, analyze and breathe for a moment, a painful one. The waters are calmed and still as if they are asleep. The water is so quiet that when you reach for it you understand that a fine layer of ice is keeping it still.
Now, after so much agitation and movement there is only ice. The ice is so thin that you couldn´t walk over it, but it is so heavy that it doesn´t let you sail. Claustrophobia in an open space. There is no other place for you than where you are now.
Many times for many years this was my ordinary panorama. I still sail this latitudes, but each year that passes by, these waters become more distant, vivid and painful; but distant.
Yes I still sail these seas, fight against these waves that kiss my salty tears the wind rips out of my guts. And let´s face it, sometimes we come out defeated and sometimes we come out successful from battles.
The thing here is not to win or lose: coming out harmed or unharmed isn´t the point. The only important thing here is whether you are going to fight or let yourself get beaten. If the storm throws you out of the water you can always swim and make it back to your boat. Or you can just swim, and keep swimming.
Till now I have only talked about fighting in storms, of swimming in the savage waters of the ruthless ocean and all those metaphors that drive the warrior instinct. My metaphors aren´t just about life but about the most personal, intimate and buried fear we have: the fear of ourselves, of being our own person, the fear of being honest with ourselves and others: the fear of truth. Universal truth is beyond our comprehension. It is definitely larger than this blog. So I am focusing on the personal truth, the truth of each human being.
At some points of our lives it is necessary to make a vital decision: to be ourselves or to be someone else, whomever but us. The previous nautical sceneries are examples of those crucial instants. It is under those fearful circumstances that we forge character. It is with these decisions that we can manage the best way we can the adversities life brings us. To make the decision of being honest with ourselves isn´t the easiest or the simplest one, but it will always be the best one because being you gives you peace.
Finally the words of hope have arrived. Thanks for staying with me this far.
As the social animals that we are, in a certain way it may look really important what our social circles may think, specially our closest social circles such as family, friends and our boyfriend/girlfriend. We need to be accepted into certain human niches in order to survive the best way we can. Well, that actually is poop. Yes, poop, bullshit. You can live at peace with yourself even though you follow or don´t follow the basic norms of social coexistence. Personal honesty means to know who you are, what are you looking for; where you are, where you want to go. Whoever is with you and loves you, again, family, friends or boyfriend/girlfriend, will always be with you. If not they will leave an empty space for someone else that will come and will love you for being you and nobody else.
So my advice is to never shut your own voice down. Cry oceans laugh uncontrollably, love deeply. Respect yourself. Respect your dreams, your ideas, your personal point of view. There is nothing more liberating and gratifying in this universe than personal honesty. You will be afraid because fear never ends. But I know you can get up, face your fear and push it to the abyss. Watch it´s eyes. Feel it and face it. Do it only for you. Feed your soul more often with personal and honest actions. Exercise your heart more by loving and letting yourself be loved. Respect yourself first. Respect others. Being transparent with yourself is the most beautiful thing you can do for yourself. Accept pain. Embrace it and live it as a natural part of the universe and then let it go. Life, like the ocean, like water, is perpetual movement. Know it and don´t fight against it. Instead, dance with the waves. It´s hard to let go, tell me about it. It is also an exercise that requires conscience and constancy. It requires love. But if I could get there (of course I have fallen down, I´ve been hurt, I´ve been right and wrong) I know you can too. The only certainty I don´t have is this: Do you want it? Are you willing to work hard and enjoy life to the fullest for an exceptionally good cause? That cause is you. Are you willing to sail the unpredictable and unforgivable seas of life in search for your happiness, your inner peace? Only you have the answers. The only thing I can give you is my own certainty about your capacity to achieve this. I can give you my words of hope because I know it is possible. Storms will never stop existing. They will always come and will always stir up our established order. But every time we want it we will be able to face them with dignity and love and when the storm passes by we will be proud of being able to face it with truth, clarity and respect. It will not matter anymore if we come out of it defeated or victorious. What is victory? What is failure? Every battle faced with that personal truth is already a won battle for the heart and for the soul. It is a learning experience about yourself that you couldn´t have found in any other way. Don´t run away from pain, accept it, live it, and let it go. Have fear, but don´t subject yourself to it. Face it. The very action of facing it is already a sign of victory. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Love and respect others. Understand that nothing else belongs to us except for ourselves. Live and let others live. It doesn´t matter if they decide to live away or near you, with or without you, that doesn´t matter. To enjoy people fully and honestly when they are with you because they want to is as sweet as accepting their absence and letting time and the wind caress your skin.
Life is not an unfair bitch. Life is just life. So I invite you to put your sailboat or you titan of the ocean together and give yourself the chance to get out of the periphery. Stop watching from the coast and start sailing the unpredictable waters of the huge ocean before you, before each one of us. I will assure you, it is totally worth it.
I´m sailing away as we speak.