“Sometimes, in order to find yourself, you need to run away from yourself. I think it’s part of the process, the journey, the experience. And, when you are ready, when you have climbed mountains, and sailed many seas, you will be waiting patiently. Awaiting your own return.”
Throughout my life, I have gone through some major highs and major lows. I’ve had my share of the flux and flow, and I’ve been thrown and thrashed around in it, but somehow, i managed to make it through. Life is easy, but our ability to manage ourselves during the storms and those transitional periods, is the determining factor to how pleasant or how difficult the ride will be.
My childhood was a mixed bag of extremeties. I experienced happiness and sadness, love and hate, being nurtured and abused, being wanted and discarded, being lost and then found. And in the midst of these things, i found myself standing there, many times over trying to figure it all out. Basking in the glory of the illuminated aspects of life, and trying my best to avoid that which hurt, that which did not feel good, that which made me feel most uncomfortable, unworthy, and unlovable.
I suppose that is the reason why i was always so afraid of the dark. I am not afraid of the dark anymore, but as a child, the darker aspects of life, the denseness of it, suffocated me, and consistently encroached on my light. At times, it was so dark, i could barely see myself anymore, and so i would always ask mom to put the night light on before bedtime, so that i could have a little comfort, a little hope and reminder, of that aspect of myself that could be found, no matter how dark it got.
My fear of the displeasing aspects of life led me farther and farther away from myself. And, I would do all i could to avoid anything and all things that made me feel discomfort on an emotional, mental, and physical level.
Everyone has their own tonic to numb those uncomfortable and painful aspects of their self. Mostly in the form of excessive addictive tendencies… like nail biting, over-sleeping, alcohol, drugs, food, people, places, things. Anything that pleases the senses will suffice, even if it is, just a temporary fix.
My tonic was to be a workaholic. It was the best remedy for me at the time. Keep myself busy, keep my mind distracted, work, travel, buy stuff, consume stuff. Even an excessive amount of socialization can become mind numbing because it enables you to get lost in the events and realities of everyone else, too. Everyone else, but you.
It’s funny how the mind will make you believe things, when you are whole-heartedly under its influence. It’s absolutely amusing how it can twist your perception on things and make up valid excuses to make you believe that you are doing the right thing…I was a workaholic for over 10 years, and I had myself convinced that I was doing it to be in service of others, to help others, to be there for those who needed help. Little did I know, I was merely trying to fill an empty hole, because I was dissatisfied with myself, because I didn’t realize my worth, because i refused to face the darker aspects of myself and my life. Because I needed validation and I thought I could find it in others. But, if you think about it, we are all playing a really sick game. Most of us are trying to fill holes, that can never be filled…The only person who can fill it…is you.
And, for years, I believed i was happy. I set goals, i accomplished them. I literally ‘sacrificed’ my self in order to please others. I surrounded myself with all this stuff. But everyone reaches a threshold. Everyone comes to a point where they can’t run anymore. And, when i couldn’t run anymore. When I finally allowed myself some time to stop and catch my breath, i didn’t even recognize myself anymore. my search for a remedy for pain, had led me so far away from my own self, that when everything stopped, i stood there, terrified- of my own reflection. Terrified because the person standing there had become foreign to me and I didn’t even know who i was anymore.
So many years spent wrapped up in everyone else, everything else, i could not see my self clearly. I had spent so much of my life trying to find happiness and love in others, that I was not aware that I had become disconnected from my self, and my heart. I was so caught up in my mind, I forgot that I didn’t need to fill any holes, because I am whole.
As we traverse on, we realize it wasn’t about chasing happiness and it wasn’t about crucifying pieces that we don’t like about ourselves. It’s about love. Loving yourself just as you are. Being brave enough to face and accept the parts that you may not like, and loving them anyway. Knowing that you are enough, and that everything that you ever needed or were looking for is looking right back at you too. Awaiting your return.