The journey feels long and never-ending.
May I remember that even when things feel the same, when each day just feels like the day before, or like an even bigger struggle… Even when I cannot sense that there is anything happening…
Change is always there.
And that is why it won’t always be like that.
-Morgan Harper Nichols
Even here, I see light coming in the form of my supportive and loving family, my patient and caring friends, my meaning-filled and gratitude-filled work.
And I want to always believe that even in the darkness, we can make our own light.
As I sat down for lunch, I noticed this little guy was at the bottom of the wall. He hardly seemed to be moving, if at all.
About 10 minutes later, I looked in his direction and saw that he had made it this far. Wow, that was fast, I thought.
At the end of my lunch, as I was packing to go off, I took one more look at him and saw that he had made it to the top of the wall, and seemed to have reached his destination among the bushes.
Slow and steady. You will make it.
“What makes you think you can help others when you can’t even help yourself?”
Excuse me, voice in my head. I’d like to let you know that I’ve done plenty to help myself. I have asked for help. I have reached out. I have made certain changes to my lifestyle. I’ve been courageous enough to ask for more help. I’ve been working on voices like you, who may have developed at some point in time in my life for some purpose which is no longer relevant and hence does not benefit me anymore.
The fact that we are still on this journey does not mean that I have not done enough.
It might simply mean that the journey is still ongoing, that the process is continuing, that we are truly all works in progress.
Trust the process.
Thick smoke rising in the air.
Orange light. Flames.
I get on a bus. It starts moving and we’re driving on a mountain road. Trying to get to safety.
I see buildings above us going up in flames, things inside bursting into flames.
I see objects, debris falling from the dark night sky onto and around the bus I’m in.
Around me I hear voices saying that it’s a natural disaster of sorts which caused the huge fire.
And I think: How could we be having natural disasters in this country?
And after I had woken up and dried the tears and felt my breathing go back to normal, I thought: How could I be having struggles with my mental health?
I accept that you’re not feeling your best right now. That there’s a nagging voice in your head telling you that you should be happy because you have nothing to be “sad” about. I accept that it’s really tough to live with that voice, and on bad days it makes the shame unbearable and you wish that you could just make it go away. I accept that it feels like a really tough journey and there are days when you feel like such a weakling for wanting to give up. I accept that your chest feels heavy and uncomfortable and tight. I accept that you also feel good at times and then wonder how long will that feeling last, and then feel guilty for wondering that instead of being mindful in that moment of feeling good. I accept that there is a compassionate voice inside that comes out when it’s most needed, even though it feels foreign and weird and even wrong at times. I accept that it’s probably not very used to being used and could probably do with more practice. I accept that there are the horrible feelings and the bad voices, as well as the helpful and kind ones. I accept that this is one heck of a journey and nobody knows what is going to happen. I accept that these things are happening to you, within you, but are also NOT you. I accept that you are a living, breathing, human being. I accept that where you are will not be where you will always be. I accept that this is difficult, and this is life, and this is all ok.
I accept that I am still learning to accept.
It is ok
Even if your days look like endless walks
through the forests of your mind.
There is still beauty –
in the walking,
in the going on,
in the moving forward,
in the seeking for something you’re not quite sure you’re going to find.
There is still beauty in all of that.
A reminder to not compare your beginning to others’ middle… Or vice versa.
We each have our own path, our own journey to make.