The inevitable inconsistency of life does not and should not make us incapable, but sometimes, it shirks us and makes us go incognito.
So how was 2016? Let’s take a minute to think back on everything that happened in the past year. Let us put a line between the general 2016, which are the things that everyone know – Orlando shooting, Donald Trump becoming president, Aleppo’s continuous brutal four-year deadlock; and also the specifics of 2016 – which is all about you. I don’t know what exactly you’ve went through, but this year I have grieved, ugly-cried, solaced, and have settled inner peace with acceptance and letting go. Maybe you could relate, maybe not.
Life is not a compilation of words to define, but a meaning to be found. This year, I have sought things I thought were worth fighting for. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that they are worth it, and I probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Because I have learned that to find certain milestones in our life, we need to stand firm; and so long as we keep that posture, even if we are confused, answers just find their way to us.
I walked tall, but still fell short. Who never felt disappointment? Who never felt cheated? Who never asked for vengeance? These are all within a man’s capacity.
But if we can just accept life as it is, and meditate on things that are pure, things that are true, and just, and noble, and lovely —
Then one day, it will all make perfect sense.
Sure, it’s hard to be “haunted” by some actions we thought we could’ve done, but it’s even harder to be “haunted” by the things we would’ve done out of anger or whatever but never fully understood their repercussions.
Some may think they have taken everyTHING away from me, but not everyONE. Notice that things that people take from us are replaceable, but not the people dear to us. At night, as lay ourselves down on our bed, when our emotions shrink to the quietest, loneliest part of our hearts, we would still say –
“God, thank you for letting them take almost everything away from me. It made me realise having less is having more.”
Love is not blind. Sometimes, the fog makes things blur, and we fail to see that the person is right there under our nose. Here’s a quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower to make my point –
“We want and dream of a love we thought we deserve”.
Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Therefore we will always find it interesting to be with somebody. We see a great spark within, and sometimes we aren’t really sure, but that’s okay, because the way to finding love is taking paths, and a lot of times we get hurt in the process. But that doesn’t make life unfair. Acceptance that everything we meet is a lesson makes it easier. Even at your worst, love at your best.
I am not even half the person I used to be, and that is completely horrifying – but not strong enough to break me. I am not the ever-achiever person anymore. I am not the simple, fun-loving person that I used to be. In fact, I feel extrememly vulnerable these days. A lot of things have changed. But regardless of these, one thing I am assured of – that what I have within are still with me.
You’ll realise that everything you’ve been through, was a process of you patiently figuring out who you are, what you stand for; what drives you forward, and what you’re best leaving behind. They challenged us to let go of all the ego-heavy ideals we hold about ourselves and realise who we actually are deep down inside.
It’s easy to lose sight of things when we are saddened and belittled by our own emotions at a certain moment, but if we keep going, no matter how random and hopeless it may seem, we’ll always overcome it.
2016 is more than you could take, according to you. But you still breathe, you still laugh, you still have your loved ones, you still know your craft, and you still have a person that makes you happy. Maybe, this is not a letter to your former self – maybe this is a letter to your future self, that one day, when you come back to read this again, you will have mixed emotions and say – “Lord, had it not been for pain, I will never be who I am today; for every pain, there is gain; for every gain, there is glory; and for every glory, there is peace.”