We’ve all heard this or at least something to this effect. Those who know me personally or follow me (for reasons beyond me) on my Instagram page can attest to the fact that I’m all for positive talk/ thinking, motivation and a firm believer in self worth, strengths and abilities. Basically I talk a good game. Although it is my sincere hope that my outbursts of positivity and optimism help others get through their days and help them look at the glass as half full, I have tried and failed woefully to practice what I preach. An acquaintance of mine once felt the need to reach out and confess with such admiration how they “love” the ways I learn to love myself and how outspoken I am about the need for Selflove. At a loss for words, I gave her what I’m sure must have looked like a very awkward, uncomfortable almost constipated smile, and at that moment I thanked God for all this melanin because otherwise my face would have given Rubywoo a run for her money. I have never felt more embarrassed, not as a result of modesty, but because in that precise moment I felt like the biggest fraud ever! Or maybe I’m not. Maybe I say all those things with the hope that if I make them my mantra long enough I’ll end up believing them and I’ll end up LOVING MYSELF the way I urge others to embrace themselves.
I’m not afraid to admit that I have issues. But so do you. We ALL have issues. How we weigh them and confront them is what sets us apart. Back to the small stuff… I guess you could say I follow the advise…well kinda.
I DONT sweat the small stuff. Instead I gather the small stuff bundle them with the not so big stuff, and heap that onto a pile of the ginormous stuff and in this way, I create a mountain out of what was once a harmless molehill to the ordinary untrained eye. I have excelled in the art of creating and building massive pyramids of problems and in the end, how I put the blocks together remains as much a mystery to me as the ancient Egyptian pyramids still are to the most brilliant minds of our generation. I am the daughter of a great architect after all and I’ve mastered designing problems that come crashing down and creating epic personal disasters.
The foundation on which all my problems are built on is Self doubt. The slightest movement along my fault plane of doubt be it from me or those around me triggers tremors and sends shock waves which off sets a sudden burst of negative energy – FEAR. Then it all comes crashing down. The fear of failure which motivates some people has the opposite effect on me. It makes me implode. It tells me “No” and “you can’t”, it obscures my vision and makes everything look cracked flawed and bound to come crashing down. This fear permeates my palms with sweat and I drop the ball. This fear turns me into the crazed builder who stacks up the small stuff onto the massive stuff till I can’t see what’s over head or on the other side. It’s a dangerous catalyst for a pessimist or a cynic because out of it, problems are born or created that had no business coming into existence. Pretty soon everything you touch looks like failure. And I suffer from the worst episodes of anxiety and panic attacks as a result. This is how my mind works. Over active and consumed by fear. Well this is how it worked up until last night.
It took me a binge/marathon of 10 seasons of Greys Anatomy back to back, 15 TED talks and long hours just sitting on the yoga mat challenging my brain to STOP. Stop thinking stop planning stop hoping or wishing. To just pause and be in the moment, to not try to create or manipulate the “hum” but to allow the hum flow naturally in my direction and allow myself do nothing but float away with it in any direction it takes me. It’s brought me to the shores of peace. The mountains and the pyramids are sinking in this ocean of “blissful hum” and the view is marvellous. The clarity and tranquility. All’s steady beneath me, nothing’s moving or crashing down, no doubts, or questions no rushing to get to anywhere. A great inner peace that’s foreign to me. This calm stillness, this pause has given me the ability to see that SUCCESS can sometimes look like a series of failures to the untrained eye. And success can only be failure when u decide to measure it up to another’s level of their perceived success. But when you measure your success against your previous achievements and you find that there has been a forward or upward movement then it means you have succeeded to be one step farther than who you were before. You may not be moving at the pace you want to, but so long as you’re moving, it means you’re actively succeeding at something.
What I’ve learnt: I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve failed to love myself and appreciate my growth and my wins irrespective of how small or minute they may seem because I’ve been too preoccupied using other people’s achievements as the yardstick with which I measure myself. I may not have won every match and scored perfect points, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t succeed and made it to the next round or stage. Our generation is in a hurry and rightly so. You spend all your money getting the new iPhone and a couple of months later there’s a newer model and you feel yourself getting crushed under the pressure to keep up. We’re more of a Nike “just do it” bunch than a KitKat “have a break” lot. And in the commotion of this rush hour you succomb to the pressure and you’re left feeling like you haven’t done enough or your best isn’t enough and isn’t going to get you anywhere all the while failing to realise that you’ve been on the move at all times and the only thing that’s slowed you down and weighed you down is the little sack of “small stuff” you’ve been dragging around with you.
So after 10 back to back seasons in Shonda Land, it’s safe to say I’ve reached the conclusion that “it’s a beautiful day to save lives” – MY LIFE. And to do so I have to learn to let go of the small stuff, stop building torture chambers out of them and when in doubt just pause, switch off allow the hum to take over and remind myself that I’m moving. I’m not the girl I was last year, and I certainly won’t be this girl I am today next year. I might not win every match every season, but I’m succeeding , learning and getting stronger. And I’ll continue telling myself positive lies until I one day start believing those lies and they become my truths, the very essence of who I am at the very core of my existence.