I need to return to my self. When the feeling of being adrift and the mental fog merge, the road ahead appears as a romantic setting filled with intrigue and adventure, but little answers. In seeking such answers, I may find new paths and new passions, but such a journey cannot be undertaken when chained to the present.
The yokes must first be dismantled before the anchors lifted. The past is of no consequence except for its gifts that continue to colour the present moment. Wishing it away has never resulted in anything more than regret or escapism. Embracing it, despite most often being a cold and uncomfortable embrace, has always offered the opportunity to warm up to it, before moving beyond it.
There appears to be wisdom in learning to love the challenges I face, rather than spurning their roots. I lost myself many times in the distractions that result from a fixation on its roots, often questioning the value of my contribution towards countering the anticipated outcomes that now weigh on my shoulders as yokes of past decisions. Those contributions, when focused on with regret, grew larger than my strength to prevail beyond it, turning it into a living monument that slowly defined my sense of self. Thus I lost myself to moments long gone, and in investments long since diminished in value.
In returning to my self, I must embrace the beauty of my being that afforded me the conviction to contribute towards that which held no promise beyond that moment, but whose hope carried me to see dreams beyond the impossible that I faced. Despite not having achieved those dreams, its descendents have spawned new paths that otherwise would have remained concealed, but importantly, have eliminated any reason to question myself later had I held back in my contribution towards what I hoped to achieve.
Speaking cryptically is a game that tests my resolve between unbridled rage at the world, and quiet contemplation of my right to rage. Rage is only needed when I refuse to embrace the naivety and convictions that encouraged my contribution towards that which I knew carried the promise of betrayal as much as it carried the hope of joy. Denying my contribution to justify my rage would therefore be as hypocritical as the ones who betrayed my efforts because they saw their vulnerability as a weakness to be condemned, and therefore preemptively judged me to be what they expected of me, rather than what I offered in truth.
There’s a harshness that creeps in when we see our tenderness as weakness, rather than seeing it as a proclamation of our ability to remain human in a calloused world. It’s that same harshness that defines the tone with which we receive the tenderness in others. When we assume their tenderness to be a drain on our strength, we lose the benefit of seeing in them the gentleness that we must harbour in us to avoid inviting the harshness of the world into the cavities of our souls. Those cavities, when seen as failings or as evidence of inadequacy, become sources of shame, rather than opportunities to create the joy and the beauty that they await.
Joy and beauty would have remained elusive to my dysfunctional being had I restrained myself when common sense dictated such restraint. It was through abandoning common sense that I departed from the trajectory that honoured the emotionless heritage that had defined my world up to that point. It has always been my ability to dream of being more than I ever had a right to claim that I found myself among beauty and fulfilment that would otherwise have remained foreign to my experience of this world.
It is in my rejection of what others believed to be true about me that I found myself. It was in that rejection that I revealed their rejection of themselves in favour of their need to belong to their soured legacies. It is in that rejection that I found the most beautiful of souls with whom to share sacred moments and even bigger dreams. Without that rejection, I would have been as dejected as many of the vapid ones who spend their lives courting the validation of those who invalidated them to begin with. Seeing the hollowness in their eyes, it was my rejection of such a hollow existence for myself that I created space for kindred souls to create in me what the legacy of my lineage would never have been able to endow.
Thus, it was rejection that guided me to me. It was choosing what I did not want for myself, without waiting for the arrival of common sense, that allowed me to create space for what I hoped to experience, and who I hoped to embrace. And the embrace that I found through such rejection outweighs the accumulated benefit of all the validations that I could have courted instead.
Life has a way of meandering towards that which we desire most, but through paths that often defy logic while priming us for the state we must achieve if we hope to have the capacity to embrace what it is that we want. By respecting the fears that define the efforts of those around us, we limit ourselves to achieving only a shadow of their achievements, because we would never discover the potential that we hold within. Sometimes it’s more important to focus on what we need to reject, than applying ourselves towards that which we hope to achieve. It demands a trust in the harmony of life that exceeds any balance that we may be able to consciously extract from such a flow. Fighting the rapids is often the least effective way to navigate through tough times. Perhaps in that is the wisdom that I need to secure my way beyond this torrential period of my life.
Regardless of which way it goes, I am clear about the path that I choose to pursue through the foggy road that lies ahead. And the companion to accompany me on that journey will reveal themselves when the space I create meets the path that they’re on. Until then, the journey holds the promise of many beautiful revelations, akin to the revelations that revealed the possibility of being more than I ever thought possible for a man whose heritage denied anything beyond mediocrity or common sense.
Legacies are only to be honoured if they honour the truth of who we are. Discovering that truth is therefore only possible when we see in ourselves the possibility of the future, rather than remaining loyal to the inheritance of the past.