If 2018 wasn't a terrible year for me, I don't know what is. I myself know, my heart had been broken a lot of times that year, and I lost myself in the process. That moment when you realized that everything was falling apart, and you only had two choices: go down with the falling pieces, or hold the pen instead and write the story differently. Then there is one burning question — who do I write the story for?
In needing external validation, recognition, and respect I know that if these are my metrics, I would fail myself. I would be proving myself to others again —not to me. I told myself to step back.
Sadhguro once advised, “Decide when you're calm and clearheaded; not out of others' influence and emotional turbulence.”
In taking a step back, I faced my emotions and sat with my fears, and knowing that I will have to face these fears anytime soon was breaking me deep inside. It was enough for me to be more confused than get any clarity. My thoughts were fighting each other. I thought I was going insane. I was not doing fine. I was barely getting by. Yet, I knew I was just letting the fear cripple me, and to combat it, I only had to put it in my mind that in making decision, there is something to lose and something to gain. I cannot have it both. I also only had to remind myself not to do it for others; it's for what I think is best for me in the long run, and it's on me.
Honestly, my dilemma is nothing unusual. You too are not exempted from it. Whatever you're dealing with in life right now, it's always how reality operates. Life fucks us all up either it's because of our own doings or of others' — it doesn't matter. What matters is we make use of what we have, and the worst way to handle our failures is to make a point to other people. It is somewhat an statement that says, “Look what you've done to me. I will rise up and prove you all wrong.”
I can't deny that when we're driven of proving other people's wrong, we suddenly have the energy to do what's in front of us. Because we need to prove them wrong, remember? Yet, in doing so, we outsource our self-worth from others again. Why are we doing this? Why do we live for others's approval and validation? I have to find the answers within as well, so do you. So, I'm going to start by answering this query—who do I write the story for?
I write it for me. Not for you. I want to make myself proud. I want to be the one that chooses the path and picks the pain then lives through it. There's no reason to prove it to anybody else. Praise and criticisms do not affect my self-worth.
Now with you. Who do you write the story for? If it's for the wrong reasons, abandon the story. Create a new one. Put yourself as the only person responsible for your life. Prove it to yourself. Your failures and achievements are yours. Own them. And I must say, do not wait for other people to change or catch up with you. I did that, and I caused my own misery. People rarely change for you. Let them do whatever they want to do. Just do you.
One of the most empowering quote I've ever read was, “Don't take responsibility for other people's choices.” When I feel let down by others, I turn to this religiously. It's on them, not on me.
Now, it's time to pick the pen.
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