Acknowledging problems is often not as easy as it sounds at the outset. There are a hundred different reasons why someone would be unable to move past old situations or upload their baggage, and sometimes that reason is as simple as fear. Fear makes our ambitions small, fear keeps our hearts closed-off and frozen, and fear turns even the best intentions into instruments of pain.
I know, because I have been there. In some respects, I’m actually still there… But not for lack of trying.
I am still chock-full of fears and doubts, and they make me small and impotent. I fear rejection of any variety, I fear hurting people, I fear my anger, and most of all I fear failing. There should really be no rational reason as to why I should be this fearful, considering that I have some of the best people I could ever ask for in my corner, watching my ass and keeping me sane. Instead, I shrink and remain afraid. I have to stop this cycle. I have to do better.
A phrase that was used against me in my childhood was “it’s not the work, it’s you”. Both my 5th and 6th grade teachers used this phrase against me to much detriment, and I am still trying to recover from it to this day. I have very little confidence, and what I do have is limited to the scope of what I do one regular basis. I don’t believe that I look good, even though others tell me I look great. And in a room full of the smartest people I could possibly know, I feel like an ant trying to understand the boot about to stomp on it.
It’s not healthy or rational, but no one ever gave me credit for an abundance of rational thinking or brains. Reading lately on creativity, innovation, and philosophy has started to show me that even some of the best-and-brightest go through years of crippling self-doubt and gut-churn before they even begin to bit it big or hit their strides. Michael Jordan was not selected for a basketball team in his youth, went home, cries his eyes out about it, then went on to be quite arguably one of the greatest players the game has ever known.
Why should my story be any different, and why do average people like myself not understand the amount of work and the agony that goes into an effort like that? I don’t know, but what I do know now, is that MJ’s story is not singular.
If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live the rest of its life believing it is a failure. – Albert Einstein
There is great wisdom in this quote, and even more wisdom to be gleaned from an honest assessment of one’s situation in life. From a position of gratefulness and humility, we can begin to understand that the small gifts that we display, the few people in our lives that bring us happiness and challenge is to be better than we were yesterday, and the knowledge that we are beautiful and loved should embolden us and make us stronger.
This is what I am having to re-learn every day. I am re-learning how to have patience with myself and others, how to love myself and my body (whether over-weight or under), and how to learn new things and how to make it last. This is my quest. Nothing grand, no kingdoms to save, no people to rule or manage, and no statesfolk to sway. Just me, re-educating myself and learning anew every day.