“Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.” ~ Rumi
I was told growth is not linear. When I first considered growth I was slightly bemused, as I thought to myself, how much more do I need to grow when I am now 30 and this is who I am? Fast forward a few years….and I was on figuratively and physically on my knee’s…AGAIN.
I was on the verge of being the revered age of 35 and I felt I was stuck in a position worse than when I had become an ‘adult’. At least back then through starry eyes of a 18 year old, I could consider aspirations as something I could work towards but how can that be something attainable now? At an age when I ‘should’ have already done so many things? And there was where it dawned on me. There was the predetermined expectation I had been living for. It didn’t matter how many times I voiced or inked that I was not going to conform. That I didn’t need to follow those rules which I was primed work towards, as soon as I was able to walk and talk.
I had to get over the fact that I wasn’t married by 30. And that in itself, had been something I had to meticulously keep telling myself, was not a goal or made me anything more than I am. It wasn’t an achievement I had to work for, so I didn’t need to worry that I hadn’t managed it.
However, even when I thought I had accepted it and shouted from the rooftops that I was fine being on my own, why did everything feel dull and lifeless? It took me a long time to realise, that even though I had accepted that society was providing unrealistic expectations upon people. I, myself had subconsciously let them fester in my head. Making these ‘goals’ become the barometer of my success in life. I’d become really good at disguising the expectations on myself by spending the majority of the year not thinking about it, completely consuming myself with endless events and places I ‘had’ to be even when my body was constantly calling out for some respite.
I didn’t want to give in, I didn’t want to stop. I was too scared to find out what would happen if I stopped. Because in the few moments I had to myself, in between all the things people would consider was surmountable to ‘living life’…I would feel this unease creep into me. Recognising no matter how many places I travelled to, how many things I purchased, how many people I surrounded myself with there was still something gnawing at me. With constant consumption, of alcohol, of socialising, of purchasing and travelling the gnawing had been somewhat diluted. But it was becoming obvious that the threads which were holding me together were wearing thin. I wasn’t in a place of balance, I was in a place of extremes. Trying to chase these things which made me think I had attained some ‘joy’.
When I was alone the swirling thoughts would become large violent storms. It was hard to figure out what was going on because the loudest voices where those of self-criticism. This had stopped me from looking any further as this would deter me from thinking there was any more to me. It stopped me looking into the one place I really hadn’t looked into…me. Actually spending time listening to the small voice that has been calling out so many things about myself I had been neglecting.
What has been stopping you from looking into you?
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