I remember myself being much different before
I am not sure whether you can relate, but long before I knew any better, I often found myself in the middle of a game of some sort. It was me against the people around me — we would influence one another with the good or bad we were feeling at the time and the winner was always the one with the strongest influence. Now, we didn’t know any better so this life we led seemed pretty normal.
But it certainly didn’t feel normal — life always felt like it should be better
It has been many years since I have left myself so helpless in a situation. I mean, I sometimes feel the urge to give in, but my conscience pulls me away from this. It makes me aware and leaves me as an observer of everything going on around me. And as I observe my surroundings, I cannot help but notice how many of us are caught up in the middle of this game.
We each are a part of it, whether we realize it or not
And what I find to be worse is how helpless we leave ourselves in these moments. We leave ourselves open to embrace the things people say and the situations we face without holding the slightest doubt. But if anything, life asks us to be different. We were meant to question everything that we face to make sense of it for ourselves. We were never meant to leave ourselves helpless.
We have the power to decide, on a very fundamental level, what affects us and what doesn’t
When we are prompted to act or speak, it is our choice to do so. I feel Victor Frankl knew this as well when he said, between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. We each have that space and it is ours to use if we acknowledge it in our trying moments.
Without this, I probably would not have learned that my peace is up to me
It is not only in the situations that go my way or the people that are kind to me but also with everything and every one that feels to be against me because my peace is not up to these, it is up to me. It is in how I lead myself through that tiny space given to me and respond to these very things. The influences roaming around may not be within my power, but I am and that is enough.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the great one is who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Here are some useful pieces of advice that can help you pursue this further,
Develop Yourself An Inner Guardian
The truth is that you cannot always predict when you will find yourself being heavily influenced by others. Very often, it is a natural progression of events that slowly draws you in. It will do you good to develop a sense of awareness in you, a guardian of some sort that comes along and saves you from succumbing any further by questioning your very situation and helping you make sense of it.
This guardian will bring you all that you need to change the moment — a different perspective
But I urge you to be patient with this process. The journey towards developing any strength is a trying process, but regardless of the failures and successes, stay committed. You may not have a guaranteed end date, but along the way, the process will develop your inner guardian, your awareness that will help you question the influences roaming around you and make good sense of it.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus
Be Patient — Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It
Patience is a tricky one to master, especially when your emotions are roaring within. And as much as you stop many things from entering your inner-world, some things will find their way in — it’s just the way life is sometimes. But understand that you don’t need to be patient forever, even though it may feel that way.
You just need to be patient enough to move life towards a broader perspective
That is not your fault alone, we are often faced with situations where we are not given all the necessary information to act in a rational manner. So we have to put in the effort to dig deeper, ask questions and find a greater understanding. Patience is only there to help you from acting before the situation has revealed itself to you. So respect patience and it will serve you well.
“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” ― Moliere
As An Individual, You Are Your Greatest Resource
If you live in the crowd alone and choose to walk and talk as they do, without ever taking a moment to acknowledge yourself as a separate being, as one who is capable of being their own, then it is almost certain that you never had the pleasure of experiencing the independence of solitude that Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke about, you never had the pleasure of being your own.
But for at least once, you must know what it is to experience this pleasure
Because you will find a separateness filled with power, a creativity that is capable of figuring out how to use what you have to create what you want, and a drive that needs no motivation to push you through each day. When you do take a moment to detach from the crowd and explore your world within, you will find all the resources you will ever need to live your own life well.
“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.” — Rumi
My journey thus far has shown me that life is an experience for us all. We each are asked to make a life out of the good and bad given to us. But the truth is, not all of us succeed. Many succumb to the life given to us and only do our best to make it to the end of the day. And it’s difficult to really blame anyone because many of us are not taught how to live any other way.
But each of us can be different, you can be different
You must still be here because you have this subtle belief, this hope that life should be different. And it is, it can be if you decide it to be so. Life is only ever what you make of it.
I understand that your environment may not seem to be the nourishing and thriving type, but I ask you to think otherwise, to look deeper into your world within, for this is where you will find the only environment you need to be nourished and grown, this is where you will find all that you need to be your own and create a good life — this is where you maintain your Peace.
All you really need to do is be, as Mahatma Gandhi once said, the change that you wish to see in the world.
Invest In Your Existence, Kind Reader.