“Every day includes much more non-being than being. This is always so. One walks, eats, sees things, deals with what has to be done; the broken vacuum cleaner; ordering dinner; washing; cooking dinner. When it is a bad day the proportion of non-being is much larger.” – Virginia Woolf
Ever since I was little, I can remember trying to find things in my life that made me feel a sense of wonder. Whether it was making up a story in my head or reading a book on the roof of my tree house, I made sure that I did something to set the days apart so that they wouldn’t collide into each other. I would daydream about breaking the air into pieces and stepping through its fragments into life as I didn’t know it. One where the garden gnomes would talk of the centipedes ruining their field of clovers and the flowers would detach their petals to reveal the fairies that they truly were all along. I never knew another way of life. My days were bookended by tall tales and attempts to divide every day from the one before. When did we as adults stop doing this? When did a window rolled down on a breezy spring day stop smelling like young freedom?
Somewhere between the mindful children we were, we became mindless adults. We lost our faith and found doubt lurking around every corner. Somewhere in the middle of beating to our own drum, we began to hear only white noise. We question why we’re not happy because as Virginia Woolf said, we’re living too much in the “non-being”; the disappointing part of life. We aren’t made to deal with things as we once were. We aren’t content with creating our own happiness anymore. If we feel hurt by anything or anyone, we don’t fix it by seeking happiness elsewhere, we revel in it and let it keep chipping away the very essence of us. The soul knows how to heal itself but it’s not the easiest way out, so it’s never the path we choose. We cover it up…We drink it down…We numb it until it comes back to peel our eyes open for the 19th time; Staring us dead in the face like a Grim Reaper that lurks just long enough to empty all of our hope out again. We’re more child-like now than ever before.
As a child, I had successfully figured out how to find happiness within myself in any situation. However, it wasn’t something I could easily do because my life was already perfect. It was something I HAD to do because even at a young age, I already felt consumed with something heavy and dark. I’ve fought with my own mind more times than I’ve fought with anything the outside world left on my doorstep. Sometimes the only thing that kept a thick black cloud from swallowing me whole was my instinct to create a balance for myself. It worked…for a while. Then I did what we all do, I let myself grow up too much. I stopped learning myself and how I could keep myself happy.
Slowly but surely, every hope and dream I ever had turned to mulch in my mouth before I could even speak it into existence. I had let myself fall into a pattern. Disappoint yourself, allow other people to disappoint you, feel bad about your life…Disappoint yourself, allow other people to disappoint you, feel bad about your life. It’s a cycle that can only be broken one way. You and God. You can’t wait for someone to slip a magic cure into the cocktail of your self-doubt. People don’t carry sewing kits in their pockets to mend a broken heart. It doesn’t work like that and you’ll break your own hands trying to shove someone into a spot that only God can help you fill.
Pay attention to small instances when you feel alive and whole. Cling to those moments until your knuckles are burning white. Find people who want to help you, help yourself; those people who make your need for a peaceful mind become their mission. When you feel like a target for misfortunes, go stand beside something vast and be reduced to the feeling of calming insignificance. Then, turn right back around and surround yourself with people who see every bit of worth that God has placed inside you; those that believe in the significant part you play in this world.
Learn your place in this world. Learn that sometimes you will feel broken and damaged and you’re allowed to feel this way because it’s a valid part of the spectrum of human emotions. Learn that life should be looked at as an art form and you decide what you create out of it. Learn that your life doesn’t have to be boring just because you’re young and broke. Start using your mind to break the bonds of an average life. Learn that the biggest rewards come from being selfless. Learn that people can copy your style and your hair but your mind is all your own. No one can truly capture the essence of you as well as you can, so do it well and never hold yourself hostage.
Start finding tiny fragments of joy to set your days apart again. Don’t let your life start feeling like one long and tired Tuesday. Find yourself again and allow God to restore your childlike wonder and breathe fresh life into you. You are worth so much more than allowing the “non-being” part of your life to take over. Start living for something bigger and in turn it will restore your curiosity and make you feel whole again. Find God. Find the balance. Find your people. Find yourself. Find happiness.