Life can be seen as a complex path. One in which one walks a way into the unknown, equipped with previous knowledge and hopes. A path full of decisions we can take and some times most take. Many people take it as a plan based process. In which the purpose of the whole thing, is to reach a dream land. Some others, just enjoy the walk, trying not to make to many mistakes. And some, see it as an adventure, full of failures, lessons and experiences. Eventually we all know where it ends. We prefer to ignore it, or just hope it is not true. Eventually, we enter this path with nothing and in the end, leave everything behind.
As a young person, life always fascinated me. It always seems to me an enigma. The world felt like a stage, with me as the main actor. I loved looking at people, observing their reactions to events around them. Learning the reaction of different people to the same situation.
One day, after many years, I found myself seating next to a canal in Amsterdam. Looking on the flow of the water and the ducks, gave me a great feeling of peace and tranquility. At this sudden moment, I realized. This is exactly the feeling and occupation I would like to achieve in 50 years from now. I just need not to fuck it up to much. I already have everything that I need……what a naïve and utopic thought.
from this point, everything became complicated. Life took over. Shaking my boat to the left and then to the right and then again. Everything became complicated. More I grew, more life became complicated. I felt in love and created a family. created businesses that worked and then crashed. Moved to a new country and started it all over again. I lived some terror attacks, the incredible experience of the Catalonian independence and the violence that followed. My business crashed again and everything became dark and complicated. I took my family, moved again and restarted….what else can you do?
Many years have passed since this moment on the canal and so much happened. In all of that, I got lost. I lost myself in the process. Not sure who I was, where I was going or why. Something about maintaining a family, a business and myself, pushed me to the darkest places. Places I didn’t even knew existed. I spent there way to much time. Getting used to the darkness. Enveloping myself in self justifications and reasons for why this is the only place I should be at.
Covid didn’t help. The little I still had of my optimism just collapsed. The present seems dark, the past was blurry and the future….well, the future seem grim. I passed weeks and months in this state. Floating from day to day. With less purpose each day and with a mounting amount of anger and frustration. Toward myself, my family, my government, the life and the universe. The canal in Amsterdam seems like a different life or a memory from a story.
One morning, in the middle of all of it, I had one of those moments of lucidity. I looked at myself and saw only frustration and misery. I can tell you one thing for sure. It is an ugly picture to look at. I’m not sure how long I stayed there. Just looking at myself. And then it hit me. All is well! Yes, life is complicated. Yes, many thing went very wrong and yes, if life was different it could all be easier. But after all, I’m here! and life is what it is!
After this moment of lucidity, I decided I need to take myself out of it. it started by writing down what are the good things I have. From the basic to the sophisticated one. I realized that I actually have all I need (which is very different from what I want). I have food, shelter, health, and healthy kid, a beautiful land to live on and people I love in my life. This must be a good start. I wrote down all the great things I passed in my life and took the time to be thankful for all of it. I looked at the future, I wrote down multiple times what I want to achieve and how do I think to do it. It all really helped.
I went back to meditate at least 10 minutes a day and work out for 20 minutes. I didn’t managed to do it every day. But 3 days a week is better than 0 and 5 days a week is better than 3 times. I created a daily mantra, to help me to remember the important part. In this process I realized I developed a pattern of self pity, anger toward the life and frustration about myself. It became an habit that I went back into every time I didn’t have to much attention.
Over time and with practice Things became better. My morning Mantra helped me solidify my mental path toward optimism, self love and general gratitude. These changes brought with them beautiful effects. My relationship with the people close to me improved. The time I spend with my daughters became extremely pleasant, I start looking at myself back in the mirror and like what I see. And maybe the most important part – I went back to have the capacity to seat and enjoy the nature and the ducks.
I’m still very far from my canal. This process I started is probably one I will have to continue to practice daily for many years to come. Regardless, I realized something extremely important in the process. Retrospectively, it all start and finish with me, myself and I. Reality is not happening to me, I’m the reality happening. As such, I have the control and responsibility to control how to see it, accept it and react to it. my actions affect my surrounding that affect me back. It is all me and how I choose to see it. In this path we call life, I’m my biggest enemy, ally and savior.
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Awareness and open conversation are the key for the creation of a better future.