“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
It is that time of the year that many of us are taking stock of the year that we’ve had. If my observations are accurate, for a great majority of us the year 2016 was an emotionally overwhelming year. Some of us find ourselves lost in confusion over the course that our lives have taken. We may not know where to from here because things took a turn that we never anticipated. So, for many of us, the ending of this year brings with it great solace, which perhaps, the worst is over and the coming of the new year brings a fresh hope of better things to come.
For me, a great deal of the year I had spent in a dark pit of depression and anxiety. I had lost hope and zest for life. Into a million, unsalvageable pieces my life shattered. Terror filled my heart at the thought of never having life together. I no longer saw the point of living because I felt so worthless. My life felt all the more useless, in its most literal sense. For the first time in my entire existence, I could no longer recognise me nor the life I was living- a life of lost dreams and ambition. I had lost everything dear to me: family, friends, lovers, goals and treasured hopes & dreams. Life felt unbearably empty and no longer worth living.
But somehow I found my way out. I eventually eased up into the mess that my life was or still is. I no longer experienced anxiety over not having things together because there are a few perceptions I chose to see my life through:
Making Peace with the Way Things Turned out
I had so much regret when the year started. There are many things I wished were different with my life and things I wish I had done differently. I had to embrace the reality that it was not so and make peace with my unpleasant circumstances. “If only” is the most stressful conversation that one can have with themselves because it not only leaves you trapped in a past that you can never change but disempowers you from taking charge of the present which you have some sort of power to turn things around for yourself. I am now making peace with the flaws of my own life and I realise that it has given me the ability to be more proactive about the direction in which I desire my life to take. It really serves nobody to continuously weep over things that have happened.
Allowing Myself to Surrender to the Unknown
I am naturally a perfectionist and control-freak. Now you can imagine how things played out for me when I began to realise that my goals and dreams are not happening (at least not the way I had planned for them to). It was not the best of moments for me. However, I had to let go of the picture that I had in my head of how my “picture perfect” life was supposed to be at a particular time. Now I find myself at a place where I do not know what’s next in my life but I’m perfectly content with it. In some place, in me, I have given myself the space to be completely submerged in my curiosity which excitedly anticipates the divine appointments and opportunities that life also eagerly awaits to present to me.
Having the Courage to Start Over
My biggest short-sight as an individual was my inability to see that where one thing ends, something new begins. I most certainly could not do anything about my past. Crying over it only exhausted me. So one day I woke up, gave myself a pep talk that went something like this, “Hey Katli, our life is in shambles right now, that we know for a fact. But look, maybe this is a chance for us to re-create ourselves and start afresh with life.”.
So much hesitation, doubt, hopelessness and failure filled the page of my life that I was on. So, I tore it out. This is not how the story goes, I said to myself…. And that’s how I decided to rewrite my story, which for a moment seemed to have had a tragic ending.
The Story Continues…
I am now grateful that my days are not as heavy as they used to be. All the hope I had lost has been regained, and I am dreaming new dreams for my life. Looking back, I now realize that what seems like an end in our lives often holds with it the promise of great new beginnings. That’s how I now feel about life. I no longer find myself in a place where I’m constantly mourning over the things that I’ve lost. I’m now learning how to open myself up to the new things that life awaits to bring forth my path.
I still get days where I feel stagnant and like I’m not living up to my full potential. However, patience with myself has been the most liberating gift for me when such feelings arise. I have found it neccessary to have the story of my life re-written one day at a time. After all, every great story is written one chapter at a time.
Turning endings into new beginnings…
F. Scott Fitzgerald beautifully writes one of the defining things for me,
“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”
There may be several storms that may have rummaged through our lives, forcing us to start over. But I want us to remember this:
When there has been a storm, and a wreckage of all that once stood has been left, we don’t try to rebuild everything with the debris left from the storm wreck. We clear out everything and build from scratch. We too should never fear to start afresh in life and build our lives anew after the storms of pain and disappointment wreck our lives.
May 2017 be a year that we recreate ourselves and rewrite ourselves into stories that are reflective of our true essence.
Love and light,