Sometimes in life one does not realize how bad things are becoming until you fall flat down with your face on the ground. Being young and naïve doesn’t help either when you are heading for dark dangerous areas.
You see, I grew up under the guidance of a praying mother. She would pray about and for a lot of things; in my young state I couldn’t understand the devotion to prayer even when some things seemed to be out of prayer’s reach. I didn’t understand that though they were out of prayer’s reach, they were not out of God’s reach. I had not yet learnt that prayer is more for my own sanity, strength and calmness than it was for making the problems disappear. As life would have it, I grew up to learn and understand these aspect of praying about and for everything. I grew to align myself with prayer to an extent that I’d catch myself praying involuntarily internally. I had grown up to be a fine young woman, spiritual and Christian. I was strong. I was happy. That however was not solid enough to keep doubt and wonder out of my life. I doubted somethings like all human beings do and curiosity came for me as it comes for all growing souls. I tasted wine, smoked a bit, partied a bit and thankfully I never got involved in illegal activities. When I had become older than my early twenties and late teens I thought doubts of the truths I had been taught were gone for good; I thought that I’d never again be curious about anything, little did I know that I was not done.
My curiosity has over the years led me to learn wonderful things. I have learned more about the world, discovered amazing places and I continue learning each day. I am thankful that curiosity is such a blessing and hopefully it will not lead me to trouble like doubt has done. Over the past two and a half years I have come to learn that of all doubt, the doubt of one’s self is the greatest downfall. It may start as an external force or as an internal force but either way when one begins to doubt themselves things start to crumble slowly until you hit the cold hard cement facedown. Doubt leads to fear and fear lead to isolation and isolation leads to destruction. For some reason God planted a resilient spirit within me, a spirit that puts up a fight when all of me has given up and for this I am eternally grateful. Every aspect of my life began to crumble at some stage but I held it all in me; at a time when I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I burst and spiralled all the way to the bottom of everything. Those around me realized that I was too far out of character. Some asked, I lied. Some asked, I was honest. Others just whispered and whatever else they did away from me. To those whom I lied, it was because I didn’t or don’t trust them; there are many reasons. To those I honestly responded, they either gave me hope of a helping hand or I trust or trusted them. The amazing thing however is that I appreciate those who never asked a bit more. They might have talked in corners but at least they didn’t pretend to be interested in knowing the truth or try to help me.
When I hit rock bottom, I didn’t know I had fallen that far yet. I genuinely still thought I was holding everything together. I thought I was fighting, maybe that was the problem. I wanted to fight so badly to keep being okay that I didn’t notice when I was way past being okay. I wanted to keep smiling and not let the world know I was struggling because I didn’t want to turn into prey. But it was at this very point that I had become prey and prayer was far from my mind. The prayer that used to sustain my strength, my calmness and my sanity was not part of my routine. My calmness was fake, my smile was so fake that I couldn’t laugh at real jokes and I would cry when no one was around. It seemed to relieve a few kilograms off my shoulders but I was still carrying the universe’s weight on my shoulders. Common beliefs of this world didn’t help me either; they teach that women are strong, that they hold the knife by the blade but what happens when you are the only one feeling the pain. When those that ask about your pain only use it against you or laugh about it behind your back? I’ll tell you what happens: “you become fake”. You stay strong around people and fall apart as soon as you are alone. Your whole external life becomes a romantic movie because the real life you have has become a horror movie. You don’t want them to know your horrors so you create romantics for their pleasure.
When you are alone you want a way out; death starts to look more and more appealing. Then again you remember that after every dark night the sun shines bright like there was never darkness. That is when that spirit of resilience is trying to fight for you because it sees that you have lost all hope. But because you are so busy trying to be in control, you take that though without processing it and you go out looking for the light. You cling to any piece that seems brighter than the darkroom where your pillow is dripping wet from your tears; you try to keep those moments of smiles that feel genuine because you know that after those moments you are to cry yourself to sleep once again. This is another problem of being impulsive like me. That resilient spirit was trying to fight but you were trying to be in control. When you’ve lost your paraffin flame in the rushed light you find yourself laying again on the cold floor crying yourself to sleep because that which you mistook for light actually injured you more that the darkness. It was as I was laying on the cold cement floor that I remembered meditation. I remembered that I had to clear my head. It’s not easy to quiet a scared, worried, tired and impatient mind when it’s been troubled for too long. I didn’t even know how to start meditating again with all the noise that was going on in my head. Laying there cold and alone; for some reason Nebuchadnezzar’s words rang in my head. He said “At the end of that time, I Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High;”. These words repeated themselves until I got up and went to find my bible, which I had not read in ages, I had touched it but that was for academic purposes; I had not read it in a while. I came to learn anew that these words were spoken by Nebuchadnezzar when he had gotten tired of eating grass; at a point when something within him couldn’t take being out of commission anymore. Something in him longed to live. I believe that it was that resilient spirit in me that longed to live; it had reminded me that after every dark night the sun shines but I went impulsively and messed up without listening to it. I choose to believe that it remembered all those nights that we wouldn’t go to sleep without reading the bible or praying in the house. Somehow my spirit within knew that I could come back to life. It knew that it was time I got up from the cold floor and lived. It was at that time that I began to shut out the voices one by one until it was only my voice that spoke to me, the resilient self that spoke life into me. I managed to quiet the life draining words, whispers and questions that had contributed to my doubt in myself in the first place. I stopped believing in the negative thoughts and emotions that had begun to control me and looked back up to the Lord. For the first time in a long time I actually prayed from within me.
Surely the coldness of that cement floor reawakened the resilient spirit in me. I slowly started waking up and I started listening instead of just hearing myself think. My thoughts were slowly redefined. I have come a long way. I am rebuilding. I have made mistakes, allowed others to walk over me, I forgot who I was, I forgot where I was heading, I lost sight of the bigger picture, I lost the balance of life and I did these things, those known and unknown to others.
But most importantly I have learnt. I have learnt to listen, to persevere, to stand up; I have remembered who I am, what I am and where I am going. I have learnt that fear is but just a toothless dog. Above all I have forgiven, I have forgiven myself for everything that led to my spiral. In this year I have progressed in rebuilding myself. My vision is clearer, I am more articulate and I am fearless. I have remembered that God holds my life in God’s own hands and that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. I have been reborn, stronger and wiser than when I spiralled out of the sky. I no longer say “Semper eadem” like Elizabeth I, I have evolved. I now say of myself, Phoenix, because I shot out of the sky like a falling star only to crash and burn but I have been reborn from the ashes. The fires of my life didn’t kill me, they made me stronger. Like gold, I had to go through the hottest fire to be refined and formed. It was so that I can withstand any other conditions that come my way.
These are some of the lessons I learnt from the cold hard floor. Not everyone who seems to care really does. Not only are you the main person responsible for getting yourself back up but you are the only one who really gives a piece about yourself, you benefit nothing by giving up and stand to gain everything by winning; others just get the crumbs of your success or satisfaction of your downfall. If you are not willing to fight for yourself, no one will. You are 99.9% the solution to your own dismay; help can come but won’t be effective if you are not willing to receive it. Loosing your vision sends you around in circles, keep your eye on the bigger picture and be patient on your way to achieving it. The lessons I learnt through 2015 were learnt during my awakening period when, like Nebuchadnezzar, my sanity was restored but too much had been lost; learning something from your mistakes and troubles is the most vital part of having troubles to begin with. Doing something to fix your problems is even more rewarding because you progress. Staying away from the people that push you to be fake is the best thing you can ever do for yourself; you get a chance to be the real you and let those that are willing to accept you as you are see you for what you really are. Prayer is vital. The mistake I made with the bible was being too busy to read it for my Christian self. I have a weird belief that it might have saved me from bursting and helped me strategically deal with my issues. One last thing I think is important in this learning process is that exercise is key; it takes a whole weight off one’s shoulders.
If you fail to learn from your fall, you definitely have a repeat of the exact same kind of a fall. Open your eyes, learn and never cease praying.