Do you ever wonder what would happen if you had taken a different path? If you chose something else? If you hadn’t accepted the invite for a dinner date? If you had not walked into the café of bookshop the day and moment you did?
How different would your life be otherwise?
What alternate road you would have been all?
What if things had turned out better?
But what if they were worse?
You’ll never know.
But it would be among those thoughts that pester your mind on those sleepless nights.
Because we don’t know what lies ahead. Because we can’t even be sure there is a future any more.
Because if not now, there will never be a better time.
If anything, life has shown us that we need to seize every single moment, each opportunity to do something different that may prove life-changing, to take a step that may lead to somewhere new and unexpected.
Things may seem broken and you may feel lost. But if you’re awake to life’s wonder, you’ll realise nothing truly happens by chance.
When you fall into a river you’re besieged with an innate instinct for survival and you search for ways to keep afloat and to get out. It’s natural. If you stop trying to swim, you’ll sink, and ultimately drown.
This is somewhat true in how you survive in your daily life as well. In the relationships you build and maintain. What holds you down is what makes you drown. And that can range from the negative thoughts in your head, your problems, your stress, the prejudices you carry around, even past traumatic experiences from failed relationships that have left a bitter aftertaste.
When you exit the river, you’re never the same person as the one who entered. Something has washed over you and infiltrated you even if you can’t see it. You’re changed by every experience you have, every person who walks in – and out – of your life. There is a lesson to be gained from everything. As long as we want to acknowledge it.
Seminars on self-help and self-growth are abundant. This was an excerpt from one of them. She was drawn into it because the metaphor was cunning. But, this was nothing new. Theories are so easy to develop. They’re easy to state, even to ourselves. Acting upon them is what is necessary and means something. And that is the hardest to do. Because accepting reality and that some things just happen, is the most difficult of all.
She would give herself completely in someone she felt was worthwhile. She would fall head over heels from the start. And perhaps that was her mistake. That she would put herself on offer willingly, without being asked. Her friend told her that this made the other person greedy, thus provoking his insatiable attitude. But she would do things because she wanted to and felt pleasure in doing them. Because happiness entails making others smile. Because we love the way we want to be loved. It’s the only way she knew.
But when things snapped in an instant for no rational reason, she was the one left heartbroken, wondering why others don’t treat her the same way she would. Why they wouldn’t run to surprise her and make things right. Why they wouldn’t even call to talk and solve the dispute that so abruptly and harshly erased their laughter.
They say “we accept the love we think we deserve”, but that’s not true. Because we don’t always attract what we want, but rather what we need at certain periods in time. We learn something out of every incident we face, regardless of how good or bad it is. We don’t always end up with what we crave. But sometimes we realise that maybe it’s for the best. Sometimes pain is meant to be felt, so we can appreciate serenity when it finally arrives.
There is an element of self-torture when you refuse to let some things slide and move on; when you’re constantly seeking an explanation, a justification, and a response to your ‘why?’.
Sometimes there is no answer. Or it may come when it no longer matters.
But the truth is, it already has no importance if it’s causing you so much grief and pondering.
Some things are meant to be experienced. We’ll get something out of them eventually.
It’s if you overthink everything that you have trouble swallowing reality. Life isn’t easy. No one said it would be. And there is no explanation for why things happen. Some things are meant to be, others not. We do participate in them all, and have a role to play in activating a chain of events, of setting life into motion. And it is often up to us, how much or how far we will allow developments to proceed.
Overthinkers are usually over-feelers too. And the trouble with feeling everything too deeply, is that you get hurt too profoundly too quickly. Sentimentalism isn’t a trait of the strong. Unfortunately.
Whatever advice you’re given, you’ll never weather the storm if you don’t want to. If you don’t decide to paddle over the water and get to shore. If you don’t pick yourself up and carry on.
That’s the thing with feelings: they’re easily trampled upon and difficult to recover.
He had been asked many interview questions since his career gained an upward path, but this was by far the most intimate one. It reached right into his soul, past his life experiences, his childhood dreams and wishes, his ambitions and desires. It was the essence of who he was.
“There are so many reasons why,” he began. The emotional charge was already apparent in his eyes and in the tone of his voice that suddenly became softer and quieter.
“I dance because it makes me feel alive. Feeling my body in motion, makes me feel like I’m doing something right, that I’m allowed to experiment in every dimension with every part of my being. All a dancer needs to do is close his eyes and feel the music”.
“I dance because I’m happy, or I’m sad, or I’m angry…I feel through dance. It’s my way of expression. But it is also of healing. I always feel better after I dance”.
“I feel graceful and free when I dance,” he continued. “I feel my aura becoming lighter and brighter and this also helps me culturally and socially connect with others. I feel I am becoming a better person when I dance. And I like that version of me”.
“Dancing is also a way to escape everything that is troubling your mind at the moment. It’s great therapy for the mind and it certainly keeps you active and fit. It is a fun way to exercise and offers many more benefits that are first apparent. All you need to do is try it for yourself and you’ll be convinced”.
The interviewer stared straight into his eyes. She had never received such an honest and long response before.
And, of course, she was now eager for her first dance lesson.